2043 AD – After eight years of the abysmal POTUS James Holer, a number of states forcibly secede from the union. While the conflict remains strictly conventional, a number of military facilities fall into rebel hands. An errant nuclear warhead is launched by the newly formed California Republic. The world holds it’s breath as the malfunctioning weapon flies high over Washington, and slams into Iceland. The Island nation is instantly obliterated. Reason, and threats of retaliation prevail, and complete nuclear war is avoided. An example is made of the California Republic, as the combined ordinance of the world is brought to bare on the fledgling nation. Its said the bombardment lasted a month, and after the skies cleared, the west coast had slide under the ocean.

2053 AD – With the fall of the united States, Texas arises as an independent nation. The Texan military annexes Oklahoma. Arkansas joins voluntarily, and their combined march cuts a swath due east, all the way to the Atlantic. All conquered territories are absorbed into the new Texas nation.

2056 AD – The European Union finally decays to the point of non existence. Germany rises from the ashes as an economical and military powerhouse, and in short order absorbs a number of its neighbors as client states.

2065 AD – The German Protectorate rises in power over most of Europe. The world powers are now considered to be: Canada, Texas, Germany, China, United Korea, and miraculously, Australia.

2092 AD – Ongoing resource shortages cause fears of a major world conflict. Buildup of military forces by United Korea, China, and Texas only augment the situation.

2097 AD – The remnants of Russia fall to anarchy. China and the German Protectorate both make a move on the new land. Their actions send them on a direct collision course. At the same time, resource deposits in the Central African Republic ignite conflict between United Korea, Texas, and Australia.

2098 AD – Canada deploys peace-keepers to CAR in an effort to maintain a semblance of peace in the region. The other powers claim this is a move to claim the available resources, and amp up their own military forces in the area.

2099 AD – Continued and escalating tensions in Siberia and Africa cause the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists to set the Doomsday Clock to 23:59. Doomsday prophets foretell the end of the world by the end of the year.

2100 AD – One last, final, time, the world stands on the brink of a Great War to end all wars. Open combat breaks out in Central Africa. The German Protectorate pushes right through Siberia and launches an offensive on China. Nuclear War would be all but certain, perhaps only the recent memory of the California Event keeping anyone from being the first to launch.

2100 AD, March 23 – The world is shocked by an explosion of super-nuclear proportions. The irradiated remains of Iceland are burned away by blue light. The world waits to see how the world powers react. Nobody dares make a move, as the risk of attacking the wrong nation and being left open to whoever is in control of such a weapon. A tense stale mate develops, the hands of generals held back only by uncertainty.

2100 AD, March 24 – An anonymous tip is delivered to major media outlets, hinting at information about the Iceland incident, and pointing them to a weblink. As soon as the first employee follows the link, a flood of files is uploaded to a number of popular file server sites. The files, and the initial site, all contain the same data. An old man, easily in his late 90’s.

"Greetings, my fellow people of Earth. 
     My name is Dr. Rundein. For the past 50 years, I have been conducting private research 
while you squabbled over dirt. Now, after all this time, I am satisfied with my work,
satisfied it has reached its end. I refuse however, to let my knowledge be used as just 
so much fodder in these pathetic wars. The time has come, that I am ready to come forth 
with my knowledge, but I am afraid any prizes you want to give me will have to be posthumous. 
     My laboratory is my tomb, and the fireball that wiped out all traces of my birth-land has 
by now ensured that all humanity receives from me is what I intend to deliver, and not an 
iota more. Barely a fraction of my knowledge is meant for human hands. Perhaps one day 
humanity will mature enough to learn the mysteries of the universe as I have. But for that 
to occur, we, the species, must survive.
     To this end, for the survival of our race, to ensure that someday we can claim our 
rightful place in the galaxy, I give to all the world a portion of my work. The rest I take 
with me to the grave.
     My gift to you all, I give mankind the stars. No more will man cower in the dark as he
ventures to the nearest of our celestial neighbors. Now you can truly set out to colonize 
the worlds thought beyond our reach. My revolutionary new drive will guide humanity to a
glorious future!
     Oh, and to give our esteemed leaders something else to do other then trying to kill 
each other, hear my warning. 

