It started in fiction... Everyone always thought that aliens in the same galaxy as humanity was a ludicrous idea. We all found out the hard way that this wasn't true. The first attacks were from the Askari, a parasitic race that bred castes for specific purposes. And humans were quick to learn that the soldiers weren't pushovers. But we managed to fend them off. We learned, so that when the Hektalions attacked humanity easily dismantled and reverse engineered their technology after leaving trails of bodies back to their homeworld. Spaceships were designed in a matter of months. A fleet was assembled in a matter of years. And so the human race jumped into the outside galaxy with a literal boom, destroying 13 civilized societies in the interests of colonization and funding for the war machine. And after centuries of war, a new alliance rose in the galaxy: The Triad. A covenant of some of Earth's greatest enemies (The Askari) and her more recent targets (The Makal and Giroi), as well as hordes of other oppressed and terrified races who rallied together to fight the conquerors. Massive battles raged across the known cosmos, until finally the last truly great human fleet was defeated at Canis Major. The Triad occupied Earth and brought the entire surviving species on trial for war crimes. And we would have been exterminated had it not been for the words of the greatest hero of our time: One Mr. Michael Armstrong, a public speaker and civil rights lawyer who represented humanity in a galactic court and swayed the majority of leaders with his words. He promised a reformation of what had become one of the galaxy's worst enemies, and even promised a gift in return for their lives spared and freedoms restored. Against the Askari's wishes, the Triad inevitably voted in favor of Armstrong's plan. A week later, the Cartographer was presented to the court: A hyper-intelligent artificial intelligence, a spoil of war from the years of conquest. Its mission, or what Armstrong proposed? Exploration. While the Triad now dominated a good portion of the galaxy, there were vast tracts that remained unchecked. Wild star systems where the next warmongers could easily rise. The goal? Locate these species and either peacefully induct them into the Triad's fold or pacify them as quickly as possible. After much deliberation, the Triad ruling body unanimously voted in favor of the motion (out of fear or ambition, no one could know), and humanity was spared. But because of the nigh-infinite complexity of the Cartographer, it took decades more for a ship capable of housing it to be built. Plenty of time for emotions to simmer down to a low, blue flame. Sadly, Michael Armstrong never lived to see the day, as he was promptly assassinated by an angry Askari radical. But today, March 24, 2678, the small but unimaginably advanced ship finally takes flight. And we're the crew... Plot As the crew of the GSS Cart, our mission is to explore the vast and unknown reaches of the galaxy. If any encountered species prove hostile, we are to pacify as we see fit or inform the Triad if the matter poses any true threat to galactic society. Aboard the ship is the Captain (the most skilled pilot in the entire Unified Triad Fleet who displayed exceptional leadership capabilities, and isn't too shabby with a gun), two Security Officers (highly trained soldiers. They were chosen from a pool of the best of every Triad military, cut down to only the best, and then cut again until only two remained), one Medical Officer (handles outbreaks and epidemics onboard, as well as minor issues such as a cold or a few cuts caused by running with the scissors), one Medical Assistant (who is prepared to step up in the event that the Medical Officer is KIA or missing), one Engineer (trained to maintenance the ship, and who also doubles as a monitor and closest companion to the Cartographer), and the Cartographer itself, a fully sentient AI that takes on the task of mapping out the spans of galaxy traveled by the Cart, fully detail the planets they visit, document the inhabitants, and archive the results to be presented to the Triad. What does this mean? ROAD TRIP! While making characters, keep this in mind: No one is perfect. The Captain may be an exceptional pilot, but he/she could be incapable of leading due to personal beliefs about other species. The Security Officers may be sociopaths with no regard for life. You don't have to perfectly fit the profiles just presented, or at least add your own tweaks to them. There are no age limits here, but keep in mind that a 70 year old isn't going to be flying the most advanced ship ever built. Some Deets About Our Galaxy Well-Known Living Races Veros -- A crested race of humanoids, they are renowned for being exceptional mercenaries and soldiers. Most of the species was scattered when humanity pushed through their home system, and as such turned them into one of mankind's greatest enemies. The typical children's story is of the Devastation, and how each and every boy and girl should hold the idea of home in their heart and fight with every bit of energy in their body for it. Kill the humans, and take back the homeworld. Due to being scattered, social norms are a bit lacking among the Veros, and typically frowned upon cybernetic upgrades are often incorporated to augment an individual's strengths. While generally lanky, all Veros are inhumanly strong, capable of lifting a human several feet of the ground with ease. A typical Veros merc: http://i1.wp.com/makingstarwars.