Society in Sol is dominated by six corporations that, collectively, control all aspects of resource collection and production. Through capitalistic competition, the power of the six corporations is split relatively equally, and kept in check by the Sol Fleet, who acts as the major governing body of the Sol System through brutal use of military force. This power is, however, checked by the combined military power of the six corporations.
Much like a typical government, the Sol Fleet maintains its power through taxes and provides for the common defense. However, their legal enforcement and prosecution is limited. Under Sol Fleet governance, individuals have only the right to property, intellectual or tangible, the right to contact with and transport to establishments owned and operated by the Sol Fleet, and the right to internet access. Prison systems do not exist, crime and punishment is acted strictly through fines and compensation. Public services are provided by the corporations, much in the same way modern insurance companies operate.
Corporates; Those that are enthralled in the corporate system, working diligently to outdo their peers in often deceptive attempts to gain favor with their superiors for the purpose of advancing through the corporate entity. Corporates almost always develop intense pride in their corporation, and, through extension, hatred and distrust of their opposing corporations and those employed thereby.
Networkers; Though most are forced to work for any of the various corporations, this subculture has members that yield legal profits without corporate interaction. Networkers rarely care for their corporate positions, and make little to no attempt to garner promotions. Instead, Networkers find their happiness through the internet, in the form of communication, art, gaming, or otherwise.
Farmers; Those that completely reject corporate culture and choose to produce their own necessities, typically in rural areas. Because the Sol Fleet enforces their right to property, and because they are not tempted by corporate-provided luxuries, Farmers are all but immune to corporate sway. Though they are guaranteed access, most Farmers choose to reject the internet as well, seeing it as an extension of the corporate world.
Settlers; Those that have enlisted with the Sol Fleet with the sole goal of earning colonial transport, a right entitled to them after four years of dedicated service, Settlers often hold a strong sense of contempt towards Corporates and corporations in general, but a certain amount of respect for Networkers.
Militiamen; Those that have enlisted without the intention of colonial relocation, typically standing common ground with Corporates due to their motivated sense of progression through ranks. Militiamen are varied in their interests, their loyalties, and their goals, being the most diverse subculture.
Reformers; A small, but notable, subculture existing on Venus that has managed to establish a society completely independent and free from any corporate interference, having sufficient agriculture production and ample expansion landmass, as well as having many non-necessities manufactured within the society. Their economy functions with the understanding of all involved that there are more expense and less availability than in the corporate world, and, therefore, the average Reformer is substantially less wealthy than the average corporate civilian, albeit by choice.
The inner colonies are owned and operated directly by the corporations, and, as such, society on these worlds is structured in a similar fashion. Those Corporates that want to prove themselves to their corporation will do it in this cutthroat setting. Here, there is very little power held by the Sol Fleet, and the corporations wage war openly; it is extremely dangerous to live on even the more secure inner colonies. However, it is here that opportunity lies: nearly limitless untapped resources to be claimed and harvested.
The corporations own their respective colonies in six sections encircling Sol, being their main source of revenue. Therefore, corporations bordering on each others territory tend to be more hostile towards one another, and wage tireless war to secure valuable planets. Sol Fleet will only ever intervene with inner colonial matters when it is clear they pose a risk to Sol in any way.
The outer colonies begin a ways out from the inner colonies and expand to touch the borders of other races. Because the Leyad and Kirish borders are relatively close to the general galactic east, the most outer colonial activity occurs to the galactic west, where the major factions have their strongest footholds and broadest influence.
Though outer colonies tend to be independent within their own trading networks, there are still those that rely on corporate supplies and support. Governmental systems are varied in their operation and foundation throughout the outer colonies, as well as culture and art. There being no concrete, established universal laws, piracy has, unfortunately, become a serious threat to outer colonial life, regardless of attempts to police such activity.
