Prologue: the second rebirth
Hello, I have reached an impasse with my story No gods, no kings, terra aeternum; several plot holes; poorly develop layers, characters and contents; as well as tremendous grammar errors made me realize that perhaps it was time to rewrite this story, just as one event changes the timeline of the mass effect and bioshock universes.
Some of the chapters may only offer subtle corrections or new and different elements, while others may be entirely different.
Unlike my previous story, this shall only be the History of Humanity, the history of the Terran Systems Alliance; a nation built by the intellect of the human species and the strength that lies in our free will and indomitable spirit.
He who controls the past commands the future, he who commands the future conquers the past.
2186 - 2 hours after the beginning of the Reaper invasion
Earth, Local Cluster
Beneath the Atlantic Ocean
Her hands gripped the edge of her seat, as a drop of cold sweat crossed her forehead, she had been in combat before, the fire of combat with adrenaline rushing through your veins burning any trace of fear, yet now she was truly nervous, she took a deep breath and made an attempt to calm her desperate racing heart; she breathed once, counted to four and exhaled, after two deep breaths she was as calm as she could be. She was ready.
At that moment Sally Ryan knew what she needed to do. It was in her hands the power to save mankind, and perhaps the galaxy yet as the submarine continued its slow descent into the deeps of the Atlantic, her doubts were only beginning to increase. She was about to return to the place where her darkest nightmares lay.
"Are you sure about this Sally? The illusive man will have both of our heads for this" her partner Dr. James Sylvan said while piloting the submarine.
"He has been indoctrinated; you know that as well as me, right now we are on our own my friend. This place may have the key to stop all of this" she countered.
"I actually believe, it is too late" his voice began to tremble with fear. "The Reapers are here, their invasion has just begun. We need to escape off planet and join with the rest of the Alliance in resistance."
For a moment Sally said nothing, her mind wandered off to the horrors up there, all those people in the surface dying by the millions as the reapers were already on the process of destroying all of Earth mayor military installations, destroying roads and isolating cities to begin indoctrinating and converting their inhabitants.
If her plan succeeded, they may not only save billions of lives but prevent them from being in danger on the first place, and accomplishing the dream of the Illusive man: creating a future where humanity would be safe of any threats and its place on the cosmos secured through the mastery of technology and innovation.
But then she remembered all that she had seen on her old memories, if hope was to lie somewhere perhaps it was on the place where the darkest and most ambitious dreams of man had taken form and died beneath the cold embrace of the ocean; a place in Earth where the impossible can happen, even the chance to start a new.
"No, for once I believe time is on our side" as if on cue a swarm of fish clear the way of the vehicle, allowing the remaining lights of a long forgotten fallen utopia to distinguish on the horizon.
Buildings destroyed and flooded ruins composed most of the city, the beautifully designed art deco skyscrapers were covered by sea life, a morbid testament of the ocean reclaiming its territory. Only a few buildings remained on their feet, sustained by repairs made by Cerberus engineers in recent years.
They have arrived at the ruins of Rapture. Just seeing the ruined underwater city sent a shiver down her spine.
What am I doing? Is it right to start the nightmare all over again?
"It never gets old, I been to this place at least four times, and I still can barely believe it. An underwater city built in secret at the middle of the twentieth century, filled with the best and brightest of humanity at the time. How much do you think mankind would have change if the inhabitants of Rapture would have shared their new discoveries to the rest of the planet?" asked James Sylvan with a sad smile on his face.
For a moment, Sally made no answer instead she began to think about the splicers, the little sisters, the big daddies; would the monsters of Rapture have invaded the surface, would Rapture evil have infected the rest of the world like a disease? Perhaps it was time to answer those questions.
The technology and science of Rapture had helped Cerberus to bring back Commander Sheppard. The vita chambers and the regenerative properties of the ADAM slugs had been critical to the genetic enhancement techniques developed by Cerberus. While the molecular fuse technology once used in the skyscrapers of Rapture had been repurposed for the construction of warships and Space stations, allowing the paramilitary organization to reduce costs and enhance their ships and clandestine infrastructure.
Those technologies had brought Cerberus into one of the most advanced and efficient organizations on the galaxy and certainly one of the most powerful.
