A Short History of the Commonwealth
In 2020, mankind had found itself on the edge of a major economic windfall following investment into fusion research. Before this time, the general and widely practiced form of energy was through the use of non-renewable fossil fuels, rather than renewable, clean, and dependable energy used today. On April 7th, 2020, the first fusion reactor, dubbed 'Helios' went online in Bristol, England. The power generated by this device was outstanding, able to rival that of the sun's. The Helios fusion core was kept in a constant near-absolute zero environment, which allowed the extreme temperatures created by the fusion process to be contained. The resulting energy was able to power all of the UK with a single reactor.
This discovery pushed mankind forwards decades, which was an exciting turn of events for people at this time. However in 2031, a French terrorist group known as La Nouage Noir attempted to sabotage the reactor. Their attempt was botched early on, but this caused a scare within the general population. By 2032, a second fusion reactor named 'Apollo' was built in Denver, Colorado in the United States, effectively ending any thoughts of a future energy crisis among the American people. There were also talks of a third being built in Beijing to provide energy for the citizens of China.
In 2035, Apollo becomes the first fusion reactor to feature a full military compliment in order to avoid a repeat of the Bristol Incident as it would come to be known. The attitude of the Denver population slides into a negative as it criticizes the movement. President Martin Wahlberg reassures the populace that the military presence is necessary to avoid a terrorist attack should one occur. Regardless, the citizens still feel worried living next to a potential nuclear bomb.
On January 10, 2045, the EXLHC (EXtremely Large Hadron Collider) is built on the CERN complex in Geneva, Switzerland. Twice as wide as the LHC, the EXHLC was built to specifically study the nature of our universe and how particle collisions affect space-time and what consequences it causes. Government funding rushes into the project following the economic triumph.
In 2050, the first small settlement on the moon begins to take shape. Named 'Armstrong' after the first man to land on its surface, initial population is 50 and is powered by a new fusion reactor called 'Ra'. The settlers are comprised of mainly American and Russian backgrounds, but Japanese citizens are recruited seven months after the founding of the settlement. Martian missions continue mainly for scientific purpose. There is no plan for a colonization of Mars at this point in time.
In 2062, Congress passes a bill to build the first fusion-capable spacecraft for industrial mining in the asteroid belt. The ship, named the Dustmite, was essentially an engine surrounded by a hundred meters of lattice, habitat modules, and mining equipment. The initial crew of seventeen takes 2 months to reach the asteroid belt. The Dustmite harvests asteroids through robotic arms that are not dissimilar to those on the old shuttles.
Also in 2062, tensions spark between the rest of Europe and the UK, who claim that they have been cut out of the deal. The rest of the European Union protests that power surges have been substandard to what they have expected, prompting a demand for construction of another reactor in Geneva, Switzerland. The European Union however, did not have the funds to build one. As a result, the EU requested a trillion dollar loan from the United States and Canada, which was the largest national loan in history. This transaction would later be known as the Welland Loan.
It was on June 1st, 2070 that the most magnificent thing to happen to the human race occurred. While working on the EXLHC, Doctors Gunter Ulmann and Bridgett Montclair accidently miscalculated a formula for particle collisions. The resulting collision formed a reaction so violent that it caused space to collapse upon itself into what was assumed to be a black hole.
The anomaly only existed for half a second, appearing as a dark dot the size of a quarter. This was a major scientific breakthrough, as it proved that with the right equipment, it could create a stable black hole. The process was hailed as both a miracle and damnation. As soon as the findings were published in several major scientific journals, groups rallied, calling for the complete cessation of studies on the subject, fearing that a runaway black hole could devour the earth.
Regardless, Ulmann and Montclair both received the Nobel Prize for Physics on their discovery and right away began devising a new plan. A way to get mankind off of Earth and into the stars: an exodus.
