What began as a conflict over the transfer of consciousness from flesh to machines escalated into a war which has decimated a million worlds. The Core and the Arm have all but exhausted the resources of a galaxy in their struggle for domination. Both sides now crippled beyond repair, the remnants of their armies continue to battle on ravaged planets, their hatred fuelled by over four thousand years of total war. This is a fight to the death. For each side, the only acceptable outcome is the complete elimination of the other.
In the distant future, the galaxy is ruled by a central body of humans and artificial intelligences called the Core (a contraction of “Consciousness Repository”). The Core’s technological and economic triumphs have allowed humanity to colonize most of the Milky Way and enjoy peace and prosperity.
However, the balance is broken by a technological breakthrough that allows the consciousness of a human being to be reliably transferred into a machine, thereby theoretically granting infinite life, in a process called “patterning.” Following a mandate imposed on humanity by the Core requiring everyone to undergo patterning as a public health measure, a rebel band is formed out of colonies from the edges of the galaxy (hence their name, the Arm), whose members refused to leave their natural bodies to join the Core’s machines. A war lasting 4,000 years followed, with the Arm mass-producing clones as pilots for its vehicles and the Core duplicating consciousness-embedded microchips to pilot its own machines.