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The Commonwealth Era

2052-2206CE

Overview

The Commonwealth period represents the bulk of Humanity's Technological Age civilization, stretching from the aftermath of the disastrous Last World War to the foundation of the Confederation at the dawn of the macrojump Interstellar Age.  Even by the end of the era, well over 99% percent of Humanity remained on Earth, so despite the eventual secession of the interstellar and solar colonies, the period was dominated by the events on Humanity's homeworld.

The Commonwealth Era spanned Humanity's difficult adjustment from a nationalist multi-cultural civilization to a society united by a common government, language and culture.  Though societal variances persisted on Terra in 2200CE, most Humans considered themselves citizens of "Earth" (or Mars or Atlantis), not Americans, Chinese, Indians, Africans or Russians.  During the Commonwealth, Humanity developed long persisting notions over what it meant to be Human, essentially ending early experimentations in cloning, cyborgization and embryonic genetic enhancement in favor of mechanical and biological nanomed enhancements that retained the core Human genome.  Both biological and mechanical Artificially created or enhanced organisms, commonly called Constructs, were relegated to "Artificial Status" a form of effective slavery, a term and condition that eventually also encompassed the lower classes of an increasingly rigid Commonwealth society.

The shock of the Last World War facilitated the unification of Terra.  The continuing environmental stresses from pre-fusion civilization and a slightly overactive Sol contributed to the centralization of power and the eventual stratification of society. 

The initial burst of exploratory and colonization efforts that led the Commonwealth to blanket the Solar system with outposts and to launch five ramscoop Cityships to Alpha Centauri and Tau Ceti in the later half of the 21st century was an almost panicked reaction to the near extinction of civilization during the War.  It represented a desire to spread Humanity beyond the reach of any single calamity.  Once the realities of limited budgets and environmental crises became more apparent, the Commonwealth essentially turned inward, producing a 22nd century relatively stagnant in growth, exploration and culture.  The Solar and interstellar settlements, though dwarfed by their homeworld's population and economy, were left to lead the way in technological and social progress.  And they reacted to this neglect and suppression with declarations of independence.

Atlantis did not declare its independence until the 2119CE arrival of the Mariner, the last Cityship targeted for Alpha Centauri.  Libertas declared its independence immediately upon the arrival of its Cityship namesake at Tau Ceti in 2135CE.  For the Solar colonies, independence came more gradually and at some cost.  As funding for new space exploration and development projects collapsed at the turn of the 22nd century, the colonies gradually took over funding for the Commonwealth (soon "Colonial") Space Exploration Administration (CSEA).  They assumed full control of CSEA in 2122CE, after assumed responsibility for the terraformation of Venus and beginning the organized terraformation of Mars two years earlier.  The Colonial War of 2181-82 grew out of long fiscal and political neglect form Earth, increasing oppression and a persistent ban on interstellar travel.  The War led to independence for the Solar colonies and all Humans beyond Terra's geosynchronous orbit boundary.

When Captain Viggo Turki and the crew of the Columbus jumped into the Solar system in June 2199CE, they found a thriving Solar civilization and a peaceful, but stagnate and isolationist homeworld.  Soon thereafter, the renewed promise of a limitless frontier, or the fear of being left behind, encouraged the elites of Commonwealth to join their Solar and interstellar colonies in creating the Confederation government.

The only seed for future conflict was from the crew of the Easterner Battlestar, a small ramscoop-equipped asteroid that had fled the Solar system at the end of the Last World War and had arrived at Tau Ceti in 2160CE.  Defeated by the established Libertines, the mostly Japanese crew pushed on to reach and colonize the proto-Martian world of Vulcan in 2205CE.  With improvement ramscoops, the bulk of the crew then set out for 82 Eridani at a third the speed of light.

Political

The Commonwealth was Humanity's first true united government.  In form, it was a hastily established compromise arrangement whose initial lofty principles were subsumed by the need to overcome national reservations.  As a result, American English became the official language of the Commonwealth (and eventually of Humanity), security provisions and civil restrictions demanded by the Chinese became part of the CSF operating authority and restrictions on commerce and labor inherited from the defunct European Union formed the basis of economic policy.  Dissenting delegates at the initial conventions on Luna and at Byzantium were bribed with positions and titles until a constitution of 231 articles barely passed, and surviving national governments grudgingly adopted the charter.  The charter established Execute and Legislative councils and a subservient police and judicial system, which soon gained a reputation for repression.

The Commonwealth quickly began to concentrate power.  This concentration proved necessary to overcome continuing nationalist sentiment, especially in the former United States, Australia and China, but also to combat starvation and poverty in the aftermath of the war.   Food production and environmental protection quickly fell under government mandate.  A series of conservative reactions to protests for freedom led to the eventual tightening of dissent and further encouraged the division of society into the small ruling Noble class (political and wealth-based - not genetic during this era), the professional Citizen class, the non-voting proles of the Resident class and the growing numbers of completely disenfranchised Artificial Status Humans.

The increasingly authoritarian Commonwealth government did succeed in restoring order and prosperity to Terra, but only after many years of economic stagnation, ecological disaster and harsh repression.  Dissenters increasingly migrated to off-world colonies, with the bulk of the population of the last four interstellar Cityships composed of political refugees.  Free from Commonwealth control, Atlantis and Libertas quickly declared independence, a fact protested by the Commonwealth, but completed beyond its ability to remedy, except by banning further interstellar travel after 2124CE.  The revolt of the Solar colonies during the Colonial War of 2181-2182CE could have been suppressed by the might of the Commonwealth Security Forces, but most CSF naval personnel had no stomach for such action, essentially after Admiral Hu's violent suppression of the Anarchist Revolution of 2132CE.

By the end of the Commonwealth Era, Terra remained governed by the authoritarian right-wing Horizon and Conservative parties, but it was basically a stable, peaceful society trying to find a balance that would satisfy its population.  The independent Colonial Confederation acted as a magnet for disaffected Terrans and helped promote a settlement of the Solar system by many of the brightest and most ambitious Humans.  After the Atlantian discovery of macrojump and the Columbus's return to the Solar system, a clamor arose, especially in the Colonial Confederation, calling for the establishment of a new united Human government.

