System: D6 Space or Alternity
Just prior to the outbreak of the 27th Galactic War, a Mercadian military supply ship was passing through our solar system on a maintenance tour when it suffered serious damage to its primary and back-up life support systems. The damage was severe enough to force the crew to make an emergency landing on Earth. Following standing orders, they chose to land on an isolated island group far from any of the native human population. Unable to make repairs, they sent a distress call to the automated defence station on Pluto. The call was duly forwarded by message drone, to the nearest Mercadian base where a ship was sent to retrieve the crew. Lacking to equipment to repair the stricken vessel, the rescue crew powered down crashed supply ship and moved it to a subterranean cavern for safekeeping. The rescue ship departed and set course for home base to pick up equipment and personnel for the repair of the crashed vessel. Unfortunately, by this time the growing political crisis between the two interstellar superpowers, had erupted into a full scale, galaxy wide war. The 27th Galactic War had begun. The galaxy now had greater things to worry about than the repair of a crashed vessel.
The 27th Galactic War, like all such wars, was a dark time. Whole planetary populations were bombed out of existence from orbit while fleets that blotted out the stars fought overhead in battles that lit the night sky like day. Whole star systems were destroyed by weapons whose destructive power is beyond anything conceived of today and only mad men would dare to use. Eventually the war came to end when the Jump Web* collapsed. The collapse was preceded by some of the heaviest fighting and some believe that the Collapse may have been triggered by this. It took centuries for the Jump Web to stabilise and reform and by the time it did the builders of the crashed vessel, the Mercadian Star Republic, had collapsed and the Mercadian people had vanished. Earth was forgotten and the ship would go undiscovered until well into the 20th century 5000 years later.
In the early 1970’s, a team of Geologists were contracted by the British Government to conduct a comprehensive geological survey of the Falkland Islands. They discovered what they initially believed was a previously unknown cavern system. When they entered the system the discovered the near intact remains of an ancient alien spacecraft. Needless to say, the discovery was immediately classified by the government.
A top secret project codenamed Prometheus was set up to analyse the ship. Prometheus spent the next 30 years reverse engineering the technology and the mid 90’s succeeding in successfully flying the first ship built using the technology. A new branch of the military was set up to oversee the project.
It is now 2006 and the RSN has begun operation of the first ships capable of interstellar travel.
* Interstellar travel is conducted through the use of naturally occurring points in space called Jump Points or Transfer points. Given the right conditions – involving a sufficient number of large masses, such as exist in the galactic spiral arms – space curves back upon itself in patterns caused by the interrelationships of those masses. Wherever the pattern is interrupted by a stellar mass, the local curvature of space causes a break in the pattern, which forms the Jump Point. Each such point is related to one and only one other point. Star systems often have between one and three transfer points present.
When a ship positions itself at one of this points and activates its jump engines, for an instant the break is bridged by the ship and the ship is instantaneously transported across hundreds of light years to the connecting point.
Jump Points connect star systems in a network called the Jump Web. Since the stars in our galaxy are in constant motion this means that every so often the web reshuffles as Jump Points vanish and relocate. This is caused by the shifting gravitational fields and the stress they impose on the network. Usually only a small portion of the Jump Web is affected but periodically the Jump Web re-shuffles en masse effectively re-writing the entire network. Such and event usually leads to the collapse of most galactic civilisations as colonies are cut off from home worlds, trade and supply routes severed and trillions of beings are left stranded. Unfortunately there is little to no warning when such and event is due to occur.
Characters will all be part of the SRT Ops (Scientific, Reconnaissance and Tactical Operations) section. The group with the RSN responsible for all “away missions” and first contact situations. SRT Ops teams are expected to be flexible and capable of handling a wide range of situations.