Birth of an Idea: Seedlings

alien-worldHey all! Hope this holidays season finds you warm, cozy, and surrounded by loved ones. And I thought I might take this opportunity to talk about an idea I’ve been working on. While I’m still searching for a proper title, the one I’ve got right now is Seedlings. This represents an idea which has been germinated in my mind for some time, ever since I saw a comprehensive map of the Solar System and learned just how many potentially habitable worlds there are out there.

Whenever we talk of colonization, planting the seed (you see where the title comes from now, yes?) of humanity on distant worlds, we tend to think of exoplanets. In other words, we generally predict that humanity will live on worlds beyond our Solar System, if and when such things ever become reality. Sure, allowances are made for Mars, and maybe Ganymede, in these scenarios, but we don’t seem to think of all the other moons we have in our Solar System.

solar_systemFor instance, did you know that in addition to our system’s 11 planets and planetoids, there are 166 moons in our Solar System, the majority of which (66) orbit Jupiter? And granted, while many are tiny little balls of rock that few people would ever want to live on, by my count, that still leaves 12 candidates for living. Especially when you consider that most have their own sources of water, even if it is in solid form.

And that’s where I began with the premise for Seedlings. The way I see it, in the distant future, humanity would expand to fill every corner of the Solar System before moving on to other stars. And in true human fashion, we would become divided along various geographic and ideological lines. In my story, its people’s attitudes towards technology that are central to this divide, with people falling into either the Seedling or Chartrist category.

nanomachineryThe Seedlings inhabit the Inner Solar System and are dedicated to embracing the accelerating nature of technology. As experts in nanotech and biotech, they establish new colonies by planting Seeds, tiny cultures of microscopic, programmed bacteria that convert the landscape into whatever they wish. Having converted Venus, Mars, and the Jovian satellites into livable worlds, they now enjoy an extremely advanced and high standard of living.

The Chartrists, on the other hand, are people committed to limiting the invasive and prescriptive nature technology has over our lives. They were formed at some point in the 21st century, when the Technological Singularity loomed, and signed a Charter whereby they swore not to embrace augmentation and nanotechnology beyond a certain point. While still technically advanced, they are limited compared to their Seedling cousins.

terraforming-mars2With life on Earth, Mars and Venus (colonized at this time) becoming increasingly complicated, the Chartrists began colonizing in the outer Solar System. Though they colonized around Jupiter, the Jovians eventualy became Seedling territory, leaving just the Saturnalian and Uranian moons for the Chartrists to colonize, with a small string of neutral planets lying in between.

While no open conflicts have ever taken place between the two sides, a sort of detente has settled in after many generations. The Solar System is now glutted by humans, and new frontiers are needed for expansion. Whereas the Seedlings have been sending missions to all suns within 20 light-years from Sol, many are looking to the Outer Solar System as a possible venue for expansion.

exoplanets1At the same time, the Chartrists see the Seedling expansion as a terrible threat to their ongoing way of life, and some are planning for an eventual conflict. How will this all play out? Well, I can tell you it will involve a lot of action and some serious social commentary! Anyway, here is the breakdown of the Solar Colonies, who owns them, and what they are dedicated to:

Inner Solar Colonies:
The home of the Seedlings, the most advanced and heavily populated worlds in the Solar System. Life here is characterized by rapid progress and augmentation through nanotechnology and biotechnology. Socially, they are ruled by a system of distributed power, or democratic anarchy, where all citizens are merged into the decision making process through neural networking.

Mercury: source of energy for the entire inner solar system
Venus: major agricultural center, leader in biomaterial construction
Earth: birthplace of humanity, administrative center
Mars: major population center, transit hub between inner colonies and Middle worlds

Middle Worlds:
A loose organization of worlds beyond Mars, including the Jovian and Saturnalian satellites. Those closest to the Sun are affiliated with the Seedlings, the outer ones the Chartrists, and with some undeclared in the middle. Life on these worlds is mixed, with the Jovian satellites boasting advanced technology, augmentation, and major industries supplying the Inner Colonies. The Saturnalian worlds are divided, with the neutral planets boasting a high level of technical advancement and servicing people on all sides. The two Chartrist moons are characterized by more traditional settlements, with thriving industry and a commitment to simpler living.

