From Future's End Wiki
Humanity has long dreamt of galaxies where intelligent life thrived and imagined a universe where we were not the sole inhabitants. They were not wrong, as beyond the reach of our technology, there is a galaxy containing intelligent life some 12.9 billion light-years away from Earth. Or, at least, there was…
This galaxy was referred to as CR7 and was several thousand years ahead of humanity in terms of its advancement. Whereas humans were used to being a lone planet, CR7 contained many inhabited worlds which, over time, discovered one another. The galaxy is known to have contained some of the oldest, first stars which produced the chemical elements needed for the later formation of planets and life throughout the universe. A hub of culture, trade and technological advancement, they now serve as a warning to humanity as to what could happen if they do not safeguard their own world…
The races of CR7 slowly began to consume the resources of their respective planets until they were struggling to maintain their inhabitants. Inevitably politics sparked discord which led to wide-spread conflict with almost every race facing off against one another in a desperate attempt to gain dominance and secure the survival of their own race. The result was rather the opposite, as through various acts of physical and biological warfare, each home-world was irreparably destroyed, and the vast majority of each planets population were wiped out. This event became known as “The Cataclysm” and is spoken of often with a tone of great sadness or regret by those who are still alive and lived through it. Those who survived took to the stars in whatever ships they could take control of, be it passenger or warship, accepting that if they wanted to survive, they had to finally band together to achieve it.
Note: Player characters will not have been alive during the Cataclysm war.
Thus ‘The Armada’ was born: a huge amalgamation of alien ships, some damaged by war and others relatively untouched. Pooling together their knowledge and resources, The Armada began to move through the galaxy as a single unit, searching out a new home-world to call their own. Luckily some of each race’s greatest minds made it out alive from the various wars that ravaged their galaxy, meaning much of their technology and knowledge was salvaged. Together they joined together as one great fleet and, with their own galaxy now quite incapable of supporting life, set about to find a new one.
And now, perhaps they have…
Arrival To Earth
They discovered Earth in the 21st Century, and while it seemed ideally suited to supporting most of their various species, it was already inhabited by intelligent beings. As such, the Armada Council (which represents all the races and factions within the Armada) decided that full settlement on the planet was not an option, but they remained within Earth space. Making contact with the humans, some of the aliens travelled between the Armada and Earth’s surface, offering to trade their superior technology for basics such as food (which had become somewhat boring back on the Armada). For the most part, the alien races feel a strong sense of unity with one another, and cannot imagine living on a planet that they cannot claim fully as their own and start their history afresh. There are some, however, who do not entirely share this view and have started spending more time on earth than with the Armada. While they are viewed with more suspicion than the other meta-types (as some believe that aliens are simply biding their time as they plan a hostile takeover of earth… which in the case of some radical aliens may indeed be true!), they attempt to combat this impression by aiding humanity in their various endeavors.
Humanity first met the arrival of the Armada with fear and suspicion, though attempts to fire upon them were easily resisted by the alien races superior technology. When humanity eventually extended an invitation to talk, the Alpha Council was more than happy to do so. It was made clear that the alien races had little intention to take over the planet, as some humans believed, but that they would like to remain close-by for the time being as Earth was the only planet capable of supporting the life of most their species that they’d encountered since leaving their home galaxy. Their offers of trade were met quite eagerly, and the aliens soon became very aware of humanities constant determination to push their knowledge and technologies to the very limit of their understanding. The promise of more advancement became the Armada’s bargaining chip for being able to remain peacefully.
Similarly the Aliens are somewhat wary of Humans. They view humanities thirst for knowledge and technology they have not managed to naturally develop on their own as having the potential for disaster. Some guard their knowledge of advanced technology for selfish purposes, whereas others see themselves as doing it in an attempt to safeguard humanity from making the same mistakes as the Armada races did so long ago. While they have shared (and continue to share) their advanced knowledge with the meta-types dwelling on Earth, there is a definite sense that the Alien races know far more than they have currently let on. Humans have heard Aliens referring to teleporters, replicators, and many other advanced pieces of equipment that they have yet to share with the other meta-types.
Some aliens became so interested in Earth and the fate of its dominant species that they became almost enamoured with its fears and troubles, taking it upon themselves to try and aid humanities struggles where they could. These first aliens, drawing from their own allies as well as seeking them out from within the human, mutant and ethereal races, were the driving force behind the creation of Operation: Alpha. This group, they said, would do what their own races failed to do before their destruction: pull together as a united force and right the wrongs of their home. They would transcend petty politics and regulations and do what needed to be done to ensure the safe continuation of their peoples. For now, the Armada tolerates these individuals in their endeavours to aid Earth, but for how long?
