Human History Edit
Our story begins in the year 2108 in a laboratory in Greenland, where Dr. Tiberius Crohn invented the spike drive. To this day, nobody quite knows how he came up with the drive, as he employed formulas and theories that were a bit bonkers. But hey, just because the inventor may have been insane or possessed by a cosmic horror or something doesn't mean humanity should look a gift FTL drive in the mouth. Being in full-on mad scientist mode, Dr. Crohn first uncovered his new invention to the public by blasting off into space with his laboratory . Earth's governments were a bit freaked out and tried to shoot it down with their Star Wars satellites, but Crohn just phased his labship into a safe frequency.
After drilling out of normal space at the edge of the solar system, he would return 13 days later, broadcasting detailled data about Alpha Centauri (which, seeing how he was alone on his labship and a recorded course being unavailable, required him to spent the entire 6 day jump awake ) and the blueprints of his spike drive. After giving humanity this little present, he drilled back out of the solar system, never to be seen again - an action that would inspire around 13 sects to worship him as a messenger of God.
The First Wave
With now every nation on Earth knowing how to build a spike drive, a wild era of space colonization started. By 2200, humanity has expanded so far that it would take a spaceship 1 whole year to fly from Earth to the outer rim, which made the Earth governments a bit paranoid about the far away colonists becoming independent. They promptly formed the Terran Mandate, an organization whose main function was to prohibit any further human expansion.
Psychics and aliens
It was around this time the first cases of MES or Metadimensional Extroversion Syndrome occured, a condition that allowed a human to channel the metadimension energies required to screw with physics. It took a couple decades of questionable experiments to turn these unfortunate children into the first psychics, controlled by the Psychic Authority.
In its expansion, humanity finally stumbled upon alien life, be it ancient ruins, bronze age aliens or old civilizations in decay. Xenobiologists separated them into the Like (humanoid aliens) and the Other (weird stuff like sentient oceans or superintelligent shades of blue). Humanity had some turf wars and/or trade agreements with the former, but found the latter too strange to communicate with or even understand.
The Second Wave
Once the Psychic Authority had a full grasp on the potential of psychics (using a nother set of questionable experiments), they were able to come up with manufacturing procedures that could affect matter on an atomic scale in a way previously thought impossible. This was the birth of pretech and psitech technology, with the latter's masterpiece being the Jump Gates, massive rings floating at the edge of a solar system whose crew of master teleporters could send a ship to its sister gate in a matter of days where even the fastes spike drive would've taken months.
The Terran Mandate welcomed this new technology as a way to allow further expansion while still keeping control on the farthest colonies. By 2600, spike drive were rarely used anymore thanks to the cheap and convenient Jump Gates, and the distance from Earth to the farthest colony had increased tenfold - which was pretty far even with the Jump Gates. The Terran Mandate realized too late that the colonies had become far too numerous to actually control. It didn't take long for the farther colonies to create their own petty kingdoms, and shady cultists on more isolated worlds started delving into maltech (highly dangerous technology ranging from unbraked AIs to nanites and WMDs) and eugenics.
Then the Scream happened in 2665. The Scream was a wave of metadimensional energy that affected the entirety of known space, obliterating spaceships in transit and affecting every psychic, killing them outright or making them batshit insane. The golden age of humanity crashed and burned in the blink of an eye. Jump Gates became useless chunks of metal. Entire civlizations collapsed due to the psychics that kept everything running having their brains fried and/or having the sudden urge to re-enact Event Horizon. Billions of people were left to die on worlds that could not sustain themselves because they underwent a crippling overspecialization during the days of the Second Wave.
During the next 600ish years, what was left of humanity survived on worlds isolated from each other. Some worlds regressed back to the Middle or even Stone Age as that was all it could support, while others were more fortunate and could sustain space travel (if much more primitive than what was possible with pretech). Even psychic training became a thing again, though it is unlikely that Psychics will ever be as relevant as they once were.
Now in 3200, interstellar trade has finally somewhat recovered, with the few advanced worlds eager to expand their sphere of influence. It is a time of daring merchants and explorers to uncover the secrets and artifacts of old and help the lost worlds that have been isolated for centuries back into the interstellar age. Who knows what they might find...
Galactic History Edit
This is hidden knowledge that only the smallest number in the sector know about, do not assume anyone knows this. This is written as a simple data report by the Perimeter Agency.
Before the Inhibitors
Long long ago in the past, easily before the sun and earth ever formed, many different species of aliens evolved and branched out into galactic (and rarely intergalactic) space. Together they formed a dynamic culture of highly advanced races, each with their own territories, culture and technology, all blending into one beautiful multi-colored canvas.
Extermination by the Inhibitors
No one knows where exactly the Inhibitors came from, or what they were before their rise is unknown. Theories suggest the machines were once automated security or terraforming tools that due to a error in their internal logic saw all intelligent life above a certain tech level to be an absolute threat. These self adaptive and highly advanced machine intelligences were different than previous AI in how they were born, as they were not based on the lifeforms that created them and had no controls preventing any behaviors due to their natural evolution instead of being created. Planet sized machines swept across the galaxy, assimilating all before them, absorbing their strengths and finding the perfect way to exploit their weaknesses. A cosmic extermination of staggering proportions, taking hundreds of millions of years, before the earths crust had even formed.
With nothing but a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the 1st galactic expansion still hiding away, the Inhibitors still hibernate and wait for the races of the galaxy to attract their attention again. The last active Inhibitor we know of began hibernation around the time of the first life began to form on Earth. By comparison to the timescale these Inhibitors deal with, humanity is a blink of an eye.