Region 18, also known as “18th Quadrant” and “The Taurus Region” is one of the regions in the A1-0 sector of the Lampshade Galaxy. Covering an area of approximately 120’000 square light years and 12’000’000 cubic light years, the Region neighbors Ferristia, the Zelvan Regime, the Trecuu Star Empire, the Tiyanki Badlands, the Badlands of Anarchy, and the still unoccupied Region 13.
While many species, intelligent or not, live in it’s stars, Region 18’s main civilization are The Galactyans. Their empire occupies an area of approximately 8500 square light years, inhabiting more than 5000 star systems, as well as some black holes. The species mostly inhabits planets and moons, but stations and outposts have been built on gas giants, in asteroid belts (usually for mining operations) and directly orbiting stars in the void of space. The species has access to Faster Than Light travel, using their equivalent of the Alcubierre Warp Field Drive; it is also capable of other highly advanced feats such as terraformation, orbital bombardment and spacecraft construction. Notably, the technology mostly used by the civilization is Genetic Manipulation, which also plays one of the biggest roles in their culture and society, as well as their history. In fact, genetic manipulation is the first advanced technology discovered by the species, which has been perfecting it and advancing in the field since it’s discovery thousands of years ago. They rank 2.6 on the Kardashev Scale and type II-minus on the Microdimensional Mastery Scale.
A map of region’s 18 cosmological bodies and regions. As can be easily seen in the map, the region is split between two nebulae very active with star formation, which makes it difficult for radio and other communicative electromagnetic ways to traverse them without begin distorted beyond decodification. In the two highlighted portions of the nebulae, are located two massive molecular clouds, in which star formation is so dense that even traversing them without proper maps and systems is extremely dangerous. This is also why other star nations never entered region 18 before, while the Galactyans learned to surf the cosmic waves and star clusters.
Galactya is the homeworld and current interstellar capital of the Galactyans. It is a telluric and tectonic earth-like planet with a dense metal and silicate core that generates its strong magnetosphere, causes the planet’s tectonic activity and protects its oxygen-rich atmosphere. The planet carries out a circumbinary and stable orbit around two coplanar binary stars, an F type star named Crus and an M type star named Lux. The planet completes a full orbit around the two stars every 590 Earth days and a full rotation around its axis every 10 Earth hours. Galactya also has two orbiting moons: the bigger Allunia and the smaller Munos. The two bodies, which together hold a mass of around 1.3 Moon masses, cause the planet’s axis to have an inclination of approximately 28 degrees. Galactya is also notable for it’s highly perturbed atmosphere: in fact, the planet has the strongest winds between the other tellurian planets of the Crus-Lux system, with remarkably large storm formations, much bigger than the ones on Earth. Galactya formed from the rotating disk of protostellar gases and debris formed by Crus and Lux around 6.5 billion years ago, and is the third oldest planetary body in it’s system.
A picture of Galactya and it’s two moons Allunia and Munos in their original state. Now the three bodies are surrounded by large space stations and a big planetary ring structure surrounds Galactya.
HISTORY OF THE EMPIRE
A timeline of the Empire’s history to the modern day.
The Galactyans first left their homeworld around 5970 years ago, and started their first colonization efforts 150 years after that. In just 100 years they built colonies on every planet and moon of their star system, and the first terraforming projects began 120 years after the last moon was colonized. In 500 years, all of their colonies were made habitable, and the first expeditions outside their star system soon started after that. The first colony outside of the Crus-Lux system was founded 5100 years ago on Gwinthera, one of the planets orbiting the star Kaleidia, the closest star to Crus-lux. In the following 700 years, the Galactyans colonized other close star systems (especially thanks to the high star density of region 18), colonizing a total of 17 star systems. Around 4300 years ago, the Galactyans made first contact with another alien civilization, the Melaneans, confirming their belief that other intelligent life existed: despite this, the alien civilization planned to conquer the Galactyan Empire and soon a violent, century-spanning interstellar war broke out between the two species, appropriately called “The First Interstellar War”.
