Universe at Large
The year is 2823 CC, common calendar. Since the 21st century, mankind has cut out a vast empire among the stars. Spreading out from their homeworld of Earth, nearby star systems quickly fell under the control of the unified human government, the democratic Galactic Coalition. From Alpha Centauri to Epsilon Eridani and Tau Ceti, the human race was once known as the largest galactic empire but the specter of war broke the giant into two, allowing the autocratic Federation to secede from the rest of the empire. The Succession War culminated in the disastrous misfiring of the Federation’s super-weapon and led to the creation of the White Belt, a demilitarized zone between the two galactic juggernauts. All the while, human corporations aggressively invested in terraforming hostile planets, strip mining moons and asteroids and quickly became the dominant economic powers of human space. Thus, these corporations came together as the overseers of the White Belt.
A fragile peace permits the shattered human factions the opportunity to recover and lick their wounds, while the rest of the galaxy is forced to grapple with the effects of the energy cascade that was caused by the Federation’s failed deployment of their super-weapon, the FFS-Fialetivvy. Hyperlanes that planets and colonies depended on for trade and travel have been severed, and strange anomalies throw civilized worlds into chaos. Meanwhile, the Coalition and its nemesis engage in a dangerous spy game, caught in a Cold War that sees tensions rising with every month that passes. The alien empires are caught in the middle, forced to either choose a side or pull the strings of both to fit their own needs.
Welcome to Onia, a border world in White Belt territory a long way from the political intrigue taking place at the center of the galaxy. Onia is overseen by the White Belt Administration, a puppet corporation controlled by several megacorps that are the majority shareholders. Despite having seen plenty of investment and development first from the Coalition and then the Administration upon the establishment of the demilitarized zone, Onia is in a sector of White Belt space that is still considered to be a frontier of sorts, as are the outer areas of most other galactic empires.
Onia was originally colonized by the Coalition after their probes found an abundance of W-1 in the planet’s soil, along with other valuable mineral deposits. During the Succession War it remained a sovereign colony of the Coalition, but its remote location made it difficult to defend. Once the War ended, ownership of Onia and Dusklight Colony was transferred to the White Belt Administration, where it remains today. Due to its distance from the rest of central White Belt space, and as a result of Onia’s important hyperlane being cut, the White Belt no longer began to assign resources to its expansion and the colonization of the planet suffered; mass migration from the surface left several colonies abandoned or sparsely populated.
While the Administration saw no urgency in further expansion, they tried to keep their frontier worlds at least somewhat profitable by encouraging immigration to the outer rim systems as well as Onia, helping to bolster the hemorrhaging workforce with new blood, promising new lives and riches to prospective employees. Whether that promise would come true, however, remains to be seen…
The most common currency used in the galaxy is the Galactic Credit, otherwise known as the Slat. This currency was originally proposed by humanity and the Rokhandan empire shortly after their first contact scenario. As the two superpowers stumbled upon more alien races, said aliens eventually adopted the usage of this universal currency to trade with their more advanced neighbors, leading to its prevalence today. Some worlds still use their own local currencies, and can be exchanged (with very diminishing returns) at galactic banks, but most societies merely opt to outmode their own currency so they can play in the trans-stellar markets. Unfortunately, this has contributed to a lopsided economic disparity among galactic governments, leaving entities like the Holy See poorer despite the value of their natural resources.
The value of the Slat is backed by stockpiles of W-1, not unlike the use of gold and silver in humanity’s ancient history. Fiat money did not work on a galactic scale, and the interests of megacorporations and Gwix banks ensured a more tangible value placed on the galactic currency. Thus, they can tightly control hyperinflation and prevent the collapse of one empire cascading into a crash of the trans-stellar markets.