Early Grexian ExodusEdit
At some point long ago in the history of Earth aliens were encountered and friendly relations and trade deals soon followed. Most people were okay with this, but not a certain group of xenophobic extremists who started the "Grexian movement". By their opinion, humans were inherently superior and should have no relations with aliens except at one end of a gun. The aliens' presence in the society, however, was prevalent enough that it could easily lead to economic collapse if they were to suddenly turn against the aliens or exile them. Society at large ignored the Grexian movement, preferring the trade they were getting from the aliens over some fascist superiority complex.
Eventually even those among the Grexian movement realized that continuing to hold angry rallies and the occasional hate crime were accomplishing nothing in the grand scheme of things. And that trying to kill or kick out the aliens was simply far too inconvenient a task at this point. They obtained three colony ships and left en masse, taking only those of the Grexian movement along with, determined to create their own nation where aliens would be turned away or killed right at the gate.
But that's about where things stopped going according to plan for them. An ion storm knocked out most systems on all three ships, sending them drifting through space almost completely blind. With no communication between the ships, each just aimed for nearest habitable system and had to hope that the other two made their way to the same place where they could regroup. They managed to hit the same system, but not the same planets. Unable to contact each other, each ship was forced to assume the other two had perished or gone for another system, and started to etch out a living of their own.
Three Civilizations EraEdit
The first ship landed on a planet that wasn't very mineral rich, but was extremely fertile and generally hospitable to Human life. They started living a fairly peaceful life there. The second ship landed roughly on a planet that was a bit more barren on the life side of things, but extremely mineral rich. They started a whole new industrial revolution, not taking long to turn the barely-breathable air into something nearly toxic that required lots of indoor, contained environments and gas masks. The third ship crashed on a planet that was teeming with life and average on minerals, but faced a certain problem; the air was safe to breathe, but the wildlife was not safe to live near. Everything on the planet seemed determined to kill them, forcing them to fight nearly constantly to survive.
Time went by, the original members of the Grexian movement passing on and leaving things to their descendants, who went on pretty much as they'd been doing so far. The people on the second planet quickly got space travel working once again, and went out, immediately running into the other two planets and their respective inhabitants. The first and second planets were running into some severe differences in ideology and how they cared for their respective environments, but were ultimately willing to live and let live. When the occupants of the third world were encountered however, things quickly went South. Crews slaughtered and ships captured to reverse engineer, the second planet members realized they were in trouble when the third planet started launching raids at their two neighbors. With tensions between the first and second planet already high, it didn't take long for the first to blame the second for this new problem, and what was essentially a three-way war followed, with the members of the third planet sure to win.
It was only the timely intervention of a diplomat from the first world that stopped this wanton slaughter. Through some investigative work with what information he had from the other two factions, he quickly discovered that all three factions had originated from the same settlers, the Grexian movement. After managing to pull the heads of the three factions together for a diplomatic talk, he explained this to them, and offered a new solution; to unite all three worlds under the same banner, the Grexian name. He pointed out to them that working together to emphasize their respective strengths would get them farther than any of them could ever hope to achieve separately. By some miracle, it worked, and together they founded the Grexian Empire, utilizing a system of four castes for their new society.
The members of the first planet were now the Agricultural caste, in charge of supplying food and other miscellaneous goods for the entire empire. The members of the second planet were now the Industrial caste, in charge of making the ships, weapons, armor, and other manufactured items for the empire. The members of the third planet were now the Military caste, in charge of protecting the empire and its investments, and strike out at their enemies if need be. The fourth caste, originally made up of the ruling members of the three planets, moved to a large space station constructed solely for their habitation and protection, which has been added to and expanded over the years; they were now the Diplomatic caste, the government to rule the other three castes and make decisions regarding their relations with other space faring factions.
