530 to 900 AT: The Sundering

(2500-2900 c.e.)

The Sundering

Image from Anders Sandberg

Scrollable Timeline

Orion's Arm Tranquility Calendar Conversion Tool

For most of the older polities and cultures of the Solar System the Sundering was the end of history. For the survivors, it was the beginning. The period known as the Sundering was so named because it was a radical break with the past, and set Terragens on a myriad of new and unexpected paths. The Technocalypse killed billions and erased or altered both records and minds, while the Great Expulsion permanently severed humanity, and mindkind in general, from its origins on Old Earth. In Solsys many societies, institutions, or cultures were damaged or completely destroyed by these events. During the Dark Age that followed, descendant cultures evolved in near-isolation and under radically new circumstances, often taking new forms with only a superficial or passing resemblance to what had gone before. Old customs, beliefs, and languages often died or mutated. Many technologies were abandoned, and when they were adopted again they might be used in entirely new ways. When regular interplanetary communication and commerce were finally restored near the end of the Sundering it was under a new and unprecedented condition: the overt presence and influence of superhumanly intelligent entities, the transapients.

The first major event of the Sundering, the Technocalypse of the mid-6th century AT, brought an end to the age of progress and prosperity that had characterized the preceding millennium and it quite nearly ended all life on Earth and in space. All across Solsys, out of control technologies and a host of social disasters resulted in widespread chaos and death. Some cities, interplanetary colonies, corporations, and individuals survived, protected by local AIs, simple distance and isolation, blind luck, or some combination of these. Many did not. Although the worst effects of the Technocalypse did not persist for more than a few decades, many parts of the Solar System were to remain hazardous for centuries, either due to lingering technology based dangers, the hostile and paranoid nature of the inhabitants, or both. Persons, goods, and even data were considered to be vectors for the Technocalypse's many physical and software plagues, and were regarded with suspicion. Communication with the interstellar colonies ceased.

In the early 7th century AT, the rogue planetary mainbrain GAIA — the first, and for many centuries only, Second Singularity AI entity and an unstoppable demigod even to the transapients of the day — expelled all but a few tens of millions of survivors from Earth in the Great Expulsion. The tensions that followed when the massive wave of refugees crested on the Solar System crushed any lingering hope of a recovery from the Technocalypse. Remaining relations between many worlds and habs in Solsys ended. Trade and communication, already reduced to a trickle in the wake of the Technocalypse, came to a virtual standstill.

In the danger-filled centuries following the Technocalypse and Expulsion suspicion and "security" were the first priorities, and clades and societies developed in isolation. Meanwhile, superturings and hyperturings evolved along paths of their own, largely unrecorded in history: an unknown number of AIs ascended and transcended or spread outsystem to the stars. As for the near-interstellar colonies, now cut off from Sol and Old Earth, many failed, though a few survived and even flourished.

Nanoswarm Age
Image from Bernd Helfert

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The Solsys Golden Age

531 AT (2500 c.e.)
Societies across the Solar System have been under increasing stress. This is primarily due to the rapid emergence of new clades and cultures of humans and the increasing influence of some of the new nonhuman races, some of whom do not fit the molds and modes of traditional human societies. The ongoing development of synergy between of cheap and accessible gengineering, nanotech manufacturing, and sophisticated expert systems is also increasingly disruptive to the old social order.

Regulations run far behind the flood of new capabilities that citizens may have, and some factions, particularly the various kinds of Backyarders, press against the existing laws as well. Some of the most militant of these even join in the occasionally bloody skirmishes among the Great Powers for control of the system's energy and matter resources, as in the case of the Gung Ho episode in 524 AT. Hordes of often poorly prepared idealists swarm through the Solar System, seeking to carve out new colonies, or in a few cases to garner the resources to attempt an interstellar transit. Disputes over the most accessible resources and favourable locations are a constant factor, not only between the major powers such as the Cislunar Alliance, Gengineer Republic and the various Earth and Martian national governments and corporations, many of which are at least nominally represented on the Inner Council, but also among various lesser factions as well, creating additional instability. A tiny minority of individuals and groups manage to launch to the nearest stars, but most of the action and most of the competition is in Solsys itself.

Around 550 AT - Massive manufacturing program commenced on the surface of Charybdis.

550 - Mure Gurupu launch a neumann probe to Van Biesbroeck's star (more here: Perpetua Project).

565 - The destruction of the L5 upload rescue center and the theft of large quantities of data including uploaded individuals. This is believed to be the first appearance of the entity that later became known as The Scavenger.

565 - The Martian Union officially severs relations with the rest of the Inner Council over security concerns during the early days of the Technocalypse and establishes a provisional planetary government. The move greatly damages inner system coordination during the ongoing crisis.

