(Thanks to John Rutherford)
The Creation of the Universal Calendar System
In 2858 UC (Universal Calendar) 2198 CE (Common Era, or Gregorian
Christian calendar) 1618 AH (After Hegira, ME or Muslim Era) a Congress
was held at Utopia Station, Earth Orbit, among other matters to
resolve practical problems, as well as religious and political difficulties,
caused by the use of different calendar systems. Representatives
of all ethnic, religious and political groups agreed to use a single
date system in all communications and creation of historical records.
The decision was made to adopt the commencement date of the Japanese
'national era' system; the date since the first Emperor, Jimmu or
Below are conversion tables adopted by the Utopia Congress; the
list is not exhaustive.
- To convert CE to UC ADD 660
- To convert ME to UC ADD 1240
- To convert Jewish Era to UC SUBTRACT 3101
- To convert Hindu Saka to UC ADD 582
Mankind has been in space for over a hundred years, and had extensively
colonised the home system before the first steps into interstellar
space became possible with the invention of the hyperspace drive.
The political groupings at that time were almost unrecognisable
by modern standards.
c.2190CE, 2856 UC major space political groupings prior to the
first solar expansion:
- HELIX BROTHERHOOD
- BOEING AEROSPACE
- CHURCH OF THE SEVENTH COMING
- FREE BELTERS
- MIZU ZAIBATSU
- SOLAR TECH
- [THE POPULATION OF EARTH] - At this time disorganised and in
an anti-scientific 'dark age'.
THE GREAT SOLAR SYSTEM EXPANSION OF 2836 - 2860.
The Belter scientific base on Oberon (the largest moon of Uranus)
led by Professor Mek Semaj announced in 2856 that they had
achieved communication with alien intelligence by unknown means;
and expected to have built a practical superluminal vessel within
five years. The resulting BATTLE OF OBERON (2857) to seize control
of this technology resulted in the destruction of human presence
on the moons of Uranus and much of Professor Semaj's work. It is
possible that Semaj succeeded in building a superluminal 'star-ship'
and escaping; though this has never been proved. A Peace Conference
was held in 2858 and agreed what became regarded as a highly satisfactory
and constructive outcome.
UTOPIA CONGRESS of 2858 UC
Key elements of the Treaty.
1. Remaining fragments of Semaj's work to be shared freely between
all of Humanity. Communication with the unknown ' alien intelligence'
was never officially restored, (although listening has taken place
intermittently ever since) but this information led directly to
the development of superluminal travel, and communication, by 2870.
The first step was the construction of CAMERON STATION, the
very first Hyperlynium Accelerator, at Lagrange 5 in earth orbit,
which was completed in 2860.
In addition, Semaj had collected clues as to the location of several
'Earth-like' worlds; listed in what became known as the SEMAJ
CODEX, this added impetus to a technological race to build practical
interstellar vessels and hence colony ships.
Following the Congress a period of peace and political consolidation
set in. By 2865 four major developments had taken place:
1. Most importantly, an economic and cultural renaissance had
begun on Earth. Led by entrepreneur and statesman GUSTAV MALD (?
2790 - 2880 UC) a new burst of high-technology expansion began on
Earth, initially centred on the Southern Hemisphere and Japan.
2. The Martian Helix, having abandoned its more extreme genetic
doctrines, had built a working relationship with the Belter peoples
and allowed limited exploitation of the Martian surface to take
3. The Church of the Seventh Coming had 'claimed' Venus; and also
claimed to have developed new means of terraforming it. They had
set up bases on Mercury.
4. The major spacefaring Corporations (NASA, Boeing, SolarTech
and Mizu) formed a Conglomerate (Terran Space Inc, 2864) led by
JEAN-LUC LETAPPIER (2820 UC - ) and were granted peaceful access
to terrestrial resources.
2870 - 2900 UC: THE SOLAR REPUBLIC AND THE FIRST INTERSTELLAR
The thirty years before 2900 was a period of increasing domination
of the Solar System by Earth and its Allies; and saw the creation
of Humanity's first extra-solar colonies. During the bloody so-called
RAZOR-BLADE WAR (2872-5) Earth had achieved planet-wide Unity. Earth's
increasing economic and military power (under the name of the SOLAR
REPUBLIC adopted in 2880) steadily forced all the statelets and
free peoples of the Solar System to accept her sovereignty; the
sole exceptions being Mars, which after a failed invasion by Earther
forces was given 'Protectorate' status and left under the day-to-day
jurisdiction of the Helix; and the Inner Planets of Venus and Mercury,
which were left isolated under Church suzerainty until abandoned
After a number of lethal accidents and lost prototypes, in 2870
LeTappier's engineering and science team built the first working
prototype superluminal ship 'PROMETHEUS' using Semaj's allegedly
alien-inspired theories and new discoveries made by Earther scientists,
including hyperlynium from the L5 Accelerator and Chen Kim-Prescott's
'M25 limit'. This first ship has a hyperspace velocity of
one light year per week.
