Us Ethnicity in The Void Between | World Anvil



  Oh, My friend, we began on quite the speck of dust. We had it all: a thriving ecosystem, air, water, and land to expand. Confined to old blue, we fought among ourselves over what we didn't possess, despite its obvious abundance. Something united us before it all fell apart, but our history has some missing pieces, the most irritating kind of puzzle.   We know not why we ventured out, nor how we came to lose our speck of dust. Theories are as common as the cold.. For me, it's simple. Needs and wants are not the same thing. Desire is relative. We looked to the sky, and we felt a familiar sting. Earth, as it was, offered little to satiate this hunger. Why would it? For the better part of centuries, all scientific endeavors centered on leaving it.   Perhaps we destroyed it out of spite, or maybe something came and did it for us. The records we have from this dark time mention a phrase, one that directly references the fall of Earth: "We broke into heaven," whatever that means. Religion by this point was at an all time low, so I doubt it's literal. Perhaps it's a code, or some sort of trigger. None the less, all those who survived the earth's fall know the phrase well.

The Diaspora

Humanity scattered about the void. Some ventured in premade Arks, vessels made by many of The Origin System's rich and powerful. Arks only housed scientists, cultural figures, doctors, and engineers. Only those believed to better mankind were allowed aboard. How does someone make such a decision? Does a farmer not turn the gears of society any more than the famous chef who uses their crop? What of the one who repairs and operates the machines a famous engineer created? It matters little. When the Arks arrived at Safeharbor, we felt the void they once filled all the same.   The Arks took vast collections of data, much of which I sort through to find what can be of use. The data neglects to mention how the earth died, or why our colonies in the system were unsuitable for relocation. It was a massive effort, but not all humans were willing to stay behind. Most lived in struggling nations, those unable to produce an ark.   They began construction on fleets of transports. A few of these vessels made it to Safeharbor. They were poorly constructed, poorly designed. They were thrown together in haste. The safety checks were ignored, as if someone was in an awful hurry to leave. Those that didn't make it to Safeharbor drifted. Some found other worlds, most of them claimed by one species or another. Others found a home on space stations, the residents ignorant of how new we were to the galaxy.


When we were discovered, it caused a panic. We were gathered up, studied, and experimented on. We were isolated, placed in zoos and farms across the galaxy. As cruel as these projects were, they have revealed much about us we didnt know. Humans who left Earth are not quite the same as their ancestors. Evidence of genetic manipulation exists, tampering centered around our senses, the density of our skin, and bone.   The changes were small, barely noticeable, but some had a profound effect on our species. Other races call us "twitchy." We avoid staring for too long a time. Those responsible for this tampering instilled a delayed reaction, like an overexposure effect. The more we stare, the more our eyes adjust. The more we stare, the more we see.   This can include Subtle changes in elevation, discoloration, asymmetrical forms, and even non-visible light. It's why stargazing is such a common pass-time. Our neighboring nebula, called "The Eagle Nebula" back on earth, is a sight to behold when the eye adjusts. The vibrant colors radiating from it are mesmerizing, We now see what took special equipment and image manipulation to see before.


Humans have always been social creatures. We need to connect, to experience Intimacy... to touch. I do not know if it was intentional, but genetic modification to our sense of touch did more than enhance our bodies. It's common for humans to express an aversion to physical contact, not just with each other, but with anything.   Humans are significantly more sensitive to touch than many other species. For us, tactile stimuli is abrasive. Humans often wear gloves developed with interior layers of aerogel to avoid the feel of fabric. We are so sensitive, most of us suffer from a debilitating case of haphephobia.   It's a horrible fate to desire your lover more than anything else, but be unable to muster the will to hold their hand. We often partake in Stargazing, our favorite passtime. The visual overload is essential. It overwhelms all other senses, allowing for the simplest of life's many pleasures.    

