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Pilot Episode

The Votans

The Votans Before Arrival

3502 BCE: Indogene scientists begin tracking a rogue star that is on a collision course with their own solar system. They theorize that the resulting collision will wipe out all life in the Votanis system.

The Indogenes warn the other races that they need to begin planning an exodus. The other races don't believe them, and balk at the astronomical cost of the proposed Ark fleet.

Excerpt from famed author Lillian Everland's book centering on interviews of alien survivors of the disaster that claimed their home: "It was hundreds of years before the exodus when Indogene scientists made their fateful discovery.

The other alien races greeted their announcement with doubt and skepticism. This had to be a mistake. How could something so unexpected and rare wipe out all life in their star system? Slowly but surely, they were forced to come to grips with the truth.

People started to worry, and they looked to their leaders for help. At first, their pleas fell on deaf ears. Nobody was willing to commit the enormous resources necessary to build the proposed Ark fleet.

But as time went on and the fateful day approached, Votan leaders were forced to face reality. Construction on the fleet commenced immediately, as the Votan races finally owned up to the fact that their time was running out.

However, rumors began to spread that the Arks wouldn’t be able to carry the entire Votan population. Fresh panic gripped the five planets, until their governments stepped in and tried to organize. Each race had its own process to determine who went and who stayed.

For Castithans, only members of the race’s higher castes – or liros – were selected to make the voyage (Of course, some members of the lower liros managed to find their way onboard, gambling and bartering for passage, or even stowing away).

For Irathients, tribal combat and religious trials determined the strongest and most deserving of a berth. The Indogenes, those bald-headed wonders of pragmatism, politely agreed that the best and brightest of their species should survive.

Some of the less politically-connected races like the Sensoth, Liberata and Gulanee found it unfair that a disproportionately high percentage of the other races would be allowed passage. Families were torn apart.

Many were forced to leave behind their most prized possessions. And some elected to remain on their dying homeworld, rather than face an uncertain future on some strange, unknown planet."

Excerpt of a speech by Kumbak Iro, Skabolo of the Shirivanawo: "My fellow Castithans… now is not the time for fear. Rather, it is time for us to come together as one people, and to show the other races our strength and resiliency in the face of the inevitable.

We are a civilization that has overcome tremendous obstacles in our rich history, and there is no reason to believe that this cannot be another one of those times. Many of you will be asked to sacrifice in ways that may seem unfathomable to you.

But with the blessings of Rayetso, we will conquer this great terror, and the Castithan people… ahem, I mean the Votan people… will endure."

3458 BCE: After years of insistence by the Indogenes, the other races can no longer deny the evidence -- their solar system is running out of time. The Votan governments work together to fund construction of the Ark fleet that will save them from the destruction.

3449 - 3362 BCE: Indogene scientists make a series of breakthroughs, including the invention of advanced propulsion and life support technology. Design of the Arks begins in earnest.

3362-3317 BCE: The Indogenes carry out a series of failed terraforming experiments on local moons.

3317 BCE: The Indogenes successfully terraform a lifeless world orbiting the neighboring star, Sulos. Castithan leaders of the Votanis Collective dub this planet "Casti." Wealthy Castithans appropriate it as their own "custom made home."

3175 BCE: Indogenes, looking for a fuel source powerful enough to drive their Ark fleet, discover indigenous life on the planet Gula and make a deal to acquire their natural resources in exchange for space aboard the Arks. The fuel source is gulanite. The people -- the Gulanee.

3006 BCE: As the departure day looms, each species selects who will go aboard the Arks. Space is limited. Each race has their own process for determining who gets to go.

3001 BCE: The Ark Fleet departs the Votanis System. Shortly after, the Votanis System is destroyed in a stellar collision.

The Votans Approach Earth

February 2000: Scientists detect the Ark Fleet heading toward Earth. Fearing widespread panic, the government decides to keep this information secret.