Technological

The Commonwealth period saw slow but steady technological progress and corresponds to Humanity's first Technical Age, including the Fabrication, Nano and Quantum Eras, with the discovery of the Wexler field preceding the period and the development of macrojump technology coming at its end.  Power and space transportation technologies, as well as the development of truly sentient machine intelligences mark most Technical Age cultures, but one clear anomaly in Humanity's case was the limitations placed much non-aging related biological research by both Commonwealth and Colonial governments.  In part, the restriction on biological research arose from the social problem of artificial organisms, including the humanoid servants that became known as Constructs, but it also represented a continuing conservative reaction to cloning and genetic engineering.

Though produced with only Fabrication Era technology, the ramscoop Cityships, mobile habitats capable of transporting up to ten thousand Humans at nearly three tenths the speed of light, represented the peak of Commonwealth technical achievement.  The continued settlement of the Solar system saw the development of plasma, ion and fusion drives powered by the first meta-stabilized metallic hydrogen (MSMH) protium fusion drives and saw the construction of asteroid-derived habitats capable of housing up to half a million settlers.  Terraformation efforts started on both Venus, and Mars, the former an early Commonwealth reaction to the Last War, the latter a native-led plan to build a livable ecosystem.

The most profound technological changes occurred on Terra, with the establishment of the world-wide TerraNet, the global PSM transport grid and the planetary power grid.  These infrastructure projects helped to unify the planet and eventually improved the living standards of most Humans to levels far exceeding ante-bellum norms.  The widespread adoption of nanoassembly fabrication units (fabricators) to provide basic foodstuffs and consumables also tied together Human society and ensured the delivery of basic services to all Humans.  By the dawn of the 22nd century, the Commonwealth could rightly claim victory over hunger, by the dawn of the 23rd, it could claim a functional victory over poverty as well.

Lifespan extension was another profound technological change, resulting from improved nanomed health and anti-aging treatments and from Reneux and Ultra regeneration therapies.  In 2050CE, life expectancy for a newborn child able to afford the best available genetic and nanomed therapies was approximately 150 years.   By 2200CE, a child born into a family that could afford the best nanomed treatments and Ultra regeneration therapy could statistically expect to live over six hundred years.   These changes were most evident for the ruling Nobles and wealthier Citizen class and helped extend their power.  Poorer Citizens who could not afford regenerations could still expect nanomed treatments to extend their lives past 250 years, but most Residents and all Artificial Status Humans were unlikely to live much past the age of 150.

Cultural

With Humanity essentially united for the first time, cultural diversity decreased dramatically during the Commonwealth Era.  American English (abbreviated to "Anglic" by the Colonial Confederacy in 2183CE) became the language of officialdom and commerce.  Despite the availability of implantable real-time translators, those who did not speak Anglic well were at a distinct disadvantage. The global VR TerraNet encouraged interactions between peoples of disparate locales and helped develop sub-cultures based more on interests than national origin or ethnicity.  Additionally, the Commonwealth, fearful of a repeat of the Last World War, actively encouraged cultural homogenization and conformity as a matter of policy.

The major cultural trend of the Commonwealth Era was the emergence of a defined and eventually codified class structure. 

The reestablishment of a heredity Nobility, comprised of government and industry leaders and their families, would come to mark much of Human society for millennia.  Though the Nobility of this era was not genetically distinct, its members had access to the highest levels of nanomed and regenerative technology. These Nobles and their relations constituted the wealthiest 2-3% of Commonwealth society. 

The Citizen class, which comprised no more than 30% of Commonwealth society, represented the university-educated skilled professionals that ran the government and economy.  The Citizens retained the right to vote and constituted the bulk of the official workforce. 

Residents were free Humans that did not have the franchise.  They lacked the education, intelligence and/or wealth perquisites to vote.  Residents were often referred to as "proles", or more accurately "doles", as they were rarely employed and subsisted on basic welfare services:  typically an arcology apartment, fabricator generated consumables and basic medical care.  Those Residents that did work were generally low-grade domestic servants or members of the black market economy, engaged in various vices and questionable activities.

Approximately five percent of the natural Human population acquired "Artificial Status", a complete suspension of the rights guaranteed under the Commonwealth charter, usually as the result of conviction for felony crimes.  Artificial Status became hereditary (based on just a single AS parent) in 2094CE, effectively forming an underclass with no more rights than Constructs.  The degradation of Artificial Status individuals eventually became a contributing factor in the collapse of the Confederation, but during the Commonwealth Era, they mostly served the purpose of giving Residents someone to feel superior to, and something to fear becoming.

Class distinctions did not impact Atlantis and Libertas during this era.  Class distinctions were also  tended to be much less rigid in the Solar Colonies, where a person's achievements were more important than background or education, but the Colonial Confederation did adopt class categorizations in its initial constitution, and class barriers grew over time, especially on Luna and in the NEAR habitat colonies.