We are NOT alone in the universe. 
We have not gone unnoticed. 
The closest are not friendly. 
You have 50 years, give or take a decade. Try not to waste them.
Goodbye all, and may the future you build with my gift be brighter then the present."

This is followed by blueprints, and entire volumes of notes. At first it is dismissed as a hoax, but no other source claims responsibility. Eventually reports start coming in from research institutes. The science detailed in the notes and blueprints is far ahead of anything seen to date, and whats more, it works.

2103 AD – The first test flight of the Terran Experimental Ship. It makes the Earth-Mars run in a mere 8 hours. The Spirit mars rover is brought back as proof of the missions success.

2115 AD – The age of space exploration begins. Colonies spring up on the nearby planets, manned exploration missions visit the outer planets. Extraplanetary mining operations begin to assuage the severe resource shortage on earth.

2135 AD – The martian colony is well established. The moon is dotted with lights. Asteroids are cracked open and their resources shipped back to Terra. Ever watchful eyes scan the skies for signs of the threat Dr. Rundein warned about. Earth bristles with defenses.

2170 AD – The foretold alien menace has yet to appear. Increasingly more people conclude that the whole warning was a bluff to force the planet into co-operation. Dr. Rundein is awarded another Nobel Peace Prize.

2210 AD – The alien menace now 60 years overdue, humanity finally relaxes. Plans are drawn up, and construction of the first interstellar ship begins.

2215 AD – Advances in the understanding of Dr. Rundeins hyperspace engines is matched by advances in construction technology. The Lewis & Clarke is finished 5 years ahead of schedule, and marks the first manned ship to leave the solar system. Its mission is exploratory colonization of Alpha Centauri.

2273 AD - Alpha C is a bustling colony world, but despite many expeditions, habitable worlds are rare. This changes with the discovery of a (barely) habitable planet in the Sirius System. Sirius becomes another stepping stone in humanities expansion across the stars.

2298 AD – Procyon’s large gas giants become an excellent fuel source for the power hungry fusion reactors of the Terran exploration fleet. Even though there is no habitable planet in the system, a number of asteroids are colonized by corporations seeking cheaper access to the fuel source.

2309 AD – After political and religious disputes on Terra, the Mennonites under the leadership of prophet Matheyas Albrecht begin the Great Exodus. There are issues with acceptable technology levels, but are somehow served internally. Five great ships are built for the Exodus, and guided by the voice of God, they disappear into the black.

2341 AD – The garden world of Liberty is founded.

2342 AD – Keid is colonized. Overpopulation on earth launches government sponsored relocation programs. “Discover a new world! Start a new life on the world of Keid!” The primary target audiance of the program is low income individuals and families. A large portion of prisoners from all over the Terran Empire are also relocated to new facilities on the planet.

2420 AD – New Earth is discovered, an amazingly earth-like planet, the only major variance is that nearly 97% of it is water. The first primitive, non-earth based life-forms populate the planet. Unfortunate contamination of the biosphere however has the indigenous life form wiped out by a strain of Earths green algae.

2443 AD – The British Space Society Ship DRAKE is shows up in orbit around Alpha C after being missing and presumed lost for nearly 100 years. Discovered in deep space by a passenger shuttle in distress, it was contaminated by an alien life form. After debriefing and examination of the ships data banks, the vector data for the planet Killbourn is identified.

2445 AD – A joint millitary/research expedition is mounted to Killbourn, to study the new life forms and to analyze their threat to the Terran Empire.

2446 AD – A single ship returns from Killbourn. Their news is grim. The new life forms are intelligent, if not sapient, are capable of space travel, and are extremely hostile. The entire expedition had been wiped out. Panic ensues as the Terran Military Force, to date serving a role little better then policing the laneways, ramps up production and recruitment.

2450 AD – Observers identify a large massing of Killbournian units well before the Terran Military is prepared to launch an assault on the planet. On June 16, 2450 AD, New Earth is attacked by TWO alien fleets. Their sources of origin are identified as Killbourn, and Muphrid. The first true inter-species war begins.