Ceres: commercial nexus of the Asteroid Belt, source of materials for solar system (S)
Europa: oceanic planet, major resort and luxury living locale (S)
Ganymede: terraforming operation, agricultural world (S)
Io: major source of energy for the Middle World (N)
Calisto: mining operations, ice, water, minerals (N)
Titan: major population center, transit point to inner colonies (N)
Tethys: oceanic world, shallow seas, major tourist destination (N)
Dione: major mining colony to outer colonies (C)
Rhea: agricultural center for outer colonies (C)

Outer Solar Colonies:
The Neptunian moons of the outer Solar System are exclusively populated by Chartrist populations, people committed to a simpler way of life and dedicated to ensuring that augmentation and rapid progress are limited. Settlements on these worlds boast a fair degree of technical advancement, but are significantly outmatched by the Seedlings. They also boast a fair degree of industry and remain tied to the Inner and Middle Worlds through the export of raw materials and the import of technical devices.

Miranda: small ice planet, source of water (C)
Ariel: agricultural world, small biomaterial industry and carbon manufacturing (C)
Umbriel: agricultural world, small biomaterial industry and carbon manufacturing (C)
Titania: agricultural world, small biomaterial industry and carbon manufacturing (C)
Oberon: agricultural world, small biomaterial industry and carbon manufacturing (C)
Triton: source of elemental nitrogen, water, chaotic landscape (C)

Worlds of the Legacies Universe

The chief colony world of the Altair system, located 16.73 light years away from Sol. Colonized in 2205, this colony was named in honor of its founders greatest hero, Saint Thomas Aquinas. After a century of growth, this colony grew to become a major trading hub and tourist draw, due in large part to its vast oceanfront vistas and fertile stretches of land.

Because of its location relative to Sol, Aquinas is also a gateway to many inner colony worlds and trade routes. As a result, its capital of Roccasecca and its moons of Lucca and New Venice are major hubs, with large spaceports, extensive shipping facilities and a large service industry. However, this does not alter the overall feel of the colony, which observers describe as “kindly”, “tolerant” and “reverential”.

However, its main attraction is known as the Council of Altair, an interstellar organization dedicated to the exchange of spiritual and religious ideas. Established in 2267, this establishment became a meeting place for representatives of every faith to commune with each other and send their messages into deep space.  In time, the institute even drafted a declaration of principles, known as “Transcendental Philosophy”, which it hoped would form the basis of a universal religion.

The colony world of Alpha/Beta Centauri, and one of the largest population centers outside of Sol. Beginning in 2165, almost thirty years after the development of FTL, the colony was the first to be settled using advanced terraforming technology. In keeping with its classical theme, most major cities are named in honor of Greek mythology and history – such as the capital city of Piraeus and the colony moons of Mycenae and Ilium.

This is further demonstrated in the cities’ architecture, all major buildings having been designed in a neo-classical, contemporary motif. Though there are numerous underdeveloped regions that are considered eyesores by comparison, the inner regions of every major city are renowned for their appealing sense of aesthetics.

Attica has been the center of some controversy over the years. Within a generation of the first settlers arriving, stories began to circulate about the formation of a new religious sect. These believers claimed that artifacts which proved that Jesus had arrived and died on Attica were found in the mountain chain just outside of Piraeus. Investigations were mounted by the Vatican and other religious authorities, but the results were declared fraudulent and the matter dropped.

Nevertheless, this new breed of worship began to spread amongst the original colonists and gave rise to the Colonial Mennonite culture. Their impenetrable belief structure often proved to be a cultural barrier as new waves of colonists arrived and attempts at achieving consensus and conformity faltered. In time, this gave rise to the first of several conflicts which would later be known as the “Sectarian Wars”. On Attica, this involved the militarization of Mennonite settlements after a series of incidents were perpetrated against them by neighboring factions.

After years of conflict and escalation between rival militias and government forces, the TDF was eventually called in to put and end to the dispute. This and the nature of the conflict left deep scars on Attican society, especially between the major cities and the outlying settlements where the population remains largely Mennonite. Regardless, Attica remains the spiritual home of the Mennonite population and its beliefs attained recognition under interstellar law.

In addition, this world was also the sight of what would appropriately be named the “Attican Incident” by historians. This took place on the night of April 23rd, 2278, standard calendar, when a paramilitary group attacked the gubernatorial palace in Piraeus, killing dozens of civil service workers, guards and even Governor Kirin himself who was working late into the night. In response, TDF forces were dispatched to the system to dispatch this paramilitary group and restore order.

