Our approach to existential risks cannot be one of trial-and-error. There is no opportunity to learn from errors. The reactive approach — see what happens, limit damages, and learn from experience — is unworkable. Rather, we must take a proactive approach. This requires foresight to anticipate new types of threats and a willingness to take decisive preventive action and to bear the costs (moral and economic) of such actions.

—Nick Bostrom

As man sought to explore the stars, the limits of his abilities were tested time and again. The terrors of deep space travel, of being alone for years at a time. Waking in a tube that should have kept you asleep for many years to come, kept sustained by machines for years. The first settlers of a distant star did not go unchanged in that cold dark. When no word was received of their arrival, Bright Horizon was thought lost.

Man adapts, however. Theodore Kepler engineered the greatest of man’s accomplishments. The spatial anomaly created by the first Kepler Rings allow instantaneous transport between any two such rings. Within a few short years, the entirety of the solar system became our playground.

Mankind surged outwards with renewed vigor. Close proximity to mother Earth via Kepler Rings made habitable planets less necessary. The mining of the asteroid belt provided near limitless resources to the expanding race. A world once threatened by over-population, now given a frontier so vast as to be incomprehensible.

In the year After Space 211, we received our first contact from beyond the Sol System. The message was simple, “We are the Dead, the Lost, the Forgotten. We are coming home.” The Bright Horizon was not lost. It had completed its mission after all. The remnants of that ship had bred and their insanity had run true, and generations later, their dark work was ready to reveal to their brothers and sisters back home.

When Bright Horizon returned to Sol, it was not a cause for celebration. It brought with it a fleet and a ravenous crew, and they descended upon the fledgling colonies en masse. Thus began Interstellar War One, better known as the War of the Lost.

The Lost were only the first threat we created for ourselves in the depths of space. And though the war was over, the Bright Horizon escaped for parts unknown. We would eventually establish a ring in Alpha Centauri, but the Lost had not returned.

Humanity is vulnerable, in this time of expansion. The Earth Defense Force does not have the resources to fight on all fronts, and many feel that the bureaucracy behind it is ineffective for the challenges we face.

It is now After Space 273. The threat of the Lost seems past, but old wounds still ache. Each new colony risks a new threat, but the greatest threat of all has always been man himself..

Blueshift pulls from many sources. Including, but not limited to, d20 Modern, d20 Future, Pathfinder, Eclipse Phase, Mass Effect, Vanquish, and more. All artwork belongs to their respective owners.