Due to their exponential exploitation of Earth’s resources, humanity had driven itself to the point of near extinction. Mighty nations fell under the weight of their own pride and corruption. The only hope for humanity was to somehow develop their technology far further than it currently was. They could not.
War was the terrible answer, and soon after, all that was left of humanity were those who stood aside and who no one cared to kill. With no internet, no fuel, and no social systems, humanity grew in small villages so far from each other that they could have been on different planets. Warlords, tyrants, prophets, and all kinds of leaders led the tribes. Humans became tough and heartless.
Arrival of the Corvo
Then the Corvo came through a wormhole, and it was easy for them to take over. They first established a base on no man’s land in the old continent of Africa and initiated economic and military negotiations with the locals. Their economic capacities, supported by a universal economy, made them the strongest faction on the planet. Eventually, most humans were working for the Corvo and fighting wars against their enemies, which were often fellow human factions that did not want to work for the Corvo or owe them anything. Earth became a colony of the Corvosphere.
Shortly after the occupation, humans started gaining a reputation as very capable mercenaries. They were far more prepared for physical tasks than their corvo counterparts. The corporations specializing in military contracting, defense, and security started hiring humans in great numbers. Entire bands of warriors joined military contractors.
Earth became a breeding and training ground for human mercenaries. A planet controlled by dozens of factions in constant war with each other and with limited resources is the perfect place to secure an endless supply of soldiers, and the Corvo made sure that Earth stayed that way by supplying them with weapons whenever they requested it. The harsh conditions on Earth mean that there are always humans willing to leave their lives behind to work, and many human lords pay their debts to the corvo corporations with the labour of their young people.
The fear of humans running out of control in the Corvosphere, or even moving to work for the State, gave way to the first clause of every human space labour contract: that they must agree to genetic sterilization, a process that attacks their reproductive capacities on such a level that is beyond any sort of repair. The process does not have major effects on the person, but it is known to stop female menstruation. Reverting this process is impossible, although some iz’kal claim that they could perform such a task if they had access to the DNA of a non-sterilized human. The corvo corporations have a very strict methodology when interacting with Earth to avoid the possibility of that DNA reaching the State.
Earth’s location is unknown to most, and it is one of the best kept secrets of the Corvosphere - not even the CEOs of the megacorps know the totality of the route. This is achieved by a complex set of routines that only highly loyal - and well paid - corvo pilots have partial knowledge of. Someone who would want to figure it out would need to bribe, torture, or somehow make ten different people talk, and even this is no easy task, as their identities are kept secret as well.
Regardless, humans became valuable and wanted, and the Corvo were unable to keep them all on their side. Many humans changed sides to the State for a better offer, as loyalty was something they did not have for their new bosses. The Iz’kal State, understanding the menace of strong aliens species working for the Corvo, work hard to recruit humans to their side. They offer them citizenships in exchange for several years of work defending their borders and interests. Many humans, tired of being exploited by corvo, find ways to move to the State, but most of them do not find the idea of being a citizen of the State appealing at all. The Corvo do promise and do deliver riches to those that are good enough to gain them. The most capable humans work in million credit contracts as personal bodyguards of CEOs and other important corvo.
Most corvo spaceships carry a few human guards who are kept in stasis for the duration of their travel, or a number of years as established in the contract. While in stasis, the human is in a comatose state and does not age perceptibly. This allows the contractor to keep the salary low, as the humans are not paid extra for the time they are in stasis. Humans agree to this as they have few economical choices and they have no needs while in stasis. Most of the times, nothing happens and they spend a couple of decades in stasis and wake up to a roll of bills - a few more decades in stasis and they might be able to afford a home and support a family. Other times, they are awakened when the ship is under attack and must fight to the death to defend the property of their contractors. At the least, the flat fee of their contract is paid to their next of kin when they die. These contracts have completely broken up the human society in the Corvosphere, as the perception of time is different for each human depending in the contracts he has undertaken. Many humans meet up with childhood friends to discover there is now 20 or 30 years of difference between them.
There is a human legend in the Corvosphere. It talks of a human colony somewhere in the Labyrinth, established by a rebel group that escaped with a terraforming spacecraft. They talk about a place in the Labyrinth where a ship awaits any humans that might want to join them, to guide them to their free colony. This mythological colony is known as the Terra Nova. Some shady humans and corvo claim they can take people there for over a hundred thousand credits. Some humans spend their Iife’s savings to go with them, and they never come back. It is hard to say what fate befalls them, whether they find their paradise or become subject to some terrible reality, in the form of slavery or worse.
It has been 300 years since the arrival of the Corvo to Earth, and free humans have spread throughout the known Universe as bounty hunters, mercenaries, and killers. There are not many of them, making their hiring prices high, and their fortunes uncertain.
A few human groups have taken arms against the megacorps, stealing the ships they were supposed to protect, and now live within the Labyrinth or in some unexplored space. They are nomads, pirates, or warlords who sell their work to the highest bidder. The strongest faction of this kind is the Human Front. Some humans choose to become fulcrums on death in exchange for large payments whilst they are still alive.
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