1.0 – Space, the first boundary
Friday, 6th December, 2069. A combined EU-US spacecraft named ‘Endeavour’ is launched from lunar orbit. This craft has the first Faster-than-Light (FTL) drive manufactured by the human race. It’s destination is Barnard Star, a red dwarf star approximately 6 light years from Earth, one of the three components of the Alpha Centauri system. It takes the Endeavour a little over six weeks with its crew in a suspended state to arrive.
At this stage, no FTL communication exists, so as is now known by every schoolchild in the Imperial States of America public education system, Captain Ballard and his crew were awoken by the ships automated systems, performed their various experiments, refuelled the Endeavour using their solar sails, and ‘Jumped’ back to Earth.
They returned to Solar orbit on Thursday, 6th February, 2070. The Human race had successfully left their home star, what would become known as ‘the flight’ had begun.
Earth had not fared well in the preceding half century, wars over limited resources had broken out regularly, only the threat of nuclear war had preventing an escalation to a Third World War. But at the same time, the collapsing nation states had so many internal troubles that it would have been almost impossible to wage wars on any grand scale.
As the post-war political systems of the west failed to deliver upon the promises of a better world and corporate corruption grew, the electorates of these states started to turn inwards and elect any demagogue that promised what they wanted to hear, Jobs, Welfare, Security, a future. None of the fools could deliver this, their vested interests prevented any real international co-operation, the environment suffered, rogue states waged covert wars against their neighbours, democracies were subverted, the future of the human race was bleak.
Set against this background, the inventor of the FTL, Professor Has’Maq, had created a chance for those people who still wanted a brighter future, a way to escape the disaster that Earth was becoming.
Many would take it.
At first, many FTL capable probes were sent out to the stars, all automated, but required to return to Earth with their findings, as still no FTL communications existed.
As the information flowed back to the various bodies on Earth, Corporate, National, Private and Religious interests all planned their own expeditions to the stars, to Colonise, to Exploit, to Explore, to Expand or to Prosthelityze. And almost every single group was determined to to ensure that ‘they’ would be the ones to dominate this race to the stars.
Earths already limited resources became the focus for all the parties who wished to leave, and those who wished everyone to remain. The brushfire wars expanded, the previous self-imposed limitations on the use of Nuclear, Chemical and Biological weapons were ignored, the environment suffered terribly, and the Human Race came perilously close to the brink.
But clearer heads prevailed, it was agreed that those who wished to leave could do so, but that they would repay the investment of Earths resources on their craft several times over. No-one realised it at the time, but this would become the most fought over agreement in Human history in the centuries to come, it would prove to be a terrible mistake for those that left.
Corporations, Nations, Religions, Private Groups all built their own FTL colony ships in Orbit, in some cases whole cities on Earth were stripped to obtain the necessary resources (and population) to complete these ships, and in late 2077, the first ships departed Sol to far flung stars, ‘the flight’ had begun in earnest.
Tens of millions, and finally hundred of millions of people left Earth, at first reducing the material, political and social tensions as those most determined to go were amongst the first to leave. Over the next 20 years, every major body on Earth founded colonies in the stars, and many minor ones also.
A trickle of resources returned from the colonies at first, and then steady flow, stabilising Earths perilous state, but never truly fixing it, as again, vested interests used these resources to gain advantages over their ‘enemies’, not to rebuild that what hat been destroyed by almost 5 decades of strife and conflict.
For almost a century things were stabilised, colonies grew, more were founded, and Humans spread further into the stars than anyone had initially thought possible.
Out there in the dark, the Human Race has cast its seed wide.
2.0 – Redemption Song
With some of the most vigorous elements of Earths population having departed (and departing) for the stars, Earths remaining population continued along the same path for a time. The steady flow of resources from the Colonies combined with the reduced population stabilised the situation, but of course, Humans being Humans, many of the remaining power groups used their increased resources to try and take more from the other power groups.
The ‘flight’ had only slowed the decay, not stopped it.
Earths environment was damaged even further by the increased industrial capacity the resources of the Colonies allowed, no-one really to environmental technologies seriously, as these would reduce the profits from their factories, the brushfire wars continues, atrocities were committed, scandals flourished, corruption became endemic, Earth was a cess-pit.
Some time in July, 2177, a group of citizens, churchmen of all faiths, a few extreme politicians and radical environmentalists from around the world met in Dayton, Ohio. They would eventually become the ‘redeemers’, but at this time they formulated an extreme plan of what would be required to save humanities home. They produced the ‘Covenant of Redemption’, a politico-religio-environmental manifesto of what they saw as the only path to redeem Earth from it’s current state.
