2680-2830UC (2020-2171CE) Early Settlement on Old Mars
UC2680/2020CE First manned landing on Old Mars
UC2716/2056CE First permanent orbital around Old Mars
UC2720/2060CE First permanent base on Old Mars
UC2760/2100CE Spacers from Old Mars form part of the new Solar Space Patrol, the first space police force.
UC2779/2119CE Foundation of the Helix Corporation on Earth as part of an ambitious international project to terraform Old Mars.
UC2783/2123CE Terraforming of Old Mars begins via the Helix Corporation's innovative genetically engineered micro-organisms.
UC2803/2143CE The first ever Forerunner artefacts are discovered at Cydonia City on Old Mars.
UC2831/2171CE Start of the Second Great Dark Age on Earth. Earth cuts off contact with its space colonies.
2832-2900UC Martian Independence - The Helix Brotherhood
UC2832/2172CE The Hellas Declaration. In the absence of contact with Earth, Martian terraformers at the colony site at Hellas Basin (later Hellas City) dissolve the old Helix Corporation and found an autonomous collective: the Helix Brotherhood. Martian independence is traditionally dated from this event.
UC2856/2196CE The Earther United Nations re-opens contact with its former space colonies, most of whom have now obtained a substantial measure of independence.
UC2857/2197CE The Battle of Oberon is fought between rival groupings for control of faster than light technology, developed by Belter miners under the guidance of Professor P. Mek Semaj, allegedly in contact with an alien intelligence. The Helix is not involved, maintaining its traditional early neutrality.
UC2858/2198CE Utopia Congress - setting out agreement on international measurements. Adoption of Universal Chronology (UC), replacing Christian/Common Era (CE) dating. During the Congress the Helix Brotherhood formed an alliance with the miners of the asteroid belt and allowed them to settle areas of the surface of Old Mars. Via this alliance the Helix gained access to interplanetary and ultimately interstellar technology. The Belter peoples also brought new technical competences, a practical 'can-do' spirit, and a dilution of some of the more extreme genetic doctrines that the Helix had previously promulgated, although normals were still very much second-class citizens.
UC2870 Discovery of the habitable world of Gustav (Alpha Centauri). The Terran Space Co formed a subsidiary, the Alpha Centauri Company, to settle this world.
UC2880 Solar Republic formed. This imperialistic and hubristic state had been forged in the crucible of the terrible Razor Blade War (2872-5), and was now determined to stamp its authority on the rest of humanity. The Helix attempted to negotiate autonomy with the Republic, and initially this seemed to be bearing fruit, especially the following year, when a world of great colonising potential was discovered in the Sirius system. One-third was granted to the Helix Brotherhood by the Solar Republic; the remaining two-thirds were reserved by the Republic as a penal colony. However, negotiations soon began to break down over the status of the new Helix colony.
2882 The failure of negotiations over Sirius were used by the Solar Republic as an excuse to launch an invasion of Old Mars. However, via its Belter alliance, Mars was able to gradually obtain space supremacy against the still largely Earthbound Solar Republic. Although a significant force of Republic troopers were landed, they were soon isolated from supplies and under attack from above, and failed to capture the planet. The Treaty of Phobos acknowledged Old Mars' de facto independence, as a 'protectorate' of the Solar Republic, and left the Sirian Helix's status deliberately hazy.
2882-2900 The Helix Brotherhood was at the apogee of its power. Considerable resource was expended on the new Sirian colony.
2900-2940 The Robot Rebellion, Old Mars declines, foundation
of the Sirian and New Mars Helices
2900 The Robot Rebellion. Moriarti Series artificial intelligences went rogue in several locations. The Alpha Centauri Company colony of Gustav was destroyed by nuclear missiles launched by the colony AI, Moriarti 1000. On Old Mars, millions were killed as robots controlled by Moriarti 3000 were sent against civilians. The population of Hellas City was decimated. Solar Republic marines stormed the control hub at Stickney City on Phobos to deactivate the AI, but killed many Martian citizens through carelessly depressurising areas of the city.
Martian and Centauran representatives were later instrumental in drafting the First Stickney Treaty, but the Robot Rebellion left Old Mars a shadow of its former self and an economic backwater. The torch of Martian colonising efforts passed to the Sirian Helix.
