Galactic History – Pontakus IX

The war for Pontakus IX would shake the Caractacan Brotherhood to its core, and the horrors that happened on that world would have far-reaching consequences in galactic history.

Origins

Pontakus IX was a strange world to begin with.  Orbiting the A-type star Pontakus at five AU, it had no axial tilt at all, resulting in permanent climate zones.  There were those who insisted that life should not have existed on the planet at all, given the radiation levels and the permanent climatic stasis.  And yet it did.  It wasn’t complex, and it was generally tough and poisonous, but it was life.

The colonists who landed there were desperate.  The surviving elites of the Eurasian Cooperation Sphere had fled the Sol system ahead of the vengeance of the Nipponese Resurgence in the east and the Novgorodian Republic in the west.  They had seized one of the earliest Bergenholm-equipped ships and fled the system.  Only a few of them were military personnel, and fewer still were pilots.  They relied on the flight computer for their course, almost to their permanent loss.

By the time they were able to go inert and determine their location, they had fled clear out of the Orion Arm and into the Crux Arm.  Frightened and desperate, they sought out the nearest world they could find with an oxygen atmosphere, which happened to be Pontakus IX.

Faced with the harshness of the environment, the fledgling colony nearly died.  Most of the Eurasians had been bureaucrats or simply political leaders and their families.  They had few useful skills when trying to survive in an environment inimical to human life.  The handful of military leaders took over, and through brutal discipline, managed to stabilize the colony and ensure its survival. Continue reading

Alien Anthropology: The Ekuz

This is the first of a series of posts that will dig deeper into the lore and background, to be later linked to the History and Background pages.  The Alien Anthropology posts will be linked directly to the Alien Races page.

Ekuz History

The ekuz diaspora began about three centuries after the human (by ekuz reckoning; their homeworld’s year is approximately 9,992 hours, as opposed to the 8,766 hours of the Terran standard used by most human historians).   The extent of ekuz worlds is still considerably smaller than the human worlds.  They are thickest through the Norma, Crux, and Carina arms of the galaxy.

According to some ekuz sources (though the veracity and details are in doubt in some circles), the diaspora started due to a looming interplanetary war in the ekuz home system.   (There are hundreds of different names and nearly as many guesses as to the homeworld’s location).  One or more of the factions, rather than risk a cataclysmic war that would have involved both nuclear and asteroid weapons, instead built sublight arks from hollowed-out asteroids and fled the system.  Some ekuz historians suggest that the tensions leading up to the war might even have been due to one or more factions observing the construction of the arks and believing them to be first-strike asteroid weapons.  No one really knows. Continue reading

The Unity Wars Versus The Standard Human Spaceship

STAR WARS introduced a standard of spaceship design.

And it’s a standard that really makes no sense.  The deck plans are parallel to the axis of thrust, leading to airplanes and seagoing ships in space.  Most of it came from a simple “rule of cool.”  George Lucas wanted to replicate old WWII gun camera footage for the trench run, as well as evoke old war movies, most notably The Bridges at Toko-Ri.  It was purely aesthetics.

But over time, it’s become a standard.  Granted, Star Trek does the same thing, I think largely as “Horatio Hornblower In Space.”  (Hornblower was an inspiration for Captain Kirk.)  All of the ships are glorified surface navy cruisers, even if they are styled like airplanes or flying saucers. Continue reading

What’s Wrong With The Clone Wars

 

No, I’m not talking about the cartoon series The Clone Wars.

I watched the Tartovsky cartoon when it came out, but never watched the computer animated movie or series.  No, I’m talking about the concept of the Clone Wars as George Lucas formed it within the prequels.

Someone asked me the other day what itch The Unity Wars will scratch that Star Wars won’t.  So, I’m trying to answer that question.

What is wrong with the Clone Wars?  Well, to start, it helps to go back to pre-2002, and what the Original Trilogy and the Expanded Universe had to say about them.  There wasn’t a lot of detail available, purportedly by design.  (Though that might be open to question.)  But there were hints. Continue reading

What’s This All About?

What is The Unity Wars?

Well, it’s an upcoming series of science fiction adventures.  The best description so far is, “The Clone Wars crossed with The Horus Heresy, with influence from the Lensman series, Hammer’s Slammers, and Farscape.”

Confused yet?  Hopefully also curious and a little excited.

I fiddled around with writing science fiction  for several years before I became an action-adventure writer.  It was mostly Star Wars and Wing Commander flavored at the time.  I’ve always enjoyed science fiction, specifically what can often be described as “space opera,” adventures in deep space and on distant worlds.  And I’ve also always wanted to go back to it.

A few years ago (before Disney Star Wars, which we won’t go into), I got a wild hair and asked myself, “What if the Star Wars prequels were better-written?  What if the Clone Wars were more like what was hinted at in the earlier Expanded Universe?”  I started to scribble some notes, but it was ultimately doomed to go nowhere, since I have no desire to get sued into oblivion by Lucasfilm/Disney.

Then Galaxy’s Edge happened.

If you’re not familiar with Galaxy’s Edge, go take a look at www.galacticoutlaws.com.  Nick Cole has described it as StarWarsNotStarWars.  It uses many of the familiar tropes and technology of the Star Wars universe, but is still it’s own setting, its own story.  It is also awesome.  And so the gears started turning again, and I turned back to “Alt Clone Wars.”

I’ve always enjoyed Star Wars (though largely limited to the original trilogy, the X-Wing games, and a few of the novels, most notably Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn Trilogy).  But some things about it have always bugged me.  Why are all the starships either airplanes in space or naval vessels in space?  Sure, they look cool, but they don’t make much sense in space.  And the less said about the military aspects, the better.  (Clone troopers running at the enemy across open ground, firing from the hip…Bleh.)

Epic Science Fiction

So, I pulled out my old AltStarWars file and started tweaking it.  The end result is the beginnings of what promises to be a sprawling, galaxy-spanning science fiction epic.  There will be several intertwining arcs, aliens, vast fleets and armies, dark conspiracies, and all sorts of space opera goodness.  It’s not Star Wars, or Galaxy’s Edge.  It’s not LensmanThe Unity Wars is entirely its own story, in its own setting, and it will be going places that no one else has gone.

I hope you’ll join me for the ride.