From Defiance News: The world was rocked by news of an extra-terrestrial fleet heading toward our planet. The following was taken from an interview with a retired astrophysicist who worked at NASA back in 2000 when the Arks were first detected. He has asked to remain anonymous.

Q: So, Doctor… how did you first detect the approaching fleet?

A: It was the old Voyager 1 probe that NASA launched back in 1977. At the time of the discovery, Voyager 1 was roughly 100 AU - that’s about 15 billion kilometers - from Earth. The onboard magnetometer registered a massive spike.

We immediately realized something was out there. Something big. The decision was made to scan in the ultraviolet range. The spacecraft team directed the UV imager to do a sweep. About eight hours later, we received the first images.

Q: And that’s when you saw the ship?

A: Not a ship. A whole fleet of them. I’ll tell you, I’ve never been so thrilled and scared in my whole life. There it was - confirmation of extraterrestrial life right before our very eyes.

Teams began to monitor the situation 24/7. Voyager continued on its path, but by then we’d directed the Hubble telescope and the radar dishes at Arecibo to focus on the fleet. We traced their trajectory and quickly realized these ships were headed straight for us.

Q: Okay, so you knew this fleet was heading toward Earth. What were those first few days like?

A: Bedlam. President Obama convened his Cabinet, the Joint Chiefs, and experts in a dozen fields. There were days of meetings as we went through every possible scenario. That is to say, every scenario we could think of.

Things got a little hair… we couldn’t come to a consensus. The only thing anyone could agree on was that a fleet of this size suggested an enormous number of passengers. That didn’t bode well for Earth. So the decision was made to keep the information from the public.

Q: Really? And how did you feel about that?

A: I won’t lie, I was a little conflicted. I mean, there we were, sitting on the biggest revelation in human history and we weren’t even allowed to share our findings.

We were in agony, knowing every day that some young punk amateur astronomer might discover the same thing we did and steal our credit. Of course, by then the Earth Military Coalition was in full force, stamping out the rumors like weeds.

Ultimately it didn’t matter. We knew there was nothing any of us could do about it. Not right away, at any rate. Making an announcement ten years before the arrival would only cause panic.

It made sense to continue monitoring the situation… maybe have some better answers by the time we were ready to go public.

Q: And do you have any “better answers?"

A: Not really. There’s only so much we can tell until they get here. The ships have maintained a constant velocity.

We’ve picked up signals on strange frequencies that we believe may be ship-to-ship communication, but our analysts haven’t been able to decipher them. You can’t imagine how difficut these past few year have been, knowing that something’s on its way and being unable to do anything about it.

August 2000: World leaders work together in secret to form the Earth Military Coalition, in the event that these aliens should prove hostile. Plans are made to consolidate the world's armed forces under one banner.

Over the next decade, human scientists will make a series of breakthroughs in genetic engineering (the Bioman project) and transportation (stratocarriers).

2007: Amateur astronomers also discover evidence of the approaching Ark fleet. They attempt to share their findings on the internet, but the EMC has already begun a secret war to debunk or silence anyone who's in possession of this knowledge.

January 2013: The Space Station Bravery disaster. All nine astronauts aboard are killed. The world mourns.

March 21, 2013: Official government information about the Ark Fleet leaks out. Unable to contain the truth any longer (and in an attempt to calm the public before the arrival), the government announces the existence of aliens to the world.

April 14, 2013: The first Arks appear in Earth orbit.

Votans and Humans: Together at Last?

The Votans on Earth

Sometime in 2014: The Votanis Collective is granted provisional membership in the United Nations.

May 27, 2015: A small patch of land in Brazil is set aside for the Votans, but it won't be enough for all of them. Millions more aliens remain in hypersleep aboard the ships in orbit. Tensions mount between humans and aliens.

Defiance News Excerpt: Discussion of granting a colony to the Votans began just months after their sudden arrival in April 2013. World leaders were anxious to form diplomatic bonds with the Votans, but no country was willing to offer its own land, and all nations denied any requests for permanent citizenship.

