Player Races – The Humans

Introduction

The Humans live in the Hamak system, but they are not natives there. In fact, unlike the Teth, the Krayce and the Tarn, Humans are not native to the Four Systems at all. Five hundred years ago, Humanity arrived in Hamak aboard a colony vessel from a far away system called Sol. The colony vessel was fashioned from a hollowed-out asteroid. Not Jump-capable, it had travelled for hundreds of years, with generations of Humans living and dying on board.

That asteroid still remains in Hamak space, cannibalised to build the original colonies on Hamak IV, and then rebuilt into a combination of port and shantytown for asteroid miners and space rats – it is now known as Hoboville.

In the centuries since colonisation Hamak IV has become a lot like Earth – the home planet of the Humans – in terms of climate and geography. There are cities, universities, industrial and residential areas. Though building on experience, Humans have made many of the mistakes that their ancestors made, and Hamak IV suffers from pollution in the same way that Earth did.

Though Sol Humans had achieved a high level of technology, their Hamak cousins have lost some of the technology they possessed. Hamak Humans are on a technological par with the Krayce. Having said that, it was the Humans that discovered the Drifter in the asteroid belt on the edge of Hamak space. With the Drifter they discovered its cargo of eight Jump Engines and kickstarted the age of the Families. Without exception, First Contact for the Teth, Tarn and Krayce was with Humans, and there exists to this day a certain mystique around Humanity for this reason. Many individuals of the non-Human races that rarely venture into space still believe that the Humans have some special ownership of the stars. In space that mystique is turned on its head a little. Many were jealous of the Human monopoly on Jump technology for so long, and many think that it was a crime to keep that technology purely among Humans for so long.

From the outside – The other races see the Humans as the hardest working race. They are the only ones to have colonised another star system, and there is a mystique around them for that reason. However, there’s also a distrust for Humans; after all they did discover the Jump Drives and kept the discovery to themselves.

Humans are generally – Of any one of a dozen religions (including atheism), generous, cautious with strangers and as likely to solve a problem by diplomacy as with violence.

Society

Hamak IV – the fourth planet of five in the Hamak system – was the first to be inhabited by the colonists. It remains the only planet properly colonised, though Hamak III houses a pressurised base home to a couple of thousand Humans. There are a number of space stations in orbit around Hamak IV, and a couple of deep space stations. However, Hoboville holds the vast majority of Humans that live in space, with a population numbering in the hundreds of thousands between those living on Hoboville itself and those living in spaceships in close proximity to Hoboville.

Human government is democratic, although capitalism plays a large part in the way that human society works. Some corporations are as big as some governments. The system is governed by one elected body – the Hamak System Government  who oversee trade with the other worlds and relations with the Families.

On Hamak IV the biggest city is Quonruscha – a well-planned city that contains the system government’s offices as well as the primary offices of a lot of Hamak’s corporations. Unfortunately, even a well-planned city manages to have a less-than-well-off Many other of the larger cities on the planet are named after cities on Earth – New Boston and New Adelaide being examples.

Steam Industries

Arguably the biggest corporation in Hamak now, Steam Industries was one of the first organisations that arrived with the colony. Originally the builders of many of the habitats that were used when the colonists’ prefabricated Steam went on to become an economic, and then governmental force in its own right. Around the time of the Teth-Human war Steam began to fabricate a generation ship of its own, not unlike the ship that brought the humans to Hamak originally. While this was used for a variety of purposes in those original years – training Krayce warriors, prototype Jump engine design and shadowy meetings between Families and Steam Industries personnel, it was towed into asteroid cloud that surrounds the Hamak system. Undoubtedly someone knows what it is currently being used for, but it’s certainly not common knowledge.

Steam Industries, meantime, is still the largest corporation operating out of Hamak – and now with offices in the rest of the Four Systems, and the economic power it wields makes it a respected partner in governmental affairs in Hamak at the very least.

Technology

Human technology in Hamak is nowhere near its Sol equivalent. The colonisation process took decades, and during that time some advances were lost and no new ones were made. It’s only a few centuries after the colony on Hamak IV was established firmly that the colonists started to head back out into space, and then onto Hamak III and V. Humanity has the most proportion of its citizens in space, both because of the relatively easily accessible Hoboville, and the fact that the Jump Families were exclusively Human. However, though life among the stars is common for Humans, both the Teth and the Tarn have more advanced technology – the Teth mostly in bio-engineering (anti-aging techniques, hydroponics) and the Tarn in physics (FTL communications.)

Notably, the humans were the first to build a Jump-capable battlecruiser – the original Gilgamesh. While the Teth had retrofitted the JumpShip Sting as a warship by adding weapons to its complement, the Giligamesh was designed and built as a JumpShip and a battleship simultaneously. It was the Gilgamesh that dealt the final blows in the war against the Sol Unity, and its silhouette became a symbol of the victory, and later the emblem of of the War Commission during the war against the Irif. The original Gilgamesh has been placed in dry dock now – a museum piece on Hamak IV. Now the name belongs to another first – the Gilgamesh-A is the first operational Jump-capable colony vessel. The name is symbolic as well… another Jump-capable colony ship – the Kingfisher – was built as a prototype but during testing was boarded by Irif forces and, although they were repelled, the Kingfisher suffered crippling damage.

