Background: The Planters Universe

2 May

When humans landed on Mars in 2040, they found a surprise; ruins from an alien race. Some of the alien buildings appeared nothing more complex than Roman or Greek ruins from Earth. Others had samples of technology that could, given time, be reserve-engineers into technology that Earth could use. The next 100 years of space exploration was driven by a frantic urge to locate as many other samples of alien technology as possible. Some nations, corporations and even individuals became very rich as alien bases were located on nearly all of the larger bodies in the solar system.

This had a remarkable effect on Earth, even though the aliens appeared to be long dead. Some noticed similarities between alien cities and ancient cities on Earth and wondered if the aliens had influenced human development. New religions sprung up around the once-discredited works of Erich Von Däniken, claiming that the ‘star-gods’ would one day return to Earth. Others wondered if the ‘aliens’ were actually humans who had enjoyed a space age that had been lost to history. And still others were unimpressed. The Martians, if they were Martians, were long gone. There seemed to be no reason to worry.

The ultimate discovery took place in 2134 when a deep-space exploration probe stumbled upon the Stargate. It appeared to be nothing more than a massive hoop of metal orbiting Sol out beyond the orbit of Pluto, but unlike most of the long-gone race’s technology, it also appeared to be in perfect working order. Humanity’s hackers went to work and managed to get into the control routines, despite a suggestion from some of them that the system seemed to have been designed to allow idiots to work out how to turn on the hoop. When triggered, the hoop generated a singularity that opened a link between Sol and another star system with a Stargate – nine possible destinations in all. Carefully, the human race began to explore…

…And ran into another humanoid race almost at once, making careful first contact. The aliens were experienced in first contact and managed to build a working communications link using some of the decrypted alien languages from the long-dead cities. Humanity’s first thoughts – that they had run into the Martians – were rapidly countered. The newcomers were just as puzzled by the ancient ruins, which existed in their star system too – and that was only the tip of the iceberg. Humanity, by accessing the Stargate network, had joined an interstellar society that was looking for its gods.

The real mystery developed when one of the aliens agreed to be examined by human biologists. Some had already questioned just how remarkably human the aliens were – and when they carried out a deeper examination, they discovered that the aliens effectively were humans. They were close enough to humanity for breeding to be theoretically possible – and when confronted by this evidence, the aliens admitted that there was more than one other race out there, all seemingly descended from Earth. Their explanation of what had happened was vague, almost impossible to believe, but eventually humanity accepted it too.

Millions of years ago, something had wiped out most of the life in the known galaxy. No one knew why, although they did keep speculating. A war, perhaps, or a scientific experiment that went wrong. An ancient race had seemingly survived the incident and reseeded most of the galaxy with life they’d created themselves. And if that wasn’t enough, they’d clearly kept guiding their experiment to ensure that all of the new races developed along similar lines – and shared the same basic genetic code Indeed, the Spocks (as they became known) seemed to be largely improvements on the purebred races.

And the Planters had created the Stargate network. From what the various newly-spacefaring races had been able to determine, the Stargates only opened if someone in the system accessed their control routines – or if the native race in the system died out. Some of the races even saw that as evidence that the Planters were still meddling, protecting most of their children from outside contamination until they were ready to deal with it. There was no other way to cross the gulf of space at FTL speeds.

The discoveries created centuries of religious strife on Earth. Long-dead ‘Martians’ were one thing, but evidence of alien involvement in humanity’s development was quite another. Every major religion convulsed as unanswerable questions swept over the entire planet. Had Moses been aided by alien science? Had Jesus been a Spock? Had the Koran been dictated to Muhammad by the Planters? Or were they all fakes, delusions invented by humanity to explain a seemingly uncaring universe? And had the aliens been meddling for a very long time, even in the modern era? Were they the Greys, reputedly responsible for abducting and carrying out medical experiments on humans, the Planters? Had they stopped wars that might have destroyed the human race…or had they started wars to force the human race to develop? The questions were impossible to answer, which only made the situation worse.

Over the next 200 years, humanity became part of the interstellar society the Planters had created and, some said, shaped. There were wars with hostile races, or hostile humans, and friendly contacts with other races. Thousands of human-alien hybrids began to appear, joining a community that was diverse and truly part of the interstellar society.

And yet no one solved the mystery of the Planters. Why had they created so many new races? What technology did they possess? And where were they?

In 2423, the Family found out.

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4 Responses to “Background: The Planters Universe”

  1. The Deposed King May 7, 2012 at 8:19 am #

    Interesting. The ‘Grey’s’ make another occurrence. They do make a good enemy.

    The Deposed King

    • chrishanger May 7, 2012 at 11:45 am #

      I was thinking more of the Vorlons.

      Chris

  2. The Deposed King May 8, 2012 at 5:26 am #

    Huh. are you going with some kind of duology like B5, good guy/bad guy ancient elder races. Although the end of B5 showed that they were really just two sides of the same coin.

    The Deposed King

    • chrishanger May 8, 2012 at 9:35 am #

      Not exactly. I was going to have the Planters be a little more benevolent and yet sinister too.

      Chris

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