Can I play a Freespacer?
What sort of Freespacers are there?
There are two categories of Freespacers: The Freespacersas a species. The original race. Secondly, the Synthetic Intelligence, the sentient computers and machines that cohabit with them. Unlike other cultures, Freespacer sentient computers and droids are given full citizen's rights, so playing one will give you all the same freedoms as playing a “true” Freespacer.
Why isn't there much information on specific practices and customs?
Freespacer society is inherently chaotic. Their ships are self-sufficient vessels, so they aren't bound by limited territory or resources; if you don't agree with a Fleet's decision (or religious beliefs), you can simply up your ship and live on your own, or move to join another Fleet. “The universe is a big place, there's more than enough space for everyone.” Therefore their entire culture and religion spans over a massive spectrum; Just as there is no solid political structure, there is no solid social structure.
From an OOC perspective, this decentralized society allows potential GMs and players much more creative liberty than they would have otherwise. If you have any ideas for a minor religion or a Fleet concept, feel free to suggest it. Or, if you have any odd habits or exotic traits to add to a character, feel free! Be creative. Most other information regarding culture and quirks such as slang and idioms are on or linked from the main StarWiki articles on the Freespacers.
What are Motherships and Fleets?
Freespacers are born on Motherships, which are effectively cityships or carrier-class vessels. Each Mothership is accompanied by a “Fleet” of support vessels. These Fleets will perform tasks that require more precision than the Mothership, such as mining in asteroid belts, shuttling resources, or combat. The Mothership, in turn, maintains these vessels and crew using the vast assembly bays, smelters, and cloning incubators that are usually too large for smaller vessels. Without this support, the ships of a Fleet would break down in a matter of months.
Fleets are relatively self-reliant communities, not unlike traditional city-states or native tribes. They are highly communal, often owning little other than clothes or small sentimental trinkets. Leadership, if existent, usually holds little to no power and works only on a basis of personal respect; decisions concerning a Fleet are usually decided by referendums on each specific issue.
What is Polysentience?
The Freespacers are a highly cybernetic and digitized society. They rely heavily on stellar-scale computer networks keep themselves organized instead of degrading into tribalism, as most nomadic societies do. The flow of information provided by these networks allows unifies them as a nation and keeps them content during years of isolation in space.
Polysentience is an all-encompassing term for the networks themselves and the thousands of Synthetic Intelligence that dwell within them. If a major problem occurs anywhere within the state, hundreds of thousands of separate minds (both Freespacer and Synthetic Intelligence alike) can come together contemplate solutions to this problem. Polysentience networks are also used in lieu of a government as well; digital voting and quickly resolving political disputes within a matter of minutes, or even seconds.
While some may argue the lack of specialized staff and bureaucracy may be a waste of time and resources, the Freespacers usually do not agree. They commonly believe that the transparent system prevents any sort of corruption, and that so many unspecialized minds possess far great creativity than the few elite. Furthermore, it is believed that this flexible system is far better suited to their nomadic lifestyle than a true bureaucracy would be.
Where do Automata and Synthetic Intelligence fit into society?
Syntelligence and Automata are a type of digital sentience capable of the full spectrum of human emotions. They are created from the minds of the deceased using a technology similar to ST backups. Like an ST backup, the “mind” (or brain map) is photographed to effectively “record” the mind. Instead of simply being stored, this brain map is used to create a program that plots out an emulation of a living brain. By simulating the exact same way brain cells act, this program can simulate everything the brain can do – have beliefs, emotions, opinions, anger, and so on.
Unlike most societies, Freespacer treat this sentient machinery as equal citizens. Limited segregation still exists to a degree, but this is usually due to the two having different physical requirements (beds versus repair bays, for example) rather than any sort of racial tensions. However, prejudice does exist in some respects. Some may see them as no more than soulless doppelgangers, since Syntelligence are created from the brainmaps of the dead. Others yet may treat them with deep respect because their exceptional productivity makes Freespacer survival much less difficult. There are even a few who see them simply as the equivalent of animal spirits (“machine spirits”) and worship them.
The term “Automata” is reserved for droids; human-level intelligences whose programs (“minds”) are small enough to fit inside a humanoid body or mobile computer. Syntelligence are those whose programs become so elaborate and complex that it can only be housed inside larger, stationary computer clusters. Since they are both based on programs, the have the ability to transfer themselves to different systems if powerful network connections are available.
Is there a family structure?
