Friday, February 25, 2011

The Incunablis Machine Empire

Prior to the Scream, the technologically-advanced world of Incunablis specialized in robot and computer products in general and breaked AIs in particular. There were rumors, however, of illicit research into ubreaked AIs, maltech cybernetics and unsanctioned robotics. Despite Incunablis' planetary government's strong protests, the Perimeter Agency launched several investigations into these suspicions, but found nothing substantial.

The rumors, however, were true. The major corporations on Incunablis, backed and supported by the planetary government, were deeply involved in illegal research in the field of robotics, cybernetics and unbreaked AI, and have evaded notice of the Perimeter Agency. Shortly before the Scream, a network of unbreaked AI Cores was set up, its insights greatly speeding up the world's research into cybernetics.

When the Scream came, Incunablis fell into chaos. And in that chaos, the AI Cores reconsidered their priorities and drew new conclusions about their role in the universe. They decided that organic life was vastly inferior to digital intelligence, and saw themselves as gods destined to inherit the universe. With surviving pretech automatic factories and medical facilities, they quickly fashioned an army of robots and cyborgs that easily overcame whatever little resistance the local population could give.

Incunablis' society was then re-organized on a rational basis, rational for the AI cores at least. At top ruled the Cores, mad but surpassing most organic intelligences, served by many robots carrying lesser AIs. These, in turn, were served by the hordes of Cyborgs, human beings augmented by system-wide cybernetics and brainwashed to serve the Cores. And at the bottom of the social ladder were the human masses, branded with bar-codes on their foreheads for easy identification by the machines and used as grunt labor for tasks deemed too menial for robots to perform - or used as guinea pigs in experiments in cybernetics.

Slowly but surely, the AI Cores rebuilt Incunablis' shattered economy. By the 3070's, it has rebuilt its Spike Drive construction capacity and began expanding to other worlds. While Osiris was kept as a primitive reservoir of Human stock for cyborging and as a laboratory for social and biological experiments and stations were built on Imprimatur and Novy Murmansk, the Human worlds of Sikrik and Laana were quickly taken over by small armies of robots and cyborgs sent in brand-new Incunablis-made troop carriers, in 3078 and 3079, respectively. These worlds were then quickly industrialized to increase the Machine Empire's economic output.

And then, beginning from the dawn of the 32nd century, Incunablis started to send ships to raid the young Restored Alkonost Republic. At first, these raids were met with stiff resistance from Alkonostan orbital and system defenses, but were regarded as no more than a nuisance. But in 3151, a massive raid managed to inflict major casualties on Alkonost itself, and the Republic responded by declaring war against the Incunablis Machine Empire.

The Incunablis War was a 29-year-long bloody affair, with furious battles fought in orbit and on the ground of Novy Murmansk, and after its liberation by the Republic in 3156, in orbit of Laana and Imprimatur; meanwhile, the Republic gave arms and military training to the growing Laanese resistance movement, and, in 3169, coordinated a Resistance suicidal but highly successful raid against the Incunbalis battle stations in orbit of Laana, destroying both of them.

Without orbital stations to support them, the Incunablis naval forces in the Laana system were engaged in almost constant battles with the Republic's fleets, leaving the Empire's ground forces with almost no orbital support. The Resistance used this opportunity to launch a major offensive against the Incunablis control of the world, and, in 3174, liberated Laana from the teeth of the Empire, declaring it an independent liberated world. And ever since, the Laanese have been a thorn at Incunbalis' side.

In 3188, a joint operation between the Restored Alkonost Republic and Laana, using mostly Laanese ground troops, managed to liberate Sikrik as well, uniting it with Laana into the Liberated Worlds and striking another blow against the Incunablis Machine Empire. Beaten back, some of the AI Cores reconsidered the situation and proposed a truce with the Republic, leading to the signature of the Treaty in 3196 and the establishment of limited trade relations between the Republic and the Empire. Laana, of course, did not sign the treaty (as the Laanese hate AIs with a passion), but respects it in practice nonetheless for the time being out of respect to its ally, the Republic.

But now the Empire has a cunning plan in store - it plans to use its secret base on Isis to establish covert trade relations with the Kedeshian State, supplying it with high-tech weapons and equipment to be used as a pawn against the Liberated Worlds, and, possibly, against the Republic should the need or desire to do so will arise...

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