Space Exploration (2100-2252)
In the year 2178, humanity finally succeeded to travel long distances in space due to the invention of Fulcrum Jump technology. Fulcrum Jump devices could fold space across two points, allowing spacecraft to travel rapidly across vast distances. This quickly resulted in the colonization of much of the Sol sector, including the gas giant Jupiter, which was colonized by building stations just above its atmosphere. Most larger countries on Earth formed an alliance that united for the pursuit of space exploration in an effort to avoid war in space. The new faction was named the Terran Alliance.
Over several decades, the Terran Alliance expanded their exploration efforts many light years away from Earth. They reached the Orion sector in 2205. In 2207, the first drones were sent to the Orion sector to begin building Fulcrum Gates there.
The Orion sector was quickly colonized and the Alliance declared it part of its territory. However, unrest about the Alliance control started to rise with one of the colonies of the Orion sector. The colony separated from the Alliance over what they viewed were their rights of exploration and ownership of systems they settled. They wanted exclusive colonial control over planets and systems they lived in, inluding the abundant resources they provided. This led to political disagreements and increasing hostilities. Several other neighboring colonies decided to unite for the same reasons and formed the Colonial Federation around 2229. But it wasn't until about a dozen different colony groups formed together in the mid 30's that the Federation truly became a united faction.
Some colonies refused to unite with either the Alliance or the Federation. This lead to a number of 'Rogue' clans and the conflicts that followed began an arms race with the development of the first true space-optimized weapons. Rogue clans wanted the resourses in the Orion sector and often attacked indiscriminately in their efforts. Attacks from Rogue clans became weekly news and colonies often spent much of their time defending their interests. The threat from Rogue clans eventually started to spread back to territory firmly in Alliance control. Over the next several decades, several conflicts occured in the Orion sector and Sol sector. But a greater threat was growing involving the Alliance and Federation.
Initially, the Alliance did little to keep colonial territories in their control, since the disputed areas of space were too remote to risk devoting so many resources to confronting the distant rebellion... it left the majority of Alliance space in the region vulnerable to attack. The Federation took advantage of the situation and quickly expanded its empire to neighboring solar systems. As territorial and political disputes continued to increase as each side claimed ownership of newly discovered regions, threats eventually lead to conflicts which eventually lead to war. By the mid-50's, the Alliance-Federation war had begun and continued until the early 70's. Although no formal declaration of war or peace was ever made, both sides eventually haulted aggressive military actions and agreed to keep their distance from each other.
Rise of the Mercenaries (2220-2300)
The increasing threat from Rogue clans against the Federation and Alliance resulted in new opportunities for lone spacecraft pilots. Some were retired fighter pilots, others adventurous explorers. They privately owned their own spacecraft and made their living on providing services to anyone willing to pay. As conflicts increased, so did the need for outside help and this group of independent pilots willing to provide assistance eventually became known as 'Mercenaries'. Initially, they numbered in the hundreds, but as word spread of high pay for risky work, their numbers quickly grew into the thousands. Mercenaries became known for the effectiveness, often taking chances military forces refused while commanding customized ships that were better suited to certain challenges.
With the independence of Mercenaries also came risks of unreliability and loyalty. So to improve their reputation, the Mercenaries voluntarily formed the 'Mercenaries Guild'. The Guild was a network of leadership spanning numerous systems where Mercenaries operated. They established operational guidelines and technological standards, one of which included the incorporation of tracking devices in every spacecraft, station, city, and carrier where Mercenaries operated. When a Mercenary failed to follow a rule or complete an objective, it would be recorded on their permanent record. With no escape from the reputations Mercenaries earned for themselves, a code of honor and standards quickly formed. Mercenaries soon became a dependable option for civilian and military factions in need of their services.
The Lexington (2254-2284)
In 2245, the Alliance built the first super carrier in secret at the Enigma Asteroid base. The ship was kept classified for nearly a decade while tests were conducted on its new mobile long range Fulcrum Drive and advanced weapon systems. Few knew of the Lexington project until the year 2254.
At the same time, the Alliance also started building other large combat carriers named Bismarck, Zenith and Victory, which would be completed by 2259. The Lexington and its crew was credited as being one of the primary reasons the Alliance-Federation war eventually ceased by the 70's. Its overwhelming firepower and squadron carrying capacity made it a virtually unstoppable force in the later years of the war. After a massive battle in 2272 involving roughly 10 squadrons of fighters and nearly a dozen capital ships, the Lexington proved it could defeat whatever the Federation had in its fleet. Recognizing the futility of engaging the Lexington, the Federation began to back down from its aggressive actions following this battle. By 2277, the war had effectively ended in favor of the Alliance.