PART 2: THE GOLDEN AGE
Immediately following their prize, Ulmann and Montclair began working on what would soon become the Montclair-Ulmann Transpace Manifold, the first ever Faster than Light Device built by Human hands. It was theorized by Montclair that these black holes were actually wormholes and could be stabilized by being present in a similar medium, namely the vacuum of space. It was also believed that the same thing could be achieved in atmospheres as wormhole apertures would once again, be present in the same medium. If one were to be placed in atmosphere and another in the vacuum of space, matter would be sucked through one hole due to pressure difference.
The Manifold was constructed through use of particle accelerators like on Earth. A collision in space could theoretically project ships to other points in the universe. This also did not violate Einstein's laws of relativity as one was not travelling faster than the speed of light using a wormhole.
A manifold prototype was completed in 2073. The device was as large as a bus and weighed over a hundred tons. The best way to test the Manifold was to strap it to an asteroid mining craft and jump it out of Earth's gravity well. Unfortunately, the United Nations Space Exploration Board (UNSEB) could not spare an expensive ship. With permission from Russia, a mining craft called the Romanov was fitted with the device. The target was the orbit of Jupiter, roughly beyond the orbit of Io. Since the solar system had been thoroughly mapped by this time, one could go anywhere they wanted. Billions of people around the world watched as the Romanov, along with brave miners-turned explorers Alexi Breidov, Yvgenny Zolmenkov, and Ivan Svollki sat strapped in their chairs.
With a flick of a switch, the Romanov glowed blue and vanished without a trace as the sky around it turned black. Stars went out momentarily but then reappeared as if stretched. Live camera feed from the mining craft stuttered and went out. Forty-five minutes after tense waiting, the screens of television sets all over the world showed three smiling men pointing to the massive gas giant Jupiter.
Breidov, Zolmenkov, and Svollki were recognized as the first men to be able to travel faster than the speed of light. Miners, not astronauts were given this honor. What this did was rile up the jealousy of the United States. They originally did not send their own ship under fear that they would lose a multi-million dollar craft, which in turn caused them to lose their opportunity for the greatest scientific experiment in human history. As an effect, the US actually calmed down and realized the limelight was not on them for once.
Over the next three years, five similar engines were produced through a co-operative of Daimler Aerospace, and Boeing United for use on Arks, named after the mythological craft used to save humanity from the Great Deluge in Christian Myth. The Arks consisted of space-constructed cargo containers, station modules, small mining craft and a shuttle. The Arks carried upwards of five hundred passengers. Along with this, a massive rotating animal farm and hydroponics facility was in the center of the ship, ensuring that the group had proper nutrition during the flight, not to mention allowing animals to colonize a new world, provided that it wasn't already very much inhabited.
It was stressed that the ships be multicultural, so participants were selected from many countries. The captains of the ships were naval officers. Spaceflight was not common enough to select a veteran and only a Naval Officer would be used to the massive amounts of systems that needed attending to. This would spark later attraction to styling ships after a naval structure, complete with ranks and classes of ships.
The ships were named after the home countries of the captains. The five ships were named the UNSS Canada, the UNSS Mombasa, the UNSS Indonesia, the UNSS Italia, the UNSS Australia, and the UNSS Germania. By far, the most popular ship was the Mombasa under the command of Captain Nuru Kubakti, a 20 year submarine veteran who served in the East Coast Cold War, where all of the countries on the African coast engaged in non-combative war, but were commonly sending troops all over.
Scans of the surrounding systems showed that Alpha Centauri b, Gliese 581 e, Tau Centi IV, Barnard's Star b, and 51 Pegassi g had sufficient oxygen in their atmospheres to support human life, although only Gliese 581 e and Alpha Centauri b had Nitrogen levels close to Earth's (52% and 43.7% respectively). The five ships engaged their drives and embarked on their exodus.
The first long-range activation of the drives proved that distances had some slight effect on travel time. While the travel time was instantaneous to the outside world, the time perceived on the inside of the ship increased by a factor of nearly a twenty percent per light year. A trip to Alpha Centauri took approximately 31.25 minutes.
