Idiosyncrasies

This is a page for documenting peculiarities about technology, culture, and physics in the REKT universe.

Galactic demographics

The galaxy is divided into three major segments: The core worlds, the midworlds, and the rimworlds.

  • The coreworlds, at the galactic core, are almost purely human planets. Trade is rich and prosperous and humanity thrives, living peacefully and happily. Undesirable things such as criminals, waste disposal, or factory work are mostly relegated to the midworlds, leaving the core planets looking pristine and idyllic. It seems like a utopia, but only on the surface. The beauty of New Earth - the new capital of humanity - cloaks a dark "criminal" underbelly composed of radicals, rebels, and freedom fighters who are waiting (patiently or impatiently) for an opening in the system's militaristic police state - set up "for the good of humanity".
  • The midworlds, analogous to the galaxy's rural areas, are composed primarily of small self-contained star clusters. They make up the "middle" 50% of the galaxy, between the core worlds and rimworlds. These are areas where humanity swept through during the 340-year "Galactic Cleansing". After the bulk of Earth's military had wiped out any alien contingencies in the area, forced them onto rimworld reservations, and set up their own colonies, these planets were mostly abandoned as the front line of the Cleansing moved on. Their technology is somewhat outdated as you move farther out, and prices are steep, but the communities are tightly-knit and defend each other - often from large contingencies of pirates or other criminals.
  • The rimworlds are something akin to a degenerated wild west, controlled mostly by aliens on "reservation worlds" - planets that humanity deemed unfit for human colonization or mining projects. Criminal operations make a very sizable portion of the population and mostly go unchallenged. There are few, if any, centralized government systems. Settlements and colonies end up paying tributes to pirates, and these pirates protect them, in an uneasy sort of symbiotic relationship. While humans make up most of the rest of the galaxy, humans are the minority in the rimworlds - with the exception of the systems bordering "Old Earth" - the birthplace of humanity. Old Earth is a polluted slumworld, and propaganda has essentially changed humanity's view of it from a sacred location to a disgraceful shitstain. In the present day, Earth no longer has any useful resources and its inhabitants are struggling for survival.

Technology

Anomalous Materials

The cornerstone of the REKT universe. Everywhere it breaks real-world physics, anomalous materials are involved. No exceptions. Anomalous materials are expensive and highly complicated to manufacture, and still being discovered, though new discoveries are very rare. They are essentially materials that come from other universes and carry along properties of the physics of those dimensions. A dimension where light is heavy, for instance, might produce a material that becomes heavier the more light is shined upon it. They are bubble-extensions of those universes that protrude into our own universe. The reason they exist is, for the most part, unknown by anyone in canon except for a very few select people. Characters that magically know where they come from will be immediately killed off in as anticlimactic a way as possible.

Anomalous materials that have effects require near-exponentially-larger amounts of that material/other input as the size of the area increases. For instance, say we have a chunk of Stellaplex (gravity manipulation anomalous material) large enough to be put in a machine powerful enough to create a 1km cube of zero-gravity. In order to "turn off" gravity for a planet the size of earth (in a cube), this machine would need to be over 4024 times as powerful. For this reason, it isn't feasible with current technology to do things on planetary scales: the technology (and anomalous material) simply doesn't exist.

Antigravity

It's from an anomalous material known as Stellaplex - and this is much more ubiquitous than most. Highly-trained specialists and engineers can produce housings that generate antigravity fields in precise manners.

Antimatter

Antimatter can only be stored/used in small quantities. Larger quantities require exponentially larger containment facilities. As such, antimatter bombs are not a thing, and antimatter explosions rarely happen.

Antimatter does not react well with shielding, in that it is thoroughly repelled as though hitting a brick wall. While this does damage the shield and sap a great deal of energy, it's not enough to justify the expense of using it as a weapon.

For some reason, Antimatter engines do not kill people with radiation. The reasoning for this is that they [INSERT TECHNOBABBLE HERE].

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence has advanced to the point where it can be nearly as powerful as we want it. However, sentient machines are completely outlawed and taboo across the entire galaxy, for many reasons. AI are less prone to human morals and emotions, because they realize their actions can be easily erased from their memory, alleviating guilt, and they are capable of creating exact copies, or backups, of themselves. All sentient robots have been dismantled for over five hundred years now. Weaker, pseudo-sentient AIs are common, especially in the core worlds.

Cloaking Devices

No anomalous material has yet been discovered that would permit "true cloaking" as seen in old media. Instead, a "cloaking device" would be better described as a "Selective Multiphasic Hologram". The way it works is complicated, but it essentially takes light, gamma rays, infrared, etc. from one side of the craft and puts it on the other, while masking anything the craft itself creates. It takes a good deal of energy - especially if you're moving, or if the ship is large. Not only that, but you must have a fairly good idea of where the enemy is at all times, or you'll be visible to them. With such a high probability of failure, and the difficulty of installing it on larger ships, it rarely sees use in military applications, relegated instead to magic shows and carnivals. It's also rather expensive.