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/original-4.jpg. Unaugmented: http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/236x/8f/bf/1f/8fbf1f0ea7aa562b3965f502d0256d23.jpg. Askari -- Originally pariahs among the rest of the galactic community, the Askari are now perhaps one of the most valuable assets of the Triadic empire. Landing on a planetary surface using stolen technology, the first hordes were produced by a Queen laying eggs, which evolved into whatever the Queen telepathically commanded. In need of an overseer or field general? Produce a Leader caste, who can telepathically command other Askari on a lesser level than the Queen, and communicate with other races on behalf of the Queen. Need workers to tend to the Queen, maintenance living areas, or build? Servant caste. Need a quick army? Soldiers. Queens are only produced near the end of the present Queen's life. They previously quickly drained resources from planets they invaded, leaving a trail of desiccated planets in their wake. Now, under the Triad, they act as a military arm, invading and crippling planets marked for destruction. Basic castes: http://fc08.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2012/346/a/7/alien_concept_serra9zit_by_cgptteam-d5nt7z0.jpg. Queen: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ToIWlhcHvbE/U7qjlsRne6I/AAAAAAAAq4U/R2t-iy9foDE/s1600/Edge_of_Tomorrow_Concept_Art_by_Alex_Mandra_alien Concept-4.jpg. Makal -- A centaurid race, they were once well known as warriors. But after only a small period of time following the conquest of their own world, they became a peaceful and diplomatic race, preferring to solve problems peacefully than with weapons. They are the leaders of the Triad, or at least the most socially progressed and intelligent. But make no mistake - They are willing to fight if the need arises. http://imageserver.moviepilot.com/k...by-jerad-s-merantz.jpeg?width=1600&height=683. Giroi -- A tribal race that made its way into the upper ranks of the Triad through sheer luck. After barely fending off a human invasion, the Giroi temporarily united under a single chief to build a small fleet, sent out to find help in their plight. At the same time, the Askari and Makal had joined together to form the first semblance of the Triad. However, they acknowledged that even together they couldn't fight back the humans: The Makal hadn't been fighters for years, letting their armies slack off; and the Askari had already been defeated once before. When they finally encountered the puny flagship of the Giroi, the Askari Queen (through the eyes of her general) recognized the potential of these strong guerillas. Uplifting them, they quickly realized the Giroi weren't to be trifled with after they easily demolished a human Planetary Combat Battalion invading their homeworld. From that point on, the Giroi have formed the majority of the Triadic Special Operations division. Typical tribe warriors: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-tpu-WX_30...3Q5EE/s1600/Ed-Natividad-Oblivion-GWoE0RV.jpg. Standard Giroi grunt: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-JGDB8LThQ...dUDEI/s1600/Ed-Natividad-Oblivion-1pWEEVH.jpg Humans -- The demons, the feared and reviled warmongers. Evolving from the species Cro-Magnon, the Homo sapiens nearly annihilated their world in a fit of industrialization. When the Askari first invaded, mankind repelled the onslaught with their relatively primitive weaponry. Realizing the possibility of a second invasion, they prepared themselves by directing a global cache of funds into development of more powerful weaponry, be it nuclear weapons to strike before the invaders landed or railguns to stop them on the ground. So when the Hektalions attacked, they were brutally slaughtered. Stealing their ships, mankind retraced the Hektalion path back to their homeworld, only to have their scout ships destroyed. No further exploration was attempted. With the tech in their hands, humanity expanded quickly, assembling a gargantuan fleet of 7 flagships, 49 destroyers, 343 frigates, and an uncountable number of unmanned fighters. Colonization throughout the Solar System nearly collapsed under the weight of the war machine, which led to even quicker expansion throughout neighboring systems until the military was stabilized. With this sudden empire created, and the realization that more could be safely added, mankind continued to expand. Upon a second encounter with the Askari, the fleet finally had a true use. When the Makal and Giroi got involved, the war truly erupted. More worlds were destroyed in the ensuing battles than in the actual expansion. When mankind was finally crippled and spared, the Grand Fleet was reduced to 3 smaller fleets, each with one flagship, 3 destroyers, 9 frigates, and about 100 unmanned fighters. Most territories were returned to any surviving species, granted that the species wasn't extinct and the planets weren't absolutely