The jump to nearby systems not only is recognized as the first major use of FTL technology, but it also celebrates the lighting of the Beacons. Officially known as Superluminal Communication Buoys, the Beacons use the same principles to send and receive information through micro-black holes. The teleportation of data was heavily studied back on Earth, although the most it could be moved was around a micrometer or so. Through the use of micro black holes, data is sent streaming from one beacon to another, using the same exact principles as larger Ulmann-Montclair drives for instantaneous transmission. If it were not for the Beacons, mankind would not be able to have expanded as far as it has today.
The Golden Age of Colonization was said to start in 2070 all the way to 2300. In 2100, mankind was able to colonize a hundred planets (including non-life supporting worlds. Each system that was visited was assigned a beacon to allow communications. All colonists that settled these new worlds were brought by the original colony ships, as it was cheaper to keep using them.
A problem brought about by colonizing planets was maintenance of the Beacons. These devices were the only way that systems could stay in touch with one another without having to resort to a "pony express" style courier system. If one were to fail, that entire system would be cut off in terms of communication from the rest of Humanity. Steps were taken so that the devices were always updated and that they were in good condition.
Another problem was terraformation. This process changes the atmosphere and climate of a planet that does not initially support Human life to one that does. For many decades, this process has raised ethical issues among people, mainly the argument that we would be greedy, destroying the planet's initial life-forms to accommodate us. This led to the formation of the 'Anti-Terraformation Alliance', which consistently urges the government not to change worlds to suit our needs, citing religious and ethical texts, but most scientists generally think of them as run of the mill, right wing inhibitors.
PART 3: THE SUCCESSOR STATES
By 2350, around 175 worlds were colonized, and Humanity's land grab was slowing slightly, but still spreading. In this year, a new analogue to the Soviet Union had appeared. The new USSR, named, Zemlya Lenina or 'Land of Lenin', the new Soviet Union formed on the mainly Russian-populated world Svetlana. Logically, this seemed like a good place to start, tabula rasa so to speak. The new USSR demanded separation from the Western-dominated United Nations Planetary Concordance (as it was known at the time from 2070-2390) to form their own republic to start over.
The Concordance, founded on the system of a commonwealth, politely declined in their request. The United Nations claimed that Humanity needed to stick together to avoid extinction, but the Leninists did like this response. Unbeknownst to the UN, the USSR - now calling themselves the Soviet Republics of Interstellar States (SRIS); had removed fuel rods from nuclear reactors on their worlds, and had placed them in makeshift rockets. Concerned for the well-being of the surrounding worlds, a UN Peace-keeping force consisting of a small ship of Marines travelled to Svetlana. Upon their emergence from the wormhole, the ship (which was leaking Cherenkov radiation, no less) was targeted and destroyed twenty seven seconds after emergence from FTL space. At a public apology, Sergio Malone, the man who ordered the missile launch explained that they assumed the ship carrying the Marines was an attack force. The destruction of the transport Manitoba was the first instance of a spaceship destroyed by intentionally hostile means. Despite Malone's apology, the Security Council urged that the Concordance go to war with the SRIS. With no ships however, there was no way to attack.
In 2370, Insurgents with the goal to start a war used SRIS made weapons on Concordance diplomatic craft. When the ship docked at a space station, the bombs were detonated with the force of a five kiloton nuclear device. The ship was destroyed instantly and the station was heavily damaged. Resulting debris from the explosion made the space around Dyson II a navigation hazard for three years. In total, four hundred civilians and military personnel died in the attack and two hundred were injured. Twenty five civilians were resuscitated following vacuum exposure.
The bombing of the station was the last straw for the United Nations. The UN promptly ordered war against the SRIS. For the first time in history, space ships were armed with missiles, rail-guns and conventional firearms to combat one another. The first combat ships were converted freighters, and more sophisticated designs would not be seen for at least another half-century. The SRIS did not have the technology needed to prepare them for ship-to-ship combat, as all resources were used for helping collectivize the new Soviet Union. The first ships engaged Soviet border patrols on July 17th 2371. The leading vessel was the frigate Cleopatra, commanded by the famous Rear Admiral Robert H. Zuckuss.