But now it was no time to delve in the past, it was time to set this right, to build a brighter future.
"Take us to the northern part of the city, there is an intact area known as Fontaine Department store where our objective is located" said Sally.
"Understood partner" James Sylvan answered.
A part of Sally was hoping that the underwater building was already flooded, that the device was destroyed for good, and that this plan of hers was not to succeed. She didn't like to play god in such a way, to change mankind from scrap.
Most of all, she could not stop thinking about that story from Bradbury "A sound of thunder" in which a man accidently stomps on a butterfly during a time travel expedition, erasing a vital portion of the evolutionary chain, causing a massive change in all the timeline. The story had been credited as the origin of the term "butterfly effect" in chaos theory. Who was to say that the events that were about to unfold may not take a darker path, that the one already in place.
She took the highly advance portable computer in her arms, loaded with a copy of every known codex, regarding technologies, historical events, military tactics and messages to serve as instructions.
Her own message in a bottle, not to another shore but to another time
"I hope you are ready, all our hopes and dreams lie with you" she said to the machine in a whisper.
UNN Building, New York
IN ANOTHER TIME, IN ANOTHER PLACE
"This is Mira al-Jilani for the CNN transmitting the first public speech of The Rapture Objectivistic Republic's Prime Minister Jack Ryan on the UN, as the once secret nation founded by the famous scientists Nikola Tesla and Dr. Robert Lutece in 1919 as a secret research community outside any government oversight and later reformed by a wealthy Russian-American industrialist Andrew Ryan and a scientist named Anna Dewitt in 1947 has finally presented itself to the worldwide community."
"Many questions had been asked about the self-proclaimed Utopia holding a population of 1.5 million, located in the heart of the Antarctica. Some claim without hesitation that the self-sustainable city that has become known to the world for the past 6 years since their intervention in the North Korean nuclear attack on the United States in 2012, stands as the living prove that without religion, massive state control and the embracing of both individuals and collective achievements humanity can produce the closest thing to a real utopia."
"Now in 2018, finally after secret discussions with the UN Security Council the ROR has claimed that it is ready to present the greatest of its discoveries to humanity as a whole. In these last six years Rapture's technological innovations now shared and co-develop with not only the five nations of the UN Security Council (USA, Russia, China, UK, France) but with several of the most important countries of the world (India, Japan, Australia, Germany, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, South Africa, Israel and Nigeria) have changed the world; with the medical industry achieving enormous leaps in eradicating the most dangerous diseases which have plagued mankind for centuries; and correct some of the most serious genetically inherit conditions imposed on millions of individuals worldwide."
"In an era where self-sustainable growth is one of the main trending issues of discussion: The construction and manufacture industries are reforming their methods of production by incorporating new metal alloys develop by Rapturian industries."
"Even agriculture practices all around the world have been changed completely with genetically engineered plants capable of providing nutritional content while growing in the most inhospitable environments replacing previous crops."
"Most concerning perhaps is the construction of neutron-antimatter power plants all across the globe, holding the promise to finally put an end to the energy crisis on every nation and avoiding further atmospheric pollution as well. But with the world switching almost overnight to singularity reactors as the main power source for their cities and infrastructures with the price of oil declining as never before; many nations and groups show only concern while gazing at the economic shift of the world."
"After all Rapture's impressive rise to prominence at the international stage within the last years has not been without conflicts. Being the most trending topic at social media the ROR has attracted admirers and haters alike; with social network pages bursting with multiple debates and discussions surrounding the impressive achievements of the once isolationist city."
"Many of those discussions are on the topic of religious rights and spiritual ideologies as Rapture's constitution forbids the settlement of religious institutions on their soil; calling religion as an outdated concept that should have no place in modern society outside a person's own home. That statement alongside a majority atheist population and culture has brought them to tension with many religious figures and institutions like the Vatican."
"The pope himself referred to the ROR as a nation that preaches selfishness and individual well-being over charity or compassion. A misguided people that have absolutely renounced faith and the sanctity of humility, poverty and the Holy Spirit; while completely embracing the cult of themselves, wealth and the illusion that science alone can brought all the mysteries of the universe to light."
