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"Just once, I'd like to fly into a system where everyone doesn't want to kill us."
Aeon 14 is a Military Science-Fiction/Space Opera novel franchise originating on Amazon's Kindle platform. Created by American author M.D. Cooper in 2012, it now comprises several sub-series by multiple authors.

Outsystem, the first book in publication order, begins in the year 4123, and while humanity has expanded across the Sol system and nearby stars and humanity is in a technological golden age, Faster-Than-Light Travel has yet to be developed. Major Tanis Richards is a counterinsurgency officer in the Terran Space Force with a black mark as "the Butcher of Toro", a treatment that derailed a promising career and destroyed her loyalty to her government the Sol Space Federation. Fortunately, the colony ship GSS Intrepid, the most advanced Human Popsicle carrier ever built, is nearing completion over Mars. Her destination is the terraformed planet New Eden orbiting 82 Eridani, and Tanis has managed to score a ticket in return for serving aboard as chief of security.

However, Tanis quickly learns that not all is as it should be aboard Intrepid. Somebody powerful, perhaps several somebodies, doesn't want her millions of crew members to leave Sol, and they're hiring crews of mercenaries to ensure that doesn't happen. Together with her A.I. symbiote Angela, Ace Pilot Joseph Evans, Space Police officer Jessica, and Lovable Rogue Trist, can Tanis defeat the attackers and get the ship safely out of the system?

Aeon 14 consists of several sub-series, the first of which, The Intrepid Saga, was completed in November 2016. Stylistically it liberally mixes Applied Phlebotinum with well-researched astronomy and physics: stars present in the series can usually be found in the sky, and phenomena such as gravity wells and Lagrangian points are extremely important in maneuvering. The characters populating the 'verse can technically be called transhumans given the amount of Bio-Augmentation and cyborgization present, but they likewise still care about many if not most of the same things as real-life humans, with themes of love, war, ideology, and identity very prominent.

For a list of books in the franchise to date, see Recap.Aeon 14.

The author's website also contains a wiki and chronology.


Tropes present in Aeon 14 are below. Due to a major shift in the nature of the series at the transition between Building Victoria and Destiny Lost, there may be unmarked spoilers.

  • Absent Aliens: The series takes its name from a conceit that it takes approximately 14 billion years (1 billion years = 1 eon in timekeeping terms) for intelligent life to arise. So far, even the far-ranging terraformer fleets have not encountered anything smarter than a cat in the admittedly small chunk of the galaxy that has been explored (the Messier 25 cluster, the location of New Canaan, is only 2,000 light-years from Sol, and it took several years' travel at FTL speeds to get there from where they exited Kapteyn's Streamer).
  • Ace Pilot: Joe Evans, Tanis' Love Interest. A memorable scene in Outsystem has a merc attack against Intrepid get foiled by his fancy flying of a cargo shuttle, which included them getting boarded. Then there's a jolt, the mercs are thrown off, and Tanis and the Space Marines fill them with holes.
    Joe: Oops, did I clip that cargo net? Sorry about that.
  • A.I. Getting High: Sapient AI get a natural high (likened to an orgasm by one character) from great feats of mental prowess. This is deliberately designed into them as a Pavlovian conditioning trigger.
  • The Alternet: The Link, which is basically the Internet when you incorporate AIs and Brain–Computer Interface.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: The Future Generation Terraformers (FGT) turns into essentially The Illuminati IN SPACE! by Destiny Lost, trying to quietly guide humanity out of the FTL-induced dark ages it fell into.
  • Anti-Nepotism: After their daughters Cary and Saanvi steal a ship to "get in on the fun" of the Battle of New Canaan in Orion Rising and are both nearly killed ramming an enemy carrier, Tanis and Joe Richards (respectively the then-governor, and the Commandant of the Intrepid Space Force Academy) promise to put the two of them through the wringer as cadets. In The Scipio Alliance Cary spends a couple pages complaining to their friend Jill and A.I. half-sister Faleena about the treatment.