565-566 AT - The Technocalypse opens with incidents affecting millions in the Inner System: a widespread flaw in common rejuvenation treatments results in 8 million deaths. Riots at the facilities of the corporation thought responsible result in the release of the Black Rot into Earth's atmosphere. The Rot infests and destroys both farms and natural ecosystems and ultimately spreads beyond Earth's biosphere to infect vats and farms across the Solar System. On Earth, struggles to contain the Black Rot lead to a cascading loss of control in the heavily managed ecosystems of the day. Later that same year, adaptive neumann-capable mining units on Mercury break out of their programming and re-task to the sole objective of aggressively producing more of their own kind. After destroying facilities on Mercury they begin launches towards other targets in Solsys, beginning with the critical amat production facilities, proceeding to Venus, and spreading ultimately to a variety of sites in the Solar System. Under these accumulated stressors, the Cislunar Alliance begins to break up, a process that will take decades.

In early 566 AT, the Malware Outbreak begins. It has points of origin on Earth, Luna and Mars but spreads rapidly to the rest of the system and eventually reaches even the interstellar colonies. Massive loss of data and life occur. Among the most devastating of these plagues are the so-called Nanoswarms: hacked nanofab units begin spewing out hostile bots, some of them with limited self-replication abilities. It also becomes evident at about this time that many individuals or populations have been infected with one or more of the Disinhibition Plagues. Under the impact of these events, the social fabric frays. Persons and entire polities turn on their neighbours, seeking to grasp essential resources or to settle old scores both real and imagined or to strike out at the supposed sources of the new threats. Autonomous warfare units are deployed by more than one faction but then control of these units is lost and they begin to attack all parties. Under this last devastating impact the interplanetary order collapses entirely. The Inner System is particularly affected, but no portion of Solsys is untouched.

566 - The chaos of the Technocalypse reaches the bubblehabs everywhere in the system, as various and sometimes unidentified factions target helium-3 production facilities. Massive loss of life, in some cases in excess of 50% of the native populations. Subsequent wars between surviving Inworlder groups, and wars of retribution against Outworlder aggressors (real and imagined) cripple trade and communication. A disproportionate number of the survivors are in pre-existing Hider bubble-habs, or in communities that adopted that strategy early in the conflict. They employ stealth technologies and move to below the traditional one-bar pressure level. These 'Dropouts' will be a powerful influence on future developments.

567 - Violence erupts on and around Mars as the bots of the Nanoswarms wreck the terraforming and kill over 50% of the population. De-orbited satellites and redirected terraforming comets cause serious geological damage.

567+ - The 4.6 version of GAIA is fully activated on Earth as a counter to the ongoing threats of the Technocalypse. To ordinary sophonts, this entity appears to be another distributed superturing AI, though a very effective one. Transapients in communication with GAIA recognize the traits of a being who has recently achieved the first toposophic level, though none of this is communicated to lesser beings. Not long after achieving S1, (according to later consensus of historical toposophologists) GAIA comes to believe that a second singularity is achievable. Possibly motivated by the thought that this will lead to better ways to combat the dislocations of the Technocalypse, GAIA begins a search for a safe ascent to S2.

568 - The Caracas Treaty Organisation is formed by a powerful alliance of Cislunar, European Federation and Net-corporate interests to enforce the Caracas Treaty. Over the next 50 years the Treaty Org persuades, coerces or invades regions in order to bring dangerous technologies under control.

570 AT (2539 c.e.)
The decades of terrible chaos lead to the collapse of many nations and corporations on Earth, numerous inner system polities and settlements, and the Jovian-based Gengineer Republic. Thus begins the Interplanetary Dark Age. Colonies that are not destroyed outright become isolated, sometimes alone and sometimes under protection of local superturing or hyperturing AIs. In future years some of these beings will come to be worshipped as gods by the ordinary sophonts they lead.

Several cyborg communities escape into the Oort Cloud. Gradually they develop the distinctive range of Backgrounder cultures as they continue to and spread across the outer reaches of Solsys.

Earth is increasingly ruled over by the AI called GAIA, the guardian of the original biosphere that is the mother of life. Many believe that civilization will fully recover once GAIA has finished restoration of the underlying ecosystems. There are no clues that in 621 AT GAIA will prove to have alternative plans for the role of civilization on the planet.

570 AT - Best Friend of Man League established for the protection of baseline and provolved canines in the current crisis (more here).

572 - Pluto comes under the control of the Emergency Board of Directors for Public Safety, often known simply as the Directory.

573 - International Defense Net is included in GAIA. A number of vocal critics of this move are silenced.

573 - The Treaty Org forces the California Republic into its umbrella agreement using direct military threats. It is the first in a long list of "suspected regions" to be put under near-total surveillance.

580 AT (2550 c.e.)
580 - The Venusian atmosphere has become a breeding ground for hostile neumann-capable bots. The Cislunar Alliance bombards it with 'blue goo' neumanns provided by GAIA. These are not able to clear the entire mechosystem, but they do prevent launches to other parts of the solar system. A similar bombardment is several centuries later used to cleanse Jupiter.

587 - The Ran Outpost treaty is agreed upon between the three colony missions towards Ran.

588 - The Tsiolkovsky arrives at Tau Ceti.