The Grexian Empire was still completely isolated, having managed to originally land in a section of space most space-faring civilizations would refer to as "the middle of nowhere". With pretty much no outside forces to interact with, the Grexians mostly kept to themselves and worked on building up their empire from something cobbled together from the remains of three crashed (and now heavily outdated) ships to something actually respectable on a galactic scale. Their society altered to fit their new caste system, and a belief similar to that of the German Third Reich of ancient Earth believed sprouted up. Similar to, not in that they believed in some race of super humans inherently superior to other Humans in every way, but in that they believed a human could be specially bred to be inherently superior to other Humans in a given field of expertise. To this day, they're not quite arrogant enough to believe that they've actually reached that state, in fact they believe that it may be simply statistically impossible to achieve en masse, but they do believe they are close; and it's something that they continue to strive for in their respective fields.
A relatively minor event in this period of time is perhaps also worth some mention. With having so many people growing up to more or less all do the same task, somebody got the bright idea to start using clones. At first everything was alright and everyone seemed on board with the idea. Then the clones, realizing they were basically a race of slaves to the normal humans, rebelled. The rebellion was short on account of the overwhelming force of the Military caste, but it was bloody, and ever since the Grexian Empire as a whole has held a high distrust and dislike of clones, never again using that technology.
The Grexian empire is still working on maintaining their secrecy, for the protection that it offers. To see what the rest of space around them is like however, and to get some minor trade in, they've sent out parties of the Military caste posing as mercenaries. This allows their Military caste to actually get some field experience in against what may eventually turn out to be hostile neighbors, and in payment for their work they take useful materials, which they bring back to the empire.
As mentioned in their history, the diplomatic caste now fills pretty much every function of the Grexian high government, determining their policies, laws, and making decisions for the Empire as a whole, while collections of commanding officers, chief engineers, and head serfs run the day to day things of each of the other three castes.
The diplomatic caste itself works like a sort of capitalist Democracy, based on merit. The caste doesn't work with a real currency, but instead with "votes". When a member has X number of votes, that means that in each new issue that comes up, that member can cast X votes however he or she pleases, even splitting the votes between multiple options. These votes are reusable in every new issue, but cannot be transferred from one member to another. (So that family lines can't earn up an enormous amount of votes simply through inheritance.) A complicated and ever-shifting web of political intrigue and such now dominates the Diplomatic caste, where members promise a certain number of votes towards one decision in return for some favor. Usually a number of votes towards a later decision, but sometimes for such things as marriage proposal.
Additional votes are earned among the caste in two ways. For starters, every member gains a small number of votes on each of their birthdays, but until they reach adulthood they cannot use these votes for themselves, and instead the votes are split between their two parents evenly. This is mainly what motivates the normally uninterested Diplomatic caste into bothering to have children. The second method is by doing away tasks for the caste when a Diplomatic caste member is needed for an issue outside of their station; things like negotiating prices with a foreign nation for the 'mercenary' work, or peacefully settling tense situations. The amount of votes earned from these endeavors is dependent on just how important the endeavor is the Grexian Empire, and votes may even be taken away if the member fails badly. Because this is the only method besides getting older to obtain votes, there has not yet been record of such an away task that the member hadn't volunteered for.
Half of an entire world is one giant military installation, the other half purposely left wild so that trainees can fight the dangerous monsters there, and everyone born there automatically enlisted and trained from birth in the art of war. And with another whole planet dedicated to pumping out industrial projects, a lot of which is for the Military caste, they are not lacking in sufficient hardware either. The primary soldier for the Grexian Military caste, the pure bred members of the caste, are the rangers. Rangers specialize in adaptability on the battlefield, capable of using just about any standard small arms as well as knowledgeable in knife and hand to hand fighting. Rangers take the roles of scout, front line soldier, and sniper as necessary. Just a generation ago, a movement in the Diplomatic caste was barely passed; to see if the Military caste could be expanded in capabilities, some cross breeding between the Military caste and the other two main castes was mandated, leading to two new, only barely tested breeds of Military caste.
