[Author Comment: This is the first post in what will hopefully be a fairly long-running playthrough of Aurora. It’s mostly going to be in-character, so look out for the square brackets where I’m being me instead of the narrator. The universe is the standard real stars setup, I’ve given myself a few extra research labs and an extra shipyard, and there are only going to be randomly generated aliens]
The year is 2500, and humanity stands united to grasp at the stars. Getting there has not been easy, however; after global nuclear war in the the twenty-second century, humanity has overcome severe depopulation, technological stagnation, and societal upheaval on a scale not before known. Fifty years ago, the discovery of trans-newtonian elements rocked the remainder of civilisation as the implications of the revelation became apparent. Further to this, soon after these initial discoveries were made, the presence of three gravitational anomalies within the solar system were found to be inactive wormholes – wormholes that could be used with the correct manipulation.
Earth had extremely limited reserves of many of the vital elements, and so a great enterprise was to be undertaken; to find out where these materials could be, to exploit them, and to take a place in the heavens. Shipyards were built in the skies around Earth, the solar system was mapped and charted, reserves of several minerals found of other planets and moons, and vitally, the infrastructure for an extra-terrestrial society began to form.
The day is January the first, and Charles Elliot looks out of his office window. He sees the Earth, spinning beneath the vast metal edifice that will one day be the place where the first trans-newtonian spacecraft is launched from, and allows himself a brief moment of sheer wonder. The people of Earth had united these past years into one cohesive block; the Terran Federation, and they had given him ultimate responsibility with their hopes and fears. He then turns to his display console and collates the data that he will need to plan out the latest human endeavour.
The information on humanity as a species and a society. As far as anyone knows, humans are alone in the universe, so this information is only useful for gauging what kind of planets will be habitable. Since there are none in the solar system and the jump points have yet to be explored, Charles quickly moves on to the next piece of information.
The mineral reserves of Earth, and the rest of the Solar System. Earth is relative rich in Duranium, an element vital for ship-building, and Sorium, the essence of ship-fuel, but it was not rich in any other. Of particular concern was the extremely small reserve of Mercassium, Uridium and Corrundium. Elsewhere in the solar system, there were huge deposits of Neutronium on Callisto (one of Jupiter’s moons), a quantity of Sorium in the atmosphere of Jupiter that could be reached, and small quantities of all the elements scattered about the systems many moons and asteroids. However, there were no particularly lucrative mining opportunities, especially in the inner solar system.
The industry of Earth stood ready to produce the structures required for his plans; refineries were busy producing space-fuel, and construction facilities began work on Charles’ first order – 5 mighty mass drivers, to throw and catch materials from other worlds. This would allow off-world mining with an extremely limited freight infrastructure.
The shipping industry of Earth; there were two huge shipyards, with three slipways of 80,000 tons capacity each ready to build the civilian ships of his fleet, and five smaller shipyards capable of building military vessels when the need arose.
Technological advances had been advancing in leaps and bounds in the past several decades; Charles intended to keep it that way. Several eminent scientists were chosen to head teams to look into pressing areas of technology, including working on an engine prototype, increasing sensor capabilities, internal ship engineering, and advances into army technology. Charles did however note that several fields did not have scientists worthy of their study – there were no Biologists, Civil Engineers, Laser-Physicists, or Missile Specialists of a high enough calibre to take care of some of the intended projects. Investments must be made into universities to find prodigies and geniuses, to fill these gaps.
And finally, the map of the Solar System. Charles paid close attention to the three orange dots that indicated the gravitational anomalies known as Jump Points. Those are where we need to focus, he thought.
2nd Febuary, 2500
– A commission into world mineral reserves claims that there could potentially be more reserves than previously thought under the Earth’s crust. A team of the Terran Federation’s most gifted geologists are put together and begin work at once.
7th March, 2500
– Prototyping of the Ion Engines are completed by Rachel Pickering’s research team, and the opportunity is taken to design the first Trans-Newtonian spacecraft. These are not only the first of their kind, they are also the gateway to the rest of the universe – these ships are to be giant construction ships tasked with creating Jump Gates to tame the portals into other solar systems. Three are laid down in the Shah Shipping shipyard, and are expected to be complete in around two years.
– The Mass Drivers ordered at the start of the year have been completed. They will not be of any use until off-world mining colonies are established, but they stand as a testament to human ingenuity nonetheless.
– Freighters are designed using similar principles to that of the construction ships. Three Elephantine-class freighters are laid down in the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries shipyards.
17th July, 2500
– 100,000 tons of Tritanium are discovered on Earth. Whilst this was not one of the minerals in desperately short supply, it does prove that manned geological surveys can pick up minerals that probes can miss.
2nd October, 2500
– 200,000 tons of Duranium are discovered on Earth. The geological team is also not finding any more signs of other minerals, so plans are drawn up for expeditions to other worlds in the inner Solar System, in order to survey them in more detail.
14th July, 2501
– A ship known as the “Probe-class” is designed. It is capable of long-term flight and it’s purpose is the geological survey of planets. Two are laid down in the Qeshm Shipyards, to be completed shortly after the construction ships. The plan is for them to follow the construction ships after Jump Gates are constructed and survey system bodies for minerals in the new systems discovered.
4th October, 2501
– Several new sensor components including Electromagnetic, Thermal, and Active sensors are designed and prepped to be prototyped. In addition, an engine which allows a ship use of a Jump Point without a Gate needing to present is proposed. Rumours of a long-ranged scout vessel being imminently designed abound.
22nd January, 2502
– Grand ceremonies of the past pale in comparison to those put on in celebration of the first Trans-Newtonian ships being successfully completed by Humanity. Captain Gemma Fitzgerald, Commander William Howells, and Commander Fu Zhi Zhen are the three men and women chosen to take these vessels through their initial operation, each of which has been commanded to build a Jump Gate on a separate Jump Point.
24th July, 2502
– The first Jump Gate is completed. All eyes focus on Captain Gemma Fitzgerald, as she and her crew become the first humans to step beyond the Solar System.