By the end of the 2100’s, the civilizations of Earth had become the cliche projected by science fiction writers two centuries before. Earth was overpopulated and polluted with half of its civilizations attempting to kill the other half for resources in never-ending wars for water and food. The push into space was inevitable.

Water was available in the asteroids of the Asteroid Belt and the moons of several of the solar system’s gas giants, such as Enceladus of Saturn. Vast riches in precious minerals and metals were also discovered in the Asteroid Belt. By the early 2100’s, space corporations maintained regular mining crews in the Belt as well as ferried water from the moon’s back to Earth and various corporate colonies around the system.

The Sol System Collective
The space corporations grew rich and powerful and soon spread their sphere of control to Earth. Earth became a corporatocracy with an economic and political system controlled by the newly created Sol System Collective (SSC) whose members were made up of the ten controlling corporations and representatives of Earth. The infusion of corporate wealth and management spurred advancements in biotech and nanotechnology which decreased death rates and non-biological body parts became inexpensively made by nanofactories. The health and wealth was shared among the corporate elite and Earth’s rich and powerful, and those who served or were contracted by them. On Earth disease and pollution devastated the population and destroyed nations.

Finally, the SSC stepped in with advancements in robotics and artificial intelligence to help the world’s population level off and plateau. Fertility rates declined with education and birth control, the SSC soon converted Earth’s industry to support space technologies creating jobs and livelihoods for anyone able to work. By 2200 more people were living in space than on Earth. Space had become Earth’s main industry and humans had become a true space faring society.

Before them stood the Universe, and they believed it was theirs alone since in hundreds of years there had not been any evidence of extraterrestrial intelligent life in the galaxy, no contact or sign. The sentiment became that humanity was among the first, or currently most advanced civilizations. Humanity was ahead of the curve for the development of life and had survived the Great Filter that other civilizations obviously had not. Humanity was the chosen race and the Universe was theirs for the taking.

By 2250 work had begun on ten colony ships representing the ten corporations of the SSC and their various interests to be launched to ten target locations throughout the galaxy. They would be powered by the latest advances in technology including biotech, artificial intelligence and the newly created Quintessence Drive.

Largely due to advances in bio-sciences associated with the discovery and application of a new element, Vivaticum, colonists and crew would now be more readily able to endure the stress and medical challenges associated with long-duration space voyage through the use of applied artificially engineered longevity.

The Quintessence Drive
The Quintessence Drive (Q-Drive) utilizes high energy, Quitom Fields, to extract and hold dark energy in a propulsion matrix configuration. While dark energy is continually stretching space-time, dark matter tries to pull it all back in again. This exchange controlled in contracting Quintom Fields produce speeds near faster than light (FTL) over a period of 10-15 years. Reversing these fields for the same period of time bring the vessel back to sub-light or space-normal speed.

Q-Drive vessels are equipped with conventional pulse fusion propulsion system to navigate within solar systems. System egress procedure dictates FTL voyages travel by conventional propulsion into deep space before engaging Q-Drive. System ingress procedure dictates termination of FTL velocity while still in deep space prior to reaching destination then continuing by conventional propulsion to destination. Typical solar system ingress/egress times by conventional propulsion is 15-25 years.

The Colony Ships
Each ship was of similar design. Extending in front of the ship at the bow were the Quintom Field attraction/containment grids and propulsion matrix assembly.  Progressing down the central core about midway was the command module housing the ship’s operations, navigations and communications.  Behind it were the engineering modules housing the fuel storage tanks and reactors for the interplanetary pulse fusion engines.

Circling the central core of the ship were the 8 cylindrical colony pods which rotated around the central core.  Each contained varying configurations of living habitats, agriculture and manufacturing facilities.  The pods also contained cargo space for both the ship’s and colony’s supplies and equipment, and compact manufacturing module staffed by robotic fabricators.

Belisarius Corporation Golden Ticket
Belisarius Corporation Golden Ticket
The Target System Lottery

A series of system-wide lotteries were held first to select the target stars of each colony ship and second the colonists themselves. Corporations of the SSC reserved 20,000 prime slots on each ship for their own elite families, administrators, specialists and technicians. The remaining 30,000 slots in the lower rings were opened up to the masses of Earth and solar system working classes. Each SSC member made selections for their sponsored ships from pools of lottery ‘winners’ based on genetic classifications, merit and projected needs.

 

 

CorporationColony ShipTarget Star
Jaxibar - Space sciences, telecommunicationsDawn's SwordBeta Canum Venaticorum: a Sun-like star about 26 light years away in the constellation Canes Venatici.
Belisarius - Military armaments, mining equipment.Amari StarHD 10307: a near replica of the Sun but with a companion star. Located about 42 light-years away, this star has almost the same mass, temperature and metal-content as the Sun.
Energia - Energy research, discovery, development and extraction.AubadeHD 211415: has about half the metal content of the Sun and is a little cooler; just slightly farther away than HD 10307.
Volokh-Turov - Ship and vehicle manufacturing, associated propulsion units, and related parts.Vista Voyager18 Scopii: a near-identical twin of the Sun, located in the constellation Scorpio.
Surai Fokkusu - Navigational electronics, guidance systems, coupling technology.Sun Dancer 51 Pegasus: Possibility of haboring rocky planets.
Ingenium AI - Artificial Intelligence development and outsourcing.Bright WingEpsilon Indi A: this star is only about one-tenth as bright as the Sun and about 11.8 light-years away in the constellation Indus.
Helios - Extracted biotech resources and development.Athena's HarpEpsilon Eridani: This star is a bit smaller and cooler than the Sun; it is located about 10.5 light-years away in the constellation Eridanus.
Q-Space - Ship drive development.Distant LightOmicron 2 Eridani: A yellow-orange star about 16 light-years away that is roughly the same age as the Sun.
Lematrix - Electronics, lasers, solid-state materials.Lady JoyAlpha Centauri B: This triple star system is located just 4.35 light-years away and one of the Sun's closest stellar neighbors.
Drenthe Corp - Robotic systems, manufacturing and industrial service.Haley's FlairTau Ceti: This star is a G-class star and is in the same brightness category as the Sun.

Reference Notes:

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