Chronology Table

2052

The Last World War escalates out of an African proxy war, ultimately pitting the Pan European Anglo Alliance and the Chinese against the Japanese-led Easterner Coalition and its Russian and Indian allies.  A summer offensive in Central Asia results in a general use of weapons of mass destruction throughout the northern hemisphere, killing nearly a billion people.  Skirmishes and full scale space battles occur in Earth orbit and among scattered vessels and stations all the way out to Saturn.  After eight months of widespread warfare, the struggle officially ends on November 1 with the signing of a general armistice at the UNSA Copernicus Headquarters Complex on Luna.  Plans for the formation of a federal world government, the Commonwealth, go into effect and relief efforts start.  Most areas of Earth are without power and essential supplies remain scarce.  The temperature in the northern hemisphere is twelve degrees below normal as winter approaches.  Medical facilities are nearly non-existent and biological agents remain a hazard.  Except for a band of separatist guerrillas in Tibet and a few renegade Russian and Japanese spacecraft, all fighting has ceased.  No city of more than 100,000 remains intact; Earth's transportation systems are in ruins; the Beanstalks have fallen.  A coordinated relief effort directed from Copernicus and the temporary capital in the ruins of Istanbul saves many, but hundreds of millions die in the cold northern winter.  Late in the war, the Easterner Space Military Command seizes a military research facility in the Belt; Admiral Narita leads nearly a thousand hibernating soldiers and scientists aboard a small ramscoop-propelled planetoid, dubbed the Battlestar, as it departs for Tau Ceti at over .1 light speed.
2053 The Commonwealth Era officially begins.  The Commonwealth holds temporary elections.  Most posts go to former members of the Pan European Anglo Alliance and the Chinese Republic, the winners by default of the devastating conflict.  The spring brings fresh epidemics and starvation deaths.  Massive reconstruction projects begin, centered primarily on food production and environmental cleanup.  Commonwealth forces eradicate the Tibetan guerrillas and account for all but two Russian spacecraft.  Lunar, Martian and space station colonies formally join the Commonwealth, uniting Humanity for the first time.
2054 Government operated hydroponic farms begin massive food production; increasing global rations to 1,500 calories per day.  Mass vaccinations control the epidemics in refugee camps.  A Commonwealth naval task force destroys the last two Russian spacecraft in separate engagements in the Belt and near Jupiter.  The Commonwealth Provisional Executive Council officially declares hostilities at an end.
2055 The Commonwealth holds its first regular elections and the conservative Horizon Party gains control of the Executive and Legislative Councils.  The government adopts a British model to issue non-hereditary titles of nobility for exceptional service and bravery.  Food rations increase to 2,000 calories per day.  Commercial mining and processing operations begin in the main asteroid belt.
2056 The new Commonwealth government takes up permanent residence in Byzantium, rising from the ruins of Istanbul.  Food rationing and martial law ends on Terra.  Recovery projects concentrate on construction and transportation.  The Commonwealth federalizes all military forces and then reduces troop strengths by half.  The Legislative Council passes laws limiting the capabilities of Constructs, Cyborgs, and Robots to mid-range human levels in all forms of achievement.  Other legislation confirms the property status of all sentient created beings except enhanced primates and dolphins.  Martian colonists found the University of Deimos at the site of the moon's research base.
2057 The Legislature cuts global funding for public education and bans genetic alteration and sex selection of Human embryos.  Anti-Commonwealth riots break out in some cities and in the remaining relocation camps.  Farside Labs tests an improved plasma drive; it explodes on the third trial, killing three engineers.  The Commonwealth begins recruiting its own independent space and military police force, the Commonwealth Security Force (CSF), and cuts remaining federalized national troop strength by 50%.
2058 The Commonwealth Legislative Council passes a revised constitution, reorganizing the world into fifty Regions (plus one off-world), establishing citizenship prerequisites and confirming powers to create orders of nobility and knighthoods. The "Freedom Revolution" erupts and spreads through regions of North America, Australia and Asia.  CSF marine units quickly suppress dissent, killing over four thousand and arresting at least twenty thousand.
2059 In Lunar orbit, construction begins on the first ramscoop Cityship, the Atlantis.  The Commonwealth closes down the last post-war relocation camps.
2060 The Commonwealth holds its first census and begins plans to wholly national boundaries with administrative Regions and Districts.  The Census Bureau estimates that the death toll from the Last World War exceeded two billion.  The Horizon Party maintains control of the Executive and Legislative councils.
2061 All reconstruction projects end amid great fanfare, but for the majority, conditions remain much worse than ante-bellum circumstances.  The Commonwealth Space Exploration Administration (CSEA or "CC") begins talking applications for colonists to travel to Alpha Centauri aboard the Atlantis.  A CSEA expedition to Halley's Comet captures the popular imagination.  Australian nationalists begin a campaign of terror against Asian settlers.
2062 Researchers at the University of Deimos introduce a new anti-aging and rejuvenation technique (Renuex Therapy) that when combined with conventional genetic manipulations is expected to double, or add another century and a half, to the human life span; cost precludes use by all but the wealthy.  CSEA resumes Outer System exploration by proposing science stations on the moons of all four gas giants.
2063 Citing budgetary restraints, the Commonwealth cuts research and naval expenditures by 20% and absorbs all remaining national space forces into the CSF.  Funding for civil construction projects in North America, Europe and Asia increases.
2064 CSEA begins construction of a second Cityship, the Voyager.  Continuing natural disasters and food shortages prompt increased government spending on hydroponic farming.  The Renewable Resources Bureau (RRB) reinstates food rationing and enforces conservation.  CSF troops raid several facilities, effectively ending the Australian Nationalist movement.  CSEA establishes a twenty person research base on Callisto.
2065 The Atlantis departs for Alpha Centauri at .115 light speed with five thousand colonists aboard.  The Commonwealth holds its first general elections under the new Regional boundaries; the Horizon Party maintains its grip on power.  A strong show of force by CSF military patrols discourage election protests planned in North America and Asia.  The first NEAR habitat, Utopia One is completed by the Nedelin Corporation and opened for colonization.
2066 Under CSEA contract, Farside Labs tests its new prototype high-thrust plasma drive spacecraft, the Gagarin;  this vessel is the first non-Cityship to use meta-stabilized metallic hydrogen (MSMH) fuel for power and propulsion.  The CSEA establishes a twenty person research base on Titan and a second Jupiter base on Ganymede.
2067 With near and main belt asteroid mining and settlement quickly increasing, the CSF sells many of its wartime era vessels as surplus and begins procurement of a small fleet of MSMH powered Sword class fast frigates for inner system patrol and courier duty.  The CSF also plans construction of a dozen new outposts throughout the Sol System to support naval operations.
