Per Aspera, Ad Astra

A pack of Tiyanki Space Whales travelling outside of the Tiyanki Expanses, towards unknows stars.

Sector A1-0, in the Alpha Quadrant of the Lampshade Galaxy, is a most wondrous place. Crisscrossed by strange and mysterious anomalies and dense nebulae, teeming with sapient life capable of crossing the stars, hundreds if not thousands of sapient species all born inside it’s borders, with even more uncountable numbers of simple sentients. Great nations divide all known space, the reaches of their sovereignty undeniable and often times more ancient than one could fathom. For thousands upon thousands of years, great democracies, empires and the like have conquered the stars, in an ever ending mission to expand their reaches and often times, their power. While wars of untold death and destruction might break out on one side of the Sector, great alliances of peace, prosperity and knowledge may be forged, ushering in ages of light.

A walkway in the middle of the settled areas of a Galactyan Core World.

The Celestial Empire Of Galactya, founded nine thousand and seven hundred years ago from the current year, thrives in the West, controlling the volumes it carved for itself inside it’s exotic and impossibly dense Nebulae. Hundreds of species, all sapient and all citizens, live utopic lives of knowledge, abundance and decadence. With full liberty to rewrite their bodies much further the ancient Darwinian limits of evolution and natural selection, each citizen is able to be whatever they want, whenever they want, however they want. There is no such thing as discrimination or poverty, and crime, while still existing, continues to decline.

However. This is how things are NOW. This, is how things are after more than 96 centuries.

If we were to go back through time, it would be easy to see that things weren’t always like this. The history of the Galactyans is riddled with blood, strife and conflict.

So, let me take you through the ages, from the earliest days of the PreEmergence, to the middle of the two Interstellar Wars, to the present day itself. A journey, that will show you the story of the Galactyans, who, through many adversities, have rose to the stars.


Travel through the Intergalactic Void is not an easy task. Wonder how the Venterran Galaxy is right now… I doubt that anything meaningful remained though. Oh well, there are still two more trillion of them.

Our journey starts millions of years ago. Around 45, to be exact. A ridiculous amount of time, really. As far as I am aware, there is not much going on in this era of the Sector. Some planets have already developed sentient life for a very long time, yes, but the space between the stars is deserted and silent. Even the Venterrans, incredibly ancient by the standards of this Sector, are still in the far depths of Intergalactic Space. Their story is full of strife and suffering as well, but I’m not one who deserves to tell it.

Our attention should go to a relatively earth-sized terrestrial planet in the Center-West of the Sector. The planet, formed around 5 billion years ago, still doesn’t have a name, and it won’t have one for many more millions of years. In modern times, however, this planet is known as Galactya.

Galactya today, as seen from Middle Orbit. The purple that covers it’s surface is a mixed result between the gardens and the ecumenopolis. A true wonder of planetary engineering and architecture, isn’t it?

During it’s existence, the planet went through many radical transformations. As of today, it’s an utopian ecumenopolis whose purple brilliance shines over everything around it. One of the biggest economic and political centers of the Western Sector. The climate and weather, both regulated through artificial methods of advanced terraformation, make it a true paradise.

As you can guess however, things were very different 45 million years ago.

Let’s just say, it was not the most pleasant of environments.

Don’t be too fooled by the blue atmosphere, clouds and green vegetation. Anywhere but the extreme south pole hosts a beautifully comfortable temperature of 50 degrees celsius. Ten more and it would be fatal. Yikes.

At that point in time, for 500 million years the planet had been undergoing a phase of repetitive chaos brought on by various instabilities in the fusion processes and light output of Crus, the bigger star of the star system’s binary.

Phases of extreme heat, in which the deserts covered much of the globe, leaving only the poles habitable. Phases of total frost, in which only the equator held on, overpopulated and stripped of resources. Ages of wind, in which titanic cyclones swept the equator, destroying everything in their path.

This state of instability put an incredible amount of evolutionary stress on basically all the lifeforms of the planet that didn’t live in the far depths of the ocean. Some grew to be bigger, some to be more agile, some became more armored, some became more devious and sneaky, some developed new strategies entirely and some just became more aggressive. It’s not the most complicated or intelligent of evolutionary strategies, but it did work, funnily enough. Sure, a lot of those species did go extinct, but that also happened literally with every other strategy, so one can’t really judge.

However, there was one species that adopted a different strategy.

Evolution made them more intelligent.

The purple savannahs in which the earliest Galactyans became bipedal. As you can see, even after tens of millions of years, their love for purple still remains. It’s such a lovely color.

Like the planet, at this point in time the species yet doesn’t have a true name. I some millions of years it will soon name itself, in an infinite variety of languages. However, their current and probably last name is Galactyans, as you could have guessed. Despite their ability to trace back their origins directly to this primitive version of their species, they have little in common. Millennia of genetic modifications (and outright creation through neogenics) have rendered them completely different from their original selves. Not a single trace of their old DNA is still present, and the only thing they have in common is the helical shape.

For the first time in the planet’s history, a species was observing their surrounding environment and solving problems and challenges with much bigger depth and understanding than simple sentient lifeforms.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not full sapience. They are still not capable of introspection, or deep abstract thinking. Think of it more as a middle point between sentience and sapience. Still an incredible advancement compared to the other Galactyan lifeforms, but not enough to properly protect themselves from the wrath of nature.

