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Timeline of Humanity

Ancient Terra

210 BF (Before Fall) (2040CE) - Permanent colony established on Mars.

202 BF (2048CE) - First successful revival of cryogenic sleep candidate after 6 months frozen.

200 BF (2050CE) - Terran atmospheric temperature average 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

198 BF (2052CE) - Manned spacecraft launched to survey Sol asteroid belt and Jovian moons, using cryogenic sleep technology to sustain crew through the months-long journey.

190 BF (2060CE) - Habitats are set up to extract resources from Sol asteroid belt.

174 BF (2076CE) - Monocultured corn in the American continents wiped out due to the rapid spread of aggressive and highly resistant soil fungi.

160 BF (2090CE) – First sleeper ships despatched to candidate colonial worlds. They are equipped with rudimentary environmental alteration systems, and are considered the best chance for humanity’s survival away from a rapidly deteriorating Terra.

155 BF (2095CE) - Terran atmospheric temperature average 4 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

The Era of Desperation

125 BF (2125CE) - Atmospheric pollution in Terra's sub-arctic zone makes it increasingly hazardous to be outdoors without a face mask. This area comprises the majority of the planet's habitable land.

100 BF (2150CE) - Conditions on Terra deteriorate further, resulting in increased authoritarianism by the remaining intact governments. Resources are strictly rationed and society is highly regulated at all levels. These harsh conditions do prolong Terra’s habitability, as more sleeper ships are launched and various underground habitats are dug to escape the worsening climate and environmental toxins.

75 BF (2175CE)- Predicting Terra’s trajectory towards total ecosphere failure, a number of groups construct habitats elsewhere in the solar system, and the space construction industry booms.

67 BF (2183CE) - Terran atmospheric temperature average 5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

50 BF (2200CE) - Anthropogenic activity exceeds the Permian-Triassic extinction event in magnitude, with 96% of pre-industrial species wiped out. Large-scale invertebrate extinction has resulted in massive instabilities in the majority of Terran biomes. Basic agriculture now requires incredible energy as machines and human effort are needed to replace missing linchpin species.

30 BF (2220CE) - Terran atmospheric effects are continuously at crisis levels. Tropical and near-tropical zones are regularly hit by major storms, severe droughts or lethal heatwaves, while more northern climes suffer torrential downpours, blizzards and highly variable weather conditions that make growing crops more difficult.

10 BF - Society on the surface of Terra breaks down, as governments are unable to cope with maintaining order in the face of crippling climatic events. Without regular supplies from Terra, many smaller habitats in the Sol system fail within months.

The Fall of Terra

0 PT (Post-Terra) (2250CE) - Terran biosphere collapses completely. Billions of human inhabitants who are unable to leave are left to die on the uninhabitable surface. Bereft of shipments of water and organic matter, the remaining self-sufficient space habitats repurpose themselves with survival as their only goal. Many brutal compromises are during this period of realignment, which imprints deeply on what remains of human culture. Over the next few years, the habitats that remain re-establish communications and begin to cooperate, so that each is able to trade for the supplies that they desperately need.

5 PT - Ruling members of the surviving habitats across the Sol system establish an authoritarian government, the Polity of Sol. The new government claims authority over all of humanity. Although the new ruling class governs initially as a Council, the founding membership sows the seeds of the later system of Houses.

30 PT – The Polity issues a series of decrees to reinforce its hold on the Sol System. Due to a combination of harsh governance, a cultural drive towards genetic purity, and the lack of a diverse biosphere to study, progress in the life sciences, humanities and social sciences in the Sol system slows to a crawl or even reverses as archives are purged or fail. Over the next 50 years or so, much of the stored remnant of pre-Collapse Terran cultural history is discarded or repurposed to more “practical” ends.

