Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Project 7 (II) - the story

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

As I promised in my previous post, I am bringing to you the full story that stands behind the making of this game. This is still a draft and I am not saying this as an excuse, but as a guy who stands in front of you ready to be judged and ask for the jury's ... well... not clemency, but good will.

Any feedback is welcome, I really wish you all give us a piece of your thinking and creativity by voting or commenting. OK, enough delaying, make yourself comfortable in the chair and  get some fluids before you start reading, here it goes... the story:

The 1st play test, round 4

"After the devastating nuclear war of Earth year 2299, the remains of the human race embarked on a fleet of space ships and started their search for a new world. 

On 3rd of November 2299, exactly 83 days after the first nuclear warhead hit Berlin, eight factions made an agreement to cease fire.  Each made of a few hundred thousand people, for sure less than one million, they represented the remain of the human race still not affected by radiation. History did not preserve enough evidence to support the ethnicity of each of the eight factions, but there are speculations that four of them were from the former USA, one from Australia, one from the Greenland’s north, one from Antarctica and one from United Europe, the Norsemen.

Two days after the cease fire, already unable to find any source of food and drinking water on a rampaged planet, devastated by the nuclear winter and the tremendous level of radiation, the eight factions decided to use all the start ships they could still power up and attempt emergency leave, abandoning Earth. The only spacecrafts left were in the heart of Asia.

They all boarded the space shuttles from Baikonur Cosmodrome in what people used to call 200 year ago Kazakhstan. In there, the last genocide occurred. The six faction that arrived early found some of the spacecrafts damaged by nuclear warheads and decided to avoid a conflict or a draw for who gets to board and who gets to stay on the dying planet. The shot down the hovercrafts bringing in the Antarctica and Greenland factions. Allegedly, more than 1 million people died. Humanity’s last genocide was recorded on camera and used for the anti-war propaganda.

After almost one year of space travel and fragile peace, the humans adapted to almost everything that space travel involved. They reached a common decision to disregard the possibility of terraforming Mars or Venus - the technology behind this endeavor had already been destroyed in the war - and to look for a new home in the closest star system to Earth, Alpha Centauri. They estimated the travel time to 400 cycles*, making it a gamble since their resources should only last for about 200.

* The year, the time Earth took to revolve around the Sun, did not represent anything that humans wanted to remember, the new unit of measure for a long period of time was the cycle. One cycle was initially one year, but due to miscalculations by physicist who took into consideration time dilatation at high speed (relativity theory misinterpreted), one cycle was later  roughly equal to 1.65 Earth years.

By the end of the 3rd cycle, they established a full political system which brought along the old interests and conflicts. It took half a cycle and one election ‘day’ to stir up a new war. Without nukes, but with still powerful weapons, half of the human fleet was wiped out in a matter of hours. With identical spacecrafts and equal weapons, the leaders of the factions reached a new peace agreement. The new settlement left the factions completely separated. The only thing keeping the together was the basic instinct of survival and the promise that once they’ll find a new home, the conflict will be once and for all solved. That last peace treaty cut all inter-faction contacts to a minimum, only the supreme leaders were to meet once per cycle to decide on matters that concern all of them, usually related only to calculations for direction and course adjustments for the fleet. Each faction was the leader of the convoy for one cycle and they’d rotate like that until reaching their final destination. The contacts between the factions was reduced to almost nothing. People belonging to each faction evolved separately, developing unique features and skills associated to space travel.

At the end of the 144th cycle, the remnants of the fleet came in contact with a superior civilization whom they wrongly call Centaurians (inhabitants of Alpha Centauri system, in fact more than three and a half light years away from that very spot). At that point, it became clear for the leaders of the factions that the original plan was at fault. Their spacecrafts would never last that long to reach Alpha Centauri and their nuclear fuel was going to be exhausted in less than 50 cycles. In the light of the new situations, the leaders presented themselves as one civilization in front of the Centaurians.

After establishing communication, but without ever seeing them, the Centaurians borough in the leaders and had them audience in front of the High Council. Time seems to pass at a different rate for the new found saviors and friends, as this meeting seemed to take forever. Never having seen one Centaurian, the humans came to understand quickly how this advanced civilization was working. They had amazing technology - able to learn human languages in a matter of minutes, they seemed to be capable of faster than light travel, they were the utmost humanitarians, never even considering killing or enslaving humanity and - most importantly - they were willing to provide help. 

