This is a timepline of what happened during the Process campaign we ran. It stretched from 2350 to 2354, during which time the universe changed noticeably. It is by no means the only possible evolution of this setting, and many parts are highly dependent on small random events or decisions. It is also very open-ended: this is likely just the prelude to eveng reater events.
|The Process acquires The Bork (renaming it Opportunity)
from Heinlein Systems and begins interstellar trading. The first use is
a "grand tour" to Penglai, Arcadia, Traha, New America, Nova and
back to Atlantis where the Process leaves small space stations to act as
local headquarters, as well as transporting investors between the planets
to encourage interstellar trading. The ship continues this route.
Nancy McDaggart holds the famous "Roach Motel" speech at the New American Congress. The Process begins tentative contacts with Floating California and the fundies to counteract the Columbus Project.
Release of Coordinator Kendells biography "Bridging the Abyss", which spreads the expansionist ideas on many colonies.
The first AIs from Nova arrive on Atlantis. A copy of Themis gains citizenship and begins to set up a Nova-Atlantis software and AI firm, Themis Trading.
The first Promonss nodes are set up along the "grand tour".
New America starts the Columbus Project, sending out ships to practically all the colonies and encouraging trade past New America. New America sets up observation posts above Negsoa and Pi3, as well as embassies on the other colonies.
A second Bork-ship (Prosperity) is put on the Atlantis – Dionysos – Adobe – Nova trade. Contact between the Process and the Mothers.
The Trahan Empire buys an Atlantean starship, naming it Traschss-raar (roughly, "Imperial Growth Factor"). The conservatives and loyalists push for the founding of a colony, secretly encouraged by the New Tree.
The Balanced Mediators places a trading ship on Atlantis; some trade initiated, especially a joint Mother-human project on cell repair nanotechnology.
The Process is in strong need for an extra ship, but Heinlein system has only a half-finished Bork. After some heavy diplomacy PCA agrees to exchange Storm Mountain, one of its older starships, for the Bork-to-be-built. PCA also begins dealing with the Trahan empire. The Process sets up a new line Atlantis-Traha-Penglai and shortens the "grand tour". The Process renames it Possibility.
Trahans colonise Negsoa: using "clean" neutron bombs bought from Trillicom Arms through he Process, the Trahans nuke an island in the Eastern Sea and re-seed it with Trahan life. A heavy-duty trahaforming/colonisation operation is begun, where the Trahans plan to create a Traha-like environment on the island. The Process is involved, planning to set up contact between the sea-people and Trahans to speed Negsoan development.
New America is angered by the unexpected expansion. Public opinion suggests that Penglai, Atlantis and the Trahans are cooperating against NA. Voices are heard calling for the formation of some kind of federation or UN to deal with interstellar policy; the Trahans suggest that the Empire is the solution.
The Balanced Mediators discover Weg and sell the news to some customers.
The Process quickly leases a ship and sends it to Weg. After an initial tense situation both sides get on cordial terms. The Crafters attack massively, but are fortunately repulsed.
The process begins to plan a colony effort on Turnbull, hoping to send some of the surviving colonists, newly recruited experts from different planets, Ridgewell robots running independent AIs from Atlantis and possibly even unfrozen Marians to it. As a part of preparations, they spread spybots to Mary to try to find a way of convincing PM to let go of frozen people.
On New America the president institutes the "Interstellar Software Safety Act" which contains a hidden ban on transfer of Promonss snapshots on New America starships; this is likely both a revenge due to Negsoa, and a way of slowing down the spread of the Process.
Trahan diplomats, traders and missionaries begin to appear on more and more human planets, forming small communities.
Kirk Hixon and his allies begin the Orbital Nation project: to put a space habitat into orbit over Nova formally belonging to Atlantis. It is intended to act as a tax haven.
AI programs and their work form one of the fastest growing sectors of Atlantean economy. Due to the citizenship laws more and more AI leave or copy themselves from Nova to Atlantis. Voices are heard in Landfall Parliament about the "Software Escape Problem". On other planets AI are rarer, even if the influx of (owned) intelligent software on New America and Ridgewell is noticeable.
The remains of the PCA leadership arrives at Atlantis. At a confused press conference it becomes clear that they have lost power, but how and who ousted them is unclear. The Process and some other Atlantean organisations quickly begin to put together an investigative mission to Penglai to find out.
Port Clarke, the new major space terminal at Atlantis is inaugurated. The terminals at John are temporarily unavailable due to the Beanstalk project.
The Process sends the Bottom Line to Penglai to investigate.