Motherships each have a Genebank, where DNA is synthesized and stored. The children of a given Fleet usually have a relatively high amount of genetic similarities, so they are often – but not always – genetically akin to blood siblings or cousins. Genetically identical clones are rare for the sake of maintaining a diverse genepool (as a safeguard in the unlikely event Genebank technology is lost), but they are not unheard of.
By default all Freespacers are sterile so they can still have intercourse without the risk of uncontrolled reproduction. They are, however, still capable of becoming fertile if injected with certain hormones. This is to ensure the race doesn't die out in the event of losing cloning technology, and for the rare exception to communal cloning.
What's childhood like for a Freespacer?
Children are incubated via cloning-vats and put into communal nurseries. There they will spend their time in a state of hypnopaedia (sleep learning with induced hibernation, alternatively “programming”), with short breaks in between hibernation cycles to develop basic social skills and physical health. By the time they reach adolescence they will have the equivalent of a high school education. At this point they are “let loose” upon society as temporary apprentices, visiting different ships and jobs until they find a task they both enjoy or suited to. Once they do find a trade, they receive specialized digital training and begin a true apprenticeship.
Can Freespacers survive outside their own starship environments?
Humans need water to survive, but that doesn't mean they need to drink water non-stop, do they? A similar prinicipal applies for Freespacers in that they don't need a steady dose to survive. They can go without for several hours before fatigue and lethargy sets in, and only become seriously ill after a few days. (This can be avoided with RTGs, see the section 2-07 below for more info). Alternatively, it is possible to use natural sunlight as an alternative source for their symbionts.
Their lack of immunity to many common terrestrial bacteria is also a point of concern. Unless a Freespacer is boarding a vessel with self-sterilizing technology (such as the nodal system), or are given basic vaccinations, they will be at moderate risk of illness. Therefore exposure is not recommended without the proper preparations or an environmental suit or proper nanobot vaccinations.
Are Freespacers radioactive?
They need radiation to survive, but not necessarily so much as to irradiate them significantly. For those serving aboard ships with other species, one can simply consume a radioactive isotope pill to give one the vital radiation for days at a time without running the risk of contaminating others. Alternatively, a Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) organ can be used to permanently supply the body with radiation (and when needed, small amounts of electricity and heat). This releases negligible amounts of radiation; less than the natural background radiation one might receive during space travel. See the main Freespacer article for more information.
What's this about symbionts on their skin?
These are actually divided into two categories. The first are actually diatoms; cells with siliceous shells. On some individuals these may clump together to form what will appear as small crystalline fragments on the skin, or if spaced may merely create a glittery mineral texture with a consistency like a very soft sandpaper. From the host's point of view they are part of the body; while they don't act as nerves directly, vibrations and pressure easily travel through the diatoms to the skin, making them quite sensitive.
The second are lichens, which do not possess mineral shells. These usually grow sparsely. Lichens usually appear as spots, or sometimes large blobs of color on the skin. Since these do not have siliceous shells, they are much softer than their counterpart, and are usually almost completely unnoticeable to the touch.
While both of these function similarly, each is suited for slightly different environments. Lichens tend to be more durable than their counterparts, being able to thrive in spite of dehydration and scarce nutrients. Diatoms require a more careful diet and environment in order to survive, but can produce oxygen at a much faster rate, thereby allowing their host to last much longer without air.
Since both aren't directly connected to the nervous system itself, they can be cultured, removed, or grown into patterns to form tattoo-like shapes. Some may not have any at all, instead supplementing their symbiotic elements with blood-dwelling plankton.
What sort of name should I choose for a Freespacer?
|Example: Automaker Jaras Eight One 81-2582-7391|
The first part is a title, or a Tradename. This is usually a two compound word that acts as an euphemism for what sort of career they do. While some Freespacers may have a wide array of skills, it is tradition that one to use the trade they are most adept at for their title.
|Puppetmaster||Drone Teleoperation Specialist|
|Techhead, Gearhead||Starship Technician|
|Mindtwister||Neurologist, Syntelligence Engineer|
|Nursemaid||Cloning Facility Technician|
|Foreman||Industrial Ship Captain|
|Stargazer||Stellar Cartographer, Navigator|
|Codebreaker||Electronics Warfare Specialist|
|Druidess||Starship Technician, Spiritual Figure|
|Example: Automaker Jaras Eight One 81-2582-7391|
The Alias is usually chosen by friends of the individual, and on occasion, by one's self. In the case of the former, it is granted when his or her acquaintance believe the said individual has enough life experience or wisdom. The age of naming may vary, but generally names are given no earlier than early adulthood. While everyone eventually receives an Alias, not all choose to share it. Indeed, many shy or private individuals may never reveal their Alias to more than a few people.