"Rapture national Motto: There are no gods, there are no kings, our fates are our own; is a profane ideology, that replaces the sanctity of god's wisdom with the absolute abandonment of moral and divine attachments."
"Also the Republic of Rapture has refused to establish business with conflicted or totalitarian nations, like the already weaken states of North Korea, Iran, Cuba or Venezuela, although they have made some commercial and diplomatic agreements with the People's Republic of China."
"A trending theory on social media is that Rapturian's sharing of the Singularity Core technology to the USA and the European nations has not only economic but also political reasons as the collapse of the oil industry without sustainable transitions would mean a certain economic collapse for nations like Iran and Venezuela; two 'considerable rivals' of the western world."
"Yet for those who have already seen Rapture in person, like this reporter herself, the secluded metropolis where crimes are almost nonexistent and the distance between the low and high class citizens is very narrow, the city is more than a city or a high tech social experiment, it is an idea."
"The idea; that human nature does not hold only the drive to destroy and conquer but also the will to grow and learn in order to build a future on own terms."
The camera switched to the conference room of the UN, where a fifty year old man and a thirty year old woman reached the podium escorted by four bodyguards.
"Finally it seems that Jack Ryan and his vice Minister Alys Tenembaun seem to be ready to give their speech."
"Good morning, my fellow men and women of this planet. My name is Jack Ryan prime minister of the Rapture Objectivistic Republic, but today I am not here as the chief of state of the world most secluded nation, but as a citizen of mankind" he made a pause to study the effect of the representatives of every nation and to allow his words to sink in the people watching his transmission.
"For decades Rapture and its people stood secluded from the rest of mankind because of the fear in our leaders' hearts for fascism, totalitarianism, religious fanatics and nuclear war. We stood watch as The Cold War rage on, waiting or fearing the death of the entirety human civilization in nuclear fire" he declared his voice filled with regret.
"My father Andrew Ryan escaped from Russia during the bolshevist revolution, he came to America to start a new, but as he saw the atrocities of War World Two: the atomic bomb, the holocaust and the death of millions; a deep disgust and distrust of mankind was instilled into him, and he became obsessed with building an utopia free of what he considered the source of all evils: Altruism" whispers of confusion exploded in every corner of the room, as Jack Ryan allow a moment for his words to sink in.
"Please don't mistake me, I am not my father and he did not refer to compassion or generosity but rather his believe that the masses as a whole can become ignorant and easy to sway, allowing for people with sweet words and charisma to control them by what they believe is the greater good. Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow? He asked every day. When you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing - When you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors and threats - When you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you - When you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice - You may know that your society is doomed. That were the basses of his ideology and his ideals" he made a pause once again.
"His unshakable faith in his belief and his past experiences with collectivism and populism instilled in him a fierce contempt for the people and those who did not took his beliefs"
"Yet thanks to the efforts of those standing with him, people like Anna Dewitt and Bill McDonagh he was able to realize that in the end there is no root of all evils, nor a unique set of truths to guide the path of every human."
"There is no better way to achieve the best in ourselves and find our own path than to work and struggle to do better alongside those who choose to stand by our side. In the words of Ernest Hemingway: There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self" he made a pause as a small choir of aplauses filled the room.
"For decades he worked together with his fellow industrialists, scientists and artists to turn Rapture in what it is today, a gleaming beacon of technological marvel and unique mix of cultures" a little applause came from the crowd as he allowed a new pause.
"But now, as we stand at the dawn of a new age, and we see our world suffering the effects of climate change; social, political and religious conflicts; as well as overpopulation, many of us search for a new beginning, some unfortunately search for someone to blame, be it a person, a nation or a system; and they feed their resentement, unleashing it in path of self-destruction that only creates more pain"
"While others once again embrace the idea of becoming better than themselves and together with our fellow men we work and we strive to improve ourselves and our societies as a whole" many nod their heads and smile to the prime minister as he approach to the main subject of his speech.
"And so, I will just go to the point of this, or we will be here all day" A few laughs came from the crowd, but cease at the moment Jack Ryan's face turned deadly serious. "A few years ago, Rapture Space Exploration Initiative (RSEI) launched a prove to Mars in an effort to study the planet for terraformation and colonization" he turned to the screen, which soon began showing images of the red planet and sensor readings, before stopping in a point of the planet where a 3D scan began taking form. "This probe found evidence of a construction on Mars, an alien construction" gasps of surprise and fear filled the chamber and no one could take their eyes away from the screen where the scan show the image of a ruined complex that according to the prove readings was thousands of years old.
