The International Space Station goes online and various Earth space agencies (notably the Russians and Americans) begin sending crews for tours of duty on a regular basis.
May -- GigaCorp is founded by Emmet Longstreet (who claims to be a descendant of James "Pete" Longstreet, a Confederate general who served under General Robert E. Lee during the American Civil War). GigaCorp sprang into being in a series of somewhat shady business dealings -- proxy fights, hostile takeovers, and even alleged assaults (though this has never been proven). Longstreet managed to gain a controlling interest in several key aerospace companies (as well as several hydroponics, fuel production, engineering, computer, and heavy manufacturing operations). GigaCorp's primary focus since its inception has been the conquest and commercialization of near-Earth space.
A series of breakthroughs in medicine, engineering, and science illustrate the commercial value of near-Earth space in concrete terms. For the first time since the original moonshot, there is widespread interest in developing resources in space.
Emmet Longstreet begins assembling teams of scientists and engineers, preparing an ambitious space program.
As a result of the demonstrable benefits to be reaped in space, major corporations -- and many governments -- from across the globe begin subsidizing space operations and mounting their own extraterrestrial missions. From 2009 to 2016, no fewer than 30 space stations are put into orbit; most stations house a military presence of some type (either heavily armed, well-trained corporate security forces or soldiers from the station's host country). Estimated off-planet population is roughly 15,000-20,000. Of the 30 stations, 10 are owned by GigaCorp.
June -- The United Nations begins debate on a series of laws and guidelines for commercial and military use of space.
December -- Since many nations have started to launch their own space missions, the debate is heated and, by the end of the year, has degenerated into rhetoric and posturing, with little end in sight.
February -- The ALEXANDER Project is initiated. The project is a genetic experimentation program designed to develop humans better suited to operating in an orbital environment. The project -- sponsored by GeneFlex, a subsidiary of GigaCorp -- is, at first, secret, as cloning and genetic experimentation have been outlawed on Earth.
ALEXANDER (one of Longstreet's pet projects) is designed to produce humans better-suited to life -- and commercial activities -- in space; the early ALEXANDER "prototypes" involved the creation of humans with faster reflexes, better eyesight, better adjustment to zero-g environments, and so on. Longstreet privately influences the test subjects' thought patterns, hoping to create fiercely loyal "Praetorian Guards." As a result, early ALEXANDER subjects ("Bios") view Longstreet as a father figure/messiah.
December -- Early experiments are quite successful, and GeneFlex begins scaling up "production" of "enhanced" humans.
June -- GigaCorp Colony M1 founded on Mars. The M1 colony is an experimental terraforming project. Population of M1: 1,200 colonists (800 scientific/technical, 200 clerical/service, 200 military/security).
August -- As the Mars colony goes online, progress in the ongoing debate at the United Nations begins to move ahead. A preliminary draft of the UN Space Charter is presented.
January -- Additional colonization of Mars begins. Predominantly sponsored by governments, the installations are largely scientific in nature.
July -- Early corporate terraforming/hydroponics experiments successful. Martian colonies begin developing domed agricombines for the production of export foodstuffs.
December -- Estimated Martian population is now around 12,000.
December -- "Underground" journalists-guerilla reporters that refuse to work for the corporate-controlled media-sneak into a GeneFlex operations center and discover several "discarded" failures (genetically altered corpses). These "failed experiments" are being "recycled" (destroyed).
February -- Media pirates hijack a GigaCorp communications relay and air the tapes recorded in the GeneFlex ops center. Public outcry is enormous, though GeneFlex maintains that, because the research facility where the experiments were conducted is off-planet, it is not subject to the genetic experimentation prohibitions.
April -- The United Nations adopts a revised and expanded version of the Space Charter (which includes provisions about illegal genetic experimentation).
May -- GigaCorp challenges the restrictions in Earth courts, launching a series of legal battles that will last for years.