Aboard The Armada - After The Day The Earth Went Dark
By Special Correspondent: Regina Rice
18th May 2000
Lights in the sky.
That’s what we’ve all come to expect from the movie industry’s hyperbolic imaginings of what an alien invasion would one day entail, along with crop circles, mysterious disappearances and encounters of ‘the third kind’.
But, as we all now know, a visit from the little green men is somewhat less of a dramatic affair.
It was over a month ago now that First Contact was made. We all heard it before we saw it; a definite, increasingly tremulous rumble; too long and sustained to be mistaken for thunder. As the belly of the first ship broke through the clouds, we were only granted a moment of awe, wonder and fear before the world was plunged into darkness. Just as the Millennium Bug theorists had preached and warned us of mere months before (though we admittedly scoffed at them at the stroke of midnight on January 1st), lights flickered out, computers short-circuited, and the electronic world was briefly plummeted back into the Dark Ages. What we later learned was down to an electro-magnetic pulse as ‘The Armada’ entered our atmosphere, the blackout was more of a point of concern than a monumental crisis, while many just viewed it as an inconvenience. As the power eventually came back on (taking up to a week in some rural areas), and the ever-hovering ships failed to return fire when the Air Force got involved, we came to accept the Armada as a little more than a lingering presence that we didn’t yet fully understand. Of course, some did (and still do) believe that they are simply biding their time, but many of us simply beg the question “If they were going to invade or attack us, surely they’d have done it by now?”
Perhaps in an effort to dispel rumours of malicious intent, representatives from the alien ships have since made contact, inviting dignitaries, experts and members of the media aboard the fleet to see their operation in action. Admittedly, this correspondent was a touch apprehensive as we boarded one of the teardrop-shaped shuttles sent down to the UEG’s Geneva HQ from the overhanging behemoths in the sky. Would we ever return from our mission to the stars? Would I be forced to pull a Ripley to save my own skin? However, our concerns were somewhat abated as we were strapped into the most plush cabin I have ever encountered – Boeing should certainly take note. Seats of brushed chrome metal, forged with clean, curved lines and cushioned with a cobalt blue material I only describe as a cross between leather and silk. We learned that these used advanced gel technology to not only provide stability during flight, but to optimise comfort; they’re not wrong, memory foam has nothing on this substance. Whether these are standard issue transportation pods, or whether the Armada had rolled out the top quality, reserved-for-royalty shuttle legion to wow us into submission, is yet to be determined. Shuttle doors sliding shut with a barely audible hiss, we were jettisoned up into the Earth’s atmosphere, the pod’s advanced, streamlined design and minimal G-Force making the journey both more comfortable and more efficient than our flight to France had been the day before. In less than half an hour, we were docked and stepping aboard.
Our guide for the afternoon – an alien that we learned was one of a race called ‘The Tokt’ (picture a high-cheekboned, humanoid bearded dragon to get an idea) – was fitted with a translator chip in the lining of the collar of his uniform, and introduced himself as Raxton. A former emissary and interpreter on his home planet of Tokta Prime, Raxton was pleasant, incredibly cultured and well-spoken, though politely asked us not to take any ‘pictorial records’ of our trip around the vessel, hence the lengthy and discursive nature of this account.
The corridors and pathways of the ship – which Raxton told us was one of the Control Crafts linked to ‘The Core’; the main command base and nerve centre of the fleet – were as streamlined and eye-catching as the shuttle had been. A dark, brushed chrome skeleton forms the basis of the concave walls, each line cleanly rounded off so that there isn’t a 90˚ angle in sight. This coral-like skeleton branches out in a vast, sprawling network, almost as if it had been organically grown rather than manufactured. Its sleek surface is littered with spaces and holes, with a milky white light behind it filtering through the gaps and lighting up the hallways as we walk. Raxton explained that these lights glow crimson in emergencies, alerting the crew and inhabitants of the ship to take action stations. Thankfully, we weren’t on board long enough to witness a red glow.
