The population of Earth has grown to beyond controlling point, it’s a nightmare. The biosphere is dying, and mankind is trapped in a web of its own consumerism and need to propagate itself. Governments are long gone, national flags are replaced by shrink-wrapped logos representing the corporate rulers of the world. The shadow republic that poses as a United Earth Federation is a really a pack of bought and paid for demagogues, lining their pockets with bribes from corporate interests and pandering for the media. But really, they are just the puppets in suits, making nice with the world; spitting out sound bytes and lies to keep the population in what little check they can.
Everything is a commodity now, energy, food, water, even air. Every ounce of material pulled down to earth from asteroid belts and sister bodies is stamped with a barcode and put on the market to be distributed to ever-growing ravenous hordes. There is no unemployment rate, no crime, it is a deceptively utopian society; but beneath the ‘federal statistics’, a sinister secret is becoming more evident, even to the common man so addled by commercial advertisement and the biased ‘free’ media. There is no unemployment rate because those who are unable to work are excluded from society. There is no crime because there is no justice system, only corporate goons and “security” forces quietly slipping bags over the heads of all suspects and carting them off to places unknown, never to be seen or heard from again.
The 21st century was a time of warfare between national tribes. Humanity desperately wished to be united as one, but under no flag could they find the common ground needed. As the 22nd century approached, the wars intensified until the earth was enveloped in a near total war between the last three major governments; the New Soviet Coalition, the Atlantic Alliance, and the Asiatic Empire. Military might and UN treaties didn’t end the wars. It was backroom deals between government contractors, secrets traded as resources, and the ever growing threat of nuclear war. The three governments, now firmly under the secret control of corporate entities, formed the pact of the United Earth Federation and declared global hegemony for the first time.
With the dawn of a new century and a united species, man focused for the first time on expanding our borders to beyond our planet, travel and exploration instead of warfare. But the governing interest wasn’t exploration, it was economic gain. Asteroid mining became the major industry and two major powers emerged as Universal Technologies, or “UniTech” for short, and Remington Corporation or “RemCorp” for short. These two corporations became the most prominent deep space resource exploitation firms known to man. Soon, colonies in near-earth orbit were constructed, and humans began leaving the overpopulated and rapidly destabilizing surface of Earth.
Martian terraforming became reality, but with resource projections and global population data becoming ever more problematic, UniTech and RemCorp partnered up to produce the first means of faster than light travel, ensuring that all future human colonies would be dependent on earth-based shipping through their technology.
Several human colonist organisations were desperately searching the skies for habitable earth-like planets so that they could escape the yoke of their corporate masters, be free of their patented terraforming tools and start anew, living free on their own planets without the need to import supplies from off-world. However, the Orbital Radar Imaging Network, a property acquired by one of UniTech’s subsidiaries, kept data on habitable earth-like planets away from the public eye.
Before long, UniTech broke away from their corporate alliance due to “ethical” issues with the way RemCorp did business, and became the official, and largest, space-controlling organisation. Being one of only two corporations with the research and technology to perform faster-than-light travel, UniTech had their eye on their next big commodity; something that the public had wanted for a long time. Off-world real-estate, a colony, on a planet that only they knew was habitable. A moon of a gas-giant in the Keplar-16 solar system, proven to be habitable.
Launching the “Centration” expedition, UniTech sent a fleet of star-ships to Keplar-16 to establish control of the solar system, and construct various space stations for various different purposes in orbit of the gas-giant and moon. Mining began, research began, the colony was founded.
You are a crewmember, a professional in your field, sent with an army of scientists, engineers, technicians, security personnel, doctors, leaders, and even families, to Keplar-16. You join thousands of others in your mission. What you didn’t expect, was what you found when you arrived...