This is the development and history of "space-time wave propulsion" up until the launch of the spaceship Stargazer, which heralded the beginning of humanity's participation in interstellar affairs.
Scientists, in June of 2052 discovered the existence of the substrate within which our universe exists. A domain outside normal three-dimensional space, they named this place "metaspace". They found that certain energetic reactions could create an intrusion of this domain into our own space, locally altering the behavior of all forms of matter and energy within our space-time. They called this intrusion a "metaspatial field". With metaspace being a continuum with different physical laws than our own, metaspatial fields had the capability of "warping" the space-time continuum. Metaspace was also found to provide an additional electromagnetic polarization plane perpendicular to the planes in normal space which could be used for the transmission of particles. This led scientists all over the world to foresee the advent of faster than light communications.
While studying the theories of physicists Miguel Alcubierre and Richard Obousy in 2053, a young doctoral student at the California Institute of Technology named Daniel Rosales first postulated that a spaceship could use metaspatial fields projected by a series of coils to warp the fabric of space and that ship could use the warp to propel it faster than light. This drive would work by contracting space-time in front of the ship and expanding space-time behind it. The starship itself would rests in a bubble between the two space-time distortions. This warped space, together with the region of normal space between it, would accelerate off faster than the speed of light and the vessel would then ride on the wave in space-time created by this distortion.
Travel at velocities exceeding the speed of light would be possible in this fashion because the starship would be, strictly speaking, stationary (relative to the space inside the bubble) while it is the space-time immediately around the starship that would actually be moving. Since it is spacetime itself that would be moving and the starship would not actually be accelerating, it would experience no time dilation, allowing the passage of time inside the vessel to be the same as that outside it.
In January of 2054, interplanetary probes charting and surveying a variety of geological features on the solar system's inner planets discovered three new minerals, the first two were named "monosilicate corterium" and "polycrystal vertenum." The third was a new kind of shocked quartz found on the moons of Saturn. This new substance would eventually be named "tetracronium." Samples of it were sent to the world's leading researchers to analyze it for potential benefits. Once on Earth, it was discovered that this new element possesses fourth-dimensional properties, it has the ability to "transtate" and focus energy. Bids flew in from the scientific community to get their hands on the unique new material. But it was maverick scientist Dan Rosales, working in seclusion at his Arizona ranch, that made the biggest breakthrough of all.
Dr. Rosales began experimenting with the properties of tetracronium, particularly after witnessing first hand initial experiments by scientist Ogama Sakura at the University of Tokyo, that proved that tetracronium had the ability to resist antimatter bombardment. In 2058 he finally found a way to power his "space-time wave propulsion," as he had taken to calling it. In his private lab near Flagstaff, Arizona, he came to the conclusion that the only power source known to humans that could power the wave propulsion was a reactor employing the controlled mixture of matter and antimatter. Such a reaction, when regulated by tetracronium crystals, would create a high-energy plasma that fed directly into special coils made of "corterio-vertenite", which is a composite material composed of monosilicate corterium and polycrystal vertenum. When this material is energized, it would cause the energy frequencies in the plasma to shift into metaspace, generating multi-layered metaspatial fields with a specific frequency that would form what he called a "wave bubble" that envelops a spacecraft. He believed the craft could cross the light-speed barrier by manipulating these fields to warp the geometry of space-time immediately around it.
Most "reputable" scientists dismissed Rosales's theories as science fiction. A billionaire philanthropist named Jake Sharma, however, took great interest in the project. He introduced Rosales to his astronautical engineer niece Madelyn Sharma in 2059 and the two began to confer on how to design a space vessel equipped with Rosales's wave propulsion. In December of 2061 Rosales and Madelyn Sharma finished designing their prototype wave propulsion fitted craft dubbed the "Expedition." The two then set out to scrounge for materials to build the Expedition. Jake Sharma donated a few high-quality tetracronium crystals and a magnetic bottle containing antimatter to the project.
Rosales and Sharma, along with a growing group of Arizona locals helping with the project, finished assembling the Expedition in March of 2063. On the morning of April 5, 2063 Dan Rosales became the first human to travel faster than light when he engaged the Space-time Wave Propulsion of the Expedition. The Relshar, a nearby M'Thoom survey vessel passing the outer rim of the system detected the Expedition traveling at a wave propulsion speed. After much debate and some consultation with the M'Thoom government, Captain Veergla of the Relshar ordered the ship to change course and land on Earth.