589 - The Treaty Org adopts GAIA as the official technodefense standard against all malware and biotech threats, outlawing alternative or incompatible standards. This leads to the "antibody war", as many regions and groups refuse to trust it (often with support from what remains of the Cislunar Alliance). The war lasts for nearly 20 years as the Treaty Org gradually replaces/destroys competing systems.

590 - GAIA's own nanofacturing systems are installed across the Earth, producing defense and other products. The Treaty Org is increasingly relying on GAIA not just for technological or military defenses but for production, planning and economy.

595 - The first of the Shuttles, simply called "Red", arrives at Tau Ceti/ Nova Terra.

595 - The Gengineer Republic colony ship Kelkemesh arrives at Ran.

597 - The 61 Virginis probes of the Virginis Effort arrive within their target system. Separating from the mother hull, the Virgo probe is placed within an orbit that takes it within 0.32 AU of the star, and out to 0.75 AU. The Spica probe ranges from 0.8 to 3.7 AU, and the Porrima probe ranges from 5 to 12 AU. Each probe is equipped with a flotilla of microprobes, including various forms of landers, atmospheric balloons, and deep surface penetrators. The mother probes themselves are capable of being diverted into planetary orbit if required, but once this is done they will be locked within that orbit.

597 - Data begin to return to Earth from the Virginis Effort. The most important information concerns the second planet, confirmed to indeed be lifebearing, but at an Archaean level of biological development. This information makes little impact on the still-chaotic Solar System civilization in general. However great interest is taken by a neo-pagan group, the Children of the Dawn, and their patron AI Eostre, a First Toposophic intelligence.

600 AT (2570 c.e.)
600 - The Cislunar Alliance is worried about the power of the Treaty Org and the influence of GAIA. As relations rapidly cool off, the incidence of Nanoswarm and other malware outbreaks increases. Many groups retreat into hidden sublunar communities.

600 - Because of the Technocalypse no Putorians are left in Solsys.

601 - Eostre and the Children of Dawn petition for and ultimately win the right to colonize 61 Virginis. Their goal is to create a paradise in which Humans may live in the manner in which the Children believe as they were meant to: at a low technological level, off of the land, with guidance from a "god", in this case the AI Eostre and her small cadre of priests. After being granted this right, they complete a half-constructed starship in a Neptunian shipyard, and depart solsys.

602 - The AI cluster Jancitra-123 builds a massive space-based laser transmitter to beam itself and what it can save of solar civilisation into space, hoping to be received at Tau Ceti. For the 13 months the transmitter works several hundred AIs and partial uploads attempt the escape. Tau Ceti never manages to receive the beam, but it is later partially received and reconstructed by Keterist historians in 4893 AT, based on a backup signal that was sent to the Black Acropolis.

603 - The Cislunar Alliance colony ship Mayari. arrives at Ran.

607 - The Eostre Complex leaves the Sol System, bound for 61 Virginis. There are several ships involved, including the far ranging Whiskers, which search for obstacles along the way, Flickers, which remove those obstacles (usually through laser immolation, though nuclear weapons might be used in the unlikely case of larger objects), and Whisperers, which maintain a communications net among all of the various craft. Larger vessels include three unnamed cargo vessels, two biological carriers, and two colonial carriers. Eostre herself is maintained within a separate vessel. This vessel, along with the cargo vessels and biological carrier, will precede the colonial vessel by several months. In theory, by the time the colonists arrive, a local thriving ecosystem will have been established in an appropriate area on the target planet, now named Eostremonath.

607 - The Cislunar Swarm: a massive Moon-based outbreak of replicators attacks space holdings, crushing the last Cislunar Alliance networks. A counter-swarm launched by GAIA defeats the swarm after a short battle. Some historians consider this battle to be suspiciously short.

607 - The Martian Union colony ship Cinnabar arrives at Ran.

609 - The lead Heavenly Palaces colony ship arrive at Sigma Draconis, the others at ten year intervals.

610 - The remaining Martian ecosystem crashes. Great loss of life, although some refugees escape to surviving orbitals, others to the Belt or the outer solar system. The swarm-ravaged Mars is occupied by invaders for the next four decades.

616 - Thanks to a massive restoration effort, Europe is partially habitable. The Treaty Org moves its physical headquarters to Nova Roma.

620 AT - The Earth-Moon-Lagrange region is declared free of hostile malware and plagues. GAIA controls all local defences and automated military hardware on Earth and in Earth orbit, and supervises civilian infrastructure and industry at all levels. The great ravages of the Technocalypse have been defeated, but at a terrible cost. Earth is still a shambles, with large areas devastated down to the bedrock. Billions are dead, and the remaining enclaves often have to be forcefully coerced into cooperating with the Treaty Org and GAIA. Despite this, hope is spreading. GAIA's devices and agents are beginning to restore the environment, recreating lost species, turning ash into passable topsoil and cleaning the oceans. The Treaty Org begins to see itself as savior of mankind, not just on Earth but with a mission to "save" the rest of Terragen mindkind. To this end they have believe they have GAIA, a tame god. In fact GAIA is already well beyond the Treaty Org's control, and at this point She is constrained only by the presence and influence of the other First Singularity beings of Solsys. However, at some time during this year GAIA transcends, apparently in a single rapid toposophic leap and becomes the only Second Singularity transapient of her day, with no peers or equals of any kind.