"Together with the US, Russia, UK, China and a dozen other countries the RSEI have begun the design of a ship known as the Prometheus Flame to carry a team of scientists to Mars, where they will conduct a study of the ruins."
"So now as the question of: are we alone in the universe, has been answered, I send a message to every men, women and child of this Earth: It is time to realize we are but one people, one human race, we cannot continue to cling to ancient hatreds and mistrust, we must move forward, we must work together as one and claim a place in the enormous void that surround us" he made a pause.
"Only together then we shall build a new beginning for our children by working as one nation, one species. And I know that if we embrace our better selves and stand side by side then we will reclaim our future and the stars."
As he finished his speech, every representative of every nation began to stand up and look each other still trying to process what they just heard. Soon a few began to applause then a few others, followed by several clusters of people, finally the whole room stood up applauding and smiling. For millennia humanity had stood divided by hatreds, but know perhaps because of fear or perhaps because of the love for their own who will soon face uncertainty they now stood silently united.
Codex - Timeline:
1919 – A group of scientist led by Robert Lutece and Nikola Tesla establish a small research community in an unknown part of Antarctica. Lutece stays there while Tesla returns to the outside world, he returns later after faking his own death in 1943.
1947 – Disappointed with the state of the world after WWII Andrew Ryan and thousands of other industrialist, engineers, researchers and artists are recruited by the Atlantis Project an Initiative to see the new development of the small community of 20000 living in Rapture.
2012 – During a massive hysteria for the so call end of the world prophecy, North Korea invades South Korea and launches several ballistic missiles to the continental USA; all of them are intercepted by an unknown satellite with electromagnetic weaponry and cloaking device.
2013 – Rapture officially introduces itself at the UN, several government officials of every nation are invited on a tour of Rapture. In the Korean peninsula, American and South Korean troops are able to push back the KPA invasion. The People's Republic of China occupied with a join agrarian development with Rapture refuses aid to either side.
2018 – The existence of the Martian Alien Ruins is known to the public
2021 – Construction of the Hephaestus station, a massive orbital construction dock tasked with the fabrication of the Protheus Flame and every other space ship is officially over.
2022 – First ISA (International Space exploration Association) mission to Jupiter and Saturn through unmanned probes.
2023 – A permanent observation post is set on the moon.
2024 – The Thinker Mark 8 the most advance computer and AI on the world, is put in service as the Hephaestus station overseer.
2025 – Dr. Benjamin Lutece descendant of the legendary R. Lutece, develops the first Rift Portal system, a gateway capable of generating a tear in the fabric of space connecting two stable points. It is use to create a stable portal between Luna's outpost and the facilities in the US. A second rift portal is constructed on Hephaestus station.
2026 – The Prometheus Flame construction is finished. A crew of 25 is prepared, 5 are from Rapture, 3 from the US, 2 Russians, 1 German, 2 from China and the rest from several nations.
2027 – The UN Security Council transitions into an executive council that takes the role of a provisional One World Government and an overseer for the space exploration development. Works of infrastructure all around the planet commission by the UN began to reverse the effects of global warming and contamination.
2028 – The Prometheus Flame arrives on Mars. A permanent outpost is constructed while scientists began unraveling the mysteries of the alien ruins.
2029 – The Rift portal system connecting Mars's new permanent settlement known as Delfos with Earth is finished. The Delfos outpost begins to grow into a facility of 200 permanent crew. The joint engineer corps begins construction of a massive Orbital Rift Gate: a ring 3 kilometers of diameter capable of generating and stabilizing a gateway, and sending a ship towards any known coordinates.
2030 – The data store in the ruins determines that the aliens known as the Protheans used the outpost as a research station for their observation of a primitive humanity. It is establish that the ruins are almost 50000 years old.
The ruins are reveled to contain a malfunctioning ship power core and several starships, as well as a strange new element, a rare material that, when subjected to an electrical current, releases a form of dark energy which can be manipulated into a mass altering field, raising or lowering the mass of all objects within that field.
