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The Dark Age

2356-2482CE

Overview

The Dark Age following the collapse of the Terran Confederation is often is often held to continue until the establishment of the Empire of Humanity in 2789CE, but the first part of this era, prior to the establishment of the Kalmar Pact in 2482CE, is clearly one of disintegration and decay, a long troth in Human development preceding the slow consolidation of later periods.

This Dark Age saw a disintegration in Terran government, often down to the warlord level, as failing infrastructure and environmental degradation, greatly worsened by the collapse of the West Antarctic ice shelf in 2395CE, caused widespread chaos, deadly epidemics and refugee exoduses that eventually shifted half the world's population to higher ground.

Solar colonies struggled after the collapse, with the habitats of the NEAR colonies and the Outer System suffering the worst.  The newly terraformed worlds of Venus and Mars were relative oases of stability, absorbing some refugees and developing fairly stable decentralized governments.  The established Lunar and Belt communities suffered occasional calamities, but they retained a working fusion era infrastructure, with Belt industries, especially on Vesta, contributing to Solar economic recovery.

Only nine interstellar systems had a population exceeding one hundred thousand in 2335CE and well over sixty systems, nearly half the worlds settled in the Confederation's late frenzy of colonization, had less than ten thousand inhabitants at the start of the Secession War.  Twenty colony worlds had completely failed by 2480CE and ten more were on their way toward eventual extinction.  Many of those underpopulated worlds that survived developed distinct Human sub-races through genetic drift before interstellar travel became common in the Imperial Era.

Even during the worst calamities of the Dark Age, the seeds for recovery were beginning to emerge, whether through tentative gravstar contacts between the Alimeen and Kalmarans, or from the return of industry to Atlantis and the Solar Belt, the unification campaigns of Duke Albert Kagnon-Mellon on Mars, the growing bio-commerce of Duke Joseph on Venus or from the bloody nation building in China, order was beginning to reassert itself.

Political

The collapse of central authority and the rise of the Nobilis elite typified the Dark Age political pattern on most worlds.  The disintegration was most evident on Terra itself, where thousands of warlords struggled for dominance over a ruined landscape.  Less severe fragmentation occurred on both Mars and Venus, by far the most populous Human settled worlds.  The Dark Age saw interstellar colonies fade into barbarism or extinction, and saw the rise of the Homo Nobilis Nobility.  No non-Nobilis Noble (or Sapien, first used in this period as a term for standard Human) who was born before 2140CE survived into the Imperial Era (except those few in extended hibernation).  Those Sapiens born in the Confederation Era who had no access to Renuex regenerations were mostly dead before 2500CE, so the Nobilis represented the only link to the technological past, and their skills, influence and resources made them natural leaders in the ensuing chaos and decay.

During the early years of the Dark Age, Kalmar, Libertas and Atlantis adopted constitutional monarchies that would last, often invested in the same Nobilis monarch, for millennia.  A Nobilis oligarchy, frequently with formal titles and fiefs, became the dominate form of government on many worlds, though Hercules and Prometheus provided examples of working democracies and Islam, Macoraba, New Rome, Deseret and others saw the rise of religious states with varying degrees of tolerance and success.  The three kingdoms of Atlantis, Libertas and Kalmar maintained a tenuous interstellar contact until 2416CE, but thereafter, each star system, each world, was effectively isolated.  This isolation contributed to technological collapse and failed colonies, but also led to a renewed diversity of Human culture, as customs, languages and beliefs developed in isolation.

Technological

For the first several decades after the collapse of central authority, Human civilization relied on the remaining artifacts of late macrojump and early microjump infrastructure to survive.  Some fabrication units continued to function well into the 2420s, but they were often in the hands of warlords more interested in producing weaponry than restoring the basics of a functional infrastructure.  Terran armies of the early 25th century were typically armed with fusion rifles and gauss guns increasingly interspersed with battle axes and gunpowder weapons, and heavily patched repulsor tanks often moved in formation with horse cavalry.  The major technological challenge of more civilized regions was focused on a return to subsistence agriculture.

As the last old machines failed, more civilized portions of Terra stabilized at an early fusion era infrastructure, though poverty remained extreme, and the emerging peasantry rarely had access to technology or medicine much past industrial levels.

