RARSP, the Rapid Alien Response Space Patrol, was formed in around 2056 at the behest of the then President of Earth, Ronald Trump jr the 2nd. At the time the decision to form RARSP was seen as just one of Old Ron’s’ (as he was affectionately known by his cronies) crackpot ideas. It arose after the Sequestran’s had been defeated on the Moon in 2056. Ron reasoned that where there was one alien species there would be others and that Earth needed a rapid response group that could be quickly mobilised in the event of any similar threat.
The Head of EarthLand Security at the time, who knew Ron was bonkers, took the formation of RARSP as an opportunity to put the worst performers of the Sequestran war into a unit that would effectively become an unused ‘white elephant’.
Little did she know that at some point in the future, 2170 to be precise, they would be the first military group from Earth to tackle the Mud Lizards.
Whilst exploring Plasmolidium in 2170 Captain Dougal McBeckHam, who led the crew of the Explorer 237, was attacked by giant insects described at the time as mega-mosquitoes.
Part biological and part artificial, the mosquitoes were both a food source for the Mud Lizards and a weapon that the Mud Lizards could use to attack their enemies. The individual mosquitoes were fierce enough but they could also act as a collective, merging together to form a significant fighting machine.
The mega-mosquitoes were also co-incidentally, carriers of the common Plasmodium parasite found on Earth, and when the Captain was attacked he became infected with that parasite and contracted malaria as a consequence.
Much worse, was the use of the mosquitoes by the Mud Lizards to deliver a virus to Earth designed to devastate the human population. Their use of a biological weapon, at the end of the first significant space battle between Mud Lizards and Earth ships, almost succeeded. Without the intervention of Azz-Lex it would have been very likely that human life on Earth would have completely ended.
Government securities forces have completed the evacuation of the independent aircity Hera, as Earth’s commission for the safe use of AIs struggles to bring the city’s core AI under control.
Hawkins, the artificial intelligence that has managed all of the city’s services and amenities for nearly a decade, suddenly decided to ignore instructions just over one week ago. In a series of bizarre decisions, Hawkins closed shops early, stopped traffic and started to deliver goods and services no one had ordered or wanted.
In order to mitigate risks to public safety Earth’s government has taken charge of the city, insisting on the evacuation in order that Cortex can investigate and determine what has gone wrong. Cortex manufactures the global AI control and failsafe system on behalf of Earth’s government. The independent city Hera uses a small start-up company’s control system and did so in efforts to break from strict government control.
ThinkFree, the creators of Hawkins, are claiming there is a government conspiracy aimed at putting them out of business and restore the government’s monopoly on enterprise level AI systems. A government spokesperson for the AI Minister dismissed talk of a conspiracy as utter nonsense. T
he spokesperson went on to say that the arrest of ThinkFree’s board of organisers was for their own protection.
Amongst a range of measures to keep the Earth’s climate bearable in the 23rd Century has been the technology pioneered by PolarIce. This small non-profit concern patented the IceCapture Drone in 2255.
Their first 5 pilot drones demonstrated the concept of polar ice cap renewal in 2262 through repairing a 22,000 square mile hole at the South Pole. Resultant drops in air temperature in the Western hemisphere were shown to be significant. Unfortunately, PolarIce has run out of operational funds and Earth’s Supreme Government Association has failed to agree continued public funding for them. Accordingly, PolarIce and their patent is now the subject of a bidding war between G-Soft, SinoCom and SoviSecure.
At this stage, it is unclear which of these three conglomerates will win out. What is certain though is that the era of free ice cover for the people’s of the Earth will soon be over.
What do we know about the Zygote Crystal on Earth in the 23rd Century?. Well, first off its a crystal – there’s a clue in the name. Beyond that though, our knowledge is a bit fuzzy, to say the least.
We believe that the Zygote Crystal appeared on Earth in Jurassic times and helped the Mud Lizards, a civilisation that has since warred with Earth, escape the consequences of the Chixulub Impactor. This meteor, of course, led to the devastation of Earth at the time and the demise of the dinosaurs.
Had it not been for the intervention of the Zygote Crystal, it would also probably have been the end of the Mud Lizards. Earth folklore tells us that the Zygote Crystal has the capability to massively accelerate the evolution of a species. It somehow came into the possession of the Mud Lizards on Earth in the Jurassic period and facilitated them to develop into the dominant species of the time.
They were able to make technological advances very rapidly and built a spaceship to escape Earth before the meteor hit. They, therefore, became the first beings from Earth in space, gazillions of years before Albert the Rhesus monkey made it in 1948. Having escaped Earth, they settled on the planet Plasmolidium and the rest, as they say, is (more) history.
