Timeline of events in the game Zero Sum Future.
2018 – Physical theory is upheveled as quantum observational effects are demonstrated for the first time.
2020 – The US passes the 20 trillion dollar debt mark.
2022 – First working tunneling nuclear power plant is comissioned in New Mexico. The plant, affectionately code-named Paul (short for paulatim solem – little sun) produces 2.1 MW. The atomic blenders that would follow in the next century would all be based on Paul.
2027 – The Clean Slate Act: Empowered by the bright future of fusion power, the Congress of the United States declares that the government of the United States could not be held liable for the past treasury notes issued by the Federal Reserve. Thus, with an act of Congress, the United States cancels all outstanding foreign debt. While this does invigorate domestic investment, the United States instantly earns the ire and fear of the global economic community.
2028 – Japan, second largest holder of American debt, pulls out of NATO in response to the Clean Slate Act.
2030 – The Chinese Market Crash: As the largest holders of canceled American debt, the People's Republic undergoes the worst economic crash known to man. The government of PRC concludes that, unless if a solution is found, they would be subject to uprising in every corner of their nation.
2031 – To alleviate the crash, the People's Republic demands a share in the expanding nuclear technology market blossoming in the states, to offset the cost of the debt that was canceled. The United States refuses, citing a lack of responsibility for T-Bills that were issued under old administrations. Tensions come to a bitter conclusion as the US and the PRC exchange nuclear warheads. When the dust settles, nothing of the two largest nuclear belligerents. The rest of the world watch in horror as over two billion souls depart. Asia and America is devastated by the Debtor's War, and would remain so for the forseeable future.
2034 – To prevent *another* nuclear war, and forced into cooperation by the devastation of two continent, the surviving establish the federation of nations, with one overriding goal: Protect humanity from extinction.
2038 – The Federation of Nations, now a global superpower, launches the first Carrier, Deliverence, bound for Mars. Though previous prboes and small manned flights carressed her surface, Mars for the first time is colonized with a permanent, self-sustaining, growing settlement. After the colony is established, the Carrier returns to ferrying both people hungry for a second chance, and equipment, to the surface of the Red Planet.
2039 – The Assembly of the Federation splits into two boards: The Board of Earth, and the Board of Mars. The Board of Mars appoints the first governor of Mars. The Martian colony surpasses 1 million souls, and begins establishing a new cluster of installations to keep up with the rapid immigration.
2040 – Mars establishes the second major installation on her surface, a drilling facility based near the polar ice. This city would grow to enormous size over the coming decades. 2041 – The Assembly of the Federation signs the Mars Communications Act – electronic communications equipment comissioned by the Federation to communicate with Mars would remain under Federation control and scrutiny.
2045 – The Earth Board begins efforts to clean up and re-settle the vast swathes of land devastated by the Debtor's War. Wildlife in Asia and America would be found relatively intact and thriving after the clean up work begins.
2049 – Due to low gravity and the presence of untouched mineral deposits, not to mention lack of solar interference, martian industry quickly outpaces all expectations. The exploding wealth of the colony continues the attraction rate of new coloniests from Earth.
2050 – Martian Colony hits 20 million souls as immigration form Earth continues unabated.
2051 – The Federation imposes increased tariffs to keep pace with expanding martian economy. While this does cause some consternation on the Red Planet, the governor convices a majority of the population that increased trade with Earth can make up the difference in volume.
2053 – The appointed governor of mars commissions a new Carrier to be built on Mars (with the Federation's directive), to incrase trade with Earth.
2054 – The outflux of wealth and liquidity form Earth forces steeper tariffs on martian made goods. The governor is further commanded to increase taxes, funneled back to the Federation.
2056 – The martian revolts begin as workers of the second Carrier (yet unnamed) refuse to attend, even on direct governmental order. The Governor of Mars is requested to relinquish power to an assembly of Martian citizens.
2056 - In response to the revolt on Mars, the Federation passes the Industry Resolution – that no martian man or woman may again travel back to Earth without having fullfilled their working quota. To enfore their ruling, the Board of Mars appoints a full division of soldiers to be stationed on the Red Planet. Communications between Mars and Earth grind to a halt as the Federation clamps down on non-approved messages from the populace of the red planet. As far as the majority of Earth is concerned, Mars is an industrial heaven, not the work colony is actually is.