2068 RRB hydroponic farms now produce 45% of Terra's food needs and control distribution of much of the rest.  The Census Bureau reports that the average standard of living has reached ante-bellum levels; the independent press loudly disputes this claim, resulting in legislation strengthening libel laws that effectively restrict freedom of the press.  All local military and police units disband in favor of the CSF.  CSEA establishes a small research outpost on the Uranian moon Oberon.
2069 The annual Commonwealth budget cuts funding for public research and exploration by 25%.  The Legislature funds the PSM Project, a world-wide plastcrete superhighway/monorail system.  CSEA establishes research outposts on Enceladus and Triton.
2070 In elections, the Horizon Party solidifies its hold on the Executive and Legislature.  The Census Bureau produces detailed documentation of the world administrative districts, claiming the eradication of hunger and the remaining war plagues.  Unofficial experiments aimed at terraforming Mars begin, despite an official ban protecting native life.
2071 The Commonwealth Secret Service uncovers a coup plot by several senior naval officers; broadcasted trials result in convictions of all 32 conspirators, with twelve quickly executed and the rest imprisoned for treason.  CSEA establishes a research base on Pluto and begins exploration for the Kuiper Belt.
2072 The Voyager departs for Alpha Centauri at .12 light speed with five thousand colonists that are overwhelmingly dissenters.  The Commonwealth legalizes what is effectively lifetime slavery, officially "Artifact Status" or AS, for convicted felons and chronic debtors.  The CSF puts down violent protests by civil rights groups, killing hundreds and sentencing thousands to lifetime AS.  The Legislature passes a law requiring mandatory "social adjustment treatments" for all AS.
2073 CSEA receives approval for the Venus Terraformation Project with initial funding for a detailed study and preliminary bombardment with diverted comets.
2074 CSEA launches the Cousteau, a short-range ramscoop ship, to explore the Scattered Disk and inner Oort Cloud.
2075 The Horizon Party wins a veto-proof majority in the Commonwealth elections, leaving the opposition in the hands of four minor parties: Green, Justice, Freedom and Progressive.
2076 A bill which would have effectively prevented offworld colonization by Residents barely fails to pass the Commonwealth Legislature.
2077 At a congress in Paris, three Commonwealth opposition parties, the Justice, Freedom and Progressive, unite to form the Liberal Party.
2078 PhillipsEricsson begins commercial sale of high-efficiency energy absorption/storage panels (ASP panels) for collecting and storing electromagnetic energy; these panels soon replace solar panels and most batteries and fuel cells in commercial and residential operation.
2079 The CSF crushes the New Munchen "slave revolt", killing over three thousand AS and sympathizers who had seized the arcology in a political protest.
2080 The Horizon Party narrowly maintains its veto-proof majority in the Legislature, with the Liberal Party becoming the second largest party with 31% of the popular vote.
2081 CSEA receives funding to construct two additional upgraded Cityships, capable of over one quarter light speed.  Pavel Karinsky publishes The Mechanist Universe, outlining his manifesto for immortality achieved though technological means and for the rejection of spiritualism; Karinsky soon achieves a substantial cult following.
2082 The CSEA-sponsored Charon Research Lab opens on Pluto's moon to conduct hazardous high energy physics research.
2083 CSEA establishes the Aperture research base on Mercury, using corporate sponsorship to compensate for funding shortfalls.  The Vesta Mining Consortium builds the Vesta Star a transport ship powered by an improved low thrust MSMH CNO-protium fusion engine and capable of sustained .1 gee acceleration.  The Amun Settlement agreement ands a vicious trade war between the Nedelin and Tata Corporations and begins the transformation of the NEAR planetoid into a sprawling mining installation and habitat.
2084 Venus Terraformation Phase I: Bombardment begins with the diversion of short period comets.  CSEA and private partners dispatch robotic drones to the Kuiper Belt to divert larger bodies toward Venus.
2085 The Liberal Party shows significant gains in Commonwealth elections, receiving 39% of the vote and with assistant from the small Green and People's party, are able to block some Horizon legislation through filibusters and coalitions with the moderate wing of the Horizon Party.  The Midas mining habitat, first of over a hundred to roam the Belt, is completed at Vesta.
2086 Pavel Karinsky receives Commonwealth certification of Mechanism as a recognized philosophical organization.  CSEA launches the Hesperus to explore within 2 million kilometer's of sun's photosphere and to deploy probes deep into the solar core.
2087 An antimatter containment accident destroys the Charon Research Lab, killing all twenty personnel.
2088 The Liberal Party succeeds passing a compromise amendment that allows for the colonization of Tau Ceti's presumed habitable planet by anti-government activists.  The Commonwealth hereditizes titles of nobility.  In subsequent legislation, Legislative membership is restricted to the nobility or knighthood, and Executive Council membership is restricted to the Peerage, though these changes do not affect the composition of the present government.
2089 The CSF crushes the last major slave revolt in Commonwealth history, overrunning the Lake Michigan Arcology and killing forty-two hundred AS and sympathizers.  Personality adjustment programs become more stringent.
2090 The Cityship Libertas departs for Tau Ceti with ten thousand mostly libertarian dissidents aboard, eventually reaching .265 light speed.  The Liberal Party suffers losses to the reform wing of the Horizon Party, which focuses on fiscal responsibility and reforms of contracts and procurement practices.
2091 The Hesperus is lost after a massive solar flare.  A rescue attempt by vessels based on Mercury saves half the crew, but Captain Khalid Masoud and the command crew goes down with their ship, into the sun.
2092 A rebuilt Charon Research Lab opens near the site of the original installation.  The Cityship Constellation departs for Alpha Centauri with ten thousand aboard.  CSEA secures funding from the Martian local government and from asteroid mining companies to build another Cityship at the Vesta shipyard.
2093 A massive drought begins in sub-Saharan Africa, crippling food production and starting massive dust storms that sweep across the Sahel, the Saharan Desert and over the Atlantic into the Caribbean.  Funding increases for the Environmental Control Bureau (ECB).
2094 The Commonwealth Legislature narrowly passes the Artificial Status Progeny Act, effectively hereditizing Artificial Status.
2095 The reform wing of the Horizon Party unites behind Count Alphonso Dubrin to take effective control of the Commonwealth government.  In the ensuing election, the Liberal Party splinters, leaving Horizon with a veto-proof majority in the Legislature.
2096 Alphonso Dubrin becomes the effective leader of the Executive Council and pushes through the Balanced Budget Act.  Government cutbacks mandated by the Act slashes 35% of CSEA funding, forcing the abandonment of all Commonwealth-sponsored civilian space projects except the Venus Terraformation Project and a few research labs.
