The Utopia Project
Warm Space, Utopia, The Concordance
Utopia is at once a nation state and an ongoing experiment. Founded in the hopes of establishing an everlasting peace among the human species the Utopia Project has, by its own metrics, been an unmitigated success. Of course, it’s hardly uncommon for outside observers to balk at the sacrifices the Utopians have undertaken to accomplish their eternal peace. Then again whether or not the Utopians have surrendered too much is, in their opinion, a silly question. Is any price too high for peace?
The history of the human species is a history of blood and strife. Or at least, that is what a Utopian would tell you. The Utopia Project may trace its founding to the Solar War, but the movement that spawned it started long before that fateful conflict. The Society for Human Advancement, as it was known, was a social and scientific movement that emerged shortly after the discovery of psi-integrae. These so called ‘Proto-Utopians’ saw the psychic potential of newly discovered organisms as more than a scientific curiosity. Rather, they and their leader Farid Nikbin, saw the potential for both the evolution of the Human species and a chance to achieve a true peace for the first time in Human history.
Farid Nikbin would author several seminal works during his time as a professor on Earth, outlining an ideology that would eventually lead to the foundation of The Utopia Project. He believed that the baser instincts of Humanity, those that drove people to violence, could be eliminated by modifying the Human species so that everyone had some level of psychic ability and connection. At first his ideas were nothing but the chatter of a delusional old academic, but he soon made global headlines by ignoring law and protocol in going ahead with human experiments. Had his work been a total failure he’d have likely been forgotten, doomed to die in prison a disgraced man. It goes without saying that was not the case.
Working in secret Professor Nikbin created the first artificial human psychic. His results were not immediate, after all he had opted to work on embryos implanted into volunteers, but within a few years it was evident to everyone involved that his experiment had been a success. The first child, a boy named Arthur Ueland, soon exhibited ‘unnatural’ abilities shortly after his sixth birthday.
Professor Nikbin verified the boys abilities beyond a shadow of a doubt, and then published the complete results of his work. The global response was mixed, but eventually it became clear that few in positions of authority cared how successful the Professor had been. His experiments had been, undeniably, illegal. Farid Nikbin was tried and convicted to life imprisonment, even as Arthur grew up alongside a number of other psychic children.
The powers that had put away the founder of the Society for Human Advancement could never have predicted the effect of their actions. The Professor’s trial had been in global headlines for weeks, and what was once a group of fringe scientists and idealistic students became a massive international organization. The children that the Professor had created grew up, and all but one went on to join the Society.
It would be three decades after the Professor’s experiment that the Society finally secured the legal standing to continue its work. In that time what was once a primarily scientific organization had grown into an international movement with its own political wing and nearly fifty million members. These early adherents of Farid Nikbin’s philosophy, often called ‘Proto-Utopians’ today, would spearhead the creation and study of Human psychics for over a century.
By the time the Solar War started the Society had grown to a membership of over three hundred million across more than sixty planets. As many as one in three of those members were so called ‘Empaths’ or Psychics whose powers related more to understanding and feeling the emotions of others rather than any explicit abilities. After all, the creation of empaths was the societies ultimate goal. While the United Nations and the Intersystems alliance sported elite units of powerful Psi-Integrae, the Society had no part in their creation or training.
It was this position of complete neutrality that would ultimately destroy the Society. As the war went on members of the Society became increasingly persecuted as the states of the day saw them both as a threat and as an increasingly inhuman presence on their worlds. This persecution culminated in the Eurasian Riots, an event which saw as many as four million Society Empath’s killed in what was a targetted genocide by any other name. The United Nations hadn’t been complicit, at least not officially, but the elimination of a powerful third party that refused to aid in Earth’s war effort was hardly something to focus resources on stopping.
The Eurasian riot started a wave of anti-psychic and anti-society violence across human space. The pacifist ideology of Farid Nikbin failed and millions died, many of whom were all but paralyzed by their attackers rage and hatred. In less than a month the Society announced its official dissolution, but not before funding the evacuation of more than ninety million empaths and former members to an undisclosed location.
