Occupied Space

occupied space
Illustration by Alec McKinley
Habitable planets in zone 222 known air-breathing worlds
Size Two hundred light years across
Namesake Given after creation of the relations station 740 BGI

Occupied space is the term labeled for all known and explored territories within the Free Worlds of Humanity's grasp. The centermost location between all systems was where the relations station was built by all five societies that would become Free Worlds and have seats inside the Capitol Forum. Specific regions within occupied space maps are labeled for relevance within all printed and digital star maps.

This term refers to humanity's obsession with the Old World technology and Titans of the distant past. Current Free Worlds thinking is that the whole of humanity is merely occupying planets until the Titans return to claim what is rightfully theirs.

Occupied space is vast, but only a small blip compared to our galaxy.

Miss. Toro, primary school teacher inside the main cylinder


A vast emptiness without stars or life. At its center is the Androsian Singularity, an anomaly that causes the Androsian Effect, which alters the mental abilities of anyone who is near it for prolonged exposure. Years earlier, brilliant scientists spent too much time studying the singularity on a space station and became immune to pain and completely deranged cognitively. The Great-in-Between is a dangerous place. Because it is such a large area of space, some ship captains risk traveling through the in-Between rather than going the long way around. Other anomalies have been reported by traveling ships and Dolrinion Force Commands inside the in-Between, especially near the Yalvon Nebula. Some crews report floating lights that seem to take shapes resembling something familiar to the viewer. Other reports include ghost ships that pursue in and out from faster-than-light travel, odd radiation signatures, distress calls that sound like screams of terror, and body worm infections. The Great-in-Between is a difficult place to study because of its hostile nature.

Legends on Kora claim that this vast emptiness once had stars, and radiation signatures that slowly dissipate each year since scanning first started do indicate that there might have once been stars within the in-Between. There's no singular proof other than stone etched artistic impressions within archeological dig sites. If stars once populated this immense area of space, scientists are puzzled at what could have caused them all to vanish.

Titans' Belt

Images depicting Titans’ belts as simple dotted lines don’t give enough significance to the size of the belt. Its thickness can be measured in light-years, pushing far past known space into the uncharted regions. Pickers of the belt who have lived there for countless generations view it in a religious context. Larger star maps show constellations that form a figure with arms, legs and head. Titans’ Belt dots across the beltline perfectly. Belt dwellers call this figure Mighty Titan and see it as a divine being that guides them in their dangerous lives, mining and living in the chaotic storm of smashing rocks within the belt. Titans’ Belt doesn’t technically fall under any Free Worlds’ government jurisdiction with freedom to operate for any space-faring society. Because of this technicality, navigating the belt is even more challenging. Pirates, mercenaries, marauders, and sneak thieves are a constant threat within Titans’ Belt and even an occasional Androsian harvester ship. Miners working in drill communities or scout ships scanning for new ores always keep weapons close to their dominant hands.

Yalvon Nebula

A massive nebula that spans many distant light-years and has never been thoroughly explored. Human Alliance scientists sent a generational science vessel into the nebula nearly one thousand years BGI. Communications back to Epsilon Prime were periodic and faded, but they regularly came for months before stopping. Voyager Twenty-One, which had representation from all city-states, was finally declared as missing in action three years later. Ninety-five more years passed before Emerald Lighthouse Station, positioned near the nebula, detected debris drifted past the thick colorful clouds. No other vessels ever ventured into the nebula again besides science probes.

A famous picture from a relations station probe that ventured far into the gases displayed a darkened shape that resembled sea whales, only much larger. The probe’s image was faded from distortions in the nebula, and to this day, Free Worlds populations collectively believe that giant space whales inhabit the colorful displays of nebula gas.

Demilitarized Zone

The DMZ is split between Dolrinion Offensive and Federate Corporation space. This zone has a handful of air-breathing worlds that are barren wastelands because of the past Franchise wars fought between these two societies. Native populations from these planets are now extinct, and no Free Worlds' vessels can travel within the zone. On both sides of the border rests the largest military occupation in all of occupied space with enough warships to destroy every single air-breathing planet ten times over. Relations station representatives from the other three Free Worlds governments conduct regular yearly visits to the DMZ and Exclusion Zones to ensure all lawful proclamations are being adhered to.

Exclusion Zones

These vast areas are buffer zones between Dolrinion and Corporation home territories where military occupation is forbidden, as written into the Free Worlds Relations Policy. Travel through the zones is allowed, and brief stop-offs between FTL cooldowns are acceptable, but neither side is allowed to station or occupy either exclusion zone. More air-breathing planets rest within both zones that are no longer inhabited, where native populations that survived the Great Darkness dwelled until their destruction by Dolrinion sentinel and Federate operator operations in previous wars.

Last known location of the Frontiersmen

All Free Worlds' star maps always have a single artistic star labeled for the last ping from ark ships. It's been nine years since any map needed to be officially updated, which comes directly from the Hall of Records within MERC Guild's headquarters inside the cathedral. Collectors take great pride in having physical copies of updated Hall of Records star maps each time a ping is detected.