  • Artificial Gravity: Accomplished by pulling gravitons out of the dark layer and projecting them. In the 5th millennium only very large installations such as Intrepid can fit them, but they're later miniaturized and become much more versatile, ultimately leading to Reactionless Drive and the discovery of Faster-Than-Light Travel. By Destiny Lost graviton emitters are so common that ships don't even need to be airtight anymore.
  • Artificial Intelligence: The series draws a line between sentient and non-sentient AI (NSAI). Non-sentient AI can parse complex commands but appear to be rules-based. Sentient AI, e.g. Tanis's companion Angela or Intrepid's shipboard AI Bob, are creative, feel and express emotions, and grow and change with their experiences like humans do.
  • Benevolent A.I.: Tanis has a number of very funny arguments with Angela, the AI who is implanted in Tanis' Brain–Computer Interface, but AIs are generally quite benign and even friendly in this series, with some exceptions. In Sol they even have their own court system to deal with AIs that do go bad. However, this all came about as a result of a Robot War which is detailed in the Sentience Wars sub-series. It's also mentioned briefly in The Dance on the Moons of Serenity that NSAI are more dangerous than sentient AI.
  • Black Box: Invoked. For state security reasons, Tanis plans to give the Transcend only black box versions of their most advanced tech, particularly their powerful stasis shields. They'll even implement it on their own ships in case of capture.
  • Bus Crash: The Victoria colony that the Intrepid crew builds in Building Victoria ends up being glassed offscreen by vengeful Sirians during the FTL Wars, centuries after Intrepid leaves to resume its journey.
  • The Butcher: Tanis is known as the "Butcher of Toro" due to the official story of an incident in her counterinsurgency career, reportedly involving a massacre on a dwarf planet. She opens up to Joe about the real story in A Path in the Darkness: a lunatic cult had taken over the mining colony and was turning visitors into monsters with Bio-Augmentation. Tanis was forced to order Orbital Bombardment that obliterated the whole place, and then was forced to take the fall and accept a reduction in rank for PR reasons.
  • Closest Thing We Got: Joe is a pilot, but had to fill in as chief of security until Tanis arrived because of all the sabotage.
  • Cool Starship: Just in the first book the Intrepid is a unique vessel. She's the most advanced colony ship ever built, with onboard farms, forests and game lands, and equipped with a new form of ramscoop and a virtually godlike shipboard AI named Bob. Over the course of the next few books, the ship is refitted by its crew to be a devastatingly powerful warship as well, culminating in her relaunch in New Canaan as the I2, which Tanis uses as her flagship during the Orion War.
  • Deflector Shields: Three types.
    • Initially Intrepid has ES shields, which are essentially electromagnetic interference capable of screening out hard radiation and directed energy weapons.
    • 9th millennium ships have gravitic shields, which use Artificial Gravity to destroy threats.
    • Intrepid combines 9th millennium gravitic technology with its own, and creates stasis shields, which can allow Space Fighters to stand up to gravitically shielded dreadnoughts for a time. Stasis shields render the ship invulnerable to incoming fire until their power runs out.
  • Dyson Sphere: Star City in, well, The Last Bastion of Star City. Unusually for the trope, it's built around a neutron star, and the inhabitants have reportedly fended off Orion Guard attacks by using the star to generate targeted X-ray bursts (dump matter into the gravity well and X-rays are produced by its decay).
  • Earth That Was: Not just Earth, most settled planets suffered major damage in the Jovian Independence War and the FTL Wars. Sol got the worst of it, though: Earth and Mars were glassed (they've since been repopulated), most of the space stations Tanis and the others knew from their time were destroyed and the population is a fraction of what it once was. Earth is still relevant, though, in that it's one of the three core planets of the imperialist AST (a descendant of the Jovian state after they won their war with Earth).
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: The spectacular destruction of the gas giant Aurora in Destiny Lost. Intrepid passes through to refuel and discovers the Bollam's World government has been using orbital graviton generators to keep it from collapsing and becoming a brown dwarf, so that it serves as a helium-3 factory. Trying to destroy Intrepid, an AST fleet blows up the generators, which essentially turns the entire multi-Jupiter-mass planet into a planet-sized thermonuclear bomb. What they don't expect is that the explosion of the gaseous upper layers compresses the lower layers into a black hole and causing complete chaos, not to mention Intrepid is able to ride the shockwave with its newfangled stasis shields and accelerate to Ludicrous Speed before jumping to FTL.
