This map shows the relative positions of the Earth Alliance and Tetraton-led Empire. Gold systems are capitals and orange systems are contested worlds. Much of the fighting centered upon the system New Madras. Green worlds are major economic or military staging systems.
The Period Overview
Slip War (First Slip War)
In the 28th century, research into wormholes yielded the opportunity for ships to travel at faster than light speeds. The concept tore a hole in the fabric of space-time to form a tunnel to another point in the universe at the same point in time but a different part of space. The adverse side effects of constantly building wormholes, especially the difficulty of maintaining the equal time at each end of the wormhole was not understood at the time it was first used. Two societies developed the technology at roughly the same time, Earth and a long lost colony, Tetraton.
Earth put FTL drives into use immediately, sending survey ships to rediscover colonies. Some of these locations were over seven centuries old with thriving colonies but others were lost due to accidents or war. Diplomats, merchants and politicians from Earth formed the Economic Bloc. Beginning only as a trading agreement between Earth and several other systems, it soon turned into a powerful economic organization for commerce across a dozen systems. The Economic Bloc forums were built on Earth in Shanghai (Jiangsu, China).
As bulk freighters became commonplace around Earth, long range spacecraft discovering the colony of New Madras heard news of a different competing organization. Earth had not expected any other societies to develop FTL technology independently. This consideration was based on Earth’s slow and bureaucratic pace of technological development. Unfortunately, the Earth Parliament soon learned from the New Madras colony that they had already been contacted by "Imperial Ambassadors".
First contact between the Economic Bloc and the Tetrahedron Empire occurred in deep space around Kausis. The Tetrahedron Empire refused to join, with all its systems, as provinces of Earth and it also refused any trading relations with the Economic Bloc. Independently, the Empire had developed a high level of technology. A focused, enlightened despotic regime allowed it to instil scientific programs that far exceeded even Earth’s development. Still, Sol system’s population exceeded the combined population of all other systems.
Earth was unsatisfied with the progress of negotiations with the Empire. Frustration over the refusal to trade was seen as protectionist. Still, extremely radical elements on Earth claimed that humans from the Economic Bloc were of the species Homo Intactus, of unmutated genetic origin and the Empire was comprised of individuals of the species Homo Aegyptus. They preached that Earth must strive to protect the survival of Homo Intactus by ensuring national security against the threat of the hostile Empire.
The isolationist policies of the Empire came to an end over the colony of New Madras. Both Earth and the Empire claimed the colony creating a serious territorial dispute. The threat to the superiority of Earth’s influence was dramatic in Bloc politics. During this tumultuous time, New Madras opted to join the Economic Bloc for greater financial opportunities. The colony had already constructed a fleet of bulk freighters as a sign of friendship which Earth readily accepted.
This insult was not taken lightly by the Empire and they demanded the return of territory. The Tetrahedron Empire viewed New Madras as clearly within its sphere of influence and Earth’s intrusion as a practical act of war. As a result, the Empire demanded the return of the territory. In response the Economic Bloc moved three Earth battleships and one Alpha Centauri battleship into the New Madras system.
Earth, feeling that Tetraton had forgotten its centuries old ties to its birthplace, began to look for support for war to secure its influential superiority. The military power, Alpha Centuari, was quite ready for war under the belief that military strength will secure a better future. New Madras felt it had no choice but to support the war in order to maintain the privilege of Bloc membership. On Earth, United States, European Union, Russia and China actively supported war. Within days after the provocative movement of warships into New Madras, Earth declared war on the Tetrahedron Empire. The Empire would only learn of the declaration after the Battle of Kausis System.
At the edge of Imperial space, a fleet of three Earth battleships, one Alpha Centauri battleship and one New Madras battleship entered into Kausis system. The Imperial forces consisted of three warships, the Imperial Operations military station and the colony of Kausis. The battle began fiercely with heavy fighter combat losses. The Economic Bloc forces, part of the new Earth Alliance military pact, sent in its "slip dogs", fighter craft to screen the advance of its capital ships. At close range, Alliance ships began a continuous volley of fragmentation shells while the Empire responded in kind with Takya energy broadsides.
As the ships neared one another, two Earth battleships had already been crippled or destroyed by Takya fire. One Imperial battleship was severely damaged and as it was being boarded by the New Madras battleship, self-destructed, destroying both craft. Before the ripple of debris even began to sweep through the battlefield, the remaining Earth Battleship fired a nuclear volley at the Imperial military station. As a new wave of fighters and light cruisers were launched by the colony of Kausis, the Alliance ships retreated from the system.
The opening battle was seen as a victory on both sides. The Alliance had devastated its target while the Empire had staved off Earth’s aggression. It would set the pace and desperation of the battles that would come in the later years of the First Slip War. Battleships and carriers warped into opposing systems, unleashed its fightercraft and ballistic weaponry and warped out hours later after a hard fought battle.
In the following years, the Battle of Procyon system and the Battle of Giza Secondus were the only successful offensives by both sides. The Alliance system of Procyon lost a battleship to a successful Imperial incursion and in later months an Alliance raid on Giza Secondus managed to destroy two Imperial warships without losses in a brilliant ambush.
