The Sol Imperative is a planned Space Opera series by Rico Rodolfo.
Currently the following novels are listed for writing when the author gets the necessary time and inspiration:
- The Titan of the West
- The Great Behemoth
Other ideas in the same universe that may or may not be written:
- Dust Giants
- The Gardeners of Men (short story collection)
- The Pioneers (short story collection)
- If You Want It Done Right...
- The Sol Union, a federal republic comprised of the Sol System-led central government (itself composed of the three core worlds Terra, Mars, and Titan) sharing power with several self-governing star systems.
- Phalanx Industries, a corporate behemoth based out of Mars. Phalanx itself is composed of three main segments: the military and air force of Zeus Division, the manufacturing and navy of Poseidon Division, and research/development and espionage of Hades Division.
Most of the galaxy is controlled by four major superpowers, all of which are hostile to humanity to varying degrees due to their rapidly-growing size threatening to upset the balance of power..
- The taraigh Grand Dominion: Comprised of the reptilian taraigh, the Dominion boasts the finest ground army of the four great powers. The taraigh are the main rivals of humanity, competing to expand their territory and influence among dozens of uninhabited, unclaimed, or otherwise nonaligned star systems. The taraigh are also highly-skilled industrialists, and public works of impressive planetary engineering prowess can found throughout their territories.
- The chalovei Loridal Republic: The mammalian chalovei are the most technologically-advanced and culturally-influential power of the Big Four. The Republic's armed forces employs the some of the galaxy's most skilled pilots and their special forces are famous for their lethality. Chalovei culture is renowned for its immense depth, and the species' pursuit of both intellectual and creative pursuits is nothing short of obsessive.
- The santhsaunt Hierarchy of Santhkiln: The oldest of the Big Four is the reptilian santhsaunt-ruled Hierarchy and it possesses the largest contiguous swath of territory, spanning hundreds of star systems and organized into five lesser empires centered around the gigantic greater dominion of Tinen Santh. No other power in the galaxy possesses a more formidable navy than them, and their holdings include thousands of worlds terraformed to their needs.
- The anhayat Alliance of the Seventeen: A (very) loose union of seventeen sayats (roughly analogous to nation-clans), the mammalian anhayat-led Alliance is the dominant economy in the galaxy; the capital planets of each clan relentlessly compete to be the Milky Way's most prominent trade hub. Their economic superiority is in part guaranteed by their mastery of espionage and information warfare, their intelligence agencies having eyes and ears in almost every corner of the galaxy.
The Sol Imperative provides examples of the following tropes:
- Humans Through Alien Eyes: The View from Up There, in addition to viewing the taraigh through alien eyes. Set in the human 24th century (in the midst of the Second Union-Dominion War), part of the book is through the perspective of an alien species known as the yarang, who have just discovered faster-than-light travel and sent an expedition to a planet they had long suspected to host intelligent life.
- Sliding Scale of Libertarianism and Authoritarianism: The Big Four's governments and ideologies roughly correspond to the four corners of the Nolan Chart.
- The Republic are progressives.
- The Hierarchy are conservatives.
- The Dominion are communitarians.
- The Alliance are libertarians.
- Homeworld: Terra
Humans are a mammalian species native to the planet of Terra, known as Earth before the Union was established. Since its primitive era, human history has been rife with division and conflict, countless wars waged all across the surface of Terra from the fertile floodplains of East Asia to the scorching deserts of the Sahara to the lush jungles of South America.
- Bio-Augmentation: Gene therapy became widespread in everyday life as early as the 2040s as advances were made and markets for it grew. By the 23rd century, every human is examined at birth to correct any defects, and from adulthood on they are free to pick and choose from dozens of commercially-available procedures that are as affordable and widespread as modern plastic surgery.
- Every human soldier from colonial militia to Phalanx hoplites to Union Marines undergoes extensive genetic enhancements to improve combat performance. Most gene therapy is meant to perfect humanity's base traits, not add new ones, so the most common applications are increased muscle mass, faster reflexes, and expanded lung capacity. However, some soldiers go the extra mile with modifications such as an extra heart, reinforced bones, and improved night vision.