At 7:43 that night, the Relshar landed near Rosales's ranch and a small contingent of Humans and M'Thoom came together to exchange greetings, resulting in humanity's first contact with an extraterrestrial civilization. The next day, the governments of Earth went into an uproar with the revelation that an alien ship landed in the United States. It was demanded that the M'Thoom crew meet with the United Nation's Security Council. Veergla addressed the UN Security Council on April 8 and described his people as peaceful natives of the planet Ya'Jol and vowed to help Earth as it emerges as a new member of the interstellar community. The Sol System was so richly endowed with tetracronium on the crystalline outer planets that it was one contributing factor as to why the M'Thoom became so interested in Earth affairs. Soon Earth and Ya'Jol became firm affiliates in trade and commerce. Artificial gravity technology was the first thing to be bought from the M'Thoom by humanity.
Among several scientific revelations the M'Thoom soon shared with humanity was the likelihood of other sentient races and habitable planets. There is too much radiation near the core of the Milky Way to allow life to form on planets orbiting stars there. At the opposite end, centrifugal force acts like a centrifuge and flings the lighter elements out towards the galactic rim. Planets in that region are lacking in metal, so they are pretty worthless. But there's a slowly expanding region stars approximately twenty-five thousand light years from the center. That's were all the "good planets" are, the galactic habitable zone; and much to the surprise of human biologists, astronomers, astrophysicists and statisticians intelligent life is not uncommon in the habitable zone. The M'Thoom Science Directorate had estimated a mathematical probability that one out of every 40,000 planets and moons in the galaxy supports intelligent life forms. What is most amazing is the apparent parallel evolution of sentient life forms with a bilaterally symmetrical bipedal form with an upright posture, two arms, two legs, hands, feet, one thorax, a neck, and a head with a brain located in it. This is the physical form of most sentient species. Furthermore, all known "humanoid" life has a similar genetic pattern.
The early years
On August 15 the space agencies of the world combined to form a unified organization called the Interstellar Exploration Consortium (IEC). It's mandate from the start was to explore and chart the more promising star systems close to Earth with the intention of investigating colonization potential. Dan Rosales was named to the Board of Directors. Due to the spectacular success of Rosales's use of tetracronium ore, the Astral Mining Group was established in 2064. Its mission was to oversee the mining of the precious tetracronium from the outer planets.
Rosales successfully tested his newest engine on his test ship Expedition II on March 17, 2070. The engine well surpassed his expectations by traveling at 10 times the speed of light.
The Interstellar Transport Fleet was chartered on December 13, 2071 to facilitate trade ships leaving Earth for the outer colonies and the new alien worlds that had made contact with Earth. The Astral Mining Group became an ancillary arm of the new organization. The crew of these ships would later spend years traveling from one planet to another with whole generations growing up in space, and the ownership of ships would often passed down family lines.
A united Earth
The United Earth Confederation (UEC) government was officially chartered in Houston, Texas on January 4 of 2083. Every nation on Earth joined the new global government. The Interstellar Exploration Consortium, formerly a private organization, agreed to become a government entity in exchange for the added funding.
In April of 2089 the IEC opened the Stargazer Program on Earth to develop a faster means of propulsion. Over five years later, on October 9, 2094 the UEC, in an attempt to broaden the powers of their space forces, ordered the IEC to be dissolved and created an organization called the SpaceCorps. Using a massive complex just outside of Houston as headquarters, the SpaceCorps maintained the IEC's mission of exploration, but took on the added duty of patrolling Earth trade routes and colonies. The SpaceCorps wasn't exactly a military; it was designed to be more like a space-based version of the old United States Coast Guard.
In 2102, under the authority of the SpaceCorps, the Stargazer Program began the Expedition Project. The goal was to test out a highly advanced engine designed by the Dr. Jesse Kamoa, a protegee of Dr. Rosales's. Eventually, the working Kamoa engine would be used on Earth's first starship to be dubbed Stargazer at the request of Dan Rosales.
On March 9, 2103 SpaceCorps Lieutenant Commander Gabrielle Tran piloted the Alpha Test-Vessel at 39 times the speed of light before the test ship broke apart. During an unplanned flight on March 11, Lieutenant Commander Tran and Lieutenant Franklin Fletcher piloted the Beta Test-Vessel up to 102 times the speed of light. The spacecraft held together and returned to Earth. The SpaceCorps ordered all the Test-Vessels to be grounded until further tests could be run. With the Expedition Project on indefinite hold, the SpaceCorps opted to begin work on an interim class of ship. The first ship of the Dallas-class, dubbed Independence, was due to launch in seven years. As a commendation for their groundbreaking achievement, Tran and Fletcher were promoted to the respective ranks of Captain and Commander, both of them skipping a rank.
