The Simplified History of Interstellar Expansion – Ilric Turner (2098-2243) Codex 231f65a-g32
Ø The effect of politics
.........>the acquisition wars and treaties
.........>the development of P.I.A.C.T.
Ø The important scientific discoveries
.........>artificial gravity generators
.........>the magnettodrive
.........>Roccia di Scoperta
Ø The major religions
.........>the Shinermatons
.........>the Beloved
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The Simplified History of Early Interstellar Expansion – Ilric Turner (2098-2243)

In 2009 the future of the world was changed when Islamic Terrorists finally succeeded in exploding multiple nuclear weapons on fifteen cities around the world. One of the first major changes this brought about was the creation of the world’s first fully autonomous anti-terrorist group. The Anti-Terrorist and Intelligence Resourcing Division was created from highly specialized agents and personnel from all the world's military, police and secret service departments. ATIRD was unique amongst earth governmental departments in that it had full autonomy. Answerable only to an internal code of conduct ATIRD was initially given an open ended budget with the sole purpose of protecting the world’s citizens, even from the governments themselves if necessary.

The necessity of this independence was hammered home when several corrupt politicians in the America’s were shown to be assisting terrorist activity through the “donation” of five platoons of the new military grade battle automatons in 2015. Robots that were used in a, thankfully unsuccessful, pre-emptive invasion of Renewed New York, over three hundred American soldiers and more than three thousand civilians died before the last of the battle bots could be neutralized. Three high level politicians, and more than a dozen political aides and civil servants involved in the trade were publicly hung in The New Times Square—an event that ushered in a new period of public execution and more than ten years of curfew in most American cities. Only information gathered by ATIRD, which the convicted politicians had attempted to squash by citing homeland security reasons, had kept the casualties so low.

Knowing this freedom of independence wouldn’t last, the heads of ATIRD used the skills and abilities of their people and by 2026 were fully self-funding and totally independent of any government. In 2027 the headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and all ATIRD buildings over the world became ghost offices and factories overnight. No trace of the organization could be found anywhere, yet it was obvious to anyone in power that their actions were still being felt in the political and military world.

While all of this political change was taking place the scientific world was having its own revelations. The 21st century was bringing about major revolutions in the automaton and space research fields. The first notable achievement was the colonization of the moon in 2008 through to 2011. The experiences learned from this endeavor led to a quick and successful colonization of Mars in 2014.

The huge influx of raw materials provided by a massive mining network on the red planet provided the resources for the States of the Americas, SotA (diplomatic maneuvering and several scattered wars had merged North America, South America and Canada into a single country,) to enable them to create the first workable space elevator. This enabled them to establish colonies on the moons of Jupiter.

Europa and Ganymede were to first to be colonized in 2026, with Io following soon after. Callisto was claimed as a colony in a hasty, and dangerous attempt by the Eastern Continent Alliance, ECA, after great loss of life. Consisting of the old countries of Russia, Germany, France, Poland, Norway, Switzerland and Scandinavia, the Eastern Continent Alliance was in the process of slowly invading and conquering the remainder of the European countries. Only some powerful, and previously undetected, weaponry of the British Isles kept those countries free from the ruthless invaders.

The ECA colonization of Callisto had consisted of five hastily patched together colony ships sent by regular rocket technology (the ECA not yet having developed the space elevator or off-world resources) to Callisto. Although it took almost three years of space travel the ECA beat the SotA colony ship to the barren moon by a mere three hours. The cost was extremely high, only two of the five ships, and 50,000 people out of the 250,000 sent, survived the journey. Half of those died while awaiting the supply ships which had been sent out a couple months after the colony ships had been launched and arrived half a year late.

Over the next few years the rest of the European continent finally came under the umbrella of the ECA, while Greenland and Iceland formed hasty alliances with the SotA. The Asiatic and middle Eastern Countries, worried about the increasing size of their traditional enemies banded together to form a workable, if unreliable alliance headed by China and known as the Council of Asiatic Unity, CoAU. The world, aided by the invisible touch of ATIRD, settled into an uneasy peace.