But of course, the local population did not respond well to the occupation, largely because many suspected the incident had been perpetrated by Earth itself to crush the independence movement which had been mobilizing in recent years. Due to ongoing tensions between TDF forces and the local, martial law was never rescinded and the occupying forces were not withdrawn.

These  events touched off many more “incidents’ that eventually culminated in the Terran Civil War. It would take roughly twenty years for the occupation to end, by which time forces loyal to the Alliance entered the system and dispatched the TDF forces. Governor Namguhng, an Earth appointee, was quick to welcome the Alliance as liberators. Thereafter, he made several positive moves which would see Attica integrated into the new interstellar government as a fully-represented member.

As one of two colony worlds in the Arcturus system, Haphaestus is renowned for being the industrial capital of the inner colonies and a haven for tourists looking to spend their hard earned credits. At least that’s the official story. Unofficially, Hephaestus is notorious for its high level of organized crime, its lucrative drug trade, and for being the murder capital of the quadrant, rivaled only by Rostov.

But of course, much of these seedier aspects of the planet are confined to the inner regions of New Detroit. And in all fairness, the capitol itself is a major center for technological innovation, trade, culture and the arts. In addition to its many public theaters, festivals and performing arts centers, it is also home to the Interstellar Museum of Colonization, an institution dedicated to the preservation of historical artifacts and from three centuries of space travel and settlement.

The planet’s industrial capacities also extend into orbit. The Chimaeras Installation, one of the few major space installations in the quadrant, resides here. Not far from Chimaeras is the Aberdeen Shipyards, a major ship-building facility that sits in a wider orbit and its defended by  many remote platforms. Between these TDF assets and the planet, there is a veritable cloud of service platforms and stations as well as countless  communications and navigation satellites.

Hephaestus is also home to the Akuma, one of the most brutal and ruthless crime syndicates in the known universe. Garnering its power from the sale and transport of illegal narcotics, particularly Shine and various psychotropic substances, the Akuma has insinuated itself into just about every aspect of Hephaestus’ society. This reach extends beyond this system, reaching even into worlds nominally controlled by other syndicates.

Hephaestus is orbited by two moon colonies, New Luzon and Gloucester, both of which are major shipping hubs, a stopover for travelers, and even high-end real estate for Hephaestus’ elite. Gloucester is a particularly popular destination for those with money who are seeking an off-world place to relax. Literally all members of Hephaestus upper crust have property on this moon, including many of its mayors and council members. While New Luzon also remains a popular destination, its terrestrial domes are dedicated more towards family-friendly tourism, which stands in distinction to the kinds of entertainment people can get planetside!

The sixth planet of the Sirius binary star system, located approximately 8.6 light years away from Sol. Settled in 2182, the planet was quickly terraformed due to the presence of rich nitrogen soils and a relatively breathable atmosphere. In time, it became the known universe’s largest agricultural colony and even expanded to become the largest population center outside of Sol.

Settled predominantly by West and Central Asian families, the planet was named Khalafa in honor of the majority Sunni population. Though it has become an incredibly diverse colony in terms of its demographics, nationalities and faiths, the overall character of the planet has remained largely consistent. In terms of its art, architecture, and culture, Khalafa is a beacon of Islamic culture combined with modern technology.

In orbit around Khalafa rest the two colonies of Akheton and Memphis, which in turn are home to much of the planet’s heavy industry and mining operations. Regularly, drone ships coming to and from the system’s asteroid belt travel to these moons to dump ore for processing.

The system is also home to the Trinity Installation, one of the largest and most important installations in all of known space. It was here that representatives from every colonized system met after the end of the Civil War to draft the Interstellar Terran Alliance into existence. It is neighbored by the Riga Shipyards, one of the largest ship-building assets in Terran space.

The fifth planet of the 61 Cygni binary system, this jungle world was colonized in 2191, and quickly gave rise to one of the most successful social experiments in human history. Settled in large part by a select group of artists, scientists and intelligentsia, the world quickly earned the name Logos because of its commitment to learning and the empirical tradition.

This commitment only grew as time went on and the colony attracted more and more settlers, eventually achieving its truest expression with the creation of the Academician Institute of Higher Thought (aka. The Academy) in 2201. Initially an institute for higher education, it soon expanded to include elementary and early childhood development too. These programs were augmented thanks to the advent of cybernetic technology and virtual interfacing.

