So I had the first character bible post all written up and ready to go when I realized it was going to be absolutely pointless without some sort of foundation for the story. What’s the point of knowing about all these characters if you don’t even know where they are or why? With that in mind, here is a better introduction to the story.
Once upon a time there was a barely habitable planet that the space government decided to use as a prison. This planet was so cold, it was basically only possible to support life near the equator. The space government called this prison planet Burg.
This wouldn’t be just any prison though. It would be a rehabilitation center for citizens who had turned to committing some “lesser” crimes, such as theft or tax evasion. Instead of cells, the prisoners were placed in houses. Every day, they were allowed to go outside for supervised outdoors time. They were allowed to interact with their fellow prisoners, so long as said interactions were friendly and peaceful.
Instead of cell blocks, they had sectors. The sectors were divided up based on species, so that record keeping for each planet that made use of the prison would be neat and easy. There were nine planets in total that used this particular prison system. They were spread out over four solar systems. The nine alien species found on Burg were (and still are):
Goliaths – Giant, heavy people with stone skin.
Samaki – Amphibious race from a mostly water-covered planet. Can survive on land for short periods of time. Have gills. (Their sector has specially designed houses that are like sad Sea World aquariums.
Creech – Humanoid race with feathers for hair and giant bird wings that they can use to fly.
Bortol – Vaguely canine species with animal snouts that make speech impossible. Fortunately this species has the ability to communicate telepathically. Highly developed sense of smell and hearing.
Rizzarian – Lizard-like species with tough scales that coat the body, and hair-like tentacles that grow from the top of their heads.
Delliakite – Somewhat feline species with pure black skin, spindly legs, and knees that bend backwards. Giant, lidless eyes and small noses and mouths. Large, semi-feline ears. Can teleport short distances.
Lepthian – Shape-shifting, amorphous, see-through species. Can heal minor wounds almost instantly due to fluid bodies.
Human – They look and act like humans from Earth, so they’re called human. But honestly I’m not trying to imply that Earth exists in this universe. It’s just there’s already a word for human, so why muddle the issue?
Aodik – Compact, humanoid species with dark hair and purplish skin. Because they are shorter and not very strong, they often develop technology to do their work for them.
Instead of prison guards, the prisoners answered to Enforcers, who kept the peace by patrolling the streets and keeping an eye on things from their encampments between sectors.
Instead of a warden, Burg had an Overseer. It was this person’s job to keep the Enforcers in line, give out orders, head up certain committees and hearings, and interact with the government outside Burg. The Overseer’s word was always final in any matter. But don’t worry, the power definitely didn’t go to any of the Overseers heads.
Mandatory re-education programs were conducted on a daily basis in each sector, to help show the prisoners the error of their ways. Once prisoners had served out their sentence, they were evaluated by a committee and (usually) sent back to their home world to rejoin society.
A second infraction got them sent back to Burg for a slightly more permanent stay. Unless they moved up from minor to major crime, in which case they went through the more traditional prison systems on their own planets.
Burg’s system worked out well. Until one day, a war started. Like they do. Men and women from the military came to Burg and offered prisoners a chance to wipe the slate clean if they simply fought for their government.
Many prisoners chose to fight. Others chose to stay.
Years passed, and the war was lost, giving way to a new regime. Shortly after that, all communications and travel to and from Burg were cut off.
More time passed. Burg ceased to be a prison or a rehabilitation center or whatever you want to call it. The new government had no idea it existed, and had no use for an old rehabilitation planet anyway. Enforcers and prisoners alike were suddenly stuck on this world, with no way of escaping or communicating with their loved ones at home. Yet, rather than band together, the old dynamic was ruthlessly, well… enforced.
Hundreds of years went by, and Burg became something new. The prisoners started families. The Overseer and Enforcers created a government of their own. Soon only the ancestors of the prisoners, the original Overseer, and the Enforcers remained on the planet. Yet the descendants of the prisoners were still treated like criminals, despite having committed no crimes.
Resistance groups cropped up within the sectors, attempting to take back their liberty from the unnecessarily cruel Enforcers and Overseer.
None have yet succeeded…