Random factoids that can be inserted into existing or new articles sometime in the future. While they're here, they have a "most likely canon but not certainly" status, as they're just cool ideas that come to my mind and are written here so that I wouldn't forget them.
- A sign of old age in insectoids is jerkish and mechanical movements. Due to the wear of the joints, they lose the ability to perform smooth and precise manipulations.
- Insectoids do not have manipulators for delicate work, making it much more difficult for them. As a result, detailing is directly considered a sign of a high cost luxury and most of their objects and buildings look extremely minimalist and simplistic. However, behind this seeming rudeness are accurate calculations and extreme design optimization.
- In the Ktak legal system, other sapient species are still technically classified as animals.
- Raharrs and humans are the only ones descended from species that use the persistence hunting method, which is a part of the reasons that explain their psychological similarities. Other species do not have so much stamina in comparison. The Sashli suffer the most from this - they are not capable of active physical activity lasting longer than half an hour (In return, they can exert monstrous strength bursts but very short in duration; in such cases, fatigue will come within a minute).
- Due to the lack of superluminal communication, there is no unification in the galaxy. The Alliance is the dominant global governmental organization de jure, but all the planets that are separated by more than a couple of weeks of FTL flight are, in fact, almost independent states (having at least one independent state on the surface) that solve problems on their own as much as possible. Ktak were more fortunate, as their dogmatic religion allows communities to maintain integrity over larger distances and their colonies retain a strong sense of connection and unity with their metropolises. The decentralization and lack of unity lead to wildly different governing structures for every planetary colony, ranging from democratic societies to weird experiments and even dictatorships or corporatocracies.
- Disunity is the reason for the need for a military fleet despite the absence of historical global interstellar wars, as a means of ensuring security and order.
- Due to small differences in anatomy and mentality, some Raharrs are biased or even racist towards the Riykians, believing them to be more "predatory" and animalistic due to the position of their eyes and the length of their claws.
- Native Iss languages just didn't have gender-neutral terms in them, so they had to haphazardly invent a whole concept and a portion of language after joining the Alliance and meeting species like Sashli, ending up with awkward constructs like "he-she" seeping in their intergalactic.
- There's a difference between the psychologies of those living on the planets with those who spend most of their time in space. Spacers tend to be more calculating and methodical in their actions, since in space the delay between receiving information and the ability to act on it can often be expressed in hours, weeks, or even months. Contrary to that, planets usually have much more fast-paced and tight communication and travel time, with the pace of life much more similar to the modern human world.
- Holograms are sensitive to changes in the atmosphere and even its composition or turbulence, and cannot work in a vacuum at all.
- Not as many space tourists as one might think. Even a simple flight to another planet and back can take anywhere from a month to a couple of years, not everyone can afford to quit their job for that long, even if they live on a space station. Most of the Alliance population has never visited another planet recreationally.
- Majority of raharrian road network on Harr, and consequently on their colonies, outside of the cities is elevated at least ten meters above the ground via land bridges. The practice started as an attempt to lessen the impact on the environment of the homeworld from the infrastructure and then became customary practice.
- Unnamed traditional raharrian food consisting of an handegg-sized hard shell nut that's being purposefully injected with a species of invertebrate that typically infest it. Larva consumes the content of the nut and grows in size, and roughly at the point when half of the nut is consumed, the entry hole gets closed off and the nut is thrown into boiling water and cooked. By itself, the nut's kernel is not that nutritious or tasty, but when its remnants are boiled together with the larva it tenders and adds a nice flavor to the meat. The dish is considered done when either the hole plug gets pushed out or the shell itself ruptures from the accumulated internal pressure from boiling.
- Several terraforming attempts are being tried out currently, but all of them are generations-long projects running on an almost fully automated self-supporting basis and are not expected to be finished in the next several centuries, and many critique them for being essentially a waste of resources.
- One of the discovered water worlds is 99.7% pure water by mass, is close enough to the parent star to be in its habitable zone, and so is used as a major source of imported water in the Alliance. Despite being in a habitable zone, the planet neither has a biosphere nor a breathable atmosphere, but also is still a popular tourist destination, since the atmospheric pressure and temperature are quite close to the accepted standard, on the warmer side, so the only mandatory attire requirement is an oxygen-filtering mask.
- Hephrene isn't a finite consumnable resource but is a battery that stores the energy it accumulates by leeching off zero point energy for hundreds of thousands of years it's sitting around between civilizations finding it, and then being able to release it in the reactor. It can be "recharged" manually and faster, that's what the reclamators do, but the process isn't efficient, and much is being lost - directly, as in actual energy vanishing in violation of the laws of thermodynamic, which is why reclamators do not produce much heat when working.
- However needs a reason for why it's concentrated in pockets and isn't spread through the galaxy after a couple of cycles.