- The end result is that by the 23rd century, genetic defects as well as a vast majority of diseases have been almost completely eliminated.
- Humans Are Warriors: The Union was able to hold its own in three separate wars against the Dominion, which has the most well-trained, well-equipped, and well-organized armies in the galaxy, along with constant border skirmishes against the Hierarchy.
- Powered Armor: Both the Union and Phalanx deploy powered armor soldiers in their military, but Phalanx is especially fond of it. All three variants of their frontline infantry wear heavily armored and heavily shielded exoskeletons.
- Terraforming: Humans occasionally terraform planets and moons they settle on, such as Mars and Titan, though nowhere near the routine and widespread extent of the santhsaunt. However, the process is an exhausting and expensive long-term effort, so the Union only marks planets of high strategic importance for terraforming. In addition, they take great care to study, catalog, and preserve samples of any native ecosystems before doing so.
- Homeworld: Veraigrin
The taraigh are a reptilian race native to the planet of Veraigrin. Taraigh history, until recently, was one of division and conflict; for thousands of millennia Veraigrin and its star system was fractured into dozens of lesser empires vying for dominance. Around the human 1500s, a mysterious figure known only as the Dominus began appearing in historical records. While information on the first Dominus himself is very scarce, what is commonly accepted fact is that his empire took surrounding rivals by surprise and relentlessly crushed them one by one. Within a few decades, Veraigrin and its star system was finally unified into one formidable force poised to conquer the galaxy.
Several centuries of expansion followed, and after establishing its reputation by being the first race to ever defeat the Hierarchy of Santhkiln in a direct conflict, the Dominion is now considered the youngest of the so-called Big Four. Shortly after the Sol Union made first contact with the rest of the galaxy, the humans' rapid expansion alarmed Dominion observers. Seeing the Union as a threat, a long war between the two erupted... then another one... then another one. Even in peacetime, there is always constant, low-intensity conflict occurring throughout the galaxy wherever the two species are in close proximity.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: A Culture Chop Suey of the Roman Empire, Imperial Japan, and the Aztecs.
- Four-Element Ensemble: Fire. When it comes to human relations with galactic politics, the taraigh are the most aggressive out of the big four and the most likely to clash with the Union over various differences (the Union and Dominion having engaged in no less than three wars). In addition, the Dominion's militaries use standard-issue laser and incendiary weapons.
- Proud Soldier Race: The taraigh arguably have the most superior ground army out of the Big Four. The Dominion's Forty-Eight Legions contain the most organized and disciplined soldiers in the entire galaxy, and only three racesnote have ever defeated them in a direct war.
- Homeworld: Talorei
The chalovei are an avian race coming from the planet of Talorei.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: A Culture Chop Suey of the Napoleonic-era French Empire, South Korea, and the Maya.
- Four-Element Ensemble: Air. Aside from being an avian species, the chalovei have traditionally built their settlements upward due to the dominant race of chalovei, the metorai, originating from a continent on Talorei that was historically covered in lush forests and jungles. The chalovei are masters of aerial warfare and their fleets rival the Hierarchy's in exoatmospheric combat prowess.
- Homeworld: Santhkiln
The santhsaunt are a reptilian race originating from the world of Santhkiln. The territorial extent of the santhsaunt Hierarchy of antiquity, long before the ancient human civilizations of Babylon and Egypt even emerged, was the largest the galaxy had ever seen; at its zenith, it controlled almost a sizable chunk of the Milky Way and deployed thousands of advanced fleets and armies to defend hundreds of star systems. Meanwhile, their economy prospered, and their culture flourished, and under their influence were dozens of conquered, client, and allied species. For over five millennia, no other power in the galaxy succeeded in challenging the might of the Hierarchy of Santhkiln until the sudden and unexpected rise of the taraigh.