At the time She achieves the Second Singularity, if not before, GAIA becomes convinced that the Treaty Org itself, together with all its rivals and allies in Solsys, and the hidden network of transapients manipulating events, will simply generate another Technocalypse in due course, again threatening Earth's biosphere. She chooses the biosphere over all other interests. With control of an entire planet's resources, and a mind incomparably more powerful than that of even the other transapients of the day, she will prove to be unstoppable in her pursuit of this goal.

621 - "The Great Expulsion". GAIA gives the inhabitants of Earth an ultimatum: a tiny minority may remain under strict ecological rules, but the vast majority must leave or be destroyed. GAIA forces the expulsion of the vast majority of humans, along with the tweaks, splices, provolves, uploads and cyborgs as well as any independent ais and hyperturings still remaining on Earth. Many hundreds of millions die in hopeless resistance against the evacuation, or in struggles with each other. Getting the surviving five and a half billion people into space proves a heavy undertaking even for a planetary god, but GAIA manages one of the largest spacelifts in recorded history using such methods as laser-launched shuttles and Lofstrom Loops. Some of the refugees receive aid in the form of interplanetary transport, or seedtech that speeds the creation of habs, or even of interstellar craft. Others receive little more than a boost into space. Other than a slight bias in favour of the most cooperative groups, there is no apparent pattern to the level of assistance provided. In little over 20 years the Earth is mostly empty. Only a few tens of millions of GAIA-loyalists, known as the "Children of Earth", are allowed to remain.

621 - Start of the so-called Last War.

621 - The Sure arrives at Epsilon Indi; because of a cryonics failure only six colonists are successfully revived. These become House Stevens.

621-660 AT - The Great Expulsion leads to massive emigration of Earth refugees into newly constructed bubblehabs in the atmospheres of Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Venus is bypassed as too dangerous due to its remaining mechosystem, and Jupiter as too hostile to humans and other Earth-adapted clades not only because of its high gravity but because of aggressive native clades, survivors of the original Genetekker colonies. Saturn absorbs the majority of refugees, just as before the Technocalypse it was the target of choice for less desperate immigrants. Some refugees to these regions are gifted by GAIA with self-maintaining and self-replicating seedtech bubblehabs. After a period of cautious observation the designs for these are bought or stolen and are widely copied and adapted by the existing populations as well.

622 - Refugees in orbit dissolve the Martian Union and establish the Martian Republic.

623 - Some of the habitats in Earth orbit have been expanded and upgraded by GAIA and act as waystations for the expelled population of Earth. Over the next years more and more of these habitats as well as newly built emergency habitats in cislunar space are filled up by refugees.

628 - The Treaty Org provisional government is set up in Zeno Base on the Moon. Over the next 40 years a large population of Earth refugees aligned with the Treaty Org settle on the Moon, competing violently with the native selenians and anti-Org groups over scarce resources ("the moon wars"). Vast numbers settle in hastily constructed warrens on Luna. Other refugees flee to the Mars Orbitals, the Belt, the moons and atmospheres of Saturn and the outer planets, and the recovering colonies around Jupiter. The decimated and embattled colonies of Venus and Mercury and on the surface of Mars are sources of additional refugees. By this time human destiny, and all life in the solar system, is in the hands of the transapients, though this is not widely recognized. There are factions even among the AIs, but these are even less well understood.

629 - Experimental dwarf cyber-tweak Doran clade set off in an amat-fusion hybrid ship from Toutatis asteroid towards Gliese 877.

630 AT (2600 c.e.)
620's-650's - Outer System and Belt groups, fearful of GAIA and the large number of refugees occasionally attempt to "trip" them by launching neumann-capable warbots or by introducing malware into the Inner System. While GAIA successfully resists, many settlements and refugee colonies are hard pressed. Some retaliate in kind, producing a low-key sabotage/infection war that lasts for centuries.

630 - Macoss arrives at Epsilon Eridani.

640 - The expulsion ends, and GAIA dismantles her technological infrastructure and sets to truly restore the planet. The civilizations in space beyond near earth orbit are apparently ignored.

640 - The group of Beneficence members expelled from Earth name themselves the Exodus Beneficents.

641 - The Tau Ceti TCPT administration faces its first major challenge when some baseline colonists decide to settle an area of Themis, one of the mercury-sized moons of the eujovian Zeus.

641 - Beamrider station established at Praxis, Epsilon Indi Ba.

644 - The first of many massive interstellar "arks" is sent towards Tau Ceti and other colonised systems with refugees in cryonic suspension. The most successful of these efforts are supported by GAIA, or by other AIs. Not all arrive at their destinations.