About the fleets
- Raharr Ships - Follow a utilitarian, angular, and functional style. They are cheap to manufacture, easy to operate, make modifications, and make quick repairs. For the most part, ships are painted either with an anti-radar coating or with an anti-meteor coating, and the coloring is minimal and restrained. Raharr ships make up the majority of the Alliance’s military and industrial fleet, and the fleet of Raharr-manufactured ships is de facto the largest in the entire investigated part of space (outnumbering the ships of all other civilizations combined in almost 1.5 times). However, more than half of the ships and stations produced were bought or rented on an ongoing basis by other civilizations and is a kind of standard in every sense.
- Sashli Ships - Pays great attention to the design of ships. Even a combat fleet maintains roundness, fluidity, and style. Their ships are difficult to manufacture and expensive to repair, but their ergonomics, optimization, and convenience are usually at their best if they are not made for internal use by Sashli themselves. Almost all ships have a complex and vibrant color; ships are regarded as objects of art, including the navy (in this case, special paints and compositions are used so that the design does not interfere with the main functions of the hull coating), which often holds parades, and as a whole, the ships seem to be more for demonstrations and decorations than for real military operations (This impression is deceptive, of course - the Sashli fleet, despite its pretentiousness and artistry, is quite a serious threat on any battlefield). Sashli ships are most often seen in the private civilian sector, among other usesas an elite passenger liners.
- Ziort - They do not need spaceships.
- Laymaran - They have not yet sufficiently restored their industry to build their own fleet and they buy and rent ships from other civilizations, mainly Raharrs. They increasingly see this situation as a more logical and easy way, even questioning the necessity of creating their own fleet.
- Iss Ships - Low-tech and even primitive in some ways. Most of the civilian fleet does not even bother with the hull, just fastening all the critical nodes with supporting struts and girders. Surfaces also undergo minimal processing and the residential modules are painted white in order to reduce heating from solar radiation. Iss ships are extremely cheap, but to the same extent are extremely poor in their characteristics, being lower quality, and the fragility of their designs managed to become legendary and proverbial. Iss, as quickly as their value system allows them to, upgrade their fleet to bring it to a more competitive state. These ships are closest to the technological level of modern Earth.
- Azinarsi Ships - Has the same features as the rest of this civilization's technologies - they are closest to the Wanderers' ships in design, also presenting technologies so advanced that the line between an organism and a mechanism is erased. The Azinarsi fleet is not divided into military and civilian. Instead, each ship has impressive firepower, but at the same time, it is able to simulate many virtual realities at the same time and provide a place for many millions of digital personalities. The fleet is quite small (only a few hundred ships) and never departs from Azinarsi systems further than a light year, due to problems with synchronization and bandwidth of communication channels. The only ships that can be seen away from Azinarsi systems are the relatively small shuttles of explorers and travelers, which are essentially just an engine block and a service station for a contact body. But even they are rare since many researchers prefer to use the hitchhiking method when traveling as passengers on ships of other civilizations.
- Insectoid Ships - They combine smooth organic lines with sharp mechanical designs. Insectoids use biomaterials in the construction of their ships - not functioning living tissues and organs, but many parts of the ships are grown in orbital biostations as organic composites - in particular, sections of the hull and outer shell. For this reason, insectoid ships can be repaired virtually in the field and without access to resource bases (you just need to restore the conditions of a biostation around the damaged area and ensure the influx of raw materials), and they also often have better characteristics compared to traditional materials in many properties. However, bio-cultivation is an extremely slow process that scales up very poorly (The only method of construction that work worse in terms of efficiency to energy and time consumption are the atomic assembly nanofactories ), so the insectoid navy is one of the smallest (despite the fact that it can compete with most others in terms of total combat power). Organic composites are used only in the most important ships - mainly military ones - while the vast majority of civilian ships were bought from raharrs.
- Ktak Ships - Elongated designs that are most reminiscent of rockets and needles. Due to the specifics of psychology, the living compartments of their ships are excessively large in size and have wide corridors. Much attention is also paid to comfort during the flight, which applies even to warships. The Ktak is the only civilization that does not buy ships from the raharrs on an ongoing basis since their living compartments are too claustrophobic from their point of view.
- Smi'Tar Ships are a strange sight. The ships are mostly shaped in the form of spheres or clusters of spheres, but most of the details are arranged in a seemingly chaotic manner, without logic. No visible nozzles. Often, there are long spiky outgrowths of undefined purpose, often curved, which are neither engines nor antennas. The color is mostly black, with no visible distinction marks or decorative elements. All ships are extremely radioactive, emitting large doses of heavy ionizing radiation into space. It was also noted that the ships had extremely high temperatures, in some cases reaching 700 degrees Celsius.
- Ships of the Ancients - No reliable example of how the ships of the Ancients could look like is known. Nothing remotely resembling a ship has yet been found, despite the fact that one of the most frequently encountered artifacts are parts or complete mechanisms that have given many civilizations an understanding of the design of the hypergenerator - which, in theory, should mean that their fleet was extremely developed and numerous.
