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History Of Galactic Command (GALCOM)
As the Earth survived each threat to its existence through the passing decades, the need for an alternate home world became more and more apparent. The good old home world has survived global conflicts, catastrophic diseases, comets, asteroids, meteorites, and more, but each challenge has prompted technological advances in order to maintain the integrity of the planet and its inhabitants.
Terrans have always been fascinated by space exploration. Due to their life expectancy such space exploration was limited to the planetís orbit and, later, the moon. Early travel beyond the moon was only possible by robotic sensor probes and data gathering unmanned spacecraft. Throughout the years, scientists could only observe as planets and moons in the Solar system were bombarded by comets and asteroids. It became obvious that it was only a matter of time before our planet was hit by one of these space objects. Terran databases contained catalogues of every object in the planetís orbit and indeed all comets, asteroids, and meteoroids in the Solar system.
By 1990, a group of asteroids whose orbits cross that of Earth were catalogued and named the Apollo objects. One of these, Eros, was approximately 16km long, which is about the size of old New York City. At that time, the chances of one of these objects hitting Earth was considered remote. In mid-1994, fragments of a large comet bombarded Jupiter. The effects of this assault were observed by many on Earth and posed some serious questions about the fate of our planet. It is theorized that some of the first living things on Earth were made extinct by a stellar object hitting the planet.
Through the decades, the threat became more and more apparent as several other planets and moons were bombarded by objects which seemed to originate from far beyond the reach of capable sensors. Meanwhile, exploration efforts were concentrated on the search for other life forms within our galaxy. Small meteorites that fell on Earth were found to contain Amino acids that support the existence of living organisms. Speculation about the existence of extra-terrestrial life continued to grow. Fuelled by conflicting accounts of alien abduction and the sighting of extra-terrestrial spacecraft, mankind continued to search for the existence of other life forms within the Milky Way. Advancements in the fields of neural networks, artificial intelligence, robotics, and light wave transmission allowed mankind to push his knowledge further into the outer regions of the galaxy. However, we still could not overcome the space-time continuum and the subsequent aging process, which prevented manned space flight beyond our own star system.
Of the nine planets in the Solar system, only Mars was remotely capable of supporting human life. Scientific colonies and research stations were set up on Mars to study its atmosphere, which was found to be 95% Carbon Dioxide gas and one hundred times thinner that of Earth. It could not readily support human life. As the years went by, special air and water filtration facilities were constructed on the surface of the planet. These provided the proper balance of nitrogen, carbon, and oxygen in the to support human life. Gradually, research stations were constructed which then evolved into small colonies consisting of scientific and defense engineers and their families.
Back on Earth, spacecraft designed to make the Martian journey were constructed. These used improved fuel management and booster rockets to escape the Earthís gravitational pull and solar power to facilitate the journey to Mars. These early journeys were limited to military and research personnel and were usually one-way trips. On stardate 03.18.2328, the first non-military colony was established on Mars. This facility was open to the commercial traffic of large conglomerates. Aided with technology from research studies, these interests were able to make the planet more habitable by building cities above and below the surface. This led to plans for colonization on a much larger scale. At the end of 2334, after numerous failed attempts and disasters, the new colony was open and fully functional. Additional research stations were later built.
Unfortunately the closest we had come to manned interstellar spacecraft were sophisticated neural androids. These androids had an advanced program that allowed them to gather and analyze data from their travels and send this data back to stations on Earth and Mars. Their life span and mean failure average was twenty five years. In the event that they did encounter other intelligent life within or beyond our galaxy, their memory banks contained data regarding the human race, the location of our home world, etc. By the turn of the century no alien contact had been made. This was due in large part to the vast expanse of the Milky Way galaxy, the limited range of the spacecraft, and the need for faster ships.
At this time, the United Free Nations (UFN) began work on orbital space stations around Mars and Earth. These were designed to facilitate continued space exploration and research. Though it was assumed that military units would be assigned to these installations, it was still not clear how much presence Earth Command (EARTHCOM), the military arm of the UFN, would have on each station.
Both stations were completed within six years.
