At the beginning of the twenty-first century humanity has achieved unprecedented technological progress. The first jump engines have allowed the colonization of the near stellar systems, and a new technology, the one of the quantum leap, allows to reach even more distant points in the stars.
During the past century the societies of the Earth underwent a profound transformation. In an increasingly globalized world, the concept of national frontier was gradually diluted to give way to more complex and diverse social organizations. The possibility of leaving the planet and being able to create a new community from scratch attracted many, and there was a new large-scale migration similar to that of the conquest of the New World.
Crash of 66
Throughout the twenty-first century, Earth's governments entered a spiral of debt and control of the economy that gradually stalled global growth. The stimulus measures that the bureaucrats strove to repeat over and over again made the situation worse and worse. After two small economic crises in the first half of the century came the collapse of the global financial system on October 24, 2066. The subsequent months were chaos. Local wars and riots led to a United Nations meeting in which the reform of the economic system of the planet was decided. The following decades were the period of greatest progress in the history of mankind. However, the land population was already over 25 billion people, and the colonies in the Solar system were insufficient to accommodate the emigration that the Earth needed urgently. It was necessary for humanity to aim at the stars.
Beginning of the stellar era
The most important milestone of the second half of the 21st century is undoubtedly the development of the first hyperspace jump engine. The first ships departed from the Earth to systems near the Sun, colonizing some nearby stars as Next B or Betelgeuse. However, it soon became clear that the closest systems would be hoarded by the most powerful nations and corporations on Earth, so it would be very difficult to colonize other planets without their influence and control, forcing an extremely long space journey.
Life outside the Earth
The first evidence of life outside Earth was found by the James Webb Space Telescope in 2021. However, the star era had to begin for humans to step on a planet with extraterrestrial life. The first sample of life was found in Betelgeuse B. Since then, microscopic life has been found on several planets, but not intelligent life. There are stories of ancient artifacts found and fleets attacked by mysterious ships, but no evidence has ever been presented.
The Quantum Gate
After the discovery of the quantum leap and the construction of the Quantum Gate in Earth orbit, the Organization of New United Nations issued an act in which a series of conditions and clauses for the use of that door were specified. In order to avoid the abuse by factions already solidly settled in the galaxy, clause nº 234 was created, that prohibited the declaration of war to any faction that was recently settled.
New countries of the Earth
United States of Malaysia-Singapore-Taiwan
In 2067, after the serious financial crisis provoked by the crash of the 66, new states formed that forms of federal government. The USMST came to lead the whole of Southeast Asia by uniting three powerful highly industrialized nations.
New United Nations
It was created with the intention of replacing the old system to endow the new factions and colonies with extrasolar voices for the coordination of all the efforts of humanity. Like its predecessor, the NUN is a nest of bureaucrats plugged into the budget. The NUN controls the access to the quantum gate and is in charge of authorizing the new factions its use, to colonize new planets.
Stellar Trading Network
It is the largest corporation in the universe and its headquarters in Moon. Its creation was authorized in 2095 after the act 2095-E of the New United Nations. It is a completely private organization that has billions of shareholders. It has its own fleet and has more power than any known state or faction. It controls the entire market for rare resources and is able to deliver products anywhere in the universe.
It is an industrial corporation that has facilities on 8 planets, and is specialized in software and armament. Its annual contracts exceed 25 trillion credits.
Academy of Universal Knowledge
It is based on the planet Mars. It contains the largest database of humanity (more than 758 zebibytes) and growing more and more each day. Each year it awards prizes to the greatest advances in the humanities: literature, art and human sciences.