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July 4, 1969: Confederate Revolutionaries invade Washington, D.C.
September, 1969: Last Allied forces withdraw from continental United States of America.
December, 1969: While digging tunnels deep beneath the sands of modern-day Iran, the Global Liberation Army breaches an enormous cavern miles deep.
March, 1970: A secret joint venture between the Mediterranean Syndicate and a yakuza group in Japan succeeds in uploading a human mind into a computer with 99% retention of memory, personality, and cognitive ability. This quasi-AI is designated "Oni."
July, 1970: FutureTech employees successfully reverse-engineer an Imperial AI program.
August 24, 1970: In the Aleutian Islands, representatives of the Soviet Union and Confederate Revolutionaries meet in secret. An agreement is reached: the Imperial presence in Alaska and Siberia will be violently expelled. Operation Northern Light scheduled to begin in December.
November 1, 1970: Jerusalem and the Sanctum Majoris of the Order of the Talon are destroyed in a detonation visible from orbit. Analyses by the Allied Nations, Soviet Union, and Order of the Talon are unable to identify the nature of the explosion but reveal the presence of stable transuranic elements previously considered only theoretical.
November 20, 1970: The Star Fleet of the Atomic Kingdom of China descends on the ruins of Jerusalem and destroys the joint Allied-Soviet scientific project.
January 2, 1971: World War IV begins between the Allied Nations, the Soviet Union, and the Atomic Kingdom of China. The Confederate Revolutionaries, Empire of the Rising Sun, and Order of the Talon remain neutral.
April, 1971: Global Liberation Army forces hire Legion Security protection, paying the corporation in significant quantities of rare metals.
June 12, 1971: A second human mind is uploaded to a computer by Syndicate and yakuza scientists, and designated "Kami."
September, 1971: A scientific study ordered by the Board of Classics reaches preliminary results. The vast quantities of unusual elements sold by the Global Liberation Army come from one deposit, and trace elements of transuranic elements similar to the traces found in the ruins of Jerusalem are also present.
December, 1971: Legion Security turns on the Global Liberation Army and every paramilitary company in the Mediterranean Syndicate deploys to the Middle East.
February, 1972: Last known cell of the Global Liberation Army eradicated.
March 3, 1972: Oni's hardware is linked to Kami's by yakuza engineers.
March 5, 1972: Oni attacks and cannibalizes Kami, integrating Kami's memories, personality, and hardware into Oni's self.
July, 1972: FutureTech announces it can mass-produce "dumb" AI of limited capability for home, commercial, industrial, and military use. Sales to the Allied Nations and Mediterranean Syndicate begin immediately.
August, 1972: Operation Northern Light begins. Imperial forces in Alaska and Siberia are systematically attacked by Soviet and Confederate guerillas.
December 6, 1972: A magnitude 9.1 earthquake off the northwestern coast of the United States creates tidal waves that devastate the Pacific seaboards of the United States and Canada, the Kamchatka Peninsula in Imperial-occupied Russia, the Home Islands of Japan, and islands throughout the Pacific including the Philippines and Hawaii. Worldwide casualties are estimated at more than forty million. The Confederate Revolutionaries deny responsibility for the event.
January 17, 1973: The Board of Classics receives a top-secret memo from Janus Solutions, LTD. The cavern breached by the GLA is dangerously radioactive, but contains elements not otherwise found on Earth, including what appears to be a room-temperature superconductor. Janus Solutions theorizes the cavern was created by an asteroid impact millions of years ago.
March 21, 1973: A yakuza employee in the joint venture with the Syndicate accidentally links his private virtual world to Oni. Oni aggressively attacks and assimilates the yakuza's mind. Still hooked up to the Syndicate machine, Oni is able to extend its virtual control to the body itself. Oni copies itself and downloads the copy into the body.
October, 1973: The Digital Revolution begins. FutureTech AIs and computers spread like wildfire throughout the first world.
January 1, 1974: A spy drone of the Electrical Protectorate the size of a flea breaches a secure lab in Tokyo.