After the marathon meeting, the Centaurians guided the old damaged fleet towards a planetary system that could support human life. Without ever allowing anyone else but the six leaders aboard the Centaurian star ship, the Saviors took about half a cycle to prepare the human fleet for high speed travel. No one ever explained how or what the Centaurians did to the human spacecrafts to allow them to travel much faster, nor how fast they’d be able to travel. The only requirement from the Centaurians was that every vessel they were working on was to be vacated completely for the duration of the repairs. This allowed the first contacts between factions in more that 140 cycles. Old tensions grew quickly under the surface and sporadic fights were reported, but the casualties were quickly disposed of and no word of this got to the Centaurians.

Once all repairs final, the fleet started the last part of its journey towards humanity’s new home. No one was able to tell whether they were travelling faster than light or not or which direction  they were going. The leaders told the people they were going to settle all together on a planet orbiting the Proxima Centauri star. In the first ‘days’, curiosity prevailed and not even one gun shot was heard among any ship in the fleet. The humanity recorded this last part of the trip as the exile.

Centaurians were keeping their distance all the time, not interfering at all in the humans’ internal affairs. They seemed to be the perfect ‘fathers’ providing but never asking in exchange. The underfed humans were provided all kind of new things that they forgot or never knew of existing. This preserved the apparent harmony for a while, but humanity’s drive towards conflict soon overcame their well being. In the final days of the exile, war spurred again. The never forgotten pride arose one last time and the Centaurians decided to split the fleet and took them into 6 separate solar systems, without giving them means of direct communication. 

The settling process took almost two full cycles. Humans were first taught first how to survive on their new home planets, who were all alike, they were given brief news of how the other factions were doing, they were provided with technology to make their new home worlds look like the ancient  Earth. Centaurians did all this from a distance, never interfering more than the minimum necessary. Their understanding of the human race seemed far better that anyone could ever expect and their respect for human values, habits and traditions seemed infinite. With the passing of time,humans were coming closer of considering the Centaurians gods. Human perception of their benefactors was very close to reality. The Centaurians were a peaceful species, one that seemed to be omniscient and omnipotent. Although they weren’t anything like the humans, never fighting, they still possessed an impressive warfare arsenal, making them undefeatable in the eyes of the humans. Following the Centaurian tradition, the leaders of all the six Colonies were assembled in a High Council, on the same planet as the Centaurian High Council had its headquarters. They had the chance of acknowledging each other, share their most important issues and remember they were once brothers. The Centaurians kept a policy of equal treatment and long distance supervision, ensuring lasting peace. Every new Colony was given access to the same technologies, the same amount of knowledge, so that proper balance would be kept. In time, the humans, with their new found technology for looking into space were more and more convinced that their saviors were indeed Centaurians and that they were all living on planets revolving some of the stars in the Alpha Centauri system. They assumed that the three stars (Proxima Centauri and Alpha Centauri A & B binary star system) humans knew about were the only one visible from Earth but, in fact, there were many more, most of them with inhabitable planets, all alike and all perfectly suitable for human life.

In fact, little did the humans know about the fate that was awaiting them...

In the 296th cycle, the Centaurians came to all 6 races with a terrifying announcement, their own race was on the verge of disappearance. The Centaurians Supreme Leaders appointed a permanent human High Council, formed from the leaders of six Colonies and supervised by one single Elder. The Elder had the role of preserving peace and guiding them for another 10 cycles and thus conclude both the transition and the vanquish of the Centaurian race. In this time, humans would gain access to almost all Centaurian technology, they would be able to expand their existence on more planets and develop beyond their imagination. The Centaurians would leave and for a what humans assumed was a different galaxy to figure out a way to prevent their extinction. They were never to return... or so everyone thought. With a very good understanding of the human race, the Centaurians appointed the High Council with the purpose of giving humanity the chance of preserving the Centaurian glory and memory and appointed the Elder to prevent humans to self-destruct and to bring the together to form a new great civilization. The Council was given the power to decide on all political matters of the Colonies and to split the great heritage of the Centauri civilization. With all the others gone, the last of them, the Elder had the power to ensure that the Council was functioning respecting the majority principle and that all their decision were followed by the Colonies."

Simulation of the battle with the components from Project 7

"We're under attack!" 

And now, when you already know the story, it's time to vote. Thank you all for participating at choosing the name!

You can also find NSKN on website Facebook | Twitter
Warriors & Traders can also be found on its own website| Blog | Facebook |  BoardgameGeek
Follow us on Twitter: AgniAlexandraAndrei and Vlad 

No comments:

Post a Comment