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The Story

"Untold thousands of years ago, humanity made her first fragile steps away from home. They traveled in small, crude ships, which rode behind great sails, pushed by solar winds. Their journeys were long and perilous, but they eventually came to rest on the worlds around the nearest stars.

Then in time, the Ancients discovered KATASPACE. Through this dimension of space, time, and spirit, they threaded and slipped, to arrive in places inconceivable. They pierced the skin of the Universe, and left the tiny cradle of humanity behind. The age of travel by sluggish, metal spacecraft had come to an end as soon as it had begun.

But not all of mankind was to benefit from this science, however. As people spilled out into these far away regions of space, a struggle broke over the use of the new technology. Finally, those who lived on the "other side" of the great expanse cut themselves off from Old realm of Man.

Humanity was irreparably split in two.

Millennia upon millennia had passed. Those from the Old World had lost the secrets of Kataspace. So, they discovered their own means to travel the vast distances. They discovered a species of great space-swimming creatures. Resembling titanic jellyfish, they were called "Manos".

Their vast shoals had the remarkable ability to reach out and grasp a distant fold of space, and pull it closer. As a result, they could travel well beyond the speed of light. The creatures fed on the wells of gravity, and thus indirectly on the mass of planets and stars.

As they fed, they stored great quantities of energy in pustules within the folds of their translucent flesh.

Mano, Juvenile Specimen: Photo courtesy the SS Anchorage Xenobiological Research Vessel

While massive stars suffered little from the "feeding" of the manos, any planet engulfed by a herd would nearly always be devastated by the effects.

The humans eventually discovered a way to domesticate the immense beasts, and ride in their wake to places they never dreamed of reaching. As the vastness of space was opened up, the new frontiersmen, or GUNMEN, lived a life of adventure and colonization.

An industry developed around the use of the manos. Great Baronies, companies that raised and herded the creatures, sold the pustules they produced, and transported colonists to new worlds. Often, however, the solar systems in their wake suffered from decayed orbits and wounded planets. A Central Government developed to deal with the situation, slowly expanding into the frontiers the mano-herdsmen opened up.

The Frontier Enforcement Division, or FED, of the Central Government worked to establish a semblance of order as the girth of humanity increased.

Then finally, in year 1 of the new age, The humans of the Old World came into contact with those of the New. They had encountered the TILLIKUM.

The TILLIKUM, those humans who long ago had slipped through Kataspace and discovered a new home, had greatly changed. They called themselves the "Natives" of their new world -- as much a part of the land and sky as was tree, sun, and nebula. They were a deeply spiritual people, and yet they had not lost their great technology. Weaker in some ways, and much stronger in others, their technology was the equal of the GUNMEN.

Almost immediately conflict began as colonists of the Old World encroached on the territories of the New. The Tillikum had not forgotten the ancient stories of Earth. They remembered the tales of ancient peoples who were pushed from their land by expansionists. The Natives brutally fought back, even to the point of sometimes paranoid excess. The Gunmen retaliated with equal brutality, devastating entire worlds with shoals of feeding manos.

The year is now 387 N.E. (New Era) Intermittent skirmishes are fought in space and on the surface of worlds between the natives and the gunmen. As of eleven years ago, however, another expansionist species has exploded onto the scene. Where humans were busy scrapping and bickering amongst themselves, this bizarre and alien race has swarmed into human territories seemingly overnight. Panic has raged, as widespread infestation by the creatures has quickly become an epidemic.

The creatures, called "XENOMORPHS" or "Lovitz type Xenomorph" as they are officially known, first appeared in the furthest human colonies of the frontier. In the past seven years they have been found throughout both Native and Gunman territories. The creatures spread by ejecting sporelike pods into space, or by smuggling larvae aboard Gunmen ships or through Native Katagates.

Wherever they go, their spawn quickly annihilates any competing lifeforms as they establish their hive. A suitable name which has become ascribed to them is "Anekah" -- the Tillikum word for "locusts" or "killing swarm".

While they appear to have a dim intelligence by human standards, it is theorized that their consciousness extends into their genetic past and future. Entire swarms of the creatures have been known to spontaneously "evolve" new biological weaponry and defenses in response to attacks by humans.

The new infestation has cooled relations between Natives and Gunmen somewhat. Trade has spread among colonists and tribesmen as of the last decade. Yet battles deep within the Frontier have done anything but diminish."

 Excerpt from an article in "The Frontiersman Historical Journal" -- by historian Jandler Vay: 109.20.387

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