57 PT - Research into methods of cleansing the atmosphere of Terra leads to the development of Terraforming Probes. These devices, when deployed in a network around a planet, co-opt its natural processes and adapt them into Terran-like conditions. They also propagate rudimentary Terran organisms that then tend to spread across the planet. The process takes about 50 years to complete, but is difficult to stop once the probes are launched. Terraforming probes are launched at distant “candidate worlds” identified by astronomic surveys, with the intent of creating habitable worlds. In the early stages, clusters of probes are launched primarily at the same systems as the sleeper colony ships, in the hope that they can be terraformed prior to their arrival. The fully robotic probe clusters are able to travel at 90% of the speed of light, allowing them to outpace the slower sleeper ships.

90 PT - Mining of asteroid belt and Jovian moons ramped up to provide resources for the construction of Terraforming Probe clusters, and for sleeper ships to follow in their wake.

100 PT - Bereft of any evidence of non-human life, Sol government makes the decision to launch terraforming probes at all solar systems with evidence of planets bearing carbon in their atmospheres. Their intent is to spread the human race to as many worlds as possible.

The Era of Recovery

110 PT - Military scientists develop a means of stabilising a hydrogen-helium fusion reaction so that it can be used to generate usable energy. Although the technology requires large-scale facilities to function, large-scale power generation is now within the grasp of orbital civilisation. Steps are taken over the following decade to begin harvesting the required elements from the Jovian and Saturnine atmospheres.

146 PT - Artificial gravity generators invented. This substantially improves the health of humans living in orbital habitats, although it does take a few generations to readjust back to universal Terran gravity.

167 PT - Signals received from human colonies established in the Trappist-1 system, 39.5 light years from Sol. This confirms the survival of humanity beyond the solar system. Humanity is now an interstellar species.

225 PT - Scientists in the Hygiea habitat develop a method of projecting an energy field around a structure to protect from micrometeorites. As the projection apparatus and power sources is miniaturised over time, the military applications of this technology rapidly become clear and within a decade most ships are equipped with energy fields.

250 PT - Military physicists invent a method of faster-than-light propulsion using exotic solar particles circulating within paired spiral magnetic containment vessels . These drives warp the fabric of space-time, allowing ships to travel in a moving bubble of altered physical laws in which the lightspeed barrier is suspended. Initial warp drives are capable of moving at about 2c (twice the speed of light), but are quickly refined and improved as the Sol government pours vast resources into the research.

258 PT - Jovian satellites receive the distress signal of the Lucent Voyager, the first warp-capable sleeper ship dispatched to Trappist-1. The ship is never heard from again. Extrasolar warp-capable shipbuilding is paused while scientists work out what went wrong.

269 PT - After a number of progressively longer extrasolar missions with non-sleeping crew, it becomes clear that automated navigation systems are unable to cope with fluctuating in the space conditions between solar systems. Research on developing faster warp drives continues once more, in order to make journies to other systems a viable prospect.

284 PT - The Dedicated, a sleeper vessel with a rotation of waking crew arrives in the Trappist-1 system, over 300 years after the first colonies there were established. The crew finds that 3 planets in the system have been colonised, but that their society had regressed to a more rudimentary form due to environmental upheaval from Terran terraforming probes. The crew of the Dedicated, loyal military soldiers indoctrinated into the regimented culture of the Sol system, remains apart from what they see as decadent planet-dwellers, awaiting reinforcements.

301 PT - Faster warp drives allow large numbers of soldiers to be deployed to Trappist-1. Rendezvousing with The Dedicated, they use intel gathered in its 17 years in the system to launch rapid military strikes on the governments of the Trappist-1 colonies. The entire system is rapidly brought under the full control of the Solar Polity. Many of the Council's families are involved in the assault, and claim land, resources, and power on the new planets.

316 PT - 40c warp drive developed - it is now possible to travel between Sol and Trappist-1 within a year. Long-range scout ships are constructed to follow in the path of the second wave of sleeper vessels. Mass movement of populace from the overpopulated Sol system to the Trappist-1 colonies begins.