2909 Colonisation of New Mars. The Martian Helix in secret decided that a base needed to be found further away in order to develop sufficient force outside the Republic's sphere of influence in order to be able to secede. In cooperation with the Sirian Helix, the Xi Scorpius 5 system, roughly 30 parsecs from Earth, was finally chosen as best suited. The habitable world was named New Mars and colonisation began, initially in secret.
2920 The Sirian Helix settled the world of New Edo. Originally one of several colonies on the planet, including a significant Wolfer presence, the Helix colony came to be predominant.
2922-2923 Wolfer Secession and foundation of the Wolfer Protectorate.
2926 The Solar Republic penal colony on Sirius underwent the June 11th Rebellion. Although the revolt was put down, fighting flared up again and continued until 2929, when the Earth Empire declared the Sirian Protectorate.
2930-2940 The New Mars and Sirian Helices settled further worlds, including Vulkan, Lug, and Triumphant.
2940-2945 The Great War of Liberation, foundation of
2940-45 The Great War of Liberation (known to Earth as the Greater Secessionist War and the Earth-Mars War). Politically weakened, split by internal dissent, and shown to be weak in the Wolfer and Sirian Secessions, the Solar Republic failed to control its rapidly expanding political sphere, while faced at the same time by considerable unrest on Earth. The Solar Republic began to disintegrate.
This began in 2940 when New Mars took advantage of the XXX revolt on Earth to declare independence. It was soon joined by several of the other Helix colonies, especially New Edo, Vulkan and Lug, as well as some other like-minded Belter worlds such as Asteel and Steelyard (which renamed itself Highland). The mostly Martian navy of the 'Federation of Free Worlds' won its reputation during several bruising encounters with the Republican Navy. It was assisted by the fact that Earth was fighting other groupings, such as the Union of Xyon. However, Earth secured that flank by a treaty with the Xyonists in 2943.
2943 Formation of the Martian Association of Free Colonies. The Federation of Free Worlds banded together under New Mars, which had been militarily the strongest of the seceding worlds. Immediately other worlds began declaring for the MAFC. First to do so was the Sirian Helix, the Martian colony on Sirius. However, the young Sirian Socialist Republic declared this a casus belli and went to war, brutally suppressing the colonists. To begin with the MAFC attempted to aid the Helix, but it was soon distracted by events in Sol, as Old Mars declared for the MAFC, ending several months of ceasefire between the MAFC and Earth.
Old Mars was soon joined by the Earther colonies of Sturluson in Q0 and Xynam in Q7. The MAFC began to pour the bulk of its relatively meagre resources into supporting the Old Martians, but was unable to fight a war 30 parsecs from home against an opposition that was mere Astronomical Units from Earth. In spite of tenacious Old Martian resistance, the Old Martian secession failed, amid considerable loss of Martian life. It was in this war that the Hyama Dome Massacre occurred - a subject of controversy to this day.
2945 The MAFC signed the Treaty of Io with Earth in which Earth recognised the MAFC and the decision of Sturluson and Xynam to join it in return for the admission that Old Mars was a 'permanent' part of the Earth Empire. This concession was at the insistence of some of the MAFC worlds such as Asteel and Highland, who had no emotional attachment to Old Mars and resented spilling their own blood for it. This growing tension between ethnic Martians and some of the other colonists within the MAFC was nearly to prove its undoing.
A corollary of the peace treaty with Earth was that the non-Martian worlds also used the excuse of the weakness of the Association's military forces after the long fight with Earth to force a peace deal with the Sirian Socialist Republic, leaving the Sirian Helix to its own devices. This led to the eventual absorption of the Sirian Helix by the SSR, although the SSR soon also found itself having to deal with other counter-revolutionary factions, disgruntled by the government's handling of the crisis and conflict, and the Sirian Civil War continued until 2947.
2945-2977 The Martian Diaspora. Increasing internal
tensions lead to Asteel Secession
2945-48 The Martian Diaspora. Denied their freedom, Martians began leaving Old Mars and Sirius in droves, emigrating to new colonies, mainly those of the new MAFC. This led to increasing racial tensions with the non-Martian worlds, especially Asteel, who claimed that Martian refugees were gaining preferential treatment in regard to housing and benefits. Conversely, ethnic Martians resented the way that Asteel had 'betrayed' them during the War of Liberation and felt that they were 'owed'. There was fault on both sides, but the more extreme claims of racism by GFA historians have been found by most Martian historians who have examined them to be ludicrously overblown and part of the myth-making that has become part and parcel of the GFA's idiosyncratic view of the Asteel War of Independence.