Soviet Navy assets attempted a counterattack, and ended up losing due to mass numbers on the side of the Concordance. To avoid the SRIS calling for help from neighbouring systems within their domain, a virus was planted on the Beacon which would reach to all SRIS planets within range. This virus would destroy the system of the Beacons, leading to a total collapse of the communication within Soviet Space.
The SRIS/Concordance Dispute would only last a few months, but would cost the Soviets twelve ships and one hundred fifty seven lives. The Concordance on the other hand would lose three ships along with fifty lives. The overall situation between the SRIS and the Concordance would end in peace, with the UN actually paying for some damages. The infrastructure of SRIS Space would be severely damaged due to the virus planted by UN hackers. This would have unforeseen consequences. It would take ten years for the entirety of communications to be restored, but some of the SRIS worlds discovered that they had been getting on fine without the Neo-Leninists harping on them. A quartet of worlds demanded autonomy. The Soviets, not wanting another conflict, agreed. The new quartet would become the Republic of Solenia, named after the capital world. This would later be a major industrial powerhouse and mining capital, with a majority of advanced starships coming from this region. The Republic would be neutral in almost every conflict that came about. The UN ruled that it would be a crime to invade the Republic during peacetime.
2396 brought along advanced ship designs for the navy and even civilian designs. The typical design of a warship would resemble a boxy shape with nacelles, and heat radiating wings. Fighters were either classed as aerospace, space or atmospheric. Fighters that were classified as atmospheric would feature wings and rudders. Aerospace fighters would be able to operate in space and in an atmosphere, alternating between the two mediums while still retaining their winged designs. Space fighters looked nothing like atmospheric and aerospace fighters. These looked more like boxes with arms on them which would aid in three dimensional combat. Though aerospace fighters have existed since the early 2100s, military tacticians often criticized the use of them, citing fuel costs and the double atmosphere systems. Others have criticized the existence of fighters at all. The final argument boiled down to using single-ships to attack missiles that ship point defense weapons could not track. From this, space fighters were born. By the end of the 24th Century, they were refined.
In 2500, it was clear that the UN sphere of influence could only go so far, and the Soviet breakaway was the first indicator. UN controlled space was roughly mitigated to 400 lightyears in most directions, forming a deformed sphere. More planets were being discovered, but the farther the UN went, the harder it became to control all of them. A new government, the Stellar Duchy formed from desire to separate. This was a peaceful separation, with the Duchy gaining twenty worlds to start and were authorized to expand in their general sphere of influence. The first Duke of the government was Duke Ronald II, heir to a massive military might.
In 2514, the Duchy gained full autonomy from the United Nations and proceeded to become one of the strongest military force in full comparison to size. For every ten citizens in the Duchy, approximately six of them were soldiers. Duke Ronald would be known to some as a dictator, but to those within the borders of this realm of space, he would be known as a loving ruler who only wished the best for his people; this was not far from the truth, as the aristocratic hierarchy in the Duchy did prize soldiers over regular citizens, Duke Ronald did not hold any qualm over the rest of his people.
In 2560, the United Nations Interstellar Concordance would be renamed to it's current title, the United Nations Commonwealth of Systems. While the general working of the United Nations would remain the same (i.e. groups of systems acting as 'nations' while still part of the Commonwealth), but the focus was on the whole of the systems within the borders acting with their own accordance. Along with this, faster versions of the Ulmann-Montclair drive were being produced, expanding the UN even further! To compensate for the large distances, a second capital system had been set up around the star named Mira. The presence of a second capital would allow UNCS influence to hold firm, even with the urge of successor states to break away.
A third successor state would break away from the UN even though the presence of a second capital. This new state was known as the Frontier Worlds Alliance, which pledged to continue outwards no matter the price. The systems that the FWA claimed had multiple very dense, very resourceful planets. The FWA pioneered the process of planetary mining, which at the time was considered too big a project under the grounds that it was impractical. However, the Alliance proved it could be done. The capital system of Gawain produced many long-range survey ships. The FWA would become the second fastest expanding state other than the Commonwealth.
