In the year AD 2089 the International Council of Space Exploration, in collaboration with the governments of China, Russia and the United States declared a new era. The timescale as had been known by the Human race for thousands of years had been reset as the era of Unified Human Space dawned.
Thirty years prior, a group of scientists known only as Centauri discovered a revolutionary new technology. Using magnetic fields and frequencies of light, they were able to access what is now known as subspace. The governments of every nation on Earth turned their full attention to Centauri. Behind the veil of secrecy, Centauri discovered that subspace energy could be harnessed, but before the technology was brought forth Centauri vanished. All records disappeared and not a trace remained. Their name became a ghost within the government, mentioned but never seen.
In the years that followed, advanced technologies allowed for the advancement of space travel and the colonization of Mars. A process known as terraforming converted Mars' barren deserts into rich ecosystems full of microorganisms, and dome superstructures housing millions of people riddled its flat planes and deep valleys. To the ICSE, Mars was a success and lead to ventures further away in the Solar System. Ships created by the International Space Association, the division of the ICSE in charge of construction and operation of government-owned space exploration and planetary terraforming vessels were dispatched on a nine-month voyage to Europa, one of Jupiter's hostile but deemed-habitable moons. Seven months following the launch of the Terraforming fleet it disappeared. The ISA was panic-stricken, and the outcome was chaos. When at last order was restored, many dozens of satellite probes were send to investigate the disappearance of the hundreds who embarked on the journey to Europa.
It was two years before the remnants of the colony ship were discovered, stripped of its electronics and much of its hull, and void of life. Mission control watched in awe as visuals of the abandoned wreckage reached earth. Several minutes later, in a flash of light, transmission ended. The satellite had been destroyed by an unknown entity. Upon reviewing the data, the ICSE issued an immediate order to the Interspace Defense Consortium, the military division of the ICSE, to evaluate the apparent threat. Three months later, after the departure of a strike force, the light fighter craft arrived at Europa. They were greeted with hostility. Six battered by heavily armed stationary turrets fired upon them. Only one survived. Diplomacy now impossible, this marked the beginning of the four-year Jupiter Civil War. The IDC wreaked havoc upon the rebellious colonists who had once devoted their lives to expanding the Human race. They fought valiantly, but the limited technology that had been harvested from the wreckage of their colony ship was out-dated and unable to fend of Earth's warships.
Following the defeat of the rebel colonists, an immediate assimilation of the mining and dome facilities built on and around Europa occurred. They were expanded and Europa terraformed. The asteroid belt began to flourish. As space travel between Earth and Jupiter be came a couple weeks' journey and the price of ships diminished, traders and miners began to infest the belt. Asteroids were strip-mined for their abundance of raw materials, and pirates began to raid ships more and more methodically than ever. In response, the IDC deployed fleets and automated turrets in strategic places throughout the belt, struggling to control the pirate threat. Every-day life became a clash against death for captains. What had been started would lead to a technological revolution, the likes of which had never been experienced before by Humankind.
The IDC's sensor arrays, place to help detect pirate threats began to pick up abnormal gravitational disturbances along the inner edges of the asteroid belt, just beyond the reach of Europa's long-range sensors. At first, it was dismissed, but tales of blinding flashes of light and bursts of gravity sucking traders inwards before vanishing without a trace forced the IDC to investigate.As the investigation drew near the source of the disturbances, the veil of secrecy was thrown asunder and the long-forgotten Centauri made a public appearance on Europa. They presented a new technology that allowed ships to travel to other solar system in a matter of days. It was not until it was demonstrated that people believed it.
The Massive "Subspace Accelerator Ring", as it was called, was hauled in pieces to Europa, where it was reassembled and powered up. In a blink of an eye, a brilliant flash of light a massive gravitational singularity, the small, one-manned shuttle disappeared and reappeared outside of Earth's orbit. The ICSE rapidly adopted the technology, integrating it into society. The Human race once again sought expansion. Entire systems that were previously far beyond reach were easily accessible and what was once few became many beyond belief in a matter of decades. There had not been a period of technological advancement like this in nearly fifty years. But with new technology came new threats. Having been infiltrated by pirates, Centauri's latest technology, the ship-board S.A. Ring was stolen and used by pirates to raid traders and miners alike. And with this technology they made their quick escapes, wreaking havoc upon society.
