|This is a featured future history!
In 2026, the NATO alliance unraveled due to intractable trade disputes. In 2029, the European Union died. From its ashes rose the European Federation, a super-state built out of more than 40 former countries. It stretches from Iceland to the Caspian Sea, to the Balkans, Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine, the Caucasian states of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Turkey's membership means that the Federation has a direct border with the troubled Middle East.
By 2031, hundreds of nuclear fusion reactors provided a virtually limitless amount safe energy from a clean-"burning" fuel. That year the former oil producing nations were driven to the edge of bankruptcy, as their fossil fuel reserves were now nearly worthless.
The 2030s was a decade of transition. Global economies and infrastructures changed faster than anyone could have imagined. In 2033, Iran and Iraq merged to form the Islamic Holy Republic, with Tehran as its capital.
By 2043, most of the world's energy came from fusion power. The UN banned the burning of fossil fuels and made it compulsory to recycle all plastics. The use of fossil fuels was now limited to the manufacture of plastics, chemicals and materials.
United Nations Space Administration
Created in 2055, the UNSA (United Nations Space Administration) was a combination of the former American, Russian, European, Japanese and Canadian space agencies. It was the union of all major space-capable nations, united in their efforts to explore cosmos.
The names of UNSA spaceships would always begin with UNSS - United Nations Space Ship.
The Colonization of the Moon
On April 22nd, 2057, the UNSA established the first permanent Lunar Base, Armstrong Luna Colony, manned by 112 brave explorers. In the absence of international agreements governing mineral rights on the Moon, large corporations staked claims to vast regions of the lunar nearside, said by selenologists to be filled with valuable ore deposits.
Commercialization of the Moon
In 2059, the Motokatsu-Kyono Combine started mining Helium-3 from the Petavius Lunar Crater, on the dark side of the Moon. Other corporations soon followed; within 10 years, a dozen companies were mining the lunar crust for profitable elements. Helium-3, the ideal fuel for fusion reactors; Gallium, which had replaced silicon in computer chips; chromium, aluminium, iron, oxygen, and super-hard titanium. All the ore was processed in-situ; some was delivered to the Moon, some to the Earth, but most of it was shipped straight to orbit.
On June 3, 2061, the UNSS Aries 3 landed on Mars with a multi-national crew of twelve. The journey to Mars took about 2 months, thanks to the Aries' Fusion Drive. By 2071, 51 men and women manned the Aries Martian Outpost I.
The Lunar Crisis
By 2074 the Armstrong Luna Colony had a population of 452. Add the transients and the workforce of the dozen or so commercial mining bases, and you've got more than 1000 humans on the Moon - and they all need the same thing.
Waterice could be melted and filtered into water. It can be shattered as O2 and H2, breathed by men and burned by rockets. "It's more valuable than gold dust," said Marius Gilmozzi, chief engineer of the Armstrong Luna Colony. "Whoever controls the Waterice, controls the moon.", he concluded. Had he then added "Whoever controls the moon, controls the universe!", he'd be remembered as a joker - but he knew better, and he did shut up. So, in the year 2074, a dispute over Lunar Waterice mining rights came to the brink of armed conflict. It looked like the Motokatsu-Kyono Combine and Ceres Metals were going to be the first terran entities to engage in space combat, ever. Motokatsu-Kyono blamed Ceres Metals for planting a "software bomb" that ravaged their headquarters. They threatened to retaliate if their suspicions were confirmed. Both corporations began to evacuate non-essential personnel from their Lunar operations.
On Earth, the prices of Helium-3 rose sky-high as speculators feared an all-out space war. Helium-3: rare on Earth, common on the moon. Helium-3: a clean burning fuel, an almost infinite source of power. Fortunately, the UN negotiated a settlement to the "Lunar Crisis", and no blood was shed. An elite team of UN peace-enforcers were sent to the moon, and none dared to cross them.
The United Americas was formed in 2084. It encompassed the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Central America. On November 23 of that same year, the World Bank declared bankruptcy. The global Economy collapsed, leading to civil unrest around the world. Rioting and looting broke out in major cities across the globe.