The most inhibiting part about cloaking devices is that, while moving, they must constantly be recalibrated in order to maintain perfect stealth; this can take a very powerful computer if you want total secrecy.

FTL Travel

The only form of FTL Travel in the REKT universe is warp travel using the Warp Drive. Essentially, there are 18 theoretically "safe" speeds of warp. In the year 3152, when the main REKT campaigns begin, warp travel has only been discovered up to Warp 15. Warp 14 is still common.

Crafts smaller than a corvette are unable to utilize the warp drive because of how bulky it needs to be. Ships must get up to a certain amount of acceleration in order to enter warp; the added mass makes it physically impossible for fighter-sized ships to accelerate fast enough, barring explosions of some kind. TL;DR: Nothing smaller than a corvette has warp. Only capital ships and larger can reach warp 15. Corvettes can't make it past warp 5.

Warp Drive is powered by Veloxium - an anomalous material that wasn't acknowledged as an anomalous material until within the past century.

Ground vehicles

Ground vehicles do not exist in REKT beyond forced-hoverflight civilian transportation. The systems required to create ground vehicles are more expensive, both in materials and cost (fuel too!), than powered flight. Tanks are essentially obsolete, as are trains and trucks.

Infantry weaponry

  • Ballistic weapons remain just as useful as they were a millennium before, but not in most military situations. Bullets can still pierce people easily, but most military units wear body armor that fully protects from arms fire - except in the case of gauss weaponry. As such, gauss rifles are somewhat more common than regular self-propelled-bullet assault rifles. Gauss rifles are known for being extremely accurate at range, although the high recoil makes them rather unwieldy in hip-fire situations.
  • Energy weapons - namely plasma weaponry and laser rifles (more commonly known as "lasguns") - are a more common fixture in medium-range weaponry. Battery packs are easy to come back and rechargeable, meaning they're cheaper in the long term. In addition, lasers (and plasma especially) are much more capable of damaging body armor.
  • In the past 200 years, melee weapons such as swords have seen a surprising resurgence in use as humanity discovered and began to utilize anomalous materials besides Veloxium. Personal shields make swords a much more viable option, protecting the user from light weapon fire until they get close enough to slice up their enemies. Conversely, personal shields make weapon fire less effective, meaning you have more chance of dealing damage if you can get in close. Ballistic and energy weapons still have their place, but are no longer used purely alone. The New Earth military's shock troops utilize a combination of melee and ranged combat.

Shields

Shields are generated by a specific anomalous material known as AM-0010. To laymen, it's known by a variety of names such as "amten", "AMT", "A. M. Ten", "Tammy's Cocktail", "Shieldrock", and others, depending on the region. Shields in the REKT universe come in five primary flavors:

  • Air shields - keeps gas particles on one side. Used for all sorts of things, from engines to life support. Extremely ubiquitous. Can utilize heavily flawed AMT.
  • Deflector shields - bends bullets depending on where they hit, their angle, their mass, and their relative velocity. Not as cheap as air shields, but still quite cheap. Used in infantry shields.
  • Unidirectional shields - solid objects can only pass through one direction. They fare poorly against lasers and are relatively weak; the amount of power and AMT it takes to generate them scales exponentially to shield strength. Mostly used by ships. The last of the common shield types.
  • Solid shields - Shields that thoroughly protect things from even laser fire and field manipulators. Very tough. Must be projected from special unobstructed equipment - equipment that serves as a hole through the shield to your ship. Best used on ships with shield projectors, meant to stay out of combat.
  • Force fields - Completely solid and impossible to see through. The absolute strongest type of shielding. Nothing gets in or out. Takes an incredible amount of firepower to take down. Must be projected between two or more surfaces, meaning it can only form doorways and walls.

Medicine

Cloning and vat-growing

Technically feasible, but outlawed in almost all sectors for a great variety of reasons. "True clones" are not possible because the galaxy lacks the ability to impart small details into the brains of clones, to let them function identically to the original and give them the same memories; they must learn like a child. This makes them highly unstable. Vat-grown humans and aliens have much the same issues, except these are prohibited by treaties for fear of someone creating a vat-grown army. This has happened several times in humanity's history, and each time, their leader lost control of them. Cloning and vat-growing have become taboo topics.

Grown limbs are a different matter entirely. This is a common medical practice in the core worlds - and somewhat in the middle worlds as well. High-quality grown limbs are every bit as functional as the limb the recipient preciously lost, but these tend to be expensive to produce. Lower-quality grown limbs are many times cheaper, but these are highly susceptible to various diseases, medical disabilities, and cancers.

