The Codex is an information page dealing with aspects of space-faring civilizations, including warfare, culture, and colonization procedures. For the best Battle for Earth experience, it is a good idea to refer to the Codex for detailed information on how the universe and its inhabitants live from day-to-day.
Life is defined by most civilized races as "Entities capable of development, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change". This includes organic and inorganic species. There are many races, though, that do not believe in synthetic life, believing them to be nothing more than machines. This has led to prejudice and mistreatment of synthetic beings, both sentient and non-sentient.
Organic life is the most common form of life in the galaxy. While most races are carbon-based lifeforms, there are several planets host to silicon-based life. The variety of organic life is incredibly complex. In addition to eukaryotic and prokaryotic life, archaea have also been found on many life-bearing planets. Most habitable planets host unicellular organisms, though 15% of these planets contain complex organisms, which are usually eukaryotic plants. Only 2% of habitable planets contain animals.
Eukaryotic life can consist of animals, plants, fungi, and terrilaks.
Animals are heterotrophs, relying on producers to make their food and energy. Most sentient races in the galaxy are part of the animal kingdom due to their complex biochemistry and structure. The complexity in animals makes cataloging all species nearly impossible.
There are many phyla in the animal kingdom, including cnidaria, cordata, mollusks, arthropods, and annelids. Describing all families of all phyla past this point would be incredibly time-consuming and will not be performed. However, it is to be remembered that most sentient races are cordata.
Animals can live in liquids, such as water, or in gaseous atmospheres. Due to access to fire, almost all space-faring sentient races live outside of a liquid.
Plants can make their own food from sunlight and contain chlorophyll, rendering most plants green on the visible wavelength spectrum. While most are unicellular, many plants are multicellular. From flowers to trees to grass, multicellular plants, more than anything, are synonymous with life-bearing planets due to the incredibly high life-bearing gas yield from large plants. While most plants cannot move, there are some that can move, especially on carbon dioxide-rich, life-bearing planets. There is evidence of sentient plants existing in some form or another at some point in the past.
Fungi, while similar to plants, cannot make their own food, nor are they primary consumers. They reproduce using spores. While fungi are multicellular many times, they are almost completely incapable of movement. Mushrooms are generally relatively small, though there are many planets in which fungus forests exist. Due to the lack of chlorophyll, there are many possible colors of which a fungus can possess.
Terrilaks, the last kingdom of life, are chiefly silicon-based. Organisms can siphon pressure, which is where they gather most of their energy. They can release kinetic energy on their own, leading to many misconceptions about telekinesis. Terrilaks do not require oxygen or sunlight to live, though they do require immense amounts of pressure to survive, leading to their existence only under deep oceans or in high-atmosphere planets. Mobile terrilaks are incredibly rare.
Synthetic life is described as an inorganic entity capable of performing all functions of life. Synthetic life is always the product of organic life, though true synthetic life is rare. One of the only known examples of synthetic life is the Mechs. Due to many organic lifeforms seeing synthetic life as nothing more than an advanced computer program, there are some that do not consider synthetic life to be truly alive at all. While a member of organic life is an organism, the proper term for a synthetic being is a synthesism.
Synthetic life is nearly parallel to organic life. While organic life is based largely on amino acids, synthetic life is based on bits. While protein bases code for DNA, binary sequences code for information. Synthetic life can also be categorized via taxonomy. The two domains of synthetic life are corymbi (clustered) and noncorymbi (non-clustered). Noncorymbus synthesisms are non-complex programs similar to prokaryotes. Most superviruses are noncorymbus synthesisms.
Corymbus synthesisms are capable of holding much more data. Within the corymbus synthesism domain exists the coders, the encryptors, the decryptors, and Mechas.
Coders are similar to organic producers, or plants. Coders are responsible for the creation of usable data and energy and displacing it, allowing other synthesisms to collect the data and compile it as needed. Unlike plants, coders do not have an effect on a landscape at all. A coder-rich server, however, will generally be relatively data rich. Coders are incredibly simple synthesisms.
Encryptors are synthesisms responsible for compiling unused code. Similar to fungi, encryptors change code in such a way that the code becomes usable by other synthesisms, be it decryptors or Mechas. Encryptors, like coders, are simple synthesisms.