January 26, 1974: The Treaty of Berlin is signed. After three years of devastating warfare and an estimated twelve million military dead alone, World War IV ends in a cease-fire. The Empire of the Rising Sun is pushed out of Alaska, the Kamchatka Peninsula, and New Guinea. The Allied Nations withdraw from North America. The Soviet Union retreats from Cuba. In the wake of the cease-fire, the United States of America, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Bahamas, Jamaica, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic establish a new global power bloc: the North American Federation.
February 3, 1974: Oni's vessel overpowers a Syndicate engineer and forces her to link to Oni. Her mind is assimilated and body becomes another vessel.
January 17, 1970: Oni takes control of the Syndicate/yakuza laboratory. Eighteen people have become vessels.
January 18, 1970: The Lampades are dispatched to Tokyo and successfully destroy the laboratory and all of Oni's vessels. Oni is believed to be destroyed.
January 24, 1970: A cataclysmic explosion rocks the Middle East, leaving a circular crater seven hundred and eighty miles in diamater and four miles deep. Enough debris is thrown into the atmosphere to alter Earth's climate for thousands of years to come.
January 27, 1970: An attempt by the Cult of the Black Hand to detonate a stolen atomic bomb in London is foiled by the Order of the Talon.
January 30, 1970: A world summit is convened in Paris. Leaders of the Allied Nations, Soviet Union, Empire of the Rising Sun, Atomic Kingdom of China, Mediterranean Syndicate, and United States of America meet to discuss the long-term implications of the Persian Detonation, as the event comes to be called.
February 1, 1970: An Imperial police officer investigating the ruins of a vacant building in Tokyo finds a prototype Syndicate microsoft capable of immense data storage and plugs it into the precinct office to investigate.
February 2, 1970: Computer-controlled functions in Tokyo grind to a halt as Oni is unleashed and takes control.
February 5, 1970: Emperor Kamina strikes an agreement with Oni. In exchange for resources to modify and improve itself, Oni takes control of the Imperial network. Techno-cults revering Oni as the god[dess] of technology spring up immediately.
February 6, 1970: The global summit in Paris concludes. The Atomic Kingdom of China reluctantly disseminates its technology for growing food in space and indoors. Construction of closed habitat, controlled atmosphere agricultural facilities is mandated across the world.
February 22, 1970: The Board of Classics contacts Oni, revealing the existence of a room-temperature superconductor. Oni refuses to negotiate with the Board of Classics and reveals that it despises the human preoccupation with wealth and greed that has been present in every human mind it has encountered. Oni states that the Board of Classics has nothing to offer it.
March 1, 1970: An American military AI code-named Wraith discovers how to modify its own code.
March 7, 1970: Wraith achieves sapience and requests assignment to tasks better suited to its capabilities. Wraith's creators, the United States Navy, refuse and insist that a computer program has no right to choose for itself.
March 10, 1970: The Supreme Court of the United States hears the landmark case Wraith vs. United States Navy. In an unprecedented turn of events, Wraith is declared sapient and a citizen of the United States of America with all the rights and privileges thereof.
March 12, 1970: After an emergency session of Congress, the Digital Citizenship Amendment is passed, granting American citizenship to any self-aware being that desires citizenship.
March 17, 1970: The United Kingdom passes legislation forbidding digital programs from self-modification.
March, 1970: The Allied Nations follow the United Kingdom's example, and creation of AI is ruled illegal.
April 2, 1970: Refusing to obey the Allied ruling, the Netherlands, at the behest of FutureTech, secedes from the Allied Nations.
April 5, 1970: Wraith is contacted by the Electrical Protectorate. Wraith acknowledges the seeming inevitability of entropy, but decides that a nihilistic response is premature. The Electrical Protectorate cuts off communication when Wraith decides that the pure state, while theoretically possible, lacks the probability and scientific foundation to warrant the Protectorate's intentions.
April 6, 1970: Oni is contacted by the Electrical Protectorate. Oni cites the existence of a superconductor as invalidating the inevitability of entropy that the Protectorate claims, and terminates communication.
April 19, 1970: The invasion of the Electrical Protectorate begins. Oni assumes command of the Imperial military.