By the time of humanity's emergence to the galactic scene, the Hierarchy is decaying. Their territories now comprise only a small fraction of what they once did, much of them lost to centuries of Dominion conquests and Republic annexations and the rest becoming independent powers. Despite that, however, it still remains one of the Big Four and is certainly going to be for a few more centuries. While they are behind the martial prowess and industrial capabilities of the taraigh, the cutting-edge tech and influential culture of the chalovei, and the powerful economy and masterful espionage of the anhayat, they compensate by being good enough at all of these traits, all the while possessing the largest navy the galaxy has ever seen.
- Amazon Brigade: Because santhsaunt society is matriarchal, a majority of santhsaunt serving in the Royal Guard (and santhsaunt soldiers in general) are female.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: A Culture Chop Suey of the British Empire, Imperial China, and the Inca.
- Four-Element Ensemble: Earth. The santhsaunt build most of their cities on mountains, hills, or even underground, and are leading researchers in the fields of agricultural science. Santhsaunt farmers are capable of cultivating any of thousands of species of crops in almost any environment. The santhsaunt are also masters of terraforming, for five millennia having modified thousands of hostile planets into fertile paradises.
- Homeworld: Set Sayat
The anhayat are a mammalian race hailing from the planet of Set Sayat.
- Amazing Technicolor Population: While anhayat have as varied natural skin tones as humans, modern anhayat have a much more varied palette due to a trend of skin dyeing amongst several sayats that started centuries ago.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: A Culture Chop Suey of Switzerland, Taiwan, and the Muisca.
- Four-Element Ensemble: Water.
- Proud Merchant Race:
- Homeworld: Tlistul
The modern etrense have recently begun to "tame" their homeworld though a massive industrialization boom: where there were once vast swamps and jungles now lie gigantic factories and mines, while farms and plantations dot the wide savannahs and scrublands and sprawling cities now thrive along the planet's oceans. Before making first contact with the galaxy at large, Tlistul was divided into dozens of nation-states relentlessly competing for dominance over the planet until the sudden arrival of spacefaring human colonists.
- Homeworld: Apsijoh
- Homeworld: Veraigrin
- Homeworld: Shae'rahas
The Primordials are three ancient races who dominated the galaxy millions of years before.
- Homeworld: Mhiogunggonchas
- Homeworld: Sithal
- Homeworld: ???
- Homeworld: Anguryun
The yarang are a mammalian species coming from the lush garden world of Anguryun. For decades, the yarang had been aware of the existence of life on other planets, but lacked both the concentrated effort and sufficient technology to do anything about it. However, by the 23rd century, their discovery of abyssal space and the subsequent invention of a crude FTL drive allowed the yarang to finally embark on a manned expedition to a nearby star system they had long suspected to host alien life in 2312.
Upon arriving in the star system, the fleet's survey teams are shocked to discover a scene of destruction on a scale never before seen in their history; not one but several planets are dotted with wrecked cities and scorched battlegrounds, while fleets larger than their own engaged in combat in orbit. Almost immediately, the yarang make contact with some of the system's many inhabitants and learn the situation at hand: they've stumbled onto Sol Union colonies (among them the prouam homeworld) under siege from Dominion Legions on a campaign to capture the system. Upon making formal contact with both belligerent powers, the yarang are soon faced with a critical choice that will affect both the future of their species and that of the galaxy.
- Naïve Newcomer: Their first expedition outside their home system brings them right into a warzone between the Union and Dominion, and they immediately attempt to try and play diplomat between two warring species much more powerful than they are. The next few decades has them become more and more cynical as they realize how ruthlessly cutthroat galactic politics can get.
