From Compendium of Appogia

REFERENCETimelinesVade MecumGazetteerStoryWorld

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.

The Quintessence Drive

The Quintessence Drive (Q-Drive) utilizes high energy Quitom fields to extract and hold dark energy in a propulsion matrix chamber. While dark energy is continually stretching space-time, dark matter tries to pull it all back in again. This exchange focused at an apex point in front of a space vessel over a period of 10-15 years will bring the vessel to near faster than light speeds (FTL).

While the Q-Drive is the most advanced interstellar propulsion system, it is highly ineffective within solar systems due to the great density of particles/micro-meteors captured and gathered up in the FTL stream accompanying the vessel. Once the Q-Drive is disengaged all energized particles trapped in the stream are blasted outward in a cone directly in front of the ship. Anything in this zone at arrival is destroyed. Therefore, Q-Drive vessels are equipped with conventional 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 the same design. At the bow were the high energy attraction grids and containment fields of the propulsion matrix chamber. Directly behind it was the ship's command module. Shielded tubing from the propulsion chamber ran the length of the ship to the Q-Drive engines in the stern. Also at the stern were fuel reserve pods and the interplanetary pulse fusion engines. Taking up the center of the ship were the rotating cylindrical containers containing living habitats and hyper-sleep stasis pods for up to 50,000 people. Next came cargo space for both the ship's and colony's supplies and equipment, and a compact manufacturing module staffed by robotic fabricators. In the very center was the rotating hydroponic gardens and quarters for passenger and crew who were not in hyper-sleep stasis.

Hyper-sleep stasis pods place passengers and non-essential crew in a deep sleep hibernation-like state for extended periods of time. This prolonged hypothermic state during space-mission transit phases significantly reduces ship system mass, power, habitable volume, and medical challenges associated with long-duration space voyage. Passenger and crew recover quickly after decades of hibernation through the applied sciences of biotech and nanotechnology.

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.

Corporation Colony Ship Target Star
Jaxibar Dawn's Sword Beta Canum Venaticorum: a Sun-like star about 26 light years away in the constellation Canes Venatici.
Belisarius Amari Star HD 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 Aubade HD 211415: has about half the metal content of the Sun and is a little cooler; just slightly farther away than HD 10307.
Volokh-Turov Vista Voyager 18 Scopii: a near-identical twin of the Sun, located in the constellation Scorpio.
Surai Fokkusu Sun Dancer 51 Pegasus: Possibility of haboring rocky planets.
Ingenium AI Bright Wing Epsilon 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 Athena's Harp Epsilon 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 Distant Light Omicron 2 Eridani: A yellow-orange star about 16 light-years away that is roughly the same age as the Sun.
Lematrix Lady Joy Alpha 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 Haley's Flair Tau Ceti: This star is a G-class star and is in the same brightness category as the Sun.