The ESS Pioneer was a colony ship built and launched by the Earthen States in 2103 CE (12,500 BNC), to aid in the escape of humanity from a dying Earth. Launched approximately one thousand years before the ESS Adventurer, the Pioneer was tasked with building an initial colonial outpost on any habitable planets in the Alpha Centauri system, and relay any information regarding a habitable world back to Earth so it could send additional ships. The aid in the task of completing this mission, the Pioneer had terraforming equipment, advanced laboratories, and some 50,000 laborers to transform any worlds they founding into habitable planets in the event that none existed.
The colony ship is best known for its role in housing the ancestors of the modern-day Ixanians, who were the descendants of the thousands of survivors of the Pioneer and its gruesome 400-year long journey to Elysia. The Pioneer landed in today's Ravaxa in the Honorable Union of Ixania, and established many of the technologically advanced settlements that existed on the planet at the time of the ESS Adventurer's crash landing one thousand years later. Cannibalized for building material, portions of the ship were buried deep below the surface to hide its origins, and though many Ixanians who know of it no longer know of where it came from, it has the dubious honor of being a "holy site" of modern-day Xiani, as the birthplace of the Ixanian people.
Origins and journey
Construction on the ESS Pioneer began in 2097 CE, when the ruling power known as the Earthen States shortly after discovering that the Earth, abused and heavily polluted by that time, was dying and humanity alongwith it. To avoid the extinction of the human race, the Pioneer was constructed by the three largest nations at the time–the United States, the Russian Federation, and the European Union, using whatever resources and manpower they had available. The plan was to launch the spaceship toward Alpha Centauri, some four light years away, and establish a beach head for further colonization attempts. To speed up this effort, and to prepare the planet in the event it was uninhabitable, prisoners, transients, and the poor from the mega-slums of Detroit, Moscow, London, and Tokyo were constripted by their governments, and put into cryogenic stasis tubes to prepare them for the journey. 1,000 scientists and 5,000 soldiers from all three nations were recruited for the trip, and in 2013 CE, the ESS Pioneer was launched in secrecy.
Massive amount of terraforming equipment, weapon stores, scientific databanks, and research labs existed aboard the ship, and plans to prepare for the world they were to inhabit began. At first, the scientists were given the one order to develop theories of the new world ahead, and to develop ways to protect the laborers and soldiers from harmful radiation and suffication. However, as time pasted and fighting broke out between the scientists, some felt that for the future of the human race, moral ethnics had to be pushed aside, while others sought to do no harm to those they were to protect. As attempts to experiment on human beings began, killing broke out, with one scientist caught testing poisions on a soldier, and executed by the pro-ethnics side of the ship. As civil war broke out 170 years into the journey, with one group shutting off the life-support for enemy stasis tubes, and shutting off the air generators to stop their rivals.
As the fighting continued, the pro-survival side eventually gained the upper hand 300 years in the trip, when the soldiers of the pro-ethnics side switched teams when their commander acknowledged that preparing for the worst was better than preparing to die, and shot the leader of the pro-ethnics group in the back. With more than 10,000 dead following the civil war, the manpower of the ship was considerably depleted. However, with the war over, the scientists got to work on bringing out laborers and performing horrific experiments on them. This testing went on for the next century, up until the final ten years of the trip, when the physically stronger and morally inept laborers (under some scientists who experimented on themselves), killed off the rest of the crew that could not defend themselves. Following this exceptionally cruel genocide, only 7,500 crew remained.
Landing and colonization
What was left of the crew arrived over Beta Helios 4 in the Alpha Centauri system in 2403 CE (11,000 BNC), and began the landing procedures upon setting the ship's systems to autopilot. The Pioneer landed on a large island in the water mass known today as the Noro Ocean, and selected the land between the mountains as prime territory for starting a new settlement. Upon land, a pre-determined message was automatically sent back to Earth at faster-than-light speeds, allowing the planet to begin work on sending the next ship. Until then, the crew of the Pioneer were all alone. It would prove true that the lack of morals and ethnics played their part in creating the Ixanians as they are known today, for upon stripping the colony ship of its resources, and burying the reminder, the crew descended into violence and murder, their minds forever altered by their experiences during the trip.
The next 500 years would see the crew, later calling themselves the Xivonioki, colonize most parts of the planet, and develop a religion known as Xiani, which praised the past of the crew and the cruelty they imparted during their journey. Their experiences would develop into myths, with the Great Journey serving as the creation myth of the Ixanian people, and the Pioneer serving as the avatar of Xauti, whom they believe developed them to the planet they named Kiron. Though no one knows it today, the experiments and fighting on the ESS Pioneer damaged the mental framework of the crew during the trip, and as a result, all subsequent generations produced by that crew. The moral phsychology of future Ixanians was forever changed by the events on the Pioneer.
The history of ESS Pioneer have long since devolved into myth and superstition, and any and all notions that the ship came from another planet have since died out. When the ESS Adventurer arrived over Elysia, the Ixanians the ship's crew had created, ruled most of the planet and had long developed vast and wealthy cities across most of the surface. Though the ship's history may of have been forgotten, the effects have not. The Ixanians' moral code was built upon those passed on by the crews' leadership, where survival outweighed ethnics. Today, the Ixanians are about one or two generations ahead of the rest of the world technologically thanks to the combined technology salvaged from the ship and the lack of ethical guidelines that allow for fast-paced scientific research.
The physiology of the Ixanians was inherited from their ancestors, who had been genetically altered for the potential rigors of a hostile world. This genetic legacy was passed on to future generations, and bequeathing the Ixanians were their historical beliefs of being the superior race on Elysia, even going so far to call themselves by a different scientific name, Homo saevus. Finally, the religious impact left on the Ixanians be the Pioneer were tremendous. Though the Ixanians know not where the remnents of the Pioneer came from or how it got to Elysia, they believe that it was created by Xauti to develop them to their homeland. The ruins of the Pioneer serve as a holy site today in Xiani, with annual pilgrimages to the site of the landing to honor their forefathers and the god that delievered them to Kiron.