The result of crossbreeding with the Agricultural caste was soldiers who naturally tended to be larger and stronger than their comrades, who became dubbed as gunners. Gunners act as heavy weapons specialists in the Military caste, due to the relative ease with which they wield larger weapons, even while clad in heavier armor. The result of crossbreeding with the Industrial caste was soldiers who weren't physically much different than rangers, but had an easier grasp of the ins and outs of their technology, who became dubbed as techs. Techs exchange some of the more extensive combat training the other breeds get for technical and medical training, and act as a sort of universal combat medic for both injured soldiers and malfunctioning equipment.
Technologically, the Grexian Military caste uses only modular, adaptable equipment. Their primary piece of equipment is a full body zip-up suit that all of their soldiers wear, dubbed the nanosuit. The nanosuit by default comes with four modes that can augment the soldier in different ways through a small, quickly recharging reserve of energy; however, normally only one mode can be used at a time. Armor mode makes the suit harden under impact, providing limited protection; strength mode enhances the user's raw strength, letting a normal man throw another across a room or absorb more recoil from weapons fire; speed mode increases running speed, especially for extremely quick but quite energy draining sprints; and finally stealth mode renders the user invisible, draining energy at a pace in direct correlation with how fast the user is moving, and unfortunately drains the entire supply instantly if prematurely disrupted by say, firing a gun.
The nanosuit works as the primary base, but except for scout units is usually added onto. Most soldiers wear an additional layer of more traditional metal armor on top of the nanosuit, which naturally provides more protection no matter what mode they're in, but has the downside of rendering stealth mode unusable. Gunners usually have even more armor added, which also renders speed mode unusable, but makes them quite durable, especially in armor mode. A related piece of technology, the overcharge pack, is usually carried only by techs. Using the overcharge pack on a nanosuit causes it to activate all four modes at maximum settings simultaneously. However, the resulting power drain not only causes the effect to only last ten seconds, but also causes the nanosuit to stop functioning entirely afterward for at least another ten seconds.
Weaponry wise, the Grexian military utilizes advanced conventional projectile weaponry, so mostly firearms that are nearly identical to 21st century Earth's, just better in the small details. The biggest advancement they've made in that department is a better utilization of railgun technology, including a man portable small arm version that they use as an extremely powerful sniper rifle. This extends to their vehicles and spaceships, which fight with a combination of direct fire kinetic cannons, swarms of missiles, and long range railguns. Planet side, the Military caste uses a combination of heavy tanks, APCs, and various VTOLs and air superiority craft. To get around, their space ships use a fairly standard combination of non-exceptional warp engines and impulse engines. The biggest downside the Grexian Military currently faces is an almost complete lack of energy weaponry and shielding. The latter of which they only have fairly weak models of on their ships, while the former they have so far chosen not to pursue since they don't seem necessary to them.
The day to day life for any given Grexian is almost totally devoted to their role in their caste, with an emphasis for efficiency and precision driving them towards perfecting their tasks. Dissent and law breaking among the population, while rare due to the constant reminding presence of the Military caste, is initially responded to by the local authority to the troublemaker in question; in other words their superiors. Sometimes a member of the Diplomatic caste will be called to try and resolve things in a peaceful manner. Should things turn violent or particularly unruly, the Military caste will be called to step in and handle the situation. (Unless the situation is in the Military caste itself, in which case it would be dealt with quite swiftly.) Like the Military caste, most equipment used among the other castes follows a model of being highly modular and adaptable to different circumstances and situations. Most of the innovation and development happens in the Industrial caste, though occasionally one of the other castes will improvise their own innovation, which the Industrial caste usually quickly adopts into the standard models for future manufacturing.
Access to information and communication technology is universally available among the population, including the ability to transmit to one of the other planets with relative ease. However, while the former is commonly used, the latter is mostly only used for professional purposes; not because casual communication is barred, but because it's usually seen as unnecessary. The most common casual use of communication is to call a spouse, lover, or family member, and the conversation is usually short.