A fleet of Galactyan Orbital Bombardment Craft (GOBC) used during The First Interstellar War. In the picture, the fleets are attacking one of the military colonies near the capital of the Melanean Empire. This model of ship in particular was used for a period between 4800 and 3900 years ago.
The upside of this conflict was the technological boom caused by the efforts of the Galactyans to win the war: during this period, Faster Than Light travel was discovered in the form of a device similar to the Alcubierre Warp Drive, that compressed and expanded space in front of and behind the spacecrafts, allowing them to reach speeds so high that entire lightyears could be traversed in a couple of days. Around 3800 years ago, the two empires realized that the conflict had caused too many casualties and that no winner would ever emerge from the fight: therefore, a peace treaty was formed between the two and in a couple hundred years the two Empires merged peacefully into one. The species soon started to try crossbreeding, which was found to be biologically impossible, but thanks to the advanced genetic manipulation of the Galactyans, the DNA’s and biological structures of the two species was manipulated on a large scale to allow for a safe and effective method of cross-breeding. This event was the main cause of one of the most important Eras of the Galactyan Empire, known as the Era of Genetic Revolution, which is still in full throttle to this day: the Galactyans started to heavily modify their bodies, adding and removing organs, making their bodies fit for all kinds of environments and functions, greatly improving their colonizing potential and resistance to cataclysmic events. Some of their genetic variations were able to resist the crushing gravity and navigate the cataclysmic winds of gas giants, and some were even able to live in the void of space. The Revolution stunted their colonization of outer space for about 900 years, during which they isolated themselves in their systems, terraforming their colonies into environmental utopias and reshaping their bodies beyond recognition.
After this period of isolation, colonization efforts soon started again at a much faster pace than in the past: by remaking their bodies adaptable to even the most extreme environments, the Galactyans colonized more than 1800 stars in 900 years, fully terraforming every moon and planet, cradling their ecosystems and continuing to modify themselves. At this point in time, the Galactyans were already unrecognizable from their old forms, and having fully united with the Melaneans, becoming one species, albeit with hundreds of variations. Around 1870 years ago the Galactyans made yet again contact with another civilization in territories close to the Badlands. This species, known as the u’Lnuib, had similar intentions to those of the Melaneans and in a similar way, the Second Interstellar War started. Much differently than the previous one though, the war wasn’t a nerve-wracking conflict between equals, but a glorious and terrible one-sided massacre: the u’Lnuib, less technologically advanced than the Galactyans, were swiftly conquered in less than 100 years. Luckily, some factions of the u’Lnuib opposed the war from the start, realising that their Empire’s foolish quest for glory was a suicide: to them the Galactyanzs decided to be forgiving, and accepted them in their Empire as equals and allies.To those who instead supported the war and resisted strenuously, the Galactyans spared a much worse fate: genetically reshaped beyond recognition, their bodies now only able to survive in environments devoid of gravity, they were enslaved to work in asteroid belts to mine materials for Galactya’s colonization efforts. In 500 years though, the Galactyans decided that the u’Lnuib suffered long enough, and accepted them as citizens. To make up for their ways, they built large gravity free environments in asteroid belts, which became the floating utopias of the neo-citizens.The Galactyans then continued their expansion, colonizing another 960 stars in the next 400 years, contacting new civilizations and unifying them as their equals. In the next 150 years the Galactyans colonized another 240 stars, now covering the majority of Region 18. Around 1220 years ago, a series of supernovae in a particularly dense region of the Altay Cygnus nebula caused a chain reaction that led to a short-lived but very heavy period of bombardment that hit around a fourth of the Galactyan colonies: while a lot of the colonies managed to contain the damaged caused by the supernovae, some weren’t able to prepare contingency measures and suffered heavy damage: this stunted their expansion for about 1100 years, as all their resources went to aiding the damaged colonies and protecting other ones from further damage.