Major Factions of the West;
The Colonial Watch; An organization promoted as the policing authority of the western outer colonies, the Colonial Watch goes to brutal lengths to achieve their goals, which are often controversial and only arguably for the better of the colonies. The Colonial Watch is heavily responsible for aggression against the Akrala natives and Leyad traders.
Shadowhawks; An organization devoted to the eradication and prevention of corporate influence in the western outer colonies, openly assaulting corporate trade convoys and seizing their goods, used to supply the poor-fairing colonies that would otherwise have to call for corporate assistance. Though they will also eliminate pirates on encounter, Shadowhawks do not take the effort that the Colonial Watch does to track them down.
The Merchant Fleet; Originally commissioned as protection agency for traders, the Merchant Fleet has developed into a highly reputable mercenary force, maintaining the single most powerful Human military presence in the outer colonies, though split into hundreds of smaller forces in order to more easily fulfill their contracts.
Zeetronians are medium-sized quadrupeds that share close ecological ties with Krystalia, giant crystals that house a glowing, jellylike substance, providing Zeetronians with the light they need to see on the barren world of the Dust. Being prey by nature, Zeetronians use military power primarily only as a means of defense, and are naturally unfamiliar with the idea of conquest.
Zeetronians are unique as the only space-faring race to never establish any colonies or permanent outposts outside of their homeworld system, the Dust being their planet of origin. The Dust is named so because of its unusual cosmic circumstances. Every year, the Dusts orbit comes dangerously close to the asteroid belt of its system, drawing in small asteroids that collide with one side of the Dust, kicking up massive amounts of debris into the upper atmosphere, completely blocking out any sunlight, but insulating what would otherwise be an inhospitably cold surface into a tolerable range.
Zeetronians have endured being predated by the spawn of the Dusts harsh environment, being an oddball of evolution in their use of light to see, as opposed to the more common infrared, and have reached their space age at a somewhat slower pace than the other local races. Their population is extremely relatively small, sitting only on par with Burii, although having a much higher reproduction rate.
Zeetronians being a hardy and tough species have one of the highest average lifespans of the local races, and their culture is in the midst of a cultural clash between the older and new generations.
Isolationists; The older generation of Zeetronians, Isolationists have seen the terrors of the Dust in full, having been the generation that finally assuredly established their place above the spawns of the dark and their threats. Isolationists lend no trust to the other races, viewing the safety and prosperity of the Zeetronian race as put in jeopardy by any foreign interaction. Instead of venturing into off-world concerns, they prioritize the exploration and understanding of the Dust and all its inhabitants, as well as the collection of the assuredly massive amounts of undiscovered resources therein and on their neighboring worlds.
Dispersioniles; The younger generation in the cultural conflict, Dispersioniles believe that, because of the fact that their belated entry into cosmic territory claims has left little to no room for expansion, the only way to spread and develop the Zeetronian race is to disperse to every corner of the galaxy. Dispersioniles encourage and promote the common populace to embark on any of the many titanic ships dubbed Nomads, equipped with all the utilities and resources to be self-sufficient, expandable, and fully functional in nearly any practical need. Nomads are in constant production in orbit around the Dust, but as the Isolationists become more and more politically dominant, this production sees danger of being halted.
In every corner of the known galaxy can be found Nomads and their inhabitants, learning, growing, and expanding in their own way. Regular communication networks are maintained between Nomads, allowing for the broadest information network in present times. Dispersed Zeetronians share a strong sense of unity and brotherhood with one another; aid is supplied to Nomads in need with no expectations of repayment.
Though they often set up small outposts for any of various purposes, ranging from resource collection to native biological research, the Dispersed never leave an obvious mark in their wake. Their policy is to take what they need from places that can spare it, and nothing more, and leave as though they were never there.
The Dispersed are diplomatically neutral, but they must nonetheless maintain military forces to insure their own security. Each Nomad possesses a militia proportionate to its size, and, while no match against the organized fleets of other races alone, the combined might of all the Nomads across space has been estimated to be quite a force of reckoning.