First Contact

342 PT - First sentient alien species, who refer to themselves as the Fless, are discovered on a terraformed world, and their language painstakingly decoded. A late-iron age species, they report having been altered by the terraforming process about 90 years prior. Investigation by Imperial scientists discover that viral RNA mutagens released by the probes, originally designed to help Terran life cope with the terraforming process, instead forcibly altered the native planetary life to adapt to the atmospheric conditions generated by the probes. The timid Fless are deemed weak by surveyors, designated lesser caste and subsumed into a protectorate under human governors. A similar pattern follows for many of the other alien races encountered by humanity going forward.

350 PT - Etamin (Gamma Draconis), the tenth system with a successful human colony is discovered, 155 light-years from Sol. It is quickly invaded and brought under the authority of the Solar Council.

360 PT - The Council now operates almost exclusively from the Trappist-1 colonies, which lie at the hub of an extensive network of human industry. The Houses begin to codify their behaviour in more elaborate social constructs, and claim specific areas of space or activity as their primary remit.

390 PT - Specialised terraforming probes are deployed on Terra, in an attempt to restore its ravaged ecosystem.

Terra Ascendant

475 PT - After the discovery and domination of a second alien species, the Yunt, the Polity of Sol renames itself the Terran Ascendancy, and styles itself as benevolent humanity shepherding the other species of the galaxy into its vision of the future.

490 PT - Terraforming of Terra completes, but the ecosphere remains poor. While the surface is now habitable, it remains a shadow of its former abundance.

493 PT - Surveying of restored Terra locates a number of underground civilisations, scratching an existence in isolated enclaves, fortified against the ruinous elements. Due to radiation exposure, use of rudimentary cybernetics or deliberate genetic manipulation, many of these enclaves have traits substantially outside the human norm. The Ascendancy makes an effort to integrate the more useful aberrant humans, while covertly eliminating the less useful or fractious ones. Many of their technologies, acquired out of desperation, are either seized by the Houses and hidden away in secret archives, or deemed too dangerous and expunged.

510 PT - Warp drives are developed capable of reaching speeds of 1,000c. The travel time between Trappist-1 and Sol is now only 2 weeks.

515 PT - Contact established with some of humanity’s first settlers, out on the fringes of Ascendancy space. Given their isolated existence, these colonies have developed independently to the rest of the Ascendancy, and are culturally distinct. Over the next few centuries, the Ascendancy encounters many more early colonies, and either annexes or allies with them and slowly subsumes them. Many, however, retain a stubborn independent streak and attempt to hold onto their own culture despite attempts to suppress it.

676 PT - Beyond the current boundary of the Ascendancy, human-launched terraforming probes catch up with the most distant sleeper colony ships.

800 PT - Warp drives are now capable of travel at 2500c.

950 PT - The Ascendancy’s standing navy is mostly occupied with putting down the various small rebellions that crop up, protecting freighters from pirate vessels, and scouting for new worlds or established human colonies established by the millennium-old Terran sleeper vessels.

1000 PT - The increased energy demands of high-end technology lead to the development of highly advanced power storage systems, which utilise a mixture of chemical storage and high-energy particle containment to store power reliably for long periods.

1345 PT - Galactic Energy Supplies founded after a series of mergers and hostile takeovers of the leading power generation and storage companies in the Ascendancy. After a period of consolidation, their massive infrastructure allows them to develop energy projects that would be impossible without their expertise and resources. GES begin to decouple themselves from the Ascendancy's authority.

1500 PT - Warp drives are now capable of travel at 5000c.

1650 PT - GES's Energy Chits become the de-facto currency across known space. This offers a consistent benchmark for inter-system trade.

The Elysian Revelation

1800 PT - The Elysians, hailing from well beyond the Ascendancy's borders, have been an unseen presence in Terran space for some time. They have used their psionic powers to infiltrate numerous worlds, and have identified a number of protectorate species who they consider to be candidates for enlightenment and protection. Under Elysian guidance and support, and with the tactical advantage provided by their network of Nexus Trees, these species rebel and secede to the Elysian Commonality. The Ascendancy Council is furious, but their forces are spread too thin to provide any coherent opposition.

