More oddly was the increased awareness and acceptance of human psionics. Over the last century we have been noticing more and more strange cases and tales of supernatural abilities. These were before seen as hoaxes or just unexplainable events, but later as technology advanced more and more cases were documented, skepticism toward psionics started to quiet. Whether this was due to careful observation or a new evolution in humanity is unknown. Regardless, the tide of evidence became undeniable, but still the fraction of population with these talents remained very small.
In 2047 the invention of the fusion generator spawned the Fusion Age of man, and the energy crisis that plagued nations became a thing of the past. With fusion torch propulsion we got our first expansion into our local worlds. Colonies on the moon and mars started popping up around 2064.
Medical science started reaching great strides. Solving the mysteries of the human body caused the average human lifespan to reach 150 years. Cancer followed polio and typhoid into oblivion. Genetic engineering allowed for some of this, and some countries began producing clones en masse.
Then in 2106 the mass reactor is born. Studies in high-energy physics and advances in studying subatomic matter created this wonder. Utilizing dark matter this new generator had higher output than the fusion reactor, could be miniaturized, and never needed refueling. Ironically this invention rushed humanity forward in advancement and lead to our first interplanetary wars as we expanded further out into our system.
Despite all new advancements and strides in technology, anything beyond our system remained out of reach. We were still imprisoned within the confines of our solar system.
|First contact negotiations.|
The contact with the Fraal spurred many changes. Discovery that we aren't the only sentient life in the galaxy produced much turmoil as well as hope. All the Fraal really wanted is acceptance into our species and a home, and they would share with us their technology and guidance, especially in psionics, as they were a race all naturally gifted with the power.
With the 2 races combining technology, the stardrive is born in 2160. A powerful engine that moves ships into another dimension called drivespace, where physics and space travel are different.
With this technology, humanity expanded into the stars, and several stellar nations are formed, most based on corporations claiming planets. Stardrive also created the means for interstellar communication, as VoidCorp created the first drivespace communication satellite (called a drivesat) in 2193.
Need for expanding further and further out, spawned the first fortress ships. 3 kilometer long star vessels would house thousands of sentients and the galaxy's largest stardrive engines to date.
|The great fortress ships ferry forth into the stars.|
The Galactic War had ended, but the fighting didn't. Small skirmishes and tensions boiled between nations over minor disputes. But despite the conflict and aftermath, expansion continued further and further out.
Expansion continued into the verge, a distant cluster of systems far from the reaches of the rest of the stellar ring. Rich in resources and habitable worlds, this new frontier created a galactic gold rush as nations quickly claimed worlds in this far off region. But the distance was still vast, and linking the stellar ring (the old nations and worlds) to the verge was a single important drivesat relay called the Kendai station.
Back in the stellar ring, national conflicts were like a boiler building pressure waiting to explode with a second war. This explosion started with the Mutant Uprising on Tau Ceti in 2346. It sparked conflicts that escalated and all nations found themselves caught in a full fledged Second Galactic War. Everyone expected to return to the initial conflicts of the first war, but this was longer and deadlier, lasting over 100 years.
Humanity suffered several losses. During a deadly space battle, the Kendai relay station was destroyed, and the Verge found itself completely alone in its corner of the galaxy. Also as the group known as Insight freed itself from the clutches of its parent nation, VoidCorp, it caused the crash of the Grid, which became a great blow to information exchange.
|The Galactic Concord|
The treaty set forth several conditions that the stellar nations agreed to abide by. First, it divided human space into 12 distinct regions made up of the war's 12 surviving nations. The concord was given the responsibility of preserving peace, negotiating differences between the nations, and generally overseeing humanity and its befriended species throughout space.
|The Stellar Ring and open space of 2501|
With a tentative peace now established, resources were used once again for repair, and after a 121 year silence, contact is made with the verge in 2496, but much has changed in the time of silence for the far off worlds, and threats of something terrible and unknown begins to emerge.
The year is now 2501.
Paraphrased from: David Eckleberry, and Richard Baker. Star*Drive Campaign Setting. Wizards of the Coast, Inc. P.O. Box 707 Renton, WA. 98057-0707: Wizards of the Coast / TSR, 1998.