On January 1, 2085, the 'United Earth Summit' was commenced in Geneva and attended by Australia, China, the European Federation, Japan, New Zealand, the Russian Republic, South Africa, and the United Americas. The nations attending the summit proposed that the United Nations Constitution be radically amended. These proposals in effect dissolved the UN, replacing it with the United Earth Federation (UEF), an economic/political conglomerate committed to the goal of uniting the nations of Earth in preparation for the colonization of the planet Mars and the rest of the solar system.
Unification in the 21st Century
This move sparked several conflicts (the Unification Wars 2085-2102), primarily fuelled by nations who refused to be a part of the new United Earth Federation. The newly formed United Earth Federation soon ratified a treaty of United Earth Federation Armed Forces, a cohesive fighting force to stop these and future wars, with troops and equipment supplied by all member states, under one general command staff comprising of highranking officers of all nations. The biggest armies in the new United Earth Armed Forces (UEFAF) included EuroCorps, AmeriCorps, ChinaCorps, AsiaCorps and troops from India and Latin America. The year 2086 saw the formation of the East Asian Consortium from China, Mongolia, the Indonesian Consortium, Vietnam, Cambodia and (with some reluctance) North Korea. Many believed its formation was in response to the formation of the United Americas two years earlier.
South American War
In 2087, the South American War began as a frighteningly potent alliance between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), and the National Liberation Army (ELN) threatened to tip the balance of power irretrievably towards the drug barons. At the request from the Colombian government, the United Americas increased it's military aid package to the country. When Marxist guerrillas attacked the UA Embassy in Bogotá, killing the American ambassador and 33 of his staff, the United Americas was drawn into a messy war, sending troops to fight alongside the Colombian troops against the guerrillas, who controlled much of the country's cocaine and heroin-producing regions.
When a United Americas company was found to be secretly drilling for oil in the Antarctic Nature Reserve in 2091, it led to a major scandal in Washington, later to be dubbed 'Antarctic-Water'. A UEF inquiry unearthed evidence of corruption at the highest levels of the United Americas government. The Andres presidency was left in ruins, as many of her senior staff were implicated.
The Bunuelian Force
In 2101, Spanish astrophysicist Dr. Ana Bunuel discovered what came to be known as the "Bunuelian force". There were four known forces in physics: two sub-nuclear forces responsible respectively for alpha and beta decay; electromagnetism, which includes light; and gravity. The Bunuelian force is the fifth, and it is generated by thermonuclear reactions. The force has little effect in our universe; in fact, it is barely detectable. Simultaneously with the discovery of the fifth force, however, she discovered a second universe in point-to-point congruence with our own. The "continuum universe" differs from the one we're used to in that there are no known quantum effects there. Within that universe particles may travel as fast as they can be accelerated; and the fifth force exists to accelerate them. This led scientists all over the world to foresee the advent of faster than light communications.
By 2107, with a population fast approaching 12 billion, food riots in most countries and a biosphere contaminated by the burning of fossil fuels and use of dirty nuclear power (i.e. fission), the colonization of the solar system was seen as the key to the eventual regeneration and uniting of Earth.
A year later, scientists in a Taiwan laboratory succeeded in transmitting information faster than the speed of light via the "continuum universe". Calculated at travelling nearly 3.26 light years in one Earth day, near instantaneous communications was now possible with the fledgling Mars colony. A few months later, groundbreaking research based on Zero Point Field Theory, led to the activation of the first suspensor-field generator in San Francisco. This made artificial gravity fields possible on starships.
Eckerly Jump Theory
In 2110, an American theoretical physicist named Dr. Everett Eckerly proposed that instantaneous interstellar travel is possible through certain points near a star by passing from this universe to the continuum universe. His theory surmised that for every construct in our universe there can be created a "correspondence particle" in the continuum universe. In order for a construct to go into and emerge from the continuum universe without change it must have some complex machinery to hold everything together and prevent the ship and crew from being disorganized into elementary particles. Correspondence particles can be boosted to speeds faster than light: in fact, to speeds nearly infinite as we measure them. Of course they cannot emerge into our universe at such speeds: they have to lose their energy to emerge at all. There are severe conditions to entering and leaving the continuum universe.
