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2080

  • Al Nair [2081] and Arhmar [2083] and colonised by the Commonwealth and massive numbers of people emigrate within a year of the colonies being set up despite the distances involved.
  • In response China settles Polux [2082] and Capela [2084] and begins massive shipping operations, of both supplies and citizens. Scandals soon erupt over the legitimacy of the movement of people and the Commonwealth extends their offer of free passage to residents of all planets, not just Earth.
  • Gemma [2082] is settled by the Russians. Alioth [2083] and Mitzar [2084] settled by AMA and Beta Pictoris [2084] is settled by New Inca.
  • The instance of stellar piracy increases rapidly with many colony ships looted on route, no nation is ever linked to the attack and they appeared to be indiscriminate, still every country upped their military presence in space and the so called ‘lost people’ (the ships that never reach their destination) are suspected of owning colonies off the map.
  • Altair, facing falling funding as an over reaching Commonwealth attempts to quietly drop them off the budget, legalises all forms of genetic modification. This creates pandemonium across the systems as everyone scrambles to block this action. They fail, and even the Commonwealth backs down seeing this as a way to neatly prevent further development of the colony[1].

 

2085

  • Hawk is born [2086]
  • America founds its first colonies Theemim [2085] and Regulus [2086] and following the British example funds massive people moving projects specifically targeted at the intelligent upper classes[2].
  • In an unprecedented move AMA colonises Phecda [2087], Megrez [2087] and Mitzar [2088] within six months of each other[3], the other nations scramble to move their own colonisation efforts into high gear.
  • Delta Virginis [2087], Atria [2088] and Epsilon Scorpii [2089] are founded by the Commonwealth. While there were already small settlements of humans living in these systems the Commonwealth provided much needed infrastructure. It was the first official acknowledgment people reaching the stars without government assistance[4]
  • Castor [2087], Aldebran [2089] and Eta Ceti [2089] are settled by China. While Commonwealth settlement practices are debated, China’s are simply mysterious and it is not until years later when vast swathes of deserted countryside are discovered on Earth that their mass exportation of people is unveiled. By then it is far too late and no one has the political pushing power to do anything about it[5].
  • New Inca responded to the American settlement by also colonising HD 44594 (Heedee) [2086] and Delta Doradus [2087]. New Inca is almost crippled economically by this movement but cannot divert funds from its arms race with America.
  • Finally Russia moves into space in a big way, shipping thousands of tonnes of material to there new colonies: Skat [2087], Rasalhague [2087] and Unukalhai [2089]. This was only made possible by the plummeting cost of transporting goods interstellar and many applauded the Russians for waiting long enough to economically settle the stars[6].
  • At this time the initial colonies, now reaching economic sustainability were partitioning for greater self government. Many were still being run from a capital with over a month long communication delay and people were beginning to wonder why they should obey the commands of a government they left long behind.

 

2090

  • Russia pioneers the first jump station Tolylatti [2091]; an artificial structure built at a planetless star[7]. The entire station was maintained by visiting ships but it severed as a vital refuelling and navigation point to traverse interstellar gaps. Two years later Jamestown [2093] is constructed by the Commonwealth.
  • Miaplacidus [2092] is colonised by America. Nearly all the ships have to go through Commonwealth space to actually reach the planet and there is a high incidence of piracy in several of the less settled areas. Of the few ships that attempted to travel through New Inca space only a handful actually reached the planet[8].
  • Dubhe [2092] and Cor Caroll [2094] are settled by AMA[9].
  • The last oil well is officially dry on Earth. While humanity does not rely on fossil fuels it is a sign of the damage humanity managed to do to their planet. While many people took this as a positive sign, international tensions were pretty much similar to pre-derelict levels. The only real difference was the power of weapons and the new battleground, space. Amid all this the colonies were getting progressively rowdier and many were begging to produce fleets of their own to counter the American’s impressive military build up.
  • Kaus Australis [2095] and Kaus Meridionalia [2095] are settled by the Commonwealth. They are generally agreed to be the final colonies settled before the independence wars though many other independent settlements were made.

 

2095

  • Tensions continue to rise as piracy begins to spiral out of control, vital shipments are looted, key infrastructure never arrives, and many of the border lands face starvation, either literal or economic, as the systems strain under the weight of missing supplies[10]. Every government moves to deal with the piracy threat[11] and the militias[12] are set up to control planetary space.
  • America starts to feel the first affects of its dangerous emigration policy, grades are falling to critical levels and the drugs companies[13] are beginning to just repackage the same old pills[14].
  • The five trade centres, Arcturus, Denebole, Procyon, Merak and Vega are officially all larger than the Earth system planets, finally outstripping Mars’ supper cities and the Venuses’ sky colonies. Many of them attempt to push for independence[15] and a viciously put down with large orbital fleets threatening bombardment. There is some wonder why these ships are available for intimidation but not the protection of convoys.
  • Construction of the free ports, System [2097] and Alpha Omega [2098] begin. Like Jamestown and Tolyatti these structures are built to bridge jump gaps but are owned by a consortium of local companies, their stock skyrockets.
  • After several tense years interstellar piracy begins to fall to manageable levels, while this is mostly attributed to increased military development militias all give themselves a slap on the back[16]. Pirates are forced to the edge of human space, though few of the more infamous groups[17] are captured during this period.
  • The first signs of corporate expansion are seen with a large Radiant base being built on the surface of Botien [2099]. While not an official colony it severed as a vital refuelling base for trade ships attempting to reach the more distant settlements.