The Solar colonies generally managed their decline more successfully than Terra, with Venus fairing the best, and the Belt maintaining basic spaceflight capabilities throughout.  By 2400CE Solar colonies had stabilized at mid fusion era technologies equivalent to the early 22nd century, and had begun the process of rebuilding their infrastructures.

The interstellar colonies, with their typically weak industrial base and small populations, faired worse.  The three kingdoms of Atlantis, Libertas and Kalmar stabilized at levels similar to the Solar colonies, but most remaining worlds quickly collapsed to industrial or pre-industrial levels as their remaining Confederation era machinery failed.  Of the surviving viable colonies, Daedalus faired the worst, falling back into an iron age society, though the remnants of dieing colonies effectively collapsed into the stone age.

Cultural

The homogeneous culture of the Confederation was quickly replaced by the diversity that grew out of the chaos of the Dark Age.  Even on Terra, regional variants emerged, ranging from Nobilis feudalism to religious Puritanism to anti-technological fanaticism.  The Anglic language remained fairly universal on Terra, though regional dialects began to emerge, especially in the growing underclass of peasants and refugees of the 25th century.

The Solar colonies began to develop distinct cultures and styles.  Venus slowly adopted a neo-classical culture in dress, architecture and society.  Mars evolved a martial culture, some say a mix of Prussian and Samurai ideals wrapped in utilitarian armor.  Luna developed a Gotham-styled oligarchy and carved deep new caverns beneath their growing cities.  The Belt developed a mix of a corporate culture marked by large corporations and a welfare state in the larger settlements, and an individualist outback culture among the hundreds of smaller surviving enclaves.

The three interstellar kingdoms developed hierarchical Nobilis societies.  Atlantis and Kalmar preserved middle-class freedoms and encouraged industrial redevelopment.  Libertas devolved into a feudal plantation culture with a Nobilis-ruled AS underclass of clones and disenfranchised Sapiens and with Sapien business leaders dominating the world's small cities.

Other interstellar worlds evolved a variety of new cultures and societies, though the viable democracies of Hercules and Prometheus were the exception, and Nobilis or religious oligarchies the rule.  More primitive worlds devolved into isolated tribal or village societies with their technological past fading into mythologies often reinforced by Nobilis overlords.

Chronology Table

2356 Warlords carve up China, Central and Southern Asia as attempts to maintain civil order fail.  The last remnants of the All Terran Teleportation Network stop operating after maintenance shortfalls cause numerous fatal accidents.
2357 Two consecutive hurricanes devastate Luzon, flooding parts of Manila and killing thousands.  Microjump engines fail on the Atlantian cruiser Mackinaw Bay, engaged in the evacuation of the naval installation on Fomalhaut V, stranding the crew of 200 and the 300 personnel of the base; they continue the terraformation of the deep rifts begun by the Easterners during the M'kkiae War.
2358 Lord Joseph Bourasaw dies in a monorail accident at age 423; no clear claimant to the title for oldest human emerges, though the 2330 Census showed three other people above 400 and seven above 390.
2359 Violent storms on Venus prompt the evacuation of some coastal regions, with the Maxwell, Lakshmi and Quetzalpetlatl highlands absorbing the bulk of the refugees.

2360

The last independent Alimeen trader, Fiery Mist, departs from Vesta, ending all interstellar commerce in the Solar System.

2361 The Argentine harvest fails, leading to widespread South American food shortages.  Joseph Bartos becomes Duke of Maxwell on Venus.
2362 The NEAR Terra/Luna L5 habitat of O'Neill III suffers a catastrophic decompression, killing most of the 25,000 residents.  Continuing maintenance issues encourage the emigration of many NEAR habitat residents to Luna, the NEAR asteroids or Terra.

2363

Anti-technology riots spread through many Terran cities, forcing the abandonment of most remaining vacuum distillation plants.  A volcanic eruption and subsequent mud flows devastates the colony of New Armenia, leaving only 60 survivors.

2364 Flooding and disease following Hurricane Emma's devastation prompts the permanent abandonment of the city of Miami.  Hercules adopts a federal constitution based on an American model and begins efforts to develop a methane/hydrogen infrastructure that maintains the world at information era levels until recontact.
2365 Southern North America suffers widespread riots, flooding and disease.  The entire population of Bliss succumbs to a native fungal blight, making Bliss the first failed colony.

2366

The last attempts to reunify Terra fail with the collapse of the Conference of Malta.  Most regions concentrate on feeding their populations and surviving local politics.