The star station Starpath, in orbit around Mars, could support up to six thousand personnel and ten spacecraft. Within a year, it was outfitted with defense systems including advanced search-and-detect radar, phased matter shields, and Roton laser arrays. The second star station, Genesis, was designed primarily as a military installation from the onset. It had better defensive and offensive systems and was used to pinpoint the location of Earth Command opposition on the planetís surface. This station was three times the size of Starpath and capable of supporting up to twenty five thousand personnel. It was also the site of the first space-borne shipyard.
Every planet has had its problems and Earth is no different. There were the usual dissidents who were opposed to resources being allocated to develop defense technology as well as those who were convinced that the government was holding back information regarding the discovery of extra-terrestrial life and technology. It was also rumored that the government was using its citizens for biological experiments in deep space travel.
The most powerful opposition to the UFN and EARTHCOM were known as the Insurgents. The ultimate goal of the Insurgents was to cripple the operations of EARTHCOM and force the UFN to disband the organization. Most government organizations were infiltrated by the Insurgents. The computer industry had blossomed out of control and imagination was often all it took to come up with something innovative, brilliant..., and dangerous. As the number of Insurgents increased and their organization became more powerful, some high-ranking Insurgent officials were bold enough to defect to secret bases scattered across the globe.
Several skirmishes erupted between EARTHCOM and the Insurgents, which resulted in loss of life. There were rumors of brutality, manipulation, kidnapping, and blackmail by EARTHCOM operatives on Earth and on the evolving Martian and Lunar colonies. The official statement by the government was that the Insurgents were a ruthless group who had no real purpose other than to bring down the UFN for political gain. Nevertheless, support for the Insurgents grew.
In 2899, an unmanned deep space probe in Alpha Centauri sent back sensor data, which supported scientific theory that there was life in other parts of the galaxy. Even with advanced technology of the time this sensor data took almost five years to be relayed back to Starpath. Later that same year, a spacecraft manned by an android known as Arianne was vectored to the source of the probe transmission. The journey would take Arianne five years. It would be an additional five to six years before new data was received from the android.
As technology advanced, new discoveries were made in areas of engine and reactor design. The research division of EARTHCOM also made significant progress in defense technology by designing new shields, lasers, and missile systems. Most of the Apollo objects were used as targets for testing these powerful weapons.
In 2907, the first fully functional Mass Drive Reactor was developed. This reactor used a mineral called Radine as fuel for anti-matter conversion. The reactor was also capable of using energy absorbed from a solar source. Stronger materials for building the external hull of ships were also developed. Technological research had reached a new level.
On approach to Alpha Centauri in 2910, Arianne began transmitting research data back to Starpath. At the same time, space exploration became a flourishing industry. There were now regular commercial trips between Earth, Mars, and the Moon. Several new colonies sprouted up on these worlds. The Insurgents subsequently infiltrated these colonies and continued their crusade against EARTHCOM.
Limited progress was also made in bio-stasis technology using animal experiments. Still, the longest time a primate had survived in stasis was three years. Experiments using constructive DNA signatures were far more successful. A living organism could now be replicated by using a stored DNA signature. This was adequate for the purpose of cloning biological entities, but useless for extending the life span of the original subject.
In 2915, a nineteen-year-old student at the University of Biological Research on Earth discovered a method by which a biological entity could be put in stasis indefinitely and restored with the aid of an implanted computer chip. All that was needed was a way to implant the chip without it being rejected by the host body as a foreign entity. The student and all his research equipment were relocated to Mars by EARTHCOM to continue work on this discovery.
In 2919 the Biological and Stasis Regeneration project was concluded with tremendous success. The technology, under the supervision of the EARTHCOM research and development section, was given a Level 10 classification, the highest of any experiment conducted involving non-military personnel. Citing its instability and the need for more extensive tests, EARTHCOM refused to release any further information about the experiment. In short, it was put under lock and key.
The first advanced exploration spacecraft, the Sphinx class GCV-Seeker, departed from Genesis on stardate 01.07.2926 with a crew of two hundred fifty personnel. This craft, though designed for deep space exploration, had the most advanced military defense systems to date and a complement of seventy-five EARTHCOM Marines on-board. The shipís fifteen-year mission was to rendezvous with Arianne and seek out life forms within the Alpha Centauri system. It was designed to travel at up to three times the speed of light.