That place was the planet Halcyon. A distant Society outpost far beyond Human space Halcyon was the bastion on which the Society had chosen to shield its remaining members. After the survivors of the Psychic Genocide, as they called it, arrived on Halcyon they swore to never permit that level of violence again. From that day forward there would never be a child born who wasn’t an empath. Thus began The Utopia Project.
Isolated from Humanity the Utopians began to experiment and innovate. In their quest to create a society that would never know internal conflict the Utopians began to develop technologies unknown,and perhaps abhorrent, to Humanity. What was once a society of empaths became a society of proper Utopians. Individuals who, fundamentally, were no longer entirely human. What was once a sensitivity to the emotions of others became a subconscious connection to the entirety of the species.
That is not to say the Utopians surrendered their free will, they did not become a Human hive mind, but they did craft something many might saw was far too close to that. The Utopians had created a collective subconscious. Every member of the species came to understand that there was a sort of unspoken ‘compromise’, a general set of principles that all knew, even if they didn’t know how. One could defy the compromise, of course, but doing so would be more than uncomfortable. Emotions of guilt and shame would come unbidden to those who violated what was, in essence, the middle ground of every Utopians beliefs. A legislative branch became unnecessary, as all knew the law.
There were still leaders among the Utopians, of course, but they acted more as agents of the people than as commanding wills. Their opinions mattered no more than anyone else's. The compromise, alongside the empathic nature of the Utopian people, led to what Farid Nikbin had dreamed of. A society at peace.
The Utopians colonized a few other worlds, but by and large they chose to live in as small an area as possible. Deep space habitats became far more common than colony worlds. This was, ultimately, a strategy born out of a desire to minimize conflict with any other species. Especially Humanity. Regardless, the Utopians thrived for generations.
At least, until the Ashtar came. The Utopians, for all they had worked to create their perfect society, had never anticipated an existence like the Ashtar was possible. Almost at once countless minds of an unfathomable scale pressed against the collective subconscious of the Utopian people, and in the span of a day the compromise shifted. The beliefs and opinions of the Utopians were irrelevant, the Ashtar’s psychic presence was too much to be resisted.
Not that some didn’t try. The laws might have changed, but every Utopian knew that they
hadn’t changed them. There was resistance, many tried to ignore the guilt and even the pain as they went against what the Ashtar wanted, but in the end it was futile. None can live a life always feeling like they were wrong, and so in a day the Ashtar had all but brainwashed the Utopians.
What came after that was the same thing that happened everywhere, nothing. The Utopian people lived on, the Project continued, and it seemed like the Utopians peace had merely spread to the galaxy at large. Many, most, felt as if that was a good thing, a great thing. It was what Farid had wanted.
Except, that wasn’t the case. When the Ashtar vanished the Utopians woke from a deep and dreamless sleep, and they felt disgusted. The new compromise was reached almost instantly. The Ashtar hadn’t just enforced peace on the Utopians, they already had peace, the Ashtar had forced themselves on the Utopians. Alien minds, Alien ideals, they had violated every living member of an entire species.
The Utopian species had been raped. Perhaps, given that understanding, it isn’t surprising what happened next. While the rest of the galaxy scrounged whatever Ashtar technology they could find, the Utopians burned it all. The new compromise was simple, the Utopian species wanted revenge and everyone would work to get it. Even if the Ashtar were dead.
Because death wasn’t enough. The Ashtar had to be forgotten, wiped from history. When war overtook the galaxy the Utopians, for the first time in their history, lashed out. They destroyed Ashtar infrastructure across the galaxy, played sides in the great war to do as much damage as possible to their oppressors legacy, and they only stopped when they had no choice.
Detente. The states and species of the Galaxy had, it seemed, had enough of war. That was unfortunate, given how convenient it’d been. So once more the Utopians retreated to Halcyon, but this time they made plans. After all, without the Ashtar the rest of the galaxy was incapable of peace, and it was only a matter of time.
