Difference between revisions of "Terrans"

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Terrans, or humans, are bipedal, carbon-based life forms that evolved from primates several thousand years ago on the third planet in the [Sol] system. They have an internal skeleton that supports and protects all their internal organs, musculature, and external skin. Compared to Vasudans or Shivans, or even many terrestrial animals, humans are physically weak, able to lift only slightly more than their own body weight. Humans have circumvented this weakness by using their powerful brains to develop tools that give them advantages over their environments, and by reasoning to outsmart their competitors. This intelligence and versatility has given the Terran species the flexibility it needed to adapt to the various threats it has faced, and allowed Terrans to evolve from tribal, nomadic primates (not entirely unlike their progenitors) to a spacefaring race.


[2] The Terran homeworld of Earth is the third planet in the Sol system, and is well suited to life. Vast oceans cover two thirds of the planet, and a protective atmosphere guards the planet from radiation. The landscape varies between grassy plains, lush forests, frozen wastes and barren deserts. Terran history has been one of turmoil and strife, due to the conflicting instincts of social grouping and independence.

The first great age of Earth was that of Antiquity, circa 200 BCE. The Roman Empire, which conquered much of the continent of Europe, was the ancestor of much of present Terran language and culture. The ancient Greeks were the greatest philosophers, scientists and artisans of their day, and most Terran starships were later named after the gods of this culture. Ancient Egyptians formed the basis for Egyptian nomenclature, as their culture thrived in the desert of northern Africa. These were the first nation-states on which Terran government was ultimately based.

The fall of Rome by barbarian invaders circa 500 CE marked the beginning of the Dark Ages, a time where most of the grandeur of Rome was lost. Civilizations such as the Mongols, the Aztecs, and the Chinese rose and declined. The fragmented states of Europe fought constantly amongst themselves, and developed newer and deadlier technologies with which to defeat their enemies.

Islamic scientists preserved most of the knowledge of Greece and Rome that was rediscovered in the Renaissance over one thousand years later. Transportation during this time grew to the point where global travel became possible. During the 17th and 18th centuries Europeans discovered, and frequently annihilated, other cultures across the planet in other continents. Colonists settled and prospered over the planet, and the first truly global empire was the British Empire during the 19th century.

The 20th century saw great sweeping technological advancements that made instantaneous communication possible over the entire planet, but it also saw the first incidences of global warfare. The most profound of these wars took place in the middle of the century and involved almost every nation on the planet. Over 20 million Terrans were killed in the Second World War, and terrible weapons, including nuclear weapons, were developed and used. Out of this drive to overcome the enemy came the First Space Age, with the first orbiting satellites and lunar landings made. However, the collapse of one global power brought a period of relative peace up to the end of the century.

The 21st century began with a new technology, the Internet. With this any Terran could tap into the network of computers and their users all over the planet and discover any information they might want. This tool was used and abused in various ways to inform and educate the populous at an increasing rate. By the end of the century, the vast majority of collected Terran knowledge had been spread throughout the globe, and most of the economic and health problems that had plagued humanity since its earliest days were solved, adn the nation-state evolved into a global-state.

By the 22nd century, Earth's population had exceeded 10 billion. Despite the advancements, Earth could no longer support the needs of its people. Development of the Lunar and Martian colonies was stepped up, and the Second Space Age began. Huge terraforming processes were began and artificial gravity space stations were constructed, with most nations uniting in a common endeavor to save humanity. The population of Mars and Luna grew to the thousands, then the millions. With space travel, the Terran species furthered its growth, both in material ways and in immaterial, philosophical ways.

Exploration of the outer reaches of the Solar system was made a priority in the 23rd century, after the discovery of primitive life forms on the moon of Europa. During the expansive colonization projects, larger and larger space stations and starships grew more efficient. By the latter part of the century mining operations in the asteroid belt beyond Mars and on the moons of Jupiter and Saturn was commonplace, but the speed of light limited Terran exploration. Not until the discovery of Subspace in 2316 did the galaxy open up for real colonization, conquest, and exploitation. The system-state evolved into the inter-system state, and with the formation of the Galactic Terran Alliance, a galactic-state.


[3] Terran culture is founded on the premise of social equality of all Terrans. After witnessing historical atrocities performed by humans solely on the basis that a physical trait or heretige made them somehow inferior, Terran governments forcibly induced human psychological conditioning in the early 22nd century. While unifying the Terran culture as a whole, this also had the unwanted side effects of arrogance and hostility toward alien races.

Terrans are permitted to choose their own careers, and do what they enjoy within the limits of safety. Customs vary widely depending on the original nationality of the individual. Clothing is always worn and is frequently stylized depending on the occasion. Terran language is based on American English, which was a homogenization of several older languages. Religion is entirely dependant on the individual, with little government interference.

While the individual human is usually polite, reasonable, and educated, as a group they can often exhibit irrational behavior. Politicians and dictators in the past have exploited these traits for their own gain.


[4] Terran ship design has not far departed from the utilitarian cylindrical segments and boxes that made up the first Terran spaceships and space stations. Dull greys and beiges were hallmarks of Terran design through the 24th century. They were utilitarian and cheap to produce, with embellishment limited to stripes of paint and squadron insignia. Despite this, Terran design aesthetics have held to the military-industrial themes. Legendary warships like the Apollo, Medusa, and Orion are considered by many to represent the finest in unadulterated Terran design. The familiar lines and sturdy blocks are reassuring reminders of the durability and power of the ships. After Vasudan and Shivan technologies began being implemented, Terran design took a softer turn. Fighters and bombers became the hot-rods of their generation, with the sleek Hercules Mark II, Artemis, and Deimos adorning many a Terran teenager's wall.

Weaponry on Terran starships is very diverse, reflecting both Terran adaptability for different circumstances and the philosophy that pilots should be able to customize their loadout to their own tastes. All-purpose weapons such as the Subach HL-7, Avenger, and Prometheus are complemented by weapons that have a special effect upon their targets, like the kinetic effect of the Flail rifle and the energy-draining abilities of the Lamprey. Guns with ammunition were used throughout the Unification War until the pulse cannons now in use were developed. Early energy-based weapons were distinctly gaseous in their aural signatures and visual identifications, due to the use of gases like argon and nitrogen used to intensify the laser pulses. Later weaponry used during the second Shivan conflict put more of an emphasis on plasma and electromagnetic weapons, such as the Circe.

Terran missile design is mostly dependant on brute force, rather than finesse. Heavy ordinance like the Phoenix line of heavy missiles and the Cyclops torpedo annihilate large targets, as Terrans prefer to use their primary weapons against smaller, faster targets. Many of the lighter missiles, such as the Interceptor, used by Terran fighters were only made possible through Vasudan improvements in aspect lock times and engine speeds.

The heavy photon beam cannons now mounted on all Terran warships were initially reverse-engineered from the superweapons mounted on the Lucifer in 2335 by the GTI engineers working on Project Hades. The ill-fated rebellion of these engineers the next year in their bid to overthrow the GTA led to the classification of the weaponry for several years. Once functional beam weaponry was proven to be practical, reliable, and superbly useful, a Vasudan variant was developed for deployment on the Sobek class of corvettes. These 'slash' beams maximized the spread of the beam fire on a wide arc across the target's hull, increasing the chances of disabling subsystems and turrets. Both Slash beams and Line-of-Sight (LOS) beams are now standard on all Terran warships.