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Rustic, mysterious and unconventional, Freespacers are a nomadic culture adapted to life aboard starships and space factories, unified only by a romance of the endless black expanse, and the cybernetic grafting of mindware technology that individually links each member through a gigantic common cyberspace.
They are a people of many contrasts. Often pacifistic, but disrespectful of authority and unwilling to be pushed around. Unprofessional, but utterly dutiful to their life's most cherished task. Preferring simple and rugged tech, yet also populated by a truly massive amount of intelligent robotic beings, dwarfing their organic kin four to one.
Wandering tradesmen, reclusive mechanics, religious shamans, and warrior-monks for hire… They are as strange and varied as the stars they cross in search of peace and understanding.
After thousands of years of adversity, with larger empires constantly trying and failing to wipe them out, and their ancient vessels now decrepit and poisonous to normal beings, the modern Freespacer is someone that takes the bad with the good and seeks only to get back up again.
Cadres have formed around specific strong ideas, such as halting outside influences on their race, gathering as many guns as possible, and even further altering their genetics for increased independence, but rarely are these more than fancy motivational groups of like-minded individuals.
Freespacers can join not just Freespacer-centric plots, but also Nepleslian, Uso Star Organisation, Origin Industries and Independent ones. The only facts you need to consider is why they personally decided to join such an undertaking. Such things are at the very heart of being a Freespacer, after all.
|Do you want to make a cool weirdo space cyborg, but you're new to the forums and completely lost? Have no idea which plots are free, or the right kind for your tastes? Just sling the faction manager Primitive Polygon a private message, and they'll be happy to help you get your idea off the ground!|
Despite being a genetically engineered species, bodies from this race tend to be more function over form. Skin ranges from pale white to dark brown, with the odd gene-modified black or grey. Physiology ranges from tall and lean to short and plump, rarely extravagantly attractive or muscular. Short, practical hair is common due to the need for attaching a voidsuit helmet quickly, but dying it wild chromatic colors is popular too.
Each and every member of the race possesses a mindware implant as a rite of passage, often visible as a small array of direct-imput jacks and sockets at the back of the neck. Many Freespacers take it a lot further than this, and have robotic limbs added to their body for a variety of reasons, such as integrating a weapon or tool used in their job, aiding in zero-gravity movement, or improving their computer hacking abilities to fearsome levels. Those less inclined to remain within Freespacer ships may also have radioactive material implanted directly into their chests, raising their body temperature, powering their other implants, and allowing their symbiotic skin lichens to survive without the specialized environments of their vessels.
Part of the secret of the Freespacer's nigh-mythical resistance to radiation is the symbiotic plant cells they contain within their skin, often cultivated to look like blue, purple or black tattoos. Creative types may form theirs into abstract shapes, jagged swirls or geometric patterns. Those more commonly working with simple-minded machines that lack facial recognition software have also taken to forming their diatoms into bar codes or blocks of Six Cog text for identification.
Depending on their intended role at birth, Freespacers are generally born into a specific caste or 'Type' that determines what kind of training and upbringing they will receive. There are many subtle interdependencies that might seem strange to an outsider, but are necessary to keep their highly nomadic yet close-knit society running smoothly.
See; Freespacer Types.
Then, of course, there are the Freespacers who are entirely machine, either created that way or beings that have transferred over from a previously organic body. These forms tend to follow the same rule of designing for a specific task in mind, and thus can appear deceptively crude compared to the androids of other races, despite being vastly more intelligent internally. Blocky joints, exposed wires, integrated weapons, and heads bearing little but multiple cameras are all things marking a true native Automata. Some may even ignore the humanoid form completely, and take on something more closely resembling a small tank, spider or crab.
Nearly all are powered by miniature nuclear reactors regardless, and possess an extreme resilience to damage due to multiple back-up systems and redundant parts, mostly because they may well have been built from scrap parts in the first place!
See Also; Partisan War Automata - Junkers - Deathcrawler Auto-Tank
Also called simply 'Syntelligences', they are AI programs that never had a body in the first place. Existing simply as a program which jumps from computer to computer, mindware jack to mindware jack, brain to brain. Some of the largest and most powerful beings in the entire Freespacer race are these types of programs, created to manage resources and defenses on a vast scale.