2097 The Great Droughts spread across the American Midwest and into Central Asia and Eastern Europe.  A massive earthquake strikes the Ganges River basin, killing nearly two million people.
2098 The Commonwealth nationalizes all food production under the RRB.  The ECB begins the Lombardi Project in an attempt to control earthquakes via seismic feedback.
2099 Pavel Karinsky founds the Mechanist settlement of Eternity north of the Hellas Basin on Mars.
2100 The reform wing of the Horizon Party maintains control of the party and the Commonwealth in the elections.  The Census Bureau produces a documentary of the 21st Century called Triumph from Ruin, touting the progress made in material well-being, life expectancy and peace during the Commonwealth era.
2101 The Terran economy begins a period of stagnation, with growth falling below population increase levels.  Strong economic growth continues in the off-world colonies.  A group of sixty futurists forms the Time Travel Society and begins a voluntary fifty year hibernation at an undisclosed facility in the Australian Outback.
2102 A series of powerful earthquakes devastate California and the Mediterranean, causing few deaths but massive property damage.  The Quake Depression begins with the crash of the Byzantium and Zurich markets.  The Lombardi Project terminates.  The final Cityship, Mariner, departs for Alpha Centauri from Vesta.  Among the ten thousand colonists is Baron James McKnight, commander of the first Mars and Saturn expeditions.
2103 The Commonwealth raises taxes to pay for quake reconstruction projects, further weakening the Terran economy.  Tax protests begin in the off-world colonies.  Alphonso Dubrin resigns from the Executive pressured over both economic mismanagement issues and his support for the Lombardi Project.
2104 The Quake Depression deepens, with a quarter of the Terran Citizen population out of work.  The CSF patrols urban areas to break up protests, but limit arrests to the worst offenders.  The Uranus Sky Mining Corporation begins operations out of the small moon Mab.
2105 The Cityship Atlantis arrives in the Alpha Centauri System, taking up orbit around the outer world of Alpha Centauri B, and naming the cool watery world Atlantis.  While some colonists immediately settle on the surface, many remain in orbit as the Atlantis Modification Project begins to improve the world's chilly climate.  The reform wing of the Horizon Party collapses, with fiscal conservatives joining the main conservative wing.  The new administration promises steps to promote private sector growth and lower taxes.
2106 The Commonwealth Executive and Legislature force through an austerity program, cutting funding across the board and essentially dismantling CSEA.  Alphonso Dubrin joins the Progressive Party and forms an alliance with the Justice Party.  The first large Kuiper bodies begin to impact Venus adding water and altering the rotation of the planet.
2107 The RRB resumes food rationing in response to the depression and continuing droughts.  Hurricanes and typhoons ravage the coastlines in what becomes the warmest year on record.  Food riots spread among Resident populations in South America and Asia.
2108 Mars, the Belt and NEAR colonies apply direct funding from local taxation to keep alive basic CSEA programs, including the Venus Program, and to keep open the series of research bases from Mercury to Charon.  More than a third of Sao Paulo burns during a massive food riot that kills twelve thousand people.
2109 The Commonwealth imposes stricter censorship laws and restricts the free movement of Residents. Taxes increase to fund expanded government food production.
2110 The Progressive-Justice Alliance wins 31% of the electorate, but falls short of the executive strength necessary to act as an effective opposition.  The Constellation reaches Alpha Centauri, barely passing the Voyager.
2111 Count Alphonso Dubrin joins the Executive Council as a member of the opposition. The Voyager reaches Alpha Centauri; the two newly arrived Cityships take up orbit above Atlantis.  Some leaders among the new Atlantian arrivals press for a declaration of independence from the Commonwealth, but the resolution fails to pass.  However, a second resolution, harshly condemning Commonwealth policies toward Residents and people of Artifact Status receives overwhelming approval and is formally transmitted back to Sol.  As with the Atlantis, more than half the population of the new Cityships remains in orbit as the surface modifications progress.
2112 The off-world District assemblies on Mars and the Belt begin pressing the Commonwealth for greater autonomy.
2113 The Great Droughts continue for a twentieth year.  Typhoon Wanda submerges the entire Bangladesh region, killing at least four million people.
2114 The Commonwealth Legislature passes and confirms the Home Rule Amendment, giving colonies almost complete freedom over their internal affairs, provided they do not attempt to subvert or leave the Commonwealth.
2115 The Progressive-Justice Alliance wins 34% of the electorate, enough for a viable opposition.  The Census Bureau reports tentative data that suggests that Earth's population has begun to decline.
2116 CSEA mothballs the Cousteau at Charon, lacking funds for additional Oort explorations.
2117 The Terran economy enjoys real growth for the first time since 2100, but the government refuses to lift Depression Era restrictions.  The new budget increases spending on basic services by 10%.
2118 Urban and campus demonstrations against the censorship and passport laws spread across Terra.  The CSF storms the University of Miami after a student takeover, killing over four hundred protesters.  The Commonwealth Executive declares a state of siege and imposes curfews in many localities.
2119 The off-world colonies assume full control over the Charon Research Lab to avoid its closure as part of a Commonwealth austerity measure.  The Mariner reaches Atlantis.  A new motion to secede based on lack of representation in the Commonwealth Legislative Council passes overwhelmingly.  Atlantis declares itself a Republic, broadcasts its declaration of independence back to the Solar System and elects Thomas Atkinson its interim president.  Urban riots decrease on Earth as increases in food production, the end of rationing for Citizens and growth of employment and government services improve living conditions.  The CSF curtails continuing demonstrations in the universities with a massive show of force and numerous arrests.
2120 The off-world colonies assume full control over the Venus Terraformation Project, as the Commonwealth continues to shift its limited resources to Terran domestic needs.  The Census Bureau confirms Terra's population decline, with deaths exceeding births for the first time since 2057.  The Horizon Party regains total control of the Commonwealth, winning 67% of the vote; the Progressive-Justice Alliance manages only 28% in this election.  The Martian local government overturns restrictions on terraformation and begins full-scale atmospheric modifications with biological agents.
2121 Hurricane Yolanda strikes New Orleans, leaving the city submerged for a month; controversial rebuilding efforts begin under the sponsorship of Executive Councilor Count William DuBois.  Atlantis holds its first regular elections, electing Thomas Atkinson to a six-year term as president of the Republic.  Robert Dunbar becomes the first person to celebrate a 200th birthday.
2122 The off-world colonies formally take control of CSEA, renaming the organization the Colonial Space Exploration Agency and transferring its headquarters to Juno in the main Belt.
2123 The world-wide Great Drought reaches its thirty year but shows signs of dissipating.  Midwest American crops succeed for the first time since 2105. 
