“It is a force with the power of life and death over the inhabitants of the galaxy. One who brings light upon order, and shadow upon disorder.”
- - Councillor Xeron
The Special Tasks and Defense of Council Interests, most known by the name of Penumbra Unit is a black-ops organization which answers directly to the Council of the Polar Crystal Alliance. Hand-picked from the best soldiers, warriors, assassins and mercenaries of the Borealis Galaxy who do not oppose the Alliance, the Penumbra Unit's role is to deal with situations of grave magnitude in the name of the Council, being above the authority of the common galactic law and that of the Alliance's member states. Penumbrans, as they are known, are among the most powerful and feared individuals in the modern galaxy.
The Penumbra Unit was founded at 2792 as a suggestion of Warmaster Arkarixus, who was inspired by one of the most deadly black-ops forces of the ancient Kormacvar Empire - a group of supersoldiers known as the Suspicious Shadow Sect, so secretive that knowledge of their existence was restricted to Warmasters and the royal family, and whose role was to serve as protectors and assassins of the Kormacvar Emperor.
The first member of the Penumbra Unit was chosen to be Vekaron, one of the most renowned heroes of the Second Borealis Galactic War, who accepted the position after the encouragement of the Zoles Imperium. Since then, a great number of individuals have also been granted Penumbran status by the Council, and while official records of the Unit are classified, the current estimate is that around 100 Penumbrans exist as of 2815; formerly around 150, 11 died during the battle against Brekiel Ganthor, and around 50 perished in the final confrontation with Lord-Padre Maknagrius during the War of the Ancient Three.
Members of the Special Tasks and Defense of Council Interests are known as Penumbrans, who are individuals hand-picked by the Polar Crystal Council by their immense power and skill in the battlefield. As the Unit's name implies, the primary jobs of the Penumbrans are to secure the interests of the Council and to protect them from grievous harm. Individuals of any species officially recognized as members of the Polar Crystal Alliance are legible to be considered as members of the organization. While a separate force from the Aegis Guard, Penumbrans and Guardsmen sometimes work together due to having mutual interests, though members of the Unit generally work alone.
What makes the Penumbra Unit unique among other branches of the Polar Crystal Alliance is that Penumbrans are considered above the galactic law as well as the legislation of any government they infiltrate to fulfill their objectives - the Unit answers solely to the Council and is not obliged to follow the laws of other governments, though the Unit is obviously discouraged from breaking laws unless under absolute circumstances. Empires who attempt to deliberately slow down a Penumbran's investigation with legislative barriers earn the ire of the Council, which retracts many from attempting to do so. This does not extend to empires beyond the Polar Crystal Alliance's member states, where the Council holds no power; in such cases, the Penumbrans are expected to fend for themselves. Penumbrans are also disallowed to use their privileges to gain advantage over non-mission-related situations e.g. using their immunity to the law to commit otherwise illegal actions.
Each Penumbran is given a custom-made spaceship with a full, usually multi-species crew to serve as their headquarters, with many Penumbrans coming to give their vessels unique names in order to give them further identity. As Penumbrans are only given tasks of critical nature, the arrival of a Penumbran spaceship in a planet often signals something bad is about to ensue. A member of the Unit who betrays the interests of the Council in some way is forced into a trial, and if found guilty, are stripped of their title, equipment and privileges, being given the choice between redeeming themselves through service to Hyperborea or be sent to Exile Station - in either case, the individual will never have the chance to serve in the Unit again.
A Penumbran Associate is an individual ranking above the crewsmen of a Penumbran's spaceship, but below an actual member of the Unit. These individuals are generally people recruited by Penumbrans during their travels who were then granted special privileges on request of their commanding officers. Due to the vastness of the galaxy, members of races both beyond the Alliance and beyond the galaxy itself may become Penumbran Associates.
Associates are considered responsibility of their Penumbran, who answers for their actions. They are given the same immunity to the law and special assignments as Penumbrans, but in their case, they are not considered fully fledged members of the organization; if an Associate leaves their service to their Penumbran, their privileges are immediately revoked and they become considered by the Alliance as they were before joining the Penumbran's crew. Due to many of them displaying impressive abilities, the Council sees Associates as prime candidates for the Unit - as of 2815, a number of Penumbrans are 'promoted' Associates who were approached by the Council after they either left the service of their commanding officers, or after their officers retired from service or were killed in action.
X001 - Vekaron
- Name: Vekaron
- Race: Zoles
- Notable events: Ice Age, War of the Ancient Three
- Status: Retired from service
“I dedicate the entirely of my existence to the Polar Crystal Alliance.”
