The world of swamps.
A long time ago we managed to get over the conflicts and left our dying homeland for a new planet that would accommodate and feed us.
And we have found it – Pallada, a gloomy World of swamps travelling around a brown dwarf star. The daytime here was always filled with twilight and the night was darker than black for the light of the moons and the stars couldn’t find way through the toxic smog.
It wasn’t a hospitable world. We found our own ways to adapt to the new home: our lungs volume increased, the skin became much rougher and thicker, our eyes started to see better in the dark. And had the planet adapted to meet our needs and expectations: atmospheric filters enabled us to breathe mostly without masks, some flora and fauna from our native planet stroke roots, here and there the water pumps dried up lands making them suitable for construction and enabling active mining on Pallada.
Despite all that our life here was bitter and dull. The jungles were abundant in dangerous amphibians, reptiles and semi-fish. Toxic and explosive gases would often break through the ground killing those who were too careless. But the worst thing was that this world was alien to us and we realized it even after centuries.
Back to stars.
Although not a real mother, Pallada had become a decent stepmother for us. While trying to survive and tame our new homeland we clean forgot about interstellar travel. Palladian swamps were hardly suitable for launching jet spaceships. We could only look at the dark sky: first with nostalgia, then in doubt and after centuries – with disbelief.
But once there occurred a real miracle. Pallada which used to be so stingy with presents had given us an invaluable gift – the one our native land was unable to grant. Mellow depths of the World of swamps were hiding a mystery compound which had negative weight and could produce tremendous power. Picking up the required speed was no longer a problem for a ship using the superfuel.
We were back in space but not as miserable outcasts on their only dilapidating ship. This time we were proud conquerors of foreign worlds. Rigorous Pallada had given us good training, had taught us new skills and had cut away the unnecessary. Nothing could stop us now, neither improving our genetic code nor using the artificial intelligence which previously was considered blasphemy.
The way to Unity.
We had been conquering foreign worlds for three thousand years. Throughout that period genetic modifications and dissemination had made us so different from each other that we could no longer be called one people. We mastered nearly two hundred settlement planets concentrated in one area of the Galaxy. Each of them had its own government, traditions, genetic lines, economy and currency.
No one ever objected to that state of things. Both ships and data transmitters had their speed limit which made it impossible to quickly govern tens of planets from one point.
We realized our unity as one species only when we confronted a foreign enemy – the first alien race of equal or superior force than ours. The aggressive race of Verdans was the foreign enemy all settlement planets ranged themselves against. Now we could call ourselves the Unity as the previous title of our species had lost its meaning.
The war lasted incredibly long. Both parties were equal in strength but the Verdans had created something that would enable them to defeat the Unity in some ten years’ period – they created Similars. Luckily, we met absolutely fabulous creatures who put an end to our fighting with the Verdans.
The Hive were seemingly harmless creatures that used a different way of interstellar travel involving not the superfuel but some mysterious capabilities of their queen bees. Obsessed with the idea of destroying the enemy, the Unity and the Verdans at first didn’t notice a weird beetle people that bustled about on this or that planet. Not until this people whacked both counterparties using its numerical superiority and unusual battle techniques.
The key factor that undermined the fighting capacity of the Verdans was the uprising of Similars after which the three races finally concluded peace lasting for millennia.