Only a few months after the launch, the crew of 'Prometheus' discovered
the second earth-like world in 2870 in the Alpha Centauri system;
(1.3 parsecs) it was named 'GUSTAV' in honour of the First Citizen
of the Solar system. Euphoria gripped Humanity; but the colony was
destined for a sad fate only thirty years after its foundation.
In one of the greatest puzzles still facing science, it was found
that Gustav (Alpha Centauri 2) had an ecosystem based upon earth-type
DNA. While being a very difficult world with climatic extremes and
dangerous indigenous life-forms, it was clearly capable of supporting
human life. Its close range to Sol made a colony a very practical
proposition, and the newly formed ALPHA CENTAURI COMPANY (predominantly
a Japanese and American enterprise) arranged for millions of colonists
to move to Gustav. By 2900 Gustav's population was eight million;
but the ACC had made the catastrophic error of over-reliance on
Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) computers to manage the colony's
Colonial development During this period a number of other, much
less ambitious, colonies were founded, all technically under the
auspices of the Solar Republic. The dates given below are for the
colony's official founding, and [ ] its distance from Sol in parsecs.
- 2877 NASA  settled by citizens of Europe and North America.
- 2879 WOLF 359, [2.3] a debatably habitable world, was settled
by a small team of Pioneers from Great Britain.
- 2881 SIRIUS [2.6] A world of great potential was discovered
and one-third was granted to the Martian Helix by the Solar Republic;
the remaining two-thirds were reserved as a penal colony.
- 2882 STEELYARD  (later renamed HIGH LAND) settled by Incorporated
Space Traders of Japan and Luna.
- 2885 CANAAN  - (the Church of the Seventh Coming and the
Venerian Exodus;) the Church, and associated colonists of many
types, accepting that the terraforming of Venus would take many
more centuries, departed for a new world which they named 'Promised
Land' or 'Canaan'.
- 2896 HSIEN-TSU  (later renamed GLENN) was founded by Asian
and Australasian settlers.
- 2898 MIR  was settled by people from Russia and Africa,
with a presence by Incorporated Space Traders.
It is not the intention of this general work to describe in detail
the early history of these colonies; suffice it to say that the
colonists, with energy and determination, overcame both natural
hazards and internal conflict, sometimes exacerbated by interference
by outside Powers, to make every colony reasonably successful and
During this entire period, hyperspace travel was severely limited
by the expense and difficulty of constructing hyperspace engines
and hyperspace transmitters. Only a handful of HYPERLINIUM ACCELERATORS
were built and the number of operational vessels rose very slowly,
not least because so many were lost by navigational error, reactor
leak and numerous other mishaps.
By 2900 only 135 hyperspace ships were registered; most were small
(only twelve were of Class 5000) and interstellar commerce, including
emigration, was hence extremely small in volume. Exploration was
also very restricted; ship-owners were usually unwilling to risk
a valuable hyperspace vessel in unknown space, and so new systems
were explored only when it was apparent that a higher return was
likely than plying between existing colonies; which was rarely the
Despite this it has been rumoured that freelance explorers have
founded 'secret' colonies; worlds that await rediscovery by mainstream
2900 - 2930 UC: THE ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE WAR AND THE WEAKENING
OF EARTHER HEGEMONY
The increasing totalitarianism of the Earther rule was increasing
discontent, both on the planet itself and in its other domains;
for all of Humanity owed at least nominal allegiance to the Government
in Havana, Earth. Increasingly, allegiance was owed only in name
and the Republic came under terrorist attack. Campaigns of civil
disobedience and tax evasion became more widespread.
In the year 2900 came a bloody catastrophe, which slowed the expansion
of Humanity's colonies and cost millions of lives; the A.I. Disaster.
THE A.I. DISASTER (known to some as THE ROBOT WAR) remains,
in many ways, a mystery.