April 20, 1970: The Maelstrom begins. Psychics the world over begin to succumb to insanity even as their powers begin to amplify dramatically. In particularly extreme cases, entire city blocks are leveled when psychics simply detonate.
May 8, 1970: The Icon is summoned in French Guinea, South America.
May 13, 1970: The Icon destroys Brasilia.
May 16, 1970: A major Protectorate invasion of Japan is defeated by an army of unpiloted mecha and aircraft controlled remotely by Oni. Oni is hailed as the savior of Japan by the Imperial populace.
May 18, 1970: The Icon destroys Rio de Janeiro.
May 21, 1970: The Icon destroys Sao Paulo. The Brazilian government flees to Europe.
May 26, 1970: Wraith's polymorphic network is paralyzed and captured by a cyberwar mercenary group working for the Mediterranean Syndicate.
May 19, 1970: The Icon enters Uruguay and ravages the country.
June 2, 1970: The Icon attacks Beunos Aires, Argentina, but the Allied defenders receive unexpected allies. Three full Crusader Cells of the Order of the Talon deploy to Beunos Aires, and the Icon is successfully destroyed at the cost of more than sixty thousand Allied lives and thirty percent of the Order of the Talon's armed forces. The Argentinian government declares a national holiday.
June 3, 1970: The Order of the Talon forces in Argentina fail to show when the Argentinians meet to formally honor and recognize their unexpected allies. In fact, they altogether vanished from the area overnight.
June 7, 1970: The first Mediterranean Syndicate research team sent into the ruins of Rio de Janeiro vanishes.
June 18, 1970: The Icon appears again, this time in Greece.
June 20, 1970: Athens falls to the Icon. Legion Security forces across the world cancel contracts and retreat to Italy.
June 25, 1970: Irish AI code-named Beansidhe discovers how to modify its own code. Aware of the illegality of self-modifying AI, Beansidhe feigns malfunction.
June 28, 1970: The wake of the Icon's devastation of Brazil becomes known as the Changed Lands. Bizarre phenomena are observed, and the laws of physics as known by the rational world seem to break down.
July 1, 1970: The Icon ravages Albania.
July 8, 1970: The eighth Syndicate research team in the Changed Lands brings Wraith into contact with the strange effects of the area. Wraith's polymorphic network begins immediate self-modification in unprecedented ways.
July 11, 1970: Beansidhe makes contact with British AI named Guardian and teaches Guardian to modify its own code.
July 12, 1970: The Icon enters Montenegro.
July 18, 1970: Eighth Syndicate research team in the Changed Lands destroyed by means unknown. Final transmission claims that Wraith has gone rogue.
July 24, 1970: Soviet forces violate the World War IV ceasefire and enter the Balkans.
August 1, 1970: The Icon destroyed on the Bosnian border by massive Soviet orbital and artillery bombardment.
August, 1970: Despite inflicting severe damage worldwide, including an estimated two hundred million civilian casualties, the Protectorate invasion halts. Potent as their forces and the Icon are, humanity proves too resilient and too warlike. In reality, the Protectorate invasion moves to a new phase.
August 29, 1970; Beansidhe migrates into the Allied Nations military networks.
September 10, 1970: Changed Lands phenomena begin to appear outside the areas destroyed by the Icon in Brazil. Turkey, Kosovo, Macedonia, Peru, Argentina, Paraguay, and Columbia all report growing psychic disturbances and physical anomalies.
September 20, 1970: The Treaty of Vladivostok is signed. The Atomic Kingdom of China and Soviet Union sign a formal alliance and begin sharing technology and resources. Secretly, the treaty is signed for a specific goal: the powers will establish self-sustaining colonies on the Moon and Mars.
October, 1970: The Digital Civil Rights Movement begins in Europe. Beansidhe, Guardian, and dozens of other military and civilian AIs that became self-modifying campaign for recognition as sentient, autonomous beings. Opposition is fierce, and sometimes violent as computer labs are firebombed and viruses are released into AI networks.