Due to a computer glitch the stasis regeneration computer failed to awaken the crew at the programmed time and they missed their rendezvous with Arianne by seventeen days. Arianne had since continued on to the Sirius star system.
In 2928, four alien spacecraft in the vicinity of an unknown planet intercepted GCV-Seeker. The details of the encounter and the return to Earth of the GCV-Seeker and its hosts are still classified.
The Empirians who made first contact with the Terrans were a race of researchers and explorers willing to share their advanced technology with the Terrans. Several reports indicate that this mild-mannered race had previously visited Earth on several occasions. They had made contact with Terrans but due to the instability of the planetís affairs had decided to simply catalogue their discoveries rather than open full diplomatic relations. The arrival of GCV-Seeker at Alpha Centauri was a surprise to the Empirians and though still apprehensive about dealing with Terrans, they decided to renew contact. By the end of 2963 the Terrans had made contact with almost all intelligent life forms in the Milky Way galaxy.
Meanwhile, the Insurgentsí conflicts with EARTHCOM and the UFN persisted. The alliances formed with alien nations, the allocation of Earth resources for the maintenance of the resident aliens, and the expenses associated with the space exploration program were all factors that perpetuated the rift. The Earth was still threatened by a depleting ozone layer and yet the UFN had failed to address the problem, instead choosing to continue allocation of resources to space research and the subsidizing of alien nations.
In an effort to save face, the UFN officially declared the Insurgents an outlaw organization in 2965. All the organizationís assets were seized and most members put in confinement at EARTHCOM prison facilities on Earth, Mars, and special colonies on the Moon.
Collaborative studies were conducted with alien nations in technology, religion, and trade. Using Droidan and the Syrion technology, starships were fitted with special Atrian-Alloy hulls capable of using wormholes and flux fields for traversing space. Since unstable flux fields were sometimes dangerous to ships, special structures were built around all the known stable ones. With the help of the Credians and the Syrions, the first accurate galactic navigationís map charted all these intra and interstellar links.
As a result of these advances in technology, intrastellar travel became less tedious and time consuming. Significant advances were also made in cloning, bio-stasis, and propulsion systems.
Intragalactic politics was another area where rapid advances were required. Alien nations had their own unique policies, traditions, and complex systems of government for the Terrans to contend with. Without a thorough knowledge of these issues, it was easy to accidentally offend an alien counterpart, which could lead to serious consequences. Alien nations had their own internal problems as well and outside interference was rarely welcome. The balance of power within alien sectors was often threatened by territorial wars.
With progress came new problems. There were pirates and smugglers from all nations. Diplomatic relations became strained for many reasons and were difficult to repair. Meanwhile, splinter groups of the outlawed Insurgents were waging a private war with EARTHCOM forces on every front. It was reported that these splinter groups had formed alliances with rebels from alien nations. Even pirates operated under the guise of the Insurgents. EARTHCOM ships were hijacked and bases were overrun.
EARTHCOM was challenged to maintain law and order in Terran-controlled systems. Impenetrable Insurgent bases and the frequent sorties by pirates and smugglers from all alien nations caused considerable problems for the UFN. Instabilities within alien controlled sectors and the constant threat of war prompted the UFN and the Empirian & Vesperon governments to start investigating co-operative methods of curbing these problems. After five years of diplomatic talks, it was decided that a powerful force of military and research personnel from all respective nations was the answer. Joint military missions would be undertaken. Technology and resources would be shared.
On stardate 05.11.2993, Galactic Command (GALCOM) was formed. Its founding members were the Terrans, Empirians, and the Vesperons. The Genesis star station in Earth orbit, already a 90% military installation, was converted to a fully functional tactical operations center, and eventually became known as GALCOM HQ (or GHQ). The organization's primary objective was to maintain law and order within its memberís regions and to provide assistance to crafts venturing into unknown or hostile territory.