In 2104, M'Thoom and human scientists agreed that Jesse Kamoa's engine design would work and the Expediton Project resumed on June 4 of that year. Commander Harry Lewis piloted the Gamma Test-Vessel to 214 times the speed of light on June 11. Commander Pierre Brahim went to 392 in the Delta Test-Vessel on December 19. Convinced that Jesse Kamoa's design would work in a full-scale ship, the SpaceCorps authorized the construction of the Stargazer. The UEC quickly put the designs for the improved engine designs into the open market. Within two years, every transport vessel was equipped with an engine that could at least reach the same speed as the Delta Test-Vessel.
The adventures begin
The SpaceCorps launched the Independence on March 21, 2110. The Dallas-class ship had many design features that would be used and improved upon in the much larger Stargazer. The ship was capable of traveling at 656 times the speed of light. The next two ships, Endeavor and Constellation, were scheduled for launch several months before Stargazer.
On November 19, 2113, the SpaceCorps selected newly-promoted Captain Frank Fletcher to command the Stargazer. Since Fletcher is the son of David Fletcher, the Chief of SpaceCorps Intelligence, there were several accusations of nepotism in selecting him; especially in light of the fact that Fletcher was only 34 years old, the youngest captain in the SpaceCorps. But SpaceCorps Central Command said that Fletcher's record made him the ideal choice.
While en-route back to the Beli'traa Empire with top-secret information in August of 2114, a courier named Millef noticed that a very small Fars'ii'nar ship was following him. He plotted a course towards Earth's solar system to lose the Fars'ii'nar, however the Fars'ii'nar pursuit ship forced down Millef's ship. He crashed just outside of Chesley, Ontario on Earth, where he managed to kill the two Fars'ii'nar that chased him, but was seriously wounded by a local farmer's plasma weapon. Frank Fletcher persuaded the SpaceCorps and the M'Thoom to allow the almost completed Stargazer to Millef back to Beli'ru, the Beli'traa homeworld.
The M'Thoom government ordered a young female military scientist named Oxan to accompany the Stargazer as both a science officer and an observer in exchange for star charts. Dr. Hona Joth Brok, a Hyakultu, joined the crew as the ship's chief doctor as part of an exchange program. The senior officers also included executive officer Commander Rebecca Lee, chief engineer Lieutenant Commander Pierre Akinde, operations manager Lieutenant Claridad Ochoa, navigator/chief pilot Lieutenant Nick Michaels, chief of security Lieutenant Marcus Nguyen, and doctor's senior assistant Lieutenant Jurgen Forster.
On August 13, 2114, the Stargazer was launched from Earth orbit under the command of Captain Frank Fletcher. After several detours and a death-defying battle with a Fars'ii'nar warship, the Stargazer arrived at Beli'ru on April 23 to deliver Millef. The first of a new generation of deep space ships designed for long-term space travel and scientific discovery, the Stargazer's revolutionary new engine capable of propelling the ship 1,024 times the speed of light allowed the ship to reach the Beli'traa system in only a few solar days.
During this first adventure of the space ship Stargazer, the command crew become aware of what Millef's secret information was. The Beli'traa Imperial Forces had discovered a lost city on an uncharted world, nearly four billion years old. The race that built it was a race long sought after by numerous civilized worlds for the tremendous advantages they could provide. This was a race that whose secrets could elevate humanity to unparalleled levels...a race that has left its footprints on countless worlds where its touch has changed evolution and led to the unnatural abundance of sentient species in the galaxy. A race, long thought dead by most, but which both the Earth and M'Thoom governments believes is still out there somewhere.
The most amazing thing was apparently the M'Thoom Science Directorate had discovered that buried deep within the DNA of humans, M'Thoom, Beli'traa (even Fars'ii'nar) and other intelligent humanoid races is a mathematical code, something buried so deep and of such complexity that it could not possibly have occurred by chance. Someone or something put it there—an "artist's signature" perhaps.
SpaceCorps Central Command revealed this information to Captain Fletcher and gave him a new directive, something Fletcher and the rest of the senior officers have to keep secret even from the rest of the crew. This directive states simply that it is the mission of the space ship Stargazer to do whatever is necessary to find this long-lost race, and discover the truth about the common origin of all life forms everywhere, the truth that will unite a galaxy. However, there are others out there, also searching for this race...forces of darkness who may view humanity's activities with more than a little hostility. And so, the Stargazer then officially began her pioneering mission.