Hoboville

Originally, Hoboville was the vessel that the Humans used to come to the Four Systems, and specifically Hamak. A giant asteroid, hollowed out, filled with machinery and living environments, with engines added. Those engines were cannibalised during colonisation but the asteroid itself remained on the outskirts of the Hamak system. As the planet’s population grew and expanded, interest in space began in earnest and the asteroid was seen as a convenient destination for hundreds of prospective asteroid miners. A century later it has been renamed “Hoboville” – a combination of shantytown and mining outpost in space, with corridors cobbled together from spare machinery and pressurised by beleaguered and second-hand compressors.

As time passed, Hoboville also became something of a home for indigents and criminals – a place where everyone was welcome regardless of their pasts. It wasn’t long before an organisation known as the Crew seized control of Hoboville, styling itself after the original crew of the asteroid, but with distinct criminal undertones. Protection rackets became common, and in the wake of the Teth-Human War Hoboville seceded from the Hamak system government, which had problems extending its reach out into the outer edge of the system anyway.

In the present day, Hoboville has cleaned up a lot of its shady past, and although the Crew still operate in the shantytown, Hoboville has increased the size of its habitats and taken on significant new population. In particular, the Krayce quarter of Hoboville is a vibrant community that has brought a lot of tourism into Hamak, and off of the colonised planets.

The Sol Unity

When the generation ship that would land in Hamak and come to be called Hoboville left the Sol system it was one of many such vessels. These vessels were the pinnacle of a highly advanced civilisation which had already begun terraforming planets other than the one it was native to.

A generation ship known as Confucius discovered a Drifter on its journey and took it on board. The Jump technology on board the Drifter was analysed and incorporated and used to Jump the Confucius back into Sol space. Sol had Jump Technology and rather than begin to explore the galaxy they studied the technology, eventually learning to use it like a gateway. This “exo-Jump” facility allowed them to send vessels enormous distances and retrieve them without needing to attach a Jump engine to the vessel being sent.

Just as this technology was developed the Sol system was visited by another race – the Anfar. While specifics are lost to history now it is said that the Anfar took the shape of Humanity’s mythological enemies – horned creatures that walked on cloven hooves and stank of sulphur, though the Anfar were colored blue. The two races tried diplomacy, but it was sadly doomed to failure. A particularly savage and brutal war broke out during which both sides suffered enormous casualties. Eventually the Anfar were effectively wiped out and the Humans were changed – they had become hugely xenophobic and warlike, and called themselves the Sol Unity.

The Unity eventually discovered the Four Systems and their progeny in the Hamak system. Unfortunately, while an Alliance was briefly declared the Hamak humans chose to side with their non-Human cousins. The Sol Unity could not allow this and Sol proceeded to attack all of the Four Systems. In the aftermath of the Four Systems forces’ encounter with the Custodian a vessel named the Gilgamesh travelled to the Sol system and delivered a biological warfare weapon designed to infect the Sol Humans with a modified, weaponised version of Jump Cancer.

In the present day it is not clear what happened to the Unity – they have not attacked anything in known space and if anyone has visited the Sol system they have not commented publicly on what they found there. Meantime, the humans of Hamak have become a little changed by the experience of seeing themselves in the dark mirror that the Sol Unity presented. Humans are more outgoing, less xenophobic. If anything, the Humans have become the binding force of the Four Systems, making sure that their fellow races work together and form a cosmopolitan whole rather than remaining in their own systems, alone with their own culture and their own thoughts.

Rumours persist that there are spies among the humans of Hamak from the Sol Unity. There is no solid proof of this, but even in Hamak itself the existence of the Unity has not been forgotten. Children bully their classmates for having an odd accent. Newcomers to a particular neighbourhood might come under suspicion, politicians who rise to power quickly… all of these outsiders and newcomers might be seen as part of the implacable enemy who many believe to be waiting just around the corner, ready to attack once more..

Human Names – The Humans of Hamak have been separated from their parent colony for centuries. Names that are commonplace in Sol are still used, but have been simplified and shortened by overuse. So the name “Paul” might be “Pol” or “Pal” in Hamak, the name “Peter” might have become “Pett” or “Peta.” The same can be said for family names. Hamak names still consist of a first name and a family name, shared by all the humans in the family group.

Other Colonies

In Human circles there is significant discussion on whether or not there are other “lost” Sol colonies. It is known that there were twenty years between the launch of the Gandhi and the Confucius and the subsequent return of the Confucius with Jump technology. More generation ships could have been sent off into the void during this time. Detecting these and working out possible Jump co-ordinates for where they might be at any particular time is the raison d’etre of a number of corporations on Hamak IV. Many Humans approach the idea of saving other Human colonies from the possibility of incorporation into the Sol Unity with an almost religious zeal.