Controversy erupted last year when the United Nations granted a seat to the Votans on the General Assembly. Despite this olive branch, violence against the alien visitors has risen dramatically, and the vast majority of Votans remain aboard their ships in orbit in a state of suspended animation.

“It’s an untenable situation,” says Onulu Toruku, the Votan Ambassadorto the U.N. “But we hope this colony represents the first step in our long road toward peaceful assimilation.” . . . . read complete article.

July 2015: Humanity's fear and intolerance of the Votans leads to worldwide riots.

Sometime between 2015-2021: Other Votan colonies are established around the world, including the colony of Omec in Mexico.

December 2022: Despite years of chaos, riots, and fear, Votan and human leaders are close to finalizing a worldwide settlement arrangement.

Defiance News Excerpt: A humble plea from a concerned Votan - It’s true, the six races came together at a time of great need. We set aside our differences and banded together for a common cause. But we are a people forged by circumstance. We share in the loss of our home.

None of us would dream of stamping out that which makes the other races unique, no more than we’d allow them to do the same to us. That’s because we all understand just how important it is to cling to our heritage. Many of you will point to the recent “success story” of peaceful integration heralded by the human media . . . . . read complete article.

March 18, 2023: Fearing a peaceful settlement with the Votans, a "humanity first" advocate named John Paul Bullock assassinates a Votan diplomat on live television. The incident sends shockwaves through the Votan community and talks quickly break down.

Defiance News Excerpt:
5:35pm – Onulu Toruku, Votan Ambassador to the U.N. General Assembly, was shot three times by an unidentified assailant while leaving the United Nations building in New York. His status is unknown. The suspect is at large.

8:01pm – A large crowd of Votan rioters is marching on the United Nations building, torching cars along the way. All inbound traffic into Manhattan has been halted.
8:34pm – The President has declared martial law in the city of New York . . . . . read complete article.

April 2023: Following the brutal murder of Onulu Toruku, the Votan ambassador to the UN, tensions between humans and Votans reach a boiling point. Negotiations cease. Conflict erupts across the planet. It will come to be known as The Pale Wars.

Defiance News Excerpt: Details emerge about the assassin who gunned down Onulu Toruku - Five days ago, a reclusive elevator maintenance worker named John Paul Bullock assassinated the Votan Ambassador to the United Nations.

The State Department has officially classified him as a terrorist, former co-workers have come out of the woodwork to call him a “psycho nutjob,” and Votan leaders have gone so far as to label him the most dangerous man in the world. . . . . read complete article.

November 24, 2024: The Siege of Oklahoma City.

Defiance News Excerpt: A View From the Trenches - I’m standing in the forward operational command center of the EMC’s 9th Division. That’s the fancy name they’ve given to this bombed-out drug store. Two days ago, Votan forces rolled in along I-40. Thousands died in that first wave, until EMC forces pushed them back and managed to erect a barricade.

Here in the drug store, communications officers bark into portable radios, relaying orders given by a grim Commander, who stalks back and forth like a caged animal, idly kicking bottles of old medicine that litter the floor. He tells his people not to lose faith, though I can see in his eyes he’s got a few doubts himself.

Just then, a young soldier rushes in, gives the Commander a crisp salute and hands him a scrap of paper. He informs the Commander that half his squad was killed in that last volley, including their XO. The Commander sighs, takes stock of this young man. Scrawny, tired. Little more than a boy. He might as well be the face of the entire Earth Military Coalition. . . . . . read complete article.

2025: The Manhattan Siege. Votans storm New York City.

2025: Global war makes delivery of fossil fuel to America problematic. Nuclear energy gains prominence and many new power plants are constructed, including one along the Mississippi River in St. Louis. As food and energy become scarce, people become desperate, leading to a number of human/human and Votan/Votan side conflicts.