However, this expansion would get the Alliance into trouble. In May of 2572, Alliance ships unwittingly crossed the border into Soviet-controlled space and conducted scans of the system. Fearing that this would be a larger attack force, the SRIS destroyed the survey vessel. Angered, the Alliance produced ships dedicated for war and launched them against the Republics. Armed for war, Grand Admiral Vasily Totenkov sent the Fifth Assault Fleet to intercept the Alliance vessels and utterly destroyed them. The UN intervened approximately seventeen months into the conflict, urging the Soviet Union to halt their attack. The Republics agree and within weeks, The leader of the Interstellar Republics, Gregor Welsh, along with his politburo meet with the Governer General of the Alliance Peter Kaku to settle a treaty. The Alliance agrees to hand over three systems to the Republics, although one of them, the industrial center of Kirkendale, is a heavy mining world. The SRIS now has the ability to engage in large-scale planet mining. The entire conflict lasts from May 22nd, 2572 to October 31st, 2573.
Through a government system to create cures to diseases, in 2584 a multi-national project on Earth consisting of Soviet, and Duchy scientists aim to give humans the same powers as animals to combat illness and strength through aging. Professor Lord Bryant Holland, an aristocrat from the prestigious House Holland in the Duchy requests the use of cosmic radiation in their research, hopefully to improve radiation resistance on long spaceflights. Professor Kirk Dunlop, the UNCS scientists agrees, but Soviet Researcher Doctor Oleg Patchov disagrees, claiming that it would cause large scale mutations. The others ignore the implications and proceed anyway. The first test subject was a female red fox. Upon initial activation of the device, the subject appeared to be in pain. Worried that they might be harming the fox with the chemicals and shocks they were administering. Fifty additional tests were administered to multiple mammal and avian species, but the result was the same. No animal seemed to respond positively. Approximately one month following the experiments, Doctor Patchov was informed that the animals were indeed mutating, much to his dismay. What appeared to be fractures along the arms and legs were starting to form. They were believed to be just fractures until on closer inspection that they were joints. Also, foot structure started to morph towards a plantigrade style. This didn't get too strange until the following generation where offspring had plantigrade feet, joints and a much higher awareness than usual.
With a shock, it had become apparent that the first anthropomorphic creatures had been created. Anthropomorphic animals resemble humans in stature and habits. What some researched believe happened was that after injections of human DNA to strengthen their systems, added with cosmic radiation, the animals mutated to an extent where they started resembling Humans. This was a good and bad thing for the UNCS government. For the most part, it was a scientific breakthrough. On the downside, it would form public distrust towards the government and xenophobia until a Civil Rights movement formed.
The second generation Anthro was named Daisy after Professor Dunlop's daughter. Daisy showed many characteristics of a fox still, but she had some distinctly human traits to her. Her eyes had taken on a blue sheen in contrast to the tawny that the first generation fox had. She also had more powerful legs and a fully developed patella system. Anthros would continue to evolve at an accelerated rate over a hundred years, increasing in lifespan and in stature. Anthros mainly bred with other Anthros, but as they became more intelligent, it was clear that a greater gene-pool was needed if they were to survive. Some public outcry, especially from the Duchy called for destruction of the creatures, although the UNCS was in favour of their existence. The Soviets and the FWA officially did not take sides on the issue.
The first anthros took common last names such as 'Smith' or 'Baker', choosing a given name early in childhood. Families who took care of anthros often gave them their last names. The first anthro to have a full name was Benjamin Welland, who was cared for by the family of the same name.
In 2600, border skirmishes with a raider group called the Black Runners takes the life of Admiral Ike Hiller, a celebrated hero in the Commonwealth for his actions against border raiders. His death prompts research into space stealth techniques to try and avoid a repeat of the issue. In 2607, the first test run of space stealth takes the form of the Gallagher Ablation Coating, a special tile that reflects radar signatures back into space, similar to stealth bombers. In addition to the tile, a new vessel was developed by Commonwealth shipwrights: the Mythos-class frigate.