For millions and millions of years (around 24, if we want to be exact), the species suffered just as much as any other lifeform on the planet. The competitiveness and aggressiveness of the other species around them was not a new thing. However, their “proto-sapience” made them grew more and more resentful and hateful of anything but themselves. Intraspecies cooperation, an aspect for which the Galactyans still distinguish themselves in the Sector, grew proportionally to their xenophobia.

Galactya did not forgive in it’s early days.

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Now, we take a step forward. More than 21 million years have passed. Many, many species have gone extinct, environments have changed and the continents have shifted considerably due to the heightened seismic activity. And still, the Galactyans survived, refining their intellect, skills and deviousness. Unluckily for us, their hatred grew just as much as their other beautiful qualities.

However, as is expected after so much time, there were some big, big differences from 21 million years ago.

For example, let’s go to one of the southern continents. At this precise moment in time, the planet is in the beginning of one of the Great Storm Ages, with some of the cold of the previous Great Ice Age still lingering on the planet. A great anticylone is currently ravaging the islands of the equator above our continent, with two more on their way in a couple of days.

In a mountain range in the northernmost peninsula, just some dozens of kilometers south of the storm’s edge, a large cave complex overlooks a valley of tall flowering trees. The entrance of the cave has been blocked by a series of stones piled on one another, with a large slab of roughly cut down wood to close it completely. Inside, a small community of Galactyans live.

A cave like this one is a rare find. The entrance is relatively person sized and easy to block out, the insides are not hazardous and relatively spacious, with a ceiling tall enough to be relatively comfortable, but short enough to keep in most of the heat. Deeper down, a large underground sweet water lake rests comfortably above a series of small hydrotermal vents that provide clean water and warm up the rest of the cave.

The community is formed by a couple of small families, thirteen individuals in total, that decided to live together and act as one. The whole continent is brimming with dangerous predators that, while nowhere near as intelligent as they are, are still particularly cunning, intelligent and most of the time, just as deadly.

One parent of each family, either the mother or father, goes out each day to forage and hunt, while the other one cares for the family and crafts new rudimentary items and simple objects from the resources they manage to get. You’d be surprised at how much stuff you could get out of the corpse of a kheriuun! ( for reference, the niche it fills is similar to a terran boar. Sort of ).The children and the two elders help their parents and relatives as well. However, they also do some activities for the whole community that are also valuable.

The elders tell stories and tales of all kinds, either hailing from memories of their past adventures and travels, or from their imaginations. Stories of Jathvan stampedes, Terdiuk ambushes and Qewina migrations. The stories helped the community after days of hard work and suffering. They also gave lots of inspiration to two… special members of the community. Qennit and Pashoin, a potter and a painter.

Such “occupations”, if one can call them that, had become quite respectable between the communities. While the value they brought to a group wasn’t material like a hunter or a gatherer, it was mental. They decorated the caves and other dwellings, helped the mental state of their families and provided comfort to everyone.

In our case, both of them were observing the great storm at starset, watching from above the cave entrance, and getting inspiration from the bolts of lightning and swirling clouds.

“Do you ever think about the lightflashes?”

“Constantly. I think I asked you to paint them on a good chunk of my pots.”

“What do you think they are?”

“Well uh… honestly, I have no idea. Besides, I think only Zaftir saw them close.”

“Grandma Zaftir? Really?”

“Yes. She hasn’t told that story in a long time, but if I remember correctly, it was a long time ago, when she was still little.”

“Woah. That long ago?”

“Pretty much. She and her community were fleeing from one of the western graywood forests when another storm came out of one of the big ones, and started coming towards them.”

“Oh that must have been so scary! Wait, how did they not get sucked in? One of the passing travelers said that basically nothing remains in the northern islands because the storms sucked up everything.”

“Well it was much much weaker. If the big storms were a ramming khatkan, the one grandma Zaftir and her family had to face was like a baby Terdiuk. Still, it made so many flashes that the forests burned for days and nights on end.”

“I see. Did she tell hoe they looked like. I want to paint one on the walls now.”

“She said they looked like the branches of an Igtam tree, made of this incredibly bright light, so bright to blind you for a while, descending from the clouds faster than you can blink. They apparently make your hair go up if they hit closeby.”

“What do you mean… up?”

“Imagine the spines of a korkis. Kind of like that.”

“Woah! I had no idea that could happen! I wish I could experience that.”

“Trust me, you don’t. It’s a very scary experience. But it does make for good stories.”

“I bet they do!”

“Anyways, it’s time to go little guy! Kur and Las are going to start setting soon. We don’t want to be out at night. The terdiuk get particularly hostile when the forest blooms.”

“Those scare me a lot. It’s good that I know how to paint because otherwise I would have to hunt them too.”

“I mean, you could always go gather the berries in the valley close to the moutains.”

“I like that place, but uncle Dayunn says that the patches are getting more and more brown each year. He’s not sure if they will last until I’m old enough to go out.”

“If those bushes die we won’t have enough food to stay here. I like the cave so much, it would be sad to have to go away.”

“Yeah… well, it’s starting to get very cold, can we go inside?”

“Sure. Want a hand getting down?”

“No need, I’m a big girl, I can do it by myself!”

“You sure are. Go in, I’ll close the entrance.”

“I’ll start painting tomorrow morning!”