According to the Eckerly Jump Theory, since the fifth force is created by thermonuclear reactions: generally in stars, a ship may travel through the continuum universe only along precisely defined lines of equipotential flux created by thermonuclear reactions inside active stars. Dr. Eckerly named these lines, jumplines. Possible jumplines lie between each two stars. In short, this so-called "Eckerly Drive" allows instant transport between two stars with a jumplines. These jumplines form entry and exit points to the continuum universe.
The Eckerly Drive
In 2115, a consortium of scientists from the European Federation and Japan led by Dr. Everett Eckerly succeeded in creating the Eckerly Drive propulsion engine. The next year, using an Eckerly Drive, the United Americas Space Agency spaceship 'Bunuel' made the first interstellar flight to Alpha Centauri by getting to a proper "jump point" within the Solar System and turning on the drive. Energy was used, the ship vanished, and reappeared in an instant at a jump point in Alpha Centauri 4.39 light years away. With this scientific breakthrough, the problem of travel between star systems was reduced to the problem of travel within star systems.
With this tremendous technological development, around the world discussions began about the eventuality of interstellar colonial expansion in which people would seek to escape from the troubles on Earth to the new 'frontier'. However the notion this happening soon was disregarded by every government on Earth to be unnecessary at that time and far too expensive. Yet several of Earth's larger corporations began to fund space exploration efforts (mostly with space probes). This gave way to a rapid increase in the power and influence of multinational corporations. They were not defined by country, society, or ideology. In industry, in business, and in the media, the multinationals became ever more powerful and more visible. The AeroTech corporation was the most prominent company formed during this period.
The year 2118 saw the outbreak of the Bolivian H2 Alpha super-flu strain across Central and South America. By mid-2119 the Bolivian H2 Alpha, nicknamed the "Sterility Plague" had become a global pandemic. By the time Bolivian H2 Alpha was brought under control with a vaccine developed by the Japanese firm Zen Medical in 2124, it had claimed 104.3 million victims. Over 571 million people became sterile as a side effect of the plague.
Seeing a need to fill the labor force gap after the sterility-causing plague had decimated the population, that same year, the government of the United Americas creates the "InVitro Program" to produce genetically engineered humans to fill the gap.
The InVitro Program involved engineering human embryos with the best the human genome has to offer, without the randomness of natural selection. The "InVitros" would be conceived from 'parents' that never actually lived as two human beings. Instead they would be composites of DNA from many sources thrown together in a petri dish to optimize the chances of getting the best traits possible. The race would be a step up from cloning in that no two InVitros would be alike; however they would share certain genetic sequences with another InVitro created from the same batch of constructed chromosomes.
In 2127, the first batch of InVitro embryos were created using advanced gene splicing techniques and placed in neutral-buoyancy tanks referred to as "artificial gestation chambers" with the natural umbilical cord delivering the nutrients they would need suspended in a sleep state and an artificial cord at the base of their skulls (on the back of their necks) that was connected to a neural network that imputted basic education through direct sensory input to the brain. While floating in the artificial gestation chamber, a series of sophisticated retroviruses attacked the genetic structure of the InVitros, prematurely activating segments of DNA responsible for growth and maturity. By triggering these genes in a closely timed sequence while providing them with a steady flow of nutrient rich protein medium, their bodies were able to reach maturity at a rate far more rapid than naturally. In 2133, after six years, their physical development was equivalent to a "Natural Born" human at eighteen years of age. As it would be with all later generations of InVitros, only 27 percent of the subjects survived the gestation process.
Genetically designed to be stronger, faster and less prone to illness, the InVitros were suppose to help bring the decaying human race back to its feet. They were created to be a servant caste, occupying jobs that were too dangerous, demeaning or strenuous for Natural Born humans. After they were born they would serve a five year period of indentured servitude to reimburse society for expenses associated with their creation. Despite the outcry from various human rights groups, the United Earth Federation officially approved of the InVitro Program and in 2134, the United Americas sold the technology and scientific schematics for creating InVitros to various other governments. A few months later, the UEF founded the InVitro Authority to collectively oversee the creation of InVitros all over the world.