Eras of civilization and development
- Primeval Era - The dawn of civilization, a primitive community.
- Pre-Cosmic Age - A young, evolving civilization.
- Interstellar Age - Civilization had become capable of interstellar flights and expansion.
- Post-singularity - Civilization had overcome the limitations placed on its mind by its organic nature.
Civilization is not develops exponentially or linearly, but rather in a series of steps consisting of S-shaped curves. Civilization grows, accumulating knowledge about the world around it, and at the moment when the amount of accumulated knowledge exceeds the critical mass, a breakthrough occurs, exploding into many new opportunities for development and ways to explore the world. Then comes the calm part of the curve again, almost a stagnation in comparison to the previous part, during which there is a steady but slow accumulation of knowledge, and the technical level may not change much for a long time. Typical examples from Earth's history: Neolithic (from the discovery of fire to the discovery of agriculture), the Middle Ages (from the ancient Roman culture to the Renaissance culture). The findings were provoked by the invention of fire, agriculture, mathematics, and the scientific-naturalist approach. The last known breakthrough is associated with the discovery of interstellar technology, after which one of the longest known calm periods sets in. A civilization of the interstellar era can exist for tens of thousands of years without making any significant breakthroughs in any of the fields of applied science (provided that it does not die before that from external or internal causes). Presumably, if a civilization manages to go through this period, then there is a period of explosion of the singularity, followed by a calm of post-singularity. However, there is no accurate data on its duration or on what breakthrough could have followed it. The only post-singular civilization currently known is the Azinarsi, and they show signs of stagnation and introversion.
It's actually not a paradox. The galaxy, in the scale of geological eras, is boiling with life. If the planet can support life, life will arise on it. The Ancients once conducted extensive terraforming of the Galaxy, further increasing the number of worlds suitable for life by several orders of magnitude. However, a typical period of civilization's life, during which it can be detected from the outside is hundreds and thousands of years, which is less than a nanosecond on the galactic scales. advanced civilizations born and go extinct almost in an instant. The galaxy is full of tombs of dead civilizations.
At any given time, it is statistically much more likely to stumble upon either primitive and unintelligent biospheres, or already extinct, self-destructed, or disappeared — like the Ancients — civilizations. But the law of large numbers comes into play here - because of the total number of constantly evolving biospheres in millions of inhabited worlds, at some point, the stage of development of several separate civilizations coincides to such an extent that, on the galactic scale, they go out into space almost simultaneously.
This creates the conditions for creating interstellar interaction and community. The Alliance’s timeline is one such statistical moment, far from being the first, but also far from being the last. Nevertheless, these coincidences occur rather rarely, and civilizations still develop much faster than evolutionary processes. Therefore, such communities live no longer than several tens of thousands of years, and they are chronologically separated from the nearest "next" civilization going into space, in an optimistic case, hundreds of thousands of years and tens of parsecs of distance.
This, together with the technological limitations of interstellar flights, prevents the creation of a stable and permanent galactic civilization. In the vast majority of cases, emerging civilizations simply do not find any neighbors - they are either too far away to be discovered, or they are already extinct long ago, or vice versa, species with prospects for intelligence are still not sufficiently developed. Thus, interstellar communities are a rare thing.
The setting had a couple of "alliances" in the past before the current Alliance, as did several monospecies empires existed, but it was in the different parts of the galaxy and their zones of spread largely don't overlap with the currently explored space.
As for the Earth, which failed to detect the Alliance's activities - there is a simple explanation for this. At the current level of development, earthlings can detect other civilizations only by identifying anomalies in the radiation coming from other stars. In particular, radio waves. However, broad radio broadcast era is extremely fleting and, within a century or two, is replaced by much more efficient laser point systems and directional focused radio pulses, which require far less energy consumption to reach the destination compared to non-directional pulses. The visibility of radio pulses greatly degrades with distance and, already at a distance of several light-years, is mixed with the star’s own radiation, and it is only possible to find it with the help of sensitive devices.
In addition, most Alliance colonies are located much farther away from the solar system than just a few light-years - the sun is on the periphery of explored space, so even if earthlings had the necessary technology, the light and radio waves from the colonies and the Alliance's central worlds simply had not yet reached Earth and will not reach it for thousands of years.
|Leaving the Cradle | The Cliff World|
|Organizations||Alliance | Independent Worlds | Science Corporation | Politics|
|Technologies||Hephrene | Interstellar Travel | Spaceships|
|Places||Planet Harr (Star Harr) | "Shining" Space station | "Dawn" class spaceships | Artifact X|
|Characters||Gharr | Zane | Hekaht | Ahshu | Quantum | Nea | Dan | Mark | Val | ! Virus|
|Events||! Overall chronology|
|Further reading: | Civilization development stages | Instruments | Ideas ||