The Arch is Central
The ship’s engines occasionally release Unobtanium particles into the air, and the Arch maintains an energy field that gathers these loose particles. Unobtanium particles, commonly called Dust, are the main currency aboard the FHS Justice, and throughout much of the galaxy. The Arch functions as both a fuel recycling center and as the equivalent of the ship’s mint, purifying the particles for use as money.
Dust is a stable, low energy form of Unobtanium useful for most applications outside of powering the ship. The engines of the ship run on a purer form of Unobtanium that is both higher-energy and less stable, composed of a particular mixture of isotopes. This isotope mixture has been developed to not only power the FHS Justice but also to produce radiation from the engines that supports and enhances human life.
The Arch is huge, and only partially visible above ground. The rest of its machinery is underground, connecting to the tunnels, corridors, and work areas that underlay each level of the ship. In those areas, the crew work alongside their robots, manufacturing needed supplies, and maintaining the utilities used by the rest of the ship.
Because of the essential nature of the Arch, and also because of the value of the Dust it refines, it is a frequent target of raids by hostile alien species. Dust is used throughout the galaxy as well as by the Heroes on the heroship Justice to enhance powers and weapons in various ways. “Dust raids” are often quick, sharp affairs, with heavy shock troops or elite marauders making a rapid strike against the heroes who defend the Justice in an attempt to steal such a valuable resource. Counter-raids by heroes attacking alien ships are also possible, although in general these are challenging events, and must be led by the most skilled and powerful heroes.
In SoH, the bad guys don’t just react to the heroes, they react to each other. It’s a real, immersive, and engaging story. The enemy groups in SoH are all unique; there are no zombies or Nazis here. They look very different, they have different – and competing – goals, and they have different methods of achieving their goals. Their motives are different, and their powers are different. We’re constantly making small changes and additions to these factions to expand and improve the lore of SoH; we’ve defined four already, and you can expect more enemy groups in the future.
While superhero mages tend to fall into a few general categories, there are countless types of magic in the galaxy, including some odd outliers that are difficult to classify. A few theorists even claim that there are as many types of magic as there are mages, because no two mages’ spells are exactly alike. The Justice‘s meritocratic culture has meshed well with these various magical traditions over the centuries, spawning numerous organizations of mages ranging from groups of a few friends to massive institutions.
By the 23rd century, humans had burst out of their home system and were colonizing and exploring. The galaxy was a busy place – many species, many worlds, many technologies – and the incredible and inexplicable became almost routine. One thing that surprised no one was that we had entered a galaxy with hundreds, perhaps thousands of organizations that would, under various circumstances, act as military muscle for hire; mercenaries were everywhere. It did not take even one generation before human mercenary groups joined the fray, and human and mixed human/alien mercenary groups now regularly compete for contracts.