January -- Widespread colonization of Mars begins. Martian colonies begin importing "blue-color" workers to work the agridomes. Estimated Martian population is roughly 30,000. Also, after months of debates, the UN Global Supreme Court is founded, predominantly to handle adjudication of extraterrestrial legal conflicts.
May -- As unskilled, poorly educated contract laborers (many of them criminals) are "imported" to Mars, the Martian crime rate skyrockets. Corporate security forces begin enforcing order through the exercise of military power.
July -- By July, corporate Martian colonies are pacified, though living conditions for the poorer inhabitants are ghastly.
February -- The United Nations sends a fact-finding mission to Mars, based on media coverage of conditions among contract laborers.
March -- United Nations envoy Richard Kine and his advisors and military escorts are killed in a dropshuttle crash while touring Martian facilities. Amid public outcry -- which pins the blame on corporate sabotage -- an investigation begins. The corporations maintain that human error was to blame in the crash, though they launch their own investigation into the incident.
March -- Prosperity Station, the largest single space station yet devised, enters construction phase. Sponsored by GigaCorp, Prosperity Station is the grand dream of GigaCorp founder Longstreet.
March -- The investigation into the deaths of UN envoy Kine and his associates ends, with no conclusions. Evidence of pilot error exists but cannot be corroborated. Widespread media speculation about a corporate-sponsored assassination plot gradually fades out by the end of the year.
June -- Prosperity Station completed, though severely over-budget and two years late. As a result of the cost overruns, Longstreet's control over GigaCorp falters. He remains involved in many day-to-day operations but has only moderate authority.
May -- In an attempt to show his value and regain some control over his company, Longstreet launches the MIDAS Project. The MIDAS Project -- the construction of a series of unmanned, highly sophisticated scouting vessels -- had the stated aim of finding other Sol system resources that could be of "immeasurable value to the people's of the Earth." (In reality, MIDAS was underfunded and was accepted merely to keep Longstreet out of the way of the "real" power behind his company -- the board of directors. However, Longstreet hoped to find something that could enable him to retake the reins of GigaCorp again.
January -- The MIDAS Project is completed, behind schedule and over budget.
April -- Longstreet is ousted in a vicious proxy fight, though he has not been removed from the corporate roster.
December -- Longstreet "commandeers" (through creative redistribution of GigaCorp assets) a large transport ship, supplies, and the remaining ALEXANDER project subjects. The ship -- which Longstreet christens the Long December -- heads off into the outer regions of the system.
October -- After collecting "anomalous samples" from the asteroid belt, the MIDAS Project drone ships return to Prosperity Station. After analyzing the samples, Helium 3 (He3) is discovered in the samples. Preliminary experiments show that He3 would make a promising fuel for fusion reactors.
February -- GigaCorp scientists -- led by Dr. Mariko Takamoto -- manage to successfully extract He3 from MIDAS Project samples and use it as fuel; once this fuel "refining" process is perfected, GigaCorp begins to mobilize for long-term, widespread exploitation of He3 resources in the system. Many of the GigaCorp execs defect to other companies, selling pertinent He3 to GigaCorp's competitors.
April -- Longstreet and the Bios establish a hidden colony near Saturn. After establishing food production facilities, the Bios frequently launch infiltration missions into corporate and military facilities and begin gathering supplies and technology.
September -- The Free Martian League forms. The FML is an insurgent group composed of disgruntled contract laborers. Their stated aims are the removal of corporate influence and military power on Mars and the establishment of a sovereign government on the planet.
October 30 -- A series of bombings and acts of sabotage-dubbed "Hell Night" by the media-mark the FML's "debut." No one is killed in the initial attacks, though millions of dollars' worth of GigaCorp assets are severely damaged.
June -- Dr. Mariko Takamoto named Chief of Technical Operations of GigaCorp.
July -- Interim CEO Donald Claypool steps down. Takamoto named Interim CEO, in addition to her technical duties.
Reacting to the discovery of near-Earth sources of He3, corporations begin searching for other such sources. Luna, one of the closest effective He3 "collectors" is suddenly of immense value, and many competing firms begin large-scale strip-mining and He3 harvesting operations.
