A Universe of Empirates

The Assassin’s Cradle takes place in the distant future, at least 5,000 years from now.

During that time, Earth went through a transformation. Petroleum ran out, then natural gas, and as those fuel sources became scarce, renewable power took hold as nuclear power was reserved for the desperate exploration of space.

The population grew unchecked until it reached a breaking point somewhere around twelve billion people. The inability of even GMO food sources to meet demand resulted in mass starvation events. Numerous territorial wars broke out and disease followed dead bodies everywhere. It was a brutal way of ridding the planet of its excess population, but human nature and mother nature eventually balanced our excesses.

Traditional governments failed, ushering a new era of corporate fiefdoms. Corporations merged with and acquired a diverse portfolio of expertise becoming huge conglomerates. A common currency spread throughout the globe, but population and a conglomerate’s ability to support it became the new measure of wealth. In an odd twist, education experienced a renaissance as population productivity was prioritized. An entrepreneurial framework was established and citizens were encouraged to improve their standing by adding value.

Wars, starvation, and disease had taken a toll on the world’s population, but conglomerate competition soon threatened to burst the Earth at the seams again. Fortunately, the space race was well underway, and the entrepreneurial system had yielded innovations in space exploration, travel, and terraforming. Medical advances prepared humans for the foreign viruses and bacteria they discovered in their travels, and the human body’s miraculous ability to adapt was tested frequently, proving capable of meeting the challenge more often than not.

Eventually, thousands of planets were colonized. Surprisingly, very few sentient species existed in the universe, and in typical human fashion, we annihilated them and took their planets. (Note: The Assassin’s Cradle takes place in a universe where humans are the only sentient life form, depending upon how you define sentient, and for simplicity’s sake, I put only one species in that category, humans. There are many intriguing possibilities to explore when the definition of sentient is expanded from the one I use, and also where aliens are included in the definition. I’m not exploring those in this universe, but I am exploring several other very interesting concepts, so… back to the story of the universe.) However, the number of planets were too large for the existing number of conglomerates to control.

A new era of feudalism was ushered in when existing conglomerates granted planets and solar systems to enterprising members of their organizations. But we know that the best laid schemes of mice and men oft go awry, and the grand plan to fold these grants back into the larger organizations was no different. Some of the granted systems grew and matured before their grantor could reacquire them. Left to their own devices, the most enterprising of them began to merge and acquire neighboring systems, forming new conglomerates, too big and unwilling to be folded into their parent.

Spread throughout the universe, these conglomerate empires, which I call empirates, do not remain static. There are always strengths and weaknesses, and where they exist, intrigue is sure to follow.

This is the universe into which Idries Tanarra is born. Trained as an agent provocateur, he is sent by the Insam Enlightenment to the planet Ganoten to stir up a little mischief.


Drop by The Word and tell Rupert what you want to know more about.

Leave a Reply