It is the far far future.
Civilisation spans stars and universes, nestling sparkles of light and warmth among the vast inhospitable infinities of unexplored and uninhabitable space. Throughout the universe, rare habitable worlds groan under the weight of teeming billions.
Rather than being the masters of the galaxy, humanity is just a middling race existing under the feet of more powerful godlike beings. All these middling races scavenge, trade, and war with each other, build teeming cities and avoiding the heel of the monstrous and godlike beings above them.
Space travel is a matter of every day occurrence for those fortunate enough to be born into, inherit, or gain occupation in the spacer lifestyle. The rest make do as best they can in the palaces and the slums of the cities, or struggle against hardships to establish new colony worlds, or join hopeless crusades against rival middling species for worlds and resources.
Rarest and most precious and potent of all are the godlike, immensely long-lived yet still mortal, celestials, whose bodies precipitate down through the zones to realspace, where they are mined for the priceless god-ores.
But civilisation expanding, requiring more and more allozonal matter. And the more exotic matter that is used, the greater the paradox buildup.
As the cosmic balance is increasingly disturbed, survival requires locating the greatest celestial of all. But that means journeying beyond known spacetime, to uncharted regions where madness beckons yet anything is possible.
Cosmology – the cosmos consists of a number of zones or gradations, each of which is characterised by specific laws, and characterised by particular phenomena. The higher through the zones one translates, the more plasticity that is required, but also the easier and further one can travel.
Empires – across known space there are contending empires, some limited to a single solar system or even a single planet, others stretching across large regions of space. Some empires use mektech, others biotech (chionics), some psitech and noetics. Some are collectivist or totalitarian, some libertarian and individualist. some are expansionist and militarist, others reclusive.
FTL: a combination of organic and inorganic is necessary for zone ships, or sometimes pure organic or chionic. Ships vary according to zone; each ship type and zone type has certain advantages and disadvantages in different zones and depends on plasticity. For example bioships are disadvantaged in realspace, more capable in paraspace and hugely suited for aetherspace. For inorganic ships it’s the opposite. Each zone requires a different type of drive, attuned to the laws of reality of that zone. See also Meru – vast multizonal megastructures allowing FTL transit.
Kadmons – also known as celestials, godlike, immensely long-lived, yet still mortal, entities who reside in aetherspace and above. Interstellar civilisation is built on their bodies, religions are initiated by them.
Interdimensionals – who come from different zones of existence. Some are native to those zones, others, like roswells, elves, and trogs, are the result of human or other realspace races being exposed to or altered by allozonal conditions.
Ships – Ships may be small and easily matter printed, or huge. They may be interplanetary only, or use negmass reactionless drive and allozonal hyperspace rotation for FTL. Conventional ships are made from industrial components and do best in realspace; bioships are grown, and function best in aetherspace.
Drytech or Mektech – machine-based technology, does not require solvents or catalysts. Contrast with Biotech (wet tech). Does not do well on higher zones
Nanobots are microscopic machines that work in a mechanical rather than an organic way. While a potent realspace technology it does not function in higher zones
Infotech – computer based, virtual, digital etc. Works poorly in paraspace, and not at all in higher zones
Biotech – technology based on organic processes, e.g. proteins, genomes, bionano, gengineering, biospherics, and bioships. Being more plastic and adaptable, biotech can handle zone translation better than drytech.
Qitech, also called Chionics or orgonics, involves accessing and utilising the cosmic lifeforce. Essential in aetherspace and higher zones.
Psi-tech – technology based on psi-space, imaginal, or transliminal laws and principles, includes occultism, psiborgisation, psionic, psychotronics, and other applications and techniques.
(more to be added)
Text © M Alan Kazlev, 2017. Original artwork copyright their authors or owners