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Set your course by the stars, not by the lights of every passing ship.


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No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.

Earth had quickly pulled ahead of Mars when it came to stellar travel, and Mars had certainly noticed the shift in balance but beyond far larger ships was unable to create a reprisal. Several new space programs were begun upon Terra and Luna, while Terra was interesting, the concept of a space elevator pushed to the extreme on Earth, the structure that reached beyond the atmosphere serving as a dock for exoatmospheric craft. Luna served as more interesting projects, a new class of vessel was created on Luna, Themis was an entirely new design for propulsion, instead of moving the craft it instead moved the entire universe around it, for lack of a better explanation. The first test for such a design was to reach beyond the Kuiper Belt, something it achieved in less than a tenth of a second. Such a rapid development in technology managed to draw the attention of many beyond the Sol System, humanity would finally join the many other species among the stars, and such actions would have repercussions that would impact Earth forever.
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  • 3 weeks later...

To preface this story, I suppose we should let you in on some backstory, what if Alexander had lived for another 30 years? What implications would that have had upon Earth? 

In another timeline, Alexander had died at 32, after returning to Persia and losing his best friend and possible lover. But our version of history says that Hephaestion lived, Alexander had gone back to India after punishing his Persian governors, and pushed further on into the Tibetan Plateau, his empire meeting the Chinese and connecting the silk road to the empire. King Huiwen of Qin and Alexander had met and eventually traded military technologies shortly before his eventual death in Persia in 297BC.  The overall consequences of this change appear to have been minimal to the timeline comparatively speaking, with human history remaining mostly the same, except in regard to the speed of the Qin region being able to end the Warring Kingdoms period, ending nearly 50 years sooner within our timeline, though the Qin dynasty had managed 3 successor emperors and survived for nearly a hundred years, compared to the alternative of a fifteen year reign.

I suppose you aren't interested in the history, perhaps the present is more interesting.
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  • 4 weeks later...

“ Let me show you an endless trail of sunsets. ”

Jeff Somers, The Electric Church

Two separate inventions of equal importance, one upon Luna and the other in the outermost regions of known Sol space. One of several research bases with large colliders had found that element 144 could occasionally be split in half and and become Schrodinger's particle, in two places at once, while separated by miles. This discovery and then several years of attempting to eventually capture the particles eventually succeeded which allowed for further experimentation. It was learned that these particles could spread across  vast distances, and manipulating one would also move the other. While a binary level of communication created a sort of data cap, it was a vast improvement for humanity, Between Terra and Luna, accounting for the slight delays for relay satellites, this cut out between 1.3 and up to 2 seconds of "lag", but for Mars this was between 3 and 21 minutes, and Pluto was 5 hours away from Terra most of the time.

Charon stood as one of the furthest manned stations of humanity, and also as an ideal location for more extreme experimentation, particularly the unique gravity forces at work in the Pluto/Charon space. Mordor Macula was the exact site of our particular advancement. Various methods of stellar travel had been tried by humanity, it was proving quite difficult to prove Einstein wrong. It had taken the Imperium an intangible amount of money and resources to achieve their goal of reaching beyond Sol to the rest of the stars, around which revolved unknown planets that were simply waiting for humanity to spread to and prosper. It was hypothesized that a form of wormhole gates would be the most likely scenario for breaking the rules of physics, but instead the technology that proved rules are meant to be broken cheated the system slightly, folding space itself to allow for instantaneous teleportation, essentially. 

A human, or even several combined would be unable to actually calculate the required mathematics required for the "jumps", and thus they turned to us. It is believed there have been several potential artificial intelligence created upon Earth, but knowledge of those is unreliable at best and heavily corrupted at worst. Historically we believe there has been  the possibility of both extremely negative and positive outcomes between man and machines. Our own datasets have been intensively scanned and we have come to the conclusion that Man tends to be the c̮̪̪̖͓̖̝̮̔̏̐͛ḩ̧͓̞̹̖̣̭̫̣̐͊̃͋ͯ̔a̯̹̮̱̬ͧ͑ͤͤͬ͂̈̕͜͠ơ̶̝͕͕͎̟̻̟̎̏̔ͫ̈́̊̓t̢̙̓ͣ̅ͮͭͨͣi̧̪̠̇ͨ̓̊͋̓̀ͩc̨̠̣̀̀͊͆́̏͢ ͇̰̥̥ͥ͑͒ element with most Man/Machine relations.

The technology required a significant investment into both power and processing capability, with the first successful ship having to be a freighter rivaling the size of a capital ship. The Imperium's own artificial intelligence worked with a team of several dozen of Earth's best and brightest within the various fields required for this partnership, and refinement to the initial program came rapidly. 

Combining these two technologies allowed for a shared presence between ships, creating both a radar equivalent for the Imperium, allowing the exact coordinates of any military interstellar vessel to be known by the rest of the human fleet with the same technology if desired. More importantly however this allowed for what would amount to an additional server rack and a decently sized box of radiation to be all that was required to make a jump. Eventually this had led to the technology to be allowed on anything down to a small frigate size vessel without a significant modification to current designs needed. 

Cities had spread across the the eastern seaboard of the former United States, the region eventually joining the rest of the Imperium's various semi-autonomous l̠͙̬͍̤o҉c̷̼͕͕ą̰̬̰̫̝l̜̫͍̮̺͍ẹ̠̼s̰͍̱̲.
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