2058 – Martian revolts continue in full swing as the governor is deposed, and replaced by an ad hoc assembly of community leaders. The newly formed senate declares themselves and their nation Free Mars, and openly declare war on Earth. The division of troops sent by Earth are either imprisoned or turn. Banners and posters defending every humans right to step foot on their homeworld are seen everwhere on the industrious red planet. The yet-unfinished Carrier resting in the docks above Mars is painted in the faded red of the world below in an act of defiance. Mars belongs to herself, and no one else.
2059 – In response to hints of recruitment drives from home, Martians improvise planetary defense systems, using anti-asteroid weapons and early-warning radars to form a defense network. Mars prepares for an invasion, and the worst possible result. Deliverence maintains her silence over Mars.
2060 – The Federation officially charters the Deliverence to be refit as an invasion vessel, to bear the Terran liberation army to Mars. The Captain of the Deliverence is ordered to return to Earth as soon as possible.
2060 – The captain of the Deliverence declares for the martian cause, and institutes martial law on the carrier for the first time. With the only operational carrier declared for Mars, the Federation finds themselves robbed of any chance to invade Mars. With the support of Delivence, Martians finally get messages to Earth – triggering widespread revolts against the Delegates of the Assembly. The Federation, in response, institutes martial law.
2060 – Same year, the Federation begin the comissioning of interplanetary missles that can bear nuclear warheads to martial soil, in a desperate bid to retake Mars and reestablish dominance..
2061 – Federation nuclear program is leaked into public knowledge due to the efforts of martian sympathizers on Earth.
2061 – The Deliverence bombards the missle production site from orbit by dropping nuclear charges meant for asteroid mining from their cargo bays. For the third time in history, nuclear weapons are used in anger.
2061 – After the bombardment, the newly replaced Federation Delegates sue for peace. Representatives of the Federation and Free Mars gather aboard the Deliverence to negotiate a ceasefire. Both the martian delegation and the Federation diplomats agree that it was the involvement of the Deliverence and her crew that brought the war into a quick conclusion. The belligerents conclude that the future Carriers and their captains will be the kingmakers of whatever political formation is reached. Thus, the accords are signed and ratified by the three major powers:
1) Martian and Terran government must unite to prevent nuclear catastrophe. For this reason, the Assembly of the Federation must draw Delegates from districts on Mars, and the Assembly must be further divided into more specialized Boards. Mars, as a condition of their victory, must be given equality of representation within the Assembly. The Assembly of the Federation is now composed of 4 boards: Solar, Legislative, Budget and Funding, and Internal Affairs.
2) Movement between colonies may not be restricted save for instances of overpopulation or if the local economy demands it. All martians are granted full and unconditional citizenship, and the travel ban is revoked. To maintain their import, and to ensure the centralization of human civilization and commerce, the Federation is entrusted and tasked with the maintenance and accounting of the stellar currency, and the establishment of future colonies in the solar system.
3) The Federal nuclear program shows the inherent danger of civilian, economic leadership forcing military decisions in an age with nuclear power. Mars is therefore entrusted with the sole license to build and manufacture weapons and hardware that may be used in stellar warfare. Furthermore, all military leadership beholden to the Federation is to be stationed on the Red Planet, beholden to no one but the financial backing of the Federation.
4) The conduct of the Carrier Deliverence and her captain and crew is the only factor that avoided a long and costly war, but they were also responsible for the second nuclear attack against human civilization. Thus, while no censure is to be placed on the Deliverence or her crew, her captain would be relieved of command, and further Carriers would be captained and crewed by joint approval from the two elements of Federation government.
The Deliverence Accords, as they came to be known, would form the bedrock of human government for at least a century to come. Humanity was united under one roof once more, though martian and terran tensions would linger for years to come.
2065 – In a bid to repair the relationship between Earth and Mars, the newly united Federation allocates funds for a massive park on Mars. The public park, dubbed the Homeworld Bubble, would be several kilometers in size and would house a self-contained ecosystem of terran species that could be adapted to martian conditions.
2069 – Construction of the second Carrier Discovery is completed after delays from the martian revolts. In honor of the revolts, Discovery remains pale red. Two additional carriers, Apollo and Hermes, are comissioned on Mars.
2075 – Discovery begins the construction of an orbital platform on Jupiter for the sole purpose of harvesting He fuel for the thirsty fusion plants of the nascent federation.
2081 – Jupiter harvesting facility, Helios I, is complete.