These struggles of the war lead to new research into spacecraft fighter technology. A new all-purpose fighter/bomber craft was introduced in 2278, the F-144A StarWraith. Several advancements were made on this new fighter, ranging from the original A type up through the last E version introduced in 2285. During the same time, they also developed the Raven, Shadow, Quasar and Lamprey.
The Federation also advanced their spacecraft technology with the development of the Vengeance and the Richton class battle carriers along with the UFA-80 fighter.
In 2285, the Federation's flagship, the Richton, was mysteriously attacked and destroyed while on route to a peaceful colony establishment meeting. The ship was carrying many elite political and military leaders of the Federation. Because the ship was so heavily armed making it nearly impossible to destroy and was so close to Alliance space, the Federation blamed Alliance forces for the ship's destruction. The Alliance denied the accusations and pleaded for an immediate investigation. War was immediately declared by the Federation and the forces of the Alliance were dispatched to secure the borders from attack. Mostly minor engagements took place over the next two years with little or no casualties, neither side seemed willing to fully engage in battle as what had been so destructive in the previous war. As forces from both sides spread into the Orion system, the Alliance battle carrier Becker approached from the nearby Rucker Asteroid field.
The Becker was attacked on April 14, 2287. It was apparently destroyed in a matter of a few seconds, something Alliance intelligence believed would be impossible for any Federation force to accomplish. Rumors began to spread about a 'super weapon' being used by one of the rogue clans, but no evidence could support the theory. 48 hours after the attack, several Wraith pilots from the Becker who were on patrol and survived the attack arrived at the nearby AH-104 starbase. They reported seeing a massive dark gray vessel that attacked the Becker from the side.
They also reported that the vessel fired a series of energy blasts before the Becker was destroyed. The weapon used was apparently powerful enough to penetrate both the shields of the carrier and the heavy armor plating. The end result was the Becker blew apart with no chance to respond.
The mystery of the Becker's destruction and continuing reports of Federation casualties had raised suspicions of a new faction with advanced technology. The Lexington, flagship of the Alliance and veteran of the Alliance-Federation war, had been dispatched to the Orion system to investigate and hold back any advancing Federation forces.
It turned out the Federation was sustaining significant casualties from attacks by an unidentified force. Over the following weeks, information about an highly-developed, alien race started to reach Alliance Intelligence and after joining forces with clans from the Alpha Centauri system, they decided to counter the attack.
The Alien race was dubbed the Vonari and they seemed capable of destroying entire carriers in a single salvo. Their main-fighter, dubbed the A-50, could overpower the Star Wraith and the UFA-80. The Vonari made a push for Earth itself on July 1st, 2287. Earth's Naval forces intercepted the Vonari attack force, which consisted of numerous large ships matching the description of the spacecraft that attacked the Becker.
In a massive battle, two Lamprey pilots escorted by a wing of StarWraiths succeeded in reaching a Vonari vessel and planted several hull charges. The hull charges proved effective and four explosions rocked the dark vessel and tore it apart. The explosion was large enough to also destroy the surrounding vessels flying in close formation.
After sustaining losses against the Vonari in Orion, Rucker, Deneb, and Sierra, the success of Earth's defense finally gave the Navy much needed time to regroup and redesign many technologies to confront the new alien threat. Humanity knew it was just a matter of time before the Vonari would strike again, and next time, they would have the advantage of knowing our capabilities. So Alliance Command decided to maximize whatever time remained to transform the military to a technology level capable of resisting any future attacks. At the top of the priority list was the Star Wraith space superiority fighter, which would receive several improvements to its weapon systems and shielding.
On 12 October of the year 2288, during a routine patrol, the Lexington was attacked by a Vonari capital ship. The Lexington had no time to launch fighters to defend itself and a nearby patrolling squadron of F-144E's (80th Squadron) was too far away to come to the ship's defense. The Lexington was quickly torn apart by the destructive energy blast of the Vonari ship. The 80th Wraith Squadron returned to find only debris remaining.
Shortly after the attack on the Lexington, Alliance and Federation forces agreed to a cease-fire. The Vonari had advanced very rapidly, and the civil war between the Alliance and Federation had left both sides unprepared for the new threat. They joined together to fight against the Vonari.
An ancient Vonari artifact was discovered in December 2287, telling a story of an outsider who would find a paradise world hidden in a realm called 'RiftSpace'. The outsider would come from a distant place and posses great wealth and powerful machines to find the planet which would bring safety to a dying race.
