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Webcomic / Leaving the Cradle

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Leaving The Cradle is an science-fiction webcomic, attempting at bridging the gap between space opera and classical hard science fiction.

The plot follows an alien xenobiologist Gharr, who crash-lands on Earth after his research mission accidentally gets shot at by the Earth's military defences.

Provides examples of:

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Averted - sapient AIs are present but are not a threat to all living things. Some of them even provide translation services.
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  • All There in the Manual: The webcomic has an extensive wiki that hosts a lot of the information about the setting, that most likely will never have chance to appear in the comic. It's mostly in Russian, though.
  • Alien Non-Interference Clause: The Alliance have a directive that forbids contacting species below a certain development level, to not affect their culture and society. Guess if Earthlings qualify as advanced. Things get complicated when one of the researchers accidentally gets stranded on Earth.
  • Artificial Gravity: of the Centrifugal Gravity variety. Standard artificial gravity depiction is absent.
  • Attack Drone: Takes up the role of a Space Fighter in the setting, and usually being deployed in massive waves designed to overwhelm the enemy's defences.
  • Bee People: Zig Zagged. Insectoids have many similarities with ant society, but the differences are also major, with workers having full individuality and being the Queen, while prestigious, doesn't lend you any actual ruling power.
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  • Cyborg: Majority of the population of the Alliance, many have brain implants, and complete replacement of the immune system is required for those who actively travel the galaxy and interact with other species.
  • Faster-Than-Light Travel: Spaceship have FTL capacity through devices called "hypergenerators". They are rather standard variation of the various hyperdrives, as the name indicates.
  • The Federation: The Alliance.
  • First Contact: It and it's consequences is the main scope of the story.
  • Artificial Limbs: Hekaht have one of these.
  • Mirror Chemistry: insectoid species are D-chiral, which makes them incompatible with other species biochemically, much like turians from Mass Effect. This sometimes causes some political problems, since their preferred method of colonizing other life-supporting worlds is to terraform them by blazing large patches of the continent to cinder and reseed it with samples of their own ecosystem.
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  • Mega-Corp: Science Corporation is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, a huge corporation that holds and enforces monopoly on owning and researching artifacts left by Precursors and developing tech based on them. Naturally, it's actions are not always ethical or legal, but it is so huge at this point that it considered to be as influential as some entire species of the Alliance.
  • Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness: Type 4, maybe veering into type 3. The most blatant deviations from realism are antigravity, FTL flight, and fictional gas-like substance that is required for most of the unrealistic tech to function. Both the substance and the physic laws that allow FTL are suggested to be artificial in nature.
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: Averted. None of the species in the setting appear to have breasts on females.
  • Rubber-Forehead Alien: Averted. None of the known sapient species can pass for a human even from a quick glance, save for Raharrs being bipedal and with upright stance.
  • Post-Cyberpunk: Cybernetic implants are heavily used through the Alliance, sapient AIs exist and there's strong indications that corporations have way more power than they should, but the overall setting is not portrayed as Crapsack World.
  • Precursors: The Ancients are both responsible for the existence of the majority of habitable worlds with biospheres, and the very physical possibility of FTL flight. They vanished from the face of the Galaxy millions of years prior to the webcomic events.
  • Schedule Slip: The update schedule is highly irregular, and the author points out that at one moment it stopped entirely for a half a year, almost resulting in it becoming an Orphaned Series
  • Standard Human Spaceship: Or, rather, Standard Raharrian Spaceship in this case.
  • Starfish Aliens: All of them, from four meter-tall squids to Energy Beings.
  • The Singularity: Azinarsi are a race of fully digital species, living in Dyson swarms around their home stars, and is vastly technologically superior to the rest of the galaxy.
  • Space Is an Ocean: Subverted. Spaceships have no clearly defined top or bottom, and there is no uniform plane of reference.
  • Standard Sci-Fi Fleet: Played With. Spaceships more or less follow the standard naming scheme, but there's differences in roles usually assigned to these names in space opera - a "destroyer" is a rocket boat, for example.
  • Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions: Majority of the Alliance is atheistic.
  • Vertebrate with Extra Limbs: Raharrs are of "four-armed" variety.


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