Humans (Noon Universe)
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Humans (люди) of the Noon Universe created by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky are mostly identical to Homo sapiens. Humans inhabit numerous planets, but their original homeworld is probably Earth, others being populated by humans, presumably, as a result of Wanderers' manipulations.
The following planets had a local human civilization when Earth's explorers arrived:
- Hope (local human civilization at the brink of extinction)
- Saraksh (neighboured by Golovans)
Earth is assumed to be the origin of human race, since it was the oldest and most technologically advanced planet in the known Universe of 22nd century.
On different planets human civilizations show different stages of technological advancement.
The least developed human planet of Noon Universe is probably Pant. It is mentioned in "The Little One" that its inhabitants still live in tribes (probably, nomadic) and have absolutely no idea of cosmography. In fact, it was believed that Pantians won't even notice that they were transported from their own planet to another one in the course of "Ark Project".
Saula is an example of an early feudalistic society. Its inhabitants can produce simple melee weapons and build houses and palaces. They have managed to create a number of states, all of them - monarchies close to despotism. A division of the society into higher and lower class is also obvious. Aristocracy seems to have an idea of philosophy and politics.
Arkanar is an example of a late feudalistic/Renaissance society. Great empires have risen and fallen, giving space to smaller countries whose political system varies from absolute monarchy to republic and theocracy (see the main article for more info). Arts and science are blooming, even though fiercely opposed by reactionist fractions (most of them - religious ones).
20th century stage
Since Strugatsky were generally more interested in what happened around them than in an abstract future prospects, most of the human civilizations on Noon Universe are approximately in the Earth's 20th century.
Giganda is at the point of World War II: simple but effective firearms and technical units unencumbered by high-tech electronics are common. As a result, the whole planet is in a state of global war. No nuclear weapons were developed yet.
Forty years prior to its discovery Hope was probably in the stage of Cold War, except for the fact that there was no Cold War and, likely, no World War. The whole population was about to be wiped out by an ecological catastrophe resulting from an uncontrolled industrial development. Ever since the Wanderers deported most of the population to another planet the local civilization is at the brink of extinction.
Saraksh is in the stage of post-World War III times. Nuclear war has thrown the local technology back to the stage of World War II, although things could've got worse, and so by the end of 22nd century Saraksh was roughly at the same technological level as Giganda.
A very small group of humans possess ESP abilities, and are called "espers". Espers are able to read thoughts, sometimes at great distances, and often with some perception of the direction of origin of the thoughts. Espers occur extremely rarely, with only 120 registered Espers among Earth's 10 billion citizens. While two or more Espers are perfectly able to communicate telepathically (i.e. simply read each other's thoughts), an unwritten rule among Espers requires them to communicate verbally if non-Espers are present.
The Earth's humans are assumed to have developed from the local pre-historic microorganisms as a part of natural evolution process described by Charles Darwin. Other planets were presumably inhabited by human race because of Wanderers' manipulations.
All humans of Noon Universe have identical genetic structure, but the inhabitants of Saraksh have a unique sensivity to the so-called "Emanation" which is uncharacteristic for other humans, e.g. from Earth.
Thanks to a combination of advanced technology and higher standards of living, humans from Earth exhibit abilities that would be considered superhuman by contemporary standards. They possess comparatively greater strength, speed, endurance and sensory perception. Thanks to advanced psyonic therapy, they can speed up the rate at which they recover from injuries and shield themselves from certain toxins.
Interhuman Planetary Relationships
This headline stands for the relationship between humans of Earth and humans on other planets, since Earth is the only space-faring human civilization of Noon Universe. In 2141 AD the Earth World Council has decided to reactivate the Institute of Experimental History and to let its agents work undercover on less-advanced planets in order to help them to achieve a higher level of development. Such practice became known as "progressing" and the agents of EHI - as "progressors". Their job was both dangerous, mentally and physically, and fascinating, which made it (along with null-physisists' one) one of the most prestigious jobs on Earth. However after "Arkanar Massacre" general public opinion towards progressors became much colder, more suspicious and even a bit fearful.
Apart from inter-planetary relationship, there are some intra-planetary tensions on all human planets. This is, apparently, typical for humans everywhere. For example, on Saraksh a strong enmity dominates the relationship between normal people and mutants. The mutants live in the regions that suffered during the nuclear war. Their bodies adapted to the enormous radiation levels. On Earth, ordinary people are suspicious of Ludens.