  • Enforced Cold War: The only reason there hasn't been a full-scale war between the Transcend and the Orion Guard until the emergence of the Intrepid in the 8900s is because it would be visiblenote  to the less-advanced human civilizations in the Inner Stars.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The creatures that live in the dark layer and feed on mass, making it unsafe to jump to FTL inside a system. They're invisible to optics and are depicted as tentacular beasts of darkness on other sensors.
  • Ethical Slut: Jessica, after some Character Development. She's introduced in Path in the Darkness as a borderline nymphomaniac who's left a trail broken hearts behind her (to the point of being confined to quarters by commercial transport captains for causing fights among crew members), but after spending time with Tanis's team she becomes more circumspect, and even has a couple of committed relationships in which she chooses monogamy.
  • Faster-Than-Light Travel: Featured beginning in Destiny Lost. Follows a hyperspace model: ships transition into the "dark layer", where their pre-transition velocity is multiplied by 500. Also deconstructed in an unusual way. For the first three books FTL is impossible, which also means that interstellar warfare is impossible. The invention of FTL causes a minor Apocalypse How and much of Intrepid's underlying tech becomes Lost Technology. The Transcend and Orion Guard also have stargates, which generate artificial wormholes for instantaneous travel at the cost of being stationary (they can be carried aboard ships, but are left behind after a transit).
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Intrepid has the most advanced and powerful multi-nodal AI ever constructed, a computer being that can actually predict the future to a limited extent. His name? Bob.
  • Future Food Is Artificial: The tech level of Sol makes real food the norm. Intrepid even has entire farms and forests stocked with game, tended by robots. In book 4, we also learn that Intrepid now has the only surviving strawberries in known space. Played straight with the Noctus Slave Race in the Sirius system, though, who are so used to vat-grown protein on their deliberately technologically depressed asteroid habitats that they're actually put off by the idea of natural foods.
  • Future Imperfect: Some 20th-21st century pop culture is still familiar but not always remembered correctly. In The Scipio Alliance, an exclusive resort is patterned after the wreck of the Olympic (which Angela says is supposed to be the Titanic, and sank in the 20th century rather than the 19th as the advertisers say), while Tanis gets costumed for a masquerade ball as "Shannon" from "Meteoroid" (i.e. Samus from Metroid).
  • Gangsta Style: Tanis holds a pistol this way in the second version of the cover for Outsystem (shown at the top of the page). The author has pointed out in response to the usual complaints that Tanis's body is heavily cyborgized: not only is she not vulnerable to damage from firing the gun, she doesn't aim with the sights but rather with an in-head HUD.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: Tanis's nano gives her Healing Factor that lets her survive wounds that should have killed her, even by 9th millenium standards, on a number of occasions.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: The Intrepid crew names LHS 1565 "Estrella de la Muerte", Spanish for "star of death". In the 90th century they find out the name stuck.
  • Grey Goo: Unlike nanotechnology, which is well-understood, picotechnology is experimental, and highly illegal because of an accident that ate a dwarf planet. The genius scientist Earnest Redding on the Intrepid succeeds in mastering it, and the war with Sirius forces them to weaponize it. A picobomb can eat fleets, and does on two occasions. The Orion Guard claims to have glassed several planets on the periphery of the Transcend due to runaway picoswarms from people trying to duplicate Redding's feat after Bollam's World.
  • Happily Adopted: In New Canaan, Tanis and Joe adopt Saanvi, a girl who was the Sole Survivor of an Orion Guard attack on her home planet in the Transcend (ostensibly due to a runaway picoswarm). Saanvi grows up happily with them and their biological daughter Cary.
  • Happily Married: Tanis and Joe by Building Victoria. The couple spend about a century off-and-on out of cryo while Intrepid travels to Kapteyn's Star for repairs, guarding against further sabotage, and are expecting a daughter in Destiny Lost.