Decryptors change encrypted data back into baser components. Similar to a decomposer, these synthesisms release bits back into a server, allowing coders to rewrite the bits into new code.
Named after the Mechs, Mechas are complex synthesisms. The only known example of Mechas is a Mech, though a surviving synthesism has not been documented in 65 million years. Mechas absorb and use data written by coders and rewritten by encryptors. There are two phyla in the Mechas Kingdom: flumen and influmen. Influmen are analogous to invertebrates. Without an established data stream, influmen are generally relatively simple Mechas. Code can be rewritten by influmen to be used by flumen.
In complex synthesisms, a data stream is required, allowing the synthesism to interact and network with other synthesisms. The classes of Mechas are much more different from organic classes. At this point, there are four classes: server-bound, roaming, hardware-bound, and Installations. For further information on Mechas beyond this point, refer to the Mechs page.
The many denizens of the galaxy refer to it using many terms. Humans, of course, refer to the galaxy as the Milky Way Galaxy. However the galaxy has many accepted names throughout civilized space that will be easily recognized. Political correctness and ease of use has simply popularized the galaxy’s name to simply, ‘The Galaxy’. However the ‘Home Galaxy’ can be used and recognized by almost all nations. Various religions and superstitions have provided names for The Galaxy. For ease of use in this manual, we will use ‘The Galaxy’ as the term when referring to our galaxy.
The galaxy is a barred spiral galaxy. Roughly 120,000 lightyears across, the galaxy contains roughly 390 billion stars. The spiral disk is 1,000 lightyears thick. Despite the appearance that the galaxy is filled with stars and gases, the truth is that most space between stars is empty space. A common misconception that space is chaotic has resulted in many aspiring travelers to remain planetside all their life. Asteroid collisions, planetary collisions, and stellar collisions are relatively rare, especially in civilized systems.
The stars in the galaxy vary in size and shape, with the largest being Avalon, a blue hypergiant in the Cygnus arm, with a diameter of 2.3 billion km. Much of the galaxy can not see this massive star due to its placement on the other side of the galactic center. Stars collapse into supernovae every so often, though inhabited worlds are rarely threatened by both the blast itself and any gamma bursts. Most stars in the galaxy are brown dwarfs.
Stars that go supernova collapse and become black holes many times. The gravitational pull of black holes is incredibly strong, even being able to pull in light. Due to the chaotic nature of black holes, there are many misconceptions about black holes, especially in the impoverished areas of the galaxy. Black holes are not portals to other points in time and space. Wormholes and black holes are two completely different things.
The center of the galaxy is composed primarily of various gases and older stars. The rate of supernovas is much higher in the center of the galaxy. Unlike most galaxies, our galaxy does not contain a bulge due to a past galactic collision. At the center of the galaxy is a supermassive black hole. Due to the background radiation of the galactic core, almost all planets in the area are uninhabitable.
The outer edge of the galaxy is defined by a halo of older stars that aren’t part of a spiral. The amount of distance between stars at the edge of the universe is significant. Ultimately, the distance makes all travel to other galaxies impractical. A common misconception states that there is a barrier of some sort preventing ships from leaving the galaxy. While some ships have left the galaxy, the benefit of leaving the galaxy aside from curiosity or stealth is simply nonexistent.
Planets and Bodies
There are 302 billion planets in the galaxy. Most of these planets are uninhabitable or are gas giants, but an estimated 10% of all planets in the galaxy support life or have supported life at some point. Only 15% of these planets contain multicellular organisms, however, while 2% of those planets actually contain animals. The amount of worlds bearing sentient life is miniscule. In addition, many systems contain various bodies such as asteroids or comets that are not considered planets.
Due to the incredible emptiness of space, vehicles must be prepared for travelling long distances. In the early days of spaceflight, interplanetary travel could take weeks. Travel between stars could take months or even years, requiring cryostasis of the crew. As technology progressed, people were able to easily and quickly travel between planets and stars.
Travel between planets generally takes a few hours. A ship inbound from the outer edge of a solar system can find itself on a day-long trek. Sublight speeds are described as any speeds slower than the speed of light. This allows for easier navigation between worlds. Travel laws enforce the use of sublight speeds in habited systems. Disobeying these laws will lead to a hefty fee, if not confiscation of one’s starship.