1816 PT - Advanced Armaments is founded to meet the growing demand for weapons as the Ascendancy prepares for hostilities against defectors to the Elysians.

1825 PT - Ascendancy naval ships arrive above the Elysian protectorate world of Trantel, and initiate a vicious campaign of terror to bring the populace back into the Ascendancy's control. In response, the Elysians activate some of their networks of psionically-manipulated infiltrators, leading to the assassination of Terran officials on a number of nearby worlds - in many cases at the hands of bodyguards, employees and even spouses. The hot war between Ascendancy and Commonality cools quickly, becoming a cat and mouse war between Ascendancy police forces and Elysian infiltrators, sympathisers and spies.

1976 PT - The Ascendancy codifies a series of exercises and mental techniques that prove effective at shielding the mind from psionic intrusion. Training in these techniques becomes mandatory for Imperial citizens hunting Elysian infiltration.

2017 PT - The Ascendancy reaches a detente with the Elysian Commonality. They agree to cease the persecution of Elysian vassals and withdraw from what is grudgingly accepted to be “Commonality space”, with the Elysians agreeing to withdraw their agents from Ascendancy volumes. The Ascendancy enforces brutal purges of those suspected to be lingering Elysian spies.

2238 PT - A collaboration of Ascendancy atmospheric scientists and particle physicists release papers describing a variant phase of matter which they call Yurian Lattice Plasma. This discovery causes brief excitement in the scientific community, although enthusiasm dies down within a few years as the plasma lattice proves impossible to reliably synthesise, and research into its applications go nowhere.

2348 PT - News leaks out from supply ships returning from the Ascendancy's scientific station in the Metnas system that the station was completely destroyed by the simultaneous detonation of multiple nuclear bombs. The station was tasked primarily with overcoming the barriers to creating fully sapient Artificial Intelligence.

2540 PT - Improvements in neural machine interfaces, and incorporation of some elements of Elysian biotech, finally allow for the creation of rudimentary cybernetic devices. Early cybernetics are, however, extremely difficult to connect properly to their hosts, require regular maintenance and are quite fragile. The biological elements of the process present significant barriers to development of the technology for common use, and interface failures are common. Although the technology does improve, it is only extremely slowly.

2570 PT - GES announces expansion of its operations into Elysian-held territory.

2610 PT - GES scientists release information describing the application of Yurian Lattice Plasma to provide a short-term capacity boost to plasma-based energy storage systems. It quickly becomes clear that this knowledge was part of GES-Elysian data exchange. The Commonality had been aware of the energy storage applications of the rare plasma phase for several centuries.

The Corporate Era

2640 PT - A loosely-bound network of “problem-solvers”, usually independent crews of small, but fast ships that perform contract jobs for money, congeal into the Clearance Organisation. Its stated purpose is to offer a framework for these independent crews to get work in a more structured manner. It quickly becomes a clearing house of sorts for various bounties, contracts and requests for missions or items to be “acquired” - for money.

2704PT - Rastan Particles first detected, in the America Nebula. These strangely elongated particles can be used to significantly boost the efficiency of powered devices and systems. GES immediately commissions a fleet of ships to collect substantial quantities of the particle for further research.

2800 PT - Warp drives are now capable of travel at 10000c

3200 PT - Scout ships of unknown design appear over a number of fringe worlds. They announce themselves as the vanguard of the Tulaki Dominion, spread knowledge of their culture and religion, and urge the populace to join them or face conquest.

First Tulaki Invasion

3284 PT - Tulaki battlefleets, composed of thousands of ships, appear in the skies above numerous worlds on the fringe. Their fortified landing craft contain devices that facilitate teleportation from ships in orbit, allowing them to disgorge hundreds of troops from a few well-defended positions. Despite solid resistance from some worlds, conquest is swift. Thankfully, Tulaki warp drives are slower than Imperial ships, so their advance is slower than expected. The Tulaki consolidate each conquered world and take steps towards establishing supply routes and basic governance, quickly integrating each world into their supply chain. Once the scale of the invasion becomes clear, the Ascendancy re-routes its forces on the Elysian front and scales up its war engine.