  • Has Two Mommies: Between Tanis, Joe, and Angela, Cary (biological daughter of Tanis and Joe), Saanvi (adopted), and Faleena (AI daughter of Tanis and Angela) have a three-parent upbringing, and refer to Tanis and Angela collectively as "Moms".
  • Hostile Terraforming: Sort of. In The World at the Edge of Space, ex-terraformer Finaeus relates how the FGT usually cleanses a planet of all life it might have as part of the terraforming process. So far they haven't encountered anything more intelligent with a cat, but they have found a number of indigenous pathogens that could wipe out all humanity if not eliminated.
  • Human Popsicle: Two types. Cryogenic suspension is actually out of use in the 5th millennium, obsoleted by "stasis", a technology that suspends atoms' motion.
  • Humans Are Insane: A feeling expressed sometimes by the AI characters. For example, in book four, Sera has this conversation with her AI partner Helen:
    Sera: The altered chemical and mental state [from wearing a suit of clothes that arouses the wearer] is the goal, not a symptom, you should remember that. You get your big rushes, so to speak, from feats of mental prowess. We humans can experience that, as well as a similar form, achieved from things as basic as tactile stimulation. If a person can channel that stimulation into something productive and use it to assist in focus it can be a strength and not a weakness.
    Helen: (laughs) Are you saying that the secret behind Cheeky's exemplary piloting skill is that she's a nymphomaniac and always aroused?
    Sera: That's exactly what I'm saying. She's extended her sexual stimulus to include her piloting skill. People can train their sexual response to be triggered by anything.
    Helen: I return to my earlier statement: organics are exceedingly weird.
  • Inhumanable Alien Rights: In Sol the rights of Artificial Intelligences are guaranteed by the Phobos Accords, which lay down rules for their creation, upbringing, and treatment, and also provide a legal system to govern them. The Accords have been abandoned by the 9th millennium.
  • Ladykiller in Love: Jessica, the nymphomaniac Space Police officer who got kidnapped and put on ice aboard Intrepid to be discovered in A Path in the Darkness, falls in love with and marries the thief Trist who is part of Tanis's team. She's killed by Myrrdan in Building Victoria, and Jessica subsequently falls in love with Trevor of the Sabrina crew.
  • Lightspeed Leapfrog:
    • Because of the Time Dilation incident Intrepid is beaten to New Eden by other colonists. Sera contacts the FGT to find them a new planet out of reach of the governments warring over the colony ship's technology. They succeed at the first part, settling New Canaan, but the war comes to them.
    • Discussed in The World on the Edge of Space: with the invention of FTL travel, any other lost colony ships that survived will probably never find an unsettled world without help from the terraforming fleets.
  • Longest Pregnancy Ever:
    • Justified: Tanis was probably pregnant with her and Joe's first daughter for several years (she was conceived at some point during Building Victoria and is born in New Canaan). Tanis had put the embryo in stasis inside her so the child could be born on New Eden, though that didn't work out (they were lightspeed leapfrogged and ended up having to barter a new planet from the Transcend, and Angela had to remove the stasis from the embryo to save Tanis from an injury, allowing the child to resume growing).
    • Inverted in The Last Bastion of Star City. Jessica and her AI Iris both birth and raise several AI children inside a Lotus-Eater Machine that lets all the kids grow to maturity in only two meatspace days.
  • Merger of Souls: AI are forbidden to fuse with organic minds under the Phobos Accords to prevent one from being dominated by the other, and AI/human partnerships are legally limited in duration to keep it from happening. However:
    • In Orion Rising, Amanda (a human "avatar", a computer expert whose job is to interface between human crew members and Intrepid's super-AI, Bob) and the shipboard AI Ylonda are seriously injured fighting a rogue AI. They subdue their attacker but the remnants of their minds seek each other out and merge into a new personality in Amanda's body, Amavia (a portmanteau of the Latin forms of their names).
    • In Outsystem, Tanis and Angela perform a dangerous computing maneuver while leaving the Sol system, linking their minds more deeply than usual in order to gain their fighters an edge over attacking mercenaries. Afterwards it's revealed that their bond is now such that they can no longer be separated without killing them both, though they're still separate personalities in a Mind Hive. In Orion Rising they acknowledge to Sera that they'll eventually become a single being, though it's likely centuries off.
