By the 23rd century.
Corporate entities had taken over after the failure of traditional government. Mankind was faced with massive challenges: overpopulation, epidemics, economic chaos, and climatic change culminating into what seemed to be an inevitable extinction event. The end of mankind was nigh.
And then the impossible happened—a technological singularity gave birth to the first intelligent machines. But instead of enslaving or uplifting humanity, they simply left. But not without a gift: the first feasible interstellar spacecraft design.
Twenty-three habitable planets were identified, and hordes of 'less desirables' and non-corp citizens were desperately shepherded into huge ark ships set to colonize their destinations, set adrift for hundreds of years of cold sleep. Earth was thought to be a lost cause.
Now in the 90th century.
Thousands of years after the exodus, mankind had developed faster than light travel. One of the original intended twenty-three colonies, on a planet known as P4-11, was rediscovered. The Incarnates and Corp, the two modern factions of humanity, decided to observe and not make first contact until the time was right.
The denizens of P4-11 were manipulated by the original crew of their ark into thinking that their planet was the original Earth, and they called their world Gaia. Sadly, within a mere several centuries, the population of Gaia had repeated some of humanity's greatest mistakes: two large superpowers hailing from the eastern and western continents were steeped in a world war. The Western allies invented the bomb.
An atomic bomb was dropped on the Easterners’ greatest aircraft carrier group. And just like their forebears, the destructive power of this odious weapon was underestimated. The naval superiority of the East was wiped out, but not without creating tidal waves that took the lives of 350,000 civilians.
Desperate, the leader of the East, the Emperor of the Han, cried out to what he perceived as a God, a being who was in fact a powerful representative of the genetically enhanced Incarnates, masquerading as a supernatural entity, which was in itself an act that circumvented the non-interference pact.
The Incarnate gave the Emperor a deal that would change the destiny of Gaia forever. If the Emperor wanted to save his people, he must wed his precious only daughter to the Incarnate Observer's son, so that their bloodlines would merge along with their political affiliation. The East and all its member nations would forevermore be part of the Incarnate Collective.
Screaming monsters burned out of the sky to descend upon the Western armies. Tentacled horrors ripped apart tanks. Winged terrors besieged battleships. The western soldiers fled, confused and terrified. Was this the end of the world? Similarly, the Easterners looked to the multitude of organic ships descending on the imperial capital. The Emperor must have made a pact with demons.
In the Presidential compound, a strange, well-manicured man strode into the oval office of the Western leader. Amazed by both his eloquence and the ability to bypass the heavy wartime security, the President of Brittanica, head of the joint combined allied forces, parlayed with this strange character.
He had silver filaments beneath his skin and spoke every language of every allied country without the need of a translator. The stranger opened his case and placed a series of outlandish items on the desk, naming them as he did: a mass driver, a rail gun, thermobaric ammunition, and more. They were powerful weapons to even the odds with the Easterners. "All these technologies will be yours," he said. "For a price"
And that price was dear indeed, for the stranger was the Corp Observer, and he wanted a 40% stake of the entire west, once it was incorporated in the new order.
Thus, both the ultra-capitalistic Corp and Darwinistic Incarnates intervened in the Gaian World War. The Gnost, comprising mostly of the poor and highly religious, waited.
Eventually, both sides called a truce. Any further escalation was both unproductive and unprofitable. The stalemate would result in a unique political situation in galactic history: never before had a colony been reclaimed by TWO major factions of humanity at the same time.
Both space-faring powers and the terrestrial superpowers drew out a charter. The East would remain Incarnate and embrace its ways, the West would Corporatize.
However, a huge landmass in the middle of an ocean that separated both East and West continents, was disputed. It was as big as Australia on old Earth and was pock-marked with the scars of war, a permanent no-man's land. Any power that set up infrastructure on it would reap manifold trade route benefits as well as inherit an incredibly valuable strategic staging point, as it was in the war. Neither side wanted to go back to armed conflict. Instead, the greatest diplomatic experiment in the galaxy was created: the island, Aohu, would become an independent nation and a specially administered free economic zone, exempt from all partisan compliance.
Entrepreneurs from every corner of the galaxy are now clamoring to innovate, validate, and disrupt this fantastic frontier.
You, the player, are among these intrepid founders venturing into the business arena of Aohu and Gaia. Will you carve your name into the annals of history and be part of the fledgling nation's transformation from third world to first?
A new economy, albeit one encompassing an entire planet, is an incredibly exhilarating opportunity.
Even the humblest startup has potential to become Gaia's first MEGACORP.
But remember. Fundamentally...