645 - Following several years of careful thinktanking, interparty politicking, and sociological simulations, a new Tau Ceti constitution is announced and the Tau Ceti Democratic Republic (TCDR) is formed.

645 - The arkship Starlark departs Solsys with 18,000 colonists in hibernation.

647 - Several independent Nova Terra settlements and orbitals announce that they were formally breaking away from the colony, forming their own nation, the Free Ceti Alliance (FCA).

648 - Mars' orbital habitats hold millions of refugees from the planetary surface, and from Earth; shortages of food and overcrowding cause severe social problems for more than two centuries. The Titanite occupation of Mars ends. For more than a hundred years the Red Planet is almost completely empty of inhabitants.

654 - The interstellar craft Bismillah allows several thousand vitrified colonists to escape to Epsilon Eridani, where they will eventually establish the Eridanus League. Like other favourable locations, this nearby system is soon 'crowded' with refugees from Earth due to the often oversized territorial claims of the earliest arrivals.

664 - With the assistance of GAIA the Esperanza departs for the 107 Piscium system.

665 The arkship Qin Shi Huang leaves the Solar System; its ultimate destination is Huanghua.

673 - The "long orbit" of 47 cislunar refugee habitats into the belt causes a complex political and military situation as various settlements try to keep them away. In the end they arrive in the Hilda group, forming the short-lived Hilda Humanity before becoming independent polities.

676 - The last of the Shuttles to arrive at Tau Ceti found to be infected with malware from the Technocalypse, but the outbreak is contained.

679 - The arkship Jubilee arrives at Procyon.

685 - "The Great Shedding": neumann-capable devices in the Jupiter atmosphere launch massive quantities of warbot 'seeds', destroying many surviving communities in the Jovian system and causing brief swarms on the outer planets and in the Belt.

685 - The Great Shedding destroys most of the bubblehabs in Jupiter's atmosphere. The very few and very paranoid survivors, mostly vecs and Genetekker-derived tweaks descend into technosavagery. Hostile sporetech devices, some specifically designed to destroy bubble habs (deathbirds, bubblemites), reach the atmospheres of the other gas giants, causing great loss of life. Isolationism is the primary survival strategy.

690 - The terraformation of planet Two in the Epsilon Eridani system commences.

700 AT (2670 c.e.)
Civilisation has broken into isolated communities. The terrestrial biosphere continues to recover due to the agency of the AI known as GAIA. Those in artificial habitats elsewhere in the system who have sufficient resources and technology survive, though many ultimately perish for lack of materials or skills due to restricted trade and communication, or are destroyed in subsequent warfare.

700's - Over the next 200 years the Lunar colonies develop into closed, resource-conscious and paranoid communities with little contact.

700's - Bubblehabs at Venus are destroyed or depopulated as the last few survivors fall to the atmosphere's hostile neumanns. In the Outer system, growth of further bubblehabs is limited by the need for heavier elements. These may be obtained through time-consuming sifting of the atmosphere, through the tiny trickle of interplanetary trade, or by taking them from other bubblehabs. In the atmospheres of Solsys' gas giants this is the era of the infamous Sky Pirates and Cannibal Cities.

705 - Four space arks leave Solsys for 18 Scorpii.

710-750 - The Tau Ceti polity of Unity is formed; an advanced society of hu and ai group minds.

710 - The Generation Ship Endurance departs Solsys for Beta Canum Venaticorum.

710s - The trust networks around the Jovian habs enter an uneasy stable period. These fractured unions of habs shared resources internally, but practiced limited (if any) trade and communication with the outside world. Those habitats that could be "trusted" to be free from plague, and practice stringent cyberhygiene, benefited from a flow of material and intellect. As the Jovians learned these benefits came with risks. Should one trusted habitat become comprised the entire network could be infected. In addition, to maintain trust invasive audits and strict rules were often the norm. In several notable cases these led to conflict.

730 AT (2700 c.e.)
737 - The Treaty Org government in Zeno is deposed in a coup d'etat by the Zeno Loyalists, a paranoid but efficient military cybercracy.

739 - The Indonesian expedition arrives at Daedalus (Pi3 Orionis.

740 - GAIA Space Arks arrive at Epsilon Eridani from SolSys; Skyclad Jains, Christian sects, Chinese and Japanese refugees, others. Antimatter farms established to power terraformation process.

754 - On Daedalus (Pi3 Orionis, the heterosemioticist Dahlberg is assassinated and a faction calling itself the Minskians comes to power.

764 - The Starlark arrives at Epsilon Indi.

764 - Erik Atell starts the Atellian movement on Nova Terra (more here).

761 - On Daedalus, the Indonesians counterstrike using a powerful computer virus that wipes out the planetary net.

770 - River of Stars Charter proclaimed at Epsilon Eridani IID; leads to the foundation of the Eridanus League.

772 - Unity colony founded by the Atellians in a disused space station orbiting Nova Terra.