- Proud Scholar Race:
- Wide-Eyed Idealist:
- Homeworld: Uumi/Alessia
- Homeworld: Samnang/Chiayi
- Capital: Terra
- Structure: Federal republic
- Major Worlds: Mars, Titan, Monterey, Ishtar, Nakamura, Madrigal, Kaohsiung
- Constituent Species: Humans (89%), Etrense (10%), Prouam (<1%)
Phalanx Industries/Republic of Francesca
- Capital: Francesca
- Structure: Close corporation
- Major Worlds: Sarmiento, Endurance, Sorensen, Fullerton, Navarro, Gran Diego, Thornton
- Constituent Species: Humans (89%), Etrense (5%), Neijo (5%),
Phalanx Industries began on Terra from two different businesses: Titan Energy, a Californian nuclear energy company, and the Nishimura Group, a company specializing in experimental agriculture founded in Washington. In 2028, the two corporations successfully collaborated on a urban agriculture project in which an prototype molten salt reactor supplied electricity to an energy-intensive vertical farm and a nearby desalination plant. The project's impressive results persuaded the heads of the two companies to a merger in 2032, naming their new conglomerate Phalanx Industries.
Phalanx has grown in the decades since into a massive multisystem corporation spanning dozens of planets, some ruled independently of any government. While lacking the sheer manpower of other factions, Phalanx compensates by commanding vast resources at their disposal, such as divisions of well-trained, highly-skilled troops, a wide arsenal of advanced technologies and sprawling industries, and dozens of worlds rich and abundant in raw materials. In the recent decades, Phalanx's expansion has given it an increasingly diverse population as more and more aliens join for various reasons, including the Union's assorted client races, the gerahat, and, interestingly, a tiny minority oftaraigh.
- Art Deco: Even into the 23rd century, this style remains in their architecture and interior design. It's also frequently ridiculed by other humans who consider it to be outdated Zeerust.
- Artificial Meat: Before the merger, Nishimura's company made a few forays into lab-grown meat. In the 22nd century, Phalanx's various cultured meat products have replaced conventional animal husbandry entirely, due to economic advantages (meat vat facilities produce a lot more food while taking up significantly less time, space, effort, and resources than ranches or farms) and ethical considerations (over the perceived cruelty of raising animals for slaughter).
- Bio-Augmentation: Phalanx is famous for their pioneering research into genetic, biochemical, and bioengineering, and every employee is physiologically modified in some way or another, from faster reflexes in pilots to increased muscle mass in construction workers.
- Fighting for a Homeland: In If You Want It Done Right.... By the 23rd century, Titan is no longer a viable center of operations for Phalanx due to both increasing competition from rival corporations and from Union regulations. With no other choice, the new Triumvirate leads an expedition to a lush and pristine but pirate-infested planet in unclaimed territory.
- I Love Nuclear Power: Fernandez was an ardent proponent of nuclear energy; before the merger, his company Titan Energy focused on developing alternative designs of nuclear reactors to replace inefficient contemporary designs. In the 22nd century, Phalanx's power grids largely depend on nuclear energy. The bulk of their energy output is provided by liquid fluoride-cooled thorium-fueled molten salt reactors, supported by breeder reactors and reprocessing centers to handle waste. Phalanx also uses and sells assembly line-manufactured small modular reactors, the smallest being the size of a refrigerator.
- Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: Other factions make widespread use of energy weapons, but Phalanx deploys firearms augmented with rail accelerators, in addition to actual railguns and coilguns proper.
- Magnetic Weapons: Railguns and coilguns are a common armament, ranging from man-portable anti-tank weapons to kilometer-long main guns on capital ships.
- Mecha-Mooks: Due to having much less soldiers to spare than most of their rivals, Phalanx relies heavily on autonomous and surrogate frames to supplement their ground forces.
- Mighty Glacier: Phalanx is a corporation that focuses more on protecting their territory than offensive operations (as the interstellar governments do), and their combat doctrine reflects that. Phalanx forces are ponderously slow, but they possess formidable weaponry and considerable protection; they are incredibly hard to dislodge once they're entrenched in a position.
- Mini-Mecha: Phalanx battlesuits, which run the gamut from slightly larger than powered armor to about two stories tall. Smaller battlesuits are especially effective in urban and jungle warfare, being infantry-sized fire-support platforms that are able to go to places that conventional vehicles are too big and unwieldy to reach while still carrying a veritable arsenal of heavy weaponry and boasting considerable protection. Civilian variants of these suits for commercial and industrial use are also prevalent.