Many begin life as organic or at least physical beings, having their brains mapped out and transfered into the mainframe of a vessel and thus effectively making it their new 'body'. During times of great strife, many are created at once to serve as fighter pilots, making up for the Freespacer race's relative lack of numbers. After the conflict, however, such dependent and ghostly people can often become restless and morose, effectively immortal, yet lacking a purpose…
Many Freespacers are simply refereed to by their job title, or alternatively, the first two digits of the ten-digit identification number given to them upon creation. As they get on in life, they may also be gifted an alias by their close friends, or even simply decide to make up one for themselves. This nickname can be a great many things, from a highly technical and obscure pun, to something more traditional and ritualistic.
Using the standard name format, for instance, “Trashhead Treasure 33-7158-9427” could be refereed to by her job title (Trashhead), her alias (Treasure), or her serial number (Three Three), entirely at their own discretion.
|Wayfarer / Spacecase||Pilot|
|Oremonger||Miner / Crane Operator|
|Warmonger / Antibody||Soldier / Guardian / Mercenary|
|Junkhead||Salvager / Recycler|
|Datajack / Codebreaker||Hacker|
|Stargazer||Navigator / Sensor Operator|
|Puppetmaster / Dollmaker||Drone Operator|
|Druidess||Technician / Spiritual Figure|
|Emptyhand||Saboteur / Martial Arts Expert|
|Steelrender||Vehicle / Weapons Designer|
A name chosen to best describe the individual, sometimes with warmth and some times mockingly, once they reach adulthood. A spacer sometimes chooses the alias for themselves, though it is generally seen as a move of bravado and self-promotion. Some of the less romantically minded never bother with one at all, whilst more shy or simple-minded fellows might not actively reveal theirs to strangers.
Because they have generally been created for a specific function, their Alias tends to line up with their occupation somewhat. Mathematics or technology concepts for the scientifically minded, mythological creatures and constellations for the spiritual. Slang used in certain lines of in-depth work is also very common, especially words with amusing or double meanings.
|Hex Tungsten Failsafe Clanker Sync Diskette||See here||Augury Curse Quicksilver Ward Summoner Lament||Clarity Acolyte Dream Vista Sunbeam Talisman|
The effective 'last name' of a Freespacer, it's actually the equivalent of their IP address on the polysentience. Since they are manufactured for a purpose and rarely have families, it is simply more convenient to refer to them this way whilst still children. It's also useful for talking to a person with whom another spacer has little attachment.
In normal conversation, only the first two numbers are spoken. For instance, someone with the number 81-2582-7391 would be called, “Eight One.” There are occasionally especially annoying types that like to pronounce the whole thing, through.
Due to their harsh no-nonsense attitudes towards each and every person having an active use in society, Freespacers age at an increased rate. Practically speaking, they should be between six and nineteen (chronological), a.k.a. between fifteen and thirty-nine (physical).
See Freespacer Lifecycles for more information.
Not including those who joined the Freespacers from another race, the 'original' members are all created in large gene-fabrication facilities either on travelling motherships or deep inside specialist bases. Natural birth is extremely rare simply because the radiation levels are often so high, but on the flip side, every Freespacer is created with a purpose, and thus often raised in relative comfort surrounded by similar kin. It takes about seven years for youngster to reach maturity, during which time they are fed large quantities of information through their mindware whilst they sleep, preparing them for the world outside. They then become an apprentice for five or so years, before finally becoming entirely free and individual. Sentient automata tend to be raised in much the same way, except that they spend their first years in cyberspace without bodies at all, before being constructed one that matches their personality and apparent skills.
Being as they do not require sexual reproduction to survive, male, female, and completely androgynous organics are all relatively common. Automata tend to be neither, but gravitate towards certain tastes if they are raised by an organic caretaker.
Common traits include a distaste of planetary environments, agoraphobia, and having little sense of personal property or exclusive closed relationships with others (like marriage). They live a hard life and see little point in pomposity or self-indulgence, making them extremely welcoming if rather offbeat travelers.