A further indication of the Logosian commitment to learning is reflected in the name of the planet’s capital, Alma Mater. Other major cities include New Oxford, Takshashila, Nalanda, al-Azar, Alexandria, and Niẓāmiyyah, all named in honor of centers of higher learning from various respective cultures, which also reflects the planets demographic diversity. And while each city has its own educational facilities, each maintains a chapter associated with the Academy in Alma Mater.

Through its extensive education programs and research facilities, The Academy went on to produce some of the greatest minds the universe ever knew, not to mention many technologies. Academy officials were also wise enough to ensure that every technology, process, or innovation to come out of their facilities was patented and licensed to ensure them a steady stream of profits. It is widely rumored that the Logos is able to sustain itself on this source of revenue alone.

Chief colony of the Vega system, located on the eight planet, roughly 25 light years from Sol. Settled in 2183 by a largely Shia population from Central Asia, the planet was named in honor of the ancient Persian capital. Though much of the planet is dry and inhospitable, the planets exposure to solar radiation and vast supplies of aquifers made it a prime location for large scale hydroponics operations. In time, this drew a significant number of settlers to the planet, who were also able to turn their talents to small-scale terraforming.

Within a few generations, Pasaragad began to boast natural forests and lakes. Underground sources of water were also liberated to create large-scale bodies of water which further served agricultural operations. As a result, Pasaragad became a major producer of off-world delicacies such as dates, citrus fruits,palm oil, palm sugar, saffron, and other assorted fruits and spices. It’s strategic location close to Sol also made it a major trading hub once colonization efforts expanded beyond the inner worlds.

Pasaragad has also been the source of a great deal of controversy over the years. For example, a short-lived conflict between the settlers and the colonial government took place in 2223. This incident was the first in a series that would later come to be known as the “Sectarian Wars”, and proved to be one of the most bloody. It began after a self-declared prophet named Azan declared that the colonial government was a group of pretenders who were running the colony through graft and corruption. After his arrest by authorities, clashes began between his supporters and security forces, culminating in the intervention of the TDF.

The arrival of Terran Marines led to a short-lived peace, but soon, fighting was underway again as the occupation forces found themselves becoming the new target of Azan’s condemnation and his supporters anger. Not wanting the situation to spiral out of control, the Terran government arrived at a compromise with the settlers. In exchange for the removal of the current administration and several reforms, most of which were in tune with Azan’s religiously-inspired demands, the matter was settled and all TDF forces removed. Azan went on to become a prophet to the people of Pasaragad, the city of Azanabad being built in in his honor shortly after his death. Later generations would also call him the “Fourth Prophet”, claiming he had led a reinterpretation of Islam for the age of colonization.

During the Civil War, Pasaragad would also be a major hotspot for resistance and TDF forces. After the Attican incident led to the imposition of martial law on that planet, the people of Vega began to stage widespread protests against Terran authority. With the escalation of tensions in other systems, the TDF was dispatched here as well to keep the peace, but instead became embroiled in war. For years, resistance forces on Pasaragad and the moon colony of Kurosh were engaged in a series of back and forth with local forces. The situation became extremely bloody and led to widespread death and crimes committed by both sides.

This led to the rise of many popular sayings and quips. For example, after the Civil War period, the word Vegan was often associated with fanaticism or extreme dedication, “crazy like a Vegan” being the popular usage. It was also widely rumored that during the war, officers would threaten to send unruly or insubordinate soldiers to Vega as punishment. The heat, hatred of the locals, and likelihood of being shot at was usually enough to put anybody in line!

It was perhaps for this reason, or just in keeping with the fierce spirit of independence on the Vegan people, that it became the focal point for the independence movement once the war was over. Contrary to the Alliance’s platform of a better arrangement between Earth and its colonies, this movement demanded that all colonies be entitled to independence now and forever. Luckily, Alliance leader Jessica Freidman was able to win over the leader of the independence movement – Lev Parva – by insisting he form the opposition party in the first Alliance cabinet.

The seventh planet and second colony world of the 61 Cygni binary system. Named in honor of its cool climate, thriving industrial base, and predominantly Eastern EU population, the planet was named Rostov. And much like other industrial centers – i.e. Hephaestus – it has a reputation for many things, both positive and negative.