  • Mile-Long Ship: Intrepid is 30 kilometers long and is utterly dwarfed by many space structures in the series.
  • Mind Hive: Tanis by the end of Outsystem. Tanis and Angela perform a dangerous computing maneuver while leaving the Sol system, linking their minds more deeply than usual in order to pool processing power and give Intrepid's fighter squadrons an edge over attacking mercenaries. Afterwards it's revealed that their bond is now such that they can no longer be separated without killing them both. They remain separate personalities for the moment but there's the odd unusual moment of heightened perceptions.
  • Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness: The series is somewhere between Physics Plus and One Big Lie. With the exception of stasis fields, Faster-Than-Light Travel, and Artificial Gravity (the latter two of which are related), most technology is based on present-day theories, all stars are real, and orbital mechanics and Time Dilation provide several major plot points. Technology in the series advances over time in an organic way.
  • Moral Myopia: Admiral Senya from Bollam's World, who tries to capture the Intrepid at the end of Destiny Lost. When the fighting starts, she fires on the ship. The ISF intercepts her shots and Intrepid returns fire on the emplaced railguns that fired at her. Senya accuses Tanis of murdering hundreds of Bollers; Tanis retorts that if her shots had connected with Intrepid, thousands would have died.
  • Naming Your Colony World: A justified Symbolica variant. Intrepid planned to settle the planet New Eden, orbiting 82 Eridani. When Eden is denied them by a Lightspeed Leapfrog courtesy of the Time Dilation through Kapteyn's Streamer, they name the star system they buy from the Transcend New Canaan, after the Biblical promised land. The rest of the system is similar: the main settlement is located on Carthagenote , and the other planets are renamed Tyre, Troy, and Athens.
  • Nanotechnology: Nanotechnology is very well-understood and put to many uses of both peaceful and military natures, such surveillance and allowing Tanis to survive a number of injuries that should have killed her instantly.
  • No Transhumanism Allowed: Attempted by various factions. The Phobos Accords outlaw merging AI and human minds (the output is referred to as an "abomination" and is what Angela and Tanis are likely to become), while the Orion Guard believes that much of the advanced technologies of The 'Verse were responsible for the Apocalypse How of the FTL Wars and hold back the technological development of their subject worlds.
  • Office Romance: Tanis and Joe start as one of these. She's chief of security on Intrepid's construction site, he's a pilot on her team and filled in as chief of security before she arrived on board. They become close and fall in love between crises and eventually marry.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Justified when Tanis is stabbed in the heart (on two different occasions!) in New Canaan. Having nearly died as a result of a railgun round through the chest in the previous book, she had a second, auxiliary heart put in lower down.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Played for Laughs with the Orion Guard's intelligence service, which is only referred to by Finaeus Tomlinson's nickname for them, "BOGA" (individual operatives are BOGAs).
    Elena: Seriously, Sera? You're the president now, you can't run around calling them "Bad Orion Guard Agents".
    Sera: If memory serves, their real name is as dumb as The Hand's.note  I'll stick to "BOGA", thanks.
  • Our Dark Matter Is Mysterious:
    • The dark layer is an alternate level of spacetime where dark matter has physical form. Dark matter is depicted as raw, unadulterated mass that drifts like icebergs in the dark layer according to gravity patterns, and tends to be denser inside star systems. It's also fed on by Eldritch Abominations that live in the dark layer, both of which provide a justification for the interior of star systems being No Warping Zones (dark layer creatures sometimes eat ships, too).
    • The climax of Destiny Lost uses this for a justified case of Unrealistic Black Hole. The Bollam's World Federation is using graviton generators, which work by pulling gravitons from the dark layer, to artificially expand a brown dwarf so that it doesn't ignite normally and therefore acts as a helium-3 factory. Ships from the Hegemony of Worlds blow up the generators, which causes the planet to collapse all at once, setting off a titanic fusion explosion that compresses the lower layers below the black hole threshold. The explosion also provides energy to keep the generators' portals to the dark layer open, and the black hole begins to consume dark matter, resulting in a "dark matter black hole" that is much larger and more powerful than the object it originally formed from.