2083 – Theory of FTL travel is formulated by a joint team of Martian and Terran scientists. The the construction of the first warp drive begins on Mars.
2084 – The Red Valley Disaster: The warp drive, for reasons that are yet to be discovered, goes critical on Martian soil, taking millions of souls with it as one of the prime industrial centers of the Red Planet is annililated in the blink of an eye. The detonation is an order of magnitude more deadly than the nuclear warheads used against the nascent Federation not 3 decades ago. To forestall future disaster, the Fedeation outlaws the production of future warp drives until future notice.
2086 – The Federation, recognizing the mounting need to expand, begins plans for a new colony on Titan. The Deliverence Accords are ammended to include all future colonies as parts of the Federation. Titanian colonists are given full Federation citizenship in a symbolic gesture.
2096 – The 10th aniversary of the Titan colony marks the first full recession of the Federation. Bereft of future expansion oppurtunities that may yield profitable industry, the financial sector begins consolidating their liquidity.
2100 – The year of the Empty Carriers: Discovery and Deliverence spend a large amount of operational time idling in space, as planetary economies have slowed to the point of making interplanetary travel via older Carriers unfeasable. Signs of mutiny and unrest begin as experienced astronauts responsible for the prosperty of the colonies are left languishing.
2101 – The Federation, seeing the need to keep expanding to avert unrest, re-vitalizes the warp drive program. This time, however, construction facilites are to built in deep space to avoid danger to the inhabited regions of the solar system. Internally, Federation leadership hopes that a scientific project like this can occupy the carrier crews long enough to avert mutiny in their fleets.
2105 – Discovery and Deliverence finish the construction of 10 fully automated warp drive construction plants behind the Kuiper Belt. One at a time, the facilities are brought online.
2105 – 6 out of the 10 plants detonate harmlessly in deep space. While failure was computed into the cost of the overall project, the Federation teeters on the brink of unrest as images of the Red Valley Disaster are replayed within the minds of it's citizens.
2106 – 3 of the remaining plants finish the construction of their assigned drive systems. The 10th, after going dark, is decomissioned at range with projected energy weaponry.
2108 – A new class of self-sustaining, high capacity carriers with warp drives is desgined, and the first ship, Gabriel, is comissioned. She would be the first of many such Carriers designed to spread human life to far flung stars.
2110 – The Gabriel launches, departing to the Alpha Centauri for the first shakedown run of the warp drive. For 3 months, the entirety of the solar system hold it's breath as no comminication is possible with the extrasolar vessel.
2110 – The Gabriel returns, having broadcasted a radio wave burst at the extrasolar system. Confidence within the Federation leadership surges as it stands a the brink of a new wave of expansion, this time to the entirety of the galaxy. 2 additional carriers are comissioned to house the 2 remaining warp drives, to set off to other, far off stars. Economic recession is averted, for the time being.
2113 – The Carriers Gabriel , Endevour, and Yamato are launched from the solar system. The reception of the radio broadcast from Alpha Centauri marks the departure of the largest investment the human civilization has ever made. To fund the massive cost, and to increase public enthusiasm, the Federation issues Colony Bonds – governmental contracts that direct wealth from the private sector to fuel the growth of the nascent colonies. The Colony Bond rapidly becomes the most prized good traded in the market as confidence in the Federation increases, with wealthy investors doubling the public investments of the Federation.
2115 – The 3 colonies established by the Gabriel , Yamato, and Endevour (New Europa, New Asia, New America respectively) become thriving colonies in deep space. Martian Carrier Command is established to coordiate the movement of carriers between the colonies that can share no lines of communication. The Assembly is divided into two additional Boards: Colonial Relations and the MCC Liason.
2115 – Europa and America are thriving – America enjoys a bright, powerful sun with plentiful organic resources, and Europa benefits from rich rare earth deposits. In contrast, New Asia is a wildly temperate planet, with massive seasonal shifts, tectonic movement, and frequent asteroid strikes discourges any sort of industrial development. Europan colonists begin leaving the colony in droves. The Federation orders all interstellar carriers to refuse Europan refugees, citing the economics clause of the Deliverence Accords: If one of the nascent colonies fail, the rest will quickly follow suit, and the Colony Bond will be devalued. Internally, Delegates of the Assembly worry about their prospects of re-election if they cannot produce value from the Colony Bond for Asia.