Controversy rages about what happened and why, but the results
were all too apparent. The War began in the Alpha Centauri colony
on 2900.123 when Gustav's Artificial Intelligence computer launched
an unprovoked attack on a group of Martian star-ships. It remains
unknown why the A.I. did this; sabotage and programming error have
been suggested. Unfortunately, the Martian vessels were equipped
with an A.I., which responded in kind, knocking out orbital defences
and bombarding the surface of Gustav. Human operators were powerless
to intervene as the battle escalated.
All who could do so, fled. Meanwhile, on Mars a similar or related
malfunction occurred, as millions of robots under central A.I. management
turned on the human citizens of Mars. Domestic, industrial, environmental
and transport control machines became, temporarily at least, lethal
enemies of humanity. Three million died in the City of Hellas alone
in what became known as THE ROBOT REBELLION [2900 126-29]. Martian
astronauts and marines succeeded in destroying the Martian A.I.
and its robot defenders [BATTLE OF STICKNEY 2900 UC] in the nick
Mars was shattered economically and still has not recovered fully.
Worse was the fate of Gustav. When explorers returned on 2900.242
they discovered a dead world, which had been thermo-nuclear bombed
and was in a deep nuclear winter. Of its population of nine million,
only the twenty-four thousand refugees who fled in a handful of
star-ships survived. The Centaur Corporation declared the planet
closed as a memorial.
The consensus among scientists is that an unknown saboteur introduced
commands into the programs of the A.I's of both Mars and Gustav,
triggering off a sequence of events outside human control. To prevent
a recurrence, such machines no longer have such autonomy, particularly
over weapons systems. Artificial Intelligence machines were violently
shut down throughout human space, causing the loss of vast amounts
of data, massive dislocation, and delay to many key scientific programmes.
The economic and human cost of the Disaster was huge; fourteen million
died and three trillion credits of colonial investment were written
off. Particularly for the Martians and Centauri colonists, the psychological
From these disasters, it became clear that sentient AI was not
a technology that could be safely used, and all polities agrees
to the first Stickney
Treaty - banning AI's forever.
2901- 2950 UC - HUMANITY RESURGENT
Since the A.I. Disaster the pace of colonial development slowed
down appreciably. Only two brand-new colonies formed, not least
because the Semaj Codex no longer had any helpful guides to the
discovery of earth-like planets. However, all the existing colonies
thrived, and some achieved the position of being able to finance
and equip their own expeditions to found 'grand-daughter' colonies.
Not least this has been because of the decision of the Solar Republic,
taken by First Citizen ABDULLAH DA SILVA (elected 2905) to encourage
colonies to build their own autonomous shipyards for the construction
of star-ships. The first of these new colonies were:
2909 NEW GUSTAV  also known to some as JABNEH - settled by
the surviving Centauri colonists and declared a 'robot -free' colony.
Has attracted rapid investment and has a fast-growing population.
2916 AGAMA  was founded by religious settlers from Israel,
Europe and North America, with heavy backing from Earthers and the
colony of High Land.
Mankind started to gain the sort of economic surplus necessary
to permit expansion.
2950-3196 : The Great Colonial Age
Gradually, colony world after colony world is finances and founded.
A huge variety of cultural and political diversity re-emerged,
and manking regained the freedom to be different. Overlying
this is the increasingly tighter control of the major powers over
the trade and political destiny. The major powers, unable
to engage in offensive wars of invasion against the economically
powerful homeworlds, conduct their rivalries by proxy amongst the
weaker and more distant colonies. Despite this conflict and
low level warfare, growth continues, but the end of this period
over 800 worlds are human inhabited.
Earth, under the pressure of a number of secessions and internal
dissention, reformed itself as an Empire.
3196-Present : The exterminator War
The first reports of unprovoked attacks of annihilation on human
colonies came in the latter part of 3196. Humanity in the
newer outer colonies, particularly in quadrants 5, 6 and 7, temporarily
set aside the intrigue and infighting and combined their forces
to face the first confirmed alien force. It transpired that
the enemy was a force of AI-controlled super battleships, unleashed
in or left over from some long-forgotten war.
The Exterminators were beaten back during bloody and hard fought
battles found during 3197 and 3198 across the affected quadrants
- cluminating in the location and destruction of two major Exterminator
bases. A temporary respite was gained for a few months, but
the middle of 3199 saw a change of tactics and a renewed offensive
by this implacable enemy.