New America sends an expedition to Pi3 to attempt to acquire local technology. A sabotage occurs when a hidden transmitter on the hull broadcasts information on American software to the planet, alerting local systems on the attempt.
The Ahrrenius of Arcadia is sent to Colchis, a potential colony world.
On arriving at Penglai the Bottom Line crew finds the colony superficially normal, even if many signs suggest that there has been significant struggle. The local Process administrator Jonathan Worth receives the Bottom Line crew and overall tries to reassure them. At the same time net analysis data suggests that something is going on behind the scenes, the media refers to something called the Li, an anonymous warning against the Li is sent to the ship from a laser transponder and medical monitors in one of the crew detects an unknown anomaly. The gradually more paranoid crew investigates the team who visited Worth and discovers that something is acting on their brains. An unidentified nanomachine is found. They begin to suspect that the Li is the weapon, and flees the system. During the escape the Bottom Line is pursued by two fighter ships, which are destroyed using the TDD it had carried with itself. The Li victims are cryonically frozen.
On arrival at Atlantis, the news of the Li take-over causes great turmoil in the Process. Throwing enormous resources at the problem, they begin to conjecture that the Li is transferred by some kind of nanodevice turning people into loyal slaves of something. The design appears to be from the Mothers. Atlanteans respond by buying weapons, anti-altruism drugs and investing in computing power; thanks to excellent spin-doctoring from the Process panic is avoided, but Atlantis is preparing itself for an attack.
The New America spaceship MacArthur arrives at Penglai and is taken over by the Li. It returns to New America to spread it. The Li government sends Eastern Lake to Nova to spread the Li.
Guessing that the Li will try to spread itself, the Process sends the Prosperity and Possibility to Penglai to check whether the starships there have been sent away; depending on this information they will make a run for it towards likely destinations. Worried by the Li, the Process also sends the Bottom Line to Turnbull with a hastily assembled initial colonist group mainly composed of robots and AI from Atlantis. The colony could act as a escape route.
The Trahan colony on Negsoa reaches 100,000 Trahans, shuttled there from Traha. It begins to organise itself into a proper society.
The Prosperity and Possibility reaches Penglai, and finds one starship in orbit. Guessing that the missing one left for New America, the Prosperity goes to Nova and the Possibility to Arcadia to warn them.
Lyra Arms is founded on Atlantis by Vegan and Atlantean interests.
Orbital Nation is officially founded above Nova, as an Atlantean-Nova consortium declares a newly built habitat an Atlantean enclave, following Atlantean law. This works as a great tax-haven, as well as a refuge for many AIs. A huge debate ensues, overshadowing the arrival of the Eastern Lake from Penglai.
As the Prosperity reaches Nova, they find possible Li agents already in the system. At first the Process acts quietly, gathering information and calling a secret meeting with leading AIs (who can be certain not to be infected by the Li), but the volatility of the market and the impossibility of keeping things secret too long forces them to reveal what the Process knows about the events at Penglai. The Promonss becomes highly defensive, the Nova markets become very nervous, political, media and juridical action is taken by all sides, the public is fascinated and worried. In the end, the President orders the Eastern Lake and Penglaiese under quarantine, although at least one team managed to get into the Alliance and another one to Unity. Prosperity leaves for New America, while everybody tries to find out who has been infected.
Warnings of the Li arrives at Arcadia, where the expansionists send out ships to warn the remaining colonies.
The Process drops off a capsule of robots on Penglai. The spy robots manage to gather vital information about what is going on and transmit it before being found and destroyed.
Scientists at Armstrong University manages to use gravity manipulation to produce super-dense alloys. Applications include radiation shielding and more efficient higgsrams.
Warnings of the Li reaches Ridgewell, where the Paul coalition fears that the isolationists will use the news. They drive through a strict customs/quarantine system, and give the go ahead to the Atlas Project of Otto Westville Thomas Stevens, modified to act as a planetary defence.
Warnings of the Li arrives at New America, where the MacArthur has already been for a week. Panic ensues. In the chaos Li teams spread misinformation, infiltrate key institutions and generally cause a disruption of NA society which fragments into isolationist enclaves on space habitats and islands fearing their neighbours. The space navy from Kennedy arrives but cannot do much; everybody distrusts everybody. A local linker defects to the Process, revealing important information about the Li.
