Once, the great human empires straddled multiple galaxies. After centuries of exponential growth in physics and engineering, humans had achieved significant levels of progress in their understanding of unified field theory and quantum mechanics to make faster-than-light travel a reality, and this opened the floodgates for trans-galactic expansion, colonization, and ultimately flourishing commerce.But in time, all great empires come to an end. When the mighty human empires began to crumble due to seemingly endless interspecies war with the other races they’d encountered, and virulent internal strife among the central human governments and their distant colonies, tens of millions of humans found themselves living in isolated outposts at the fringes of the known universe, thousands of light years from their nearest human neighbors and any kind of reliable support structure. Worse, they soon realized they were at the mercy of whatever predaceous lifeforms might be lurking in the darkest reaches of the cosmic abyss.
In a universe where they are technologically and biologically inferior to the Verunasi and the Cauldron Born, lack the mastery of genetic engineering possessed by the Acaeans, and are incapable of the spectacular telekinetic feats displayed by the Azsendi, it is extremely tempting to view the human race as the ultimate underdogs. And in many ways this might be true. But humans have always been exceptional survivalists. From a physiological standpoint they are extremely adaptable, and are capable of living in a wide variety of environmental conditions.Perhaps even more significant, they are also incredibly resilient, owing to their indomitable spirit. Simply put, humans have always believed that where there is a will, there is a way. The individuals comprising the faction known as Survivors are living testaments to this conviction.
Often working closely with human Zealots, who hope to maintain some semblance of order and security in the wake of their empire’s collapse, Survivors are focused almost exclusively on self-preservation, and care little for efforts at achieving economic prosperity and territorial expansion.
The Survivor has learned to keep a low profile and avoid attracting the unwanted attention of hostile races, voracious biological predators, and even other groups of rival humans, such as Pirates. He or she may have become acclimatized to life deep within a series of volcanic caves, far beneath the surface of a frozen ocean, or below the impenetrable canopy of an alien jungle. Quite adroit when it comes to protecting the delicate hydroponic gardens and dwindling stockpiles of pre-packaged, freeze-dried rations integral to their continued survival, these tenacious humans will never hesitate to eliminate any raptorial organism intent on pilfering their food supply.
Many Survivors also possess a vast reservoir of technological expertise, having descended from scientists and engineers who passed their knowledge along to subsequent generations. Since their lives often depend on their ability to retrofit and rebuild technology that has been cast aside or fallen in to disrepair, these particular Survivors are a necessary component of any remote human colony that hopes to thrive in the long term.
The legendary human philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche famously observed, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” One will often find that, true to those words, the Survivor is the toughest and most resolute example of his or her species. Tempered like steel by the harshest conditions imaginable, perhaps the only thing harder than the life of a Survivor is the Survivor who lives it.