The colonization of Jupiter’s moons was a major stepping stone to mankind's next major scientific breakthrough—interstellar travel.

During the chaotic race to populate the moons of Jupiter no one had spent time to consider, in-depth, the effect of the huge, complicated magnetic and gravimetric fields that the planet and its moons generated. These effects had partly been the cause of the ECA’s massive failure in landing two of its colony ships safely, and had nearly caused the SotA’s initial crafts to crash. More seriously, none of the space scientists working on the colonization program had suspected that the gravitational and magnetic flux would have such a notable effect on the human body.

Medical staff on the deep space colonies were slowly inundated with a whole new family of peculiar illness and diseases that had never before been encountered, many of them chronic and fatal. In a bid to deal with this life loss, and an attempt to lessen the cost of sending a replacement workforce, the SotA invested billions of dollars into relevant research projects both on Earth and at the colonies.

Although the results, at first, were slow in coming the major problem, the fluctuating and sometimes crippling gravity, was eased by the development of artificial gravity machines. These crude, overly large machines, were able to create gravity zones within the colonies that were virtually free from the gravity flux in which sudden changes could bruise and damage internal organs and fracture bones.

Although static by nature enough of these machines could partially emulate Earth gravity over the entire colony, or at the least provide gravity health centers which could be used for the healing and well being of the colonists.

The second major discovery came about as the result of an accidental byproduct of the research into the magnetic flux fields. The contorted magnetic fields of Jupiter’s moons resulted in various enzymic and nerve related illnesses including space senility, where the fluids of the brain were drained, gravimetrically, from the tissue itself. This was ultimately a fatal illness where the nerve matter of the brain eventually collapsed on itself/ If caught early enough the condition could be treated, but the damage alas, was frequently irreversible.

In 2034 Dr Rhienlick attempted to neutralize the effect of a cross-magnetic field using a newly developed metallo-plastic material called, Closterium. After the minor explosion had left a three foot crater in the laboratory floor, scientists discovered the two small bars of material used in the experiment had been torn from their fixtures with a large, invisible force with the release of tremendous amounts of energy. Further investigations, (this took a little while as none of the original researchers and very little of the data survived the incident) and review of the computer data recorded by the sensors at the time of accident, revealed that for a split moment each bar had become a unique and isolated magnetic pole.

The sudden isolation of the magnetic poles had caused each bar to accelerate along the nearest planetary magnetic field towards it’s opposing pole (until the damage in the laboratory was sufficient that the energy supply to the Closterium was removed and the isolated pole effect dissipated.)

Enormous amounts of funds were redirected at this stage to investigate the phenomenon with the completion, in 2041, of the first working prototype of the magnettodrive. A large, bucket-like contraption that could be used to maneuver up to three people, three dimensionally, within a planet’s magnetic field.

Further refinement and research revealed this engine was sensitive enough to pick up solar magnetic fields out beyond the range of Pluto and the levels of research became intense. At the end of 2043 almost all commercial and military vehicles, particular intrasolar ones, had versions that were powered by the magnettodrive. This form of propulsion turned out to be particularly useful in inter system space travel as the magnettodrive could accelerate faster, and for much less power usage than standard drives—except for the accelerated start of a space elevator. It became the preferred method of propulsion though, simply because directional control was far easier with the magnettodrive. Several ships had been catapulted from SotA’s space elevator and miscalculations in the release time had subsequently caused the craft to exit the solar system and become lost.

Using a combination of the magnettodrive and ship born gravity generators researchers cut down the travel time between the outer colonies of Jupiter and Earth from years and months to a mere week or two.

While all these technology advances were being made the social and political structures on earth were undergoing a tumultuous shift. The successful nuclear terrorist attack led to a world wide fear of religious beliefs and a universal persecution began of all faiths. By the year 2023 the violence erupting from religious groups either defending themselves or striking back against the persecution had become so great that all the major powers in the world banned them. Those with strong religious beliefs who were determined not to give up their faith were forced into the battle scarred and desolate areas of the Earth where they could, barely, eke a living from the poisoned soils.