  • Precognition: Bob can predict the future to a limited extent, which is implied to be based on probability analysis. He also mentions he can't predict Tanis.
  • Pregnant Badass: In Destiny Lost it's revealed that Tanis became pregnant at some point during Building Victoria and placed the embryo in stasis inside her so she can birth the child once they get to New Eden. In Destiny Lost and New Canaan she fights several battles during her first trimester after Angela had to turn off the stasis while saving Tanis's life from a serious injury.
  • Ram Scoop: Intrepid has the largest Bussard collector ever built, which uses additional advanced technology to make it more effective. The scoop also can be inverted and used as a weapon.
  • Ramming Always Works:
    • Exaggerated in Destiny Lost. The Mark fleet generates a powerful grav shield encasing their ships to shield it from enemy fire, hoping to envelop the Intrepid and board it. It's mentioned that if they get it wrong they'll pulverize themselves, which is what happens when Sabrina rams the shield with her more powerful stasis shields.
    • In Orion Rising, Cary and Saanvi send the squadron of unmanned ships they're leading onto collision courses with several Triselied carriers, destroying both ships. They run out, and barely survive a self-sacrificial ram of the last carrier with their own ship.
  • Rank Up: Tanis is restored to her former rank of lieutenant colonel at the end of Outsystem, apparently in the vain hope by the Terran Space Force that she'll change her mind about leaving. In Building Victoria, due to Admiral Sanderson's age meaning he'll probably only have a century or so of life left when they reach New Eden even if he spends most of the remaining travel time in stasis, she's promoted all the way to general and admiral and is made governor of the colony-to-be.
  • Renegade Splinter Faction: The Orion Guard broke away from the Future Generation Terraformers millennia ago, seemingly over relations with the rest of the galaxy: the Transcend are opposed to trying to rule over mankind (at least openly), whereas the Orion Guard are the ultimate authority in their space.
  • Schizo Tech: During the Time Skip between Building Victoria and Destiny Lost, some technology advanced and some backslid. For example, Intrepid's nano is much better, but they lack gravitic Deflector Shields or FTL and have to acquire the technology. Pushed further in Orion Freedom Alliance space, especially in an area the Sabrina crew call the "retro zone", where much advanced technology is outlawed.
  • Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: Tanis is, in the second version of Outsystem's cover (shown above). Several of the other covers also include characters aiming guns out of the cover.
  • Sexy Scandinavian: Tanis is genetically of Scandinavian descent and is a tall blonde who is regarded as quite attractive by other characters.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Star Trek apparently still existed in the 42nd century. In The Dance on the Moons of Serenity, after being duplicated by a robot designed to Kill and Replace specified people, Jessica and the robot both jokingly yell to Cheeky, "Kill us both, Spock!"
    • In Orion Rising, Angela compares how a group of AIs were Mind Controlled to adding 2+2 and returning 3.999 instead of 4, and being convinced it was correct. This references Legion's explanation of the Reapers' subversion of the geth in Mass Effect 2.
    • Crossing over with Future Imperfect, in The Scipio Alliance Tanis goes to a masquerade ball dressed as "Shannon" from the video game "Meteoroid" (i.e. Samus from Metroid)
  • Shown Their Work: Hefty doses of Applied Phlebotinum notwithstanding, the series has a lot of astrophysics research put into it. Stellar distances are kept consistent (and consistently vast) and the stars themselves are real ones, and gravity assists factor heavily into maneuvering.
  • Spaceship Slingshot Stunt: Gravity assists are common in the series, but the turn around Estrella de la Muerte is unusually harrowing: Intrepid is already severely damaged by the saboteurs and has to harness a sunspot cluster's magnetic field to accelerate, which causes a solar eruption and damages her still further.
  • Space Station: Many insanely huge ones that can have populations in the hundreds of billions.