In 2138 Silicatronics Incorporated unveiled 'Adam' - the first ever self-aware computer. In 2144, Silicatronics developed commercially available androids - walking humanoid personal computers running the latest in intelligent software design. Dubbed "Silicates" because of their silicon-based artificial neural networks, these androids were manufactured to be servants and soldiers, designed to be visually pleasing. However, their eyes were eerie white with rifle sight-like crosshairs in place of pupils so they would be easily recognizable and never mistaken for human beings. Silicates were programmed to comprehend abstract concepts such as philosophy, theology and ethics. Although they could understand these ideas their programming did not allow them to originate new ideas. Their superior intelligence was totally learned so they could understand an idea like freedom but did not have the ability to formulate how to obtain freedom.
The A.I.s were also built to communicate with one another via modulation schemes through a networked wireless modem. When they communicated thusly, the only sound humans could detect were electronic beeps and chirps. The Silicates were networked remotely so they knew one another's position and operating state. In addition, they were capable of storing, and retrieving common knowledge. With a 5 terabyte collected memory capacity, they could share data on demand.
With the advent of the Silicates, who could perform menial labor, the subject of the so-called "InVitro Question" heated up as many InVitro rights advocates clamored for the InVitro Authority to be dissolved and all InVitros serving their indentured servitude to be released from it early. The issue of the InVitros had already become the most controversial topic of the 22nd Century, especially since most InVitros who finished their indentured servitude found it very hard to adjust to life among Natural Borns because they were an easy target of constant discrimination since many regarded them as unnatural creations. The additional artificial "navel" present at the back of their necks (where the artificial umbilical cord/neural implant was attached in the gestation chamber) became their only visible distinguishing feature, making InVitros easily recognizable.
In 2147, a computer programmer with Silicatronics named Dr. Ken Stranahan, who was considered a genius, discovered his senior co-workers were taking all the credit for his work. While upgrading the A.I. Central Processing Unit Dr. Stranahan inserted a computer virus into the A.I. code pool. The instruction was "Take a Chance." That one single act triggered a storm of destruction. As the computer virus was trasmitted to the vast majority of Silicates within days, it became a compelling ideology in A.I. behavior, leading them to define all activity in terms of risk and gamble. In less than a week the idea of risk became something of a religion for the Silicates. The only thing human created including themselves that they respected was gambling.
Silicatronics performed an internal witch-hunt, and found that Dr. Stranahan had created the "Take a Chance" virus, infecting the A.I.s. Before formal charges could be laid, Dr. Stranahan committed suicide. By that time, the Silicates had learned how to win a rebellion against the humans, they didn't feel emotions such as fear, intimidation and mercilessness but they knew how it affected humans.
The A.I.s began indiscriminately taking human life, slaughtering the life forms they derisively called "Carbonites." The United Earth Armed Forces came into duty and to the overall surprise, the different generals worked together as one team. It was the first real test to the UEAF which it passed with flying colors.
Natural Born losses were still so heavy that the General Assembly and the Security Council of the United Earth Federation jointly passed a resolution that drafted all InVitros serving their indentured servitude into the Armed Forces of their respective nations. After the InVitros were conscripted into the Armed Forces against their will, they proved to be poor soldiers. With no conventional families to protect, a lack of patriotic fervor toward nations that saw them as expendable slaves, and no vested interest in the A.I. War's outcome, the majority of the InVitros refused to fight.
Despite the A.I.s networked communication system, they were far less organized than humans during the war. As a result, the conflict essentially consisted of several wars being fought in different areas. As the A.I. Wars raged and many areas remained largely unaffected, others were devastated. Fighting was most intense in the East Asian Consortium. In 2151, President Yung of the EAC was assassinated by a Silicate. A year later, a division of Silicates codenamed the "CC Army" overran the Mongolian city of Karakorum. The so-called "CC War" was the bloodiest of the entire A.I. Wars, however after 13 months of fighting the city was liberated from the Silicates.
By 2154, the Silicates had been driven from all populated areas and intense fighting was confined to isolated areas. However, the A.I.s continued numerous terrorist attacks that killed thousands. That same year, a convention on Silicate POWs took place in Ho Chi Min City. As a result of the convention, A.I.s were considered to have the same rights as human POWs have according to the Geneva Convention.