As the wars of acquisition continued and more and more places became contaminated or seared by the high tech weaponry, the world’s population migrated to safe areas. Cities and arable land became swamped with immigrants and resources such as food, oil etc. became less and less. In 2034, the catastrophic ignition of the underground oil beds in the Medditerranean—again by Islamic terrorists, reduced the world’s oil supply to disastrous levels.

The air pollution created by the inextinguishable fire caused a two hundred year color change in the sky due to the added particulate matter now present in the atmosphere. The increase in cancer related deaths also increased by up to 300% in some areas.

By 2039 the SofA, CoAu and the ECA, by unofficial agreement had implemented a world rationing system. Food, energy and even water was carefully controlled in most of the populated areas. In the sparsely populated areas, and uncontrolled regions, most of the few remaining people either starved or died from dehydration, those who survived and lived wild were little more than beasts in their struggle for survival. It was in these areas that the terrorists had been hiding from the armies and undercover forces sent to dismantle them. Modt of them died through starvation. It has to be noted, with some irony, that the demise of the terrorist forces responsible for the nuclear and oil bed fire attacks was brought about, ultimately, through the effectiveness of their own attacks against civilization.

Reverend Walt Shiner became a major driving force of the population in 2042. This resulted from the implementation of the Pinbrain Automous Action Act, PAAA, of 2027. This law opened the way for businesses to purchase automatons for the purpose of farming and fishing in areas now too toxic for normal humans to live and work in.

This act was ratified and monitored by the newly formed Territorial Regulations for International Officials, TRIO, task force. (TRIO was a task force loosely created by members from the three major powers. The task force findings, designed to enable the three powers to work alongside each other, were at best problematical and at worse, simply ignored.)

The announcement of PAAA had a profound effect on people. An instinctive fear of being controlled by a vastly stronger and more intelligent race, the automatons, bloomed alongside the hope that the man-like and women-like machines would be able to pull the human race out of the poverty pit they’d created for themselves. Never at anytime in the history of mankind has it’s people exhibited such a vast increase in personal and cultural neurosis. This neurosis increased exponentially with the development of emotive artificial intelligence, EAI. A government attempt to make automatons less threatening by enabling them to develop and exhibit feelings. An experiment that ultimately appears to have caused more problems than it solved.

All of these developments, along with Reverend Walt Shiner’s unusual personality, allowed him to examine new technology in a way that differed significantly to the average person. In spite of belonging to one of the many “banned” religions Shiner stepped forward, bringing the glare of public eye and the scowls of militant governments onto himself. Then Shiner publicly stepped down from his original faith and presented himself as a prophet of the new faith, the Shinermatons. (Historians have yet to determine which faith Shiner originally practiced since in 2056 his followers thoroughly eradicated all existing evidence they could find detailing his life before 2042.)

The Shiners were warily accepted by the World’s standing powers for two reasons, the first being their vow of non-violence. Shiners were persecuted for many years by their religious and atheist peers. The second point that put the Shiners in favorably with local governments was intrinsic to the teaching they gave. The Shiner church gave full power to the state and encouraged its followers to full cooperation with local and state government alike. It was this teaching, along with a love of the long despised government automaton programs, that softened the world leaders to accept the Shiners as an official religion. Indeed, for over a hundred and twenty three years until 2165, the Shiners were the only religious system permitted by the Earth and its various councils.

The Shiners beliefs were, at the time, considered as peculiar. Shiner believers almost worshipped, or at the least revered, machines. The more complex the machine the more the Shiners worshipped it. Some small house groups even went to the extent of bringing automatons and robots, albeit rather low intelligent A.I. machines, into their congregations. The expected results of this were to give the robots poor EAI a sense of belonging. This emotive factor became instrumental, a hundred and fifty years later, to one of mankind’s most important cultural revolutions.

In spite of its oddity the Shiner church gained in strength daily, until it had an official register of roughly 2.5 billion by 2075. This figure is considered to be a vast underestimate as many Shiners of the time were still wary of government persecution and kept their involvement secret.

