Saturday, February 2, 2013

First & Second Empires

ALPHA OMEGA is a simulation of the events that occurred during the First and Second Empires; the invasions of the Droves and meeting and subsequent alliance with the Rhylsh.

The First Empire was founded as a Democratic coalition of Earth governments and the planetary colonies during the early years of Human expansion into the Solar system. As light drives had not been discovered, travel between the planets was very slow resulting in rapidly diverging points of view of the colonies and the Central Earth Government. Unity of purpose was maintained in one direction however; the exploration and colonization of the nearest star, Alpha Centauri. 

To this end an expedition of three hydrogen drive equipped ships was formed to travel to Alpha Centauri and colonize the planets to be found there. The journey was planned to last 200 standard years, and the colony was to be founded by the descendants of the original members of the expedition. The journey was to be a one-way voyage unless a source for refueling was found. Periodic signal transmissions were planned to keep Earth and the colonies informed as to the conditions aboard the vessels and the ultimate success of the voyage.

Two decades after the expedition left, the widening rift between the colonies and Earth became too great to be bridged and simultaneous revolts on Mars and Venus resulted in their secession from the Central Earth Government. The Central Government was ill equipped to suppress two revolts simultaneously, and had to grudgingly grant the colonies' independence. Both colonies reverted from the democratic Earth type of government to a form they called a monarchy (although why they chose this term remains obscure even today). Free of the heavy burden of Central Government taxation, the colonies then entered a period of rapid expansion over the faces of their planets, while the Central Government slowly declined as a major power in the triad.

It was during this period that the Mason Field was discovered by Arthur Mason Grace. The details of the discovery are vague, but it is known that it was accidental and that his mother-in-law was inadvertently atomized during one of the experiments. The rumor at the time that she was deliberately atomized by Grace because of familial difficulties is largely discounted today. Experiments with the Mason Field by Grace and others led to the now familiar Mason Field Drive and the Dacer Shield.

The Mason Field Drive was quickly declared a national asset by the Central Government, and consequently, the details of the drive mechanism were kept secret from the Mars and Venus governments. It was this monopoly over the Mason Field that allowed the Central Government to quickly take over the interplanetary shipping, as the now antiquated hydrogen drive equipped transports of the former colonies could not hope to compete with the much faster Central Government's fleet. The decline of the Mars and Venus merchant fleets and the resultant economic decline caused unrest in both governments. This unrest was further fanned by the Central Government's offer to take the planets back into the government, not as colonies, but as fully autonomous states.

Before long, the Martian Civil War erupted against the ailing government of I Ling, the Martian monarch of the time. Calls for help to the Central Government by the rebels resulted in the hasty conversion of some of the Central Government's merchant fleet to crude warships. This motley fleet of warships sped to the aid of the Martian Unity League, as the rebels now called themselves. After a one-sided battle against I Ling's aged fleet, the MUL took over the government and accepted the Central Government's offer of statehood in the Central Government.

Meanwhile, the Alpha Centauri expedition was nearing its destination. Its transmissions, faithfully monitored by the Central Government during these years, contained an amazing message: the three ships were being attacked by a Drove of alien warships. Then the signals stopped.

This news, when transmitted throughout the Solar system, generated a tremendous popular enthusiam to construct a fleet of Mason Field Drive equipped ships to revenge the loss of the ill-fated expedition.  This, coupled with the tremendous advantage of the Central Government's Mason Field Drive fleet, caused the Venusian ruler, Archos III, to abdicate and accept the Central Government's offer of statehood.  In celebration of this reunification, the Central Government declared the foundation of the Second Empire.

The Empire then began the construction of the First Fleet, a force more powerful than anything before. The fleet left on the five year trip to Alpha Centauri after a concerted effort by three planets to produce the necessary ships in record time. A rather vocal minority managed to have included with the fleet an exploration and colonization team to exploit any habitable planets that were found and renew the effort begun two hundred years before by the Alpha Centauri Expedition.

The fleet arrived at Alpha Centauri and found no aliens. One habitable planet was found and Alpha I was established on it to support the Fleet as it explored the Alpha Centauri system. After an exhaustive search, it was determined that if any aliens did exist, they had long since departed and the Fleet should be sent home. The base at Alpha I was kept and a small contingent was left behind to colonize the planet.

Source: Alpha Omega Rules

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