Author Topic: Chapter Three: From First Contact to First Extra-Sol Colony (2137 - 2140)  (Read 2626 times)

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Offline Vortex421 (OP)

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Author's Note:  This chapter is going to be a bit smaller because the next best stopping point is another 15 years away and things are starting to get good.  Besides, I'd rather this be in small-enough chunks so as to make it easily readable.

The loss of the Banshee marked the first loss of life in space since the NASA programs of the 20th/21st centuries.  At the same time, mankind realized conclusively that there was other life out there besides humanity.  Efforts were immediately made to initiate contact with the Wolves (as the public soon took to calling the "Wolf 359 aliens").  While some in the military advocated an immediate and swift response, the reality was that mankind did not have any substantial weapons of war, nor were their navies large enough to merit any sort of warfare.  The thought had never truly crossed the minds of the Global Congress, but this disaster brought the issue to the forefront. 

Even as attempts were made to speak with the Wolves, Administrator Kingham directed the military to develop and deploy a scanning outpost on asteroid 1995 SM 55.  This asteroid, located only 500 million kilometers from the Wolf 359 jump point, was in a prime position for an early-warning outpost and, perhaps, a defensive base at some point down the line. 

Additionally, the Congress authorized the creation of a standing navy above and beyond the intra-system corvettes that had been utilized so far.  Building this navy would take time, as weapons systems would need to be researched and developed.  Outside of the lasers that the defense corvettes used, mankind had very little knowledge into the sorts of weapons of war that could be used in space.  It was time to go from learning the arts of peace to learning the arts of war.

This setback did not fully dissuade Kingham from continuing to look to expand the UEA's reach on the stars.  Of the six systems that Sol was connected to, two had no planets in them whatsoever (one was a black hole).  Of the remaining four, three contained one habitable planet (colony cost <=2).  Of these, however:

-  Wolf 359 appeared to be guarded by alien forces of unknown size and strength
-  Gliese 563.2's habitable planet was too far away (600 AU) from the primary star and travel would take almost four months to make one-way.

This left Barnards Star as the most viable decision to work to colonize.  Scientists had worked further on jump technology and had developed an offshoot of jump drives that could be used to create 'gates' that would enable ships of any size to pass through.  A design was drafted, approved, and sent to the Purifoy Drydocks for construction.  It would take them nine months to retool for construction, but after that it would only be 5 months.  The ship would require at least one year to build a gate, which meant that two-way access would need two years. 

The Hunchback rolled off of her slip on May 10, 2138 and immediately moved off to the Barnards Star jump point.  It would not be until December of 2139 that the gate would be completed. 

On July 11, 2139, a proof-of-concept model was delivered to the public of a new drive technology - ion drive.  This marked a substantial improvement over nuclear pulse engines.  However, it would also require new designs of all current engine technologies for ships and missile engines.  In short, the scientists would have to go back to the drawing board.

December 12, 2139 marked the opening of the gate to Barnards Star.  The Aristotle was the first to transit through the gate, with Administrator Kingham and other dignitaries on board.  In a speech, he declared the opening of the gate a "new chapter for mankind, enabling us to expand our horizons and expand our race."  The Aristotle, Brahe, and Copernicus were the new Newtons that had been built and were waiting for just such an occasion.  Their orders were to start their surveys at the second planet and then work through the rest of the system in turn. 

Meanwhile, transports and freighters began to load infrastructure and colonists to settle Barnards Star A-II.  While settling the planet would be a given, the hope was that the geological surveys would reveal sufficient mineral deposits on A-II and the surrounding bodies to enable the creation of a second industrial base away from Earth.  Earth's mineral supplies were starting to dwindle, and while Venus and Luna would keep the Sol system going for some time, mankind's new outposts would need to be self-sufficient.

On January 1, 2140, Kingham and his fellow administrators received 97% votes of confidence.  However, a change in the balance of power was already in the works - the 2140 election had given Mars her first official delegate to the Congress, which was now supervising three administrators.  Though the administrators had, unofficially, decided that Kingham would continue to speak for the Congress and everyone else, the eve of colonizing Barnards Star A-II meant that a shift in the organization of the government might be required.  The Congress set about researching the task, determined to make changes before the 2145 election. 

Following the 2140 election, Kingham laid out his latest five-year goals:

  • Establish a colony on Barnards Star A-II
  • Create a proper military force for Sol and Barnards Star
  • Investigate the possibility of colonizing Gliese 563.2
  • Complete surveys of all connected systems to Sol (save Wolf)

The Aristotle reported back on January 17 that large amounts of Duranium, Mercassium, and Vendarite were discovered on Barnards Star A-II.  These deposits were very substantial but would also be very difficult to get to - estimates were that only 10% efficiency would be possible.

Five days later, promising news comes from A-I.  Though it is impossible to colonize due to an atmosphere 77 times that of Earth, A-I contains nine of eleven minerals in large quantities. 

On February 12, 60 days after their departure, the colony ships and their freighters arrive.  900,000 new colonists are delivered to A-II, and 46-year old Wilson Picart is chosen to become the Planetary Administrator of the new colony.  For the first time, humanity now has a foothold in a second star system, and colonists on the new planet are seeing a new sun and new stars in the night sky. 
 

Offline Vortex421 (OP)

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UEA Census, 2140
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2015, 07:26:28 PM »
Jan. 1, 2140

Total Population:  6,252.51
Earth:  6,197
Luna:  21.71
Mars:  33.8
 

Offline Vortex421 (OP)

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Barnards Star Mineral Survey, 2140
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2015, 07:33:10 PM »
COMPLETE Barnards Star A-II Survey, 2140
MineralAmountAccessibility
Duranium155,584,8000.1
Corbomite16,144,3240.1
Mercassium10,458,7560.1
Vendarite9,229,4440.1
Sorium3,841,6000.1
TOTAL/AVG195,258,9240.1

COMPLETE Barnards Star A-I Survey, 2140
MineralAmountAccessibility
Duranium1,789,8320.1
Neutronium58,583,7160.1
Tritanium38,350,6840.1
Boronide599,0760.1
Vendarite42,719,2960.1
Sorium68,161,5360.1
Uridium66,478,9000.1
Corundium18,490,0000.6
Gallicite62,599,7440.1
TOTAL/AVG357,772,7840.1
 

Offline Vortex421 (OP)

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Ship Design/Layout, 2137 - 2140
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2015, 07:34:18 PM »
Hunchback class Construction Ship    39,800 tons     165 Crew     1154 BP      TCS 796  TH 1000  EM 0
1256 km/s     Armour 1-103     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 1     PPV 0
MSP 18    Max Repair 50 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 36 months    Spare Berths 1   
Jump Gate Construction Ship: 360 days

Renault-Elison 200 EP Commercial Nuclear Pulse Engine (5)    Power 200    Fuel Use 7.07%    Signature 200    Exp 5%
Fuel Capacity 1,000,000 Litres    Range 64.0 billion km   (589 days at full power)

This design is classed as a Commercial Vessel for maintenance purposes.