Perhaps second only to Leyads, Zeetronians have the most experience with Armayan technological remnants, having discovered and extensively studied many such sites in their journeys. As such, many of Dispersed Zeetronians identify themselves as Armayan archeologists.
Kirick are a race of insectoids who fall under the will of Collectives, products of focused psychic cooperation of massive numbers of Kirick. Though individual Kirick have wills of their own, including weak telepathy, they serve their Collective without question and have no sense of rebellion or disobedience towards it. This is simply the natural order of their species.
Hearth of the Grand
The most populated Kirish world by far, and, not surprisingly, their homeworld. There as so many Kirick on the Hearth of the Grand, that their psychic energies link across the entire planet and back, creating the most comprehensive, intelligent, and powerful Collective that has ever existed. The Grand Collective, as it is called, is the unquestioned ultimate authority of the Kirick in any matter.
Normal Collectives still exist under the Grand Collective, but as individual Kirick drones serve their Collectives unquestionably, so too do Collectives serve the Grand Collective.
The exception to this order was the Exile, who strongly opposed the creation of the Grand Collective and was forced by military action to flee from the Hearth of the Grand, and was still pursued by several swarms in the name of the Grand Collective.
The unsettled, untapped worlds on the Kirish territories, the Expanse is where lesser Collectives prove the ability and efficiency of their swarms to the Grand Collective. Shortly after contact was made with the Makrosians, the Eternal Skirmish would begin, and the area known as the Expanse to the Kirish would become know as the Skirmishlands to the other races.
Individual Kirick who have lost contact with their kin or their Collective, these drones wander with the primary purpose in mind of reconnecting themselves. They follow orders perfectly and have astounding ability to retain knowledge. They hold no loyalties to anything or anybody they meet, and are ultimately only concerned with their reconnection. This extreme sense of loyalty to their swarm will, however, fade over time, and they will eventually fall into the same mindset of the Seperationalists.
Excommunicated who have spent extensive amounts of time disconnected from their Collective will eventually begin to lose their devout sense of servitude and begin to consider their own prospects, inevitably finding their way to either a foreign world or a Seperationalist colony, entire communities of formerly Excommunicated Kirick who have come together to establish their own governing bodies, economic systems, and military presence.
Separationalists have no real culture of their own, as Collectives establish little real culture in the classic sense, so instead collect information from the societies of the other races, straining to understand them all, and, in effect, creating a strange blend of many major cultures from across the known galaxy. Separationalists are, by nature, extremely productive, communal, and focused, resulting in highly rapid development.
Eranan and Vaw
Eranan are incredibly large beings with the ability to generate nutrition and biomass from all manner of resources that no other lifeforms can be sustained by. Due to this daunting size, they require vast amounts of said resources, and can strip mine a rich planet bare in a matter of a decade or less. Eranan, though sentient, think too slowly to reasonably interact with other races, and, instead, allow such responsibilities to fall to its Vaw.
Even though it is possible and occurs on occasion, Eranan do not commonly interact with one another. Young Eranan, for example, are simply left to grow on their own shortly after their asexual birth. Though its theorized that this is a natural mechanism to discourage the sharing of limited resources, it is more widely assumed that Eranan simply dont have anything to mutually offer one another.
Vaw act in much the same purpose to Eranan as cells in a body, carrying out trivial, but necessary, functions such as nutrition distribution, tissue repair, etc., all of which Vaw are able and willing to do. Vaw see themselves as extensions of Eranan, but are in no way or form bound to its will, but more so to their need for its nutrient preparation. Their society thereby emphasizes that extension, with artistic reflection and expression almost always holding Eranan as the focus. Vaw technology is unsophisticated, respectively, because they have for such a long stretch of time been able to depend only on their Eranan alone. However, in recent times, the need has become obvious, and Vaw have been compensating with an above-average rate of development.