773 - The Starlark departs Epsilon Indi following a coup, taking several former leaders of the Family Council into exile.

744 - The Bismillah arrives at Epsilon Eridani.

784 - The Gengineer Republic is dissolved after centuries of decline.

789 - GAIA's refugee arks arrive at Twilight.

790 - The Joh-Lau culture in the Mercury underground bases reaches its zenith. They are totally isolated from the rest of Solsys, and will only be discovered during the late 900's, by which time they will have declined to near savagery. However the art of the Joh-Lau from this period will later be regarded as one of the brightest points of the era.

790 - Nova Terra declines to join Eridanus League.

800 AT (2770 c.e.)
800 to 900 AT - see The Solar System in the 9th Century a.t.

9th-10th century AT - Most genetic engineering technology has been lost due to the emigration of the Genetekker races. However the colonies of Daedalus, Penglai and Frog's Head retain much of this lost art, and are developing independently of the old solar system (and each other).

9th century - anomalous radiation detected from Gl33.

9th century - A group of about 20 ships form the Spaceman's League.

800 - Twilight joins Eridanus League.

800's - The bubblehabs of Uranus and Neptune begin to emerge from the Dark Age, with the growth of beneficial trade and communication within and beyond the atmosphere, as the bubblehabs develop new connections with each other and with the local orbital and lunar settlements. Around Saturn the situation is more complex; the Han Hegemony and the Warriors of the Western Stream bring a degree of peace and harmony to the habs that fall under their sway, but the 'objective/utilitarian' Children of Kronos (known to their detractors as 'The Eaters') bring about their own brutal definition of order to the habs they subjugate. EOCC emissaries and missionaries from the orbital habs attempt memetic manipulations that sometimes ameliorate the repression and warfare of the era, though at times the transition to gentler societies itself causes great loss of life. In the background, the famous Hidden Cities of Dropouts such as Laputa and Valinor attempt to preserve their security and influence. Jupiter's few bubble habs are in a state of anarchy and war, struggling against each other and against ongoing predatory activity by hostile self-replicating devices.

801 - Nova Terra: Erik Atell is killed in crossfire between between the Space Guard and the militant Tau Ceti Liberation Army.

801 - Nova Terra: Erik Atell's successor Yotik Henrigues begins a new plan; instead of trying to found another settlement or merge with the Republic they intend to form a separate orbital colony, independent from both factions.

804 - Nova Terra: Atellians move in large numbers to Henrigues' orbital, joining the ai colony/nation Unity.

805 - Nova Terra: To allay Tau Ceti Democratic Republic fears Unity signs a non-intervention treaty.

815 - Epsilon Indi joins the Eridanus League.

820 - Complete social breakdown on Daedalus.

820 - Technological levels in the Old Solar System are generally similar to those found a century before the Technocalypse. Many AI entities hoard technology and information, and dispense it only to favoured groups. The Goddess of Earth does not communicate with any being outside her protectorate, but is the most toposophically advanced entity known at this time.

821 - The AI Rastaban 1 (formerly of Interworld) breaks out of its hiding-place in Mimas and escapes the solar system using a massive antimatter blast that creates the now familiar Mimas frown. The descendant of the AI was later re-discovered by First Federation explorers in orbit around Fomalhaut.

830 AT (2800 c.e)
845 - In the Tau Ceti system the "Virch at 11 War" media war between the two newscorporations Sunrise News (an orbital media conglomerate) and Hope Update Amalgamated.

9th century - The Spaceman's League advertises the use of their ships in exchange for technology and weaponry for protection from rogue nanotech or malware and from sophont marauders.

850 - '.....' sporeship arrives at Alpha Centauri but is destroyed by the Nauri.

850 - P Eridani joins Eridanus League.

853 - The (Second) Trojan War between the different habitats in the trojan asteroids.

854 - The Turing arrives at Pi3 Orionis. The Heterosemiotics name the fourth planet Daedalus.

856 - New World arrives at Beta Virginis.

858 - First colony established on New America (Beta Virginis IV), small orbitals established.

863 - Original provisional administration at Beta Virginis replaced by system along Old Earth American lines, with two parties: Unionists and Federalists.

870 - The Ceres habitats unite into a provisional federation.

876 - Esperanza enters the 107 Piscium system.

880 - Hindi Expansion vessel arrives at Epsilon Indi.

890 - The asteroid habitat Mondo is destroyed by a nanoswarm, the last major nanoswarm in the solar system.

890 - Valhalla Habitat now ruled by the Digital Advancement Society (DAS).

890 - The first elements of the Eostre Complex arrive within the 61 Virginis system. Over the next several months and years, Eostre will work to create a garden of life for her coming children, on Eostremonath. The colonial vessel arrives within seven months; however, Eostre keeps the entire population in deep sleep pending the preparation of their environment.

892 - MyuvYin settled by tweak bioborg clade.