3288 PT - The first major confrontation between Tulaki and the Terran Navy is brutally one-sided. Large numbers of small, agile Tulaki vessels are easily able to outmanoeuvre the vast Imperial capital ships. The Ascendancy, unprepared for the way the Tulaki fight, are forced to pull back and re-tool their military.

3300 PT - The Tulaki push into Ascendancy-controlled space, conquering worlds as they advance. They establish themselves as overlords over those who they conquer, but do offer acceptance and privilege to those species that prove themselves as “strong”, as well as induction into the Tulaki faith. The newly elevated “strong” Tulaki vassal species, emboldened by Tulaki missionaries, do not respond well to the Imperial tenet of human supremacy. Humans living under this new order fear for their lives and flee to Imperial space.

3342PT - Exobiologists working in the Veil Sector discover Xenomorphic Neo-Adoxacus roddenberrii, the fruit of which can be refined into Roddenberry Extract.

3348 PT - Scientists working for a small biotech company at the fringe of human space finally crack the cybernetics interface problem, and are able to develop cybernetic implants that can interface reliably with organic neural systems. In the chaos of the war this development is not noticed on the governmental scale, and the company is quickly surrounded by and finally purchased by a network of evangelical cyber-enthusiasts who take full ownership of the technology and control its use.

3370 PT - The rolling juggernaut of the Tulaki Invasion, and apparent lack of protection from the Ascendancy, unites a number of fringe worlds to form the Free Union of Sovereign Worlds, who band together for self-defence from both the Tulaki and the Ascendancy. The Free Union re-purposes a network of trade freighters and independent ships into a guerilla force that disrupts supply lines and hampers the Tulaki advance.

3386 PT - The Corporeal Perfection Syndicate, now the sole source of mostly reliable cybernetics, declares itself sovereign, makes contact with the Tulaki and begins selling cybernetic implants to both sides of the conflict. These implants are in high demand by high-value individuals who have been injured or maimed in the conflict. Although the process is 99% reliable, some implants still fail, occasionally causing additional neurological damage.

3401 PT - Tulaki invasion is finally blunted by the mutual destruction of Terran and Dominion battlefleets over Arda II. Both sides are sufficiently weakened that they fall back to consolidate their holdings.

The First Armistice

3408 PT - Diplomatic talks between the Dominion and Ascendancy establish territorial borders and a tentative non-aggression pact. The Tulaki separately reach an agreement with the Free Union, having decided that they are honourable and worthy opponents.

3410 PT - GES announce an accord with the Dominion to provide power generation and supply within their conquered territory. Although peace now exists between the Factions, the complexity of the published deal suggests at least some cooperation and talks prior to the cease-fire of 3408.

3434 PT - Dominion Gateway technology reverse-engineered by the other factions. These gateways allow for the instantaneous transfer of matter between fixed points. The gateways require built structures at both ends and require a stable power supply. The power requirements scale exponentially with gateway size and distance, limiting the usefulness of the technology beyond the transportation of people and small amounts of materials.

Second Ascendancy-Dominion War

3442 PT - Ascendancy incursions to “influence” their former holdings in what is now Dominion space results in armed push-back by the Tulaki. The conflict quickly escalates into the Second Ascendancy-Dominion War. The infrastructure of both sides is dedicated to the conflict for more than four decades.

3451 PT - Groups of Free Union mercenaries are found on all sides of the conflict - working for the Dominion, free agents in the contested zone, and smaller Ascendancy worlds. Retrospectives of the war reveal the presence of Elysian agents also, who seem to be active in the warzone although their exact motivations regarding the larger conflict are unclear.

The Second Armistice

3486 PT - With few gains on either side despite massive losses of troops and materiel, the Ascendancy and Dominion have exhausted themselves through war. Numerous Ascendancy worlds are slipping from their grasp internally, and the Dominion leaders face growing resistance from prominent outsider priests. Both sides taper off their offensives and eventually sign an armistice, concentrating once more on internal issues.