2116 – New Asia Refugee Incident: Gabriel, while delivering relief materiel and hardware to New Europa, is beset is with a multitude of refugees, citing their right as Federation citizens. The captain of the Gabriel decides that the humanitarian concerns of the Europan colony trump the financial interests of the Federation.
On return to the Solar System, the Europan Refugees are refused. Martian Carrier Command revokes the comission of the captain of the Gabriel . The Federation concurs. In response, the Gabriel mutinies, threatening to go rogue. To send a message of defience, the Gabriel positions herself above the docks above Mars, ostensibly threatening to rain debris down on vital Carrier docks and construction facilities. Mars, in response, aims her planetary defense weaponry, left over from the Martian Revolts, squarely on Gabriel . The largest mexican standoff if human history would last for an entire month, to be concluded by the arrival of Yamato and Endevour within days of each other.
The three captains of the interstellar carriers parley, and produce their manifesto: The captains of Carriers are entrusted with an impossible task by the accords: They are expected to enact the will of the Federation, absent guidance and oversight in far-flung colonies. Further, captains, and, by extensions, their vessels and crews are answerable to no one while they are absent from the Solar System, and the current situation and martian revolts shows that they are not answerable to anyone while in the system either. Therefore, they reason, the accords have to be adjusted to allow for the newfound power stucture in the Federation.
Carriers, and their crews, are to be considered independent, sovereign entities. While they are encouraged to follow the direction and the guidance of the Federation, they are not subject to Federation directions or orders. While “abroad”, captains have the last word on whatever situation they may encounter, and censure cannot be brought against a carrier or her crew for their judgment.
Martian Carrier Command only serves to comission, crew, and coordinate the Carrier fleet of the Federation. They may not, under any circumstance, remove a crew from their vessel after comissioning.
The Europan Colony is a failure, and all effort should be made to evacuate the colony to a more favourable location.
To prevent Colonies to be used as economic tools, each system must be assigned at least one district, with the right to petition for more districts as the Colony grows.
The Federation, deprived of any choice, bitterly accepted the revised accords. The Carrier Fleet is officially recognized as a political entity for the first time, and Delegates from New America and Europa are elected to represent the interests of their people within the Assembly. The Board of Colonial Relations is expanded to allow for the arrival of the new Delegates.
The New Asia Refugee Incident is the first of many such cases where Carriers and the Federation find themselves at odds. The Federation quietly suspends future Carrier projects until a better solution can be found to control rogue carriers. The Federation also slows down the planning of future colonies.
2120 – Engorged with capital from the Colony bonds, the Fairweather investment group requests to charter a Carrier from the MCC to establish a private colony in a prospective system. MCC refuses this request, stating that all Colonies must be overseen by the Federation if they are to be granted the rights and protections afforded by the revised Deliverence Accords. The Fairweather group is directed towards a more favourable Colony Bond.
2120 – Agents of the Fairweather Group make their way on board the Yamato during a routine refueling stop aboard the Helios installation. The two representatives present their case to the Captain directly, and offer monetary compensation for his service, citing the Accords as his right to private business.
2120 – Two weeks later, Yamato declares a deviation from MCC scheduling, citing the financial resposibility of the captain to her crew. Citing the last revision of the Accords, the Yamato begins loading colony materials from Earth to set for the Fairweather colony. MCC, lacking choice in the matter, is locked in a 5 hour meeting of all the top brass to respond to the situation. Absent choice, the toothless agency accedes to the Yamato's demand.
2121 – With the departure of the Yamato, and the dawn of a new decade, the Federation notes the political landscape: Private firms, now emboldended by Yamato and Fairweather's actions and engorged by the Colony Bond, are clamoring to set up their own private colonies in every corner of the Galaxy. The Federation no longer has the last word on the development of human civilization. Presented with this threat, MCC commissions an additional Carrier – armed with a massive internal hangar, missile bays tipped with atomic and fragmentation warheads, bristling with PACs and an excess of bubble shielding, and built in relative secret over Titan, this vessel would be the mailed fist of the Federation if it became necessary. The Board of Internal Affairs is consulted in secret meetings to ensure that the important Delegates of the Federation are made aware of the project.
2121 – The same year, the Federation announces the Kuiper Observatory Project: an astronomy station placed in deep space, orbiting the solar system. Comissioned with the intention of better observing far away stars for better discovering potential colony systems. In reality, Discovery is comissioned to build the prototype military carrier in secret, using public funds.