June -- FML attacks increase in frequency on Mars. Several civilians are killed in the latest rash of bombings.
July -- Corporate security forces impose "martial law" (illegally) and begin rounding up and executing members of the FML.
January -- The Bios activate a manufacturing facility and-having infiltrated corporate data conduits-begin gathering He3 resources from the asteroid belt. Late in January, the UN Global Supreme Court condemns GigaCorp actions on Mars and issues veiled threats of military action against Earth-bound GigaCorp installations if the human-rights violations on Mars are not immediately rectified.
March -- Emmet Longstreet dies at age 95; age is not the cause of death, however. Prolonged exposure to radiation and zero-g ultimately caused Longstreet's demise.
April -- The Council (the leadership of the Bios) forms.
October -- United Nations peacekeeping troops seize GigaCorp headquarters, only to discover that the bulk of GigaCorp operations have been moved off-planet.
November -- Military leaders (notably the leadership of the U.S. Marine Corps) offer contingency plans to the United Nations, involving the deployment of space-based military forces.
October -- The FML kidnaps and executes the highest-ranking GigaCorp security officer in a media broadcast.
November -- United Nations peacekeeping troops are deployed on Mars, and a tense period of negotiations follow. By month's end, a nominal cease fire is declared.
December -- The United Nations releases Earth-based corporate assets, to further negotiations.
March -- After negotiations on Mars come to a standstill, the general labor pool riots, due to lack of food, air, and radiation shielding. Hundreds are killed, including a large contingent of UN peacekeepers.
August -- Bowing to public pressure, the United States removes its military contingent from the Mars peacekeeping force.
September -- The remaining UN forces on Mars are overwhelmed in the fighting that follows the U.S. pull-out. The FML makes a formal declaration of independence, and immediately declares war on the corporations. Fierce fighting ensues.
July -- The FML captures corporate facilities on Mars.
December -- The United Nations recognizes Martian independence.
March -- GigaCorp protests the United Nations recognition of Mars and takes the matter to the Global Court.
August -- The court upholds the recognition of Martian independence; GigaCorp lawyers decry the verdict as a "sham" and claim that the laws and courts were developed strictly to restrict free enterprise. GigaCorp execs publicly vow to fight to reclaim corporate assets on Mars and will refuse to acknowledge United Nations edicts in the future.
December -- Several key executives are dismissed in the aftermath of the Mars fiasco. By 2069, the moon is heavily populated (an estimated 150,000-200,000 people now live on the moon, all in the employ of the various corporations that have set up He3 refineries on Luna). Roughly one-third of all lunar installations are controlled by GigaCorp. Mars is heavily populated as well, by a mix of government, military, and corporate personnel. Roughly 30 small colonies and four major installations are present, with a population numbering roughly 75,000 people.
Lunar He3 reserves severely depleted; extraction of any material from the superdense subsurface are highly inefficient and He3 concentrations are exhausted more rapidly than previously projected.
July -- A new corporate entity, The Crimson Group, forms. CG is run by several of the ousted GigaCorp execs (who took several classified files with them when they left). The Crimson Group (using this inside information and a combination of legal trickery and covert paramilitary operations) begins launching hostile takeovers of many GigaCorp subsidiaries, mostly lunar refineries and orbital shipyards.
October -- Dr. Mariko Takamoto demonstrates exceptional leadership ability and business acumen, in addition to her prodigious scientific knowledge and skills. For the first time since its inception, Longstreet's vision does not drive GigaCorp. Takamoto, a noted physicist and scholar, orders her departments to begin work on improving the He3 refining process, as well as retrofitting MIDAS class vessels to act as mining ships. "We can't mine the moon, but we can mine the asteroids."
November -- As the various smaller corporations (and even some government intelligence agencies) hinder GigaCorp, a dangerous trend soon begins. In mid-October, a team of saboteurs (reputed to be an industrial espionage team from the Crimson Group) break into a GigaCorp mining complex. During their escape, the intruders vent the facilities atmosphere, killing 22 people working inside.