Vaw communities are entirely communistic, with all resources evenly shared and the overall workload split in the most efficient ways. There is no trade, if one wants something and it is available and not reserved, it is theirs to have. In this manner, what is too much falls entirely to the judgment of the people, but because all products of production, artistic or practical, ultimate return to the use of the public, this threshold is often allowed to go unchecked.
Vaw are a happy peoples, knowing not famine nor war in their history, and are friendly and open in their diplomacy with the other races. Because of the sheer mass and intimidating presence of a single Eranan, no other race has yet tested the potential for destruction the Eranan and Vaw may possess, and allow their unhindered travel. Modernly, however, Vaw maintain no military, though they are familiar with the concept through cultural exchange.
Similar to Vaw in their service of Eranan, though much more specialized, Zaw found that their purpose of rapid tissue repair and production became obsolete in the face of Vaw progression. Zaw, being small, adaptive creatures, were not bound to their Eranan in the same way Vaw were; they can survive off a host of nutrients not needed to be prepared through Eranan mechanisms. With the discovery of other races, Zaw collectively began to leave the Eranan and seek out new homes.
Zaw, though originally symbiotic, have developed parasitic tendencies. They communicate with one another through weak telepathy, living carefully hidden inside any host they can manage to infiltrate. They are uncanny at blending in with their hosts biology, very rarely being discovered, even under conditions friendly to observation. They take only what they need and are not commonly a true detriment to their host.
Not much is know for certain about the Zaw. They seem to operate with no sense of society or communal relationships besides the occasional exchange of information. It is unknown whether they have any collective goals or, for that matter, any individual goals.
Burii and Sorii
Burii are characterized by a relatively small bundle of hundreds of small, molten tentacles extending out of an internalized core. They manipulate the world around them by injecting their tentacles into any of a number of varieties of mineral, which they can then warp and reshape to whatever purpose they desire. The smaller the rock, the more control a Burii will have over it, thus making small finger rocks a commonality amongst Burii.
Burii derive their nutrition directly from heat, but are actually harmed by too concentrated a dose, such as found in molten lava. Thus, in hot environments, Burii can casually absorb heat out of the air or ground and not need to actually feed. In colder environments, a Burii who is not properly insulated will starve within a matter of hours. However, properly insulated, Burii have no issues enduring such environments, but will, of course, need to feed after extended periods of time.
The most staggering and crippling weakness of the Burii race is their unfathomably slow reproduction rates, which is compensated only slightly by their above-average lifespan.
Medium-sized snake-like beings with a three-end tail, Sorii are creatures of flight, using an awkward combination of small wings and hydrogen manipulation. Sorii are predators of many of a variety of smaller creatures on their native world, and need relatively large amounts of food to survive, notably making them one of the most needy of modern sentient races.
Sorii take pride in large accomplishments, found in their architecture of titanic proportions, and believe in cooperation and kinship towards achievements of their chosen caliber. Sorii also have a strong embrace of art in their society, keeping in line with their natural preference of bigger and better. However, in the end, Sorii do not value technology development nearly as much as the Burii, which ultimately becomes their downfall.
The homeworld of the Burii and Sorii, Father Flame is a planet teeming with volcanic activity that has no foreseeable end. Here, life has evolved under some of the harshest known conditions, surviving a chemically poisonous atmosphere and typically unbearable thermal levels. Among them are the Burii who evolved to live in hilly areas that molten flows tend to be directed around. Burii are one of only a few species that evolved in the colder areas of Father Flame, with most species living in or around the magma oceans. This, however, allowed them plenty of area in which to construct shelters and expand their numbers.
In contrast, the Sorii evolved in the magma streams with the vast majority of other creatures, becoming one of Father Flames most dangerous predators. This caused Sorii to develop a general attitude of superiority and high ecological role, which carried over into their early communication with the Burii.