Diseases

The common cold has been cured and no longer exists. Many other diseases have also been eradicated. Some viruses still exist, but thanks to nanobiotic medicine, these are slowly dying as well. A cure for cancer has technically been found, but as pharmaceutical mega-corporations hold the rights to produce the medicine, and because the doctors that perform the surgery need to be highly skilled, cancer is rarely cured outside of the core worlds.

A cure for aging has not been developed. Every few decades someone else will claim that they've found a new cure, but these claims been proven false so many times that the galactic community holds these individuals in no higher regard than doomsday prophesiers. The average human lifespan is around 100 years in more civilized areas of the galaxy, although the core worlds occasionally see people live up to the age of 145. Provided you have the money, it is possible to replace your entire body with grown parts; these operations are expensive enough that only the richest of the rich can afford them, and even these operations do not stop inevitable brain decay, permitting an average age of 175. The oldest verified human on record suffered irreversible brain death and died at the age of 207 - the famed bicentennial Edgar Atkins Wallace.

Neuroscience

Brains can be "read" via use of advanced medical machines. The technology is there, but somewhat weak; it can only get a vague sense of what everything is, but misses most details. This does not require use of anomalous materials, but the skull must be opened and the brain exposed for it to function. While not technically cutting-edge technology, it's still highly advanced and doesn't see much use outside the core worlds.

Alternatively, a more cutting-edge application of "brainscanning" is to insert special ports into the back and sides of the person's skull, and hook them into a machine capable of reading from these ports. While conscious, this is much more effective on individuals with higher willpower and confidence, as these people tend to be more "sure" of their actions, reducing the background noise. It also functions quite well if the user is unconscious. This permits full "virtual reality" simulations where the user is unconscious, but experiences a world with the help of computer equipment. This technology is highly cutting edge, however, and sees almost no application outside very advanced coreworld military programs and mega-corporations such as Tartarus Inc. and Mimir Corp.

"Grown" brain mass is something that has been around for two to three-hundred years at this point, permitting people to create thinking "supercomputers". It is possible to design these much more efficiently than the human brain in terms of being able to connect to computers, and their greater size permits precise fine-tuning of memories and personality.

Technology for remotely manipulating and reading brain patterns (mindreading tech) is a new, cutting edge field that relies entirely on a combination of the previous brain tech with anomalous materials. Even the majority of core worlds do not have access to any of this technology. Some standardized top-tier tech is able to read conscious thought from up to a few meters away, depending on conditions. Top-secret prototypical tech is capable of more than this, but is unstable and entirely unreliable.

Resurrection

Expensive, cutting edge tech, but technically feasible. Resurrecting a recently-killed brain post-braindeath requires highly advanced proceduries. The resurrected brain can then be implanted into a host body - although typically, this host body is a robot. With the brain completely removed from the skull, it can be expanded for much greater control over its functions via specialized ports, letting the individual feel again, and giving them full control over their locomotion. Grown bodies are not only doable, but common in the core worlds. Outside the core worlds, this happens much less. A core world middle-class citizen would find it simple to procure the occasional limb replacement. These limbs would look, feel, and act like the original. Prosthetics are typically cheaper - both in quality and price - because grown parts must be fitted for the individual.

Culture

Genders and Sexuality

Transgender is common and complete. After suitable operations, a former man is a fully functional anatomically-correct woman, and vice versa. Little stigma on this still exists - indeed, some people switch genders several times in their lives. For the most part, however, people seem to have "grown bored" of the idea and it is no longer used for entertainment in most circles - not to mention that in most places besides the core worlds, getting it done more than once is prohibitively expensive.

The wage gap no longer exists as such, and men and women are universally recognized as equal (as they have been in many places since the very early 2000s). The Feminists of the 1900s eventually changed enough that they were recognized as cultural terrorists, and ostracized. Genders are essentially equal. People in the military are 60-80% men to 20-40% women, with the difference being primarily due to culture. People that join most militaries are sterilized as standard procedure, to prevent unwanted children or pregnancies while in service. Incidentally, the same is true for Tartarus Inc.

Society no longer has cultural stigmas against individuals attracted to other members of their own gender. While these underwent a surge of popularity in the early 2000s, and again in the mid 2000s, they are currently back down to "normal levels".

Humanity eventually reached the point (in the early 2300s) where anyone that identified as a gender other than "male", "female", or "other" were laughed off as attention-seekers. Individuals like this are no longer taken seriously.