Sometimes those who have been raised in particularly harsh conditions can be very meek or introverted, generally thankful for the company, but not used to the fancy talk of others. Obsessively focusing on one specific task in their occupation or hobby is often the result of this, through they can become deceptively skilled individuals as a result.
Those with reason to seek revenge or hide some kind of vindictiveness rarely resort to violence unless it has a particular finesse associated with their craft, as death is no stranger to them, and often less amusing than hacking an enemies' computer or fouling their business ventures through a well placed machinations.
Of course, there are always some so obsessed with the thrill of adventure, and the sensory overload that comes from flying a fighter, that they barely consider the consequences of their actions at all.
In short, Freespacers are unprofessional and highly individual vagrants that often hide their expertise behind a thick layer of deranged merriment and radical thinking.
No Freespacer is required to join a Cadre, but strength in numbers is always useful in order to get one's point across. Often it simply depends on the location that they were born in, tough completely independent individuals are overwhelmingly common too.
Some organisations currently enjoying influence include;
There are also many historically relevant, but no longer powerful factions;
After coming out of a long period of isolation in the depths of space, the Freespacers were once formed into a single unifying entity known as the Free State. By YE 30, not agreeing with the imperialist nature of the way Yamatai was run, they engaged in a long-term subversion campaign against them. For a short time, the Independent Worlds League was thus formed with a slew of international support, through the campaign was costly and unfortunately resulted in the complete loss of all their land holdings up to that point, as well as millions of lives.
By YE 38, the fractured remnants from the aftermath formed into the cadres known today, and though the IWL is no more, their good relations with Nepleslia continue for the most part.
It took the initiative of the Wire Guided to give them a new concept of culturally infiltrating other countries by joining them as individuals, and thus the beleaguered nation is finally making a slow recovery. The nekovalkyrja who instigated the genocide were just cogs in the system, after all, so most were willing to forgive and take advantage of the guilt at this point, even if it meant sleeping with one eye open.
Whether they were alive during such a schism or merely grew up in the aftermath, however, the results of such events stains the memory of every Freespacer to this day. Some fleets simply went out into the void and never came back.
For further information see; The Complete History Of The Freespacers
There is no real limit to what members of this race can be good or bad at, but many are often versed in starship operations simply due to their lifestyle. The mindware also grants them special access to a huge reservoir of knowledge, and the ability to talk to others over great distances or even create virtual experiences. Technology repair and religion are two rather more unique, distinctly freespacer traits they might take.
For a little extra flavor, it's worth considering that some may not even speak Trade very well due to years of isolation, instead relying on one of the traditional languages. It's also possible that a cyborg or automata may become obsessed with ancient styles of hand-to-hand combat, despite the modern battlefield being strewn with all sorts of guns and doomsday weapons.
Any further skills obviously depend on their exact occupation and hobbies.
Any tools, weapons, clothing, space suits, musical instruments, jewelry, data storage devices, e.t.c. go here. It could be characterful to think about what they do in their spare time.
Having a voidwalker suit or perhaps a personal shuttle of some variety is probably a good idea.
Freespacers don't start with any money, but you can pick up to 3000 KS worth of stuff in order to represent some cool kit they might have 'borrowed' over the years. It is perfectly acceptable to use restricted technology from other races, so long as it is worth less than this value, and they have lived in that area of the galaxy for a time.
Similar opportunities to nab even more kit will occur during roleplay!
Primitive Polygon created this article on 2017/04/16 08:32. The original, pre-wiki update of the information page is still available here; freespacers_old_version. Special thanks goes to Strangelove and MissingNo for coming up with all of the wonderful original concepts that caused me to fall in love with this race in the first place. It took nearly a year of sitting on this, but I finally decided that a change was needed. I promise I'll do my up most to preserve the spirit, even if I'm leaving some of your more important elements in the background for the sake of remaining untouched… Another round of special thanks also goes to the users Legix and Cordinarr, who provided a great deal of advice and helped me finally get this thing finished!