In the late 22nd/early 23rd Century, interest in being able to make use of time had blossomed. Early experiments conducted by President Professor E. Poch in the mid-22nd Century had demonstrated the principle of ‘capturing’ time from the edges of black holes.
However, various issues led to Professor Poch’s experiments being suspended. First of all, too many of the spaceships used to extract the time wound up being dragged into the black hole or enveloped in lethal gases from black hole ‘burps’. Secondly, the small amounts of time that were captured by these early experimenters couldn’t be used in an even vaguely controlled manner.
It was only in the 2190s when the first time battery was developed that it became possible to store and the discharge, with some control, packets of time. However, packets of time are notoriously unstable and managing them is as much an ‘art’ as a science. Only a small handful of individuals study time mining as the dangers that confront a trained time miner at work are so great. Statistics show that only one in twenty time miners live into their thirties though in many cases, rather than definitively dying, they simply disappear.
Cat, we know, is a robot. But how exactly does he come to be so like a real cat? Why does he have such an intensely superior personality? Is it programmed or inherited from Zeus or a similar God?. Well, you may be surprised to hear that it is largely inherited. He actually derives from the Pure Cat Ashley, a domestic cat from the 22nd Century who saved humanity and has essentially never let humanity forget it.
When some of the few human combatants in Interstellar War I returned to Earth around 2175, despite the usual stringent quarantine checks, humankind began to be devastated by a virus that attacked the human immune system. Deaths mounted and the projections were that within 10 years humans could be wiped out. That was looking to be the case until the work of Vice-Professor Tjoorbaert Morabitz from the Austrian Academy of Galactic Science and his assistant Trevor (unfortunately, Trevor’s surname has been lost in the annals of the history of science but some experts believe he actually did all of the work). Anyway, Tjoorbaert was also the founder of ClonaCat and in his efforts to create the perfect domestic cat, he had spent many years trying to fully understand the genetic make-up of Ashley who had been perfect physically and had an IQ almost 100X higher than normal for a cat of the time.
Whilst studying Ashley’s genes and behaviour (and the latter was what you probably would expect from Zeus) Tjoorbaert (or possibly Trevor) discovered that a transposon in Ashley’s DNA had the capability to destroy a range of viruses, including the common cold, that variously afflicted the human population. The so-called ‘friendly-transposon’ also became the miracle cure for the Amora virus, the bug brought back by the early deep space explorers.
Humanity was saved by this serendipitous property of the Ashley ‘Friendly’ Transposon. There were consequences, however. All humans effectively became part-cat, or rather part Ashley, with the phenotype of humans in relation to cat characteristics varying widely. For some there was hardly any effect, others suddenly liked to chew grass and vomit whilst some couldn’t pee unless they were standing on a tray full of litter and quite a few couldn’t survive without being waited on hand and foot. Obviously, despite the social embarrassment some of these actions could lead to, it was better than dying. Fortunately, around 15 years after the introduction of the Ashley Transposon, other scientists found treatments that could suppress most of the cat characteristics that Ashley brought into the human gene pool. This left us with immune humans who occasionally hissed when they got really pissed off and chased anything smaller that moved.
And Cat? Robot Cat? Well, he was the perfect clone of Ashley though he had no living flesh because of course, he was ‘robot’. However, Ashley’s DNA had properties that went well beyond the 4 nucleotide bases found in all living creatures across the Universe to date. Ashley’s DNA had attitude and Cat had inherited elements of ‘attitude’ in extremis.
The great radiation flood of 2212 was a tipping point for humanity and one hell of a shock for the US President of the time. President Rip van Trumplestein, a third generation Mexus, was just in the middle of a World speech on the success of the 98th Climate change programme when his hair started to singe in the midday sun in Fairbanks Alaska.
Anyways, as ‘Old Don’ (as he was known to his supporters) got doused in firespray by one of his bodyguards, news broke from the Earth Space Platform that 2 black holes had collided in deep space. The net result of this collision was a massive release of cosmic radiation that had, on that day, hit the Earth.
Of course ‘Old Don’ had been told about this several years before and he had dismissed it as ‘fake scaremongering’ originating from Sinosovurea, that was designed to wreck the ozone layer regeneration industry on Earth. Well having got that one wrong, and with his rather dodgy hair smoldering, Old Don went back to hosting ‘Play your Fossil Fuels Right’ a much-loved reality airplay show (well it wasn’t really loved but his cronies told him it was).
Meanwhile on Earth, regeneration of the ozone layer became a real priority and production of ozone in the upper atmosphere was rapidly increased, but due to the high energy requirements of ozone generation, Earth began to quickly warm up. Fortunately at around this time, Professor Wai-Nott had advanced with his experiments on Bryllium and within a few months of the initial first flood of radiation, Earth had a new ozone equivalent layer to protect its former President’s beard.