GigaCorp CEO Takamoto, visibly outraged at the attack, publicly announces that such aggression will not go unchecked. She declares her intention to upgrade security forces on Luna, allowing them to meet force with force. GigaCorp recruits military officers, mercenaries, law-enforcement agents -- anyone with any kind of combat experience and a reputation for professionalism. While many decline, the GigaCorp Security Militia (GSM) has a solid, experienced core of leaders.
December -- The Crimson Group, responding to GigaCorp statements, announce that they will arm as well; the Crimson Shield-Crimson Group's security arm-begins recruitment drives and training operations as well. Unlike GigaCorp, Crimson Shield forces are highly publicized in Crimson Group advertisements ("Protecting the Heavens ... for a better tomorrow ...") and an innovative "security for hire" program is announced.
In effect, Crimson Group will -- free of charge -- provide additional physical plant security for any corporate or government installation on Luna in exchange for information and technology. Many smaller companies, fearing that they will be swallowed up by GigaCorp's "mercenary army" agree.
January -- GSM training and recruiting begins in earnest. GigaCorp researchers begin developing new weapons and military gear for use on Luna, and by the end of the year GigaCorp security is a small, well-trained, and highly effective paramilitary unit and security force. Crimson Shield forces are perhaps slightly better-armed, though somewhat fewer in number.
April -- The Siege of Leonov begins. A moderate He3 concentration is detected by two teams of prospectors (one from Crimson Group, one from GigaCorp) and both lay claim to the deposit, in the Leonov crater. Both corporations move in troops to secure the deposit, with the Crimson Group managing to fortify the region first. Within 12 hours, dozens of units of troops, air support, and armor are nose to nose in the 33-kilometer crater.
Within 14 hours, the firefight begins. The Crimson Shield soldiers, hunkered down in small, prefab bunkers, manage to hold off the determined GigaCorp assault.
As GigaCorp forces break off (to rearm and refresh consumables like air and food) the Crimson Shield forces begin airdropping supplies as well; autocannons, replacement troops, ammunition, air, and food. In a matter of hours, the Shield position is heavily fortified.
Throughout the month, the Crimson Shield and GigaCorp seize and lose the deposit several times. Neither side backs off, though the siege is little more than a standoff.
Each side is rearmed by subsidiary and allied corporations; the Crimson Shield has the slight advantage in this arena, as many smaller corps (such as ammunition manufacturers) receive protection from Crimson Shield.
May -- Crimson Group troops, once again in control of the Leonov deposit, declare that they have a nuclear weapon on the facility and will detonate it if GigaCorp forces don't pull back. GigaCorp troops fall back to the edge of the crater, though small commando teams mount sporadic guerrilla attacks on CG forward positions. The fighting is now little more than long-distance sniping and the occasional expenditure of ground troops.
July -- The United Nations passes an emergency resolution, calling for a multinational coalition of peacekeepers to reign in the corporations and restore order to Luna.
September -- United Nations Peacekeeping Coalition forces are deployed; they are a rather ragged band of soldiers gathered from military assets already in space (security forces on government space stations and lunar outposts). The group is dominated by the U.S. Marines, who have been deployed aboard Victory Station, a space-combat training facility. The Marines (helmed by Gen. David Eglin, leader of the infamous "Iron Raven" division) quickly assume an aggressive posture and move against both Crimson Group and GigaCorp forces at Leonov.
November -- The Siege of Leonov ends, as -- after weeks of stalled negotiation attempts -- Coalition forces strike without warning and vent spare atmosphere from key corporate staging areas within the crater. Eglin orders both sides to pull out or suffocate and vows to destroy any craft attempting to resupply corporate forces. Both sides comply within hours, and the UN forces take over the He3 site.
May -- GigaCorp, Crimson Group, and a number of smaller companies manage to mount mining expeditions to the asteroid belt.