The Li ship Southern Lake arrives at Dionysos. It finds the Nova ship Democracy in orbit, apparently warning the colony against Li invasion. Since infiltration will not work the commander orders an attack against the colony to defuse the threat of psychodesign. The unarmed Democracy jumps away, and Southern Lake employs the orbit-ground nuclear weapons battery taken from the old PCA planetary defences on Penglai to attack all major cities and colony areas; afterwards it leaves the system. However, the warnings from Democracy gave most people time to escape the target areas, reducing the death toll to approximately 10,000 people. The Jesurun refuse to move, and are totally eradicated. The survivors, automatically shifting into an emergency personality, begin to work on their survival. The Democracy does what it can, and returns to Nova for more help. Later, ships from Arcadia and Atlantis pass by giving further help, but it is clear that the colonists are in a precarious situation as the winter approaches.
The Linkers and Unificationalists at Base Human begin to realise that the Li is out of control.
Stage one of the Turnbull colony is nearly finished. The total inhabitants are 10 humans and approximately 1000 AIs.
Riots on Gaia between gaianists and dionysians. Missionaries from Dionysos have spread the dionysian cult to Gaia, causing a direct conflict with the more conservative Mothers.
A major breakthrough in nanotechnology occurs at Atlantis, when DrexTech and Genji Computing succeeds in manufacturing nanocomputers in bulk. The result is an optimistic shift in the economy, as well as an accelerating trend in computing power.
Parts of the New America space navy leaves for Penglai, with orders to disrupt the starflight abilities of the Li. The decision is not popular among the space military but ordered by the remaining political leadership at home.
A diplomatic ship from the Process is sent to Penglai, seeking to open a diplomatic channel with the Li. The Process diplomats attempt to suggest a peaceful co-existence as well as threaten with retaliation for any attempts of further Li infection.
The NA space navy arrives at Penglai, disregarding pleas from the Process diplomats and attacking space facilities. The Li government has spent the months since the take-over developing an extensive orbital defence system. The NA navy manages to inflict significant damage to important facilities (including two starships under construction), but the two active starships are not in system. The damage to the NA ships is rather serious, and the Elioth is destroyed. The NA fleet returns home.
During a major meeting of the Mother clans at Adobe a sub-meeting discuss human-Mother relations and the Li. The Linkers announce that they do not wish to see any more large conflicts and wish to end the unchecked Li expansion. The way to achieve this would be the introduction of version 2 of the Li, an improved version with added features that would act as a "philosophical weapon", making the Li turn inwards rather than outwards. The Radical Unificationalists and Linkers eventually negotiate an agreement with the Process about the development of the new Li and help at distributing it among the semi-independent Li infiltrators among the colonies. The deal includes oversight at Base Human, non-disclosure agreements and research collaboration on the sociological impact of Li-type tools. However, the Process at the same time makes a deal with a fraction of the Balanced Moderators about buying the plans for nanoimmune systems in exchange for Promonss investments. This serves to tie the Moderators and Process closer together, and would hopefully give the Process a way of handling defection from the Linkers as well as opening up a new, huge market.
The Trahan colonisation ship appears at New America. The Trahan commander announces that the Trahans will help the crisis situation – since they are impossible to infect with Li they can act as go-betweens and interfaces between the different zones. The Trahan task force is prepared with carefully designed press releases and diplomatic suggestions, more or less forcing the government to comply and accept the help. Trahans begin to man shuttles to provide essential transports as well as help the space navy undertake Li scan operations of the Code Yellow habitats.
Nanoimmune systems are tested and produced on Atlantis, and immediately become a huge success. The process quickly begins to plan production and marketing on the other colonies, especially Nova and New America.
A coup occurs on Ridgewell, when a family meeting is convened with a vote of no confidence in the Gregory Stonebrook Paul cabinet. The result is that a large number of Pauls resign from their positions. The new government is more liberal and isolationistic.
The Trahan Philosophical Commission warns of unfounded rumours of impending dynasty-shift, and institutes a global help-debate to deal with the issue.
Stage two of the Turnbull colony is completed. There are around 100,000 AIs (mostly clones of the original colonists AIs) running essentially all colonial functions. Great engineering projects are being undertaken by the accelerating digital economy, with merely nominal Process control. A project is instated to infiltrate the computer networks of Mary and subvert the society from the inside.
Unity, having isolated itself into internal debate, resolves the Li issue by splitting. Three habitats chose to use the Li to achieve an Omega Society, withdrawing from the rest of Unity and the Nova system. They are to be moved to a different system by the Unity starship Traktor.
Infections of evolving computer viruses and AI viruses on Nova are becoming more and more common. Analysts point at the worrying possibility that this is a natural result of having too much computer power with independent software entities competing for space/attention - if this is true then Nova is fast approaching a situation where the fragile and essential infrastructure will suffer a software breakdown. Process analysts who know about the Turnbull colony believe that something similar is happening there.