They were mercilessly derided in the media (completely in the thrall of the very parties they were set against) and openly mocked in the various political and financial arena’s. Made out to be be ye another faction of misguided and deluded souls who had no understanding of the realities of the world.
But the covenant struck a chord, hundred’s of thousands of people throughout Earth (and many in the Colonies) heard the call. They flocked to the new Redeemer Institutes in the Unites States, Great Britain, France, Mexico, Japan, Germany and Russia. As their numbers grew, so did their influence, politician were elected in many states on the ‘Redeemer’ ticket, the existing powers reacted harshly, using laws to prevent foreign interference in their electoral process, they tried to crush the Redeemers by mass arrests, seizures or properties, and sometimes outright assassination.
Many witnessing the oppression seen a chance for real change, they took the covenant and joined the Redeemers, suddenly the established leadership in several states found themselves in the minority, the Redeemers had the numbers for electoral victory, even after the numbers were ‘corrected for bias’. Military units were ordered to suppress the Redeemers, some did, but in several states, particularly the Unites States of America, whole divisions went over to the Redeemers, protecting the communities they were sent to crush.
The presidential election for 2184 was a landslide victory for the Redeemers, they won 80% of the vote. Opposed by Corporate Media, Vested Interests and the Financial Systems, they seized the levers of power.
The first Redeemer President, Alice Mulligan, took office over a country ravaged by the greed of the previous generations, Disease, Pollution, Corruption were rampant. Their victory had also caused a capital flight, the previous entrenched leadership having seen what’s was to come, fled, and took whatever they could carry with them.
At first the Redeemers took to massive cleanup projects, trying to restore the United States. Vast toxic wastelands were recovered, abandoned cities levelled, and sometimes rebuilt, segregationists elements were dealt with. Negotiations were held with the larger Colonies to provide more aid, and it was forthcoming, speeding the recovery process.
A Redeemer government also won a majority in Mexico, in an even more viscous campaign backed by the Cartels, Corporations and Existing leaders, desperately trying to hold the Redeemers back. Presidente Calderon’s first act was to propose Union with the United States. Civil War broke out in Mexico within an our of his request. American units were deployed to Mexico to protect the government, the ‘reactionary’ forces were defeated in under six months, and in November 2187, the 31 states and 1 Federal Entity of Mexico joined the United States.
The rest of the world watched, Redeemers were not quite so powerful in Western Europe, Great Britain excepted, but they could see what was coming. The EU split into a French and German led Blocs, both with their own solutions to the problems facing them, both also trying to resist the Redeemers growing political influence. (Russia, China, Indian, Australia, Africa ??)
Several of the old remaining leaders in North America had worked their way into positions fo influence within the Redeemer ranks by this time, they knew they had to bide their time, but if they were careful, they would resume something like their old positions.
The 2188 US elections provided the Redeemers with another landslide of 90% of the vote, unkind observers would state that the Mexican population, that had been at peace for the first time in a century would have voted for anyone, but it could be said this opinion was also unappreciative of the realties of Mexican living.
In 2190, the Dominion of Canada, the Republic of Guatemala, the Republic of Nicaragua and the Republic of Honduras all petitioned to join the Unites States. All were accepted within the first three months of 2191. The American government issued the ‘Mulligan Doctrine’, stating that they Cartels, in their continued resistance to the Covenant of Redemption, were enemies of the Human Race.
American forces invaded Costa Rica, Panama, El Salvador, Belize and Colombia.
A combination of overwhelming force, local Redeemer support, a lack of political will and hatred of the Cartels provided the American with a victory in a little under a year.
The Election of 2192 provided the Redeemers with 93% of the vote. The constitution was amended to allow a president to serve four six-year terms, and in keeping with Redeemer doctrine of ‘redeeming gods kingdom on Earth’, the United States of America was renamed the Imperial States of America, and the first Imperial President, Alice Muilligan was inaugurated.
In Great Britain and Iceland, the Redeemers won the national elections by massive majorities, both recognised the Imperial States of America, and joined as member nations, further increasing the Redeemers power on Earth.
The Commonwealth collapsed, a few member states remained, notably India and Australia, but the rest no longer participated.
The major independent Colonies of Barnard, Hausver and Templeton all joined the Imperial States, but many of the original American and British colonies did not, the declared independence from their parent nations and several joined into a Confederation, both British and American colonies, to resist the influence of the ISA (Imperial States of America).
By the year 2200, the political spectrum of Earth and her colonies would go through tectonic change.