It took five years to build the Earth Federation, fifty years to colonize and expand, and twenty years to conquer all known space. It ruled for centuries. It was the greatest empire of all time... and it only took a month to destroy it.
How do you rebuild civilization? How do you maintain order among billions of repressed beings once the leash has been broke?
Most of all, how do you survive?
In 2244, the 3rd Civil War had ended, leaving the Earth Federation weakened, but united under a single ruler. Arthur Clarke became Chairman of the Grand Council and proceeded to eliminate all opposition. He imposed the Five Acts, a series of draconian measure that turned the nation into one giant war machine. No one dared raise a hand against Clarke's regime.
It turned out to be a good decision. Over the next twenty years, the Earth Federation was involved in four separate wars with xenophobic aliens, each one more devastating than the next. In order to survive, Clarke made ruthless decisions, killing millions in order to save billions. Due to the increasing sphere of destruction, other alien races were crushed, their governments destroyed. By the time the last Vin Shriak system went supernova, only the Bugs occupied any territory that didn't fly a Terran flag.
Survival, though, came at a price. Without any private industry, and a depleted workforce, the Earth Federation was supreme over an anemic chain of solar systems. Even seven years after the last of the major wars, Clarke refused to release absolute control, determined to eliminate the Bug menace once and for all.
In 2264, the Caal came into their arm of the Milky Way. They were an ancient race that had fought the Horadrim to a stalemate centuries ago. They couldn't be killed, as they were ethereal beings who jumped from one corpse to another, defying any enemy to stop them. They returned for the Orb, a pocket of unreality that could give them eternal bodies... and absolute rule of the universe. With the help of four risk takers, Vin Dane was able to tame the mysterious Orb and use it to finally stop the Caal menace. He was the savior of humanity and worshiped as a god.
The problem with messiahs is that people don't want them around after they've been saved. Dane became emperor of the remnants of the Federation and instantly six factions rose to oppose him. The Orb gave him amazing power, but he was only one man... and mortal. In such chaos, anyone could seize the reins of power and found a house to rule for centuries.
This is where your characters begin. Will they become legends or a footnote in history? Will you support a faction, found your own, or just get rich from all of them? The choice is yours.
The character's universe is a dark, cold, heartless creation set over 250 years into the future. It was born in pain. Humanity is ripped from its comfortable existence into realizing that aliens, magic, werewolves, vampires, and all sorts of strangeness exist. On the verge of this realization, humanity is again snatched into firm control by a partial world government, and all mages and werewolves are drafted into a powerful military force called the "Tech Infantry."
The Earth Federation is a military dictatorship, lightly covered with veneer of democracy. It was not born out of revolution; no goals of uniting humanity to greater freedom. It was born out of desperation; Earth was threatened by alien invasion, a vampiric armageddon, and the whole world awakened and spiraling out of control. The Technocracy, a group of powerful mages, seized power, and made sure that a new awakened humanity was still under a firm leash. Under their leadership, the problems were solved one by one, but they never release their control over the people.
Then they were bombarded with a series of invasions from outside and civil wars from within. Under Clarke, the Federation absorbed most of known space. Unfortunately, by spreading themselves out too far, this actually weakened the Federation to the point where it had difficulty defending itself or providing for its citizens. When the Caal came, they were devastated, but Vin Dane saved the universe by defeating the Caal fleet, but only at the cost of collapsing civilization.
A. Why Season 9?
This is actually the sixth "play-by-email" version we've played of Tech Infantry. At the beginning, Nathan Bax (the creator) envisioned this as a television show. Now if we assume that each time we play a different game in this universe, in TV parlance, that would be called a "season." So if we add in all the successful seasons, including the tabletop versions, this is the 9th time we've done it. A more detailed history of the playing of TI is below.
B. Do I have to know what happened in the previous eight seasons to play?
No, they're just background knowledge. You may run into characters or objects from previous seasons, but otherwise, it's a completely new game. What happens in this campaign affects the course of the universe from then on. So if you get disheartened by the events in "the future," be aware that the timeline is not written in stone. The Holy Terran Empire doesn't have to win at the end of the season; we've already have an alternate timeline—why not two?
C. Great, I'm sold... what do I have to do?
Get approval from the Storyteller (Marcus Johnston), generate a character, write a character history, and think of a way to get in the story! Once you're in, simply turn in orders every week before Friday 5:59 am EST and enjoy the story when it comes out.
D. More Players?
At most, we're looking for eight players with their characters having their own dedicated storyline. If you want to play for just a little bit, you can create a "secondary character," or a player character in one of major players' plot. In television terms, this would be a cameo (or walk-on, if they instantly die). If your secondary character is really cool, he might become a recurring character, and take over if one of the main players stop playing. However, I don't want to detract from the "stars," and their ongoing plots. If anyone else wants to join the game, but doesn't want to play, (or is too busy to play right now) you can receive the ongoing story in mail.
E. If there are no dice involved, who wins?
In a PBeM, when your character conflicts with another (whether it's another player or an NPC), the Storyteller compares your stats with their stats. If your stat's higher, you win, and I write the story that way. It's that simple. Feel free to write your story as if you win, but I'll be the final arbiter of decisions in the published results.
Click to read the prequel story - Tech Infantry: Prayer for the Technocrats
Click to read the prequel prequel story - TI Season 4.3: Rage Agaisnt the Dying of the Light