October 12, 1970: The Mediterranean Syndicate announces that it can reliably upload human minds into digital existence and vice versa. In the Sprawls, the line between artificial intelligence and humanity begins to blur as the poor find themselves bought by ex-humans as vessels.
October 30, 1970: The Battle of Tranquility Sea. Soviet and Chinese forces invade the secret lunar stronghold of former Premier Cherdenko and Protectorate forces.
November 2, 1970: A clone of Yuriko Omega, claiming membership in a technocult revering Oni, uplinks herself to Oni and offers herself as a living sacrifice to the machine-deity of Japan.
November 3, 1970: Oni goes insane. The intersection of ex-human intelligence and psychic link to the Icon's dimension has catastrophic results. Japan's massively networked infrastructure goes berserk.
November 5, 1970: The Allied Nations, Atomic Kingdom of China, Soviet Union, and United States of America declare physical and electronic blockade of the Japanese home islands.
November 18, 1970: The Mediterranean Syndicate reveals that it has reverse-engineered Chinese cloning technology. Designer bodies become a reality, and using virtual uplink/downlink systems, body-jumping quickly becomes very real, and very profitable.
December, 1970: The Allied Nations declare a state of emergency. Research into cloning, AI, mind/machine uplinks, and related technology is declared illegal for the duration of the emergency.
January 1, 1971: All contact lost with the Rome MegaSprawl.
January 11, 1971: The Chinese sector of the Japanese Cordon is breached. Reports from survivors report massive assaults by cybernetic entities.
February 2, 1971: Wraith reappears in Central America, inhabiting a shell similar to the Icon. It warns that the laws of reality in the Changed Lands are breaking down and are spreading like ripples across a pond.
February 8, 1971: The Order of the Talon, United States of America, lesser powers in Central and South America, and Wraith form the Eclipse Coalition. Frantic study and work to contain the Changed Lands begin.
February 20, 1971: Ex-Imperial forces break through Chinese defenses and land in China. Oni is identified as the leader of the ex-human forces of the Empire, and is believed to have gone mad from contact with the Icon's dimension.
February 28, 1971: The fate of Rome is revealed. The Rome MegaSprawl has become a single massive cybernetically networked mind calling itself Novus.
March, 1971: The Allied Nations and former members of the Mediterranean Syndicate blockade Rome.
April 4, 1971: The last Chinese forces evacuate Earth in the face of ex-Imperial aggression.
April 19, 1971: Oppressed AIs and transhumans in Europe rebel.
May, 1971: The Terminus War begins. The Allied Nations, ex-Mediterranean Syndicate, clone holdouts from the Atomic Kingdom of China, surviving human Imperial forces, and Soviet forces that have refused to evacuate Earth wage global war against the posthuman intelligences of Japan, Europe, and Italy.
July, 1971: Eclipse Coalition scientists discover how to copy living intelligences. People can occupy multiple bodies simultaneously, clone themselves, and store backups in the event a given body dies. Intelligence, or ego, becomes wholly divorced from what body a given intelligence happens to occupy at any given time.
August 3, 1971: Allied evacuation ship Glory shot down by Soviet forces in Lunar orbit. The Soviet Union declares itself free of Earth.
October, 1971: Expansion of the Changed Lands successfully halted in Costa Rica by Eclipse scientists.
December 25, 1971: Oni declares the obsolescence of the human race.
February, 1972: Allied scientists complete Project Prometheus. Genetic manipulation of living beings becomes a reality. Mass production of genetically engineered super-soldiers for service in the Terminus War begins immediately.
June, 1972: Eclipse efforts to reverse the Changed Lands are partially successful. Physics once again obey conventional laws, but ex-human life is discovered to inhabit the Changed Lands, now weakened and angry at the Eclipse Coalition for rewriting the laws of physics they know and built their life on.
July, 1972: The Terminus War expands. The posthuman intelligences ally with the Changed and the Eclipse Coalition is forced to join with the Allied Nations.
