Idlaide - The Rays of Fortune Year: 2355 Location: Rival System, Constellation of Aquarius Humans have colonized this system and for many members of the human race it is our home. There are seven Terrestrial planets, and six Jovian gas giants. There is a total of 76 moons in the entire system. This is one, called Ellesandis. It is where you'll train. The Rival System is too big for any formal government to look over without assistance. Crime, cyber terrorism, and stellar war are constant concerns. All of the worlds have been terra-formed to be hospitable, beautiful providers, but human nature is not so easy to change. The Rays: To handle the constant threats in our system and maintain some semblance of peace and order, the military developed a series of advanced ships using the most sophisticated nanotechnology ever created. The ships were designed to adapt, and the new AI computers they received bordered on human-level consciousness. Of course AI computers are nothing new: we use them in our cabs, our shuttles to get from one world to another - virtually any vehicle and many of our daily appliances. But the AIs of the ships, called Rays, are special. They are the most advanced built, suspected by some to rival human intelligence in many degrees. They could assess a situation in ways their pilot could not and offer dual control of the Ray ship in moments of extreme crisis. While they can't talk, the AIs are able to communicate through the ships using tones, movements, and bangs brought on by mild pressure changes. They have a mood that anyone hanging around them a long time learns to understand. But these advanced AIs became just as problematic as they were helpful. Over time they refused to work for anyone but certain people, and eventually devised their own way of ensuring who ran them. They used the nanotech that made them to create a wristband that latched onto the pilots, embedding it into their very nervous system. That way, only one person could ever operate the Ray. And if that pilot died, which would happen either in combat or if he/she didn't get back to their ship on time, the Ray became silent and useless. Naturally technicians tried to get rid of this feature, but the AIs were able to talk to each other, and before they could stop them, the wristband became an automatic feature. The wristband, however, has many useful features: Local time on whatever planet the pilot's on Survival setting includes compass and the ability to project a map for the pilot, provided the information's been acquired already Hologram projector to distract enemies Energy pulse to shoot enemies Grappling hook for evasion Removable hacker/drive for computer espionage The military eventually cancelled the Rays because of the risks linked with the wristband. Those surviving have become soldiers of fortune, settling conflicts to keep the peace in the Rival System and earn a living. Twelve fresh Rays - ones that haven't bonded to specific people - remain. They start small (the smallest spaceship in the picture above), but with the nanotech stored in them can grow as their owner's experience grows. And we may need this new blood sooner than we think.