After a global effort, the information remaining in the ruins' computers was translated, identifying the structure as a former observation and biosciences station, set up to receive and process data from Earth as the Protheans studied Cro-Magnon humans.
The new element is called Promethium, not only because of its origin and effects but also because it was discovered in a region of Mars known as the Promethei Planum.
2031 – Rift Gate 01 is finished.
2032 – The Orbital Rift Gate 01 is use to send a survey vessel known as pathfinder to Alpha Centaury in order to determine if the system has any continental world capable of sustaining human life. After a week of uncertainty, the Rift gate opens again as schedule and the pathfinder returns with survey data of the world of Chiron in orbit of the Alpha Centaury main star.
Production of a new form of androids begins in the city of Detroit; the new Synths as they are called are developed with synthesized bio components achieve through Adam cultivated steam cells. The Cyber Gene Corporation takes the lead on the market.
2034 – An endless stream of new technologies comes into existence; mass effect fields, element zero drive cores, kinetic barriers, and long distance communications.
2036 – A group of private companies and nations put their resources together to build the Atlas, a massive colony ship determined to take 100000 people to the Alpha Centaury system.
2037 – Mechanic and genetic augmentations become common place all around the world; laws regarding the limit of implants and gene therapy are established.
2039 – The first praetorian augment suit is develop by Ryan industries. Based on the old Big Daddies suit, used by the workers of Rapture to operate in extreme environments, the praetorian augment suit is composed of a cutting edge nano fiber, highly advance subsystems and synthetic living tissue all of which work in combination with an user's implants to give anyone enhanced strength, stamina, and protection to any radiation, blunt force trauma and even the massive G force. Designed to be the new deep space workers, praetorian users can work for hours repairing or building space stations or spaceships, in only six months after their deployment of a praetorian workers crew, Hephaestus station is doubled in size, while any outer problem is constantly repair and refitted by its praetorian workforce.
2042 – In Delfos city a baby girl named Alice Moreau is born, becoming the first official human being to be born outside planet Earth.
2043 – The Atlas1 is finished, after the activation of the Rift Gate 01 the ship travels through the tear to the Alpha Centaury system.
2046 – The Atlas capsules descend on the planet Chiron establishing the first human extrasolar colony in modern history. The construction of two new atlas class colony ships begins on Hephaestus station.
2048 – Delfos City now with 2500 inhabitants celebrates its first decade of existence. It is discovered the map of a network of mass effect relays build by the protheans to travel from system to system.
2049 – Translation of Prothean data leads humans to the discovery that Pluto's moon Charon is actually an enormous artificial alien construct encased in ice; a translation of the prothean data classified these objects as phase gates. FTL conduits constructed and positioned to serve as FTL lane points to connect regions of the galaxy that otherwise could take centuries through the use of conventional FTL propulsion.
Classified as the Charon phase gate, the construct is left alone for now.
2050 – A shipping accident at New York International Spaceport exposes downwind communities to containers of dust-form of Promethium (element zero).
2052 – Roughly 30% of the children born in New York after promethium exposure suffer from cancerous growths. Rapture's department of genetic enhancements, implants every single child suffering from the promethium exposure with Adam symbiotic slugs, in order to prevent any deaths and observe the interactions between the two living organisms.
2052 – Three new extrasolar colonies are established, while the eleventh journey of the Atlas transport brings another 100000 colonist to the New Rapture main settlement on Chiron. The so called unchained protocol is put in effect, which forbids any colonization or survey effort near the relay network as in order to avoid any space faring superpower from discovering humanity, yet. In order to connect those systems the construction of a Rift Gate network begins, with each system carrying its own Rift Gate.
2054 – With over 5 extrasolar colonies established and 16 systems surveyed with research and mining outpost in each of them, besides the permanent settlements on Luna and Mars and the facilities in the belt, the UN executive council and the colonial local governments established the Terran Systems Alliance organization as the main economic, military, exploratory and scientific body of Earth and her colonies.
2055 – The construction of the Rift Gate network Hub in orbit of Jupiter begins: several Rift Gates are built to permanently connect the closest colonies and systems.