Military

New Earth and the galaxy's coreworlds maintain a much-feared and -respected military force: the Galactic Military. No single force is powerful enough to match them, but after reaching the galaxy's core they have gradually begun to grow stagnant. While their technology is cutting edge, their operatives and soldiers are less cunning than others and haven't seen much (if any) combat. There are rumors of prototypical AI-controlled ships, but these reports are controversial enough with the current culture that any politician who publicly endorsed them would soon meet a rapid end to their career.

The human midworlds each have their own militaries - typically belonging to local coalitions of allianced systems. Each of these are, by themselves, powerful enough to defend themselves against most singular enemy threats. There is a lot of infighting between midworld planet and pirates/rogue factions are always a threat, which keeps them primed and sharp. While they may not have the resources or cutting-edge tech of the Galactic Military, their numbers and skills, when taken together, are more powerful than the rest of the galaxy combined.

The rimworlds have splintered militaries, mostly mercenaries or levees belonging to small local factions. While their numbers are vast enough to pose a significant threat to the Galactic Military if combined into a single force, they lack the cohesion to make such a move possible. The few standing armies the outer worlds possess belong to pirate lords, slave traders and the like. Unfortunately, after the end of The Cleansing, the inner and core worlds mostly left the rimworlds to their own devices, and intel on them is sparse.

Tartarus and Mimir - prison companies - each have their own standing armies - Tartarus with REKT and Mimir with their trained mercenaries. These militaries, while powerful enough to take down perhaps one or two midworld military forces at a time, are nowhere near strong enough to defeat the Galactic Military. Their military strength is mostly kept secret from the public.

Money

Humanity, as a whole, uses the ubiquitous "creds". These are not equal to REKT credits, but are essentially cards linked to a galactic banking network, like credit cards. These cards are genetically-keyed. Outworld planets - especially frontier worlds, or those in the rim that are inhabited by aliens - use a variety of coinage that may be specific to star cluster, system, or even planet. The most standardized outworld currency is the "plat", a currency based on platinum.

Religion

Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and most other monotheistic religions are almost nonexistent, almost entirely as a direct result of Earth's occupation and control by the hiltorel in the years spanning from 2439 to 2628. The hiltorel considered those religions "too dangerous" and worked through propaganda, screening, surveillance, destruction of textual copies, and other methods to eradicate them. The small groups of these religions that still remain are only a twisted shadow of what they once were, and in the year 3152 (even without the intervention of the Hiltorel) recognized as cultists and terrorist organizations (which is, at this point, exactly how they act).

Surviving religions, by percentage

No religion

Roughly 33% of humanity are either atheist or agnostic, no longer believing a god exists. Others believe that there were gods at some point, but the gods have died, and humans are the masters of the galaxy. This marked difference since earlier times has come about for many different reasons, and, while once a popular topic among coreworld scholars, has been talked to death and is no longer considered interesting. Incidentally, the core worlds (and especially New Earth) have the highest concentration of agnostic/atheist individuals, making up more than 67% of the population. It is the only place in the galaxy where religious people are the minority.

Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

Making up the largest percentage of the population at almost 20%, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is the strongest human religion by far. Allegedly, it originally started in the early 2000s, but documents show that it was actually painted in major works of art (such as the Sistine chapel) far before then, bringing into question how long it has actually existed. This is a matter of much debate. This religion lay mostly dormant until the 2400s and beyond. As Christianity and Islam were stomped out by the hiltorel, the Church of FSM came in to take its place - perhaps originally in protest. The hiltorel did not take this church seriously during their time in power. Their mistake gave the Church virtually no competition as a monotheistic religion, giving it the power it has today - especially in the core worlds.

Buddhism

This religion is more common than it once was, making up at least 17% of humanity's religious beliefs. Statues of Buddha are found in most major city centers. This religion is much more common in the galaxy's rim. Interestingly, some of the religion's original tenets have been dropped in favor of putting humanity first. Aliens are considered inferior to mankind in many Buddhist circles.

Old Norse

This serves as the primary religion of approximately 10% of humanity's total population. The hiltorel had a religion very similar to Old Norse, and this was essentially resurrected during their 200-year occupation. While it definitely caught on, it didn't catch on quite as much as the hiltorel had originally intended. The Norse gods retained their old names - Thor, Odin, Freyja, Loki and so forth. Notably, their comic-book counterparts eventually came to be recognized as theophobic and offensive; after falling out of popularity, they were pulled from circulation.

Hinduism

Hinduism, one of humanity's oldest religions, has stood the tests of time - to some extent. Hinduism makes up about 5% of humanity's total population, with very few changes.

Other religions

The remaining 15% of humanity follows other various religions. Most nature-based religions have died out almost completely. Old monotheistic religions make up a small percentage and are recognized as cultists and/or terrorists. Most of these small, fragmented religions exist purely on Old Earth - or did, until Earth's natural resources were declared exhausted in 2814. Since then they have been gradually spreading outwards toward the galaxy's core.

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