Groups from several systems hunted for the paradise planet in RiftSpace. In their search, another artifact was found near the planet Sierra B. This became universe-wide news and the hunt for RiftSpace started to grow. A series of artifacts were eventually discovered and one ambitious searcher was able to locate a final artifact and decode its message. The message lead him to the planet of Thuban, where he found what looked like a sparkling point of light in open space. It activated as he approached and transported him to the planet in RiftSpace referred to in the original message. However, Vonari ‘guardians’ referred to in the story were also there and attacked the mercenary as soon as he arrived. The mercenary was successful at defeating the Vonari ships.
In November of 2288, the Alliance discovered a new system that included an Earth-like planet. Although lifeless, the world had an abundant supply of water along with the right gravity and atmospheric conditions for terraforming. The planet was named 'Sapphire' after its brillant coloring and nearby solar system were linked together through a network of jump gates. The entire quadrant of space was then named after the exploration satellite that discovered the central solar system, Evochron.
The Beacon Trail ( 2408 - 2415 )
After nearly ten years, a shocking discovery was made on Sapphire. An object emitting an encrypted message was located partially buried in the terrain. The object was declared harmless by the guilds, and was confirmed to be created by the Renegades after their downfall in late 2363. Several mercenaries believed the beacon to be the first in a trail and embarked on a quest to find others, none of them returned. Interest in the beacon quickly fell as no explorers seemed willing to risk the same fate for a hypothetical treasure.
In 2407, a lone mercenary embarked on a journey to uncover the secret of the beacon and succeeded in finding a Fulcrum Gate that lead to the Riftspace system. Surprisingly, he found it filled with Renegade forces. In a beacon communication, Michael Garrett explained that Riftspace was attacked and any resistance soon crumbled against the might and numbers of Renegade forces. Bitterly, he added that requested Alliance backup never showed up, although they had promised reinforcements, namely the battle carrier Phantom. His communication ended with Michael hoping that they would make it back to the Fulcrum Gate. Whether he made it is unknown. The mentioning of the Phantom implies that the recording was made directly prior to the Arvoch conflict - most likely in December 2407.
The Arvoch Conflict ( 2402-2408 )
The Arvoch Conflict started on January 7, 2402, when Federation forces threw up blockades in the Evochron sector, leading to renewed tensions between Alliance and Federation. The Alliance dispatched the experimental Phantom carrier and large numbers of the new Wraith and Evoch fighters to control the situation. They uncovered a Vonari influence in the battle after the first two weeks of the conflict. The Vonari invaded the Evochron sector once more and this time, they succeeded in progressing rapidly even with the resistance of the Alliance. The Phantom, however, proved effective. Acquiring victory after victory, it turned out to be the key factor in winning the war.
In late February 2408, a fighter squadron of the Phantom succeeded in locating and obtaining a powerful Vonari weapon, an upgraded version of the weapon the Vonari tried to use against Earth. Using the wormhole in Pisces, humanity attempted to retake the Arvoch system from Vonari control. Final messages from the carrier's transmitted activity log indicate the crew attempted to activate the Vonari weapon. The fate of the carrier was unknown.
By 2288, humanity controlled 3 primary regions: Sol , Orion, and Evochron.
The Aros Assault was and is described in any modern History book, both Alliance and Federation. The Alliance built a monument at the former location of the Aros base on Jupiter in 2260.
In memory of the Lexington and it's crew, a monument was built in Washington, where it firmly stands since it was presented on October 12th, 2289.
The Enigma squadron returned to their starbase near the Orion Nebula. They would remain there until it was turned into an research station.
The Federation Flagship Richton is remembered yearly in Federation space and also has a memorial monument. 2 minutes of silence is held every 21st of May at 2:41PM UST.
The chain of natural wormholes in the Evochron sector was named the 'highway'. The solar systems nearby were named the "Quay's".
Many Rogue clans now live mostly in exile at secret locations. Rumors indicate that larger clans have hidden bases throughout Evochron.
The Orion Sector has remained an unstable location in human space.
RiftSpace remained a neutral, hidden paradise until early in the 24th century, when suddenly, it would become the central point of numerous wars and conflicts.
In early February 2292, Dr. Adam Shefeld developed a new warp device that could open a temporary fulcrum field pathway capable of transporting an entire ship from one region of space to another without the need for a receiving gate. This was revolutionary and his technology was built into one specific gate, the so-called Shefeld Gate near the Rucker asteroid field.