Immedietely, this caused outrage with the other states who demanded a piece of the action. The UNCS did not release the blueprints, which led to them being stolen three months after being drafted. After months of finger pointing, the Black Runners were discovered to have stealth ships. This was a bad turn of events which prompted a joint strike against the radiers. UN and Soviet ships assaulted the raider space and found themselves evenly matched because the raiders had even technology. In the end, superior numbers and technology destroyed the Black Runners, but it was too late. The plans had been spread across the black market. Piracy would become much worse; radar-cloaked ships could pillage freighters without being seen except in visual range.
PART 4: THE DARK AGE
This led to one of the darkest ages in Human history. In 2650, the Earth Superluminal Communication Server shut down. This was much more destructive than it might sound. With the Servers shut down, signals could not be received or sent to any of the other Beacons. Almost 100% of superluminal communication between systems was cut, leading to what was known as the Interstellar Dark Age. Messages could not be sent, nor received leading messages to be carried by ships instead. Most ships needed to synch up with the Beacons in order to jump in the first place, leading to a drastic decrease in spaceflight. Systems close to economic powerhouses like Earth or Mira suffered less than the Border States. By far, the worst hit area was the Soviet Republic, which was in total blackout and required materials from the Commonwealth to continue to work their way towards a perfect socialist society. Unfortunately, most of the efforts started to go south as a civil war broke out three weeks after the Network went dark. An approximated twenty two star systems formed the belligerent Socialist Activist Party, intent on changing the way policies formed in the Republics, the second party was the Carte Blanche Party, who wanted increased spending into development of a new Network, no matter the price, and the third was the Exodians, who wanted to distance themselves completely from the Commonwealth and the Successor States and travel far into uncharted space, hoping to colonize a new region.
After twenty two years of infighting, which was totally almost overlooked by the rest of Human space in an attempt to restabilize the Beacon network, the Activists won the day. All around the SRIS, there was signs that ships loyal to the Socialist Activists had helped to overthrow the old government and replaced it with one less focused on collectivization as it had for many ineffective centuries and more on central economic growth. This civil war resulted in 22 million deaths, five million of which taking place on the heavily populated world of Bajor. The Exodians had detonated several heavy nuclear devices over the atmosphere, creating heavy winds and radiation on the planet. When the dust settled, barely anything on the surface stirred. It was one of the largest massacres in Human history, and the largest ecological disaster ever recorded.
The Exodians fled following their defeat. Whatever ships they had were packed and they set off for parts unknown, mainly on impulse speed since space beyond the borders was barely mapped. It is speculated that they intended to use these military vessels as generation ships despite that not being their built purpose. It is unknown on what happened to the Exodians, but their departure did not shed many tears. The Carte Blanche on the other hand simply folded into submission, happy that the economic policies of the new Soviet Union had changed at least.
For a full century, the total size of explored space contracted by 10%. The darkening of the Beacons forced the States to cut their losses on the farthest laying colonies, supposedly starving them to death. In 2792, the unthinkable had occurred: The Network was back online. Data which had lain dormant for one hundred thirty years was streaming back through the stars. Unfortunately, the farther one were to get away from the center of human population, one would find out-dated technology and regressed populations. The lack of information and sustenance from the parent worlds caused colonies to sink into the Stone Age once more. The 10% of colonies that were forgotten banded together along the only jump-capable ship they had and formed their own government: The Astral League of Worlds, also known as the Partisan Assembly. This was a forsaken place where technology had withered away and religion had become the dominant societal norm. The poorest of the poor believed that those who had space-faring privileges were Angels from God and worked to please them.
The Partisans were militant, warring on itself, desiring trade more than anything. Tribes of citizens often ambushed those with goods purchased from the exceedingly rare transport, and simply to possess something of this nature was a major religious significance to them. This created a new theology called Transitism, or the worship of starships themselves. Considered to be crackpot if anything, the existence of starships was a sign from God that mankind was meant to expand into the galaxy. Starships were to be worshipped at all times, cherished, passed down, and decorated with religious symbols. These citizens also invented numerous dialects derived from English, German, Latin and Mandarin Chinese which are still spoken in the Partisan Assembly today. Knowledge of the Partisan Assembly wasn't wide-spread even after the repairing of the Superluminal Communication Server. These 10% were simply forgotten and exist as a semi-shell around the Commonwealth and the SRIS.