One of the colonies that was hit during the bombardment period. This colony in particular orbits a star at the edge of the Altay Cygnus Nebula, making it one of the first ones to be hit by the showers of asteroids. The fragments that hit the planet in this picture came from a celestial body the size of Mars that passed near this colony. While normally too little to cause any damage on the surface, the intense radiation from the supernovae stripped the planet of it’s ozone layers and of a good percentage of it’s upper atmosphere. It will take months if not years to fully repair and re-stabilize the planet.
During this period a swarm of planets hit 50 different colonies, menacing their orbital balance and almost crashing into the colonies. 120 years ago the bombardment period stopped and the Galactyans were able to start their expansion projects again: before sending various fleets to colonize other stars, they detected signals from outside Region 18, coming from an other advanced stellar empire, seemingly advanced to their technological level.
TECHNOLOGIES AND WEAPONS
During their millennium long journey to conquer the stars, the Galactyans developed many impressive (and often times unique) technologies. From warp drives and terraforming stations to bio-mechanical weapons and the ability to create intelligent life, the technological menagerie of the Galactyans knows no limits.
The Galactyan Empire collects resources for terraforming other colonies and building orbital stations, warp ships, military vessels and building projects of various nature. Resources are mostly collected from asteroid belts and gas and ice giants, but planets deemed uncolonizable (due to being too close or too far to their mother star for terraformation to be somewhat effective) are also used. Gases are collected from giant planets with low orbit Galactyan collectors: these stations collect and process hydrogen and helium (or other gases) from the upper atmosphere of the planet for extraction and sustenance: 10% of the collected gases are burned explosively in fusion reactors to power the stations, to then be re-expelled in a single jet of high-velocity incandescent matter to keep them in orbit. The other 90% is transferred to the Empireal Freight Network and is used to power terraformation and building projects. Asteroid mining is insted exclusively done by the u’Lnuib, that after being recognized as Galactyan citizens, now live and work in much more comfortable environments and with more ergonomic machinery, now being highly paid for their jobs. The machines mostly used for mining asteroids are Ring Miners, large ring shaped complexes that are automatically built around larger asteroids, with long conduits that descend deep into the bodie’s core, mining it from the inside out. Ring Miners also serve as waystations for smaller drones that mine smaller astroids, which exit from special “nesting” vents in a swarm-like array. Large mining operations on uncolonizable planets are instead carried out by large machine complexes called Net Excavators that progressively build metallic “nets” that cover the surface and slowly mine it. They are also often outfitted with atmospheric aspirators that deplete a planet of it’s atmosphere for it to be used as terraformation and fuel materials.
An Orbital Collector collecting hydrogen in the upper atmosphere of a reddish gas giant. Between the dense clouds, the vacuum and expulsion jet can bee seen under the station.
A Ring Miner built around a large asteroid with a 15 km radius. Notice the smaller transportation shuttle about to enter the central vault to collect some of the mined resources.
Two Net Miners on a barren colony. The orange one is outfitted with an atmospheric aspirator, while the blue one possesses high-precision manipulators used for volatile materials.
A 23 kilometers wide Galactyan Space Station in orbit around a Galactyan Colony. While these structures are common across the Galaxy, most of large sized Galactyan stations also contain complete micro-ecosystems with their own atmosphere. In the station captured in the photo, the ecosystem is contained in the central oval bulge and is completely closed off due to the high activity of this colony’s mother star. Other stations that instead orbit lower activity stars have large reinforced windows looking on outer space for sunlight and ring like structures.
In an interstellar empire spanning hundreds of light years, a fast and reliable transportation system is key to success. Whether it’s for moving materials, transporting citizens, protecting the Empire or exploring the Sector, Galactyans have invented an array of efficient and reliable vessels.
Two Shuttle Elevators (up-left corner and center of the image) and a city Space Port with a large docking complex above the atmosphere (down-right corner of the image) on a Galactyan Colony.