Upon reaching 1 AU of a planet, ships must decelerate to a safe 3,000 kps. Further deceleration to 300 mps upon reaching the exosphere is required in order to safely dock with orbital and suborbital platforms or starships. A descent through an atmosphere generally takes half an hour, though assault ships and starfighters can enter and leave an atmosphere in less than ten minutes. While it is possible to travel to a planet at a quicker speed, it is illegal and, not to mention, highly dangerous.
While most objects cannot travel faster than light, there are many methods of FTL travel that can be used by ships. These methods, based on wormholes, space-folding, and hyperspace technology, vary from species to species.
Wormholes are tears in the fabric of space. Most wormholes are incredibly small and, contrary to popular belief, do not have gravitational pulls. Wormholes are very rare; only 34 cataloged wormholes exist in the galaxy. Unfortunately for moving ships, a wormhole can easily damage ships should a ship travel over one. Parts of the ship may enter the wormhole, leaving holes in travelling ships. Furthermore, it is unknown where wormholes can lead. Experiments performed on the wormholes have led to the conclusion that all wormholes in the galaxy lead to unknown points throughout the universe.
Various warp gates throughout the galaxy allow races to travel with ease. Using the Holtzman Effect, these gates fold space, creating an artificial wormhole of sorts. While the technology to create new warp gates is long lost, relics from long ago still exist. Many lower-tech races use these warp gates to travel between systems. Star systems without warp gates take a longer time to reach for races without hyperdrives.
Considered the quintessential device for spacefaring races, hyperdrives are used to access hyperspace, an adjacent, empty, smaller dimension. Ships entering hyperspace are able to re-enter realspace, their travel times heavily cut down upon by hyperspace travel. Navigators are used for ships with hyperdrives usually, since imputing incorrect coordinates may lead to the ship appearing in interstellar space at the best-case scenario. Many erroneous navigators, though, have imputed coordinates that lead outside the galaxy, never to be seen again. It is possible that these ships are still in hyperspace, derelict and defunct.
Travelling faster than light does come with serious side effects. Background radiation from the big bang can be encountered at such high speeds. Ships must be properly shielded against x-ray radiation. Furthermore, blinders on ships are advised due to the extreme brightness of FTL travel.
Steering in a vacuum is impossible with atmospheric methods. Furthermore, acceleration and deceleration is much more difficult in space than it is in an atmosphere. Generally, there are two methods of maneuvering that spacecraft can use: thrusters or internal gyroscopes. Both have clear advantages over each other, making gyroscopic and thruster-based navigation interchangeable.
Thrusters are rocket-based propulsion used to achieve lift. While in an atmosphere, thrusters are used to allow instantaneous takeoff and touchdown. While the main thrusters are generally placed on the aft of a ship for acceleration. Ion-based thrusters are also used for faster acceleration. Smaller, maneuverable thrusters are generally placed on strategic places of ships to allow for movement in a vacuum. While fuel-consuming and somewhat risky, thrusters are still used by all spacefaring races.
The boost provided by thrusters can be very slow, which is a major downside to the technology. However, slow turning in larger ships is essential as a gyroscope is too quick to be safely used on capital ships.
Internal gyroscopes are used to finely pivot a ship, allowing precise and fluid motion. Used primarily by fighters, freighters, and some cruisers, gyroscopes can allow a pilot to easily maneuver his/her ship in a vacuum. Most ships using gyroscopes have automatic controls, allowing a pilot to safely pivot a ship. However, skilled pilots can use manual controls, risking excessive G-forces and motion sickness for the most precise control a pilot can have. Due to their quick turns, gyroscopes are too dangerous to use on larger ships.
In space, g-forces are a regular problem. Even non-combat ships must accelerate to amazing speeds in order to reach a destination. Sufficient g-forces on an individual can result in injury or death. To combat such forces, two methods have been used: The Cocktail and inertial compensators.
The Cocktail is, quite simply, a cocktail of drugs and medicines used to keep a pilot alert during periods of extreme g-forces. This method is used primarily among younger races, though The Cocktail is frequently used in escape pods or other craft that don’t have the space or money to handle inertial compensators. While the drug is mostly painless, the incredibly high amount of g-forces being sustained by the body makes for an incredibly uncomfortable ride.