Transportation planet-side for the three main castes is mostly split between public trains/subways, and VTOLs, both of which come in various sizes and are used almost exclusively for professional purposes. The Agricultural caste comes in as an exception with various farming equipment vehicles, while the Diplomatic caste uses just elevators and zero-grav chutes, being in a giant space station. Transport ships constantly ferry between the three planets and the station, mainly just carrying supplies or equipment to transfer from one of the castes to another, but occasionally taking passengers as well. Taking Military caste members to defensive stations at the other planets and the Diplomatic caste's station for defensive assignment is somewhat common; as is rotating them off of said assignments.
By most human standards, the Grexian's society is completely bizarre. They're so set on their caste system that everyone is born into their role, starting at their equivalent lowest position and having to work their way up as they grow. In fact, except for the Diplomatic caste, Grexians don't even get real names; instead they get designations, with the structure of the designation based on their caste. These designations would of course be eventually reused by a future generation, too. However, they usually use a nickname on top of the designation for more casual conversations. Transferring to another caste for a different role is rare, and only allowed if one can prove that they're capable of performing the necessary tasks of the alternate role.
Also, except for the Diplomatic caste's 'votes', the Grexian society lacks any currency, being completely communistic. Instead, the level of a Grexian's lifestyle, (like how big and fancy their home is) is based completely on their rank in their caste. To prevent someone from simply loafing around to abuse the communistic nature of their society, the punishment for not actually doing your job is demotion where applicable, and exilement where it isn't.
Retirement only happens when a Grexian is simply too old to keep performing their tasks reliably, but by that point in their life, a Grexian has usually been doing their role for so long that it is not hard for them to get an exemption from duties, out of a respect for how much dedication they've put to their role. At this point, they may or may not receive one last promotion for a better level of lifestyle, depending on the circumstances surrounding them. Then they are allowed to choose almost any place in Grexian territory to go retire to, where they usually take on some minor hobbies to fill out the rest of their days. The diplomatic caste are the only ones allowed to retire on their space station, but are also the ones with the oldest retirement ages, due to the lack of physical strain of their role.
Marriage and parenthood are extremely regulated, and mandatory. That aforementioned attitude towards maximum efficiency originally started leading to what were simple population regulation laws, which evolved into their current state for maximum ease. Currently it works like this; every Grexian has until a current age (about 21 years old) to find a suitable partner to marry on their own. If, for whatever reason, they don't find a suitable partner, the government will pair them up with someone else who likewise didn't find a partner, and force them to marry. Then, whether married by choice or by government pairing, every couple is required to have two children; these children are basically to eventually be their replacements. Couples may then volunteer or be selected randomly to have more children by government mandate. This is to cover those who have died by accident before having kids, or in cases where it's time to expand the population for one reason or another.
Because of all that, marriage in Grexian society is seen quite differently than elsewhere. Couples living separately is common, and love is not assumed to be a part of any given marriage. In fact, anti-adultery laws are practically non-existant, as is divorce, since a marriage in Grexian society is more like a contract to have kids than a lifelong commitment between lovers. That's not to say that all marriage in Grexian society is loveless; it's just that loveless marriage is common enough that neither case is seen as some kind of given or shock to Grexians.
The closest the Grexians have to a religion, if you can really call it that, is their aforementioned belief in Humans perfectly bred for a given job that many Grexians hope to either be or be the parent of. Grexians also tend to believe in an afterlife and reincarnation, oddly enough, though the nature of said afterlife is dependent on what caste you're talking to at the time; the only universal constant between the four is that the afterlife is a generally nice (if rather mundane) place, and you can only go there if you devote yourself dutifully to your tasks. This is even something they believe extends to non-Grexians.
As with their long ago ancestors, the Grexians still hold some measure of xenophobia. However, long isolation with practically no alien interaction to speak of has dulled this from the outright hatred and murderous intent it used to be, to a simple disliking. Also, a newer hatred towards clones has managed to override some of said xenophobia.