2124 Word of the Atlantian revolt reaches Sol.  The Commonwealth Legislature adopts Edict 14356, a ban on all interstellar travel and colonization.  The CSF puts down pro-Atlantian riots in California, detaining and reprogramming hundreds of protestors.
2125 The Horizon Party wins 71% of the votes and full control of the government in what opposition parties claim was a rigged election.  Alphonso Dubrin is among the thousands of protestors arrested, but he is soon released.  Decreased demand for helium 3 contributes to the bankruptcy of the Uranus Sky Mining Corporation.
2126 The Commonwealth ECB declares the Great Droughts ended.  An ECB study shows that Terran surface temperatures have increased four degrees Celsius since 2000, and the sea level has risen over two meters.  The ECB begins carefully monitored and peer-reviewed work to control tropical storms.
2127 A pro-opposition documentary released by LaGrangeNet, a semi-autonomous Near Earth Colony media outlet, leads to mobilization of a CSF Naval Fleet under Admiral Hu.  Mediation led by Alphonso Dubrin defuses the crisis; the compromise agreement allows for more independent media in the colonies but imposes greater censorship on Terra.  James McKnight becomes the second president of Atlantis.
2128 A small asteroid impacts in the Sulu Sea, causing twenty thousand deaths and widespread damage from tsunamis and demonstrating the inadequacy of the current planetary defense grid.
2129 Funding for the planetary defense grid increases 20%.  An amendment that would relieve Earthbound press restrictions fails to make it out of committee, prompting Alphonso Dubrin to begin a series of protest meetings across the world.
2130 The Horizon Party again wins a solid 70% of the vote in the general election, despite the strong showing from a reunited Liberal Party led by Alphonso Dubrin.  Protests over voting irregularities are widespread, but a heavy police presence quickly defuses violence.
2131 After a failed attempt to challenge Commonwealth election results, Alphonso Dubrin refuses to be seated on the Executive Council and begins a protest outside the Capitol in Byzantium, shutting down the Executive and Legislative councils.  On the twentieth day of the protest, CSF troops storm the protestors and arrest Dubrin on charges of treason.
2132 Alphonso Dubrin allegedly commits suicide under house arrest while awaiting his trial.  Massive protests and riots rock Earth and spread to the off-world colonies.  The Anarchist Revolution begins as a coordinated band of protestors seize control of key installations and cities across Earth.  Though the actual number of conspirators is small, their successes cause Lord Admiral Hu, fleet commander of the CSF, to assume massive collaboration.  Hu orders the planetary defense grid to attack the rebel stronghold of Houston, resulting in over three million deaths.  Once the Revolution collapses and the true facts become evident, the off-world colonies threaten secession and begin arming themselves.  After some delay, Commonwealth authorities arrest, try and execute Hu, defusing the crisis.  Over five hundred Anarchists face Artifact Status sentences; the final death toll from the Revolution tops five million.
2133 An investigative panel finds three mid-level CSF police officials guilty of conspiracy in the death of Alphonso Dubrin and two officers guilty of committing the murder; they are sentence to Artifact Status.  Janet Hwang becomes the third president of Atlantis.
2134 The Legislative Council passes a law that relaxes Earthbound press restrictions.  Combined with an increase in social spending, the Horizon Party publicly appeals to voters to support them in the upcoming election.
2135 The Libertas reaches Tau Ceti.  The crew and colonists name the only habitable world Libertas, form the Council of Citizens and immediately vote for independence.  Work begins on improving rainfall on Libertas's supercontinent.  CSEA begins to refit the Cousteau with an improved ramscoop system.  The Horizon Party wins a narrow 52% majority in the general election against a fragmented opposition and barely manage to maintain a executive Council majority.
2136 Bombardment of Mars by water-bearing comets begins.  Viggo Turki is born on Atlantis.
2137 Hurricane Zeke devastates Cuba, killing thousands.
2138 Under the command of Captain Jose Cardenas, the Cousteau begins a deep exploration mission to the Oort Cloud
2139 Construction begins on a high thrust ion engine at Vesta Shipyards.  Thomas Atkinson reluctantly agrees to a second term as president of Atlantis.
2140 The Horizon Party manages to win an increased majority against the fractious opposition.
2141 The Cousteau encounters a derelict alien vessel half a light-year from the sun; no systems remain functional but science teams date the hull at twenty million years old.  ECB scientists successfully divert Hurricane Emma from the North American coast.
2142 CSEA launches the Xenon Sprinter experimental ion vessel from Vesta, accelerating at up to two gees in a round trip to the Jovian Leading Trojans.
2143 The Cousteau returns from its five year mission, arriving at Charon to a hero's welcome.
2144 The CSF begins construction of the Caesar class patrol cruiser, incorporating new high thrust variable ion engines.
2145 Confederation elections result in little change in the overall government composition and show declining voter turnout.
2146 News of the Libertine revolt reaches the Solar System.  Captain Cardenas takes the Cousteau on a second cruise into the Oort Cloud.
2147 The Tangerine Plague brings the TerraNet Terran/Orbital web-sphere to a near collapse.  Lunar technicians and AIs isolate their nodes and recover TerraNet.
2148 The Colonial Party is founded on Luna, pressing for more autonomy for the off-world colonies.
2149 Several opposition groups, including the Colonial Party, unite to form the Liberal Alliance in advance of the general election.
2150 The Horizon Party ekes out a 51.5% majority in the general election, barely maintaining control of the government against the upsurgent Alliance.
2151 The Cousteau returns to Charon and enters mothballs for a second time.  Members of the Time Travel Society emerge from hibernation and complain that little has changed in fifty years; installing newer equipment and recruiting more members, they divide into three groups, vowing to hibernate for 50, 100 and 150 years.
2152 General Electric begins selling relatively compact MSMH protium fusion reactors for use in medium-sized land, sea and air vehicles.  Zhang Ping is arrested for instigating the Tangerine Plague.  Tomas Johannessen is born on Atlantis.
2153 An ECB survey indicates that temperatures have stabilized at six degrees above 2000 levels with sea levels three meters elevated.  A software virus infects several Renuex regeneration clinics, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of regeneration patients.
2154 The Green Party withdraws from the Liberal Alliance after platform differences on ECB policy.
2155 In the general election, the Horizon Party wins a 53% majority over the weakened Liberal Alliance; election turnout reaches a record low.  The Venus Terraformation Project reaches Phase II with heavy bombardment ending as permanent steamy oceans form.  The first Venusian permanently staffed ground stations become operational on the Ishtar Terra plateau.
2156 A large hyperbolic comet (HC 36) enters the solar system from interstellar space.  Captain Rajiv Kumar leads the expedition to HC 36 aboard the CSEA research vessel Athena.  Robert Dunbar dies at age 235.
2157 Three major software plagues and a robot "insurrection" infect many Commonwealth government facilities.  The Atlantis Modification Project reaches official completion with most of the surface accessible without cold weather clothing, but ten thousand of the fifty thousand colonists remain in Cityship orbital habitats.  The CSF shuts down illegal mind-machine research at the Mechanist settlement of Eternity on Mars.
