500 cycles ago the Reckoning Wars nearly wiped out every living thing in the known ‘verse. The five great Empires finally had it out: one last battle to prove who was the best and the baddest. Those idiots used their planet crackers and they didn’t stop firing until there wasn’t a habitable rock left to piss on.
Empires fell. Trillions died. An entire region of space was rendered into a scorched void — the black hole of death we call the Wastes.
It took another twenty generations for everything to get set straight again, for the spinning top of galactic discord to wobble to a stop. From the ashes rose the Galactic Council, a collective of every known warp-capable species, bound together to establish peace amongst the stars.
They made The Law: No more planet crackers, no more capital ships, no more machines of war. No more violence, theft, hatred, or rebellion. The people of the stars would no longer live in fear of evil.
And it worked. It worked, because there was only one rule: violate the Law, get thrown into the Wastes. Spend the rest of your cycles living in the ruins of the ancient battlefield, watched over by the Guardian AI. Fight for whatever measly scraps of tech you can plunder, but never once forget where you are. Always under the bleeding eye of the star called Alpha Prime — the “Dead Star” — the red giant left at the center of it all.
There are millions of us here now, scavenging the Wastes. Some real psychos — you know the kind. We were sent out here to live the rest of our lives like rats feeding on the corpse of the old Empire days.
But now our sentence is getting cut short. The Dead Star’s well and truly dying. A bloated corpse, fattened up on the dark antimatter seeping from the decaying hulks of a thousand blasted warp drives. A black scar on the horizon, itching to go supernova. If you thought this place was a wasteland before, it’s going to get a hell of a lot worse when she goes boom.
The guards have abandoned their Outposts, taken the last of the warp capable ships and jumped beyond the dead zone. They know a lost cause when they see one. Still, the Guardian AI keeps humming along, sighting us down with its massive Defense Cannon if we so much as sneeze near the border regions.
If there’s any hope left, it’s hidden away inside the Guardian’s neural net. Every Data Junkie in the zone’s jacked into their decks, trying to hack their way into the border control program. Hell, the Guardian AI’s been hacked so many times it’s gone schizophrenic – just what we need, a psychotic supercomputer hell bent on disintegrating every last one of us.
But we gotta get out. Someone’s got to break the code, find a way. Maybe turn the Guardian’s scanner net inside out, find one of the old capital ships floating in the depths of the battlefields. Something we can salvage, bring up to spec, spin up the warp drive and get our asses out of this hell hole before there ain’t nothing left.
The Dead Star. It was a joke – just a damned joke — but now she’s going to take us all with her, eat us all up.
We don’t have much time left. Best get your engines fired up and grab what you can, ‘cause there’s only one way out of here, and it’s straight through a bunch of the worst killers and lunatics you’ll ever meet.