sooo, this has been going about in my head for a while. It's no secret my adoration of both RWBY and freespace, even if they both have some flaws, RWBY in it's writing and freespace in it's science-fiction, though both make up for it in being awesome settings with kickass action. naturally, I always wanted to combine the two.
so I started to think about ways this could be done, creating a space AU for rwby, which later I adapted in my head to remove all the RWBY-specific elements and make it as scientifically accurate as I could with my knowledge at that time and then I spent some time reading in project rho and had it all shatter. anyways I ended with 3 variations: a completely fantastical one, a semi-realistic one and a hardcore one. before I forget everything I wanted to put it somewhere and here we are.
for the RWBY space AU:
- firsts off I want to talk about dust, atmosphere and space: Ozpin narrates in one of the WoR vids that space travel is not possible using dust as it does not ignite outside of the atmosphere. that makes no sense, I can get behind dust needing a gaseous element to react, what I cannot understand is that whomever builds rockets in remnant has not the common sense of taking compressed air with them, or using air dust to generate the air for the other dust types to react. even if air dust (which we know exists in the world) is absurdly expensive and/or rare they should still be able make oxidizer out of actual air.
also, I'm certain that air dust would be able to generate air. to prove my point I just have to point out at all the other types of dust we've seen:
gravity dust increases the recoil of a weapon, but since gravitons are not made of matter like the stuff generated by the other types of dust we can ignore this.
fire dust seems to create flames AKA plasma. this is important, since it means dust can generate matter in different states. it could be heating up surrounding air into plasma were it not for the fact that it is also used as a replacement for gunpowder. if fire dust ,or whatever type of dust is used as a gunpowder replacement, generated heat but no gasses there simply should be no guns in remmanant. we can conclude, then that fire dust, mixed with an 'oxidizer' (there is no air inside a cartrige) has the ability to generate hot gasses. we could think then of fire dust as compressed plasma in a way.
we aso see Ice dust generate enormous quantities of ice, so much that it would be impossible for it to be pulled out of the moisture in the air, even if weiss pulled all the air in the amity colloseum and it was saturated she woudn't be able to generate those enourmous ice ramps. so I feel confident in saying that ice dust is like 'compressed ice' and air dust is therefore like 'compressed air'. probably the same with water dust.
in this alternate setting, air dust is just as common as the other types and the CCT is never built, remnant uses a satellite network instead. space travel is expensive but not as much as it is on earth due to how powerful dust is and although many scientists think they can crack FTL travel via gravity dust there is no public interest for interplanetary or interstellar travel.
In cannon I would assume that either: they woudn't know how to provide power for satellites, so they need the CCT to feed it dust or there was a conspiracy and the SDC shut down all the space programs to kill the competition, but that is irrelevant to the setting that I'm presenting.
at one point, Grimm commence to arrive from outer space. they are half-mechanical abominations ,larger and fiercer than those before. at first the attacks are sparce, but with time they start to get more intense. as a responce the 4 kingdoms build starships and starfighters similar to the ones in freespace 2 to intercept the space Grimm before they can land.
over time the attacks intensify until a huge invation arrives, remmanant explodes and everyone who can flees to space now the 4 fleets, one for each kingdom, fly trough subspace nodes (similar to the webway in 40k or hyperspace in stelaris. basically they're stable wormholes and 5 minutes in subspace takes you 10 lightyears but they are naturally occuring and only in specific spots, they're the main plot device in freespace)
looking for a new habitable world while evading the everpresent Grimm.
the amity colosseum is turned to a gigantic space station orbiting a dust-rich planet that supplies the fleets, and every two years the fleets converge for the vytal festival and to exchange information on the worlds surveyed.
the huntsmen are still a thing, though the're called 'starhunters' now. each starhunter has a starfighter and a starfighter key. the keys would be the weapons that the cannon cast has with the addition that they also serve as an ID card and as the starting key for their spacecraft. the starhunters would also have the duty of exploring new worlds, so the weapon serves to combat the Grimm that live there but also some hunters can jump out of their cockpits and use their keys to damage a Grimm in a hard to reach weakspot before a teather pulls them back in.
the cast would be fusions of the characters in freespace2 and the ones on RWBY, Adam Taurus would be like the admiral of the hammer of light, cinder like Bosch, ozpin like that black captain that yells at you the entire game and of course ruby would be alpha 1. convinietly in freespace fighters are deployed in groups of 4, which would be mirrored in the 4 person team structure of RWBY.
the typical 'shield' trope of sci-fy is replaced with the 'aural projector' which projects the pilot's aura around the starfighter, so the pilot feels the pain when the ship takes damage and their aura dips when it regenerates. you can imagine regenerating a ship would be more taxing than a body. this also means that they can project their semblance to the craft too, ruby's accelerating at tens of g's, blake's creating afterimages, yang's missiles getting amped with aura, so on and so forth.
the temptacion to make the fighters macross-like mechs is real though, this version throw all realism out the window anyways.
in general they would just fly around the planets, fighting Grimm ,seeing alien landscapes and discovering some conspiracy. the story might play more like the freespace story with the white fang replacing the rebellion and salem's faction replacing the hammer of light or the other way around, exept it won't end in that giant cliffhanger... capella! noooo. those last missions with the ares were the shit. the FS1 final mission was cool too though.
this version I would title 'huntsmen of the stars' 'starhunters', 'starhunters of the vale'.
For the versión based on my own knowledge:
in this case humanity tampers with AI and they are essencially kicked out of the planet. the remaining humans construct the 'remanant of earth' a massive space-faring vessel consisting of multiple rings rotating in alternate directions to generate artificial gravity. in this scenario nuclear fusion is the main power source and antimatter is the main fuel source for spaceships.
the ship acts like a nation, with it's own internal economy, democratically elected goverment, etc. I wanted to do 'capitalism in space- and only space' since the only times I saw that in SF it's either a seedship with a totalitarian goverment or an inter-planetary economy
the starframe pilots are the fighting force of the remnant and are hired by individuals or by the ship's goverment (again, the idea that everything, or almost everything is privately owned). the starframes themselves are 1-3 man spaceships of varying size and función (thus the term starframe as some might be space fighter equivalents and others could be space- bomber equivalents or motherships or any combination of a multitude of types)
the remnant travels through a wormhole generator that is financed through taxes. to solve the negative mass problem but not generate entire planets worth's of matter every jump, and also to reduce the energy costs, the wormhole generator works by creating large ammounts of dark matter, which is expulsed from the wormhole at lightspeed. yeah I'm stepping onto speculative physics, but until someone comes up with a proper wormhole generator, it's all we've got.
character arcs would be similar to the RWBY versión with the advantage that I can justify numbers of characters as big or as small as I'd want. also all OC's and whatever arc I can think of so I can do whatever, really, but this lends itself to more light-hearted stories sine the remnant would travel around a lot and see many places.
now the hard science versión: in this versión I envision a colonization attempt by two rival companies (or nations) of the keppler system. there is no FTL travel at all. the war woud be interplanetary and so orbital periods would be central plot points. the protagonist would be a single person sitting on a mothership that commands a bunch of drones. space drones and missiles are the main way of warfare and pseudo-AI play a central role in all war technologies.
The humans are required to make strategic calls on what to target, then the computer does the rest. the story would focus on the main character's development like ender's game or good kill, where there is a large detachment from the brutalities of warfare and pressing a button from hundreds of thousands of kilometers away and killing multiple million people, as well as the irony of using such contrived equipment to keep the captain/pilot safe while doing so. in this scenario being in the military is actually the safest job in the world, as only the drones and civilians are exposed to dangers of nuclear fire.