Vekaron Zankho was the very first member of the Penumbra Unit, formerly one of the four commandants of the Zoles Imperium. He was chosen by the Council for acting like a leading figure for the galaxy during the Second Borealis Galactic War, being directly responsible for the membership of various members of the Polar Crystal Alliance and for his heroic acts in its name. He commanded over the unique vessel known as the Shadow's Beginning, which was later given to Vyatak during his ascension to the ranks of the Unit.
Vekaron was a man of very strong ideals who fought for the prosperity of the Alliance and his species. Despite not being required to serve under the Zoles Imperium, Vekaron was still seen with very high regard by them, and the Alliance as a whole considered the Zoles one of their greatest heroes due to his victories against the likes of Vorius and Torrent.
X006 - Ulsahar
“I dedicate my power to the protection of those the Alliance holds dear.”
Ulsahar is the sixth member of the Penumbra Unit and its oldest Ransio member. Before joining the Unit, he served as the commander of the Great Silver Lance, the Ransio Empire's topmost warriors, and he was given the chance of being a Penumbran not too long after Vekaron himself, an honour he was more than glad to receive with the support of his companions. The old Ransio warrior commands over the ship known as Lance of Twilight and has numerous Silver Lance apprentices as his crewmates.
Ulsahar, like all Ransio, has a strong sense of honour and community, and he is quick to come to the aid of the weak. He fights through the use of high advanced bladed knuckles, which combined with his great strength allow him to deal massive damage to his opponents. Ulsahar remains highly regarded by his race and seen as an example for the Ransio Empire's novice warriors.
X010 - Xevern
- Name: Xevern
- Race: Niaka
- Notable events: Borealis Rebellion, Da Reckoning, War of the Ancient Three
- Status: Active
“Always ready to massacre some criminal scum!”
Xevern is the tenth member of the Penumbra Unit and its oldest Niaka member. Before joining the Unit, he served as one of the Chief Minors of the Niaka Special Forces, making him equal in ranking to the likes of Councillor Xeron before he was granted the opportunity of serving the Unit due to his long-time services and victories against the Old Niaka Order. Xevern's spaceship is known as Merciless Law and typically patrols the Friura Sector.
Xevern is typical to the Niaka found at the Special Forces, with a rampant hatred for all that is crime and is more than eager to destroy all assassins, bounty hunters and everything in between he is tasked to. Xevern's battle suit is upgraded with multiple technologies provided by many races across the Polar Crystal Alliance, making it much more formidable in combat than the suit of a standard Niaka trooper.
X013 - Aentaeus †
“There is still... much work left unfinished.”
Aentaeus was the thirteenth member of the Penumbra Unit and its oldest Paladian member. A veteran of many battles against the Garukut Empire, Aentaeus made himself notable during the Second Borealis War's push on Grox territory, where his front was fundamental for the allied fleet's arrival at the galactic core with him sporting one of the highest kill counts of his people in the battle. The same conflict led him to have his left arm severed by a Dronox Commander, which had later been replaced by a prosthetic replacement. He piloted the spaceship known as Umbral Cloak.
Considered one of the most efficient of all Penumbrans, Aentaeus was a dreaded figure to the enemies of the Council for his cold abilities and ruthless sense of right and wrong, believing most of his enemies were unworthy of redemption. Unfortunately, him and his associates would end up indoctrinated by a relic holding one of Regnatus' backup intelligences, leading him to betray the Alliance and be ultimately killed in battle by Vekaron.
X016 - Proxy Squad †
“We are proxy. We do not exist.”
The Proxy Squad was unique among the Penumbra Unit for it was composed of surviving Alvino mutants, those who served the old Alvino Brood who were given free will following the end of the Second Great War. Led by the individual named Proxy A086, an hybrid of mutant and true Alvino, the Proxy Squad was considered top secret even through the Penumbra Unit, who were for the most apart unaware that a squad of mutant Alvino served the organization, or that an entire squad was considered to be Penumbran X016 rather than an individual.
The Proxy Squad's dealings were shady at best, meaning most of their operations were unknown. However, the squad disappeared during a raid to the New Wranploer Legion, when it discovered the pirates were attempting to create their own brood of Alvino to serve their interests. Proxy A086 fought Dark Grip member Chahenthras and defeated the Legion, but when confronted by the artificial Alvino Brood Mother, all contact with the squad was lost. While the Alliance officially declares the Proxy Squad missing in action, rumours claim they chose to absorb the artificial Brood Mother and create their own brood of mutants. These are unproven, however, as the Proxy Squad was never found following the incident.
X038 - Tetra
- Name: Tetra Terya
- Race: Krektal
- Notable events: Zarkhator Incident, Zarkhator War, War of the Ancient Three
- Status: Active
“I fight for my people and I'll make them heard.”