Takamoto begins production of the Mass Conveyor system, for transporting asteroids back to Luna. (The current refinery technology is still inefficient and too costly to ship to the asteroid belts.)
March -- The Mass Conveyor goes on-line. Asteroids are "captured" by mining ships, which then accelerate along a ballistic trajectory. Once a certain velocity is reached, the asteroid is released, to continue on course toward "catching" stations on Luna.
The "Catchers" are large spacecraft, with powerful thrusters, that "dock" with the incoming craft, slow them down, and guide them into refinery stations.
Initial tests are quite successful and GigaCorp immediately begins mining operations.
March -- After successfully mining without mishap for two years, GigaCorp decides to license Mass Conveyor technology to other corporations, for an enormous fee.
April -- Under UN orders, Coalition forces begin traveling throughout the system, attempting to install a traffic control and communications relay net.
January -- Coalition forces state publicly that, while a significant portion of the system has been placed under the traffic control/com net, there are significant gaps in the system.
By early 2079, virtually every company in space has Mass Conveyor systems in place,and scores of asteroids enter lunar orbit daily. However, traffic control is still a problem, as many corporations prefer to rely on their own technology, not that of the Coalition. In addition, few corporations share traffic control info with each other, creating still more confusion.
June -- The Belt Conflict begins. Corporate asteroid prospectors start a minor firefight on a small asteroid. Each side calls in for support and, like the Siege of Leonov, the matter quickly escalates.
However, Coalition forces, ever-alert to such threats, respond quickly. Dispatching troops into the contested area, Coalition troops arrest all involved and confiscate the asteroid and all corporate assets.
October -- The corporations cry foul, claiming that, because they are not on Earth, Earth laws no longer apply -- as evidenced by the "illegal seizure" of corporate property by "government stooges."
November -- As the corporations once again arm themselves, Eglin declares martial law on Luna.
December -- The Battle of Mare Crisium begins. Unlike previous battles, the Coalition fares rather badly, as they are not as numerous as corporate forces, and are spread very thin. Both sides take heavy losses.
In early 2080, several corporate mining programs bear fruit; ship and mining technology has improved greatly, particularly during the period of military escalation in space.
In March, the first "portable" refinery stations are on-line in the asteroid field, though only in small numbers. Several corporations begin gearing up to produce more.
July -- The American government authorizes the deployment of an additional 90,000 U.S. military personnel into space, to augment Coalition forces. Coalition forces now number nearly 200,000.
September -- Dr. Takamoto retires. A power struggle ensues within GigaCorp for several months.
April -- A new successor to Dr. Takamoto, French scientist Dr. Guillaume Lavand, survives the struggle and now controls GigaCorp.
November -- Takamoto's pet project -- the development of small, portable refineries -- is realized under Lavand's aegis. The first prototype refinery is constructed and tested, though full-scale production is several years off.
Several space facilities are constructed by various factions -- Coalition forces, the corporations, nonprofit science stations, and so on. With He3 fuel and less-expensive space-based construction techniques, nearly 2 million humans live aboard artificial space platforms.
February -- Coalition plans to develop a traffic control net are curtailed, as the military must contend with a number of small brushfire conflicts that seem to erupt almost daily. As a result, traffic control nets in the system are only partially effective.
Several corporations begin developing portable refinery technology, developing prototypes (presumably from stolen GigaCorp blueprints) by the end of the year.
January -- The first batch of GigaCorp asteroid refineries goes online.
May -- Several other asteroid refineries go online as well, and several Mass Conveyors are placed on the moons of Jupiter by smaller corporations.
Throughout 2113, the corporations begin shutting down facilities on Luna, instead moving their operations closer to the asteroid belt (on space stations and refinery colonies). Virtually all that remains on Luna-apart from several abandoned facilities, are prospectors, independent miners, and seedy con-men and grifters that followed the money into space.
Coalition forces on Luna -- no longer necessary to police corporate infighting -- move back into space to assist the rest of the badly overworked military force.