2158 The Athena, with a crew of 114 mostly Colonial scientists and officers, announces that it is staying on HC 36 as it exits the Solar system.  CSEA officials decline to mount a recovery expedition, and begin to refer to the passing comet as the Kumar Colony, headed into Taurus and for another stellar encounter in half a million years.
2159 Unknown terrorists attack the CSF base on Juno with a fifty gram antimatter charge, killing three hundred twenty people and destroying three vessels.
2160 The Easterner ramscoop asteroid Battlestar reaches Tau Ceti, precipitating the Libertas War.  After losing three frigates and one hundred personnel in three outer system skirmishes, Admiral Narita negotiates a truce and the Battlestar retreats, accelerating toward Epsilon Eridani.  The Libertines lose four vessels and nearly four hundred personnel in the war.  In the Commonwealth elections, the Horizon Party maintains control with a 55% majority.  The Census Bureau reports that the Terran population has begun to increase after nearly fifty years of decline; while birthrates remain very low, most of the increase comes from increased lifespan.
2161 Horizon Party leader Lord Andrew Timmins begins his first term on the Commonwealth Executive council, proclaiming a hard-line agenda.
2162 A Commonwealth law to make Citizenship exams more strenuous passes as an amendment to a bill increasing funding to evaluate new regeneration treatments.
2163 University protests over new citizenship restrictions begin on campuses across the Solar system.
2164 The Green Party re-joins the Liberal Alliance to provide a united opposition against the Horizon Party.  Progressive leader Baron Yatindra Gupta becomes chairman of Alliance.
2165 A series of software plagues linked to university protest groups causes damage to CSF systems on Terra.  In the general election, the Horizon Party maintains a 52% majority after a series of debates pitting Executive Councilor Timmins against Gupta.
2166 Yatindra Gupta assumes a seat on the Executive Council as the leader of the opposition.  After a software plague causes a collision between two airships, killing 730 people, the Commonwealth places TerraNet security under the CSF and increases monitoring and censorship.
2167 Ultra regeneration therapy begins limited trials.  Pavel Karinsky and four hundred followers establish the Eternity Two settlement on Varuna in the Kuiper Belt, allegedly to further mind-machine research without legal interference.
2168 Asteroid Belt miners stage a three week strike to protest CSF monitoring of private communications.  The Commonwealth agrees to provide greater safeguards on monitoring, but does not end the practice.
2169 Executive Councilor Yatrindra Gupta accepts enfranchisement as the Count of Tharsis and moves to Mars, retaining leadership of the opposition Liberal Alliance.
2170 The Horizon Party increases its margin of victory in the general election, winning 54% of the vote and retaining Executive control.  Executive Councilor Andrew Timmins becomes the Duke of Texas.
2171 Protesters disrupt the inauguration of the new Legislative Council; the twelve protest ringleaders use their trial to denounce Commonwealth restrictions on free expression and voting rights.  The Count of Tharsis intervenes to allow the ringleaders to emigrate to Mars under probation.  News of the Libertine War reaches the Solar system.
2172 Unknown individuals steal the Cousteau from Charon and launch it toward 82 Eridani, with an expected arrival in 2232.
2173 The Commonwealth institutes personality testing at government educational institutions to weed out dissidents; Mars and the Belt refuse to implement the new procedures.  Dame Catherine Jones becomes the first person to celebrate a 250th birthday.
2174 A Horizon-sponsored measure to increase Executive Council terms to ten years fails narrowly in the Legislative Council; a Legislative term limit proposal offered by the Liberal Alliance also fails to pass.
2175 Ultra regeneration therapy receives full approval.  In conjunction with advanced nanomed therapies, it is expected to add another century to the human life span for those that can afford it.  Ultra marketers claim that a newborn child can live over six hundred years with NB therapy and the maximum five Ultra regenerations.  The Horizon Party wins 55% in the general election, but carries no precincts beyond the Near Earth Colonies.
2176 Pavel Karinsky enters extended hibernation after beginning to suffer minor mental degradation.  A software plague disrupts opening ceremonies at the Cairo Summer Olympics.
2177 Pirate news stations spread throughout the Belt, often spewing virulent anti-government rhetoric; a doctored 3vid of the Duke of Texas performing immoral acts with children and animals circulates widely.
2178 Security forces sweep through the Belt, arresting dozens of net broadcasters on libel charges, but pirate broadcasts spread to Terra.  On Libertas, the Committee for Environmental Improvement declares its task completed and disbands, effectively reducing the Libertine government to the Navy and the Committee for Justice; however, vast stretches of the Libertine interior remain uninhabitable wasteland.
2179 A bill requiring further monitoring of system-wide web transmission passes easily.  The Progressive Party Executive and Legislative Councilors, including the Count of Tharsis resign from the government.  Despite restrictions, protests grow on Terran universities.  Belters begin several strikes and work disruptions.
2180 The Horizon Party easily wins a 60% majority against the weakened Liberal Alliance.  After the Near Earth Asteroid Colonies allow a series of very critical documentaries, the Executive Council declares a violation of the Home Rule Amendment.  As negotiations falter, Colonies begin seceding from the Commonwealth in late December.  Terra claims direct rule over the Colonial governments and mobilizes CSF naval forces.
2181 All Solar colonies secede from the Commonwealth by January 2nd. Nearly half the CSF fleet defects and sides with the Colonies.  The Colonial War begins with a series of skirmishes in Earth Orbit; neither side is willing to begin bombardments of populated areas.  On Earth, Colonists and sympathizers seize several spaceports and fight their way off world through an AI plague-infested defense grid.  The Battle of Mars demonstrates the deadliness of direct engagements and the war quickly settles into commerce raiding and skirmishes.  The Commonwealth fleet begins commerce raiding in the Belt and launches an abortive raid to seize Venus.
2182 With its fleet unable and unwilling to achieve a major victory at the Battle of Amun and domestic unrest on the rise, Terra agrees to an armistice.  The Colonial War officially ends in September with the signing of the Treaty of Tycho.  All Colonies, except the remaining Terran orbital power stations and factories, gain complete independence.
2183 A constitutional convention meets at High Aphrodite in Venus orbit and creates a Colonial Confederation with a permanent capital in the Lunar city of Copernicus.  The convention recognizes the Near Earth Orbital and Asteroid Colonies (NEAR Colonies), Luna, Mars and the Asteroid Belt Colonies as sovereign, and holds Venus in trust as a future fifth member; it gives the Belt control of the Outer Worlds and Mars control of Mercury.  The Kuiper and Oort systems, including Pluto and Charon, are held in a common trust under CSEA and an industrial commission.  Yatindra Gupta, Count of Tharsis, becomes interim president of the Confederation.