2367 Duke Tor McKnight of Kalmar embarks on a fact-finding trip to Atlantis, Sol and Libertas aboard the microjump destroyer Cold Harbor; upon his return, he advocates isolation until economic conditions improve.
2368 The NEAR Terran L2 habitat Winterhome shatters after explosions of undetermined origin, killing all but a handful of its 120,000 residents.

2369

The Death King, a cult leader of anti-Noble fanatics, seizes power in New Orleans and begins to fortify the city.  A fifth year of crop failures kills the last survivors of the colony on Lemuria.

2370

The constitution of the Belt Federation is signed at Ceres.  Tor McKnight crowns himself King of Kalmar in a ceremony at New Bergen.

2371

Mikhail the Destroyer, the self-proclaimed Khan of Tashkent, begins to consolidate his hold on Central Asia, executing his enemies and enslaving the population.  A series of floods and subsequent diseases and malnutrition results in the failure of the colony on Alexander. 

2372

The First War of Destruction begins as forces of the Death King destroy Baton Rouge and exterminate the local Nobility.  The colony on Zimbabwe suffers a mutated blood plague, only the eight Life Therapy treated Nobles on the world survive to live a primitive forest existence, the last dying around 2650.  Separately, a combination of weather, nutrition and infighting leads to the failure of the colony on Franklin.

2373

A convention of Nobility and Citizens elects Lord John Anderson as King of Libertas.  Lord Karl Turki, grand-nephew of Viggo Turki becomes President of Atlantis.

2374 The Death King gathers thousands of Resident and Citizen recruits to his cause with diatribes against the Nobility and Life Therapy; consolidating his forces into large armies he calls "hordes", he conquers Arkansas and Mississippi.  A series of volcanic eruptions on Mithras destroys all but one village, which clings to existence until recontact in 2703.

2375

After a violent coup kills his rivals in Dushanbe, Mikhail the Destroyer proclaims himself Grand Khan of Central Asia. The Central Asian Wars begin.  The colony on Home is wiped out when the single settlement's antimatter vacuum distiller fails catastrophically.

2376

The Death King completes the Black Hold in New Orleans and sacrifices hundreds of Life Therapy-treated Nobles at the dedication ceremonies.  A council of Nobles elects Karl Turki as the King of Atlantis.

2377 The Death King's hordes defeats Duke Harris of Alabama at the Battle of Mobile The Easterner enclave on Shikoku fails after a nutritional crisis.  

2378

The Death King loses the Battle of Atlanta and turns his hordes westward.  Central Asian armies reach the Volga and Ob rivers and begin slaver raids into eastern Europe.

2379 The Death King's hordes overrun East Texas.  The colony on Lenin succumbs to malnutrition.

2380

The Kingdom of Destruction reaches its greatest extent, ranging from the Appalachians to the South Platte to the Rio Grande.  The colony on Hebe begins a rapid decline as the jungle overtakes the main settlements.

2381

Nobles from western America form the Alliance of Life at Provo, then defeat the Death King's Horde of Skulls at the Battle of Grand Junction.  On Bengal, Willy Donner writes The New Order of Man, predicting the emergence of Nobilis rule, the consolidation of Empire and its eventual dissolution after a millennia as the Solar System becomes peripheral to Human society.

2382 Atlantis receives laser transmissions detailing the stranding of the Mackinaw Bay at Fomalhaut V, but lacks resources to mount a rescue.  The freighter Salvador travels from Atlantis to Fomalhaut to confirm the survival of the enclave and deliver MSMH reactors and fabricators to the 450 survivors.  Martian central authority collapses after a dispute dissolves the Martian Senate; Nobles begin treating their fiefs as independent states.

2383

Holdfasters from Midwestern America join the Alliance of Life and defeat the Death King's forces at the Siege of St. Louis. Mikhail's Central Asian Khanate consolidates its hold on Siberia and marches to the Dnepr River.  The colony on Phoebus fails after a series of natural disasters, cumulating with a tsunami that floods the colony region.

2384 Floodwaters submerge Bangladesh, prompting a hundred million people to flee to refugee camps in West Bengal and Meghalaya.
2385 Failure of a vacuum distiller plant kills 5,000 people on the asteroid Metis.  The colony on Halcyon succumbs to malnutrition and vitamin deficiency.