 

2100

  • The turn of the centenary is celebrated by many, though the celebrations on the colonies fizzle due to continuing unrest over external government. Settlements across the inhabited planets are slowing beginning to boycott foreran trade and several go so far as to attempt to dodge taxes. These protests are short lives as currently no colony is self wholly sufficient.
  • Construction of the first space elevator outside the solar system is completed above Arcturus [2101]. The other factions rush to build their own elevators around their trade planets but only Russia [2102] and AMA [2104] finish theirs in this period, though this may have been due to a lower import rate necessitating greater infrastructure investment to keep their space based assets running.
  • Border skirmishes erupt on the America – New Inca border. While war is not declared and the action put down to bandit groups[18] a free fire zone five miles across appears between the two countries.
  • Four major American politicians die in riots on Theemim as millions march in protest over the growing war with New Inca. Similar protests erupt on Regulus, Miaplacidus, Beta Pictoris, Heedee, and Delta Doradus. Protestors quiet down as fleets quietly move into orbit above the planets but the small war begins to quite down as both factions realise they don’t quite have the political support required[19].

 


[1] The Commonwealth’s plan fails however as every major biotechnology company in the systems flock to Altair. The independent researchers soon follow and Altair experiences a technology boom unheard off since the discovery of the derelict, many factions are completely unable to compete with the cheep and high quality merchandise coming out of Altair.

[2] In a way this both succeeds and fails, the top ten percent of America do leave for the new colonies and they do in fact, flourish. On the other hand the top ten percent of America leave for the new colonies. The economy does not as such crash but stall as innovators seek out new ventures, technological progress grinds to a halt and a good two thirds of private schools close their doors. Many of these affects are not seen for years but they proved near catastrophic for the American nation.

[3] Colonised may be a generous term here, a few buildings were thrown down and the AMA government funded the building of a space port, otherwise they were left to their own devices. Many suspect it was a purely a political play and other say it was a way to remove unwanted ethnic groups and fragments of society.

[4] Debates rage over just how peaceful these occupations really were but it is generally agreed that the majority in the habitats welcomed the support.

[5] Only the Commonwealth actually achieves anything against this policy with their open arms immigration procedure, while the free ticket offer had long ago been cancelled due to lack of funds, anyone who wished to stay on a Commonwealth world was still granted citizenship. 

[6] The Russian colonies, while highly developed never quite got the same volume of citizens that the others got, this was mainly due to Russia’s low population but immigration was less encouraged than in many other cases.

[7] Technically, a star without a terraformable planet, most systems possessing jump stations at least had a gas giant.

[8] Privateering was never proved and both factions denied all allegations, still America built up a large space borne fleet at this time in order to protect its ships. This fleet continued to expand up until the independence wars and by that time the majority of ships were hidden in asteroid bases spread out across the solar system. It was never quite realised just how optimised the patrol ships were for taking and holding territory.

[9] Settling was merely the official term by this point. AMAn space was increasing at a ferocious rate due to the huge movement of people off the continent and occupation would probably be a more accurate term. Admittedly growth quadrupled with government assistance but there are tales of whole habitats levelled simply because they did not submit to the AMAn rule. These stories have never been conclusively proved.

[10] The final straw was the raiding of the Nova Maria, on route from Saturn to Earth, which vanished without a trace. People are outraged that something like this could happen in the very cradle of humanity.

[11] Though in some cases it is rather half hearted, for undisclosed but obvious reasons.

[12] The militias were always a hot topic, many argued that the effect of their few squadrons of fighters was not worth the cost and they could do no real damage against a proper military vessel. The counter to this was that most pirate vessels were lightly armed and armoured and a small display of force would send them running. Debates raged for years though no one deigned their use after the battle of Altair.

[13] America’s National Health Service is second to none at this point, with the possible exception of the new clinics on Altair, its pharmaceuticals were some of the most effective in the world and billions of pills were exported off planet each year.

[14] Despite the pharmaceuticals being years ahead of their time new developments were beginning to stall and there were some serious worries being voiced on the stock marked. Fortunately any falls in stock were compensated for by the American government.

[15] Arcturus was not very active in these discussions and it was already a member of the Commonwealth with appreciable amounts of independence. Still, a few were disgruntled over the amount of control the, no longer that much bigger, Earth countries had over them.

[16] Local figures usually show a large kill rate, more ground patrolled, and more ships saved, intercepted or taken than military forces in the area. Sadly the militias are a worrying development to most of the faction and so most were decommissioned, or at least significantly reduced, after the piracy scare ended.

[17] Famous groups include “The Black Hand”, “Thorn” and “Burning Skies” none of which were successfully brought to justice.

[18] Always the other sides’ bandits for some reason.

[19] America quickly moved to remedy this, launching a huge propaganda campaign against New Inca. It was disturbingly effective and many saw it as a sign that the world was falling into its old pre-derelict pattern.

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