Earth to Space - History of Humanity
This post covers the back history of the Dark Matter universe, which is the same universe as Shadowrun, only rolled forward 400 years.
- 2014 – 2075 - Shadowrun Timeline.
Sometime after 2075, no one remembers exactly when, the magic of the Awakening returned to its long slumber. Orks, Trolls, Dwarfs and Elfs began disappearing from the world. All that was left was man’s unhealthy obsession with ever-more-powerful technology.
- 2130 – Iron Wind (melding plague)
As the Nano-technology of the Shadowruners grew too powerful for humanity to fully control, a plague was eventually, maybe inevitably, unleashed on the world. A dust storm of indestructible, self replicating naites swept the lands of Earth. This was the Iron Wind, and where it blew all was undone.
These machines warp everything they touch, transmuting all matter. The Iron Wind storm twists the ground, turns rock into clouds of vapor, and creates new features out of thin air. And woe to any living thing caught in its passing. Trees become rocks, pools of water, or unrecognizable lumps of pulsing, living substance. The Iron Wind tears apart creatures only to rebuild them in bizarre, seemingly random shapes. Flesh is transmuted to nonliving substances, ropy tendrils, or even more alien configurations. Nine times out of ten, this transformation results in the death of the creature—sometimes a long, painful death as it tries to cope with its new form.
- 2144 – Corps blamed, government rises, power shifts
The Iron Wind was the tipping point that eventually broke the megacorps hold on the fate of Earth. This was a global threat that unified the world around its very own preservation. While the Megacorps angled for ways to profit from the destruction, humanity rallied around each other in a collective plea for salvation. The Newly United Nations was born.
As the winds of fortune shifted, each megacorp offered support, technology, and aid to the new UN in conciliation of the new governments rapidly amassed power.
- 2190 – Colonize mars, but some stay on earth.
A coalition of UN and megacorps, driven by the eventual extinction of humanity on Earth by the Iron Wind, established sustainable colonies on Mars.
Not all left Earth, not completely. They stayed in orbit around earth in hopes of finding a way to stop the plague. Some settled on the Moon and others found sanctuary underground where the wind did not blow.
Eventually two distinct governments formed. The UN retained the Earth and its inner planets while the Martian Government took Mars and its moons for its own.
- 2217 – Trion on venus, new technology, not alone in universe
During a scounting mission on the surface of Venus, a crew of scientists discovered evidence of life outside ourselves. A small abandoned bunker had been built 2 million years ago by a collection of three space-faring races. In it they left behind equipment, technology, and art.
The Trion Outpost remains one of the most studied artifacts in the known universe. Much of what we now reunderstand about life in space has come from this small building.
- 2238 – Epstein drive, colonize sol system, birth of OPA
Sol Epstein, like all engineers of the time, studied the Trion Outpost for insights. He hit upon a solution to a known problem with space travel of the time. Thrust was impossible to maintain with the current engines. Without constant thrust, you could not approach needed speeds in inter-system travel – the time needed was too high.
With his invention of the Epstein Constant Mass Ion Drive, the whole of the solar system became open to the people for settlement and mining. From this, we get the Outer Planetary Allegiance, an third government of people living at Kepler’s Belt or farther.
- 2271 – Dark Matter Conduits, colonize sol proximal systems
With the Epstein Drive, it became feasible to fund manned scientific missions to the outer planets. One of these missions was the Neberkenezer, first to discover the Dark Matter Conduit connecting our system with Alpha Centuri.
The inner workings of a Galaxy is much like those of an organic body. Each cell in a living body is provided a constant flow of oxygen by interconnected veins and arteries. So to, it seems, are the solar systems of the Galaxy interconnected. Conduits of Dark Matter flow between systems in a full circuit, exchanging matter and anti-matter. These conduits travel through a hyper layer of the universe, bypassing the speed limits of Einstein’s Laws. Their purpose is still a mystery, but their existence is no longer a theory.
With the revelation came ships outfitted to use the conduits as high speed passageways to distant systems. Dozens of conduits have been discovered within Sol system. Their use of Dark Matter makes their discovery a very difficult task requiring very close proximity with the right equipment.
- 2333 – Long Haul Conduits, First Contact, many more to come
After 60 years of mapping the conduits in the sol proximal systems, a deep space stringer team made a unique discovery. A conduit 10x larger and 10x faster than any found before. This was a Long Haul Conduit that connected Gloombridge to the vastly distance Gum Nebula, home of the Kesh.
As first contacts go, we could not have done better than the friendly Kesh. Just reaching the point of space travel, the Kesh welcomed an exchange of technology. Our knowledge of the Conduits for their gravity manipulation technology.
We would go on to find many more long haul conduits and have first contacts with dozens of main races and hundreds of sub races. Even so, we have only reached 1/16th of our own Galaxy.
- 2389 – Pan Dominion, Spere, CorpCore
Despite the obvious existence of an advance set of races in the Trion, of the current races we have met none can match our advanced knowledge in most areas of science and engineering. This was both surprising and disappointing to explorers. So many races, and yet none any more advanced then ourselves. Still, it keeps mankind at the top of the food chain so far.
A collection of the willing races, now with space-faring technology, naturally formed a coalition with the governments of Sol at its head. The Pan Dominion is a voluntary organization with tremendous benefits to inner-galatic trade and commerce. It is run by the AIs of old Earth who found new homes in the datahavens orbiting man’s home planet.
The Sphere is also an AI construct of limitless information available only to PanDo citizens.
Lastly, the old MegaCorps bid their time under the radar and emerged reinvented as intergalactic members of the CorpCore, an omni faceted loose organization of companies doing business out in the stars.
- 2475 – Today
Life today in the stars is not much different than Earth 400 years ago. AIs run the main seats of intergalactic power with mega corps vying for control. Here in the Sol System humans are once again on the brink of war with each other over the limitless space and resources around them. Out in the rest of the Galaxy wonders are awaiting discovery by those who have the courage to look.