2386

A massed Alliance army commanded by Duke Arnam of California defeats the Horde of Annihilation at the Battle of TexarkanaAfter failure of its desalination plant, the colony of Arakis collapses, devolving into a tribal pre-industrial semi-subterranean existence.

2387

On Venus, Duke Joseph of Maxwell begins breeding Warrior and Servant bioengineered Constructs for personal use and sale through Maxwell Biogenics.

2388

The Sack of New Orleans leads to the destruction of Black Hold and the Death King.  Mikhail the Destroyer proclaims himself Tsar of Russia amidst the ruins of Moscow and claims all lands belonging to that ancient empire.

2389 Pirate hydrofoils begin plying the Northern Ocean on Mars.  Facing starvation, the remaining 1,500 settlers on Salvation commit mass suicide.

2390

The Alliance of Life crumbles following the death of Duke Arnam from CID.  Ukrainian and Polish armies, backed by mercenaries from across Europe begin advancing into European Russia to confront Mikhail's armies.  In the east, Chinese warlord troops capture Alma-Alta and Vladivostok and retake the Far Easterner provinces from Central Asian forces.

2391 Wildfires cause massive devastation in the Australian outback, leading to permanent unsettlement of many areas.
2392 At the Battle of Minsk, Mikhail's armies withdraw, hoping to lead the European armies to defeat in the depths of the Russian winter.  The Easterner enclave of Kyushu fails after repeated bad harvests and a deteriorating climate.

2393

A massive W-bomb explosion during the Siege of Moscow annihilates Tsar Mikhail and most of the Central Asian and European armies.  Europe and Russia fragment with the loss of most of their political leadership.  Grand Khan Ali I becomes ruler of a much reduced Central Asian Khanate, continuing slaver raids into Europe and the Mideast.

2394 A volcanic eruption of Mount Shasta kills thousands and displaces millions in northern California, Nevada and Utah.
2395 The West Antarctic ice sheet collapses, flooding into the Southern Ocean and raising sea levels world-wide, ultimately by another six meters.  Coastal flooding causes evacuations that displace nearly two billion people.  On Poseidon, undersea earthquakes and subsequent tsunamis and storms destroy the colony, killing 90% of the population.
2396 Unrest spreads across Terra's six populated continents as refugees overwhelm the failing infrastructure. The population of the Easterner enclave on Chosun freezes to death after the failure of the last power plant.
2397 Tensions subside in Africa and the Americas as local Nobles generally manage to absorb refugees into their fiefs.  Serious unrest continues in Europe, Asia and Australia.
2398 A cholera epidemic kills millions in India, spreading to South East Asia during the monsoon season.  A religious war begins on Asgard with rival factions destroying the main settlement and civilized infrastructure, leading to the rapid decline of the colony.
2399 Violence engulfs the Australian Northern Territories as nationalists battle Indonesian refugees.
2400 Belter Nobles and Citizens convene a conference at Vesta, forming a new federal government but failing to assert effective control over the lawless remains of the Outer System.
2401 The Time Travel Society emerges after a century to chaos and destruction in Australia; all but two members return to hibernate for another hundred years.  One of the emergents is David Travers.  A crop failure and food riots on Demeter kills two thirds of the population and drives the rest into a pre-industrial existence.

2402

The Black Plague ravages eastern and southeastern Asia.

2403 Corsican pirates begin plying the Mediterranean, plundering commerce and seizing refugee as slaves.  The Belt Federation collapses in the Devolution Crisis as Psyche secedes and declares independence; several other asteroids and habitats, including Vesta, follow suit. 
2404 Drought strikes Australia.  David Travers becomes steward to Kevin Mackenzie, Count of Melbourne, who begins a campaign against marauding Indonesian refugees. 

2405

Central Asian troops isolate and destroy several infected towns to limit the spread of the Black Plague.  Mechanists on Karinsky perform the first successful transfer of a human personality pattern into computer memory.  Pavel Karinsky hails the achievement, but progress toward restoration into a human brain is hampered by failing equipment; the colony on Karinsky concentrates research on creating backup storage systems that can hold the Mechanist "soul" for thousands of years without degradation.

2406 The Count of Melbourne takes Darwin, effectively ending refugee violence; many refugees are effectively enslaved by Australia's established population.  Flooding kills half the population of the colony of Minerva, leading to a slow decline into life in isolated hilltop villages.
2407 An expedition of French, Algerian and Italian Nobles under command of Count Jean-Paul Garon of Marseilles invades Corsica and effectively suppresses pirate activity. The Charter of Darwin confirms Australia as a confederation of Noble states.

