by Chris Cotgrove


History records that 900 years ago, the Conflict Races warred upon one another, that entire star systems were in a near-constant state of warfare and upheaval.

Then a single figure appeared out of the storms around the terrifying planet of White Earth, who began to sell advanced weaponry and military equipment to all sides.

His name was Mr Slayer, and his company was called SLA Industries.

The new technology which he offered was so superior that the Conflict Races laid aside their own weapons and began fighting each other with the ones they bought from SLA. Slayer had even created biogenetic soldiers, named Stormers, and sold them en masse as support troops. They were expendable but formidable warriors, and easily replaced. Driven by their bloodlust, the Conflict Races purchased legion after legion of the Stormers with no regrets.

Before long, all involved in the Conflict Wars fought with SLA weapons and fielded huge armies of Stormers against their enemies. Slayer had assured each of them that with the weapons and troops he provided, victory would be assured. Yet the wars raged on unabated, with no end in sight.

One the Conflict Races were entirely reliant on SLA technology, Slayer put into motion the first phase of his masterplan, which he called The Big Picture.

All across Known Space, SLA weapons began to shut down and malfunction. Weapons that had faithfully served jammed, or exploded in the hands of soldiers, leaving the Conflict Races defenceless. Simultaneously, concealed programming in the minds of the Stormers came into effect, turning them against their masters everywhere.

According to statistics gathered from the time, in the space of 24 hours, the Conflict Races were massacred. Billions of sentient beings died in the slaughter, entire civilisations were removed from the face of the Universe. Those few that survived fled beyond the boundaries of the Known Universe, into unknown regions of space, never to be seen again.

Only four species were permitted to survive, three at the request of Intruder and Senti, Slayer's two partners. These were the Ebons, the Wraiths and the Shaktar. It is believed that Slayer himself saved the human race from extinction. All would come to serve a purpose in the new social order, under the watchful eye of SLA Industries.

With the fall of the last Conflict World, the World of Progress was born.


In the nine centuries since the fall of the Conflict Races, Slayer has controlled and directed the development of a society tailor-made to serve and support SLA Industries. The present environment and social climate has changed considerably from its harsh and violent past. Since then, sweeping social change has taken many forms.

War is now an unfashionable event that no-one wants to see. Anything combat-related larger than a skirmish is confined to far-off sanctioned War Worlds, where forces such as DarkNight and Thresher settle any serious disputes.

This is mainly due to corporate preparation and the intervention of the mainstream media, and the driving forces of commercialism and capitalism spearheaded by SLA. Combat, violence and other social interests and activities are now spectator sports for innumerable civilian masses who live and think the way of SLA Industries.

SLA itself is Progress personified. A ruthless corporate monopoly that encompasses the Known Universe, that will use any means within its grasp to remain the supreme power in the World of Progress.

Truly, SLA Industries is a society unto itself, it sells everything from military armaments to foodstuffs, but most importantly SLA sells a lifestyle - the only one permitted to exist. It teaches the public what to do under a never-ending barrage of TV media hype and propaganda that spans the length and breadth of Known Space.

Slayer is the key figure and idol of the World of Progress. He is the eternal power behind SLA Industries, a man of brutal action and subtle intentions, the merciless overseer that all corporate businessmen strive to be. He never rests from the unceasing progression of his all-encompassing organisation. The World of Progress regards him alone as the ultimate driving force of industry, the protector of all.

SLA is constantly threatened by the upsurge of corporate rivals and political subversives that aim to overthrow SLA and take the position of Suppressor Power, rewriting society in their image. There are two major entities that pose a threat to SLA's existence; the shadowy terrorist organisation named DarkNight Industries, and the militaristic brutal Powersuit force, Thresher Incorporated.

SLA Industries Head Office is located on the planet Mort. It is the World of Progress main Industrial provider, a seething mass of overpopulated cities and production factories. In the same vein, a mass of frantic and furious media channels spew out a deluge of deception, glamour, invented culture and corruption; 24 hours a day, direct from ever-present TV screens. A soulless and frightening futuristic society, unnervingly like our own.