With the participation of Gunner
Between the end of the 21st and the early 22nd century, the demography was such that the incessant wars, famines, water and energy scarcity will push the man to the stars.
The ion engine, used for several years to position satellites in orbit, used very small quantities of fuel to produce the necessary ions, but these engines were very slow.
The invention of the Fusion Engine allowed the exploration of space beyond the asteroid belt and probes were sent to Jupiter and its moons in search of water.
Meanwhile, the asteroid belt mining operations between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter began, which might be able to help to clear the lack of water because large amounts under form of ice was detected. But the first mining companies to be interested in this prospecting, did not by philanthropy but by greed, and fell upon the great opportunities that the asteroid belt promised. Later, miners whose working conditions and production rates were staggering, revolted and created in 2117 the first independent guild, who was later known as Ceres Independent Miners, its headquarters formerly located on this planetoid.
Always in search of new energy sources, a team of scientists invented exploiting the nuclear fission of the Sun. A first team was sent to conduct studies and in front of their success, gigantic ships were sent to capture the precious source. By interfering with the natural process of energy production from the star, it has accelerated its metabolism by burning him in his own fuel faster, thus shortening its life expectancy.
The effect on Earth was devastating: the mass evaporations became widespread, and the water became the most precious good of the planet.
While shortages worsened, the companies responsible for the belt operations kept up prices of the precious commodity, which reserved to the wealthiest The poorest were reduced to collect water from a rain became toxic by pollution and could not afford this vital element for survival. The riots became more and more frequent, and the law forces, completely overwhelmed, finally call upon private security companies, which were under the direct authority of the leading financial groups responsible for soaring prices of water.
The struggle for mineral exploration in the solar system became unmanageable: The financial companies, to protect their prospecting areas, built their own combat ships, and the inevitable happened: The first skirmishes broke out for possession of the most important deposits. The Unified Nation not having the same resources were under-equipped compared to deployed the means and increasingly, the gigantic consortia seized power in the solar system.
The situation worsening everywhere around the globe and the Sun declinating more and more, the United Nations voted in 2125 for the realization of an international space program for the colonization of space beyond the solar system and in 2132, significant progresses of researches concerning space propulsion allowed to design the first Warp Drive that allowed the exploration of nearby stars in the solar system.
The first test was launched in 2141, beyond the orbit of Neptune to avoid a possible disaster linked to the use of antimatter required for the engine.
The vessel as well as its crew disappeared and never returned.
Two years later, a new attempt was made with a recalibration of the instruments and engine. The destination was Alpha Centauri, located only 4.5 light years from Earth: A century ago, a sustainable planet was detected and all the hopes of humanity were directed to this Earth-like one, orbiting around a Sun-like star, and its orbital period was similar.
This Planet was named Centauri Prime.
The first settlers were scientists in charge to study the biodiversity of the planet and to define the future residential areas. The first modular housing were completed in 2152 and a large-scale exodus could finally be considered.
The colonization of Alpha Centauri continued with a slow and regular rhythm and so the man began his new life. The interstellar journeys making more frequent and almost commonplace, the former timescale based on the Gregorian calendar was no longer appropriate, was abandoned and replaced by a new one: the Standard Human Time ( SHT - see the XPlore Time Scale), based on the rhythm of a pulsar detectable all around a galaxy
As man ventured deeper into space he found worlds he could colonize deep in the thought that here they had a second chance where he must not plunder the resources as he had done so on Earth, and a new armed force was created: The UNSF.
This one were among others things in charge of enforcing rules to all, it limited the use of the Warp Drive to preserve some worlds from the abuse by private companies. The UNSF was also responsible for interstellar exploration and diplomatic meetings with potential new species, and barely a century after the beginning of colonization of Centauri Prime, the humankind had perfectly mastered its new environment, the exploration of the deep space allowing the establishment of the man in the neighbouring systems.
In 1098 SHT, the research led on Albert Einstein’s and Nathan Rosen’s theories to the mid-20th century led to the construction of the first Interstellar Gate. This allowed further explorations and regular trade with other systems around Alpha Centauri
New factions had emerged from the ashes of the old Terran civilization whose Pan Solar Prospecting, Eridani Combyne or Solar Biomedical, born of the merger of the former financial groups in the solar system. The exploration of new systems allowed them to establish their headquarters outside of Alpha Centauri, the UNSF slowing their expansion.
In 1114, an error in calculations during a warp travel brought an UNSF vessel in 61-Virginis, and in the same year, the first contact with another intelligent species was established. 1 year later, a first inter-species collaboration treaty was established.
A gigantic artefact of unknown origin is discovered in the outer border of Tau Ceti. This one turns out to be an interstellar supergate leading to 18-Scorpii, far beyond systems colonized by man.
The first contacts with Kashirii, an evolved feline species, were friendly but the discovery of lithium in abundance in the system attracted the greed of Pan Solar Prospecting which began mining operations without the approval of the Kashir government, a galactic war was just avoided during the sending of a diplomatic mission of the Unified Nations.
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