The Four Horsemen Vehicle in The Void Between | World Anvil

The Four Horsemen

Plausible Deniability...

The Four Horsemen were thought to be a footnote in the record of our history, but it seems they may be so much more. Earth seemed to have some sense after all, choosing not to play with fire too close to home. They developed four classes of cruiser, gave each ship a task, and sent them into the void to conduct dangerous experiments in secret.   Should the experiments bear fruit, the ships would return to improve the lives of those on earth, at least in theory. If it ends in failure, it can simply be forgotten. No harm, no foul. Earth remains protected, and whatever threat the experiments posed would be someone else's problem, just another distant danger in the depths of space.   A lucky find revealed a method behind the madness of our ancestors. There are some implications to this discovery, something we can’t ignore if we are to learn from their mistakes. Perhaps they were smarter than we thought. It certainly seems they were more advance than we realized.

What Are The Four Horsemen

There are four horsemen, four distinct classes of scientific cruiser. Each individual ship was designed with a specific purpose, a single problem to overcome. Their research focused on this goal in a predetermined location in space, those aboard placed in cryogenic stasis during their long journey.   Some of these vessels traveled for centuries before reaching their destination, never knowing that their experiment would be for nothing. By the time most of these vessels began their experiments, the earth was already gone. They worked tirelessly to improve the lives of those who were long dead.   This was the extent of our knowledge. The archive had little information on the subject, All other data was either omitted or actively removed. This was how it was for years. Recently, The Wayfarers managed to find one, and what a find it was.

Class And Research Focus

  • Mortem Class: The Mortem class is composed of ships named after religious icons symbolizing death. Despite the connection to death, Mortem class cruisers are given tasks that are meant to prolong life. Their experiments tend to focus on medicine, genetic modification, and other improvements to humanity’s quality of life.
  • Bellum Class: Bellem Class cruisers take the name of religious icons symbolizing war. Like the Mortem Class, This implies the opposite of their goals, but that doesn't make it just. Bellum Class ships research ways to eliminate war, focusing on methods that would be ethically questionable, at best. From civilian pacification, to forced sterilization, anything is permitted if it promotes peace in the long run.
  • Inedia Class: Inedia Class cruisers are named after religious icons of fertility and agriculture. Despite the class being named after famine, and hunger, these ships focused their research on producing, replacing, or enhancing resources. Being an interplanetary civilization, humanity needed resources in abundance. Lab grown food, alternatives to fuel, and more are included in their projects.
  • Victorum Class: The Victorum Class, named after religious icons of justice, peace and order, focused their research on psychological pursuits. Despite being named after conquest, these projects tended to focus on retaining power over territory already controlled. We know the origin system had moments of conflict, and these vessels were meant to find a solution. Mind control, propaganda, and other methods of manipulating the mind were all considered in achieving this goal.

Missing Pieces

The findings aboard The UEN Azrael by The Wayfarers leave much to be desired. They fill in some missing information, but reveal just how big the puzzle truly is. The Horsemen were long term projects. They were also meant to be a last resort. These were expensive ships, with great minds among their crew.   Those who sent them into the void knew they would never see these projects achieve their goals in their lifetime. Those who left aboard these ships knew everyone they ever knew would be long gone by the time they returned.   It begs the question: Which came first? Did they send these ships of their own initiative, or were they a response to the coming end? Did they know the earth would fall before it did? Did they seed the galaxy with our greatest minds to spare them from the earth's fate? Without more data, we may never know.

Cover image: by JJ Ying


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Mar 8, 2021 20:57 by Time Bender

Creepy! But also fascinating. I wonder how the crew would have reacted to find Earth gone or dead, or whatever happened to it! Another great article. Loving this universe you've constructed!

Mar 8, 2021 22:36 by R. Dylon Elder

I'm guessing either distraught or very angry. Who knows, but I doubt they'd be ok with it for sure. Thank you so much!

