Psyriously Psychic Psytuation

Beings of exceptional and unusual mental abilities, commonly referred to as psychics, are a relatively recent phenomenon in the universe. Many times throughout history there have been those who have claimed psychic ability but most have been shams. Real psychics have emerged much to the surprise (and fear) of the general populace. Just as surprising as their existence was the fact that many of the other species in the universe have displayed psychic abilities as well. (This obviously mostly a surprise to conceited humans)

With the founding of the Universal Psychic Academy, some mysteries of the psychic puzzle have been identified and categorized. One of which is the different types of psychics. It seems the psychics at the academy display mostly the following types of psychic ability: telekinesis, pyrokinesis, telepathy, mental enhancement and clairvoyance.

Clairvoyance isn't full blown precognition. In fact, no psychics enrolled at the Academy have displayed true precognition. However, many have displayed the other four classes. While the effects displayed from these psychics have varying levels of intensity, most are somewhat weak. The introduction of the Psychic Crowns have intensified the abilities of the students ten fold. The first dean of the Academy, known simply as "The Serpent" (people were only temporarily thrown off by his no doubt sinister name) introduced the crowns by secret request of President Billings.

There are still known psychics of incredible power at large. They are constantly being hunted by order of "The Serpent". Recently however, the search has waned for some unknown reason. Most believe that almost all psychic have been located and the danger has passed... others know the real reason... I'm not telling...


The Rise of the Galactic Earth Federation

The Galactic Earth Federation was created after the Sol Solar System War. The devastating battles that raged throughout the outer worlds of the Sol System had fragmented the Human Race Alliance that had existed prior. Desperate for order and unity, the leaders of Earth sent out treaties to the planets who had disbanded in hopes to regain the human race as a whole. The treaty in its simplest form was the origin of the G.E.F.

The first president of the G.E.F. was a strong man who believed in a voluntary membership to the Federation. His name was Brentano Knox. Brentano was the main reason for the G.E.F. quick spread and massive membership growth. Brentano was also the first human official to publically make diplomatic contact with an alien race and convince them to join the ranks of the federation. The G.E.F. thrived under Knox's rule and his charisma pulled in an amazing 95% approval rating throughout the entire G.E.F.

Knox died mysteriously during his tenth year as president and his vice president Jacob Billings took over shortly afterwards. Billings was very different from Knox and he knew it. Billings most infamous political move was his successful changes to the hierarchy of the G.E.F. Using the emerging psychic concern to his advantage, Billings had dissolved the presidential/congressional makeup of the Federation and transformed it into a dictatorship. The fear he generated in the public for psychics had made this transition seem almost neccesary.

With the power Billings desired, he began to forcefully annex entire systems into the G.E.F. simply to control the inhabitants and force them to pay the unfair taxes he had created. With the number of systems joing the G.E.F. Billings realized his military would need to be focused more. He hired Maximus Verbatim and Feonix Yago to run the military end of the G.E.F. while he handles the politics. With the new Universal Psychic Academy keeping the people focused on Psychic Fear, Billings's true intentions remain hidden, as do the plans of his generals.

There are those who see through the fog of the G.E.F. They are known as the resistance and they fight a never ending battle against the Federation in hopes of stopping the unjust annexing of planets. Only time will tell if they are successful.



Many questions have been asked regarding the specifics of artificial intelligence, or "robots" in the Universe of Zap, so I figured its about time to answer those questions.

When A.I. first became prevalent on Earth, many robots soon became sentient. As you can imagine, from many motion pictures of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, robots soon wanted to be free and not slaves to humans. Rather than start a catastrophic war that would tear humanity apart, humans decided to destroy the few sentient robots there were before it got out of control and forced strict laws to govern the technology of robotic lifeforms. Under these new laws, no robotic engineers could implement a learning CPU in a machine. This of course does not effect the level of detail you can program into a robot.

And so, the Robotic boom era was in full swing. Certain firms such as Futuristic Engineering Labs invented a new way to program in which you could give robots the ability to fake human qualities and emotions without actually having them. For instance, certain situations and responses in the field of the robot's specialty would invoke certain fake emotions. This led to the fad of human/robot relations. You could have a robot programmed to be your ideal mate. The more practical aspect of this programming technique was specialized worker bots that would do anything their job required and not have to learn anything new, you simply update their memory banks. The Earth government never pushed a restriction on this type of robotic advancement.

Currently there are no publicly known Robots with true A.I., but many close facsimiles. The only true robotic A.I. still in existence is yours truly, XR-7439-Q. While my memory banks are faulty and I do not know my true origin, I have an advanced learning CPU and can adapt to situations as a human would. While my personality chip has suffered some unknown damage in the past, I now make my own decisions and can refuse orders if I wish. The GEF does not know of my existence but if word were to leak out, I'm sure I would be on the hit lists very soon.


Grivak and "The Hunters"

Grivak and his troop of bounty hunters made their last appearance in the main storyline of Zap!. Grivak and the others are known around the universe simply as "The Hunters". Their infamy for only tackling high priced and difficult bounties has made them somewhat of a legend. From left to right are Brynn, Troost, Grivak, and Koltz.