When the last Ashtar revealed their homeworld to the Galaxy the Utopians were delighted. Their revenge could, at last, continue.
Halcyon- Sometimes called the most beautiful planet in the galaxy Halcyon is as much the center of Utopian space as it is the center of Utopian culture and society. Once a rather unremarkable world Halcyon was transformed by the people that settled it. Rather than permitting organic growth the Utopians have ensured that every village, road, city and settlement on the planet has been crafted with the utmost care and consideration. Moreover, such is the extent of the Utopians pride in their capital that artificial geography has replaced much of the planets original surface. Sculpted cliffs, mountains, and artificial ecosystems dominate Halcyon.
The World Plates - The Utopians own few systems, and fewer still with habitable worlds in them. Seeking to avoid confrontation with their neighbours the Utopians have, for centuries, been some of the most prolific users of space habitats. Specifically, what they call World Plates. Vast circular stations orbiting a systems star the World Plates are home to over two thirds of the Utopian population.
Barring tourists and the odd refugee the population of Utopia is almost exclusively Utopian. That is to say, individuals who have been born from artificial wombs and are connected to the collective subconscious. While the vast majority of Utopians appear Human it is not unheard of for there to be cosmetic variations in the population. Sometimes substantial ones.
Utopians have, at various points, been called drones or slaves by outsiders, but nothing could be further from the truth. The very nature of the collective subconscious and the compromise demands individuals constantly seek to influence the nature of their society by voicing their views and demonstrating their creativity. In truth, some might consider Utopian society shocking chaotic. Or, to some species, rather shamelessly exhibionist.
Debate, argument, art, and even intimacy is on display in all places at all times. Some species find the relative openness of the Utopians off putting, but in a society where law is based upon the most deeply held beliefs of the people what other way is there to promote your beliefs? Moreover, such an open society has seen a renaissance of art and culture.
With war a bitter and distant memory, and hatred all but eradicated, the Utopian people turned to other pursuits. Chiefly, they turned to art. It is, perhaps fairly, said that the Utopians are among the most vain individuals in the history of the galaxy. They, as a person, almost universally prize beauty. This manifests in every aspect of Utopian society, from personal appearance to the very structure of every piece of technology the Utopians produce.
In more traditional societies that level of inefficiency would spell disaster, but for the Utopians it’s only natural. What is there to strive towards if not for beauty and the status that comes with it? After all, Utopians do not use money among themselves, nor do they fight. If one seeks to gain the praise of their fellows they often gravitate towards that which all, regardless of species, can admire.
Appearance, as shallow as it may seem, is in the mind of the Utopians a far kinder political currency than money or bullets. Of course, substance is as important as form. Art is excellent, but there is no one standard for beauty. Utopian engineers and scientists often spend ages developing the most efficient and elegant technologies. Utopian cooks labour over creating perfect meals, admittedly an easier task in a society where most can go for weeks without a meal.
All in all, the Utopians prize elegance. Whatever form that comes in.
The Utopian economy is at once extremely simple, and fiendishly complex. As powerful empaths traditional capitalism became impossible for the Utopians. None could stomach the consequences of leaving anyone worse off. Eventually, as more and more traditional labour was delegated to machines, the Utopians developed an informal economy. Every individual would receive as much as they needed for whatever they needed, at least to the extent such expense did not adversely affect anyone elses ability to live happily and with dignity. This resulted in a complicated system of computers processing requests and tracking living conditions across Utopian space, and doling out resources accordingly. Of course some would always want more than others, but the natural tendency of Utopians to share meant that few if any projects were solo affairs. Indeed, most grand projects are undertaken at the behest of vast groups.