2122 – Yamato returns from the Fairweather colony – hailing the private colony to be a massive success. For the next eight years, the Fairweather would only be serviced by Yamato with Fairweather funding.
2123 – Yamato's disregard for the scheduling of the MCC causes water and nitrogen shortages in New Europa. While Endevour is eventually sent to deal with the problem, the damage to the New Europan Colony Bond is evident.
2125 – The Colony Bond plummets in value as private firms move to directly establish colonies of their own, Yamato, Gabriel, and Endevour are badgered with requests from private concerns to help them establish their own private fiefdoms.
2128 – The second wave of expansion is in full swing as over a dozen new and enterprising colonies are established. The Federation publically comissions the construction of 3 additional Carriers to serve the demand.
2130 – Among the clamour of wealthy intrests attempting to buy a piece of the carrier action, the secretly constructed military Carrier Olympus is finished. For her shakedown run, the highly loyal captain and crew are sent to secretly investigate the industrious Fairweather colony, from which news only travels via the Yamato.
2131 – Olympus returns, causing massive public upheaval. The issue compounds when she delivers her news and cargo: upon arrival on Fairweather, they had found an improvised, suppressed populace trapped on a volcanic planet. Almost all the colonists in the labor force had suffered from one way or another from exposure to radiation due to insufficient shielding, and the planet itself had been ravaged by the attempted constuction of warp drives. Olympus further reports that after arrival and assesment, the Carrier made planetfall with her invasion fleet, subdued the local authorities, and liberated the colonists. Of the Fairweather hardware, nothing remained after the bombardment following the evacuation.
2131 – A month later, Yamato arrives back in the solar system, returning from a run between New America and the second wave expansion. Immediately upon arrival, Yamato is greeted by a hostile Olympus, demanding compliance. Her Warp Drive capacitors lacking charge, and lacking military defenses, Yamato caves.
2131 – The Fairweather Trial: The entirety of the Yamato crew, her captain, and the upper echelons of the Fairweather Group are brought to trial on Mars. The prosecution presents a case of crimes against humanity, lying to federation authorities, illegal warp drive construction attempts, and directly causing the deaths of over 40% of the colonists. The defense states that while the situation is regretable, the colonies were not established under the Accords, and thus, any argument that pertains to the Accords was inadmissable.
In the end, the Fairweather Group could not be held liable for criminal actions. The Federation, doing the best they could, seized all assets related to the Fairweather Colony. The Group was blacklisted from purchasing any further Colony Bonds, and, effectively, contained to the Solar system for future business. The MCC, with the Assembly's blessing, declares the latest revision of the Accords out-of-date, and brings the apprehended captain and crew of the of the Yamato to court-martial.
At the conclusion of the Trial, with Olympus still looming over the recrewing process of Yamato, MCC issued a directive: As Carriers from the rest of the second wave colonies arrive, each would be detained by Olympus for the renegotiation of the Deliverence accords.
2132 – With representatives of the entirety of the Federation Carrier fleet, Federation proper, MCC, and private entities responsible for the second wave colonies gathered aboard the Olympus, the final major change to the Deliverence accords are formed:
It is a reality that privately funded colonies will continue to exist and form. To ensure that Carrier Captains are not encouraged to owe loyalties to any individual private entity, the MCC is entrusted with the formation and scheduling of private colonies. Requests denied by the MCC cannot be entertained by captains that wish to make use of the MCC's services of coordinating carrier travel.
Carriers retain their independence while traveling abroad, but are no longer immune to censor for actions that are taken outside the solar system. Specifically, Olympus and other future military Carriers are charged with maintaining reports from colonies that receive infrequent merchantile Carrier visits.
The Colony Bond will remain the primary institute by which future Colonies are funded. However, the system for issuing the bonds would have to be overhauled to allow for private colony formations. A new, private colony bond is issued, to be issued by a conglomeration of private entities that have expressed interest in the formation of future colonies. The Private Colony Bond, in essence, would be a means for an individual or a collection of individuals to purchase the creation and administration of a colony. The conglomerate that would issue these bonds would be called the [insert name here].
The Federation hold the final word on the fate of a colony. If a military carrier discovers a colony that is in a state of debt, disrepair, or mismanagement, they hold the legal right to seize the colony for the benefit of the colonists.
With the final changes to the accords, the expansion resumed. All carriers returned the merchantile functions, with Olympus beginning her patrol between the stars.