The State of Affairs
The galaxy is embroiled in multiple wars, and petty tyrants use the distraction of Union--the hegemonic authority of New Humanity--to cement their rule. Core worlds of Union, including Cradle itself, stare down the barrels of the Aunic Ascendancy's crusade fleets and their fearsome Ofanim, while the Union Naval Department marshals its formidable but ponderous fleets to respond, and the colonial powers of Harrison Armory and the Karrakin Trade Barons fight a ferocious war for resources and people in the meantime. Refugees from these conflicts are pushed from pillar to post, seeking safe harbor, but it is rarely found, and die-hard holdouts of the anthrochauvanist Second Committee fan the flames of xenophobia against them, simultaneously agitating for far harsher strategies against the Aun and the breakaway Diasporans. The anti-piracy order known as the Albatross, long beholden ultimately to the interstellar shipping giant IPS-N, begins to clash with local autonomists as Auxiliaries are called up and capital is realigned for the war effort; pirates and privateers scour the shipping lanes for prizes to scavenge in the chaos, and change flags as easily as changing gloves.
Union teeters on the brink of collapse. After more than five thousand years of the most ambitious utopian project ever undertaken, it might all perish in nuclear fire all over again.
Now is the time for action—the time for heroes to act in collective struggle.
Now is the time for lancers
Hundreds of light-years distant from known space when the nearlight expeditionary ship Terpsichore
set off, the settlement of Nuavaao
is a lush planet of broad meadows, deceptively calm oceans, towering snow-capped peaks and thick, wild jungles. Its settled area occupies a much-reduced territory after a cataclysm in the distant past; the ruins of abandoned settlements, vehicles and industrial sites dot the hinterland, crisscrossed by decrepit roads, all of which has been retaken by aggressive vegetation. What remains is largely confined to the savannas and mountains, using better-maintained roads, rivers and the scorched edges of rainforests as borders.
And Now You
excerpt from DoJ/HR Contingent HERMES-4912.378 mission brief:
// CLASSIFIED DOJ/HR SVAROG-HELIOTROPE DUKE //
On 121428L02.4912, a DoJ/HR outpost in Boundary Garden received an urgent message from the Nuavaao settlement on broad-spectrum communications (realspace), describing an attack on several Union settlements by aggressive local vegetation. Further messages describe a retreat to a "safe zone", with the apparent loss of all but one settlement, known as Tyldaa. Pursuant to DoJ/HR Directive 17 (rev 9), HERMES-4912.378 is hereby ordered to:
1) make contact with the remaining settlers on Nuavaao,
2) solve the issues holding back their advancement, and
3) salvage anything possible from the debris of the crashed colony ship UAS Terpsichore
Under the authority of Union Naval Department Regulation 37.2-9 (Emergency Powers), this mission has been transferred to the Union Naval Department's purview and upgraded to NO-FAIL
status. Part of the Terpsichore
's payload has been identified as █████████████████████████████
. The use of this technology is vital to the war effort; without it, the Union Naval Department will be overwhelmed by 5191u at the current rate of attrition.