The First War

The silieu were one of three races who took notice of our species. They were the most aggressive in their study of us. Others were relatively gentle, but the silieu knew we were a threat. Our biology is a death sentence for them. Should humanity reach a seat of power in the galaxy, the silieu would be cornered. A single human caught by the silieu caused a massive outbreak that nearly purged their planet by the time it was contained.     The silieu launched a preemptive strike on us, assaulting Safeharbor and destroying the fleet we only just finished building. They sent a fleet to wipe us out, but this was not to be our end. We fought a battle on unity, the Warmoon in our sky. We fought with weapons we barely understood, but we held our ground. We protected what was ours, aided by allies we never knew we had.   Across the galaxy, the silieu tracked down and killed humans by the thousands. While not against galactic law, purging a species is widely considered a war crime. The Matriarchal Eden heard of this racial cleansing, and enforced a racial cleansing of their own. It's how they learned humanity existed. The siliue were marked for death. Their worlds were bombarded with asteroids, thrown by a fleet comprised of the eden's infamous judgment class cruisers.

Human Ethnicity

Humanity numbers less than a few million. The bulk of our species remains scattered, spread out across the galaxy. If you find humans on a distant station, or world, it's not likely to find more than a handful. This makes coming together in distinct communities impossible. Once, we divided ourselves into countless cultural groups. Some were based on skin color, nationality, and more. Now, being human is the only identity we have left.   Safeharbor grew, refugees coming from all corners of the galaxy. The next generation was born, and it became clear the genetic alterations made on our species altered our ageing as well. This led to the greatest generational gap in our history. The older generations of earthborn and void-born humans were content to keep their heads down and forget there was an entire galaxy out there filled with wonder and terror alike.   Their children were far less inclined. They are where our hope lies. The older generation is traumatized. They are broken. Whatever happened to earth ruined them, only made worse by their experiences in the void. The second generation is responsible for progress. It's a simple fact: We can't survive without them.

Cover image: by Pikrepo


Author's Notes

Archivist Trigger Commands
The Archivist is capable of responding to "queries." Using the following commands, one can request information, and The Archivist will respond.

  • Pose Query: [insert topic here]
    Express desire for information
  • Focused Query: [insert topic here]
    Ask for more information on a subject related to a posed query.
  • Forced Query: [insert topic here]
    Demand an answer if refused and the Archivist is capable of answering.

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Nov 2, 2020 06:47

Well, I love the commands you put in the author's notes. I will endeavor to use those as much as possible. Although, sometimes I think I'll just throw things out without an implicit question just as a generic prompt. such as:   did you know that our eyes are actually constantly twitching in order to facilitate how we see the world? Apparently human eyes have trouble seeing things that don't move, and we just get around it by twitching a bit constantly. So, Focused Query: how, if at all, does that affect the genetic enhancements done to humans, or vice versa?   There are also times when I just think it would be more fun to not get a straight answer... or I'd find it unlikely that the ark database will have the answer I'm looking for. Such as asking whether my theory that humanity was raised as livestock on earth has any credibility to it.   In any case, it seems like there was some sort of barrier, literal or figurative, barring humanity from exiting their solar system, and they stole the key. It could be as simple as a certain faction barring humanity from using interstellar warp tech...   Focused Query: did the ark ships have interstellar capabilities, or were they generational ships?

Nov 2, 2020 07:01

Oh, and I love the bit about touch. It makes humans more unique in this universe than the standard "We're just your average species that loves to explore"

Nov 2, 2020 07:27 by R. Dylon Elder

Oooo I hoped they would be obvious. Yessss! You don't have to use the commands. The archivist is actually a pretty smart character in the world and can infer meaning. He's a machine but much smarter than AI... for some reason.   "Focused Query: Delayed Exposure   The human eye has many problems, a by product of mother natures 'good enough' seal of approval. To accomplish the delayed exposure reaction, the eyes have to be relatively still, and so as the reaction occurs, a process that takes roughly 30 to 40 seconds, the eyes will slowly still themselves. The inability of the eyes to focus on objects not in motion is still present. This has an awe inspiring effect, the visual equivalent of listening to a complex orchestral composition. Epic is a good term. There is a side effect to this. Blurred vision and diminished depth perception while the eyes return to normal being the main problem."   "as far as livestock, you're guess is as good as mine. I will say there are only a few species known to me that could do this. No telling how our bodies will effect another species, cooked or otherwise. It is possible. We were notoriously bad at space travel."       " Focused Query: Early Intersteller Travel - Arks     Based on data gathered from both arks and refugee ships that made it our home, the arks were designed for neither generational, or intersteller travel. It's still a working theory, but It seems we had little interest in exiting Sol. The few reports hidden in the databanks suggests this, as we developed methods of terraforming and not Intersteller travel, which we could have prioritized. It seems we figured out interplanetary travel on our own. Fusion drives were invented long before the fall. Hyperlanes were discovered after, areas of space suspiciously clear of debris between two massive rings. This is how the first few arms navigated to safeharbor. Its a terrifying experience. The arks weren't designed for that. Some were torn to pieces, thus rendering the hyperlane useless until the debris cleared. It helped us stay hidden though. I suppose the deaths were not in vain..."