April -- The Second Lunar War. Led by Major Viktor Solikhov (retired), an eccentric (reputedly insane) prospector and scout, the remnants on Luna declare independence in a public video broadcast.
May -- To demonstrate their resolve, the Lunar secessionists destroy several orbital stations over Luna and launch a dud nuke at the Earth, threatening to launch a live nuke if the Lunar Declaration of Independence is not acknowledged.
June -- Coalition forces move back to Luna to disarm the secessionists. While attempting to land, several Coalition landing craft are destroyed by hard-to-detect, low-tech mines and ground-based missiles. The landing forces are reduced by more than half; the fighting that ensues is bloody, and neither side has a clear advantage; the Lunars have the advantage of numbers, the Coalition has the advantage of superior firepower and training.
July -- Outsystem Coalition forces are ordered back to Luna to assist in the conflict.
August -- The Io Conflict begins. While Coalition forces are busy on Luna, Crimson Shield forces launch an all-out assault on GigaCorp's space operations headquarters off Io. Fighting is intense and, though the station survives, nearly 1,000 people die in the conflict.
September -- While in transit, Coalition forces are ordered to split into two elements: the first to deal with the Luna crisis, and the second to deal with the shooting war developing over Io. Lieutenant Colonel Derrick Fisk is placed in command of the Io element; Lt. Col. Samuel Sherman is placed in charge of the Luna element.
November -- Coalition forces reach Io and engage Crimson Shield forces on the surface. Fisk leads a strike team into the heart of the Crimson Shield staging area on Io and wipes out several units of Crimson Shield forces. In addition, Fisk seizes a number of Crimson Shield spacecraft and immediately launches an attack against remaining corporate space assets, destroying large numbers of Crimson Shields and GigaCorp aggressor squadrons.
April -- Coalition forces attempt to land on Luna. Once again, several landing craft are shot down, but several more manage to land. Coalition forces are now adequately resupplied and supported.
May -- Sherman launches a major offensive on the main secessionist stronghold in Tycho crater. Upon entering the facility, Coalition forces discover that it has been abandoned ... shortly before the entire area explodes, as it is honeycombed with booby-traps.
June -- Coalition forces, leaderless and demoralized, retreat to the orbiting Coalition warship.
September -- Fisk's element rejoins Coalition forces after securing Io.
November -- Fisk leads a series of assaults on secessionist strongholds. This time, he is only modestly successful; he manages to deal serious -- but not fatal -- blows to the enemy but suffers higher casualties as a result.
December -- Secessionist assassins manage to destroy a shuttle carrying General Eglin, killing him and his staff.
February -- The United Nations recognizes the Lunar Declaration of Independence.
April -- Fisk, in recognition of his achievements in the war over Io and Luna, is promoted to Brigadier General and placed in command of Coalition forces. His first order is to negotiate a truce with Solikhov's forces.
June -- Fisk's negotiations conclude with the Luna Treaty. The Moon is now a sovereign state-the Luna Free State-though portions of Tycho crater and other portions of the moon are declared "free regions." As long as no one engages in hostility in these areas, they have landing rights on the moon. Solikhov's "security forces" have the right to patrol the free regions and dispense justice with lethal rapidity.
A period of relative peace, punctuated by some small disturbances in the asteroid belt, on Mars, and around Io.
Several corporations -- predicting an eventual end to He3 mining in the system -- begin developing long-range scout and survey craft.
August -- The first aleph is discovered by a Crimson Shield scout ship. The scout ship inadvertently stumbles into the wormhole and ends up in orbit around a fiery, molten world nicknamed Hades. The Crimson Group immediately attempts to hide the discovery.
Throughout 2126, corporate espionage and counter-espionage activities heat up. Most rival corps realize that the Crimson Group has some kind of major project in the offing, but throughout the year their attempts to determine exactly what it is are stymied.
May -- GigaCorp commandos stage a raid on a Crimson Group research facility and learn about the aleph.