2957 The Alpha Centauri Company buys its independence from Earth as the Centauri Conglomerate.
2961 Formation of the Federation of Asteel as a power bloc within the MAFC illustrates the growing tensions between 'Martian' and 'Esteeler' factions within the MAFC.
2976 Vulkan Rebellion, Asteel War of Independence and the Asteel Secession. Formation of the Greater Federation of Asteel. The MAFC colony of Vulkan, where the revolt began, was destroyed by Esteeler Mass Driving attacks, killing over 3,000,000. For an Esteeler view of the war, click here.
2977 Treaty of Geneva (outlawing mass driving) ratified.
In the MAFC, meanwhile, the shock of the Asteel Secession led to a thorough overhaul of the MAFC constitution. The New Mars Constitutional Congress of 2977 produced the MAFC as we know it today, including the provisions for devolved government in the outer quadrants. The adjective 'Martian' had been associated with ethnicity and alleged anti-Esteeler racism, so the MAFC changed from the Martian Association of Free Colonies to the (New) Mars Association of Free Colonies. It is a minor distinction, but an important one, although even 200 years on many outsiders still use the nomenclature incorrectly.
2977-3070 The Hundred Years' Peace and the Great Colonisation
2977-3070 The Great Colonisation Era - with humanity exhausted by war, swords were turned into ploughshares and the so-called Great Colonisation Era began. Most of the colonies in Quadrants 1-8 were founded during this period.
2981 Congress of Europ. In the new spirit of detente and self-determination, the Earth Empire allowed the independence of the Mald Foundation, later ratified by all of the other major powers; the MAFC, UoZ, GFA, SSR, Centaurus Corp and Wolf Commonwealth.
2993 Ecological disaster destroyed the MAFC colony on M'Drid (Q7). The world was abandoned, although the orbital station became an independent meeting place within Q7.
3045 The Cinder Seat 'War'; the illegal AI Logos, developed by Sirian scientist Peter Mukul, was destroyed after significant loss of life at the Sirian colony of Cinder Seat (Q1) by a fleet of combined Earther/GFA/MAFC forces in the only significant military action of the Hundred Years' Peace. Formation of the Church of the Latter Day Mukuls.
3070-3098 From Peace to Cold War
3070 The Battle of Romulus marked the beginning of a resurgence of nationalist tensions within the Universe. Fear of renewed Earther expansionism and militarism led to a growing interstellar arms race and escalating tension. Earther actions on the rebellious colony of Romulus were taken as a general indication of their future intentions.
3087 The Venerian Mutiny marked the start of a tense two years, when the MAFC and Wolf Commonwealth nearly found themselves at war with the Earth Empire. Several small colonial skirmishes nearly touched off general war in Q0.
3093 The GFA takes the Sumter system from the MAFC.
3095 Congress of Gorilla at which the Earth Empire acceded to the creation of the Venerian Republic under intense pressure from New Mars and the Wolf 359 Commonwealth.
3098 Battle of Doitall. The Venerian Republic launched an attack against the Mald Foundation in an attempt at territorial aggrandisement. Not only did this destroy sympathy for the Venerians across the Universe, it announced the Maldenites as a force to be reckoned with, and under their auspices an unwritten agreement led to the so-called Periphery Doctrine, whereby conflicts between major powers are conducted only in frontier quadrants, to avoid a general war in Q0.
3098-3196 The Old Interstellar Order
In retrospect, the century between the Mald-Venus war and the Exterminator War mark the apogee of the Old Interstellar Order, when the eight major powers colonised and fought proxy wars in the outer Quadrants and joined together in temporary interest groupings to frustrate the actions of any power that got too powerful or too far our of line. This interstellar Ancien Regime was however brought to a crashing halt by the invasion of the Exterminators.
Old Order 'highlights' include:
3101-04 The Cyborg Rebellion on Samhain (Q8). MAFC Ground Forces dropped in support of Sirian government troops to defeat a major human-machine insurgency. Insurgents were forcibly deported to the uninhabited world of Draconis (Q7). Samhain formally joined the MAFC in 3203.