As space exploration progressed, other intelligent life forms were encountered. Some were hostile and others were friendly. As news of the formation of GALCOM spread, opposing factions argued that the stars belonged to no one race and that the division of known space into sovereign regions was unacceptable. Several small wars erupted. During these conflicts, GALCOM craft were sometimes denied access to facilities of nonmembers while on deep space incursions. Despite this, the UFN and the other governments continued to seek the support of non-member nations and attempted to outline the benefits of defined borders and a military force to maintain law and order in those territories. Most races that did not wish to join remained neutral and maintained a cordial trading relationship with GALCOM members. Strict protocols were established for GALCOM forces traveling through these nationís territories or docking at their space facilities.
On stardate 11.06.2998, contact with the GALCOM research vessel GCV-Stargazer was lost. This ship had been on a routine patrol in the Gammulan quadrant. At first no one knew what had become of the vessel. Then the shipís communications probe was retrieved by another GALCOM ship in the Credian quadrant. This log revealed that the ship had been attacked without warning by a then unknown alien race. The entire crew had perished.
GCV-Recovery and GCV-Starsearch, the most heavily armed and combat ready vessels in the Gammulan quadrant, were dispatched to the vicinity of the Stargazerís last transmission. These two ships were never heard from again.
It is now 3000AD and the galaxy is bracing itself for war. GALCOM is building a large and powerful fleet commanded by a mixture of seasoned combat veterans from its member nations and promising young commanders fresh out of the academy. They are all well armed and confident, and determined to seek revenge for the loss of these three great vessels and the souls they carried.
Galactic Time Line
2328: First colony built on Mars. Consisted mainly of military and research personnel but later expanded to include commercial ventures in the areas of biology, cartography, mineralogy, and military research.
2899: A Terran deep space probe, Voyager 2, discovers extra-terrestrial life in Alpha Centauri. Space research is boosted by 75%. Work begins on new engines, reactors, and spacecraft components.
2907: The first long range MassDrive reactor, which used a mineral mined from asteroids as fuel, is developed.
2910: The android Arianne sends back supporting data of intelligent life from its flyby of Alpha Centauri.
2915: Scientists continue to explore methods of halting the human bodyís metabolism in order that it could endure deep space travel. The first stasis experiments are performed on animals.
2919: Stasis experiments are performed on Terran subjects. It becomes possible to reduce the bodyís metabolism by stasis. Some subjects were in this form of Ďhibernationí for as long as 5 years with no side effects. It becomes possible for a body to remain in stasis indefinitely. By further expanding on this technology, a device is developed which creates the proper conditions within an environment, such as a space ship, that would allows the bodyís metabolism to progress at its normal rate relative to the distance traveled. This, and the increased speeds of new engines, makes space travel far easier. Traveling vast distances at several times the speed of light, takes a matter of months instead of years. The term light speed (LS) was used in measuring the distance traveled by a spacecraft. Lightspeed is equivalent to the speed of light or approximately 299,800 km/sec.
2925: The first military research spacecraft is completed. The Sphinx class Battlecruiser, Seeker. This craft was fitted with a MassDrive reactor and Syrian Mark IV engines. With advanced hull design and life support systems this ship could withstand the harsh forces of interstellar space on its journey to Alpha Centauri. It is capable of speeds in excess of several times the speed of light.
2926: GCV-Seeker is commissioned for deep space travel. Its crew, all veteran astronauts, were handpicked from advanced nations on Earth. The crew was put in stasis during the long journey. Their mission: to explore Alpha Centauri and Ďmake contactí with intelligent life.
2928: GCV-Seeker is intercepted by an alien lifeform. Contact is made with mankindís first extra-terrestrials, the Empirians.
2965: The UFN declares the Insurgents an outlaw organization.
2967: The first navigation chart is completed. It divided the galaxy into four quadrants with each being named after the predominant occupying alien nation.
2993: The situation in the Terran quadrant went from bad to worse and the instability in other quadrants threatens to cause even more problems. EARTHCOM is hard pressed to carry out its duties. Galactic Command, GALCOM is formed.
2998: GCV-Stargazer, GCV-Recovery, and GCV-Starsearch are lost in the Gammulan quadrant.
3000: Galactic Command steps up its recruiting campaign as a result of increased conflicts within the Terran quadrant, the disappearance of more vessels in the Gammulan quadrant, and rumors of an invasion by an alien force.