Over three centuries ago, the fate of mankind was forever changed by their arrival. From across the vast gulf of space came a parasitic lifeform we dubbed the Scinfaxi Virus; an agent inimical to human life and seemingly bent on its destruction. The spread of the Virus killed billions and threatened to topple even the mightiest nations of Earth. In the face of this terrible onslaught, the burgeoning arsenals of totalitarianism and democracy were reforged in the defense of humanity.
An armistice was won at the cost of tens of millions of lives. A great alliance halted the advance of the invader, but the continued existence of Scinfaxi life signaled to all mankind that this was merely an interlude; Earth was no longer safe, no longer the cradle of humanity. It was a precipice, a small outcropping to which an entire species clung amidst the vacuum of a hostile galaxy. Humanity was on borrowed time…
Spurred on by the looming threat of annihilation and the inexorable decline of Earth's ecosystem, humanity launched itself into the stars with reckless abandon. The last major powers poured their resources into magnificent feats of engineering and a race for the stars began. As technology matured to allow rapid transit to nearby stars, colonization expeditions were launched to an astounding array of promising systems. Humanity had become a true spacefaring civilization.
On Earth, Viral propagation accelerated the deterioration of the biosphere. Dying crops and livestock drove crippling austerity; those who didn’t perish in squalor worked feverishly to construct the ever-larger colony ships that promised salvation. As billions of people set off on their journey towards the ultimate frontier, humanity left behind an irradiated wasteland; a final act of defiance against their would-be conquerors.
Across a thousand new worlds, fledgling settlements grew into vast cities, and colonies turned into nations. Yet, as human civilization expanded into space, it brought with it the old prejudices of its birthplace. Across the expanses of the Orion Arm, interstellar superpowers have risen and now grapple for control of humanity. This massive diaspora is riven by ideological conflict and base hatred; greed and the lust for power vying with high-flung ideals and utopian dreams of a united future. Amidst this cold war, the sinews of conflict are being flexed, and mighty armies prepared to ply their trade.
Despite these rising tensions, more pilots take to the stars every day; a growing new generation of freelancers, traders, explorers, and mercenaries, along with those of a more dangerous nature. Advancing technology and falling costs have placed interstellar travel into the hands of the average citizen, and few can resist the allure of the power, wealth, glory, and countless wonders that can be found in the far flung systems of the Orion Arm.
It is the year 2289; a time of great discovery, unlimited opportunities, and immeasurable danger. From Leningrad to Germania, powerful leaders plunge their people ever deeper into war. Across the rain-swept avenues of New Philadelphia to the distant colonies of the Far Frontier, millions of captains and pioneers risk everything on the gamble that their destiny can be found amongst the stars. In the vast consciousness of our interstellar society, the memory of the great terrors that had once driven all of humanity slowly fades, and the fear that they might one day return grows ever more distant.