On the plus side, Rostov has been a major manufacturing center for the centuries, the home of the labor movement for the sector, and the source of many key technological innovations, often working in collaboration with Logosian scientists. On the minus side, it has also been the home of ruthless crime syndicates (the foremost being the Sadruzhestva and Lumbre cartels), labor disputes, drugs, and violent crime.

And yet, despite its reputation for hard living, the Rostovian people are amongst the most proud and nostalgic people in the known universe. Apparently, it is this very essence of hard life that makes them feel proud to be where they are from. The logic being that if life were easy on their world, anyone could live there.

And of course there are several features about this planet that deserve mention. It’s rugged landscapes remain some of the most beautiful and inspiring in the galaxy. It’s capital of New Petrograd contains some of the most beautiful architecture in the quadrant. And it’s artistic and literary scene remains one of the most inspired. In short, Rostov may be a cold and ruthless world, but its inhabitants have found ways to turn that to their advantage.

And that’s my universe, in a nutshell. Hope you enj0yed the little tour, because most of it remains relatively undeveloped in terms of putting it into book form. I intend to remedy that, in time, which seems to be the one thing I don’t have enough of! But there’s only so many hours in the day right, and right now I got multiple projects vying for my attention. More to follow from this and other universe. See you soon!

My Sci-Fi Drugs!

Hey all, again! Last time I talked about drugs and sci-fi, I mentioned all the examples I could draw from classic science fiction franchises. Today I thought I’d share the one’s I came up with myself, which were partially inspired by some of the examples I mentioned. They all come from the same place, known as the Legacies universe. This is the setting of my short stories, Eyes in the Dark, Flights of the Icarus, Turncoats and Vega Rising. I’ve listed them based on where they emerged in the course of the expanded storyline. Here they are:

Adapted from THC and multiple strains of genetically modified cannabis, Tar is the street name for a form of superhash that grew in popularity during the 21st century. Widely used as an inhalant, usually with the help of a vaporizer, it can also be consumed in solid or liquid form.

With the development of stronger and more effective synthetics, the use of Tar and other cannabis drugs diminished by the late 21st century. However, the drug remained in use well into the late 22nd century and was even a source of income for remote agricultural colonies.

Though it never constitutes more than a small portion of the interstellar drug trade, Tar remains a controlled substance on many worlds. However, authorities have often been known to turn a blind eye when it comes to enforcement. In some port cities, it is even legal and distributed by licensed authorities, often in the same places where one can purchase Tröpic (see below).

By the mid-21st century, deep-space mining operations and off-world colonization began in earnest As a result, private and governmental aeronautics agencies began collaborating on a drug that would ensure their pilots would stayed sharp at the helm and passengers could be brought out of cryosleep and assume their duties without a lengthy recovery period.

Thus the designer drug EBME (endormorphinbenzoylmethylecgonine)was created, aka. “Shine”. Chemically engineered to be a stimulant devoid of side effects, with the exception of a mild euphoric state, the drug became widely used by miners, spacers, and those forced to enter into cryosleep for long journeys through space.

However, it did not take long for long-term effects, such as growing dependency, mood swings, hallucinations and even psychosis to become evident. In controlled use, Shine was a relatively harmless drug with obvious benefits and a low likelihood of chemical dependency. Unfortunately, the psychological addiction factor was underestimated and non-commercial (i.e. recreational) use became widespread.

By 2137, the development of the FTL subspace drive system meant that Shine was no longer needed for as cryosleep slowly became obsolete. Thus the UNE officially made Shine illegal on Earth, while colonial administrations, under the Directorate’s power, were slower to respond. It was felt that with the lives of colonists, often marked by hardship and tough conditions, required a little “chemical cheer” to keep things running smoothly.

It was not until the late 22nd century that Shine was officially banned in every corner of the known universe. It remains a popular black market item on every colonized world and the distribution of it is usually handled by one syndicate or another. The most notable of these are the Akuma, the Sadruzhestva, the Lumbre and the Shé, who are responsible for the distribution of this and other drugs on the inner colonies.

In all times, a little departure from reality is always sought after. And if that departure should take you to a place renowned for its bright colors and ecstatic feel, so much the better! That was the idea behind MDD (methylenedioxydiethylamide), otherwise known as Tröpic. Although it is unclear how and where it first appeared, this powerful hallucinogen was in widespread use by the late 21st, early 22nd century.