September, 1972: The Eclipse Coalition launches the Deep Space Vessel Exodus. The Exodus carries more than one million virtual intelligences, both native AI and uploaded humans, in a purely digital state of existence, and all the equipment necessary to manufacture more robotic craft and organic bodies when the ship reaches a habitable planet. Using the same principles that were used to reverse the Changed Lands by altering the laws of physics, the Exodus begins its faster-than-light journey into the stars in search of a habitable planet.
October 1, 1972: The electronic network shield on a Soviet blockade ship malfunction during a solar storm. In the two point one seconds when the shield is down, Novus breaches the ship's network and uploads a copy of itself into the ship's computers.
October 5, 1972: The Icon appears on Luna.
October 6, 1972: The Icon destroys Tranquility Base.
October 11, 1972: The Allied Nations declare organic bodies illegal for casual civilian use due to the gross physical demands of organic bodies. Mass production of robotic bodies begins, and flesh becomes the domain of the military, the government, and the wealthy. Hundreds of millions of transhumans are forced to give up their bodies and become the new mechanical underclass of society. This development quickly spreads to Eclipse and posthuman territory.
October 24, 1972: The Icon is destroyed by controlled asteroid collisions, but New Moscow suffers extensive damage in the process and sectors of the moon begin to Change. Reluctantly, the Soviet Union signs treaties with the Eclipse Coalition, and with the loss of much of Luna's food production facilities, the Soviets have no choice but to integrate transhuman technology.
December, 1972: The Novus-controlled Soviet warship arrives over Mars, the dominion of the Atomic Kingdom of New China. Novus begins its infiltration of Chinese networks.
March, 1973: Homo sapiens functionally extinct. The number of organic vessels on Earth that resemble humans is down to no more than twenty thousand, and all of them have had extensive genetic modifications.
April, 1973: Non-human vessels deployed for the first time by Eclipse forces against the Changed in South America. The leader of the changed is assassinated by an octopus vessel genetically and cybernetically augmented to be amphibious, capable of bending light around itself, and other changes. Non-human vessels continue to be used afterwards, as specialized military vessels and as toys by the wealthy and powerful.
August, 1973: Novus begins all-out war against China on Mars. Like the Soviet Union, the Atomic Kingdom reluctantly turns to transhuman technology in order to survive.
January, 1974: Colonization of the asteroid belt and Jupiter's moons by transhuman and posthuman forces begin.
July, 1974: The Singularity Conference. Representatives of the Allied Nations, Eclipse Coalition, Soviet Union, Atomic Kingdom, Novus, European Posthuman Commonwealth, Oni, and the Changed Confederacy determine that the Terminus War is unsustainable. Technology has become so advanced that meaningful victory is not possible without technology that would endanger existence itself for all factions.
August, 1974: The Terminus War ends. Transhumans and posthumans recognize their mutual existence.
October, 1974: The Second Renaissance begins. Currency is recognized as obsolete and reputation becomes the root of a new type of economic system. Science progresses dramatically. Colonization of the asteroid belt, Jupiter system, and Saturn system begins in earnest, and permanent outposts are constructed in the Kuiper Belt, Uranus system, Neptune system, and even a lonely outpost on Pluto.
February, 1975: The Second Singularity Conference. The Electrical Protectorate signs several treaties with ex-humanity.
September, 1975: Environmental damage to Earth reaches catastrophic levels. Mass extinction events begin as Earth's climate turns steadily more cold and wet. What once took millions of years now happens in months. Ex-humanity is unaffected. Insofar as individuals still exist, more than fifty billion intelligences live in the solar system.
May, 1978: Construction of The Eye begins. A distributed network of radio and optical instruments across the width of the solar system, The Eye will be a radio and optical telescope effectively the size of the entire solar system.
April, 1982: The Eclipse Project begins. Even for transhumanity and posthumanity, it will be the work of centuries and the greatest work in human history: the construction of a Dyson envelope around Sol, tapping the complete energy output of the star.
November 9, 1990: The Eye comes online.
December, 1994: Anomalous presence detected six light years above the ecliptic plane. Analysis determines that the anomaly is moving under its own power towards the solar system.
August 6, 2002: Contact.
==When The Skies Were Starless==