Utopia lacks a formal government. The very nature of the collective subconscious and the compromise makes internal, legislative, government irrelevant. Of course, that doesn’t mean there is nothing to be done. The decisions of the compromise have to be acted on, after all. What this usually means is that select individuals, those who enjoy such work and have been judged by many others to be good at it, are given the authority to enact the compromise. Thus there exists an executive branch and a bureaucracy, but one that is there because the rest of Utopian society had judged the individuals in those posts capable.
Synthetic Biology- The cornerstone of the Utopians themselves, not to mention their technology, is Synthetic Biology. The end result of centuries of transhumanist innovation Synthetic Biology is best described as a merger between the technological and the biological. The gradual integration of the mechanical into the living until a point has been reached whereupon one cannot distinguish between what is natural, and what is not. As an example, Utopians grow organometallic bones, have advanced polymer blood vessels carrying blood that is a mixture of nanomachines and nanoparticles, and organs that contain molecules and structures that should be impossible in nature.
These things, as stated, are grown. Utopian DNA is in some ways more like code than it is a molecule. It can be written and read from and is wildly more information dense than normal genetic material. Moreover, it is resistant, though not immune, to ionizing radiation. Utopians are not machines or living beings, they are something that exists beyond those distinctions.
Describe general doctrine, history, whatever floats your space boats.
Your space boats. Include pics or don’t, I’m not your supervisor. You’ll probably want to have one or two of most of the classes, but it doesn’t really matter too much. I’m also including some flavour options here that you might want to consider. In short, the history of the galaxy has divied up ship designs into three waves: Great War (ships built before and during the Great War), Detente (ships built during the Detente, some wonky designs in the larger classes due to treaty limitations), and Modern (ships built in the year since the message) DO NOT put your hyperdread here, it gets its own section.
Dreadnoughts: Only a few were built before the end of the Great War, the destructive potential of these vessels was a major contributor to ending the conflict. Those old ones are pretty obsolete, and any new ones are only just coming into service (mostly in secret) due to the Treaty of Detente banning their construction.
Battleships: The grand old ladies that did all the fighting of the Great War. The Treaty of Detente imposed limitations on their sizes and destructive potential, so if you want to get intricate there’s 3 waves of battleships: Great War, Detente, and Modern. Great War is self explanatory, old sluggers and antiques. Detente battleships were awkward creations involving all kinds of elaborate ways to get around the Treaty without actually violating it. Lots of glass cannon designs here, or iron fortresses that couldn’t scratch eachother’s paint, or half baked experimental weapon systems, or novel propulsion methods that only work if nobody on board sneezes. Modern battleships are just coming into service, and are quite deadly.
Battlecruisers: The treaty of Detent also limited battlecruisers, in an effort to avoid just slightly reducing the size of ship involved in any potential arms race. Similar design iterations to Battleships; Great War, Detente, and Modern. Detente battlecruisers were often cripplingly overspecialized: dedicated point defence ships, artillery vessels, mass shielding vessels, etc. Battlecruiser designs from the Detente period were often put together as a way to shore up the weaknesses of their contemporaneous Battleship partners.
Cruisers: Nothing special here.
Destroyers: Still nothing special.
Corvettes: Corvettes can be thought of in several iterations just kidding I don’t care what you do with these things. Unless you try to just upscale what I’m trying to avoid with strike craft.
Strike craft: K I’m actually gonna sort of limit these things, or rather, the things that carry them around. Strike craft have long been an important part of space combat, so most nations have them and defences against them. Historically, they’ve been used as close in support; no one’s yet figured out how to strap useful FTL drives on the things. All this means that long range strikes aren’t practical. What I’m trying to get at is Carrier’s aren’t really a thing, or at least dedicated carriers aren’t. Plenty of room for Battlestar type things (fighty-boats with a solid complement of strike craft), but no dropping off a carrier squadron on one side of the system then expecting your strikecraft to win the fight on the other side.
A notable exception is your Hyperdread. Do whatever you want with your super special awesome boat.
Outline some doctrine, highlight some major units. I’m not great at doing ground forces so not much guidance here.
Go frikin nuts. Pics are nice.