  • The Starscream: General Garza of the Orion Guard is plotting to overthrow Praetor Kirkland, but in the meantime is pressing the offensive against the Transcend.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: Tanis wins the Battle of New Canaan through the realization that the Eldritch Abominations that live in the dark layer were created by the ascended AIs as a buffer between themselves and humanity, and Bob can control them. She summons them into realspace and they eat most of the attacking fleet. The survivors surrender.
  • Talking to Themself: Much hilarity comes from the good-natured mental bickering between Tanis (and later Sera) and the A.I. Angela (and Helen).
  • Terraforming: Accomplished by a group called the FGT created in the 24th century. They turn planets Earthlike through a variety of technologies: smashing worlds together to get them to merge and bombarding them with comets and ice-rich asteroids to add water, and seeding them with Earth life. In Building Victoria, Intrepid does the same on Victoria, a planet orbiting Kapteyn's Star, to set a shipload of escaped slaves from Sirius up with a decent life and society in exchange for their help repairing the colony ship.
  • Tidally Locked Planet: Victoria is a super-Earth that orbits in the habitable zone of Kapteyn's Star, a red dwarf. This means it's tidally locked to its sun.
  • Time Dilation: Caused by Intrepid running into a dark matter stream that comes from Kapteyn's Star. The Bollam's World Federation has apparently made a killing off of extorting ships that get dumped out of it after traveling thousands of years of objective time longer than they should have, though the now highly militarized Intrepid takes exception to that.
  • Time Skip: Many, of months, years, decades, even millennia in one case.
  • Trademark Favorite Food:
    • Tanis loves a good BLT sandwich, the ingredients for which Intrepid can supply from on-board farms.
    • Due to the FTL Wars, Intrepid now has the only strawberries in the galaxy. After trying some, Sera declares she will eat a bowl every day for the rest of her life.
  • Ungovernable Galaxy: Played with. Humanity has been embroiled in near-constant infighting since the onset of the FTL Wars, especially in the Inner Stars (approximately a 1,500 light-year radius of Sol), with many, many expansionist polities and shifting alliances. In The Scipio Alliance, Empress Diana remarks that her own Scipio Empire of roughly a thousand stars is probably already as big as it can get without undergoing Balkanization. However, the Transcend and Orion Guard nominally control swathes of space on the coreward perimeter of the Inner Stars that are each about as large as the entire central region (though their areas are much less densely populated). That the FGT fleets have jump gates they can use in place of dark layer travel, which is relatively slow, probably contributes.
  • Unrealistic Black Hole: Justified in Destiny Lost. When the AST destroys the giant graviton generators that are keeping the brown dwarf-massed gas giant Aurora from collapsing and igniting as a star, the star collapses, causing a massive fusion explosion that compresses the core below the black hole threshold. The supernova also provides energy to maintain the portals to the dark layer from which the graviton generators pull gravitons, which means the black hole begins absorbing dark matter. Thus, it ends up with a larger mass and therefore larger gravitational pull than the object it formed from.
  • The War of Earthly Aggression: The AST (for Alpha Centauri, Sol, Tau Ceti), a successor state to the Intrepid crew's Sol Space Federation, is the biggest star-spanning empire in the Destiny Lost period, and its imperialism drives many smaller states to build huge navies for self defense.
  • We Will Have Perfect Health in the Future: Thanks to high technology, nanotechnology in particular, humans can live in perfect health for several centuries during humanity's golden age (Tanis gives her age in Destiny Lost as 211 in "real-time"), though some of it becomes Lost Technology during the FTL Wars and life expectancy drops to about 200. Nano also gives Tanis some Healing Factor and allows her to place her embryonic daughter in stasis within her womb, in hopes of scheduling her gestation and birth so that she's born on New Eden.
  • We Will Not Use Stage Makeup In The Future: In one chapter of Outsystem Tanis has a bunch of her leg muscle scooped out and her legs and feet reshaped to imitate a monastic order, and in Destiny Lost she uses nano to change her jawline as a disguise.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: In The Last Bastion of Star City, Jessica, Trevor, and Iris voluntarily spend eighteen perceived years in a Lotus-Eater Machine birthing and raising AI "children" to take over defense of the Dyson Sphere and its inhabitants from the title character. Two days pass in meatspace.

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