[NOTE: the Rift Gate works as a tear on the fabric of time and space, so a rift gate can sent a ship to anywhere after setting the coordinates, however the longer the distance, the greater is the energy consumption while the precision becomes lower. A connection between two rift gates (for ships) or two rift portals (small scale; for people) is cheaper and much safer than an unstable tear crack open from only one side]
2056 – Onboard the Hephaestus station the Thinker 8 asks its engineer: I am alive? The station is closed for a few hours before Dr. Marian Porter granddaughter of the legendary engineer and creator of the first Thinker tells the Machine that by asking that question, following the principle of 'Cogito Ergo Sum' then it is alive. Dr Porter also activates a special code that allows the AI to have full access to its root files, in which a several personality traits of Marian Grandmother, Pearl Porter wife of Charles Milton Porter are accessed. The Thinker 8 renames itself as MINERVA adopting the holographic avatar of a black woman similar to Pearl Porter.
The new AI source codes laws are imposed, establishing that every AI is to be based around the personality of a tested human candidate in order to prevent a possible AI rebellion. Several people volunteers for the psychological test, and brain scan to become the new source code of every new AI.
2057 – Eldfell-Ashland Energy Corporation demonstrates helium-3 fuel extraction from the atmosphere of Saturn.
2062 – Construction of Gagarin Station (Jump Zero) begins beyond the orbit of Pluto.
2065 – The "zero generation" a large number of children exposed to promethium are reveal to be in possession of remarkable powers, most importantly minor telekinetic abilities and the ability to generate their own mass effect fields. A file from the Prothean ruins confirms the theories of the researchers; these children are what should be known from now on as biotics.
2066 – A group of volunteer test subjects developed biotic powers when they are implanted with an Adam slugs exposed to promethium. The Alliance's biotic department is established.
2068 – Terraformation efforts on Mars successfully achieve a nearly breathable atmosphere. Plant life begins to grow all around the planet.
2071 – A new translation of the Prothean ruins is achieved, revealing that the protheans were destroyed by a race of synthetics known only as the reapers. The information is not revealed to the public until the end of the year, immediately all synths and every AI above level 5 intelligence is forbidden on the outer colonies. Military technological development becomes a priority. Development of mass accelerator weapons, Tiamat cannons and ion laser Point Defense Grids.
2072 - Earth's twelfth colony in the Tartarus System is established. As a trinary system, Tartarus has 8 planets and several asteroid belts, making it a center for industry and ship building. With a steady supply chain of resources, trade and a population of 11 billion as a whole the Alliance orders the creation of a military fleet in order to protect them from outer and inner aggression.
Also several new military ramifications are established:
The Alliance's Marine Corps; The Alliance's navy; The Alliance's Starfighter corps; The Alliance's Security Bureau and The Alliance's Special Forces Command: composed of The Naval Special Warfare Command (N7), The Biotic Enforcers Corps and finally The Praetorian Corps (enhanced infantry with military grades Praetorian suits).
2078 – With a powerful fleet in service, the Charon phase gate is activated. Several systems are colonized, and a military and technological development is set in motion. The Alliance's operations net is put in place: system connected to either the mass effect relay or the rift gate network are mapped, giving some central systems the role of hubs for either network, for example the Arcturus cluster serves a phase gate hub, while the Sol or Tartarus systems serve as rift gate hubs for nearby systems.
2079 – The Alliance's engineering corps begins construction of the Arcturus Station, a massive structure located in a relay hub to serve as trade and military post. Several asteroids are transported to the Arcturus cluster by the use of rift gate systems, to be exploited and fasten up the construction.
2080 – Colonization efforts are halted until the development of the Alliance's over extended infrastructure and fleet is completed.
2098 – The Alliance's population reaches 15 billion inhabitants.
2100 – Construction of the Arcturus station is finished; the entire Alliance celebrates the turn of the century.
2105 – New developments in AI, energy weapons and kinetic barriers force the entirety of the Alliance's navy to engage in retrofitting and enhancements, while also a few ships are decommissioned to be replaced with several more advance versions.
2108 – Deep space exploration of a survey ship establishes the first contact with an alien species.
NOTES: Changes made to the story, as this is still before first contact; humans don't use Citadel terms for eezo or the mass relays.
-Mass relays: Phase gates