- Our Weapons Will Be Boxy in the Future: Due to the ubiquitous use of powered armor, Phalanx weapons are larger and heavier than their contemporaries (notably compared to the Republic's and Alliance's arsenals). However, it also makes them clumsy and unwieldy when handled by unarmored, unaugmented humans.
- Powered Armor: Every Phalanx soldier is clad in a heavy powered exoskeleton. Civilian workers also make frequent use of exoskeletons for industrial and agricultural jobs.
- Settling the Frontier: Phalanx colonization fleets are a common sight on frontier worlds. Their largest to date is the one deployed to wrest control of the garden world of Francesca from local pirate gangs.
- Super Soldier: Soldiers of the Titan Corps are much more lethal combatants than their mainline counterparts, possessing more extensive augmentations, unmatched training, and cutting-edge equipment. Titans' roles vary from leading companies of hoplites, fighting in dedicated units that accompany and support armored spearheads, or being deployed from dropships as rapid response forces.
The Grand Dominion
- Capital: Geraivrin
- Structure: Autocratic empire
- Major Worlds: Ize, Gargaren, Derreigh-zhi-Izhalis, Sirhoel, Itranes, Hirnec
- Constituent Species: Taraigh (89%), Fulgos (10%), Ut'oek (<1%)
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Many Legates choose to lead from the front to serve as an example and a rallying point to their subordinates. However, to minimize casualties, most frontline Legates pilot massive heavily-armed and -armored warmechs, often with personal modifications. Legates who take things even further and fight on foot are instead always accompanied by two or more Praetorians.
- Cyber Cyclops: Legionary helmets are fully enclosed, eschewing a visor in favor of a camera surrounded by thick armor plates. This is because prolonged exposure (even looking at the beams) to their standard-issue laser weapons causes damage to the unprotected eyes and eventually causes blindness.
- The Faceless: The Dominus, the autocratic emperor of the Dominion. Upon ascending to the throne, the new Dominus will wear a large headdress and elaborate carved mask for the rest of his (or in the current Dominus' case, her) life when in public.
- Frickin' Laser Beams: The basic armaments of Dominion soldiers are laser rifles and laser pistols, and are used as frequently as ballistic weapons. Larger versions are used on various walkers and tanks and other armored fighting vehicles. The largest of them are the laser cannons mounted on Dominion warships as main guns, point defense weapons and side armaments. While lacking in range compared to other weapons (which is the reason the Dominion still uses ballistic weapons), they have pinpoint accuracy and can pierce most contemporary body armor and energy shielding.
- Kill It with Fire: Taraigh ground forces frequently deploy incendiary weapons, among them flamethrowers, napalm, phosphorus rounds, thermite, and thermobaric bombs.
Hierarchy of Santhkiln
- Capital: Santhkiln
- Structure: Constitutional monarchy
- Major Worlds:
- Constituent Species: Santhsaunt (86%)
- Matriarchy: Female santhsaunt hold a vast majority of positions of power in Royal society and have been for millennia. The most powerful individuals in the Hierarchy are the Empress, followed by the five Queens of the lesser realms; the corresponding Emperor and five Kings are largely ceremonial figureheads.
- Homeworld: Talorei
- Structure: Unitary republic
- Major Worlds:
- Constituent Species: Chalovei (86%)
Alliance of the Seventeen
- Structure: Military-economic alliance
- Major Worlds: Set Sayat
- Constituent Species: Anhayat (93%)
- Army of Thieves and Whores: The Alliance Defense Forces. Given that the majority of anhayat prefer to serve in their own sayats' or in corporate militaries, the ADF is chronically underfunded, minimally-trained, and poorly-motivated.
- Some sayats are also not above hiring mercenaries and bounty hunters whenever they see fit.
- Clone Army: Due to the abysmal state of the ADF, the Alliance supplements their ranks with mass-produced anhayat clones.
- Major Worlds:
- Constituent Species: