Aquarian Unity

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Played by Shard in CYOE2


The Aquarian Unity is one of the most truly alien forces in the known universe. While most spacefaring nations have some recognisable or logical basis. Whether mechanised equality, democracy or dictatorship, whether consisting of one race or several, most can be understood, even if some systems might seem repugnant to a pre-Scattering human mind.

The Unity, by all logic, should not function. It consists of several thousand species, all from the same planet, which not only work together and function together as a single nation, but still operate in a natural ecosystem. Even on their starships, crew hunting and killing each other for food is not only not unusual, it is accepted practice.

They have no apparent consistent leaders or representatives. They show little interest in power or malicious aggression, content merely to explore and expand. Their take on the universe is simplistic, almost child-like. Their ships would appear to reinforce this view, being lightly armoured and almost unarmed.

To mistake them for harmless is a grave mistake, however. When provoked, it is not a species that attacks, but an entire world...


The origins of the Unity are long forgotten. It is generally agreed to have been in existence for millions of years, but only word of mouth traditions existed until the arrival of humanity.

During the Scattering, one of the most complete colony ships, the Pacific, was stranded in a curious system with two inhabitable worlds. The first to be surveyed, Proteus, was judged to be far too hazardous for human life, with bizarrely violent, unpredictable weather and geological disturbances. The other, Amphitrite, was almost entirely covered by water. The few islands were so small and so sparse that land-based life had never evolved beyond primitive plants and bacteria.

In the oceans, however, was a wealth of life beyond the colonists' dreams. Seeing few other options other than to land and try to make the best of it, the Pacific was set down on the largest island, and divers started going into the sea to forage.

Very quickly the colonists realised there was something wrong. Divers, and indeed anyone who had had substantial contact with the water, started undergoing mood swings, behaving erratically and complaining of bizarre dreams. When they started using robots to explore the ocean, equipment malfunctions resulted in most being lost. Combined with the strangely cooperative behaviour of the local species, the leaders had to fight to prevent panic over the 'haunted' planet.

The last straw was when several of the first divers vanished in the night, taking their equipment with them. Riots ensued as colonists tried to get their leaders to leave the planet, preferring the prospect of deep space. It was only when the divers returned several days later that the answer to all the riddles was solved.

Amphitritan water is, in a sense, alive. What was concluded to be an energy-based lifeform that humans came to know as the Tides roams the oceans, and it had been attempting to manipulate and learn about the newcomers to its world. Now that it had done so, it welcomed them into the grand ecosystem that it maintained.

Many were reluctant to trust this strange entity, but some threw themselves into it. The former grew steadily more horrified as they saw what was becoming of their former friends of colleagues, but as more of the water slowly affected them, even the doubters began to leave land. The remainder eventually died out.

'What was becoming' was the steady reversal of humanity to a more primitive, animalistic state. At first, the humans that joined the Tides simply operated much as they had when they first arrived, acting as hunter-gatherers assisted by technology. But as time went on, three things became clear. The first was that every species of consequence on Amphitrite was, to a greater or lesser extent, sentient; the collective grouping of all of them was simply known as the Unity. The second was that this revelation, combined with the steady development of simple telepathy that extended contact with the Tides produced, led to many friendships and interconnections with the rest of the Unity.

The third, and most distressing to those who resisted the Tides, was that some of these friendships turned into full-scale relationships; relationships that not only produced children, but said children were healthy and fully capable of breeding in turn. Within a hundred years, humanity had gone extinct, replaced by half-breeds of steadily widening variety as human genetic code was dispersed through the ecosystem of the Unity.

Human genes had a curious effect on the Unity. The new species began experiencing the wanderlust of their forebears, and galvanised the rest to salvage the long-dorman Pacific, relearning the near-forgotten secrets of space flight. Adapting it to their new, water-based requirements, the first fully-fledged Unity starship was launched nearly five hundred years after the colony ship landed.

In the spirit of curiosity, the first world that they charted was Proteus; but the bizarre changeability of the planet defeated them, as it had the humans before them. More than this; the planet simply made them uncomfortable. Thus, even now, they avoid it.

Now, with the opening of the Nodes, the Unity has begun to spread out, exploring more of the universe. Wherever they go, their bizarre way of life continues, the diverse species bound together by the ever-present Tides...

(Note that this is the Unity's take on history. There are plenty of simple questions that they have never considered important...)


The two most prominent species of the Unity are the two main families descended from humans; the Merfolk and the Sirens. Both are jokingly named in honour of ancient pre-Scattering myth, and have some similarity to their legendary counterparts. Merfolk come in a huge variety of colours, sizes and other minutiae of details, but all correspond roughly to the image of the half-human, half-dolphin. Most have sharp claws and teeth, and are incapable of breathing air. They tend to have a playful, happy-go-lucky approach to life, and naturally live in small family groups.

Sirens are loners with a fearsome reputation. Like the mythical version, Sirens can disable and allure their prey with their songs, which are part physiological and part telepathic, stimulating endorphin release and disabling the nervous system. Because of their rarity and long lifespan, Sirens are held in awe by the rest of the Unity, and it is a somewhat dubious honour to be hunted and killed by one. In appearance, they are similar to merfolk but with longer tails, more elaborate fins, darker scales and much larger, shark-like teeth. They are also the only members of the Unity able to speak human languages, thanks to their mastery over sound. Other species have changed so much that they can no longer produce the correct vibrations; or in some cases, have no voicebox at all. Communication between species of the Unity is entirely telepathic.

Unity ships are haphazard lumps of metal that can appear almost like a hollowed out asteroid, with regular, large windows looking out from the ocean within. Much of the large ships is simply open water, with artificial caves, rock formations, seaweed and all the other intricacies of a sea. Only in the important areas of the ship does it more closely resemble a conventional one. Crew on duty traditionally wear a rock necklace, being 'as a rock' to the ecosystem and thus cannot hunt or be hunted.

Ships and Technology

By most standards, the Unity seems primitive. Their ships amount to little more than aquatic environment yachts, being a reactor, engines, a titanic aquarium and little else. Their shields and few lasers are sufficient only to counter stray meteors and other natural phenomena.

Their ship designs are also haphazard, more in the style of 'whatever we felt like at the time' than based on strict classes or roles. The exception is their strike craft, which are universally remote controlled spherical lumps of metal with an omnidirectional engine system. However, all their ships are modular in design, capable of connecting together into larger entities. This is how they travel, rather than as a fleet; each part connects together, turning into one truly titanic ship.

However, when at war, their ships are truly terrifying. Every member of the Unity is telepathic, and combined with the circuitry of their ships, this ability branches into technopathy; the ability to interface mentally with any technology in range. This is how they control their ships, and is also all the offensive and defensive technology they need. To fight a Unity ship is not unakin to being attacked by a ghost. Computers crash, circuits overload, missiles detonate in their launchers, cannons misalign and reactors breach of their own accord. More complex and advanced systems often take longer to mentally dismantle, but as the attacks are purely psychic, rather than even based upon electromagnetic signals, jamming them is almost impossible.

It is also not only the technology at risk. The same technology that allows ordinary beings of the Unity to dismantle enemy technology allows the Sirens to cast their song into the minds of foes at huge distances. What is their tool for hunting is also one of the most lethal assets of the Unity when broadcast from the psychic circuitry of their ships.

This complete reliance on the minds of the crew as weapons and defences makes capturing a Unity ship entirely pointless; in order to make use of it as a warship, one must find a way of enslaving the crew. This, along with the aquatic environment and the extent to which the Unity are used to the cycle of life and death, makes taking a Unity ship intensely difficult.

Empires The ForgottenAquarian UnityHoly Empire of AthaniaChurch of CreationDiscontinuation of Theoretical HostilitiesDominion of PariiaCapellan AuthorityGlaciatus SyndicateHegemony of Sangheili