The Terrans first started to reach into space in 1957 AD. By the earlyyears of the 21st Century the space around the Earth had become crowdedand the tensions between the various nations of Earth over their “rights”was increasing to dangerous levels. Thus it was felt that an impartialbody was required to control such matters as traffic control, allocationof radio frequencies, satellite orbits and the such like. To fill thisrole the United Nations Space Coordinating Agency was brought into being.Gradually, as the Terrans expanded further into space, UNSCA’s responsibilitiesexpanded with them. By the middle of the 21st Century, UNSCA had becomethe central regulatory body for space operations in the Solar System. Duringthis period UNSCA had expanded its sphere of operations to include a largeresearch component and it was this that was to change forever the courseof Earth’s history. In 2087 AD a UNSCA research team at under the leadershipof Dr Fawzi Kaukji in the Asteroid belt accidentally stumbled upon thesecret of jump drive (called Kaukji Hyperspace Shunt Drive or KHS Driveby the Terrans throughout the Interstellar Wars period).
Initially the poor understanding the Terrans had of hyperspace and graviticsciences generally meant that these early drives were woefully inefficientand lacking in range. The algorithms used by the Terrans were based largelyon observational experience rather than a sound understanding of jump spacetheory; and consequently their deficiencies were greatly magnified withincreasing distance, effectively limiting the range of these early KHSDrives to 30 AU. Despite these inefficiencies, the new KHS Drives werewidely used for intrasystem travel and they contributed greatly to theopening up of the solar system in the later years of the 21st century.Part of the savings in travel times made possible by the KHS Drives werepaid back to UNSCA as royalties, greatly contributing to the UN’s budgetleading to its eventual financial freedom from Earth’s nation states. Thiswas to prove vital; for the later years of the 21st century were markedby increasing tensions between the blocs on Earth (the nation states hadlargely been replaced in importance by multinational trading blocs duringthe first half of the 21st century). The new frontier of the space becameyet another sphere for these rivalries and this lead inevitably to themilitarisation of space in during the second half of the 21st century.
However it was inevitable that someone would eventually attempt to usethese KHS Drives to reach the stars despite their apparently limited range.Near the end of the century the algorithms used to calculate jumps hadbeen improved by trial and error to the stage where travel to the starshad become possible. During the last decade of the 21st century Earth’spower blocs were fully involved in a race to reach the stars. In 2093 ADPresident Margaret Inch of the United States set the United States SpaceForce (USSF) the task of reaching the stars. The first step was the establishmentof the Alan Shepard Deep Space depot between Terra and Barnard’s Star.In 2096 AD, the USSF completed the Starleaper I, a long range scoutshipfitted with the latest generation of KHS Drives; hence the scene was setfor the first contact between the Terrans and the Vilani at Barnard’s Star.Thus the Starleaper mission, intended as a triumphant demonstration ofUS technology, returned in secret to a closed session of the UN securitycouncil, bringing incontrovertible evidence that they had encountered notonly aliens, but that these aliens were Humans.
Contact with the Vilani was to have a profound effect on the Terrans;prior to the mission there had been much discussion as to the nature ofa theoretical alien civilisation, but no one on Earth had even consideredthe possibility of a “Human” alien civilisation. The Terrans entered aperiod of culture shock, unsure just what to make of the Vilani; most Terransregarded the Vilani as a threat, though initial a substantial minoritydid call for an accommodation to be reached and some (particularly amongstthe followers of the New Age Mystic religions) even sought to join the“superior” Ziru Sirka. However as the evidence mounted of the Vilani’spolicy of forcible incorporation of any race that reached the stars andit became clear that the Vilani culture was almost diametrically opposedto that of the majority of Earth’s citizens, attitudes hardened and theTerrans became increasingly antagonistic towards the Vilani. The militarybuild ups of the late 21st century continued and the various power blocson Earth vied with each other to “lead Earth against the Vilani menace”.Faced with the overwhelming size and technological advantage of the ZiruSirka the Terrans responded with a crash program to match or acquire Vilanitechnology either by research or simply reverse engineering purchased orstolen examples. By and large this program was successful and by the outbreakof the First Interstellar War the Terrans had already achieved tech level10 in a number of crucial fields (drives and computers), though certaintechnologies (most notably in the field of gravitics and related technologies)were to remain poor throughout the period.
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