Defiance News Excerpt: Global war has interrupted much of the world’s oil production and halted shipments from foreign countries. The Earth Military Coalition has confiscated much of the nation’s oil, coal, and natural gas reserves to aid in the war effort, leaving millions without power and heat.

It’s been the policy of the EMC to supplant these commandeered fuel sources with nuclear energy. Nuclear plants take about a decade to build, and a growing number of experts warn that nuclear power is not a sound solution for our current wartime needs.
. . . . read complete article.

2029: The Yosemite Massacre. A mixed commune of pacifist humans and aliens are caught in the crossfire of EMC and VC forces. Both sides assume the town was giving aid to the enemy. 98 humans and 112 Votan civilians are killed.

January 5 2030: At the height of the Pale Wars, when worldwide conflict is at its worst, the entire Votan fleet suddenly and mysteriously explodes in orbit. This event becomes known as ARKFALL. Fragments of these Arks will continue to rain down upon the planet for decades.

Defiance News Excerpt:
A partial transcript from The Affiliated Press

18:01 GMT: We are having difficulty keeping up with reports of geological destruction. The leveling of the Himalayas. Coastlines crumbling in South Florida. A mile-wide sinkhole outside Berlin. Record heat in Antarctica and snow in Tunisia.

18:06 GMT: We have lost contact with all affiliates in San Francisco. The final images broadcast showed a tidal wave of incredible size. exact death toll is unknown, but conservative estimates would place it in the hundreds of thousands.

18:17 GMT: We have lost contact with all affiliates outside of North America.

18:33 GMT: Something’s happening outside… We’ve lost all incoming signals. I heard a boom, then someone screaming. We can’t get out. If anyone receives this message, please –- TRANSMISSION ENDS. . . . . read complete article.

January - February 2030: As the Arks fall to Earth, terraforming machines aboard the alien ships are jettisoned and begin to drastically alter the landscape. Some regions are destroyed by the impact, while others are transformed into something entirely new. Planet Earth becomes a strange human / alien hybrid.

Defiance News Excerpt: Arkfall. No event in human history has come close to matching the utter devastation that’s been left in its wake. Billions of souls lost, entire cities erased, strange plant and animal life infesting our once beautiful planet.

Yet here we are, not even six months later, bravely picking up the pieces. We’ve all lost something. But in the process of starting over, we all have to ask ourselves: What does terraforming mean to me?

It’s a sad reality, but we have to realize we’re no longer living in the digital age. Many things we once took for granted are gone. That includes cell phones, the internet… even reliable ground and air travel. We’ve all lost people we care about.

The EMC understands that it’s the not knowing that’s the hardest part. That’s why we’ve started a database of missing persons. If you’re still trying to get in touch with lost family and friends, please contact your local EMC outpost. . . . . read complete article.

November 2030: With terraformed land now available, Irathient farmers begin to settle the area once known as St. Louis.

December 23, 2030: A vicious battle is fought in San Francisco. Casualties are high. Human and Votan soldiers, disgusted by years of bloodshed, disobey orders and lay down their weapons, banding together to pull civilians from the rubble. This will come to be known as the Battle of Defiance.

Journal of Renee Kirby, a survivor of the Battle of Defiance , Excerpt: "The Bay Area was a wreck, just like the rest of the West Coast. Ravaged by terraforming. It was a miracle the building was standing at all, situated on a little patch of land surrounded by weird alien flowers.

Some other displaced refugees had taken up residence, boarding up the openings and turning the rotunda into a makeshift shelter. The moment I stepped inside, I froze. Not just humans, but aliens as well. Like some weird hippie commune.

Seeing them all living together, working together… it made my stomach turn. I mean, it was the Votans who took away my world. Took away my baby. They tried to be nice to me, offering dry ramen and some Vienna sausages in a can.

