After the fall
of the Second Galactic Union in 1716 GY, a ten-thousand-year
dark age settled upon the galaxy. Interstellar travel was
nonexistent, and many star systems descended into a near-barbaric
state, buring coal and gas for energy, and growing food directly
from exposed topsoil.
In 11,203 GY, a
treaty between the Empires of Tremain and Galium formed the
Third Galactic Union. Ships of the Stellar Patrol (a pseudo-military
wing of the Union government on Tremain) began exploring the
galaxy, searching for the human civilizations that are the
remnants of the Second Union.
You are a native
of the planet Gallium, one of the most politically powerful
but culturally barren worlds in the Union. Your great-great-grandfather
was a founding officer of the Stellar Patrol, and for five
generations, your family has served in the Patrol. It was
always taken for granted that you would sign up as soon as
you came of age.
Once you joined
the Patrol, you discovered that the exciting career promised
in all the Patrol recruitment brochures was nonsense. Your
life was drudgery and demerits. The one time you got to see
an exotic planet was right after a big parade, when they needed
a detail to sweep up all the confetti.
Then came your
big moment: shipwrecked on a seemingly deserted world, you
met an exuberant robotic companion named Floyd. Together,
the two of you discovered the secret of that mysterious planet,
Resida, and saved it from near destruction.The story of that
heroic deed was told in Planetfall.
As a result of
your heroics, you were offered, and quickly accepted, a juicy
promotion. Good-bye Ensign Seventh Class -- hello Lieutenant
First Class! No more scrubwork! No more bathroom details!
No more cleaning groth cages! Finally, your life in the Stellar
Patrol would be as exciting as those brochures had promised!
Oh, how naive you'd
been. Your daily routine simply replaced tedious scrubwork
with tedious paperwork. Since your planetfall on Resida, five
long years have dragged by, without a single event worthy
of note. Why, just look at today's "thrilling" assignment:
scooting over to Space Station Gamma Delta Gamma 777-G 59/59
Sector Alpha-Mu-79 to pick up a supply of Request for Stellar
Patrol Issue Regulation Black Form Binders Request Form Forms...