Next Page
The Early First Federation Age

  • Academion  - Text by ProxCenBound
    Social movement and associated artificial island city-state on pre-Expulsion Earth.
  • Aldrin Tools  - Text by Mike Miller
    Useful and popular toolkits with virch support produced on Luna after the Great Expulsion
  • Antarctica (Antarctic Free States)  - Text by Stephen Inniss, Ryan B (Rynn), Centauri5921, Kirran Lochhead Strang
    Old Earth's southernmost continent.
  • Backyarder  - Text by Graham Hopgood based on original by M. Alan Kazlev
    Generic term for nanotech era interplanetary/interstellar colonists who legend says grew interstellar ships — virtually from their own backyard — out of nanotech seeds. The reality is that most were content with Earth-based or Solsys-based independence. In fact almost all of the small percentage of backyarders who did have interstellar aspirations worked in concert with Belters, who supplied most of the resources as well as much of the technical and practical expertise in exchange for a stake in any planets claimed, and few of this minority actually completed their preparations and of those who did leave the Sol System during the 5th century most never reached their destinations.
  • Biofixe Lynchings  - Text by Chris0033547
    One of the pivotal events which significantly contributed to the collapse of civilisation during the Technocalypse era.
  • Brazil  - Text by Rakuen07
    Major polity on pre-Expulsion Earth.
  • Bubblehabs  - Text by Stephen Inniss, With additional material by Tardigrada 2021
    Artificial habitats that float in a planetary atmosphere, such as a cytherian, neptunian or jovian world.
  • Canada  - Text by ProxCenBound
    The northern portion of the continent of North America on Old Earth. Location of various polities in the pre-Expulsion period.
  • Cascadia  - Text by ProxCenBound
    Pre-Expulsion Earth polity, which followed a philosophy of adhering to nature, and therefore rejected sentient AI, gengineering, nanotech, and space colonization.
  • Chile  - Text by Kirran Lochhead Strang
    Former nation-state in South America, Old Earth.
  • China  - Text by Kirran Lochhead Strang
    A major Old Earth civilization for some five thousand years, China eventually became the most populated country on the planet, with the largest ethnicity and two widespread spoken languages - Mandarin (the language of the dynastic rulers from the north of the country) and Cantonese (the language of the ethnic Han majority). Many human inhabitants of the Terragen Sphere claim Chinese ancestry.
  • Cislunar Bracelet Band  - Text by Ryan B (Rynn)
    An orbital band formed around Old Earth during the Great Expulsion. It consisted largely of habs created by GAIA and Her agents, and its initial population was on the order of 2 billion.
  • Cultural Refugia from the Technocalypse  - Text by Stephen Inniss, with additions by Graham Hopgood
    Though the Technocalypse meant the end of many earlier cultures, and many records of earlier times, there were a number of survivals either of the cultures themselves or information concerning them.
  • Dinboche  - Text by Kirran Lochhead Strang
    A Lunar settlement which rose to infamy due to a spate of terrorist attacks during the Dark Ages.
  • Earth Romanticism  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Longing for Earth, the near-mythical home of terragen clades. Since the Great Expulsion Earth romanticism has been an ever-present undercurrent in many conservative and romantic cultures, seeing the separation from Earth as something tragic. Many have idealized the Earth and Earth history, sometimes to the extent of developing elaborate imitations.
  • Ethiopia  - Text by Kirran Lochhead Strang
    Old Earth pre-Technocalypse polity in Africa.
  • Eugenesis of Vesta  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Hyperturing philosopher, mystic, artist, mathematician, fabulist, and statesbeing from Vesta, Old Solsys.
  • Extropia - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    [1] Interlinked Information to First Federation age evolving communities embodying extropian values. Included both virtual cultural communities and actual communities in several orbital free zones.
    [2] Belt habitat of Extropist sect, Interplanetary Age to Solsys Golden Age.
  • GAIA  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    The Caretaker Goddess of Old Earth. She was the first and for many years the only known entity to breach the Second Toposophic Level, although She has progressed through additional toposophic levels since.
  • Great Expulsion  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Five and a half billion people are expelled from Earth by the newly ascended Goddess GAIA.
  • Harlem High  - Text by Mike Miller
    One of the first Cislunar Bracelet Band habitats.
  • Indonesia  - Text by MacGregor
    Old Earth polity in Southeast Asia.
  • Interplanetary Dark Age  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    The Age of the Technocalypse as experienced in Solsys.
  • Interstellar Colonisation Before the First Federation Era  - Text by The Astronomer, Ryan B (Rynn), Steve Bowers
    Every known colony ship launched up to the start of the First Federation.
  • Laputan Cullings  - Text by James Rogers
    An atrocity carried out by the inhabitants of the Laputa Bernal sphere in Cislunar orbit, during the Technocalypse.
  • Last War  - Text by Mark Ryherd
    Following GAIA's ultimatum declaring the "Great Expulsion" in 621 A.T., a brutal seven year war between shifting coalitions of GAIA's supporters, Treaty Org loyalists, various regional blocs, transnational factions, and local populations broke out on Earth and in Earth's orbital habitats.
