- "Vesta. A paradise world home to nothing but cute girls, and lots of heavy weapons and vehicles. Sounds like my kind of place."
- —Rigel Canis
The free world of Vesta is a paradise world located in the Singul Sector in Ultima Segmentum, beyond controlled space of the Imperium of Man. It is home to the all-female state known as the Vestene Confederacy, and is a senior member of Singul Brotherhood, the faction which controls the sector. Vesta is a relatively safe place to live, given the fact the it is one of the few independent worlds in the sector, and one of the founding members of the Brotherhood. Along with Causa and Rutilus, Vesta is one of the major capitals of the sector, and home to the sector's important medical and technological centers.
Discovery & Colonization
Vesta was settled in 226.M39, by Imperial citizens fearing persecution and execution fearing the repression of their scientific endeavours in the Imperium of Man. Thus, they came together and fled their homeworld, running as fast as they could and to a quiet corner of the galaxy. However, in their haste, they overloaded their Warp drive, luckily, forcing themselves out of the Warp instead of perishing within it. Their ship come out near a habitable world in a system near the galactic northeast, far from any known Imperial settlements, and Imperial Navy fleets. With no hostile xenos in the region, the refugees colonized the one safe planet in the system, naming it Vesta. No one knows where the name originated from, but many believe it to be an ancient god of their distant ancestors. Wasting no time, the Imperials settles the world to begin building their new homes, and live with the idea that they would now be free to study whatever they pleased.
As the centuries past, the Vestene people; free of war, strife, and corruption; and having plentiful access to food, knowledge, and technology, declared the year 781.M39 the beginning of the Vestene Golden Age. The people pursued the arts, the advancement of medicine, and the acquisition of new technologies, basking in the glory of their achievements, the source of such prosperity. Vesta’s population had some of the best and brightest minds in the galaxy, and of them, Aglaea Carme was the greatest mind on the planet. She routinely developed new devices for Vesta, and helped to solve the planet’s population and environmental problems. However, in an ironic twist, it would be Aglaea that would doom her homeworld, dragging it out of its golden age, and wiping out half of the population in her prideful lust for recognition as the greatest mind on the planet. As a scientist, Aglaea sought to do bold and wonderful new things no one else could or would try to do, though, for the benefit of her people.
Thus, she chose to venture into the yet untested field of biogenetics, a field of science which many fellow Vestene scientists, as Imperials, were too afraid to explore. Thus, Aglaea in her typical manner saw it as her duty to investigate this strange realm of science, and break the barriers that would forever seal her name in Vestene history. She wanted to explore the possibilities of providing the people of Vesta with eternal youth, unfading and everlasting. This called for the need to tamper with the genetic senescence of humans, and this in turn required a brave person to take up the mantle, and push forward with the hope that success would be possible. For many long years, Aglaea experimented with the genetic code of fellow human beings, looking for the breakthrough that would seal her name in the annuls of history. As history would later prove, Aglaea’s obsession would work against her in the end.
In 807.M39, the middle-aged scientist finally made the breakthrough she’d been looking for, and tested the results of her laborious work on an aged Vestene woman. Her wrinkled skin and brittle bones reverted to the form the woman’s youth, completely removing any signs that she was an elderly woman. Her energy renewed and her resolved restored, this elderly grandmother was taken by Aglaea before the Vestene leaders to prove her work was a success. While Aglaea made it clear that the woman would not live forever, she did assure the government officials that she would live out her remaining days full of energy and with the best looks on the planet; for the time being of course. Stunned and amazed, the leaders jumped at the chance to regain the youth and energy of their past, and authorized Aglaea to release the finished serum on the population at large. This would be the worst and the last mistake they would ever make.
End of an Era
Billions of Vestene citizens lined up in the streets around government facilities, all seeking to remain young and beautiful, all convinced that nothing could go wrong. This vanity would be the undoing of the entire population. Unbeknownst to the people, Aglaea was hiding an important fact from the people. Though she thought the matter unimportant, Aglaea’s test subject was her only subject. Aglaea had failed to take notes of not only the aftereffects, but to test the serum thoroughly, and never tested it on men. Aglaea was in a rush to get her results to the government, and see to it that she was rewarded for her work. As she and the entire planet would later discover, that failure to perform a thorough test of the results; something any true scientist would do, would force all of Vesta to pay for Aglaea’s inability to think about the effects of her work.
For decades, nothing major happened in the years following the spread of Aglaea's youth serum on Vesta. The planet greedily hid the secrets from other worlds, always ensuring that no one but the Vestene people had the ability to produce the miracle drug. No issue had arisen from the innoculations, and the children bore the same rejuvenating traits as their parents, making the serum obselete after a few generations. In 837.M39, thing would change for the worst. A young man in perfect health and at the prime his youth, turned to dust in a horrifyingly painful and rather gruesome manner. No explaination for the death could be explained, and no one marked Aglaea's work as the culprit. However, as more men died in the same terrible manner, first by the tens, and then into the hundreds, a planet-wide investigation was launched with the goal of finding the reason for these deaths.
As the investigation progressed, the horrible truth was finally revealed. Aglaea's work was responsible for the deaths. As the investigation discovered, her serum reversed the aging process in the men as it was suppose to, but as time passed, the serum became incompatible with male genetics, and speed up the aging process so quickly, that the victim turned to dust. The serum was in no way suitable for men. However, this was not the end to the serum's horrible effects. It turned out that it was not suitable for women either, though it was not lethal to them. Since the serum altered the genetic code of the user, it carried the non-male compatibility with it, and thus male chromosones were now incompatible with the new Vestene genetic code. Aglaea was apprehended, and ordered to find a cure to the disease ravaging the population. To the horror of the people of Vesta, no cure could be found or produced. They were doomed.
The Great Dying
Spared only because of her contributions to Vesta's prosperity, Aglaea was given life in prison. For the next two decades, Vesta's population would drop from 1.3 billion, to a little under 400 million, as the lack of births and increase of deaths continued. Before her death in 865.M39, Aglaea used the little time she had to find a solution to the Vestene people's inability to produce children. Aglaea created a fertilization device, which allowed a Vestere woman to fertilize an egg without the need for sexual reproduction. Despite this passing gift, Aglaea would forever been remembered as a monster, her name cursed down to the modern day. As Vestene mythology grew with the vacuum of the Emperor as a major figure, Aglaea would be viewed as a three-headed, man-eating creatured, devouring the helpless men and boys of Vesta. Her quest for fame lead to her being remembered as an evil deity.
Following Aglaea's foolish desire for fame, an action which left more the half of the Vestene population dead, the suvivors began work on rebuilding the world, aware that they would never see another golden age. With Aglaea's fertilization device, the Vestene people would be able to expand once more. Yet, the device had one major drawback. Because of her fear if tampering with the genetic code once again, Aglaea didn't give the device the ability to create a varity of genes. This meant that there would be no noticable differences in the children of those who used the device; meaning with the exception of eye color and in rarer cases, maybe come facial features, all Vestene women would inherit the exact looks of their mothers. With the sex that contained most of the politicans, businessmen, and skilled workers gone, the years ahead would be the most difficult for Vesta in its entire history.