Mar 8, 2021 21:07 by Jacob Billings

Ooh. Interesting. Humanity does have a knack for getting themselves in trouble, don't they? *Cough* Destroying the Earth *Cough* It's interesting to know that not all humans are dumb enough to conduct dangerous experiments on the planet itself. Anyway, shall we begin the commenting(I'm doing this one now since it's shorter and will soon be getting to your second Odyssey.   It's so dark to think about the fact humans were frivolously and tirelessly working on experiments to improve the quality of life for the Earth even though the planet, along with a large portion of the species, had long since been dead.   " it promotes peach in the long run."
I, too, enjoy any experiments that promote the consumption of peaches. Though, this sounds more like a job for the Inedia Cruisers.   Gosh. Humanity is also so dumb. They'd sacrifice the definition of humanity if it meant not taking risks for the privileged, referencing the use of experiments on mind control.   "time they returned. ."
Do you want an ellipsis or a period here?   I think there's a bit of a contradiction in lore here. The fact these ships are, at least based on my presumption of your phrasing, left aimless in the void of space suggests that they were meant to return at some point. Sending great minds into the galaxy is a logical way to pre-empt the end of the world, but the Archivist should be smart enough to know that, if these ships failed, it'd likely be due to the humans aboard being more focused on Earth-based activity. Just something to consider including in the article as, at this point, I don't think the Archivist pondering the purpose makes sense. The idea the Earth was already doomed seems illogical with the information you give.

Mar 8, 2021 21:27 by R. Dylon Elder

Another well done comment! Thank you good sir. Ill fix those typos, tho i also enjoy peaches XD I'll also try to make the contradiction a little clearer. Im a little confused at what the contradiction is, however.   The archivist is wondering if some of these ships were sent to spare great minds. effectively, what the data found says is that much of these ships were dealing with things that would be a last resort. This implies a current or approaching struggle. The problem is many of these ships wouldn't be able to begin their work for centuries. Humanity didn't have warp tech, and still have little of it today. they had to travel the old fashioned way, using cryogenic stasis for the voyage.   There is a little bit seeded that earth may have known about the end, but its implied. The arks were well-made, but not designed for long voyages. it takes time to build such ships, which means there was warning. on top of that, numerous civilian ships were retrofitted as colony vessels to take those deemed unworthy to be aboard an ark. Ill try to add this here, as youre not the only one who picked up on it. This would be a good place for it as The archivist is actively building his theory here. thanks by the way, pointing that out really helps. If i missed the mark entirely on what you were trying to say, please lemme know so i can fix it. I dont want it hanging XD

Mar 9, 2021 00:17 by Jacob Billings

Let's see. It seems like I somewhat misstated my point regarding my confusion. I understood that humanity may have begun to anticipate a cataclysmic event that spelled their doom. However, while the use of ships which they intended to travel for hundreds of years into the depths of space for experimentation is logical, the implication that they sent their greatest scientists into space and away from the Earth doesn't help humanity survive in the least. From what I understand, these ships were experiments, not attempts at voyaging into the void and colonizing whatever worlds they find. There isn't a properly established or implicit connection between distance space voyage and the end of the Earth. It may be an oversight on my part, but I just fail to see how sending the best minds away without informing them of any hinted doom--subsequently with the goal of procreation and the establishment of a new home for humanity--leads to the Archivist's theory on the secondary purpose of the expedition. No idea where the confusion is actually being derived from, but hopefully I explained it a bit better?   Also, I spotted that you mentioned your next article will be your challenges article somewhere below? That's exciting. Best of luck and I can wait to read what you come up with.

Mar 9, 2021 00:33 by R. Dylon Elder

Ohhhh ok that makes alot of sense. This is not well explained on my part at all. I'll try to rephrase it and clear it up. Yes indeed. I got some plans, and hope it works out well!

Mar 8, 2021 21:53 by C. B. Ash

Oh, I love this. Such a nice blend of hope ... with downright "OMG WHAT?!?"   Well DONE!   So with the UEN Azreal is Mortem class ... and yes I read Odyssey 1 and 2 (CREEEPY!) ... I keep thinking that based on their goals, the Inedia Class has the best shot of being a "generation ship" with the current crew being descendants of the originals... which means they may not take the current state of the galaxy or Earth... uh ... "calmly" I think would be a word??