Within 50 years, society was back on track following a technological renaissance. Earth and the close colonies had been researching and distributed new goods for the other states to enjoy. The public opinion of the Commonwealth went up, and trading was booming with the Soviets. In 2800, Anthros were now at their peak in evolution: they grew to a height of around 5' 6" average, spoke clearly with developed vocal chords, possessed opposable thumbs, and had undergone physical mutations and now had a human-like layout of muscles and sexual genitalia. The average anthro could be expected to age to 90 years before dying, compared to 120 Human years. Before this time, they were awkward in society, often becoming scorned because of their appearance. Anthros ranged through most mammals. The most commonly seen were those of canine descent.
With their existence has come a huge role in military forces. Some anthros go into military service to see the galaxy cheaper than a regular flight. Some of them go for acceptance, and some go because they believe their skills would be best there. Military units often have mixed squads to bond the two brother races. The highest ranked anthro military official is Lieutenant General Jones Ophelia of the Commonwealth. It is rare to see an athro outside of UN controlled space. Outer states barely ever see them at all and in the FWA or the Partisan Assembly, they are entirely unknown.
A strong sexual market opened in 2815 for anthros. It is assumed that this was a legal trade with consent from the participants. Other believe that it was a black market operation that was used as sex trafficking across the Commonwealth. Regardless of the issue, it generated a credible amount of revenue every consecutive year from fellow anthros and humans alike.
PART 5: THE NEW GOLDEN AGE
June 22nd, 2840: First Contact.
A Frontier Worlds Alliance survey ship engaged on a long-distance survey of a system outside of Known Space borders. It stumbled on an unknown system where it discovered activity on a planet. The FWA Skimmer, called the Barracuda discovered the Gallvente race. This alien race was inferior to our technology, only being at a level comparable to 19th Century Humanity at the starting of their Industrial Revolution. The Gallvente resembled a reptilian-style race which had two sets of arms and dark eyes. Their communication appears to be verbal but at the time there was no way to communicate with them.
The United Nations took immediate action to the situation, passing the Bill of Non-Interference. The bill stated that no human civilization could interfere with the natural evolution of an alien race, comparing the experience to giving cavemen a blowtorch; the implications could be severe.
The Gallvente would begin space trials in 2907, after somehow obtaining samples of fusion energy. It was assumed that raiders or renegade military units gave aliens technology in the hopes that they would become more powerful. The motives of such an exchange are unknown to this day, but some speculate. A translator would be developed after years of study of the language. It is not instantaneous, but it analyzes speech, translates through a built-in dictionary, and adjusts for idioms and syntax. It also works vice-versa, but Gallvente can speak English with heavy tutoring. Some can even reach fluency in later years.
2950 would see the rise of another war. Duke Charles IV of House Howell in the Duchy was assassinated on December 6th. Those responsible claimed to be Soviet hard-liners who wanted to expand the empire. Upon demanding the execution of the group, the SRIS denied the existence of such a group. The death of Duke Charles meant that for the first time since its inception, the throne of the Duchy would go unclaimed, even with searches underway for a bloodline relative. Six days later, the Governor General of the parliament was killed in an explosion. The same group claimed responsibility.
The Duchy, enraged that they were not getting anywhere with the investigation, cried out for retaliation and asked for Commonwealth support. The Commonwealth agreed, but only for a peacekeeping mission; a good faith assignment. The Belarus led the group into SRIS space after announcing their arrival and stopped in the Yeager system to refuel, a world close to the Soviet border. On December 21st, the Belarus took shots across her bow, possibly from strafing craft. The resulting attack damaged the station she was attached to. After quickly detaching, the cruiser destroyed the craft that was shooting at them. They were far outclassed by the UNCS vessel. Upon searching the wreckage, it was clear this was a military vessel.