Early in the history of civilized Burii and Sorii culture, there are records of primitive wars between them. As each civilization advanced, their racial conflict only proceeded to escalate, continuing all the way into very early space-faring age of the Burii. It was during this time that the Burii were finally able to use their technological superiority to crush the Sorii into submission, after which they were all enlisted as slaves.
This resulted in a generation of Burii united in their cause and in their ethnocentric ideals, but without an enemy. So in a fervor of motivation, the Burii expanded their blooming civilization outward, claiming massive reaches of territory that they could not hope to utilize. Nonetheless, they felt the need to enforce these claims when contact was finally made with their local neighbors, the Humans and the Leyads. They do, however, retain the reputation for being the most belligerent of the modern races.
Akrala are bipedal reptilians, predators by nature, and often considered of the lowest average intelligence of the modern races. Their entire planets ecosystem was transplanted from Earth before the extinction of the dinosaurs by the powerful, ancient Armay, and, thus, their homeworld shares a broad many similarities with pre-industrialized Earth. Much like the Zeetronians, theyve entered their space-faring age late and are have been forced to make conflicting territory claims with Human outer colonists.
Akrala are slow to expand, but easily the fastest and most effective terraformers of the modern races, translating their entire ecosystem from one planet to the next as they found new colonies. However, after overcoming their natural harsh environment, the reproduction rate of the Akrala has skyrocketed. Their rate of expansion is quickly becoming exponential, though their efforts are met with harsh resistance from Human colonists, especially the Colonial Watch.
Akrala architecture is largely constructed with stone, and their technology development comes through mechanical and biochemical manipulation. Akralan ships are thereby fusions of strictly specialized functional biomass with stone-form machines. This results in crude-looking, but perfectly viable, ships that lead to the common barbaric stereotype given to the Akrala by other races, most commonly the local Human colonists.
Makros are very large, snaked insectoids, sharing common appearance to Earthborne centipedes. They easily manipulate all of their dozens of legs at once, able to perform many different independent activities at once. As such, they are able to utilize a variety of tools all at the same time, and in the modern day, this allows them to manage extensive computer systems onboard combat vessels, making them some the most capable individual pilots in the galaxy.
Makrosian society upholds the ideal of friendly competition, that is to say proving that one is better than another through strictly progressive means, highly discouraging any means that would obstruct or deny ones peers opportunity or chance to prove themselves. War tactics are, in kind, very similar to this societal ideal; records of war are tightly kept, displaying the highest honors to those pilots who perform the best from battle to battle, and is the most popular form of proving grounds.
The Makros commonly war with the Kirick, though it is somewhat friendly fighting, as the Makros suffer only minor casualties, and, to the Kirick, drones are completely expendable. From the Kirick standpoint, these wars are tests of worth for aspiring warlords, and to the Makros they are places to prove their worth and their superiority. Many other races dont understand this relationship, as the two races still frequently trade and have open diplomatic channels.
Leyads are a soft, light-purple-skinned race of humanoids with tentacles for limbs, two arm tentacles and three leg tentacles, and a single, large eye in the center of their neck-less head. On the Warp, their leg tentacles served the purpose of manipulating natural rampant energies that allowed them to levitate, but this ability is lost on every other planet where Leyads are forced to crawl slowly and inefficiently.
The earliest modern space-faring race, the Leyads were both fortunate and unlucky to originate from a celestial anomaly of a planet, one where the laws of physics as most races know them are forgone and ignored, giving Leyads a much stronger grasp on the hidden workings of the universe. For example, it was not through discovery, like most races, but rather exposure that the Leyads created Zero Phase engines.
In the early space age of the Leyads, the clumsily slow bureaucratic government put significant dampers on the expansion and development of the Leyad species as a whole, and thus prompted the rebellion. The rebellion would push the government to desperate measures, causing their loss of favor with the colonies, and tipping the balance of power into the favor of the rebels. As soon as the government was completely fractures and crippled beyond recovery, the chain of command that was the driving force of the rebellion vanished, and the Warp, the homeworld of the Leyads, was entirely barred from entry through means of powerful gravity fields that encase the entire planet. This left a confused population that, with no sense of direction or motivation, would simply return to their normal lives.