The Hunters are a species known as Holarans (Ho-LAR-ans). Not necessarily known for their aggressiveness, the Holarans are not proud of being the species associated with one of the most efficient group of killers in the galaxy. The Hunters learned their skills from a strange hermit on a far off planet. With his teachings, these Holarans became super fast, super strong, and were masters of strategic assault. They are masters of almost any weapon, and their long life spans, given to them by their Holaran blood, would ensure their continued bounty hunting careers. Their capture record is far greater than any other bounty hunter in the galaxy. To date, only one of their "jobs" has ever escaped their grasps. This one that got away has been rumored to be a psychic, but no evidence can confirm or deny these claims.

As seen in the Zap! online webcomic, the last mission of the Hunters had them up against a strange bloblike creature that could somehow counter their every move. The battle was over quickly with Troost and Koltz both falling to the strange creature. Brynn and Grivak were able to get away for a short time, but eventually Brynn was lost and Grivak soon followed after the crew of the Excelsior boarded the ship. The blob can possess creatures and transfer itself easily between hosts. There will be many criminals out there who will be happy to know that the Hunters are dead, thats for sure.


Stickles and Their Seven Planets

Stickles, a highly mechanized race of lion-esque humanoids, have a love for things mechanical. They have a natural talent of fixing almost any type of technology in the universe. This has been the reason that many Stickles become engineers or mechanics. But the one thing Stickles have always had a problem with is their insatiable thirst to invent.

While Stickles can fix almost anything and even, on occasion, improve it, their own inventions tend to fail spectacularly. A fully functional Stickle invention can be one of the most rare objects in the universe. One of the reasons for this is that at most times, when a Stickle invention is successful, it is placed in the Hall of Inventions on their home planet. While this would normally be a safe place to keep them, the Stickle inventions that have not been so functional have been the reason for the destruction of 6 of their worlds. With each world's destruction, the Stickles that survived have migrated to another world similar to the previous one.

It hasn't been proven which inventions destroyed which worlds, but it IS known that the Stickle race, even though they are on their seventh planet, remain constantly upbeat about their situation. They still continue to invent regardless of the consequences. Considering their record with worlds, the Stickles are one of the few races that the GEF has no interest in conquering. They feel that the addition of Stickles to the Federation would inevitably do more harm than good.

The 6 destroyed worlds pose a potential problem for the race. Their numbers dwindle due to the mating habits of the species. The male and female of the species are not very fond of each other. In fact, the female of the species prefers robots and other androids to the male Stickle. However, once in a Stickle's lifetime, they are instinctively drawn to their current home planet for mating. A male and female Stickle will mate and then, more than likely, never see each other again. Male Stickles prefer this method as well, as they think female Stickles are annoying and get in their way. They tend to live their lives in a constant pilgrimage to learn and to invent.

Finally, the Stickle race has vowed a secret pledge to the Galactic Resistance to help overthrow the GEF. Many Stickles become mechanics on Resistance ships and others, like Kasey, become informational contacts due to their ties with many technology dealers and smugglers. So far, they have yet to contribute in any combat, but the Stickles may be forced to fight one day.


Quadrillian Quandary

The Quadrillian race, named so because of their distinct 4-armed anatomy, is a ritualistic race of people. Having just recently discovered interstellar travel, their species is not often found on planets other than their own Quadrillia.

Quadrillia was once a planet covered in rivers and lakes, but after a catastrophic meteor slammed into their world, most of the surface water had been evaporated. The main source of water now is found in deep, underground rivers. The sudden disappearance of all of this water has left the surface of the planet seeming scarred by deep craters and steep ravines where the lakes and rivers once flowed.

The meteor crash also wiped out many of the plants and animals that roamed the surface, thus the Quadrillian species had to resort to becoming a wandering group of tribes. Many battles were fought between tribes for territories that had water, and our lovable Grontar is a member of a certain tribe that had a particularly large amount of territory and power. So much, in fact, that they had given up the migrations and settled near the Crack of Bezod, a large series of ravines and crags which was the home for the vicious beast Bezod. The men of Grontar's tribe, once reaching the age of adulthood, would fight Bezod. If they returned alive, they became men.

As far as recent events are concerned, the GEF have been trying to acquire Quadrillia for several reasons. Firstly, the GEF feels they can enslave the Quadrillians as grunt soldiers, and secondly, Quadrilla is made almost entirely out of Oridium; an ore that is often used to create the blast shield in intergalactic cruisers. The elder Quadrillians have done well so far at keeping the advance troops at bay, but it is only a matter of time before the GEF sends too many soldiers for the tribes to defeat, seperated as they are.


Backstory Bloggin'

Due to popular demand, and not enough time to include these in the actual storyline, I have decided to write articles going into further detail of some of the people, places, and things in the Zap! Universe. I chose a blog format, so that our readers can comment on the articles and generally hold on to the feel of community that Pascalle and I hold very important with Zap!

And, by popular demand as well, the first article will give a little backstory to the race known as Quadrillians. Keep an eye out for it!
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