In terms of arts and other culture, the Grexian empire is actually somewhat lacking. Except for slight jokes on their respective lingoes, (Like the Military caste making joke nicknames for their equipment, or the Agricultural caste making joke names for various crops.) the only members of their society who usually have the time for culture is the retired Grexians. However, due to the respect these retirees usually have, it's not uncommon for their works to trickle down through their caste or even the other castes. Grexians overall tend to have a fondness for music, though mainly just for a small number of long handed-down songs, such as their old national anthems from when they were three separate colonies.
The Agricultural caste are usually tall, large, and blonde haired with lightly toned skin. Their designation comes from a randomly assigned jumble of 5 letters followed by the old colony name of the sector they work in, so like 'Exyfc Eastwood' or 'Vfcmr Wesslene'. Their nicknames usually come from one of their favorite things or a personality quirk, like 'Strawberry' or 'Mutters'.
The Industrial caste are usually a bit shorter than average Humans, red haired, with brown toned skin. Their designation comes from what major factory they work in followed by their identification code that uses alternating letters and numbers, so like 'Alpha 0P3N1' or 'Beta 5A4B2'. Their nicknames usually come from what they're good at doing or something specific to their role, like 'Assembler' or 'Bell'.
The pure bred Military caste rangers are around average height or a bit taller, with black hair and lightly toned skin. Appropriately, the crossbreed gunners and techs are like mixes of their parents' castes; gunners being large with lightly toned skin and hair with shades between black and blonde, while techs are about average in height but can have either tone of skin and hair with shades between black and red. Their designations are much simpler than the other two main castes, being just two or three letters that identifies what unit they're in, followed by what number soldier they are in that unit, so like 'APF-29' or 'GB-174'. Their nicknames usually come from one of their usual equipment choices or something particularly memorable they did during a training exorcise or combat, like 'Red Dot' or 'Bunker Buster'.
The Diplomatic caste is the exception, being originally founded by members of all three colonies, are still fairly varied in their general height, skin tones, and hair tones. They're also the only caste that still uses a more traditional naming system, albeit with fairly random names, like 'Starlight', 'Envy', and 'Joe'
The Grexian Empire is comprised of their home system with their three main castes' planets and the massive space station for the diplomatic caste. It's a small yellow star system, with only three other planets; a pair of gas giants with a number of moons and a frozen ice planet farther out unsuitable for any sort of known life. They occasionally mine resources from these other planets.
The Agricultural caste's world, named Ezra, has no moons. As mentioned, it is a lush, fairly tame world with relatively small and shallow bodies of water dotting its surface, but lacking in minerals. Relatively small but packed cities with little to no underground infrastructure dot the surface, each of which have a presence of Military caste defenders, while almost all the rest of the land is farmland or forests.
The Industrial caste's world, named Doradus, has two moons, both of which now mainly function as Military caste bases to defend the planet. As mentioned, it's a planet rich in minerals, but lacking in life. Almost all indigenous life has since gone extinct to due rampant pollution. It has one ocean covering about a fifth of the surface, but it was already inhospitable before the Grexians arrived, on account of being acid instead of water. Most of the land is covered in large factories, with extensive underground facilities housing most of the population.
The Military caste's world, named Sare, has three moons, which like Doardus's now act as military defensive installations. Sare has moderate mineral resources, and is over two thirds large, deep oceans separating two large continents. The smaller of the two continents is entirely stripped of wildlife, instead containing a seemingly endless and massive military base with tons of redundant defensive lines and walls, filled between with all sorts of training areas, barracks, and bunkers of both the above and underground variety. The larger continent is mostly covered in what looks like lush rainforest; which of course is extremely dangerous from both predatory animals and carnivorous and/or poisonous plants. The oceans are also filled with dangerous creatures, as if that wasn't enough.
The Diplomatic caste's space station currently remains unnamed, with a free orbit around the star, the exact position of which being one of the few things kept secret from public knowledge. It is now fairly large for a space station, holding nearly ten thousand Diplomatic caste inhabitants as well as stationed Military caste defenders. Most of the station has artificial gravity, though there are some outer sections and free fall grav chutes that lack gravity. It's well fortified, and contains plenty of escape craft just in case.