In the Beginning…
Earth was invaded several times in the early centuries of the Federation. Humans with superpowers tipped the balance in our favor, and the attacks were beaten back, but at a cost. The invaders had huge spacecrafts, powered by Unobtanium, the rarest of substances in the galaxy. From battlefield ruins, humans recovered the awesome new technology.
Unobtainium: the Gift with a Surprising Twist
The discovery of Unobtanium changed everything. Humanity soon learned to make their own vessels powered by Unobtanium. We burst onto the galactic scene, united, with our new ships, our civilization, and a small leavening of superheroes. And we soon discovered that continuous exposure to Unobtanium aboard ship has side effects. It drives evolution. It pushes for change. Unobtanium brings out the best in humans, and any child born aboard ship could grow up to be super-powered. But the engines also create dangers, as robots, animals, and the occasional invasive life form are also changed by Unobtanium exposure.
There are many alien species in space and some of them do not take the expansion of humans into the galaxy positively. While some alien species are allied with humanity, or at least neutral, others are not. Interstellar wars have occurred. But raiding for resources, especially for Unobtanium, is the norm. With alien soldiers regularly attacking the heroships, it’s an ongoing campaign to repel alien attacks on both the ships themselves and on planets that have new human settlements. Critical resources are perennially in short supply. Raiding from ship to ship for resources was part of the status quo in space long before humans entered space. To deter attacks, we raid hostile alien ships in retaliation, when we must.
The Rise of Superheroes
Conducting and repulsing raids is greatly aided by humans who have developed superhuman and/or extraordinary powers. Aboard the heroships, some humans are descended from human heroes of legend who lived on Earth. Others have developed powers from shipboard exposure. In the true spirit of the galactic frontier, many have chosen to become superheroes on the ships, doing good wherever possible. Of course, not everyone is so civic-minded – even the most capitalistic and entrepreneurial populations will have some ne’er-do-wells and people of dubious employment.
Fortunately, there are plenty of options, regardless of what path a person wishes to take in life. Those who believe in protecting their fellow citizens from harm can join the Justice Corps within the ship’s Security Forces and put down threats from both hostile aliens and out-of-control superhumans alike. Those who prefer to make their own rules, as opposed to obeying orders, can join the ship militia, or the Bounty Hunter’s Guild, taking whichever targets they desire. For those who need to hide from the authorities, there is a vast criminal underground. For those more inclined to profit and trading, there is always employment in the Merchant’s Guild. A few superheroes have even joined the crew of the FHS Justice.
When is a Spaceship not Just a Ship?
How can there be a city on a space ship? The simple answer is that the FHS Justice is massive: at 20.4 miles long, with 20 levels or modules, all different, the FHS Justice is an independent nation inhabited by millions. Apotheosis City and its underground structure occupies just one level of the ship. It was built 200 years ago and designed to last at least 500 years. Generations were born and raised on the ship.
The citizens of the FHS Justice number in the tens of millions and are self-governing. The ship is a nation in flight, and is also willingly bound by treaties and by custom to assist the Human Federation, as are the other heroships. Artificial gravity and advanced technology combine to keep the living spaces for much of the ship’s interior idyllic, except in places where a conscious decision has been made to allow a different outcome.
Apotheosis City – The City on a Spaceship
The lowest level, next to Engineering, is called Apotheosis City. It is an architecturally beautiful city full of unique buildings. Its day and night cycle lends it the feel of a city back on planet earth. Technical innovations not only power the ship, but also keep the city clean and well maintained.
However, during the first few decades of the ship’s travels, the crew and citizens accidentally allowed various invasive and dangerous plants and animals from other worlds to become established aboard the ship. Some of these have proven to be impossible to completely eradicate. They are now contained in a hazard zone on its southern edge. Exposure to Unobtainium has mutated some of these.
A United Human Race
Old Earth is a something of a faded memory, along with the tribal dividing lines of five centuries past. The heroship FHS Justice was launched just over 200 years ago under the desire to explore and advance human civilization through space. Aboard the FHS Justice, and generally across the Human Federation, all humans are united in culture and outlook, focused by the ever present need to defend against attacks from truly different species. Species that see humans the same way a lion sees a gazelle. But human heroes shield us from our attackers, protecting the larger civilization from internal and external threats. At least – for now.
As the Justice moves from planet to planet across its sector of the human frontier, it is the individual heroes aboard the ships who make the difference between success and failure for the entire human species. Born aboard the great heroship, or joining the ship as an immigrant, new heroes must learn to use their powers, develop skills and resources, and join the older heroes in a lifelong adventure. As they struggle to protect humanity aboard the ship and on colony worlds, they rise in rank until they achieve leadership positions in their own right.
Ambassador, Iris the Great, Meltdown, Dr. Strikewell, Sword Blossom, with Whom Will You Join Forces?
The most interesting work on the ship comes from the departments. In these missions, the hero acquires knowledge, builds skills, and gets rewarded with gear particularly useful for the missions of this department.
It is generally best to pick a department and work with it consistently as it can be hard to remember what’s happened with a faction you haven’t fought in a while. However, everything you unlock within a department stays unlocked when you switch to another one. With enough hard work, it is possible to eventually become a veteran member of all of them, with all the benefits.
The first mission arcs introduce the key characters and the challenges they face.
Key characters each recruit heroes for their department. Each department and its missions take the personality of its leader, a personality shaped by the character’s life experience.
To learn more about their sometimes unusual life stories, click on their names below.
Head of Ship Security and the Justice Corps
Iris the Great
Archmage Leader of the Mages Counsel
Chief Operations Officer of the Justice Corps
Chief Medical Officer