When travelling between planets, ships depart from and arrive to the colonies’ Space Ports, large structures that tower over the atmosphere to make the departure easier. Maintenance vessels instead use Shuttle Elevators, considerably thinner but just as tall structures that elevate them above the atmosphere to avoid atmospheric friction. Space Elevators and Space Ports are built after completely terraforming a planet, while Space Thethers are used during the process to save resources or if a planet’s gravity is too intense for the construction of other kinds of structures.
Two gigantic Warp Ships landing on a Galactyan colony. As big as the city of Paris, they are both carrying over 20 million citizens. Notice the long arms descending from their underside used to dock on Space Ports and unload the passengers.
Interstellar travel of any kind is completely carried out by Warp Ships, spacecraft capable of travelling at Faster Than Light speeds. All Warp Ships are outfitted with a Warp Drive, a complicated system that uses antimatter and mater collisions to create a small singularity, which compresses the space in front of the ship and dilates it behind it, allowing the space the ship is in itself to move faster than light, therefore not breaking any laws of physics. Warp Ships are able to cross many light years in less than a day, and depending on their function and required task their average and maximum speed can vary wildly. Warp Ships are used to move freight, to transport citizens from one system to the other either as regular travel or as colony-wide mass migrations (as the ones seen in the photo above) ordered by the Empire, to explore the Region and the rest of the sector and to protect the Empire’s borders.
On Galactyan colonies, surface travel is instead carried out by a large array of vehicles, like hyper-fast maglev trains that travel on thousand kilometers long magnetic tracks, communal capsules similar to buses that travel inside and outside of cities following glowing tracks, and STL shuttles that fly from one continent to the other.
A maglev train travelling on one of it’s tracks inside a Galactyan city. With three floors, two for passengers and one for the crew, this vehicle is capable of carrying hundreds of people in it’s comfortable cabins.
A key component of Galactya’s conquest of the Region was terraformation, the process of making or adapting uninhabitable planets and moons habitable for a species, allowing them to live on it. In the Galactyans’ case, their planets all have plenty of water, average temperatures of 25 °C and atmospheres rich of oxygen (between 25 to 27 % of the atmosphere’s total mass). Galactyans use many machines and even other life forms to terraform the colonies, reshaping their surface and their atmospheres.
Three atmospheric generators creating enormous amounts of nitrogen and other gases. Notice the ring-shaped arrays of spherical and rectangular containers around the main body of the generators.
Atmospheric generators are 15 kilometers tall structures that float over a colonies surface, generating atmospheric gases like nitrogen, argon, methane and carbon dioxide. To do this, they combine gigantic amounts of materials in large containers that then create the gases through chemical reactions. The gases are then pumped out at high speeds from large vents under the Atmospheric Generators. The materials needed for the chemical reactions are refueled every three hours by drones remotely operated by Orbital Stations.
An image of Cyanobacteria (on the left) and Azotobacters (on the right).
Despite their incredibly advanced technology, Galactyans have and still use other microscopic lifeforms in the first phases of terraformation. The most used kinds are Cyanobacteria and Azotobacters; Cyanobacteria convert starlight into oxygen through photosynthesis, while Azotobacters use atmospheric nitrogen to convert it into ammonium ions that fertilize the soil, making it suitable for plantlife. A lot of the times the bacteria won’t be able to survive due to the planet’s initial conditions, so they will usually be genetically modified into more suitable forms.
An image showcasing the difference of the planet Etheras-12 before and after the colonization and terraformation efforts of the Galactyans. Originally Etheras-12 was devoid of an atmosphere and had maximum temperatures of 250°C and minimum of -130°C. After terraformation, instead, Etheras-12 now possesses an oxygen-rich atmosphere, mite temperatures, extensive grasslands, rainforests and seasons, which were stabilized thanks to an artificial moon placed in orbit around the planet.
SPECIES AND SUB-SPECIES
Portrait depicting a female member of the Megalosanthroposians sub-species, descendants of a rogue human colony that unified with Galactya 500 years ago.