3522 PT - Lazarus Corporation, a powerful biotechnology corporation based in the Free Union, unveils its Rebirth Process and declares itself politically neutral. The obvious applications of this tech, and the high demand for it among elites of all species, allows them to operate independently – the threat of withdrawal of services is too great for any Major Power to consider threatening them.

3540 PT - Warp engines are developed capable of reaching speeds of 20,000c in favourable conditions.

The Age of Unrest

3572 PT - Elysian efforts around the Lacerta Cluster result in five Free Union and seven Dominion worlds seceding to the Commonality.The Dominion has not had much contact with the Commonality prior to this point, and believes that the incident is a ruse by the Free Union to claim more space using the chaotic appearance of its internal structures as a bluff. Both sides mobilise occupying forces, and there are numerous skirmishes over known trade hubs and mining colonies throughout the Cluster.

3586 PT - Information from the Ascendancy leaks to the Dominion concerning the presence of Elysian fleets and assets in the Lacerta Cluster, and the Dominion diverts its forces to eradicating any Elysian presence.

3588 PT - Diplomatic overtures from the Commonality are finally accepted by the Dominion, and an agreement is reached. Those who seceded from the Free Union and Dominion in the Lacerta Cluster are offered the chance to settle in Commonality space, or rejoin their previous Factions.

3627 PT - Spacer Collective ships are first encountered. Their small, agile ships are undetectable to most sensors. When approached, they rapidly retreat and seemingly vanish shortly afterwards. After the initial handful of encounters, these ships are spotted with increasing frequency, usually scanning inhabited worlds from a distance.

3710 PT - The Ascendancy attempts to reassert control over a number of Free Union worlds in a number of minor engagements, but are rebuffed each time. The four major factions of the known galaxy settle into an uneasy peace.

3726 PT - The Spacer Collective somehow transports a number of orbital habitats and establishes small pockets of control across known space. The Ascendancy and Dominion see this as an invasion and send fleets to destroy these stations, but it soon becomes clear that Spacer Stations will simply vanish when they detect enough of a force to threaten their stations.

3731 PT - Movements of Spacer ships within the Free Union lead scientists to conclude that they possess a non-warp method of FTL travel that allows them to teleport from one location to another without crossing the intervening space. It is theorised that this method is similar to Gateway technology, but somehow does not require a physical portal generator at both ends, and is also large enough in scale to allow entire ships to teleport. How they have managed to overcome these limitations is unknown, and the debris from the few Spacer ships that are destroyed by warships reveals little of their internal workings.

The Modern Age

3735 PT - Clearance Organisation agents offer a communique on behalf of the Spacer Collective. This message establishes who the Spacers are, their neutral and peaceful intentions, and the services they are offering to the four Factions. Spacer stations and ships are offering to provide near-instantaneous communication services for worlds with a Spacer presence who are willing to pay. Hostilities against Spacer assets cease almost immediately, as all realise the benefits of this service. The Spacer network vastly speeds up communication between far-flung worlds and trade booms.

3750 PT - The Spacer Collective begin shared projects with other MegaCorps - shifting materials, transporting individuals and the like. The status of MegaCorps as neutral, apolitical bodies begins to solidify as their practical benefits become clear to all the Factions.

3770 PT - The Spacer Collective announces a joint venture with Galactic Energy Supplies to provide energy storage and supply at their stations.

3800 PT - Warp drives on smaller vessels are now capable of travelling at about 25,000c. For these ships, travel time between Sol and Trappist-1 is now only 14 hours. Ascendancy-controlled space can now be crossed in a matter of a few weeks by smaller vessels, although warships and mass freighters still take many months.

3818 PT The Spacer Collective announces collaboration with a number of Megacorps to allow limited hire of their jump-capable ships to invited groups from the four major Factions.

timeline.txt · Last modified: 2022/01/18 22:28 by conan