Telloni'ath is a Science Fiction setting in three different eras, which vary in theme and mood. It is Earth in the present, near future and far future. This setting is mainly intended as a basis for written fiction, and possibly artwork and comics. To find out more about the different eras, click on the links above. If you have not come here by way of the website for Serenai, you may want to take a moment to read this.
The bioapocalypse and the Hydra syndrome
In 2040, 27 years after Russia first started traveling to other planets using alien technology, the history of mankind would come to a turning point. The russian space operations were still a secret to the rest of the world, which had entered a new age of technology as dark matter had been harnessed for energy production - and weaponry. But despite the wonders that advanced technology brought, much of humanity still suffered from poverty, hunger and disease. The rich increased their wealth,and the rest were left to pick up the scraps - but the people that held power had too tight a grip on it for the general populace to topple the structure, and all attempts at reform were quickly subdued. And so it may have continued, had it not been for the Hydra, doom of mankind.
It all started during a russian space operation on a distant planet, not too unlike our own. Either by carelessness or simply the subtle nature of the Hydra, one of the soldiers got infected by an alien parasite, and brought it back to earth. When they returned, medical scanning technology and decontamination chambers failed both to identify and kill the parasite, which was still adapting to it's new host. And by the time they noticed the symptoms a few days later, it was already too late. The parasite, now alarmingly adapted to human hosts, had spread to almost every member of the base and through them, reached the outside world.
The Russian government tried desperately to contain the outbreak, even going so far as to execute those they suspected had been infected. But it was in vain, as they saw it spread through Russia, and beyond. The cage was broken, and the monster was loose.
It didn't take long before the world found itself in absolute crisis. Within days outbreaks occurred in China, Europe and the Americas. It took a few days before experts realized they were all dealing with the same, unknown organism and realized to their horror that several different strains had already developed, with great differences between them. So began a race to find a cure before it was too late. But scientists quickly found that every attempt to attack or treat the parasite only made it mutate aggressively, developing new traits extremely quickly. Thus it gained its name - The Hydra.
With every passing day, more cities fell into chaos and the mountains of dead rose higher. Eastern Europe, big parts of Africa and southern Asia were devastated by the spread of the Hydra, and there seemed to be no salvation for mankind. Suddenly, there was news of a cure, as the Chinese government announced it had found a way to treat the Hydra, which until now had a practically guaranteed lethality. The few accounts of history that remain do not tell whether this was empty propaganda to keep the people calm, or if there actually was a cure. But what they do tell is of the war that followed. It started with the big powers and their armies crashing against each other - skies darkened by bombers and smoke, and the wind carrying the scent of charred flesh and crumbled stone. The world was scarred by fire and dark matter, and as the war for the supposed cure grew more and more desperate, it started to engulf more and more of the world. And in the end, there were no nations left standing. They had perished either in the flames of war, or through the Hydra. Great cities were nothing more than abandoned ruins, and the golden age of mankind was over. The last light of life was small, and flickering. But it did not die.
The dark before the dawn
It is human nature to endure, to overcome, adapt and rebuild. And as stillness once fell over the world, the few humans that remained were faced with a new reality - a reality without comfort or convenience. The grand technology that existed around them was now nothing more than empty husks of metal and plastic, and the societies that had depended on specialized knowledge, now found themselves helpless. Soon enough, no more cars ran and no lamps shone. Cities were reclaimed by nature, and with every passing day, more knowledge was lost. And still the Hydra spread through the world, less apparent now, but just as dangerous.
But in this darkness, those few survivors found solace in each other, and their shared losses. There was much fighting and turmoil, to be sure, but humans have always been, and will always be, a group animal. With time, small settlements formed and grew, and some settlements even grew into smaller cities, often fortified and guarded, to prevent anyone infected with the Hydra from spreading it to others. Slowly, but surely, mankind started to rise again.
Thousand strains of death
Before the big war, the Hydra was studied extensively, often with very different (and sometimes even contradictory) conclusions. Its violently mutating nature meant that it was wildly unpredictable, and that there were more strains of it than anyone could count. Different parts of the world were ravaged by different strains, and many strains even spread in different ways, making it hard to protect yourself efficiently.
The only real constant was that the Hydra would try to root itself into all the organs of the body, as well as the nervous system. But beyond this, it could kill a human in many different ways, depending on the strain - none of them peaceful nor pleasant. Some would survive for weeks, whereas others would perish in only a few days. Some could carry it without showing any signs, while others looked like walking corpses, having small, tooth-like sprouts all over their skin. Though some have claimed that they seem to be more resilient or even immune to the Hydra infection, it is something that no one places much belief in. It's too dangerous to take such a risk.
To this day, the most reliable way to know whether someone is infected or not is if they have a biopass - an small gadget integrated into your skin, which to some extent can determine whether there is an infection or not. Most fortress cities require some sort of guarantee that you are not infected to be let in, and a biopass makes that process much easier. But even that process is not fully reliable, and sometimes gives false positives or negatives. After all, the Hydra is a complicated thing...
Dark matter technology
Once hailed as a significant breakthrough for physics, the harnessing of dark matter for energy production gave birth to a whole new branch of technology. Though most of its uses were peaceful and indeed for the betterment of mankind, it also brought about dark matter weapons. They proved to be a far more efficient type of armament, and were applied to both standard infantry use as well as aircrafts, tanks and other vehicles. Though few of these weapons remain these days, they are whispered of in stories as terrible death-bringers, their black rays piercing through flesh and bone as if they were but paper...
This is where the story starts, in the ruins of an old world, as the flowers of a new one are beginning to sprout.
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