Many theories have been put forward by sociologists, psychologists and historians as to the exponential growth of the Shiner church. Most, now, tend to favor the theory that the world’s people were tired of war, famine and drought and sought something to give them hope in a world that was slowly dying. The Shiners, with their talk of peace, cooperation and a common goal, most closely suited this need.

In 2046 another religious development occurred that would plague world peace and eventually bring violent outrage even to the edge of the solar system. All of the outlawed religions, driven by government persecution to the poisoned extremities of civilization and now with congregations depleted through violent death, starvation and lack of medical care gathered together.

With all local and world governments cutting off food, water and medical supplies the so called “true believers” did something truly amazing. They forgot, for the most part, many of their differences and, under the influence of Mahati Murrahhad began to align under one faith. With a new religious text, The Source, which was a blending of the various church teachings, Murrahhad drew the youngest and strongest of the abandoned believers into his sect known as the Beloved.

The Beloved became an anathema to the world’s government for exactly the opposite reason that The Shiners were accepted. The Beloved’s main tenet, a mantra often chanted by drugged and dazed believers, was to convert all others through means both violent and peaceful. All those who refused to convert, and anything or person connected to AI technology had to be “cleansed”. This usually involved execution, often through a slow and extremely painful process.

In complete antithesis to the Shiners the Beloved preached violence, war and victory in a message that was carefully hidden beneath a veneer of peace and love. The Source was written to be purposely vague, allowed Murrahhad and his lieutenants to easily allow a violent interpretation to anything that was said and done. Although not as popular as The Shiners, the Beloved’s following grew, yet due to its necessarily secretive state, the total count of Murrahhad’s followers wasn’t truly known, until it was too late.

The success, or more precisely, the lack of determination of the dangers of the Beloved lay partly with the rapid development of the magnettodrive and artificial gravity control technology. With the new, faster ships these inventions created travel within the solar system simplified immensely. This, combined with new mining techniques, and the development of accelerated growth farming on Venus, the fight for resources for Earth’s starving billions died away. The ECA, unwilling to take on the stronger nations of the SotA and the CoAU finally ceased its centuries long string of wars and conquest. The combination of resource riches and the end of the Acquisition Wars meant an odd type of peace settled over the Earth.

At the end of 2063 the commercial use of the magnettodrive increased to the extent that solar tourism soon became one of the most profitable businesses in the solar system. Especially tours to the outer solar system where new discoveries and exotic lifestyles were rapidly becoming the norm.

Dreamers, speculators and scientist began to wonder then if, and what, it would take to be able to visit stars beyond our solar system. Some of these people had the qualifications to research, others had the money to invest. The result was a flurry of laboratories which sprung up around Jupiter, most situated on smaller satellites (it had now become fashionable for the ultra rich to buy a small asteroid for a vacation home.)

This explosion of research continued until the asteroid named Roccia di Scoperta by its owner had a laboratory explosion that reduced the billionaires home, along with thirty servants and laboratory staff, to little more than microdust. In depth investigation of the explosion revealed it was caused by a sample of solidified elliope 395. This extremely rare and mildly radioactive gas, when taken below 135 degrees C condensed to a perfect slightly purple colored crystal. With care crystals the size of roughly three foot in diameter had been recorded up to that date.

Scientists on Roccia di Scoperta discovered that bombardment of these crystals with ordinary U.V. radiation such as that produced in normal sunlight caused an outflowing of energy that, pound for pound, was 10,000 times more efficient than any known energy storage system to date. It was this effect, in an uncontrolled condition of release, that had destroyed the asteroid. Even more excitement buzzed around the space exploration world when Professor Brauns, the well-known engine specialist, calculated that 1.833 tons of the now nicknamed Roccis di Scoperta, would provide a sixteen man crewed laboratory ship enough energy to reach Sirius and back. Albeit it would take a few lifetimes to travel that far, the door to exploring the galaxy was finally cracking open.

to be continued