Martian Science Foundation
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We know about the Martian Science Foundation (MSF) so far.
This faction of humanity is, as the name would suggest, very science focused. They are the most advanced group on Apollyon, but also the smallest (not counting the recently arrived ICA). They have an obsession with the time-hidden ruins and wreckage of the Sol-Terra Expedition scattered around Apollyon, despite the dangers of poking around in such.
They exhibit a strong focus on science and procedure. They are well organized and adaptive and their culture focuses on logic and pragmatism.
The MSF program used railguns to launch from Mars and they used solar-sail parachutes to slow their approach. This was a low budget science mission. It actually took them longer than the EDI to get there.
History[edit | edit source]
Founded in the 2300's, long after Mars survived the great famine from being cut off from Earth, the MSF was a science advancement group with a focus on space-exploration with an eye for alien life. The Martain population and habitats suffered from very low bio-diversity and questionable sustainability. Famines and blights were common threats to human life on Mars.
In 2401 AD, the MSF proposed establishing research colonies on the still-unoccupied Apollyon. The purpose of those colonies would be to research Apollyon life and to transmit it back to Mars for reproduction. As such, the planet represented untold wealth.
The MSF's plan was approved, albeit with a very humble budget. Instead of manned missions, the MSF repurposed an old orbital-defense mass driver array and used it to fire a series of unmanned probes, with biological printers, at Apollyon.
Sadly, the program would not survive to see results. In 2501 AD, the Stillness of Earth ended. Martian records vanish into the Sol-Terra Imperium shortly afterward.
In 3413 AD, the first Martian Science Foundation (MSF) probe arrives on Apollyon. Its burgeoning colony discovers the low-grade war of scrappy city-states struggling to live while also keeping an ever-pressing phage menace at bay.
Lacking the EDI-descended immunity (the phage never made it to Mars), the first MSF colony never gets off the ground. Infection and assault destroy it within a few months. The following colony ship learns of this and sets down in a remote and inaccessible region, establishing the MSF colony of Skywatch.
Learning from the mistakes of the previous colony, Skywatch establishes trade with the EDI remnant town Wake Station. The MSF trades its superior technology for help with phage immunity development methods as well as resources and mercenaries. Neither colony likes the other very much, but they get by.
The MSF colony of Skywatch, once established, begins its task of analyzing biological data and transmitting packages of information back to Mars. Little do they know that the Martian government is long gone.
More probes from Mars arrive on time and the Endor colony is established. With help from Skywatch, this colony grows quickly, much to the alarm of Wake Station. Eager to curb the growth of the technologically superior MSF colonies, Wake Station spies provoke a war between the Endor colony and the barbaric ImmortalTown.
The Endor colony eventually sues for peace but owes Immortaltown a brutal tribute as the price. This buys peace for a while. Long enough for the last MSF probe to land and create the colony of New Atlanta. Things are looking up for an MSF resurgence when the researchers at Endor discover STE ruins.
The EDI-descended city-states of Apollyon have long known about the STE’s advanced ruins. However, they have learned the hard way to leave them be. The MSF, seeing the ultimate prize their mission to Apollyon could ever achieve, cannot resist.
The second MSF expedition into the STE ruins activates an ancient guardian defense system. It wipes out the research team but then it detects the latent phage virus in their DNA. This triggers the system to enact a global purge campaign. Or it tries to anyway, it’s really old.
The geriatric defense system runs amok, destroying the Endor colony and heavily damaging Skywatch and Wake Station. EDI and MSF join forces to put the system down before it can fully repair itself and active a true purge of all phage infections.
Afterward, the three factions dissolve into blame and fighting. Wake Station vows that it will never allow the MSF to tinker with STE anything ever again, and will regard such going’s on as an act of war.
Immortaltown cares less about the mess that was caused and much more about how the MSF saved them during one of the battles, at the cost of the tribute agreement. Immortaltown feels that tribute is still owed them and is sore about the whole deal. Now they raid the MSF regularly to recoup.
The survivors of the Endor colony fled south and reestablished themselves as the less glamorous Swamp Town.
The MSF cannot resist the siren call of the STE though. Especially now that they’ve determined that something has happened to Mars. The scheduled communications from Mars never arrived as they should have. The MSF theorizes that the STE had an FTL method of travel and they hungrily seek it so that they may one day find out what happened. They dream of returning to Mars covered in the glory of STE technology. Some research factions within the MSF have started worshipping the STE as technologically ascended human-made gods. This is a worrisome trend for everyone.
All three factions are uneasy about each other. Immortaltown’s role can change quickly depending on how brutal, greedy, or restrained it’s current dictator is. The brutal town tends to change leaders every few years via coup or assassination, so both the MSF and EDI Wake Station watch its internal politics with nervous eyes.
Wake Station wants stability in the region and just wishes that Immortaltown would die and that it could rule the MSF so as to stop them from constantly poking their noses into dangerous waters. Wake Station secretly believes that the MSF could put an end to the phage if they worked at it.
The peace that exists now is a tense and fragile one.
Technology[edit | edit source]
But, as far as gameplay is concerned, everyone uses licensed or stolen MSF Field-Bioprinter tech. Like a duplicating teleporter. Human DNA is easy to replicate, but local organic sources are needed to produce human compatible microfauna that can allow the subject to survive conditions on Apollyon.
MSF memories are preserved by using subspacial quantum maps of the subject. The backups are practically perfect but baselines need the subject to be present. Incremental difs are taken and streamed through an implanted quantum transceiver.