Inertial compensators create a field lessening the inertia felt by objects and people in this field. Most people use inertial compensators at full power, making the push on their bodies completely absent. However, experienced pilots use inertial compensators at 98% of 97% power to feel how their spacecraft is performing. Installation of inertial compensators can be somewhat expensive and, if not carefully maintained, they can be unreliable.
Should an inertial compensator be damaged, the ship will quickly decelerate to a safe speed. Most emergency kits contain the Cocktail, allowing a pilot to reach an area safely and effectively.
Docking with platforms in an atmosphere requires little expertise. However, the more massive a ship is, the more expertise and assistance is needed in docking. Most capital ships simply do not dock planetside due to their immense size. Instead, flight control from space stations and guided flight assists a large ship in docking with a space station.
Parking a moving fighter in a moving ship used to require incredible precision. Accidents were prone and the practice was discouraged. Today, tractor beams are used to allow ships to safely dock with or inside of larger ships.
In this modern era of medicine, many illnesses can be easily expelled from the body. Clean practices and efficient quarantining of individuals infected with unknown diseases has allowed for people to experience sickness very rarely, if ever. The age of disease is over in the civilized galaxy.
Diseases such as diabetes and heart disease have become a thing of the past thanks to modern medicine. Asthma has been cured and migraine headaches can easily be whisked away with something as little as a pill. Many cancers, including skin and bone cancer, have been eliminated. Only the rarest of cancers remain active in the galaxy. The life expectancy of the average individual is roughly 200 years, depending on exercise and species.
Most infectious diseases, including the flu and the common cold, have been eradicated from the galaxy. Most species that have had interaction for some time are able to be near each other without fear of cross-species contamination. However, new species and new habitable planets are home to many pathogens that could kill an unprotected individual within a short period of time. Specialized suits are worn by ambassadors and visitors to new planets.
While medicine has removed the necessity of most surgeries, many injuries or other complications require surgery. Like in the past, anesthetic is used before a team of highly-trained surgeons and robots perform the operation. To heal wounds, a medicine made with fermented Oeris leaves is administered. Oeris leaves, when fermented and combined with other drugs, allows for incredibly fast tissue regrowth. This mixture is called Panacea.
Generally seen among veterans of war, cybernetics are used to recreate the effect of a limb or an organ. While much cybernetics usage is the result of an injury, some individuals choose to voluntarily augment themselves with cybernetic implants and upgrades, giving them an edge over the average individual. Many, however, fear the effects of cybernetics due to misconceptions over the Mechs’ revolt from the Phantoms. Furthermore, some militaries require standard-issue augmentations for all soldiers.
War in the past could be fought conventionally on larger planets. Nations vying for control would fight for hundreds of years to take a planet. This is generally no longer an option. A nation fighting for a well-civilized planet will be fighting for centuries on the same planet if weapons of mass destruction are not used. Combat in space is much more different from combat in an atmosphere, furthermore.
During wars, targeted planets are frequently bombarded with nuclear weapons, fission bombs, and asteroids. Many planets have been rendered uninhabitable due to wars. Even if the planet survives, the scars will remain for hundreds of thousands of years. Important planets generally see less bombardment if the enemy wishes to take it over. However, centers of population are easily at the mercy of enemies. To combat asteroid bombardment, ships and turrets are constantly on the lookout for incoming asteroids, hoping to destroy them before they can wreak too much havoc.
Smaller colony worlds with only a few major settlements can easily be taken by conventional means. Even if the people rise again, the population outside of cities rarely outnumbers that of city-dwellers. Fighting for a planet in a vacuum or toxic environment is as easy as fighting for control over the life-support systems.
There are an infinite number of directions in which a ship can travel in space. For this reason, head-on attacks that occur on planets cannot be used in space. Many tactics place ships fighting in a sphere more than a uniform line. Defensive lines will work to form a sphere of ships around the offensive teams. Offensive teams generally try to prevent the formation of this sphere.
In space, objects continue to travel unless acted upon by an equal force. Errant missiles are prone to flying out of the solar system, disappearing entirely. The chances of a stray missile actually hitting an inhabited star system are so low, they aren’t even worth mentioning. However, missiles frequently hit planets by accident. In battles for a minor colony world, this is not a problem. Battles for populated planets, however, frequently see collateral damage. Ships trying to take a planet without putting the environment at risk are known to attack from angles pointing away from a planet. Defensive spheres are frequently attacked from the side or from below rather than from above.