The War in Space
The Silicates took the conflict into space in the year 2155 after they collectively stole several military space vehicles that the militaries of the UEAF had been building. Most of them dispersed throughout the solar system to attack human research stations. Unbeknownst to the A.I.s, the ships they stole were only a small fraction of the ships the UEAF had been building for the enormous new space navies. For the next two years, the Armed Forces of the united Earth fought the Silicates in dozens of space battles, always with the humans being victorious. The AmeriCorps was especially effective.
Finally, in 2157, after two years of trial and error the A.I.s successfully reverse-engineered their own Eckerly Drive engines for their ships. After equipping the remaining Silicate vessels with the technology, they traveled to several jump points and jumped out of the Solar system, ending the A.I. Wars.
The Zen Restoration
In the midst of that joyous event, 2157 also saw a scientific breakthrough by Zen Medical enable the repair of damage done by the Sterility Plague at a genetic level. With fertility restored, Earth suffered a minor population explosion.
With the A.I. Wars now over, the InVitro platoons, an abysmal failure, were dissolved by the United Earth Armed Forces in December of 2158. The InVitros returned "home" without familial or community ties to guide their main-streaming and soon became a rebellious race of socio-political untouchables. The refusal to fight in the war led to a stigma that would haunt InVitroes everywhere. Persecuted and reviled as disloyal cowards, most became outcasts, living on the outer edges of society. They had gained a reputation as being lazy and shiftless.
The end of the war and the reversal of the Sterility Plague's effects sparked a reawakened sense of optimism in the public. The idea of colonizing planets in other solar systems was once again talked about heavily amongst the public and this time even amongst government officials. The talk was also sparked by the population surge. A colonization program sponsored primarily by the United Americas and operated by AeroTech began in June of 2159.
A month later, the European Federation disbanded indentured servitude to get rid of InVitro ghettos after several rallies of the InVitro Rights Movements had ended in riots. In September of 2160, the United Earth Federation formally outlawed indentured servitude planetwide, completely freeing the InVitros. Out of a sense of guilt, the UEF instituted an InVitro affirmative action program.
Colonization of Deep Space
In 2162, the Colonization Program was launched from Corpus Christi, Texas. The first human extrasolar colony, Tellus was settled in early 2163. Just days after the settlement was established, it was attacked by an advanced alien civilization. During the attack several colonists managed to send a transmission to Earth, however due to the transceiver being decades old it would take a few months for the message to reach its destination. Not knowing of the alien threat, soon after AeroTech launched a second group of colonists from Corpus Christi. This group was headed for a planet dubbed Vesta. As with the Tellus colonists journey, the Vesta colony ship's journey toward Vesta would consist of a series of jumps to different solar systems, traveling through a system to another jump point and to another system until they eventually reach Vesta. After the Vesta colony ship made its first jump it was attacked by the aliens. The ship's emergency systems sent out a distress signal back to AeroTech, however due to the ship's transceiver being damaged during the attack it would take a few days to reach Earth.
When the message did reach Earth, out of sheer coincidence the message from the Tellus colony arrived just hours later. After authenticating the messages as genuine, the General Assembly of the United Earth Federation held an emergency and secret meeting in which plans were drawn up for war. The next day, Secretary-General Spencer Chartwell addressed the entire world and told of the attack on the Tellus and Vesta colonists.
The Chig-Human War
A few days later, several alien ships began appearing throughout the solar system and attacked UEAF ships and stations and even civilian research stations and mining ships on their way from planets such as Mars. On some occasions a group of aliens would board a space station. This gave human their first look at them in their body armor, which covered their entire bodies and was made of an unknown material. Many people who encountered the aliens and survived remarked that the helmets the aliens wore were reminiscent of a chigoe flea. As a result the UEAF named the aliens "Chigs".
After a month of skirmishes, a small fleet of Chigs vessels were detected to have entered the solar system. They were repelled by several squadron of the United Americas Marine Corps Space Aviator Cavalry and several destroyers of the United Americas Space Navy. Afterwards the United Earth Armed Forces went on the offensive. Early in the war, it was discovered that many Silicates were helping the Chigs in their war against humanity.
In 2164 the Chig-Human War continues.