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  1. OK this will be where I have the most fun. I have already proposed several overlapping compatible bits of lore. Here I list and integrate them. This has several assumptions: they could not just go to mars or alpha centuri or tau ceti because the neutron star is huge and is cutting a swathe though space 40 to 100 light years across. Secondly the Arkship in the games back story is not going to the nearest target safe system others scored that one. Thirdly some of the starting game play technology: Safe star gates, probes, some force fields technology, Is unknown to the people coming off the Arkship; some of it may have not been invented when the left Sol. Hence the need for training and discovery. Someone tried to leave early, jumping the gun with prototype FTL technology. It went wrong but they survived, damaged genetically but survived long enough, before dying out, to leave artefacts, technology, some enigmatic AI or strange uploaded version of themselves. Something with a memory of man and a desire to help but little understanding of the Arkship's occupants. They have 9000 years head start but this means they have 9000 years to fall into ruin and your as hard to understand as a Neanderthal. Many stayed and worked on projects to help the travellers. Doing vital research that could not be done on a ship and was not finished before departure. Some of their results were beamed to the arkships so they have technology that was not known when the pioneers went into cryo. These are long dead hero's who stayed and died so others would succeed. Some of the solutions could not be sent to the cryoships in time, they were out of range, so they sent smaller faster relays to deliver the new solutions. The result is basically the same as 1 and 4 but with more AI in play. One of the ships sent to the closest safe system to Sol arived hundreds of years ago and survived long enough to buy time, a few hundred years before the neutron star caught them. They have FTL, gates and much better technology. They either used option 2 and 3 themselves before building a new faster arkship and heading off or They set out again by probes and gates to catch the Arkships. Because of the quirks of relativity they can not contact the Arkships directly or match velocity, but they can place things on various worlds to help and welcome them. Their chain of stargates have been destroyed behind them lest strange effects from the neutron star can propagate though them. 9000 years has distorted their mission a little or on some worlds shattered it in war and disaster. They are now space nomads leaving advanced tributes to their sleeping gods. Not everyone slept on the Ark ships some continued working, living, dying, on the ship, but their children survived. Hence all the corridors. Some are helpful AI some are still human. When the ship landed they slipped away or slipped into the embarking crowds. They have the same technology etc but have a few new technologies developed in transit. However these children of the ship see the earth as a distant legend. There is also a language gap for them, they have no word for tree. They are secretive, seeing the sleepers as alien and fragile. They have been warned not to reveal themselves for that may destroy the sleepers moral and sense of destiny. In this context the children are just Dev's and hand picked players not NPC's but are never really seen. They conspire to help. Some may plot to hinder. This in SF parlance is the FTL greets STL conundrum. It is as old as the Traveller RPG way back in the 1970's but no one has developed it fully. The universe of SF has enough ancient aliens and extra terrestrial gods. Lets make the humanity both sides of the first contact equation. 9000 is a long time. And yes I know it's not technically an STL ship just a slow FTL one.
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