Tetra is the thirty-eighth member of the Penumbra Unit and is, currently, the only Krektal member. Hailing from Gotla, the now-uninhabitable homeworld of the Krektal, Tetra was a respected Lieutenant-Captain of the 22nd Goer'tna Protection Legion until the day that the Borealis Consortium Network pushed his people to near extinction. Tetra, despite his age, has gone through many life experiences that has hardened him and prepared him for war, although he still retains a modest, even shy, attitude towards others.
Tetra is renowned for various things; his particular fighting style, his responsibility over the surviving members of his race and his dedication towards both his duty and his friends and family. Tetra, while not feared, is respected throughout by both Krektal and other alien species and for good reason revolving around his morals and his effectiveness.
X078 - Fed'koppa
- Name: Fed'koppa
- Race: Loron
- Notable events: Da Reckoning, War of the Ancient Three, Da Dethzone
- Status: Active
“FREEZ CRIMINAL AN GET YA HANDS ON DA FLOOR OR IMMA SMAK YOO”
Fed'koppa is the seventy-eighth member of the Penumbra Unit, and widely known for frequent clashes with Da Rogue Boyz and his high-profile rivalry with Gol'thabex. Fed'koppa was born out of a discussion among the Councillors, with the notice of a distinct lack of a Unified Nation of Ottzello representative. Due to UNOS, it is impossible for any UNO-born to ever leave UNO unless under very extreme circumstances, although in the case of the Penumbra Unit and due to UNO's high respect for the Alliance and willingness to contribute, Fed'koppa was created through a process of selective breeding among Norol and of masses of cybernetic experiments to create the perfect killer that could rival, if not outdo, members of UNOC.
Fed'koppa is completely autonomous, but brainwashed, after the Penumbra Unit were given information on ways to control Loron neurology; he can think for himself, but will act very much like a Penumbran member. Based on UNO neuroscience, Fed'koppa's brain is wired up to process multiple thoughts at once without hesitation, and to carry out primary directives assigned to him. Though he takes his work as a detective and a law enforcer very seriously, Fed'koppa when off-duty is very playful and Loron-like, often using his status to get into more expensive pubs without fear of his body or mind going into disrepair from stronger drinks. Fed'koppa's armor is self-repairing and incredibly tough, fashioned after UNO's suits, and his weapons are standard Penumbra plasma blasters which can switch to being ion neutralisers; with his sharp aim, these dual-wielded weapons can decimate his foes. He commands over the Alliance-grade Loron Sik Ship Da Loose Cannon.
X099 - Zandrascus
- Name: Zandrascus
- Race: Zarkhator
- Notable events: Zarkhator War, War of the Ancient Three
- Status: Active
“I will be known as a warrior whose contributions are actually worth something.”
Zandrascus the ninety-ninth member of the Penumbra Unit, a member of the Zarkhator race originally created to serve as one of the great Custodians of their civilization. Serving his progenitor, Zarkhator Prime for one million years, he was eventually overcome with doubt which led him to betray his ruler, pledging himself to the Polar Crystal Alliance in the process. As of the current day, Zandrascus is the last living, conscious Zarkhator drone in the entirely of the Borealis Galaxy.
Due to his great power, Zandrascus is typically sent on missions of dire nature, where the heaviest ordnance is required. Unlike most Penumbrans, he never gave a name to his vessel, which possesses no crew but repurposed Zarkhator intelligences.
X101 - Vyatak
“Honour Vekaron. Protect friends. Glory to the Alliance.”
Vyatak is a Samilinus weapons scientist and biologist, famed for his skill in medicine and armaments. Formerly an associate of Penumbran Vekaron, he was promoted to the hundred first member of the Penumbra Unit following the former's retirement. Serving as his successor, he has inherited the vessel named Shadow's Beginning as well as its crew.
While not a fighter, Vyatak is an exceptionally intelligent individual, making him a prime candidate for reconnaissance missions. His knowledge over weapons and connections with many scientific groups also serves to add to his great arsenal of information.
“Vekaron was merely the first of many more. This legion of warriors will make the galaxy's enemies tremble before the Polar Crystal Alliance.”
- - Rebaris
“Now you're just trying to make things difficult.”
- - Torrent
“OUR WARBOSSES IS BETTA”
“Penumbra Unit, a name that shall be feared and respected throughout Borealis as the finest of warriors.”
- - Tyraz
“So Borealis has its own Guardians of Light now? Excellent.”
- - Navarch Venoriel
“An excellent development on the Alliance' part.”
“Their integrity would be infinitely greater if they were not controlled by councils. Accountability is a weakness.”
- - Agent Chi