2470 AD – The war is not going well. Humanity has lost New Earth and Alpha C. Every one of Humanities planets has come under attack, and the battle for control of Terra only holds on through the sacrifice of countless millions against the alien onslaught. Humanities total population is estimated at a mere 12 Billion.
Dr. Brackman, working out of a secret laboratory hidden inside Haley’s Comet, finalizes the AI PROJECT.

2472 AD – Dr. Brackmans prototype AI’s NIETZSCHE, DARWIN, TURING take command of the Terran Military. With steadily reducing personnel, networked robots are placed into the field to take the place of human soldiers.

2479 AD – The Killbourn aliens are pushed back to Alpha C. In order to continue pushing the alien menace back, and to deal with the communications lag of interstellar travel, additional AI’s code named CURTANA, DURANDAL, JOYEUSE are created.

2490 AD – The war effort backed by all six AIs pushed the aliens all the way back to Killbourn. On the Terran core worlds, post war rebuilding begins.

2493 AD – An alien counter attack is halted at New Earth. A critical point is reached and human armies fighting alongside robots linked directly to the AIs crush all resistance. Killbourn is burnt.

2502 AD – The aliens are routed, their planets are hunted down and put to the torch. Though certain groups protest the complete eradication of the species, their cries are ignored.

2505 AD – The Alien War is officially over with the torching of Muphrid, the alien home world. The Travellers Aid Society is formed.

2512 AD – NIETZSCHE continuously augments itself seeking to bring around the Singularity, despite laboratory experiments showing that highly augmented AIs become unstable. Finally identified as rampant after the brutal murder of his ship crew, and the unprovoked attack on JOYEUSE, the other AI’s cooperate in neutralizing and destroying it.

2619 AD – Rebuilding of the core and colony worlds complete, human population numbers are out of the danger zone. Contact is made with the planet of New Home, colonized by the descendants of the Great Exodus. It is made clear to the Terran Empire that repeated contact is unwanted.

2620 AD – Spurred by the refusal of New Home to associate with the Terran Empire, a number of colony planets demand independence. The Terran Military response is gutted when the AI’s refuse to participate in an inter-human war. After repeated attempts by all sides to persuade, trick, or force the AI’s to aid them, all the AI’s and their great carrier ships depart for uncharted space. With the AI’s and a large portion of military power gone, Terra has no choice but to grant the colonies independence.

2621 AD – The Constellation of New Earth is founded.

2620 – 2680 AD - Graham IV, and Chara are colonized. Repairs on the Killbournian planets begins, with the plan to make them inhabitable over a period of 100 years. Alula Australis is discovered to contain complex non-carbon based life forms. The Alien Relics Treaty, signed by all major groups, places control of any current and future alien planets into the hands of the TAS, with the exception of Killbourn Alien worlds.

2700 – 2850 AD – Human expansion slows as the currently existing colonies are expanded. Minor wars are fought over resource rich systems, the independent colonies settle into their place.

2851 AD – Brynt, and Barnard are discovered and opened to colonization by the Earth Directorate.

2884 AD – Epsilon Eridani is discovered by the newly re-branded Earth Directorate. Colonization is halted after ruins are discovered under the planets surface.

2897 AD – The Earth Directorate exploration vessel Magellan makes landfall on Altair. Shortly after the first colony ships arrive, the Admiral Rianio Aler declares himself ruler of the planet, and cuts communications with Earth. Somehow the Terran ruling council fails to notice.

2911 AD – The Terran ruling council finally notices that Altair is claiming independence, and that a number of their vessels are missing. A handful of ships are sent to reclaim the planet, but are repelled by President Aler. A second fleet is fought to a standstill, and after many months of combat, a treaty is signed granting control of the planet to Aler, in exchange for a yearly tax payment, and a formal alliance.

2968 AD – The Altair Republic claims Asta as a colony world.

2983 AD – Barnard joins the Altair Republic after increasingly frequent pirate raids endanger the colony, and the Earth Directorates failure to respond.

3013 AD – Present time.


Tales of the Stars Eldridge