The galaxy was one of the billions of galaxies that existed in the universe, as well as one of six galaxies directly accessible by the time of the Rising Millennium. Composed of some four hundred billion stars in a disk 120,000 light-years in diameter, this galaxy was home to between five and twenty million sentient species. Over one hundred quadrillion sentient beings lived in one billion star systems in this galaxy, and interacted with each other through travel, diplomacy, trade, politics, and war. In historical memory, this galaxy had been ruled by the various superpowers to have emerged, the last to have been the Humans of Earth.
The galaxy was between 100,000 and 120,000 light years across, and approximately 13 billion years old. The galaxy's luminous disk contained some four hundred billion stars, of which around a quarter had been properly surveyed by the galactic community by the time of the Primordia Expansion. The luminous disk revolved around the Galactic Center, asupermassive black hole that massed as much as four million suns. As late as the new Millennium, nobody had visited the Galactic Core.
The galaxy bulged around the Galactic Core to form a bright sphere known as the Deep Core. This region was around seven thousand light-years across and contained some thirty billion tightly-compacted stars. Towards the center the stars of the Deep Core were only around a hundredth of a light-year apart, and were known to collide and rip out each other's stellar cores. Most of the stars of the luminous galaxy were in a disk of spiral arms rotating around the Deep Core, The Perseus Arm, the Sputum-Centaurus Arm, the Norma Arm, and the Outer Arm. The brightest super giant stars were concentrated in the spiral arms, as well as glowing clouds of gas and dust, which contributed to the apparent gaps between the arms even though those areas were full of stars.
Most stars were within a thousand light-years above or below the plane of the luminous disk, forming a two thousand-light-year region known as the "thin disk". For three thousand, five hundred light-years on either side was the "thick disk", which was poorer in stars than the thin disk and even fewer of these had a system of planets.
Stellar Halo Edit
Beyond the thick disk was the stellar halo, a huge sphere surrounding the entire galaxy with a few billion stars in highly elliptical orbits. Nearly two hundred globular clusters orbited in this region. The globular clusters were typically lifeless, packing hundreds of thousands of extremely old, inhospitable stars into only a hundred light-years. Many of the globular clusters, however, were considered extremely beautiful sights, such as Corm's Well.
The galaxy was orbited by 2 dwarf satellite galaxies, some of which contained twenty billion stars. They were ranked in order of distance. The closest was Eureka, a complex tangle of stars high above the galactic plane. Kelado, was some 150,000 light-years away from the galaxy and had only ever been surveyed by probots and was described as having ancient, metal-poor remnants of stars and not much life.
A disturbance beyond the edge of the galaxy severely complicated lightspeed travel outside the disk and generally discouraged extra-galactic exploration. A band of whorls and eddies that spun around the galaxy too quickly to be traversed at faster-than-light speeds, a number of astrophysicists believed this to be a creation of a mysterious ancient race. Beyond the galaxy's rim, separating it from other galaxies, was a vast expanse of starless space known as dark space.
While there was a disturbance outside of the galaxy, lightspeed made it possible within the galaxy to have an enormous and diverse civilization. Of the galaxy's 400 billion stars, around 180 billion of them were orbited by asystem of planets. 90% of the stars of the galaxy fell within the Main Sequence (the other 10% comprised protostars or stellar remnants like white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes). The larger blue and white stars of the sequence - the O-, B-, and A-type stars - such as Garnib, Kessa and Colu, lived for a few million years and rarely possessed systems that had intelligent life since it had too little time to evolve. The most habitable stars which had lifespans of tens of billions of years giving life plenty of time to evolve. G- and K-types between them made up 19% of the galaxy's stars, and 75% of them were habitable. The most common stars in the galaxy, which comprised 70% of the galaxy's stars, but only 1% of them, such as Maladk, were habitable. Very few red dwarfs were settled: most were surveyed by probe droids in the early years of Interstellar Civilizations and were typically left abandoned unless they possessed mineable resources.
Factoring in the output of heat and light needed for an advanced civilization to form, therefore, there were 7.1 billion truly habitable stars within the galaxy, and about 3.2 billion habitable star systems. It was estimated that about one billion of those systems were actually populated or had been settled by sentient beings.
Some thirteen billion years before the golden age collapse, an immense cloud of gas and dust collapsed under its own gravity and coalesced to form a revolving disk, creating the galaxy. Over many more billions of years, the stars and planetsbegan to form. By 5,000,000,000 GAC, life had begun to evolve in the galaxy, with some of the earliest examples of non-sentient life developing on Goroth Prime, Earth, Noldor, and Khamil IV.
Around 2,000,000 GAC, many of the galaxy's most well-known species were evolving: the Humans began on Earth a species of mammals. By 200,000 GAC, the Elder Humans, ancestors to the Humans, had developed intelligence and were waging war against themselves for control of their mutual homeworld.