devastated. Mankind itself has been forced to take a back seat in politics and intergalactic affairs. Paraxis -- Perhaps the most intelligent race of the Triadic Empire, the Paraxis were only recently discovered, despite being so close to the furnace that it would literally take a matter of months to travel there without warp, and a millisecond with. The humans call them Plutonians. Inhabiting lead-shielded core cities located on Charon and Pluto (very dangerous but efficient positions. Previously, they inhabited the surface after migrating from a dying world merely decades after entering their nuclear age, but after an atmospheric collapse caused by extensive ozone damage they were forced below the surface. There, they found that the barely functional core provided clean energy when used properly, and the ice above was clean enough once filtered), the Paraxis lived out their rather dull lives tinkering and poking around with technology and artifacts collected periodically from the antiquated civilizations of Earth. When other races passed through the system, they would offer a trade: Some well-preserved human bodies for a warp core, some Greek pottery for a blaster. And for the limited resources they had, the Paraxis thrived during their Golden Age, and when humanity began expansion they were the only race to survive being in the direct path of the war machine by hiding deep in their underground cities. And when mining operations commenced on Pluto after the Great War in order to get mankind back on it's feet economically, the Paraxis stepped into the limelight as the survivors of one of the worst tragedies in galactic history. When they heard this, they said to each other "What the hell are these biped-things talking about?" They are one of the few knuckle-walking alien races (the Makal technically are quadripedal, but rarely qualify because of the extra set of opposable limbs), but are quite capable of combat (though they aren't warriors) and engineering feats. Typical Paraxis: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-azs_bc1m82s/UUL9eWxjs0I/AAAAAAAAG2M/7IjfGTOG8zw/s1600/aaronsimscompany artwork2.jpg Famous Extinct Races Hektalions -- A formerly scientific race driven to conquest after discovering a second species living on the Hektalion homeworld, which promptly evicted them from the surface. Seeking a world of their own and unable to successfully terraform an uninhabited planet, they stumbled on Earth and found it inhabitable. Unfortunately, the humans were ready for the assault (having been warmed up by the Askari) and wiped out first the army and then the entire species, the remnants of which had been situated on a large fleet of ships which were mistaken as military. Soldier: http://www.giantfreakinrobot.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Alien2.jpg. Technology Warp drives -- Powered by a form of exotic matter mined from the cores of white dwarfs by highly heat-resistant drones. When negatively ionized, it generates a wormhole. To maneuver to specific locations, ships are equipped with a transwarp navigator, a basic VI system that determines where a ship in warp is in the real galaxy. Typically, it takes about a week and a piece of warp matter the size of a basketball for a ship to go from one end of the galaxy to another. Originally, humans salvaged what they could from Hektalion ships, limiting their movements until they started their own mining operations. Railguns -- Typically used on outdated ships only due to their impractical weight and recoil. While effective, they've since been replaced by plasma gunnery and asteroid cannons (uses an artificial gravitational field to manipulate the path of asteroids). Teleporters -- Exceptionally rare and still in animal trials. The molecular dispersion generally results in pieces all over the place. AI -- Besides the Cartographer, no AIs exist. Instead, Virtual Intelligences with a single directive handle complicated computation tasks. Propulsion -- Superior rocket fuel is stored in massive containers within spaceships and used to propel ships in certain directions. Transport -- Hovercraft dominate the field of public transport. Highways of normal humanoid planets literally stretch to the heavens before a break in traffic can be seen, so high can hover ways go. Military craft typically go faster. The technology is powered by leftover grains or shards of positively ionized exotic matter, which turns into grav-matter, allowing for limited control of the gravitational field of the craft being powered. CS Name: Position: Date of Birth: [Askari live 40 years (Queen 600), Makal 400, Veros 140, Humans 115, Giroi 120, Paraxis 250] Profile: (Can use images or written descriptions. Try to use images similar to granted alien descriptions. If human, use real images) Loadout: (If applicable to position) Any questions about what I've written, feel free to ask. Basic Iwaku rules apply. I EXPECT GOOD GRAMMAR. I AM A MEMBER OF THE GRAMMAR NAZI PARTY, AND I WILL ACTIVELY HUNT YOU DOWN FOR MAJOR MISTAKES. Otherwise, creative license. I may already have a Cartographer in mind if you're interested, but if she declines I'll let you know. More deets on the universe will be revealed over time, in-character and out.