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Shadowgrounds Story Introduction

Mankind’s longest dream – to reach out to the stars – started to become reality in the 2050s, when technology research reached a point where a planet could be terraformed into a suitable home for man. Nine unmanned spaceships were launched with the purpose of starting a chainreaction of life on Ganymede, the third moon of the Jupiter system.

The Ganymede project was declared a success after three decades of hard research work. Manned spaceships were sent to Ganymede – which was still cold, battered and dark, but also a new beginning, a new home for hundreds of men and women. The human colony grew over the years, and now in the year 2096, over 8000 people live on Ganymede.

Step into the shoes of Wesley Tyler. He’s an ordinary man – if that’s what you call a senior mechanic at the IGTO’s Repair Base on Ganymede. He once was a security expert at a state-of-the-art fusion facility. But then things went wrong, accidents happened, and Wesley Tyler asked the wrong questions. He got the blame - and a dropship ticket to the outskirts of the Ganymede colony.

Now he works day in, day out at the IGTO Repair Base. Life is dark, cold and frustrating. But all that is about to change when the electricity system starts malfunctioning once again and Tyler is sent to check out what’s wrong...

Character Briefs

Wesley Tyler
Just an ordinary mechanic at the Repair Base, nowadays. Tyler is looking forward to getting the hell out of the place, but his many relocation applications are still being processed...

Mr. Wallace
Mr. Wallace is the Repair Base's boss - because no-one else wanted the job. He was born to a highly-respected military officer and when it came to career choices, it was quite obvious. His father arranged so that he got an easy life in the military forces.

Jane Arwyn
Jane Arwyn was born as an only child, and spent most of her childhood around boys. Jane was often considered an outsider but she found her passion in the military and rose the ranks quickly thanks to her confident attitude. She's currently on duty on Ganymede.

Ltn. Dan Baxter
Baxter is a natural born military leader. He's spent the last four years on Ganymede, in charge of secret military operations. He longs for more action and trains his men to be ready for anything.

Dr. Weiss
Dr. Harold Weiss was born in Germany, and his interest in sciences was always extraordinary. His relocation to Ganymede as the Chief Scientist of the colony gave him plenty of new opportunities. He is free to explore any kind of research that is relevant to Ganymede.

Roger Smith
Roger Smith has always been in charge - be it early childhood team sports, boy scouts or military units. He participated in a military course in his teenage years and was asked to stay. A brilliant military career followed. But now Smith has disappeared from the official records...

History Backstory

opened data file 'short history of ganymede project' last update on 2 jan 2096

Space exploration became a hot topic in the 2030s. The Earth was riddled with ever-growing pollution, impurities and overpopulation. NASA's positive progress with the Mars colony got other organisations and even private companies to invest heavily in various space research projects.

International Space Exploration Union (ISEU) was formed in the late 2030s. Its goal was to get information on possible habitable planets and other options, including terraforming existing planets or moons into something suitable for human life.

Space travel evolved quickly and soon the first fusion-powered spaceships were ready to go. ISEU's Protoplastus was one of those ships - its mission was to gather information about the possible homes for human colonies. It featured the latest research equipment and technology.

Within a decade, Protoplastus found something extra-ordinary - even shocking. In disbelief, scientists stared at the findings. A couple of good "new home" candidates had been found but most surprisingly, one of these was much closer than anyone had thought: on Jupiter's moon Ganymede. If an artificial atmosphere could be created and the overall temperature raised, Ganymede or parts of it could become habitable.

ISEU announced plans for a new program to terraform Ganymede in the 2050s. Artificial Environment and Atmosphere Experiment (AEAE) would last half a century and utilize cutting-edge technology to transform Ganymede for human needs. Nine unmanned Evolution-class ships were to launch with a purpose of starting a chainreaction - of life.

But ISEU needed to raise a lot of money to greenlight the project. The findings were still subject to much debate and controversy, and support was lacking. Eventually ISEU received heavy funding from IGTO, a private military coalition formed by the most influential countries in NATO. IGTO had clear plans for Ganymede: a space observation laboratory would be built, complete with a small space station. ISEU reluctantly agreed (the vote was tight, 52-46) but added a condition that IGTO may not under any circumstances build any military complexes or weapon research facilities.

With funding in place, the AEAE project was launched and monitored closely. After two decades of close scrutiny and dozens of tests, the Ganymede project was finally declared a success. Provectus I, the first manned spaceship to Ganymede, was given permission to launch in 2070.

Provectus I carried scientists, engineers, research equipment and building blocks for a small colony base. When the ship arrived half-a-year later, the test results were better than expected. An atmosphere existed and the temperature was rising month by month. Ganymede was still cold, battered and dark - but it was also a new beginning, a new home. The colony was named New Atlantis.

The colony grew quickly. Two new Provectus-class ships brought more materials and men - even some civilians - to New Atlantis. Now in the year 2096, the population has reached its current peak of over 8000 people. More growth is expected as soon as new AEAE facilities are built. Future challenges include better transportation system for the Earth-Mars-Ganymede route, where only three commercial space ships currently operate alongside the ISEU/IGTO ships, and the completion of the AEAE project. Ganymede's temperature is expected to reach its optimum setting in the 2100s. Currently the temperature varies from freezing cold to pleasantly chilly.

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