January -- GigaCorp and Crimson Shield forces clash near the aleph. GigaCorp insertion teams pass through the aleph.
February -- A holobroadcast of the battle is aired from pirate media stations on Mars.
January -- Rival corporate security forces mass near the aleph, turning it into an "armed camp."
January -- Lavand steps down as CEO of GigaCorp.
March -- Mercedes Kelleher named GigaCorp CEO.
December -- GigaCorp scouts discover He3 on the other side of the aleph.
January -- GigaCorp forces launch a crippling attack on Crimson Shield positions near the aleph, capturing it.
March -- Coalition forces move in and seize the aleph in a surprise attack. GigaCorp forces withdraw.
July -- Outlaw Mars broadcasters air the holofootage from the original pass through the aleph.
Most corporations and governments launch missions through the aleph, with Coalition supervision.
January -- Scientists launch scout craft at near-light speeds beyond the boundaries of the solar system, discovering that there are, in fact, a number of aleph routes.
Scientists continue to examine the gates, though no one is certain whether or not these phenomena are natural or constructs of an alien species.
December -- Scientists determine that duplicating the aleph jump is not possible except for short-range, short-duration hops. This technology (called ripcording) is incorporated into most spacecraft as a safety measure.
March 13 -- Disaster strikes. An asteroid, fired at a Lunar catching station by one of the remaining Mass Conveyor "catching" stations, misses its target. Some witnesses report some kind of explosion prior to launch, and rumors of sabotage, deliberate genocide, and other conspiracy theories abound.
The asteroid plunges into the Pacific Ocean, vaporizing the water, cracking the mantle, and producing a massive wave of heat. Roughly 95% of Earth's population is killed by the impact. What survivors remain are scattered across the globe, cut off from communication, isolated, and slowly dying from lack of food.
This event formed the original video that came with the game. You can view it here.
Eric S Trautmann wrote a short story set around these events. You can read it here.
January -- The Crimson Group begins expansion program, launching refineries and miners (and support personnel) through the alephs.
March -- Brigadier General Fisk calls to all military personnel to unite under his banner, claiming it is the duty of the armed forces to restore order. Though some military personnel do not agree with Fisk's plan, thousands of troops flock to join the Coalition (trusting other soldiers more than civilians).
December -- Virtually every faction has launched missions through the aleph. Small mining facilities begin refining He3 in several star systems.
June -- GigaCorp forces discover a Bio "enhancement facility" near Proxima Centauri. (Human captives are being genetically altered against their will.)
October -- The DataNet goes online. A pirate media network, it broadcasts "official" news snippets from all human factions. Relay stations on Mars, on Luna, and in the various Belter enclaves seem to be the source, though who really runs it is unknown. Their first broadcast is of GigaCorp footage of the Bio "enhancement facility."
January-June -- GigaCorp stages a series of attacks on Crimson Group facilities. By the end of the fighting, the Crimson Group is destroyed, and the Crimson Shield's military hardware has been seized.
March-December -- General Fisk's Coalition forces have undergone multiple "reorganizations" - as several elements within the military have disagreed with his policies; instead of dealing with too much internecine warfare, Fisk has allowed those elements to go their own way but works with them during missions of mutual interest.
Throughout the year, GigaCorp continues to seize the assets and personnel of competing corporations.
September -- The Battle of Kapteyn's Star. Iron Coalition and GigaCorp forces clash over several He3 deposits. For the first time, GigaCorp fights Coalition forces to a standstill. Fisk's forces withdraw.
March -- The "Belter Armada" -- a collection of mercenary, pirate, and prospector vessels fend off an attack by GigaCorp "claim-jumpers" attempting to seize He3 deposits near Alpha Centauri. The armada is led by Orion Sholes, a somewhat shady trader and pirate, who has -- through a combination of charisma and blind luck-become a folk hero among the Belter population.
January -- The Bios have become more aggressive, believing that mankind has no future on the surface of a planet.
The game is released to the public, and their actions begin affecting the storyline.