2184 In reaction to continued unrest and growing dissatisfaction with the handling of the Colonial War, the moderate wing of the Horizon Party becomes dominant and forces the Duke of Texas to resign his position. The Atlantian Republic funds a major three-year interplanetary expedition to the Alpha Centauri A system; it is led by Captain Viggo Turki aboard the Palmer.
2185 On Terra, the now moderated Horizon Party wins 46% of the vote in the general election, forming a coalition with the centrist Citizen Party to govern.  Yatrindra Gupta is overwhelmingly elected Confederation President.  The God's Children sect establishes a settlement of six hundred pilgrims on Uranus's moon Oberon.
2186 A CSEA experimental vessel, Freedom Star achieves a high-efficiency ion thrust of 3 gees in trials.  On Terra, the ruling coalition lasts just three months as internal disagreements fracture the Horizon Party and cause the Citizen Party to shift allegiance to the Liberal Alliance.  The Horizon Party falls from power for the first time in Commonwealth history.  A surface expedition from the Palmer to Alpha Centauri's largest planet, Londo, discovers an obelisk on the north pole with markings similar to the Ganymede North Pole Obelisk discovered in 2044.
2187 The Horizon Party officially splits, with the right wing retaining the name and many of the old policies and the left wing forming the center-right Conservative Party.  The Duke of Texas dies in a boating accident off the Yucatan.  The Commonwealth reverses most information-monitoring legislation and ends personality testing at educational institutions.
2188 CSEA launches a re-supply mission to the Kumar Colony with fifty additional colonists and a cargo of updated quantum computers, fabricator boxes and nanomed generators.
2189 A series of massive solar flares damages Mercury's North Pole station, killing forty personnel and forcing an evacuation of the facility.
2190 After a fractious election on Terra, the Horizon (27%) and Conservative (24%) Parties agree to form a coalition government. Yatindra Gupta refuses to stand for reelection as Colonial Confederation president and returns to his estates on Mars.
2191 The new Commonwelath government takes office, with the Conservatives blocking attempts by the Horizon Party to reinstitute data-monitoring laws.
2192 A bid by CSEA to build a new class of ramscoop ships fails to pass the Confederate council, though authorization narrowly passes for funding of design work and engineering tests.
2193 Yan Rheyes and the Janus computer sentient at Chiron University on Atlantis discover a governor process that allows macrojump interstellar travel using a focused Wexler field device; the Atlantian Republic funds development of a prototype vessel.
2194 The Confederation CSEA committee approves funding for three ramscoops capable of transporting up to one thousand sleeper colonists.  Plans call for sixty-year voyages to 82 Eridani, Eta Cassiopeiae, and Delta Pavonis.
2195 The Conservative Party wins a plurality of votes in the Terran general election, proposing a coalition with the Horizon Party as a junior member.
2196 The Atlantian experimental robotic starship Enterprise makes its first interstellar jump, traveling between Alpha Centauri B and A.  After a return jump, the Enterprise jumps to Proxima Centauri and back.  Atlantis begins construction of the first crewed starship.  On Earth, the government further relaxes laws governing netcasting.  A proposal to privatize TerraNet passes the Legislature.
2197 The Martian government inaugurates the Gupta Station, a large, heavily shielded facility at Mercury's north pole.
2198 The Earth Defense Grid successfully intercepts an eighty meter asteroid, validating the system's integrity.
2199 Atlantis launches the Columbus, the first crewed macrojump ship; Captain Viggo Turki leads the crew of eight.  The Columbus makes a trial run to Proxima Centauri, then jumps to the Solar system and visits the Belt, Luna and Earth.  A second mission, via Sol to Libertas takes place before the end of the year.  CSEA suspends plans to launch its three nearly completed ramscoop vessels.  On Atlantis, construction begins on four additional starships, equipped with high-efficiency fusion engines; the Atlantian Exploratory Service is chartered.
2200 The Columbus makes additional trips to Sol and Tau Ceti, exchanging ambassadors and establishing formal diplomatic relations.  The Columbus explores the UV Ceti system en-route to Libertas and continues on to Epsilon Eridani, exploring the proto-martian world Vulcan before returning to Atlantis.  On Earth, the Conservative-Horizon coalition barely clings to power after the Commonwelath general election.  With Atlantis refusing to disclose the secrets of macrojump, CSEA completes its three ramscoops, but mothballs the vessels at Charon pending further negotiations.
2201 The Columbus explores the Barnard's Star and Lalande 28115 star systems and undertakes more diplomatic missions to Sol and Libertas.  The fifty-year sleepers of the Time Travel Society thaw and half of them decide to remain awake, proclaiming the dawn of new era of exploration.
2202 The Columbus continues diplomatic shuttles and explores Ross 154 and Epsilon Indi during a research mission.  Discussions concerning a unified human government begin on Luna.
2203 The Columbus conducts a research mission to Sirius and Procyon, including detailed examinations of the white dwarf companions.  After completing another series of diplomatic missions, the Columbus leaves service after the discovery of serious stress damage to the jump generator.  Viggo Turki retires as captain to begin a political career. The starship Drake enters service with Tomas Johannessen as captain, conducting an exploratory mission through Epsilon Eridani to 82 Eridani and surveying the worlds eventually know as Dante and Amaterasu.  The Cabral enters service as a diplomatic shuttle, running missions between the three populated star systems.
2204 Viggo Turki becomes the Atlantian ambassador to the Colonial Confederation and the chief Atlantian negotiator on Luna.  The Drake conducts a deep exploration mission, discovering and surveying Paradise around Chara and continuing on to Beta Coma Berenices, where the crew discovers an abandoned alien starport on the third planet and a primitive sentient alien species, soon dubbed the Comans, on the fourth world.  The Magellan enters service, discovering and surveying Aphrodite at Delta Pavonis and Cyclops at Eta Cassiopeiae.  The Gagarin enters service as a detailed survey vessel and conducts an in-depth examination of the 82 Eridani system.
2205 The Eastern Battlestar arrives at Epsilon Eridani, disables the recon probes left by the Columbus and establishes a settlement of two hundred terraformer colonists before accelerating onwards toward 82 Eridani, reaching one third light speed with an upgraded ramscoop.  After reviewing Atlantian survey data, CSEA decides to begin crewing two ramscoops, Zeus and Chronos, for a colonization voyage to Aphrodite, but keeps its third ship, Gaea, in reserve.  The Drake surveys Kalmar at 61 Virginis during a looping route to Arcturus.  The Gagarin crew makes first formal contact with the ice cave-dwelling Comans and explores the alien ruins on both BCB III and IV, uncovering evidence of repeated visits between thirty thousand and one thousand years ago; symbols discovered on BCB III and IV match those on the Ganymede and Londo obelisks.  The Magellan discovers and surveys Delphi around Alpha Mensa.  A Liberal Alliance victory (52%) in the Commonwealth general election breaks the impasse in reunification negotiations.  Karl Turki, grand-nephew of Viggo Turki and one day King, is born on Atlantis.

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