The Process, worried by the Trahan presence at New America begins to prepare their own support. They buy the Origo from the Graunstein-Rotha Consortium and hire Unity to transport it to New America. They begin to gather rescue equipment, large amounts of nanoimmune devices, psych police consultants etc.
A process expedition to Pi3 Orionis return with disturbing reports that the local cracking systems know about not just New America but also Nova software protocols, signs of past contact. Theories about the existence of large-scale metaintelligence on the planet are fuelled further. The Nova viruses might be due to secret attempts to scavenge Pi3 technology, such as the new autofacs that are being marketed on Nova by a research consortium.
A secret expedition from the Process manages to buy samples of the Li nanite from Omega in exchange for a defence system from Trillicom; Omega fears that other Li societies will attack them. The Li samples are used to finally prove the efficiency of the nanoimmune system against the Li.
Computer viral infection in the Arcadian computer networks, sabotage suspected.
Major attack by the Crafters against the Maurya habitat, which had become a centre of interstellar diplomacy. Unlike most attacks, this was directed towards gaining as much information as possible.
Attack on the beanstalk at Atlantis, narrowly averted. An unmanned freight capsule is reprogrammed to ram into the cable near Jack, and nearly hits before the automatic defence systems destroy it. Had it struck the stalk there is a real chance it would had done enough damage to cut it. The Beanstalk Consortium is furious, and the greatest police investigation in the history of Atlantis begins.
An AI node arrives on Arcadia, the Themis Arcadia Expertise Node. It seeks to become an official hive.
While preparing the Origo, now renamed Diana, the Process is supplied with the new Li makers by the Linkers who know they plan to get involved with New America. The Process reluctantly accepts them, and begins to study the possible social effects of introducing Li version 2.0.
AI infiltration attacks on Penglai from Nova; however, penglaiese alife immune software turns out to be more efficient than expected. The Linkers begin to spread Li v 2.0 on Penglai, leading to an accelerated move towards a more isolationist and inward-looking society.
The Diana arrives at New America, providing relief and many useful technologies (as well as an orbital Nation-style tax haven). Working together with the space navy the Process distributes nanoimmune systems and equipment. The Trahans collaborate, but under the surface both groups compete with each other for influence on the new society of the planet. The Fundies have been largely converted by the Li, and the Process begins to secretly seed version 2 Li on Bell Islands. This results in a secret internal war between the versions, limiting the abilities of the Li to infect further, but also complicating the already tense situation even further. Li infected people also buy nanoimmune systems to protect themselves against the "false version". The technarch movement has made a comeback in orbit and now controls several space habitats. It is clear that the society of the planet is splintering along all possible directions.
The rumours of impending dynastic shift on Traha have grown to certainty, and the process of planned sociopolitical succession begins. Every political group is involved in promoting their philosophy as part of the great manifesto the Imperial Couple is expected to deliver shortly. If this manifesto succeeds, the shift will be fairly smooth, but if it fails there is a real chance for serious chaos.
After a chaotic presidential election campaign Senator Thurber of the Bell Federalists wins, despite his clear Li version 1 affiliation. The victory is however largely irrelevant: the divisions between the various groups are so large that the secessions are a fact. The Process, Trahans and Nova interests do their best to keep the breakup of New America into different polities peaceful, but the future is uncertain.
The Process gets involved in an escalating series of blue gift exchanges with the Imperial Court, essentially a mutual attempt to figure out the strengths and positions of the other side relating to technology, the Li, interstellar politics and the philosophy of mindkind's development.
A mouse is successfully uploaded on Nova by the Brain Scanning Network.
Secret top-level meeting between the Trahan Imperial Couple and the Process Board in the golden tabernacle of Capital. During a tense negotiation both sides present their visions, and eventually succeed in plexing them into a whole, a kind of understanding that will allow them to work together rather than against each other. The Process is leading the acceleration towards posthumanity, introducing and spreading socially disruptive technologies across human space; it tends to attract the neophiles of humanity (and some Trahans). The new dynastic philosophy of the Imperial Couple instead strives to create a kind of xenocreole society based on ideas of gradual unfolding of the essential Trahan and human virtues (very much based on the Brethren's teachings, which of course were planned long before), something that would appeal to traditionalists and individuals not embracing radical changes. The mutual vision is how to interface these completely different philosophies in a way that gives each the freedom to develop on their own, but still enough contact points to prevent total divergence and hence distrust. Between them, the Trahans and Process will set up an environment where other philosophies can exist, but to prevent further Li-like disasters they will both strive to open up the isolated cultures and make them part of the growing Trahan-human sphere. The Process begins to organise a parallel cultural manifesto to the new Trahan dynastic manifesto.
Quantum economics demonstrated on Atlantis.