The Earliest Civilizations Edit
By 100,000 GAC, a mysterious race known as the Architects, this spectacularly powerful race was believed to have been capable of manipulating and moving the very stars: surviving Architects machinery could manipulate gravity on a titanic scale with repulsor pulses, tractor beams, and hyperspace wormholes. With this technology, theArchitects were believed to have been responsible for building 15 other star systems, as well as the Kathel Cluster, the Nebula Rift, and parts of the galaxy outer regions. Pre-Golden Age specialists believed the Architects to also be responsible for the disturbance beyond the edge of the galaxy, possibly as a defense against outside interference. They were also believed to be responsible for the chain of anomalies west of the Core that bisected the galaxy and prevented travel into the Unexplored Regions. Speculation holds that the Architects had crafted the hyperspace anomalies that bisected the galaxy in order to contain Humanity.
A number of other spacefaring races around this time became clients of the Architects. The insectile Aracnda exploited as laborers and were seeded across the galaxy, until around 30,000 GAC when they disappeared into the west of the galaxy and into the Unexplored Regions, presumably relocated by the Architects . The Ilandias and the Advent made use of structures known as the Infinity Gates and hypergates, respectively, to travel between planets and came into territorial conflict with each other. Other species fled to escape the Celestials: the Sharu, far in the galactic east had a brief period of expansion, spreading their iconic plastic pyramid cities as far into the Core as Aargau, but this may have attracted the attention of the Architects attention and the Sharu buried their cities and sought refuge in primitivism to escape them. Likewise, dozens of races made surveys of both the Humans and the Goroths in the Core and were unimpressed by what they found, but also fled back to their homeworld, perhaps to avoid retribution from the Architects.
Around 35,000 GAC, the domain of the Architects was usurped when the metallic slave race known only as the Soulless revolted. Stealing technology from the Advent and IIandias, both whom they exterminated. They waged war against the other servant races, and broke through the barrier surrounding the Unknown Regions into the galaxy proper and waged a war of extermination upon the Architects. The eventual fate of the Architects was unclear. They may have been trapped inside the galaxy by their barrier and destroyed by the Soulless revolt, or they may have escaped through the barrier. By 30,000 GAC, the Architects were nowhere to be found, and the Soulless Empire had taken center stage.
The Soulless fanned out from their homeworld of Kronos in the Tempered Wastes of the Unexplored Regions, using hyperdrives that channeled the power of the Warp to guide them to worlds with strong Warp signatures. The Soulless Empire occupied a scattering of systems across the galaxy, but vast tracts of territory between these holdings remained untouched, allowing smaller interstellar confederations to flourish for a time. It was around 19,457 GAC that the soulless machine legions marched across the galaxy in a quest to exterminate all life. The Devaronians and the Gossam experimented with the tumble hyper drive, but before they could understand how it worked, the Soulless purged their worlds and their races. Worlds like Earth, Goroth Prime, and Odessa were ignored by the Soulless. Humans, Selonians and Noldar were able to study the principles of the Soulless hyperdrives. The Soulless proved to be cruel and relentless, consigning entire subject populations to extermination. After nearly 11 thousand years of dominance, the Soulless Empire collapsed after a devastating War swept through the Empire lead by Humanity as the surviving superpower, and after learning the extent of their technology and adopting the Architect technology left behind of their ability to use. Humanity finished off the Soulless empire by 16,200 GAC.
Galactic Governance Edit
Political Geography Edit
Star Systems Edit
The known galaxy included nearly a billion inhabited star systems, from uncharted settlements to planet-spanning ecumenicism where scarcely a meter of ground remained untouched. Under the Federal Republic of Terra, nearly seventy million of those system were sufficiently populated to merit some form of representation.
In the first years of the Federal Republic of Terra, any planet with a large enough population was granted a seat in the Federal Senate. However, even before the Federal Republic had expanded beyond the Core Worlds, this system of government was unworkable: the Senate's sheer size made debate interminable and consensus almost impossible to arrive to. The Planetary Senate was thus reorganized, with sectors being formed of groups of up to fifty star systems to act as the new constituencies, while recognised representatives of a single planet or species still had the right to petition the full Senate. A prominent example of this towards the end of the Golden Age were the Yor of the Yor Planet system.
Planetary Governors represented the central government on a single planet. Their writ typically included the entire star system, though there were exceptions for systems that included multiple planets with huge populations or very different cultures, such as the Sol system. In the eldest parts of the Core Worlds, systems and even individual planets were centers of political power, a relic of the Galaxy. Elsewhere, systems were subservient in representation to subsectors, sectors and regions.
The basic political unit for much of galactic history was the sector, largely artificial divisions of space organized for political, military and economic reasons. After the first years of the Federal Republic, the star systems of the Republic were organized into sectors limited to fifty systems with substantial populations. As the Republic expanded, the huge number of sectors led to gridlock within the Federal Senate, and some sectors swelled to include thousands of inhabited worlds, even as galactic civilization continued to expand wildly, until there were millions of sectors.