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The Story of the Cluster

There is a cluster of 100,000 stars in a galaxy of 100,000 clusters and in it there is chaos.

In a corner of the cluster is a pulsar. It is the single biggest factor in the life of the cluster. It's pulsation period is 2.6 seconds and its beam shines directly into the cluster. There is a nebula screening the beam and protecting the deeper regions of the cluster. Inside the nebula are unique atoms, matter and energy that become charged by the pulsar. This creates the greatest energy source known. Ions from the nebula are collected and transported back to planets to provide surface energy. This was once a monopoly enterprise of the Sav - the only civilization to have mastered interplanetary travel and could visit the nebula.

It was only a short time ago that planets of the cluster were first visited by the Sav. Their ships were not large or powerful but they could travel between planets in mere hours. This gave the Sav their power. Though their weapons were little more powerful than the other planets they came quickly to dominate. They called their travel technology "warp" and they held it secret and held it close.

Then one day their advantage was lost. A Sav vessel was disabled and then "rescued". It was not long before warp technology was stripped and disseminated through-out the cluster. But all was not lost for the Sav. By then their influence was large through economic dominance nurtured by their past monopoly on warp. But they changed too. From a trading empire they shifted to military power. What they couldn't dominant by economy and warp they dominated by force.

The planets under the Sav Influence and those outside lost their balance. Whereas before warp they had no contact with each other except through the Sav, now they discovered eachother. Sometimes trading, sometimes fighting. Borders, influences, wars and unrest abound. Now, the Sav treat them as misbehaving children but they are growing up fast and the Sav are losing control. Militaries, rebels, militias, privateers and pirates are all at work. A new equilibrium seeks itself but is now disrupted: 2 ships have been found.

From somewhere, entering the cluster, floated 2 unknown vessels. Collected by subjects of the Sav the ships were held awaiting transfer until stolen by newly contracted privateers. The privateers work for Grayndie, the strongest system after the Sav but still under them. The privateers, calling themselves "Band Twelve", resolve to hide their conquest from the Grayngdie while fleeing the Sav.

Band Twelve answers Grayngdie's mission requests and, like most privateers, operates through intermediaries thus enabling them to conceal their vessels. But the charade cannot last. With each battle they fight, Band Twelve reveals themselves, the Sav get closer, and the Grayngdie get wiser.

Operating in a small region of the Cluster Band Twelve follows order from the Grayngdie to help or harass as instructed. The Grayngdie are strong in this region. They are gaining the courage to undermine the Sav while feigning their alligence. Their privateers are their means to this end. Band Twelve cannot guess the end goal Grayngdie but their resentment of the Sav leads them to follow where directed. But soon the Grayngdie will want those ships that Band Twelve have stolen.

Band Twelve fights, flees, serves and deceives - but their luck will run out. The story of the Cluster will evolve and a new balance will be reached.