But I refused. I just couldn’t look past my own grief. My rage. I wasn’t ready to accept them. Not yet, at least. We stayed there for almost two months. Eventually hunger won out, and I took what the Votans gave me."
. . . . read complete journal.

Sometime in 2030: Due to a series of nuclear meltdowns and biological mutations brought on by Arkfall, the State of Florida is declared a quarantine zone.

January 2031: It's clear that the war is coming to an end, as word of the Battle of Defiance travels and pacifist movements begin to spring up. Human leaders form the Earth Republic, and talk about disbanding the Earth Military Coalition.

Earth Military Coalition Confidential Communiqué from Colonel Marsh, Excerpt: "General, by now I trust you’ve received my report on the incident of 23 December, what some are now calling the “Battle of Defiance.”

Our engineers are still analyzing the cause of the explosion that wiped out the Ekaru Kome and a significant number of EMC troops. 3rd California Division didn’t move in until after the battle—we won’t have exact casualty numbers until the end of the month.

Our situation is precarious. We’ve detained several members of the 9th Division, Mechanized Infantry (the Iron Demons), who defied orders and were found to be fraternizing with the enemy.

I had intended to court-marshal the lot of them, but now civilians are coming out of the woodwork in support of these men. They’ve begun calling them “The Defiant Few” and are lauding them as heroes. Any punishment may be met with public reprisals. Please advise."
. . . . read complete Communiqué.

April 15, 2031: Armistice is declared between the Earth Republic and the Votanis Collective. The Earth Military Coalition is officially disbanded. Humans and Votans begin to resettle the terraformed planet side-by-side. Armistice Day is an event celebrated on April 15th to commemorate the Pale Wars Armistice.

2031: People begin to resettle Yuma (now a coastal town) and the Los Angeles archipeligo, which will eventually become a major trade center. Calexico is a port city in Key Diego, North America. The city is a hub of Humans and Votans.

2031-2032: Many humans and aliens are desperate for something to believe in. A variety of new religions and cults spring up, including the Church of Harmony. The Church of Harmony was an attempt to reconcile Human and Votan religious beliefs - finding commanlities that allowed the races to understand each other.

2033: A massive vein of gulanite is discovered under St. Louis. The race for resources inspires a mass immigration to the area that will soon become known as Defiance.

Defiance News Excerpt: "Looking for a faster way to make some scrip? Every day, millions of prospectors make a killing mining the gulanite deposits scattered all across the new frontier. Vast motherlodes just inches under the surface.

Even more rare and precious elements are discovered every day. Why wait for someone else to jump your claim? Grab some gear, and get out there! Who knows? You could strike it rich and make millions overnight!"
. . . . read complete article.

Earth Republic Confidential Communiqué

2035: Las Vegas Prison opens. The prison is run by the former Earth Military Coalition squad known as Black Watch and is a very secure region protected by armed guards, fifty foot walls and automated turrets as well as a massive mine-filled swamp and a ring of active volcanoes.

June 14 2037: The ad-hoc mining town built upon the ruins of St. Louis officially becomes the town of Defiance.

January 2038: As Defiance's population grows rapidly, tensions arise between miners and Votan settlers. Can humans and aliens live peacefully side by side?

2038: After an illness breaks out amongst the Irathients of Defiance, they refuse to give their children vaccinations. Mayor Nicolette Riordan insists on them, leading to a dispute between the town and Irathients. Between the plague, the conflict and the aftermath, much of the Irathient community leaves Defiance.

April 2, 2046: Von Bach's expedition arrives in the Bay Area. Von Bach Industries, commonly referred to as VBI, is a technology and weapons manufacturing company run by Karl Von Bach.

Official Site:

April 15, 2046: Nolan and Irisa arrive in the town of Defiance. A father / daughter (adopted) prospecting team that scavenges ark falls for marketable alien technology and equipment.

Excerpts and References:,,,


Characters / Cast

Actors Revealed


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Pilot Episode

The Votans

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