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======Mu Factor/Timeline======

The world of //Mu Factor// shadows the near-future real world in which this story is set, similar to the way that actual comic book publishers like DC and Marvel pattern their worlds after reality. The conceit is, after all, that players get to be powerful mutants in a world similar to their own, rather than a world so different that they have no baseline for comparison. It minimizes the amount of lore that must be taught to new players.

Note that the following timeline contains things that were only gradually revealed across the course of the //Mu Factor// MMO.

===Very Long Ago===

The First Ones were the only intelligent species to arise naturally in the galaxy. They went from world to world, seeking out others like them, but ultimately failed to find alien intelligence. With nothing further to interest them, they retreated into the Infinite World, the black hole at the center of the galaxy. There, they would research how to transcend above this level of reality-- for the universe, they believed, was ultimately a simulation. Within the Infinite World, they would have access to the edge of the universe.

Not all of the First Ones chose to withdraw. Some remained; they created servant races that would obey their wills and went forth to play wargames against each other with real starships and weapons. One of these races, the Kadinen, rose up against their creators. The First Ones struggled, but eventually the Kadinen triumphed, wiping them out and destroying the Black Gate, the only means by which the Infinite World could be accessed.

Isolated First Ones and their servants fled across the galaxy, including a small blue world that would one day be called Earth.

The Kadinen secured the borders of their new empire, at the core of the galaxy, and began to expand outward so that they could ensure no further threats from the First Ones would exist anywhere within it.

===Long Ago===

The Kadinen Empire had splintered, united only by their common hatred of the First Ones. They warred against one another at the same time that they pushed their borders outward. While they had little native capability to develop technology of their own, they did have the Sajaans, a much more intelligent but naturally pacifistic servant race. One Lord of the Kadinen ordered his Sajaan scientists to violate the prohibition against genetic engineering and develop a new race, one that could tap into the Mu force-- a force that the First Ones claimed was proof of the universe being a simulation, that they could sense but simple machines could not affect. The Mu force could literally create energy and matter.

The Sajaans succeeded, but seeing in their creations the chance to escape, they orchestrated an escape with their children, the Mu-born. They fled the Kadinen in a starship, but it was damaged by a pursuing destroyer and its hyperspace jump went awry. The refugees wound up crashlanding into Earth, approximately 20k lightyears away from the borders of the Kadinen.

There, they discovered proto-humans that were genetically compatible-- devolved descendants of a solitary First One and his servants. With no technological base or the means to construct one, the Sajaan and their children were forced to 'go native' and work with the hominids to develop rudimentary civilization. They extracted what machines they could and secreted them away in monasteries to maintain them in ritual fashion over the years.

The Sajaan and the Mu-borns' genes soon mixed with those of the proto-humans and spread across the population of humanity. However the Mu genes did not manifest in their succeeding generation-- the Sajaans had engineered them to require certain conditions before they would engage as actual genes, a safeguard against the Kadinen masters obtaining the powers of the Mu force for themselves. Without those conditions, the Mu genes would remain hidden as trace RNA strands.

===The Secret Sages: Across History===

The inheritors of the Sajaan legacy were not content to simply remain in their monasteries. They used their advanced knowledge to take up positions of influence and power within society. By mutual agreement, they did not share their knowledge beyond subtly nudging humanity in desired directions. They feared the uprising of a population against a small and clandestine elite.

There were several distinct groups of those descended from the Sajaans:

- //The Sajaan purebreds.// They kept their numbers small to avoid taxing their remaining resources. Due to their obvious visual differences from humans, they remained within the Khembalaangs, "hidden lands" where the ancient technology handed down by their ancestors could be preserved and studied. They formed a Conclave which held theoretical ultimate authority over their direct descendants and agents.
- //The Sajaan-born.// Those with a Sajaan parent or grandparent were the direct servants of the Sajaan. They were typified by a pale grey complexion and generally weaker physique, but they could pass for human given appropriate cosmetics and concealing clothes. They served as the go-between for the Conclave and the Illuminated, the distant descendants of the Sajaans or the Mu-born who had been brought into the secret. Most served the Sajaans in the Khembalaangs but some were dispatched as agents, equipped with advanced technology that seemed magical to the primitive humans.
- //The Illuminated.// Humans who were privy to the secrets of the Sajaans. They were given hypnotic commands to resist speaking of the secrets to another who had not properly identified themselves as a fellow member of the conspiracy. They were found in all walks of life, but usually in positions of power and influence, or with great access to all sorts of information.

