Welcome to Tau Station

I’m doing heater runs in Taungoo when a contact I haven’t heard from in years asks me to quietly deliver a package to Nouveau Limoges, another station in the Sol System. The money’s good so I head down to the port, hop in Amethyst, and launch. Amethyst‘s an older ship and she’s higher maintenance than I’d like, but she keeps flying.

A little over 7 segments later (just over 1.5 hours, old Earth time) I arrive at Nouveau Limoges and that’s when the trouble kicks in. I’m a Consortium citizen, but Nouveau Limoges is a Gaule station and I forgot to renew my visa. Immigration computers notice my status and Amethyst‘s nav system is overridden to auto-deport me. Meanwhile, I was supposed to deliver the package in my hold within 8 segments and now it’s starting to change shape. I think I’ve been set up.

Welcome to humanity’s future, 189 AC (After Catastrophe). I know you want to ask what that means in Earth years, but we’re not rightly sure. Most of what we knew was lost when the databanks were purged, as was the exact year. From survivors, we figure it’s what would have been 2600 AD. What I can say is this: it’s been 189 years since everything fell apart. 18,900 days since the galaxy was wrecked, and we’ve barely begun to recover.

People who were alive Before love to tell tales. They go on about how we ruled the stars, when we’d spread out to every corner of the galaxy like nothing could stop us. The way they tell it, being alive then meant that you didn’t want for anything; you printed whatever you needed — food, clothes, shelter, medicine. Most old-timers call it “The Golden Age.” They whisper the words “post-scarcity” and get lost in their memories as they huddle around small fires in the ruins of our massive space stations.

The descriptions of Before sound too amazing to be believed, too wonderful to be true. Truth is the Catastrophe and everything that came After. Truth is that moment when our civilization was destroyed. Those are the stories that the old-timers don’t like to tell, the stories about that day 189 years ago when we were attacked and everything went south all at once. When our space stations vented our air and their fusion cores dimmed, leaving millions suffocating in darkness. When ship reactors went critical, jump gates exploded, and defense systems turned on the very planets they were meant to protect. The attack lasted only a few hours, but that was enough. Billions of people had died, and starvation and disease took many more soon after. Humanity was on the brink of extinction.

So here we are, two generations on. Survivors struggling to live on the remnants of the stations that weren’t completely destroyed, using what tech we have left to cobble together the parts for ships and keep the remaining jump gates in working order. Making do however we can, as society puts itself back together bit by bit and some semblance of order emerges after those desperate early years. We have governments again, and trade is resuming between the stations. There’s opportunity out there for folks willing to take a few risks.

But who attacked us and why? And will they do it again? We’d better prepare ourselves as best as we can in case they do. We want to find the culprits and give them some payback. We want to know that the civilization we’re working so hard to rebuild won’t be torn down again.

The Game

Tau Station is a free-to-play text MMORPG, set in a post-apocalyptic future drawing heavy inspiration from many sci-fi classics. We’d say “Think Mad Max meets Firefly,” but our lawyers said “no.” So, pretend we didn’t say that.

Join the ranks of survivors struggling to make something of the ruined galaxy left in the Catastrophe’s wake. Take on missions, learn valuable details from dynamic characters, and participate in an epic story to uncover the terrifying secret that brought humanity to its knees. Captain your own starship, start a syndicate, challenge other players in combat, and explore a universe filled with hundreds of unique space stations and thousands of memorable encounters. Decide whether you want to help rebuild civilization, or turn a profit from its destruction.

Features

  • Hundreds of space stations and missions to explore at your own pace
  • Missions with multiple outcomes that depend on your character’s choices
  • Competitive and cooperative play options
  • A deep science fiction story that unfolds as you play
  • An evolving setting affected by the actions of the players
  • Elite-style trading
  • Free-to-play, but not pay-to-win
  • Browser-based — play from anywhere, with nothing to download
  • Designed for players of all abilities, following the AA standards of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

Development of Tau Station is well underway. Sign up for updates, exclusive rewards, and a chance to participate in closed Alpha and Beta testing.


Originally published at taustation.space on August 4, 2016.