2408

Libertine adventurers salvage three microjump starships, a destroyer and two freighters, and launch a raid on Sol, plundering the inner planets from their base on an abandoned mining site in the Belt.

2409

Belter and Martian gunboats attack the Libertine pirates' base, destroying two ships and forcing the third to flee.

2410

A joint Solar raid on Libertas using four jury-rigged macrojump drive starships inflicts only light damage at the cost of two vessels lost and the others crippled and stranded; the survivors are offered citizenship by King John.  The Libertine navy confiscates the remaining pirate freighter, Winter Breeze, but deems it unsafe to operate.  The last survivors of the religious war on Asgard die of starvation and disease.

2411 Three hurricanes pound Central America, causing widespread loss of life and the abandonment of the silting Panama Canal.
2412 Central Asian troops raid Afghanistan and Iran, looting cities and estates.  With the signing of the Second Constitution at Vesta, the Asteroid Belt Confederation is founded.  After the power grid collapses, the colony on Perseus begins a long gradual decline exacerbated by vitamin deficiencies.
2413 On Mars, Albert Kagnon-Mellon becomes Duke of Hesperia after a bloody palace coup.
2414 Combined Australian forces defeat an armada of Indonesian warships and refugee transports in the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf.
2415 The Black Plague spreads through Iran and Turkey to Europe.  The remnant human population on Hebe becomes extinct.

2416

Salvador, the last Atlantian starship, disappears en-route to the Kalmar system; no functional starships remain in Human hands and all interstellar communications end.

2417 Duke Albert of Hesperia gains control of the Hendricks Station on Ganymede, using it as a base for commercial operations in the Jupiter and Saturn systems.
2418 The Uranian moon Ariel joins the Asteroid Belt Confederation.  The renovated ramscoop Gaea resumes service between Atlantis and the Proxima colony.
2419 The remaining nationalized Vesta shipyards begin producing 100,000isp high thrust ion engines for new vessels to replacing failing HSPG propelled vessels.
2420 A small asteroid strikes the northern Pacific, generating tsunamis that cause considerable loss of life in Japan.
2421 Two earthquakes in northern India cause hundreds of thousands of deaths and widespread damage. 
2422 Count Jakson of Xanthe (Mars) seizes control of Gupta Station on Mercury, using a modified ore carrier as his flagship in the landing action.
2423 Atlantis abandons attempts to renovate the Atlantis Cityship, moving the remaining residents to the surface or the settlement on the Constellation.  King Karl tables proposals to recommission the Mariner as a functional ramscoop.  The colony on New Java succumbs after decades of decline from vitamin deficiencies.
2424 Duke Zachary of Zambia reestablishes authority over the south-central Africa region, defeating a bandit army at the Battle of Bangweulu.
2425 Lord Commissioner Dante Brenner reunifies Paradise after defeating the warlords of the Southlands in a lengthy campaign.
2426 Australian Marines occupy New Guinea to prevent further refugee sea crossings.

2427

A severe summer hurricane season and ensuing epidemics kill millions in North America and Asia. 

2428 The Winter Breeze disintegrates after an attempt by the Libertine navy to remotely active its microjump drive. 
2429 Central authority collapses in southern Brazil, beginning a prolonged period of warfare and anarchy.
2430 Winter storms break dikes in the Netherlands and Denmark, causing flooding that kills tens of thousands.  A comet impact on Catalonia kills most of the colonists and scatters the few hundred surviving settlers.
2431 Danish refugees escaping their submerged lands establish a series of settlements in southern Greenland.
2432 Mount Rainier erupts, killing thousands and destroying the city of Tacoma in a pyroclastic mudflow.
2433 Factional fighting ends in central Congo after series of peace conferences cumulating in the Treaty of Libreville.
2434 Warlord violence intensifies in China after civil strife devastates Nanjing.  The colony on Odysseus begins a slow steady decline after the failure of its power grid makes processing local foodstuffs more difficult.
2435 Atlantis abandons plans to recommission the Mariner and begins converting it into an additional orbital factory.
2436 Vietnamese warlords capture Guangxi province and set up the Republic of Northern Vietnam.
2437 Willy Donner dies of natural causes related to aging on Bengal at age 151.

