2055 - Downhill Edit
A shortage of natural resources triggers a global meltdown as nations fight for control of scarce resources. What starts as a limited, strategic release of nuclear weapons snowballs into a bitter exchange of warheads aimed at civilian population centers. When the dust clears it becomes evident that a new way will have to be found to survive and to secure the raw materials needed for society to continue.
2060 - 2090 - The Extrasolar Colonization Plan EditWith the natural resources of the planet all but tapped out, and the continued survival of the human race at stake, it's deemed necessary to begin colonizing other planets. The decision to begin colonizing other planets and moons which can support life is made. A coalition is formed of the richest Earth world companies and governments, and called the UCN, or United Colonial Nations. They begin planing for their future.
In order to colonize the outlying planets, Earth has a number of things to do. These include:
- Taking the time to identify planets ideal for colonization.
- Developing space propulsion technology to travel near light speeds in order to reach the planets.
- Developing cryotechnology ('Ice-Nod', to send the crew/passenger into deep sleep for the duration of the journey to the target planets).
- Building the fleet of deep-spacecraft.
- Traveling to the planets.
- Building the infrastructure of society on the newly colonized planet.
- Transport network - roads/rail/tunnels.
- Energy creation and distribution.
- Communications networks.
- Manufacturing plants.
- Water and waste management.
The process of building and deploying ships will take upwards of 30 years.
As its in the UCN's best interest to support privatization for the sake of finance, they also allow other companies/governments to fund their own colonization projects, but under the strictures of the global (UCN) owners. Some immensely wealthy companies are also able to finance their own colonization, among them the Helghan Corporation, which has made itself a sizable fortune in energy and industrial refinement.
The global governments issue licenses to pursue colonization projects under strict criteria. Violation of these rules is considered a very serious infraction, warranting economic penalty. Continued infractions, depending on the circumstance, could result in anything from stiffer penalties, economic sanctions, and finally expulsion from the UCN to military action as a last resort.
2095 - 2110 - Exploration Edit
The first colony ships begin to leave Earth, bound for various planets within the Terran solar system. As colonization is still in its infancy, the UCN has not yet managed a way to skillfully deal with the massive amounts of administration necessary to deal with all these new colonies on top of their own significant requirements as a newly minted agency. They are, in a word, swamped. They rely on stiff economic penalties and overwhelming military force to keep the colonies and habitats in line.
UCN Defence Force Edit
The UCN retains a defense force levied from volunteers all across the colonies. Although many colonies still retain their own armed forces, the UCN Defense Force is widely recognized to have the highest technology and best trained troops. What they don't have is a lot of them. The UCN Defense Force is conceived as a temporary solution at best.
2111 - The UCN Survey of Alpha Centauri System Edit
The first ships, having left ten years ago, begin to arrive in the Alpha Centauri system. The system is a 'hub' system between Earth and the outlying proposed colony sites and thus will come to hold great significance in the years to follow. Initially two worlds are pinpointed for colonization: a rocky world around Alpha Centauri A, and a lush Eden planet around Alpha Centauri B. The UCN reserves the colonization rights of Alpha Centauri to itself - not opening them up for competitive bidding, according to its charter responsibilities.
2113 - The Inauguration of the UCA (United Colonial Army) Edit
The UCN Defense Force is dissolved due to allegations of incompetence, corruption and bureaucratic inefficiency. Part of this deal is the formation of the United Colonial Army, now the only legally permitted military force on Earth and her stellar dominions. The UCA Navy is the first service branch formed.
2116 - The Omen EditA cluster of six colony ships, Archon, Triumph, Pacifica, Jericho, Seraph and Harbringer, completely drop off the tracking imager during a particularly intense solar flare. Contact cannot be re-established with them. The last transmissions from the ships seem to indicate a catastrophic systems failure. At the time, all hands are presumed lost.
The loss of the colony ships is a significant financial hit for the UCN. They simply cannot afford to fund another interstellar colonization effort of the same scale, and the chances of a smaller colony failing are too high. In a mood of desperation, the UCN opens the bidding on the settlement rights for the Alpha Centauri system. After a highly competitive bidding process they are won by the Helghan Corporation. The post-bidding news is full of allegations of vote fixing and bribery - and much is made of the fact that the Helghan Corporation has a fleet of colony ships almost complete - but nothing is proven. Key to the success of the Helghan bid is underwriting and credit from the IBG (Interplanetary Banking Guild) in return for some 10% of colonial profits once the colony is established.
The journey is difficult at best, and although the 'Ice-Nod' chambers work well they do not work perfectly. 2% of the total Helghan population expires en route. Upon reaching the nearer planet, dubbed Helghan, there is some dismay as scientists realize that life here will be hard. Despite enormous free-energy resources, the eco-system on Helghan is extremely poor. A prefabricated space station is left in orbit around Helghan, staffed with volunteers who stay to seed the surface with automated refineries and power generators. The rest of the ships take a chance on their dwindling resources and push on to the second planet - which they name Vekta, after Helghan Corporation CEO Philip Vekta.