Big damn heroes. That’s you and your crew, although you might not know it yet. Don’t matter where you are in the ‘Verse or how you aim to pay for those Fruity Oaty bars. Could be you’re fly’in a ship held together by spit and duct tape, haulin’ cargo that the Feds would consider a mite questionable. Could be you’re fly’in in a Piao Leong cruiser, doin’ righteous work for the Alliance. You and yours are Big Damn Heroes and, if you're off to change the 'Verse, some things bear a little rememberin'.
So, here’s how it is. The Earth got used up. We found a new solar system and used terraforming technology to create hundreds of new Earths. The central planets formed the Alliance and decided that all worlds should unite under their rule. There was some disagreement on that point… After the War of Unification many Independents drifted to the edges of the system, far from Alliance control. Out on the Rim, people struggle to get by with the most basic technologies.
These days, there is only one central government in the ‘Verse. Leastways, that’s what the Alliance wants you to believe. It’s hard work to rule over a whole star system of trillions of people and hundreds of worlds, especially when so many of those worlds are so very far away from the Core. Some in the Alliance might be starting to wonder if maybe they bit off more than they can chew by trying to extend their control over the outer planets. Some might be thinking they made a mistake. If they do, they’re keepin’ mighty quiet about it. These days the Alliance military – Purple Bellies – are all about keepin’ things quiet.
There are local governments on the Border and Rim planets. Cities have mayors. Planets have governors. Moons have magistrates. All these answer to the Alliance. At least, that’s the way it’s supposed to work. Local officials on the outer worlds tend to wield masses more power than their counterparts on the Core, just because no one’s close enough by to tell them they can’t. The Syndicate controls most of the organized crime in the system. Only a few people are aware the Syndicate even exists, and they know better than to start mouthing off. The Syndicate does not demand money from its members, but they do expect to be paid in other ways: receiving preferential treatment, getting cut-in on sweet deals, warned of any potential problems with the law, doing favors for the board or other members.
Everyone knows who the Browncoats were: volunteers who fought for their independence against the Alliance, known for their trademark brown leather dusters. Less well known are the Blackjacks. Bunch of… strong-minded folk, back during the war. Well, mostly just after. My definition; imagine the Alliance would give you another. Terrorists most like. Whatever their name, those who continue the Independent cause to this day have traded in their coats for jackets and kept fighting after their side stood down. They make it that much harder for a unified peace to take hold. The Alliance gets a bead on a few now and again, and they want it known these crimes are never forgiven. The term ‘Blackjack’ is spoken with pride out here on the rim. You and I both know it doesn’t become terrorism until one side wins.
Those folk living their safe comfortable lives on the Core planets don’t believe in Reavers, thinking them tales dreamed up by illiterate hicks. Those on the outer worlds know better. Ships, farms, and entire communities have been lost to the Reavers’ savage appetites. Reavers send raiding parties out to steal ships, technology, and supplies. Unfortunate folk who get in the Reavers’ way are captured, raped to death, eaten and skinned—in no particular order. Sometimes they force one victim to watch their reavings, then they leave him behind to go mad.
How Reavers came to be, no one really knows, and no one is about to ask them. It is said that they are the travellers who went too far from humanity. Out there on the edge of space, cut off from their own kind, they looked into the great void beyond and went mad. All that’s truly known is that the Reavers have carved out a territory on the outer reaches of the Burnham quadrant and no one has a guess of just how many are out there.
They say a ship will bring you work and a gun will help you keep it. Problem is, with all manner of ships sailing the black and more people carrying weapons than you can shake a rain-stick at, you never know what kind of work that might be. So, when you’re flyin’ the black, just keep this in mind: not all Core people are good-for-nothing snobs and not all those who dwell on the Rim are good-old-boys. Don’t matter where you travel. Folks is folk. Might be a good idea to watch your back no
matter where you are. So when you next think it’s time for some thrillin’ heroics… remember, it’s A Savage ‘Verse.