Earth Alliance feared that the Tetrahedron Empire was developing secret anti-matter weapons. Anti-matter could not be mass produced by the Alliance but because the Empire was more technologically advanced there was always the fear that they had somehow developed a way to produce enough anti-matter for strategic weapons deployment. This was an entirely false impression as the Empire had no such technology developed and would not until the 29th century.
During the manifestation of this fear, Earth discovered the Imperial flagship, Phoenix’s Flight, was moving en route to an Imperial war fleet destined for Alpha Centauri. Believing that the lightly defended flagship was so desperate to reach Alpha Centauri was to deploy a newly developed anti-matter weapon, Earth struck at them in deep space with all available ships in the vicinity.
The Phoenix’s Flight and three light cruisers faced off with three Earth battleships ill-prepared for battle. Earth Alliance ships first deployed its fighters using special radiological missiles to destabilize the sublight engine systems on the Phoenix’s Flight. Imperial fighters devastated the slip dogs but did not manage to prevent the flagship’s engines from being hit. Caught in an uncontrolled lateral spin, the Phoenix’s Flight was flanked by the Earth Battleship Colossus. The Imperial flagship could not defend against the nuclear barrage by the Colossus and was destroyed in a single multi megaton blast. The Alliance battleships retreated afterwards.
After this only one more major battle would occur bolstering the Empire’s weak morale. A massive Imperial war fleet managed to bypass defences and struck at Sirius system. The Alliance lost 3 light cruisers and a battleship to the Imperial’s loss of a single battleship.
The First Slip War use of wormholes finally had a noticeable destabilization effect. The flashpoint of the war, New Madras, suffered greatly from its effect and its primary planet’s orbit was perturbed into a seven century long spin into the sun. A ban on wormhole travel was not effective due to the war but the complete destabilization of wormhole travel carried the same effect. In a sudden fell swoop, FTL travel was no longer possible and the war was ended.
The end of FTL travel meant the collapse of the Earth Alliance and its Economic Bloc, as well as the Tetrahedron Empire. After the societies crumbled from the lack of transportation, communication soon followed suit and decayed. Contact was lost between some colonies, others were beset by revolutions and still others by internal conflict. A several decade long dark age had begun for humanity.
New Madras was colonized a hundred years before the Slip War, had been put out of orbit by a wormhole after massive earthquakes destroyed much of the infrastructure. Fortunately, the time estimated before the orbit would have taken the planet into the system's star was six hundred years. The spiral to death was averted and the orbit re-established, in the 33rd century, some time after the Human Federation conquered the galaxy. Still, the ecosystem of the planet was forever damaged beyond repair.
At this point in time the Tetrahedrons were regularly called slohumans due to racism. It was an ancient term used by people during the major eugenics crisis on earth centuries ago. It was meant to describe individuals who were altered genetically or with cybernetic implants irrespective of the reasons for the modifications.
Spreading the Seed of Humanity:
For many centuries before the Slip War, Earth had sent out ships to colonize the stars. Thousands of ships were sent flying off into space using STL engines. Communications was impossible with the budding human colonies and so every single person that left Earth to find a new home were never to be seen or heard from ever again. The infrastructure required for them to be able to send a return ship would have meant centuries until contact resumed. Humans on Earth never knew what success the colonists achieved throughout the years until The Joining.
Around the middle of the 27th century the different "species" of human developed wormhole technology. It was Earth's first chance to finally meet up with the colonies they had established in nearby systems.
The technology involved creating a wormhole that would send to a known destination and variable time that coincided with the timeframe humans existed within. Such a rift was actually very dangerous but it allowed ships to travel instantaneously to other worlds. Unfortunately, at the end of the Slip War the technology was never used again when they found how dangerous it became. Wormholes established between systems slowly deteriorated planetary orbits, caused tectonic shifts and massive ecological damage through radiation and physical disturbances.
When wormhole technology was developed, Earth immediately began sending emissaries to established colonies around Sol system. There was little resistance to the creation of an economic bloc of systems. As time passed, many new systems were discovered with successful colonies. Although Earth scouts also discovered dead colonies, the overall success was crucial to the creation of the Alliance. Soon after developing diplomatic ties with many of the planets, they formed an economic trading bloc and when war broke out they used the rather general term Alliance to describe themselves.
Unbeknownst to the humans on Earth, the Tetrahedrans had established their own network of colonies. They were not actually a different subspecies, given the small timeframe between their departure from Earth and the establishment of their nation. However, radical elements claimed that Earth-centred humans were Homo Intactus and those within the influence of Tetraton were Homo Aegyptus. Using the hypothesis that localized galactic phenomena had sped up the process of evolution, many people believed in this and began to view the Imperial threat as a threat to the continued existence of humanity.
When the humans found the Tetrahedrans, a highly established empire under a much more absolutist regime, they sought to disrupt the power with little success. When the Earth humans claimed that they were actually a different subspecies, the people of the Economic Bloc of systems reacted with fear and paranoia. The Tetrahedrans reacted in the same manner, and the radically different governments could not establish any proper rapport. War ensued soon after.
The Circa Universe by Alex Wong. Sketches by Alex Wong or indicated artists. Dont steal my shit.
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