Outraged, the Belarus called for reinforcements, demanding an explanation. The Soviet government was shocked, unable to offer an explanation. The Belarus was joined by a small fleet of seven ships that began to search for the group. All attacks came from vessels that were confirmed to be of military design. Fearing war, the SRIS Chancellor, Warrick Kendron sent his own force to assist the Commonwealth forces. It was then that the enemy revealed themselves. Exodians who decided to stay had commandeered military vessels and used them against the other states. On Christmas Eve, a massive showdown had taken place over the skies of Jesabelle. Seventeen ships would face off against twenty. The bloody fight would become known as the Black Christmas Battle. Half of the ships were destroyed over the course of a few days. One ship, the enemy Jagger would fall into Jesibelle's atmosphere and detonate, releasing explosive energy akin to ten nuclear bombs.
The enemy called for reinforcements the next week, bringing ten more ships into the conflict. The Belarus, which had survived up to this point, launched nuclear devices and shorted out the systems of three ships, causing bleak deaths for all the occupants. These ships served as later cover for fighter squadrons.
On January 2nd, Marines boarded the vessels and secured their captains. Two of them committed suicide prior to capture by use of a gunshot to the head, but the third was caught. Upon turning them over to the Soviets, the learned that this was a government official who was an Exodian, hoping to start a war because he thought the Soviets needed to expand outwards. The battle at Jesibelle was mirrored over similar worlds along the borders, lasting a couple months in total where the remaining Exodians in the SRIS were totally eradicated. None remained in Known Space.
In 2956, a subsidiary government formed within UNCS space. This new domain, called the 'John Smith Republic' was authorized by the United Nations as a government within a government. John Smith's Republic consisted of border Commonwealth colonies that felt they had the right to rule themselves after all the years of their existence. The Commonwealth had suffered over the Misconception War six years prior and had no desire to put down rebellions, but they greatly restricted the size of the new government, but they did grant them border privileges.
July 12th, 2980 saw the first Anthro President of the United Nations. President Colleen Winston received a landslide victory in the polls, a stunning 82% got her into office. She would enjoy two terms and would negotiate trading agreements with the Gallvente, who now were allowed FTL technology now that they were illegally granted technology. However, the Successor States developed a loophole in the argument that the Bill of Non-Interference, in that it only pertained to the Commonwealth and that the other races were free to trade with the Gallvente as they wished.
August 13th, 2999: The Millennium Empire is formed. Groups from all the nations emigrate to an area far beyond the borders of Known Space. Thanks to scans by the FWA and unintentional transmissions of travel data by the Exodians during their escape from Human Space, the Millennium Empire had a place to form. In an area not too far from the Gallvente homeworld of Thakorim, the Empire formed. The purpose of the ME was an experiment and an investment in strengthening Human expansion into the universe. A second empire would be separate from the present Human Space. Beacons would be present here, but they would be coded differently than those in the older Human settlements, known as the Orion Collective, because of its location within the Orion Spur. The newer group of settlements is known as the Sagittarius Collective, because of its closer proximity to the Sagittarius Arm. The population of the Millennium Empire was roughly a million people at first, ruled by the General Assembly, a collection of politicians from all of the founding nations.
The area between the Millennium Empire and the Orion Collective is known as the Welland Divide, a demilitarized zone in which no-one could enter. The only choice for invaders to get across the divide would be to use sublight impulse, which would take upwards of three weeks to get across. Travel to the Millennium Empire is strictly enforced. Only one system per state had the privilege of linking their Beacons to the capital of Tohlek. This was to ensure that the Empire could grow without influence from the Orion Collective.
3015 CE: The Current Year. Humankind is on the brink of yet another intellectual and ground-breaking discovery. Mankind's impact on the galaxy will continue as it has, but there will be war as there always has been, and the best of the best will have to work even harder to ensure that we do not commit the ultimate genocide and destroy ourselves. But there is hope, there is hope that we can ensure our survival, and discover the secret of immortality.
Welcome to the Commonwealth!