2438

The Khzraut Pacifist(?) faction wins the civil war. The Khzraut enter a period of isolation, conducting no travel outside their own systems.  The last survivors on Poseidon die after the breakup of the remaining settlement in a storm.

2439 The Sultan of Borneo invades Australia; David Travers rallies Australian forces and defeats the invaders at the Battle of Katherine.  The Asteroid Belt Confederation establishes the Belt Guard as a common defense force.
2440 The Black Plague epidemic effectively ends on Terra.  A sudden drop in solar activity initiates an ice age on Sparta that wipes out the colony within a decade. 
2441 The Kalmaran government reintroduces Reneux regeneration as part of its health plan for senior officials.  Age reduction NB treatments become part of the Kalmaran universal health plan.
2442 David Travers leads an Australian joint strike force to destroy pirate bases in on Timor.
2443 The Duke of Louisiana begins rebuilding New Orleans behind the New Dike.
2444 James Hu becomes Archduke of Beijing by popular Nobilis election on promises of peace and stability; the American-born Archduke combines western and eastern philosophy to begin creating an effective government.  A mutating plague sweeps the colony on Balder killing all colonists and Terran animal life. 
2445 After a period of balkanization and sporadic warfare, the nations of Eden agree to a federal constitution with a capital at NewPort.
2446 Atlantis begins suffering a series of cold winters, freezing the Northern Ocean and prompting efforts to improve the world's terraformation. 
2447 A small asteroid detonates over northern Canada, causing widespread damage in Yellow Knife, but fairly few deaths.
2448 The Central Asian army reoccupies Magadan, effectively regaining control of the Far East. The colony on Biafra succumbs to starvation.
2449 After a series of floods, a cholera epidemic breaks out in the Great Lakes region of Africa.

2450

An Alimeen microjump trader, Phosphor Zephyr, enters the Kalmar system, exchanging its cargo of electronic parts for Kalmaran pharmaceuticals and bioengineered products and marking the arrival first of the interstellar vessel in Human space in a generation.

2451 Armies of Archduke James of Beijing defeat a Mongolian warlord intrusion in a series of battles in northern China.

2452

A ceremony in Alimeen orbit, attended by visiting Kalmaran delegates, inaugurates the Alimeen Economic Community. The AEC theoretically includes the entire Confederation, but with only three working starships, trade encompasses just Kalmar and the six Alimeen worlds.

2453 A coup against the ruling Nobilis council leads to civil warfare in northern India.  The outer system settlements of Triton, Ixion and Varuna join the Asteroid Belt Confederation.

2454

Leaders of sub-Saharan African nations meet at Entebbe to form the Confederate African Economic Union to lessen the effects of the continent's chronic famines and plagues. The CAEU succeeds in limiting warfare in black Africa throughout the Dark Age.

2455 The God's Children of Oberon achieve effective control of the Uranian moons after routing a pirate operation on Miranda.  The last survivors of the Catalonia colony perish.

2456

Two of the three Alimeen starships collide over Alimeen. The microjump governor on the remaining starship has deteriorated to a point where the Alimeen decide not to risk its use. Fifty Kalmarans are stranded on Alimeen.

2457 Alberto Suarez becomes Count of Panama and begins a restoration of the Canal.
2458 On Venus, Maxwell Biogenics, controlled by Duke Joseph of Maxwell, begins offering Renuex Regeneration Therapy, the first regeneration treatments available in the Solar System since 2385.  Charon and Pluto join the Asteroid Belt Confederation.
2459 Laser receivers on Luna pick up the last known transmission from the Kumar hyperbolic cometary colony, a celebration of its tricentennial.
2460 Belters begin the resettlement of Juno.  Atlantian engineers on the Constellation redevelop fabricator box technology, aiding the world's industrial recovery. The climate begins to deteriorate on Vishnu, with warmer summers and colder winters leading to droughts, disease and starvation.

2461

The Alimeen complete a gravstar ship, the Black Horizon, and launch it toward Kalmar, carrying a diplomatic delegation and the fifty marooned Kalmarans.

2462 Australian and CAEU diplomats reach an agreement for anti-piracy patrols in the Indian Ocean and their forces stage a joint raid on Kerguelen. Meltdown of a jury-rigged fission plant kills two-thirds of the thousand surviving colonists on Napoleon and prompts evacuation of the main settlement of Bonaparte.
2463 The Panama Canal reopens for ship traffic.  Vesta Shipyards begins marketing 150,000isp ion engines for Solar System use.