For more spiritual Freespacers, constellations and stars may be chosen as names. Those more digitally-inclined people may choose names influenced by mathematics or technology. A large number also choose their names very carefully to express their attitude, and some names even contain puns where both meanings are appropriate to the person.
| Hex |
|See here|| Naiad |
|Example: Automaker Jaras Eight One 81-2582-7391|
This Serial Number is the equivalent of a surname in other cultures, commonly used to address those with whom a person has little attachment. For the sake of convenience, only the first two digits of this code are used when speaking the person's Serial Number. So someone with the number 81-2582-7391 would be called, “Eight One.” While the values may appear random, and sufficiently intelligent computer with knowledge on the Free State can crack the code to determine the user's Mothership of manufacture and even the specific genetic sample they were grown from.
Are there any required skills I need when creating a Freespacer?
Living in starship environments their entire lives, they naturally learn quite a bit regarding starship architecture and related systems. In a pinch most Freespacers can fill a wide range of roles.
(Accelerated learning, digital memory, knowledge.)
Freespacers all have basic neural tech installed at birth for childhood education. These may be used later in life to accelerate learning ability, allowing a Freespacer to learn a skill in a fraction of the time it may take most humanoids. These also provide a small digital memory bank, allowing one to privately record and store memoirs, or share these with others. Finally one can download reference books or instruction manuals into this digital memory, giving others the illusion that a user knows much more than they truly do.
This skills also allows them to stay connected to Polysentience and to access the collective consciousness of their race, and to remotely connect and interface to most technology.
For more information on Mindware and how it works see Mindware Technology.
Type Fours and Fives only
By networking with other nearby Synthetic Intelligence, a Syntelligence can achieve much higher levels of computational ability and creativity. Furthermore, they may uplink with compatible equipment remotely; using their ships' sensors to achieve what is essentially a degree of omnipresence aboard their own vessels, or controlling drones.
What are common personality traits for Freeespacers?
Freespacers are often agoraphobic and mysophobic. Having been born and raised in space many Freespacers will be appalled at the concept of wild animals, roaming bacteria, dirt, and filth running rampant outdoors. It is common for them to be (at least initially) nervous if outdoors on a planet if they don't all-together refuse to go outside.
Freespacers have little to no sense of personal property. By nature most Freespacers abroad (like for example serving in the SMDION) will either save their wealth to be sent home, or if they do spend it, they will be very liberal in spending it on people other than themselves. Some may even find the concept of money itself as insignificant, taking anything they see lying about so long as they intend to return it later.
Freespacers are closely-knit and polyamorous. It is common for them to have very close friendships and families, unlike other species which automatically associate a certain degree of intimacy as romantic or sexual in nature. The sharing of clothes, beds, or the act of hugging is seen simply as such. Flings and casual relations are not unusual either, though that doesn't mean Freespacers can't or don't form romantic relationships. It simply means they don't classify certain types of behavior as a symbol of a relationship. Freespacers also commonly refute the concept of owning “people” such as children, or even lovers. However, this doesn't mean everyone feels this way; it simply means it's “okay” to live either way you prefer.
There is usually no marriage ceremony for Freespacers, or, if there is one, it's extremely simple like sharing a glass of water; they simply form and disband relationships as needed, rather than being tied together in possibly unhappy marriages. Traditional Freespacer etiquette even allows one to take more than one lover. The other partner in a relationship will often understand or take up their own, but that doesn't mean they don't get jealous on occasion.
Freespacers believe the end justifies the means. To them a contract is merely a piece of paper and vows are merely words. Action when it truly counts is all that really matters. After all, actions always speak louder than words, right?
Freespacers are unprofessional. While Freespacer pilots and engineers have the experience needed to do the job … they usually lack any sort of professionalism. Protocol is more a helpful suggestion than an actual rule. Experimentation and improvisation is the norm, which is both a blessing and a bane; crews can perform admirably by not being afraid to go above and beyond the textbook but on occasion trying new things can lead to minor catastrophes.
Goofing around or slacking off is also common provided they get the job done and done on time by the end of the shift. This lack of discipline will often lead to foreigners confusing rookies for veterans, but when in dire straits almost any Freespacer crew can pull together and work as briskly as any professional crew.
Freespacers are selfless. Being all connected to Polysentience, every Freespacer understands the importance and value of the Free State as a whole. The state-preservation instinct is stronger than the self-preservation instinct. This, combined with the possibility of Reincarnation and the usual nonchalant attitude towards death Freespacers have, means that often Freespacers have no qualms about putting their lives on the line or sacrificing them for the greater good.