Nov 2, 2020 07:38 by R. Dylon Elder

Thank you very much BTW. I'm Still working on how to handle meta comment vs. Interaction but its coming along lol I love the touch problem. Thenkond of character interactions in my head alone... Oof. Lots of emotional turmoil in this setting.

Nov 7, 2020 12:53 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

This is a wonderful article. I have so many questions, but I'm not sure how to phrase them.   Pose Query: If the racial cleansing is considered a war crime, why did the Eden then also try to wipe out humanity?   Really fascinating stuff, Dylon! :D

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Nov 7, 2020 20:21 Private by R. Dylon Elder

Ohhhh I'll clarify. The Eden sought to wipe out The Silieu in response to them trying to wipe out humanity. Now for the response.

Nov 7, 2020 20:27 by R. Dylon Elder

Pose Query: The Eden/ Purge Protocol   The Eden are often called self righteous. They are one of the few species capable of policing large sections of space, even sections they technically don't control. When they caught The Siliue attempting to wipe out humanity, they took exception to it, and enacted a Purge Protocol. The Eden have a fleet of vessels specifically designed to haul asteroids to enemy planets. These ships are automated, and even if destroyed, some will succeed, not only putting a dent in their population, but removing economic centers that species uses.

Nov 9, 2020 04:58 by Grace Gittel Lewis

Love the opening quote, the different methods of leaving earth are great, as are the subtle changes to our physiology, and of course— I'm totally on board for the mystery of what killed earth!

Nov 9, 2020 06:07 by R. Dylon Elder

I loved doing this article. it was strange creating a version of humanity i actually enjoyed writting. Thanks so much man!

Feb 17, 2021 02:16 by Time Bender

This is so cool! I can really imagine the Silieu trying to kill the humans, and the Eden getting rather upset about their purging. Great work!

Feb 17, 2021 21:55 by R. Dylon Elder

Yessss, I'm lad you enjoyed it! Thanks so much!

Apr 23, 2021 07:57 by Wendy Vlemings (Rynn19)

I am finally embarking on a journey through this story, reading all articles in the correct order. And I have to say I am looking forward to the experience since I have loved everything I read before. Obviously the entire article is amazing, a work of art. But one sentence in particular resonates with me: Now, being human is the only identity we have left. In light of everything going on in our world these past few years, that is something I feel very passionate about. Despite everything that makes us different, in the end, we are all human.

Author of Ealdwyll, a fantasy world full of mystery.
Apr 23, 2021 08:36 by R. Dylon Elder

OMG OMG OMG! i hope its a fine voyage. Thank you so much! If you happen to notice anything off, do let me know.   I'm glad that resonated with you as it did with me. These past years had a HUGE impact on the way this setting developed. I like how that kind of came full circle there. =] I especially thank you for that. Good luck!

Apr 23, 2021 13:08 by Wendy Vlemings (Rynn19)

It was an amazing experience. I felt so many emotions, and can't wait for season 2. Also, all the articles of season 1 would fit so well into a book with beautiful artwork. I hope more people find their way to this story because it is truly one of the best works of fiction I have read in the past few years.

Author of Ealdwyll, a fantasy world full of mystery.
Apr 8, 2022 02:15 by Lilliana Casper

Amazing job! The part about touch was really sad. I'll read more soon.

Lilliana Casper   I don't comment much, but I love reading your articles! Please check out my worlds, Jerde and Tread of Darkness.
Apr 8, 2022 04:10 by R. Dylon Elder

Touch is something that lingers throughout the story and its absolutely sad. Thanks so much! The next article is probably my favorite by far. I'll spot you back soon too. Seriously I appreciate the kind words.

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