Through the chaos Humankind continued to expand. In the year UHS 311, a strider class deep space exploration vessel, equipped with a ship-board S.A. Ring, jumped into a solar system inhabited by an alien race. The newfound sentient beings were peaceful and welcoming, and both governments immediately opened diplomatic negotiations. Within months, a treaty was signed. Following the finalization of the peace treaty, the Olympians as they called themselves, shared much of their wealth of knowledge with the Human race. Their basic technology was very similar to that of the Humans, though their weaponry differed in that they focused on beam technology rather than projectiles. In an effort to control crime in ICSE space, the Olympian beam technology was banned. However, pirates who got their hands on them terrorized all who stood in their way.
As tensions due to pirate attacks on Olympian traders built up between the ICSE and Olympian governments, a series of warnings were issued from the Olympian government. If the ICSE could not contain its criminals, then the Olympians would have nothing to do with them. After a series of brutal pirate attacks on two Olympian convoys returning from ICSE space, the Olympian military was mobilized to deal with the threat. Upon entering ICSE space uninvited, war was declared on the Olympians, marking the beginning of the first Olympian War. It lasted only four weeks and two devastating battles, leaving both sides crippled beyond belief. Both militaries had been completely destroyed, leaving almost every planet defenseless. Pirates who had been hidden for years emerged into the undefended space without hesitation, capturing two planets before there was enough of a military rebuilt to ward off the relentless pirate raids. The damage dealt to the IDC by both parties left the Olympians victorious. While no territory was gained, nor lost, both races were hostile to each other for many years to come.
Nearly twenty years later an ICSE probe sent to explore beyond Olympian space discovered another advanced race. Despite hostilities between the two races, the ICSE contacted the Olympians for advice. This was the first act of friendship in years. The Olympians described past experiences with the deemed-hostile aliens who they called the Wretch. Puzzled at the Wretch's hostility, the ICSE sent a one-manned scout to attempt to make contact with them. The Wretch were neither responsive, nor surprisingly, hostile.
Regardless of recent acts of peace, tensions once again began to rise between Humans and Olympians. An IDC warship unintentionally fired upon an Olympian shuttle transporting an official through neutral space. This time, the Olympians declared war on the ICSE. The second Olympian War now commenced. Both governments once again drew from their vast military, this time far more strategically. Battle after battle, the war raged on for two years. Exhausted of their military, the technologically inferior IDC lost for a second time. And yet, despite the victory by the Olympians, there were no terms of surrender. They simply drove the IDC back to their territory and let them be...
You feel a tap on your shoulder and look up from the computer terminal, surprised that you had been singled out among the hundreds of people roaming the spaceport around you.
You swivel your head and focus your eyes on the tall, slender, grease-covered figure of what appears to be an engineer. You look at her surprised. She begins to speak to you in a soft and almost shy voice.
"I couldn't help but notice you reading some historical logs. Are you new around here?"
Startled that you stand out so much, you slowly reply, "Um... Yes, I just left my family's estate to be a captain..." You continue, "I had no idea of the history of the IDCE, ya see, where I come from education is very limited."
She raises an eyebrow, suddenly looking much more confident. "Oh! So you have a ship, do you?"
Had this been anyone else you would be annoyed, but her gentle beauty mesmerizes you, despite the grime she is covered in.
"I do, but she's not up and runnin'. Got a bit of repairs to make," you tell her proudly. "What's your name, anyways?"
She replies to you with a giant grin full of straight, shiny teeth, "My name's Kate, sir, Kate Sayen. How would you like an engineer? I don't ask for much but a ship to stay on and care for and meals to keep me fed!" Her excited and cheerful expression makes you smile.
You lead her to your ship and tell her to show you what she's got. Within a week, to your surprise, she has the ship space worthy.
"Amazing!" You are impressed. "I think I'll keep you!"
Marveled at the idea of already having such a wonderful crew member, you examine your ship one last time before embarking of your maiden voyage and fulfilling your dream, so satisfied with your life now, unlike ever before.