Initially, its use was confined to Earth to the Solar colonies, where bohemian art cultures and psychedelic music gave rise to Tröpic clubs. In time, the practice of combining this drug with the music scene, specifically music geared to stimulate users (known as trope), became widespread throughout the inner colonies. However, within the outer colonies, where conditions are harder and there is less of an “artistic scene” to speak of, it is considered somewhat pretentious!

The development of cybernetics as a commercially-available option also led the emergence of new drugs. In this case, it was the medicinal narcotic known as Enkavelazepam, a drug designed for the maintenance and regeneration of nerve tissue after cybernetic surgery. Patented for use on many worlds, this drug was also known by the trade names shinkei, koltaziz and nevrikon, and the street name Sharp.

Though it was never officially banned, recreational use of the drug is considered a crime on all colony worlds, particularly when used in conjunction with Pump or Juice to achieve performance enhancing effects. In addition, it would often be used on its own by mercenaries, enforcers and anyone who’s livelihood depended on sharp reflexes and fast reactions.

Here we have another example of a drug that began as a legal substance designed to combat the effects of deep space travel. During the 21st and much of the 22nd century, spacers were forced to travel for extended periods of time in low-gravity of zero-gravity environments. Even with the invention of the subspace engine in 2137, artificial gravity was not an option until several decades later.

As a result, Luyten corporation, a shipping magnate, mandated the use of Hydorzene, a synthetic steroid that promoted muscle growth and bone density. Going by its street name “Pump”, the drug began a wide system of black market distribution, being used by everyone from professional athletes to bodyguards and hired muscle.

Paired with other enhancing substances, such as Sharp and Juice, the term “Juicer” emerged to describe anyone who underwent artificial muscle enhancement.

Much like Pump, Juice was a synthetic steroid and growth hormone that was developed for commercial use. However, in this case, the developer was the TDF (Terran Defense Forces) who developed it give their soldiers the ability to carry heavy weapons and equipment, as well as the ability to function in high-gravity environments.

Naturally, this drug was also made available alongside Pump for civilian use, particularly among planetary miners. Much like military personnel, these were people for whom added strength and the ability to withstand gravity in excess of 1 g was not only desirable but necessary to survive.

Use of the drug was short-lived however, as lightweight nanomaterials and the development of mechs and exoskeletons eliminated the need for augmented strength. But once again, the black market was quick to pick up the slack and ensure that the drug maintained production and was available to all those willing to use it.

By the early 22nd century, the popularity of Tröpic led to the development of even more powerful psychotropics. One such development was known as Oblivion, a Hermian invention which was apparently designed in a chemical engineers own home, presumably in an attempt to attract the attention of the Akuma.

Named in honor of its chief effect, helping its users to achieve oblivion, this inhalant became all the rage amongst connoisseurs and the underclass alike. Reported users quickly became addicted due to the drugs tendency to induce powerful visions, usually of transcendent phenomena or death. It is for this reason that Oblivion has been reported as being used as part of religious ceremonies within several cults and sub-sects as well.

Aside from its addictive nature, side effects include a diminished ability to distinguish reality from fantasy, waking visions, psychosis, and delusions of a messianic nature. It is also for this reason why Oblivion remains a banned substance on all colonized worlds, and the manufacture and distribution of it remain a bone of contention between the Akuma and Sadruzhestva cartels.

Last, but certainly not least, we have the pharmaceutical drug known as Neurozene. Known by its street name “Blinding Light”, this painkilling neurostimulant saw widespread use after it was invented during the early-mid 22nd century. Originally developed as a surgical painkiller, neurozene was different from hydromorphone or diacetylmorphine in that it blocked pain and triggered euphoria through the targeted stimulation of neurons in the brain.

Unlike other drugs, the syndicates do not maintain much in the way of control over this drug’s distribution. Since it is not physically addictive and remains legal and regulated for medicinal use, it is not typically sought after by users and underworld elements very much. For the most part, recreational use is limited to those looking for a positive high without much in the way of side effects.

Well, that’s my list of fictional drugs, all written up by me some eight years ago. I’ve added some here and there, but the core group remains the same. Assuming people don’t mind hearing about sci-fi stuff that strictly mine, I think I’ll do one or two more. I’ve had awhile to invent this stuff, so there’s a fair bit to share ;)!