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The Solko are a single-world subluminal civilization in the Botlenose Nebula. The Solko are notable among other subluminal civilizations for their devout dedication to their deity, which has no proper name, but is normally referred to as The Guardian in their literature.


The Solko developed on their planet as the dominant species over a period of about 20,000 years. They were the first terrestrial tool-users on their work, the first to develop general-use speech, and reached the Egoathropological Limit as would be expected for a species on their development trajectory. They progressed through a relatively normal development to the discovery of atomic energy.

The Fastest Nuclear Deescalation In History

The Solko found themselves on the brink of a self-inflicted planetary extinction event (Type 3A in Regal’s Civilization Termination Index), brought on by a nuclear arms race between the three largest polities on their world. The critical stand-off phase was underway when the outer edge of the Duowave Catastrophe reached their world. The leading edge of the pulse was strong enough to disrupt only the most sensitive electronics and satellite communications, but couldn’t penetrate the planet’s magnetosphere and atmosphere.

The loss of most of their surveillance and communications capabilities inspired at least two of the opposing nations to launch their nuclear deterrence packages. The minimum deployment time for these was less than an hour, but while those systems were in-flight, the main bulk of the Duowave pulse crashed into the planet.

It must have been an astonishing sight to those on the ground. People who had just been told their world was about to end would’ve looked up in to the sky to see shimmering particle curtains arcing through the sky as the magnetosphere of the planet reacted with the duowave pulse. It was brilliantly visible, even in daylight. Even the most heavily-shielded electronics failed around them, and would not be reactivated at all. All the weapons that had been hurled crashed to the ground, inert.

The Aftermath

The story still told by the Solko to their young is that at the darkest hour of their civilization, The Guardian struck down the weapons they were to destroy them with, and encircled their world with a glowing green blanket that would shield them for hundreds of years. Lacking any means of electronics, the Solko reverted to an agrarian society, and remained so even after the pulse ended, as their religion teaches that advanced technology leads to death and destruction.

Recent Developments

Although the Solko remained pre-industrial for centuries after their atmosphere stopped glowing and electronics became possible again, they have begun to redevelop their technology base. This time, though, it has been much slower than their original ascent, as easily accessible non-renewable resources are much more difficult to come by. The Solko have been using a combination of primitive solar technology and making extensive use of combustible renewable biomass, but it will likely be millennia before they become a spacefaring civilization.