2464

The Martian Reunification Wars begin when Duke Albert Kagnon-Mellon of Hesperia becomes ruler of Lowell by marriage, and promptly invades the County of North Hellas to defeat his brother-in-law, a rival claimant.

2465

The Black Horizon reaches Kalmar, deposits its Alimeen and Human cargo, loads trade goods and returns to Alimeen with a skeleton crew including eight Kalmaran diplomats.

2466 Reza III proclaims himself Shah of Iran and announces the creation of the Iranian Navy to defeat pirates on the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf.  A consortium of Belter investors purchase the Vesta Shipyards in a privatization effort.

2467

Martian and Belter armed merchants clash at Titan over berthing rights and trade concessions. A massive solar flare devastates Isis, forcing the surviving half of the population into underground shelters.

2468 The Belt Guard establishes a base at Janus to protect Saturnian gas mining operations.  The Alimeen complete three additional Black Horizon class gravstar ships for trade between their own worlds.
2469 The large Belt habitat Calumet suffers critical power failures and a serious air leak; all three hundred thousand surviving residents begin a Guard supervised evacuation to other asteroids and habitats.  The Black Horizon returns to Alimeen and spends six months refitting before returning to Kalmar with a fresh crew.
2470 Armies of Duke Albert of Hesperia conquer the entire Hellas region.  Duke Albert purchases two ion gunboats from Vesta Shipyards to protect his off-world holdings.
2471 The Belt Guard establishes an anti-piracy base on Saturn's moon Phoebe.  The Central Asian armies of Grand Khan Ali I retake Vladivostok after a six month siege, effectively routing the northern Chinese Manchu warlords.

2472

Kalmar completes its own gravstar ship, the Viking, which sets off on a four year voyage to Alimeen.

2473 Clinics on Atlantis begin offering Reneux regenerations to private individuals.  After the Black Horizon arrives at Kalmar, Kalmaran technicians install fifty Human hibernation chambers to facilitate transits.
2474 Archduke James of Beijing defeats a Manchu army incursion and begins a series of border wars against warlords in Manchuria and Inner Mongolia.  The last fifty thousand settlers abandon the asteroid Hygiea.  Duke Albert's Hesperian Army wins the Battle of Antoniadi, defeating the forces of Sytris Major and Noachis, annexing both territories and executing their Nobilis ruling families.
2475 Terraformation work resumes on Vulcan under the authority of the Planetary Council.
2476 Venusian traders affiliated with the Duke of Maxwell establish enclaves in San Francisco, Melbourne and Pretoria, offering Constructs for sale and regeneration therapy at their facilities.  The Viking reaches Alimeen and relieves the diplomatic crew before returning to Kalmar.
2477 The Peace of Atlanta ends decades of low-level warfare in eastern North America and codifies Nobilis rule over old administrative boundaries.

2478

Archduke James of Beijing survives a Manchu assassination attempt that kills his entire family. The Easterner Battlestar and supporting craft reach Victoria.  Easterner forces assault and quickly conquer the planet.  With the Battlestar and its fleet in permanent orbit, the Easterners rename the world Hachiman and settle on the planet. The surviving 3,500 original colonists soon perish from the harsh conditions of Easterner slavery.

2479 A stalled hurricane system kills millions in flooding in Central America.  Captain Hiroshi orders the commencement of the clone seeding of Hachiman.
2480 Jasper, the first new habitat in a century and a half, becomes operational near Vesta.  The Viking returns to Kalmar for a hero's welcome after its first round trip.  After laying out a development plan for Hachiman, Captain Hiroshi begins a two hundred year hibernation.
2481 Central Asia and Iran sign the Treaty of Qom, agreeing on borders on the Caspian and ending border raids.  Northern Martian counties and city-states form the Chryse Alliance to counter Hesperian influence.

2482

The Hesperian Army defeats the Chryse Alliance at the Battles of Gill and Crommelin, annexing the Republic of Nirgal and disbanding the Alliance. After continuing negotiations following the arrival of the Black Horizon, the Kalmar-Alimeen Economic Pact, soon known as the Kalmar Pact, is signed on Kalmar.  King Tor of Kalmar gives an address to his Assembly of Notables, where he proclaims that the era of isolation has ended and urges economic and diplomatic links with other worlds.

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