Those that seized Warp, known only as the Oligarchy, proceed to rule the Leyad population stealthily and subtlety. The same population they rule has no idea that the Oligarchy exists, but the Oligarchy possesses command over the entire military, and also has developed some of the most advanced technology in the known galaxy, allowing them to use hawk eyes to monitor and spy as they need, as well as precision Zero jumps which give them frightening mobility.
The homeworld of the Leyads, the Warp is no longer the center of trade and production, instead being the base out of which the Oligarchy maintains their power and operates their control. Warp still houses a large population that is steadily growing, and are the only Leyads aware of the existence of the Oligarchy. It is from this populace pool that the Oligarchy draws their agents and soldiers. The Oligarchy draws funds from the colonies and trade worlds through economic manipulation and subtle coercing.
Kinn and the Colonies
The first colony of the Leyads, Kinn has, in the absence of access to Warp, become the central hub of Leyad society, acting as the major producer and commercial throughway. Though trade between the colonies is healthy, it is often viewed with distaste as function supplied by the young or the unambitious. Colonies maintain their own simple governmental structures and highly value their independence. They maintain small militias, but are generally soothed into a sense of security by Oligarchy agents.
There other major centers of Leyad society are the five capital Tradeworlds, which extend to the borders of Leyad territory, allowing traders ease of access to foreign territory. Tradeworlds welcome any and all races, promoting free market and exchange of commercial activities. Each Tradeworld maintains its own regimented force of Tradekeepers who enforce peaceful activity on the Tradeworlds and repel those with belligerent intent.
Common society relishes and upholds the ideal of pursuit of opportunity, encouraging the seeking of and capitalization on supply and demand imbalances, exotic product translocation, etc. Any manner of economic opportunity is promoted, but in recent times this has degraded into fields of mercenary and espionage work, provided the pay is good. Though these new ventures are looked down on by the common society, they continue to grow unabated.
The ideal of competition is absolutely abhorred by Leyad culture. To intrude on the opportunity that has been claimed by another is no less criminal than petty theft. For this reason, Leyad economic growth is substantially faster than most. However, this leads to feelings of unfriendliness with Humankind in trade and interaction.
Crusaders are entities of pure energy that originate from a wormhole in the far galactic Southwest. Not much is known about them as they refuse any and all attempts at communication, and nobody has been able to approach their wormhole without prompting hostile actions. Crusaders roam the galaxy in scouting parties, searching out Armayan remnants and seizing them, occasionally causing disastrous phenomenon as a result. Crusaders will assault and eradicate any other races that are found near their objectives, which are sometimes concealed under the surface, thus sometimes causing attacks for seemingly no reason. Crusaders possess the single most advanced technology of all the modern races, but, fortunately, do no travel en masse.
The Psyron are a viral lifeform originating somewhat in the Western outer colonies that spread by staying dormant for incredibly long periods of times, recorded as long as ten years, before becoming active and taking hostile action towards their hosts body. The Psyron are collectively intelligent, forming, with psychic abilities, a greater conscious between the millions of viral cells that acts as a single, coherent being. Once a Psyron infection develops enough, it will kill the body and take control of it, devouring it from the inside out for nutrition, and, by manipulating psychic strength, control the body like a puppet as a means of travel to spread to new hosts.
Though communication has been made with Psyron, they refuse negotiation and will continue to spread until isolated, contained, and starved to death. If Psyron infect a body that also hosts a Zaw, the Zaw has known to be capable of completely disallowing the development of the Psyron, effectively acting as the cure to Psyron, though it can not establish superiority over a developed Psyron infection. The combined presence of both Psyron and Zaw is quite taxing on the hosts body.