In expanse of the Great Diaspora, there are a host of civilizations, and a multitude of societies, some secret, some not. But its rare there is a secret Civilization…
Most authorities are aware of the society of Survivalists, but rigorous analysis indicates there is a larger organization that works with them. This organization helps provide wormhole generators, replicators without safeties, or patent office regulators, an extremely efficient slower-than-light transport system (for those that don't trust the
wormholes) and other things.
Recently, information on this secret civilization has become available.
Like their more 'public' face, the Survivalist civilization is dedicated to the survival of humanity in the event the Transcendentals lied. Among themselves they admit that in the face of direct action by the Transcendentals they probably could not survive, but by keeping low profiles and hiding, they hope it will never come to that.
They typically try to avoid using Transcendental derived technologies, fearing that it will reveal their existence. They've gotten around this by re-inventing the devices from first principles and building them from scratch. As a result they are someof the most brilliant minds in human space. Thus, they have their own versions of wormhole generators, inversion beams and other technologies. Still, for some of them, this isn't enough and the result is a unique innovation for their civilization - the beamrider network.
Beamriders are slower-than-light magnetic and plasma sail starships driven and powered by immense particle beam installations. These ships are immense, easily as large as Spacer ships, but with smaller payloads of only a few hundred people, most of them in suspended animation. Still, they are efficient and able to achieve velocities of .3c with smaller packet vessels able to reach .9c.
The Survivalist civilization spurns planets. They wouldn't settle on one and are nervous about visiting them. They consider habitable worlds likely targets. After all, they're fairly easy to find between the stars they orbit and their emission signature. They also won't get close to a star either. Usually, the closest they'll get is the cometary halo, or Kuiper belt, if that.
Their preferred habitat are brown dwarfs in deep space. There they have mass to build with (and absorb emssions), a source of fuel and power and a possible mask for their emssions. Typically, the habitat is a hollowed out asteroid or comet, or 'beehive habitat.' These habitats look as much like an unaltered asteroid as the Survivalists can manage. It is without gravity and uses lasers to radiate away the heat. If they can't radiate it away, they use heat sinks until the asteroid begins to differ significantly from its neighbors, at which point its abandoned to cool, or if an insertion orbit into a brown dwarf can be arranged, it is completely disposed of.
Because of the extremity of their environments, most Survivalists are altered to survive and thrive in micro-gravity and low temperature environments. A typical Survivalist is an extremely tall and pale endomorph, but without massive fat reserves - enough to stay warm easily under cold conditions, not enough to make it difficult to maneuver in their habitats. Vacuum capable survivalists are also found, but their use of Biotechnology is not as radical as the Stardwellers - even the most extreme vacuum adapted ones are humanoid and frequently recognizably human.
Because of their low profile tendencies, Survivalists are extremely thrifty, recycling wherever possible, salvaging patching and making do.
Survivalists, Alchemists and Heptagons
If your game incorporates Alchemists or Heptagons, this may be worth considering.
All three of these civilizations have had brown dwarfs figure in their development and history. The Alchemists have abandoned all of their brown dwarf colonies for more habitable planets and habitats, save for the first, maintained as a living museum and memorial to their founders.
The Heptagons started around one and still seek out and colonize brown dwarf systems today - and the Survivalists have nothing but contempt for Heptagons finding them wasteful and that they bring attention to brown dwarfs making it harder for Survivalists to hide.
Survivalists govern themselves in small enclaves, each one selecting a leader through a variety of means (direct elections and by random choice are common). As a whole, they have the political centralization of an amoeba. Conclaves meet every 5 years, but not all enclaves send representatives. About the only things they do agree upon as a group is remaining outside of the larger galactic economy and the survival of humanity as a whole.
Survivalists have no formal relations with any civilizations save through their society.
Common Name: Survivalists
Benefit: Receive Survivalist at 5. This can function like Outdoorsman or Spacer.
Inspector Status: None. Actively hostile to Inspectors. Approach with extreme caution.
Core Values: Survival of Humanity and Low-Profile
Survival of Humanity. Survivalists are determined for humanity to survive, usually starting with them. This can be added to resist Metatech attempts to convince or coerce them to to do things that are self-destructive or destructive to humanity as a whole. It can also be used to convince them to help preserve humanity - possibly even at the expense of their own lives!
Low Profile means the Survivalists are dedicated to keeping out of sight and out of mind. It is added to resist Metatech attempts to convince them to reveal themselves or their group. It can also be added to convince others to keep a low profile.
Other common ones are: Paranoia, Thrifty, Privacy, Survival, Secrecy, Info-socialism and My Enclave.