Mar 8, 2021 22:28 by R. Dylon Elder

That is certainly possible. They definitely have the best shot at survival. I've been sittin gon some ideas here. May need to bring more of these into the world. They most certainly wont be calm. This is a fact.   Thanks so much for taking the time to read and for the likes and for the comment. I appreciate it and I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Mar 8, 2021 22:31 by C. B. Ash

You're quite welcome! I'm really looking forward to more! :D

Mar 8, 2021 22:03 by Stormbril

Oh MAN this idea is fantastic! Sending out 4 different ships to solve problems... just evokes such striking mental imagery, so many ideas of *what they could be doing*...   The references to the immoral nature of some of the experimentation and research are so fitting. I want to know if there were any results! I want to know what they saw, what they thought, I want to know where the other ships have gone. I want to know all -- a mark of a fantastic, well made article with just the right amount of mystery and information.   I love this!

Mar 8, 2021 22:34 by R. Dylon Elder

Ooooo such praise! Thank you kind sir. I'm glad you enjoyed it! It turns out, the next article (my challenge article,) will be discussing this exact thing. Keep your eyes open. I can also offer up this little bit of story which discusses boarding one such vessel and what they find. Hope text links work XD again thank you very much! I appreciate it Odyssey 2

Mar 9, 2021 01:19

I'm having trouble understanding the difference between victorum and bellum class vessels. They seem to be geared towards the same thing...   Right off the bat My brain is flooding with potential names for different vessels.   Mortem: Hades, Osiris, Anubis, Bellum: Ares, Mars, Thor, (or basically any norse god) Inedia: Gaia, Hestia, Ptah Victorum:... I have no clue. I dunno any gods of order. Odin? maybe?   "as long as it promotes peach in the long run..." I think that's a typo.   in Tony stark's words: "A nuclear deterrent! cuz that always just calms things down."

Mar 9, 2021 02:37 by R. Dylon Elder

Bellum is more likely to produce a weapon, victorum is more likely to put discover psionics. That's how I separate them. One is for gaining control and therefore ending war. The other is about keeping it. Tyr is pretty good for Victorum as is baldr Jupiter, maybe athena.

Mar 10, 2021 01:56

What a great Scifi twist on the old symbols of the four horsemen. Absolutely love it.

Graylion - Nexus   Roleplaying
not Ruleplaying
not Rollplaying
Mar 10, 2021 05:59 by R. Dylon Elder

Ooo thank you kind sir. I'm glad you liked it! My challenge article will further that twist, I hope. Keep an eye out if you happen to want more! Again, thanks so much!

Mar 12, 2021 16:47 by Kahuna The Elder

Interesting juxtapositions between the naming of the ships, their stated purpose, and their means of achieving their goals. Makes me curious, indeed.

Kahuna the Elder aka Leo - Creator of Arnathia
Mar 17, 2021 17:37 by R. Dylon Elder

Thank you so much!

Mar 29, 2021 00:48 by Grace Gittel Lewis

The naming conventions are a fun touch! And, this answers a few questions.  

...anything is permitted if it promotes peach in the long run.
I mean hey maybe they really like her as a princess but I don't think that's what you meant haha.

Mar 30, 2021 01:39 by R. Dylon Elder

Those peaches lol I really gotta fix that. Lemme do that now. Thanks so much!

Apr 23, 2021 10:34 by Wendy Vlemings (Rynn19)

This gave me chills. I imagine these people far off into space. Trying to find solutions for humanity without realising Earth is gone. I really like how you weave elements of our own mythology and such into your own setting. It makes perfect sense.

Author of Ealdwyll, a fantasy world full of mystery.
May 2, 2022 01:08 by Lilliana Casper

Interesting article here! I like how it's written and the information presented. The methods aren't the best, but if the Azrael's crew seems to have turned into monsters, maybe the other ships' experiments failed.

Lilliana Casper   I don't comment much, but I love reading your articles! Please check out my worlds, Jerde and Tread of Darkness.
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