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It seems the human race is not alone in space…

When the human race first started to reach out in earnest into the solar system and explore the planets and moons there, they began to find pieces of evidence – few and widely scattered, and then, as further explorations are made, in increasing abundance and significance – that the solar system had been extensively explored long before any human ever left the mother planet.

Monoliths and columns carved with completely unknown hieroglyph markings were found on moons of several of the gas giants.  On the gas giants themselves, the remains of larger structures were found, so badly eroded by those worlds’ centuries-long extreme environment storms that no hint of their original purpose could be found.  In the Asteroid Belt, many asteroids were found with clear signs of having been long ago excavated for their mineral wealth. 

Some found the evidence disquieting.  Others were straight-up  terrified by it.  And others yet were exihlerated  by it. They all agreed, however, that it meant only one thing:

That our solar system had been visited by someone else; a non-human race possessing highly advanced technology, who possibly colonised our system for a period of time but then abruptly left again, leaving us only these tantalising but elusive hints of who they were and why they came here.

These alien visitors are now called THE PATHFNDERS.  It’s the name given to them by those who believe the signs they left behind them were meant as a signal for us to follow them back out into the stars.  It was following the trail of the Pathfinders across the solar system that led the human race to the discovery of Rare Solar Element deposits; the energy source that could rejuvenate the climate change-ravaged Earth or power the human race’s great leap forward out into the stars.

Members of the High Frontier Alliance are obvious proponents of the Pathfinder theory; that intelligent non-human life exists beyond the solar system and its our destiny to go out there into the stars to find them.  Others within the Alliance are more cautious; we don’t know anything about who these alien visitors were or what happened to them.  Who knows what could be out there in the stars waiting for us, before we’re properly prepared to face it? 

Gaia Unity are, of course, opposed to any rush to follow the Pathfinders’ trail back out into the stars before Earth’s own catastrophic environmental problems have been solved.

All three groups – Gaia Unity and the radical and conservative wings of the High Frontier Alliance – are, however, very much interested in these relics and other pieces of evidence that the Pathfinders have left behind them.  It was in-depth analysis of some of the earliest-found relics that unlocked the technological secrets that would allow the human race to build the Mechas that would soon allow them to explore more and more of the solar system.

Later relic discoveries would provide the scraps of knowledge needed to develop new kinds of power systems, more efficient space-drive engines, new and more powerful kinds of weaponry. 

Now, as the war keeps on accelerating, the imperative for both sides is to discover not just more RSE sites, but also new Pathfinder relics, to give them a greater technological edge over their opponents.  In the midst of a solar system-wide conflict, the rush is on to win the war by finding and unlocking the secrets of this ancient Pathfinder alien technology.

mars pathfinder ruins