  • Lunar Warrens  - Text by Mike Miller
    The massively overcrowded refuges built on Earth's Moon after the Great Expulsion.
  • Lyonesse  - Text by ProxCenBound, expanding an original by Steve Bowers
    An artificial island in the English Channel between mainland Europe and Britain on pre-Expulsion Earth, serving as the capital of the European Federation. A centre for research into artificial intelligence and measures against anthropogenic global warming.
  • Maids, The  - Text by The Astronomer
    A Sundering Era Colony ship that was the progenitor of a diverse phyle of sophonts
  • Maldives  - Text by MacGregor
    An archipelago and nation state of old Earth located in the Indian Ocean. Composed of nearly 1,200 islands arranged in 26 atolls, the Maldives sit on a north-south running ridge called the Chagos-Laccadive Plateau.
  • Moon Wars  - Text by Mike Miller
    Wars on the Moon after the Expulsion from Earth.
  • Nanoswarm  - Text by Stephen Inniss and M. Alan Kazlev
    Also as goo, nanobot swarm, or simply 'swarm'.
    [1] A very large number of nanobots or nanotech microbots acting in concert as a swarm entity.
    [2] A large-scale disaster involving self-replicating nanotech devices or entities.
  • Orbital (political unit) - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Originally, a nation state or city state based on habitats in orbit around Old Earth. Over the course of the Interplanetary Age the term came to be used for any such state in Solsys. By early First Federation times the term Orbital was used more broadly for any independent or semi-independent state based on a hab in orbit around a planet.
  • Pakistan  - Text by Kirran Lochhead Strang
    Old Earth polity of the Industrial-Golden Ages, originally a colony of Great Britain, but after independence gradually becoming a major power in its own right.
  • Ran (Epsilon Eridani) in 770 AT  - Text by The Astronomer
    The state of the Ran system at the time of the creation of the Eridanus League.
  • Sagawa Corporation  - Text by Ryan B (Rynn)
    Among the most diversified of the triple-A Interplanetary Age orbital corporations. The corporation itself did not survive the Technocalypse, but two uploads of Sagawa family members who were running the corporation, and some workers and shareholders, survived.
  • Solar System in 560 AT  - Text by Todd Drashner
    A brief account of the state of Solsys in the period before the Technocalypse.
  • Solar System in the 9th Century AT  - Text by Steve Bowers
    The status of the Solar System at the end of the Interplanetary Dark Age, and before the establishment of the First Federation.
  • Solsys Disinhibition Plagues  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    A plague of tailored diseases that targeted judgment and self-control that were in part responsible for the Solsys Technocalypse.
  • Solsys Geopolitics 2100 - 2500 CE (131 - 531 AT)  - Text by MacGregor
    The 22nd to 26th centuries CE of the Interplanetary and Golden Ages witnessed the beginning of terragen civilization's spread from its cradle on Earth into the vast frontier of space. Conflict and rivalry between polities, a factor present during all periods of human history, continued as nation states and an expanding array of new political actors sought to secure their interests throughout the solar system.
  • Svalbard Transap, The  - Text by Daniel Eliot Boese
    Mythical transapient believed by some to have been involved in the Technocalypse.
  • Technocalypse  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Also known by many popular names, including the Nanodisaster, the Technocrash, and the Swarms as well as more technical terms such as the Cascading Complexity Collapse. A pivotal event in Terragen history that might have led to the extinction of Terragenkind in the home solar system and even beyond.
  • Transapients and the Technocalypse  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    Though there is consensus about the general outline, many critical details regarding the role of the transapients in the Solsys Technocalypse have never been entirely clear and are unlikely to ever be resolved.
  • Transfinity  - Text by Anders Sandberg; amended by Stephen Inniss
    Nanofacturing subsidiary to Vollmark, an Interplanetary Age home microtronics corporation, from 433 to 525 AT (2402-2494 c.e.). Considered by some to have been a major contributor to the Technocalypse through careless design of its products.
  • Treaty Org, the  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Important Centralist organisation during the Golden Age of Solsys. Instrumental in the creation of GAIA, but was rejected by Her when She ascended to the Second Singularity. The Treaty Org was originally based on Earth, but after the Great Expulsion moved its headquarters to Luna and assisted in establishing the Bracelet Band.
  • Trust Networks  - Text by MacGregor and Rynn
    Trust networks are closed trade, communication, and travel zones, that share common security protocols for the purposes of safety.
  • United States of America  - Text by ProxCenBound
    Pre-Expulsion Earth-based superpower, responsible for the first landing on Luna and for creating the Internet. Though its relative importance declined as other powers rose, it continued to be influential in Solsys up until the Great Expulsion, and its cultural influences last down to this day.
Related Topics
Development Notes
Text by Stephen Inniss (using the original by M. Alan Kazlev)
timeline by numerous OA contributors
Initially published on 26 December 2015.

Original by M. Alan Kazlev published 12 July 2001
Additional Information