The Great Wormhole Universe

26 Jul

Reconsidering a story set in this universe.  What do you think?

The Great Wormhole Universe

2030: Establishment of Armstrong Base (US) on the Moon. Mining for HE3 begins.

2032-5: Establishment of comparable mining bases; Europe, Russia, Japan, China, India and Brazil. Massive deployment of Fusion Reactors (powered by HE3) on Earth, following the development of advanced power cells. Demand for oil and oil by-products falls sharply.

2037: First asteroid capture mission brings an asteroid into Earth’s orbit. The asteroid is used for building materials for additional space stations and spaceships.

2040: First colony ship departs for Mars, to be followed by dozens of others.

2041-60: The First Great Expansion. Massive settlement on Mars, Jupiter’s Moons, the outermost planets and hundreds of asteroids. Deep Space Corp, a multinational corporation with vast investments in space, claims Titan for itself.

2061: Lunar War between American and Chinese settlers, following a dispute over mining rights. The war ends in a stalemate. Naturally, each power starts building up a greater military presence in space.

2062: Treaty of Mars carves up the planet into settlement zones. Third World Congress – basically, nations not wealthy enough to take part in the space exploration program – warns that the poor of Earth will not accept being shafted any longer. Over the next decade, terrorism becomes a far more serious concern on Earth, ironically pushing more and more of the rich world’s infrastructure into space.

2062-2200: Massive expansion, including the first development of independent (i.e. non-national or non-corporate) settlements. These range from tiny asteroids to large foundations on the Moon or Mars. Tiny wars are common, particularly over Mars, where there are major political problems. A handful of asteroid settlements have even boosted for interstellar space, intent on finding a new world of their own. Deep space telescopes reveal over a hundred Earth-like worlds within five hundred light years.

Conditions on Earth are not good. Outside the West, the world is poor and starving, with little hope. In the West, there is a national security state intent on preventing terrorists from getting at the population. Anyone with the training and determination wants to leave Earth and go to one of the settlements, although Mars may have a civil war, either against the various Earth-based governments or other settlers. Western Military has united to a large degree, launching punitive strikes against poorer countries in response to terrorist atrocities – basically, butcher and bolt. There is no great enthusiasm for nation-building, nor for assisting in picking up the debris from nuclear wars within the Third World.

2201-2240: Deep Space Corporation, having been working on wormhole technology for years, launches the first interstellar starship to the nearest star with a known Earth-like world. The technology is simple; one end of the wormhole remains in the Sol System, while the other end is mounted on the starship and launched towards its destination at STL speeds. When the wormhole arrives at the far end, spaceships can move through the wormhole to the new world, which is named Terra Nova. Settlement begins at once as various governments start demanding access.

2240-2400: Other wormholes are opened, suddenly giving the human race more living space than it knows what to do with. As the wormholes can be moved into Earth’s orbit, settling other star systems is actually easier than settling Mars. Once DSC accepts an oversight role – no government trusts another government with the technology – settlement begins at once. At first, there are single-government systems; later, wormholes will be opened to newer planets that will allow ethnic and religious groups their own freedom. Further, newer wormhole chains are opened, starting new wormholes in new systems and further expanding humanity out into the universe.

With the various governments concentrating on settling their own worlds, the United Nations – effectively a pawn of the richer nations; basically, you get a vote equivalent to the proportion of the UN’s budget you pay – starts taking over more and more of the government of Earth. The new Government of Mars is allowed to form as Mars is suddenly worthless, although no one expects it to last long. The Moon, already inching towards a united government, finally gains independence from the founding nations, although the government is very weak and politically divided. The Moon lost some of its importance when the governments started mining the gas giants.

The UN starts a smaller settlement program for poorer nations. Basically, the UN will pay some of the cost of transport, allowing the poorer nations to have a chance at settling their own worlds.

2401: The UN becomes the formal government of Earth, if not the solar system.

2409: Mark II Wormhole Generators are developed by DSC. These wormholes can link into another wormhole within twenty light years, allowing far more flexible interstellar travel.

2450: Mark III Wormhole Generators are developed. These wormholes allow limited transit into systems without a wormhole on the other end. The systems, however, require massive power and can only be used by tapping the power of the local star.

2451-3007: Massive further expansion, including the development of illegal wormholes (i.e. non-DSC), pushes the human race out much further. There are over five hundred settled worlds, along with dozens of smaller settlements on less habitable worlds. The older colony worlds have upwards of three-four billion inhabitants each. There are also outbreaks of interstellar warfare, although DSC keeps a lid on it by refusing to allow warships to transit through the official gateways. Worst of all, there is considerable unrest between Earth and the colonies. Earth’s ecology has begun to collapse and the UN is trying to get as many people as it can away from the doomed world.

3009: The – accidental – development of the continuous wormhole generator breaks DSC’s monopoly over wormhole development. The CWG allows FTL flight without using a fixed wormhole, although it isn’t instantaneous; early versions of the drive only allow the starship to travel one light year per day.

3010-3030: Hundreds of starships are equipped with FTL drives.

3030: Supernova Day. Facing a complete collapse of their finances – DSC had enemies, thousands of them – the board of directors insist on pushing ahead with the revolutionary Mark IV Wormhole Generator, which will – in theory – allow truly massive wormholes to be opened, perhaps large enough to take an asteroid settlement or even a small moon. When the system is tested, tapping into the power of Sol, the result is a complete disaster. The sun flares and emits a wave of radiation and a super-powerful EMP. The Sol System is devastated. Most human installations in space couldn’t be shielded against such an EMP and their systems are destroyed, dooming their crews to certain death. Stations orbiting Earth, or Mars, or Venus lose their orbit and fall towards the planets, which are struggling to cope with the disaster. The accidental bombardment slaughters billions who might otherwise have survived. All of the wormholes leading to Earth collapse under the wave…

And that is where the stories would go.

Thoughts? Comments?

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