That said, the Sajaans did not act as one. They agreed that all decisions would flow from the Conclave downward, and information would flow from the Illuminated agents in the outside world to the Conclave through the Sajaan-born, but on the Conclave itself, there were several distinct factions that arose over the centuries:

- The Shadows. They believed that safety laid in remaining hidden. Even if the Kadinen spread as far as Earth, humanity would be a powerless lot and uninteresting beyond what meager economic and military benefits their world could offer. Individuals might perish but as a whole, the species would likely survive. They argued for keeping Earth in as close to feudal conditions as was feasible.
- The Enlighteners. They believed, or hoped, that the power of the Mu-born could allow them to resist the Kadinen and perhaps even release the First Ones from the Infinite World, so that the Kadinen could be suppressed and returned to their proper place as guardians and protectors. They attempted to spread advancement and egalitarian ideas, whispering ideas into the ears of certain persons.

The Shadows remained in power for most of recorded history, but as their machinery began to fail, the fear of losing their technology entirely brought the Enlighteners into power during the Renaissance, then again in the 19th century with the advent of the Britannic Empire.

===The 2020s===

The Sajaans detected tachyon emissions from Kadinen drives from a nearby star. It was not clear whether the Kadinen were searching for the lost Mu-born specifically, but after ferocious argument, the Shadows were driven from power and the Enlighteners obtained the majority of the Conclave in order to advance Earth to a point where resisting Kadinen attack might be feasible.

The Enlighteners embarked on two separate programs:

- The Garden of Eden foundation was created ostensibly to offer genetic counseling to expectant parents and removal of genetic disorders, but in actuality their goal was to catalog the genes of all humanity and where compatible genes were found, to administer treatments that would ensure the child would become Mu-born.
- Illuminated agents popularized a new 'superfood'. While it would generally improve human health, its true function was to activate the Mu-born genes and allow children to be conceived with a full set of the Mu-born genes. The odds were extremely low that any particular pairing would yield such a child-- but humanity numbered in the billions.

They also began to spread scientific advances, introducing cheap and efficient fusion reactors and advanced magnets capable of lifting
vehicles within Earth's magnetosphere. An Illuminated-owned consortium launched an expedition to retrieve a giant metallic asteroid, which they named 'Bellwether', and bring it into Earth orbit where it could serve as the foundation of a skyhook system to ease the cost of space launches.

===The 2030s===

=== TODO(lynx): continue from here!

The Ecoclysm shakes the earth, with tsunamis assaulting the coasts and earthquakes rocking the continents.

Born in what would become the Island of California, Athena Awakens with the power to control the very bedrock. She uses it at first to defend her hometown of San Francisco from the tsunamis sweeping in fro, the Pacific, raising mighty seawalls. But she does not know the cost of her power: earthquake after earthquake rock the state until she discovers and uses a Mu Crystal to enhance her powers temporarily to bind the faultlines... Incidentally sundering California from the rest of the United States.

Athena surrenders herself to the authorities. After much diplomacy and argument, other governments unwilling to allow the US to retain such a powerful earthshaker to its own ends, she is inducted into the newly formed Extraordinary Capabilities Department (ECD) of the UN Peacekeepers, and sent around the world to assist in disaster relief efforts.

In what would become Old New York, Zeus Awakens with the power to control lightning. His power proves little help against the storms assaulting the New England coastline, but in one hospital, he saves lives by drawing electricity from the clouds until the generator can be repaired. He assists the National Guard by helping to quell the looters and rioting.

He is captured by the US and his powers are probed, but he eventually breaks free, soured against authority by his experience. He goes underground and deals with criminals in an effort to gain the power to help other mutants avoid governmental scrutiny.

The Garden of Eden foundation has gone underground, its proprietors nowhere to be seen. Many question their agenda in sowing the seeds of so many powerful mutants.

===The 2040s===

The Earth is recovering from the Ecoclysm. New cities have been created near the shattered old ones, soaking up refugees and integrating them into a once again functional civilization.

Athena becomes the head of the ECD and announces the new Licensed program under which mutants will be allowed to live among normal humans so long as they are willing to use their powers for the benefit of all under the aegis of the UN's many humanitarian efforts. Without the License, they will be restricted to special communities 'for their own protection'. Zeus steps forward to publicly announce his opposition to the License, and calls for mutants to rally to his banners: equality and freedom for all mutants. Public opinion is split on whether mutants should be integrated with humanity at large.
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