|NOTE: This is a historical document. Though much of the following information still applies today, the race in question has been vastly updated. This page is thus kept mostly as a time capsule, out of respect to the original creators. Please use the main Freespacers wiki page for character creation purposes instead!|
I've received first-contact requests from at least half-a-douzen GMs – but the majority of them are currently tied up with other story arcs at the moment, so most likely aren't planning to make contact for at least a few real-life months if at all. While I am planning their first story arc for sometime in the immediate future with one of said plotships, I'm always willing to at least hear any ideas your plotship or race may have for contact. I've also heard some interesting suggestions to joint contact scenarios for the Freespacers, so you may not have to wait as long as you think to interact with them.
Of course. Find me on YIM (miss_strangelove) or on the SARP IRC channel if you have any questions about specific aspects of the 'Spacers.
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 private property other than clothes or small sentimental trinkets. Leadership, if existent, usually holds little power; decisions concerning a Fleet are usually decided by referendums on each specific issue.
The Freespacers are a highly cybernetic and digitalized society. They rely heavily on stellar 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, thousands of separate minds (both Freespacer and Synthetic Intelligence alike) can come together contemplate solutions to this problem. Polysentience networks may also be used in leu of a government as well; digital voting and quickly resolve political disputes within a matter of hours, or even minutes.
While some may argue the lack of specialized staff and bureaucracy may 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.
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 program (“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.
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.
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.
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 survive up to six hours without any discomfort, and up to 18 hours before signs of sickness begin setting in. This condition becomes life-threatening early as 72 hours.
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
These are actually divided into two categories. The first are actually diatoms; cells with silicious 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 silicious 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.
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.
|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 Fallacy Tungsten Failsafe Clanker Sync||See here||Naiad Curse Quicksilver Ward Summoner Lament||Unforgettable Charity Endgame Calypso Bright Keepsake|
|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.
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.
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.
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 sense of personal property. My nature most Freespacers 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 very social and closely-knit. 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.
Freespacers are polyamorous. There is no marriage ceremony for Freespacers; 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 are casual and whimsical. To them a contract is merely a piece of paper, and vows are merely words. Nothing to be taken seriously. Action, when it truly counts, is all that matters. For this reason many of the Freespacers' best pilots and engineers may lack professionalism, often joking, playing games, being rude, or lazy during regular work. However once a serious problem appears they will snap to and perform just as well as any other professional. Due to this behavior many foreigners can't genuinely tell the difference between incompetent and veteran staff.