Our own technological inferiority in the face of these advanced creatures was plain to witness. Retinal scanners for identification and access are spaced at regular intervals and by every doorway. The design of each individual race’s intergalactic uniform could have wowed at any catwalk, despite evidently being constructed for utility, movement, durability or practicality depending on the occupation of the wearer. Raxton took us through the ‘minor’ and ‘non-threatening’ wards of the medical bay, explaining that exposure to critical alien diseases we hadn’t encountered could prove harmful – a decision which I’m sure we were all grateful for. A team of lithe, androgynous ‘Prian’ wafted effortlessly around the wards, kitted out in sleek, dark blue apparel (treated with a hydrophobic agent, we were told – apparently it allows for easy wipe-cleaning) and each anointed with a green crescent moon pin on their lapels – the universal symbol for medics, we came to learn. It was here that the Armada’s technologic advancement really came to the forefront. Stasis chambers designed to accelerate healing while keeping the afflicted in a medicated slumber lined one wall. Transparent sheets of what looked like flexible, green-tinged acrylic plastic, could reveal a patient’s internal organs or bone structure by simply hovering it above an affected area (one Prian doctor who demonstrated this substance warned the Europan Environmental Minister of oncoming heart disease). Injectable osteoblasts to regrow bone. Computerised nano-stitches. Blood and tissue synthesisers. It was probably a good thing that we were touring the medical bay, as this correspondent wondered whether the North American Health Minister, in his excitement, would experience an embolism.
Our continued tour took us through the engine room, mess hall, sleeping quarters and communal spaces, each of which displayed technology and designs far more sophisticated than ours on Earth. However, despite the richness of their advancement, the varied alien races we encountered as we made our way through the ship could all be described as distinctly deflated. Though alien emotions and facial expressions were unfamiliar to us all, and we could not understand the myriad of languages being spoken all around us, there was a bleakness to their eyes, a hushed tension to conversations. Raxton explained that the Cataclysm – the war that had broken out between the alien races prior to the Armada coming to Earth for aid – had hit the colony hard. Morale was low, spirits were crushed, many ships were in a state of disrepair and the troops pined for home planets. They needed supplies, food, time to rebuild, repair and somewhere to eventually settle. Many had spent years aboard their vessel, and as such are willing to parley and even trade with humanity to aide their continued survival.
Not all the Armada colony were as eager to see us as others, it must be noted. Some moved away warily as our little tour group approached, while others stared at us with outright suspicion. One journalist snuck his camera out of his bag at one point to snap a picture of a holographic console as we passed it, only to be violently reprimanded by a Karrn engineer. Gruff and heavy-set, their twisted facial structure and horned extrusions make the Karrn intimidating at the best of times, but the guttural screeches and clicks that emitted from its untranslated lips caused the offender to drop his camera on the dark, mirrored floor. Raxton swiftly intervened to diffuse the situation, but the journalist, clutching his broken camera and visibly shaken, had evidently learned his lesson.
Our tour concluded in the room we had all been waiting for: the main control centre. They call it ‘Command’ for a reason. The scale and grandeur of the huge, spherical space was so incredible that it left a lot of us speechless. A spotless glass panel, inches thick and over twelve feet high, gave us an almost panoramic view of the Earth below – a sight wondrous to behold. A concave well in the middle of the floor, surrounded by circular railing, housed a holographic projection of the Earth, along with holograms of each ship in the Armada fleet hovering above, indicating its position, co-ordinates and status, along with glyphs and symbols in languages none of us present could even begin to comprehend. The same coral-like skeleton as from the hallways earlier lined the consoles of the circular room, the ghostly white light filtering through the cracks and giving Command a hazy glow. Engineers, navigators, pilots and commanders sat at more gel-cushioned benches inspecting complicated diagrams, and made their way around flashing, blinking consoles as deftly as a virtuoso on the keys of a piano. It was here that we really got a sense of the diversity of the alien colony – Tokt (like our guide, Raxton), Karrn, Prian and numerous other species we had not yet identified milled about as a well-oiled unit, everyone clear in their roles and confident in their abilities.
If our trip to space has taught this correspondent anything, it’s that while they may be light years ahead of us when it comes to science, medicine or engineering, the aliens of the Armada want to achieve the same outcomes as we do on Earth – a harmonious society that can thrive, without fear of war or conflict. In order for them to fulfil their aims and protect their survivors, we need to extend the hand of friendship. They are open and willing to trade in exchange for supplies for sustain them, as well as an eventual safe haven to rebuild their lives – an arrangement that could be mutually beneficial to all parties involved.
To take that next step in our worldwide advancement, we must now reach for the stars.