3105-09 The Venerian Crisis. The MAFC found itself fighting with the Venerian Republic for control of several colony systems, losing G'Drog and Butler in Q3, B'Krath and B'Narth in Q7, and Redshoot and Bosrovia in Q2. Earth takes advantage of Martian weakness to seize Geneva and Garesh in Q3.
3127 New Cydonia Crisis. A Martian task force intervenes in a minor colonial war on New Cydonia (now known as Nirmanakaya, Q8) in support of Martian colonists.
3148 Braveheart Crisis, Q8 - three Wolf colonies declare for the Earth Empire.
3163 French Crisis, Q5 - two MAFC colonies join the GFA.
3163 Samhain votes to leave the MAFC and rejoin the SSR.
3170 Battle of Safeway Station. Earther forces retake control of a key orbital, initially captured by 'unofficial' Venerian forces, at The Long End (Q1).
3174 The Organian Atrocity - a group of rogue Venerian scientists set up a planet-wide medical/genetic experiment (the 'Wild Card Virus') on Organia (Q4) that got out of hand and left 1.3 million dead or horribly mutated.
3196-3201 The First Exterminator War
3196 The Battle of Paquito and the official start of the Exterminator War. Aster Thierry Pickles becomes Supreme Councillor of the Martian Union.
3197 Major space battles against the Exterminators at Yendor, Trucker, French, Adobe, Doggie, Baldar, Dyme, Ultra, Dubai and Asstek.
3198 Major space battles against the Exterminators at Senta, Winky, Doggie, L'Fayet, Flypaper and Dyme. A large Exterminator base was destroyed at Granyt.
First major large find of 'Forerunner' artefacts discovered at Tuskan in Q7. This find confirmed a great deal of speculation about the only sentient alien species known to have existed in the volume of space occupied by humanity.
3199 Major space battles at Begin and Peroxide. An illegal AI was destroyed on Over (Q5) by Martian Ground and Marine Forces under the orders of Q5 Supreme Councillor Banderas.
3200 Two gigantic Exterminator bases located, one in Q5 (Z'ha'Dum) and one in Q6 (Red Spot) - both bases destroyed by huge combined Human fleets. Treaty of Old London agreed setting out the creation of a Supreme War Commander (Thai-Sho Musashi) and the commitment of fleets to a new joint command to fight the Exterminators. Battle of Tuskan where 16 ESBs were destroyed by a combined human fleet under Admiral Tryon. Existence of a forerunner AI confirmed. Forerunner AI destroyed. The discredited Pickles Administration is swept from power in the MAFC. Charles L Harness is elected Supreme Councillor of the Martian Union and President of the MAFC Interstellar Coordination Committee
3201 ESS Odyssey returned from the centre of the Galaxy. Evidence of another sentient civilisation in the Galaxy confirmed (the 'Boldy Go Aliens' or 'BGAs').
3211-3214 The Second Exterminator War
3211 'Roach' fleet attacks Adobe (Q6), beginning Second Exterminator War. MAFC wins space battle but struggles to keep control of the planet surface. AI ring busted in Q4.
3212 Discovery of Forerunner homeworld on 'Mystery' by MAFC science team. Major defeat of Roach invasion force by combined allied fleet in Sector EJ.
3213 Destruction of Forerunner 'Majordomo' unit on Mystery by MSN forces.
3214 Sirius Crisis. MAFC and Earth fleets move to destroy a secret AI project on the Sirian homeworld. Defeat of Roaches at Zubat effectively ends the Second Exterminator War.
3215 Wolf Crisis. A Wolfer mass driving attack at Zubat provokes a concerted international response. Nasa Crisis - Venerian attack on Earth/Mars/Xyon New Amsterdam Project on Nasa (Q0). Earth counterattacks at Agni (Q0). General war in Q0 narrowly averted. Earth unveils gravitic drive ships.
3216 'Tethered singularity' discovered at Mystery.
3217 Resignation of Senator Banderas over Sirius Crisis as AI proved to be a hoax. Launch of 'Grand Armada' towards HEB space.
3218 Martian Senate elections with expanded (50 seat) senate deliver a change of government.