Recovery and Progress (Timeline)
Interceptor Timeline (from X-COM: Interceptor Manual)
-------- Recovery -------- 2046 ---- It isn't long before scientists discover that the Second Alien War will have far-reaching and possibly cataclysmic effects on the Earth. As was true after the first Alien War, many of the world's town and cities have been reduced to ruins. This time, however, it's much worse. In addition to the war damage, the atmosphere of Earth had been poisoned by the release of huge amounts of toxic gases and particles from the explosion of T'leth. Hundreds of thousands of people in the areas immediately surrounding the Gulf of Mexico die within hours of the explosion, and millions worldwide suffer from toxic side effects ranging from minor to severe. All populated areas on the Gulf coast are evacuated for a period of six months while cleanup commences. In addition to the toxic side-effects, the particle cloud from the T'leth explosion increases the effects of global warming, adversely affecting agriculture in many parts of the world. When coupled with the worldwide overpopulation problem that has been steadily worsening since the mid- twentieth century, the loss of key agricultural regions such a the grain-producing farms of the American mid-west adds widespread starvation to the already multitudinous problems of the world. The hope that Zrbite might revive the deep space program which was abandoned in 2010 are dashed when scientists discover that all the Zrbite supplies of the world have become inert. It is theorized that the aliens' molecular control network was the key to releasing the power of the mineral. When the destruction of T'leth caused the molecular control network to fail, all the Zrbite was rendered useless. X-COM continues to step up its own technological research, exploring all remaining areas of alien technology. After initial success, the scope of the operations are diminished as many X-COM scientists leave the organization for the higher salaries offered by private corporations. X-COM funding is reduced as the Earth's governments focus their attention on terrestrial concerns. ---- 2047 ---- The main funding bodies for X-COM meet to decide the fate of the organization now that the war is over. Governments and corporations recognize a need to protect the planet and, of course, their own individual financial interests - from any further alien attacks, but none are willing to give more than a minimal funding contribution. In late March, F. Denman Williams once again agrees to finance X-COM operations out of his own pocket. X-COM adopts a business strategy, and the X-COM Corporation is formed. Once again, Williams includes a reactivation clause in the corporate charter that allows the government to take over full control of the operation should a state of worldwide emergency be declared. Engineers employed by the X-COM Corporation use their experience with alien technology to produce advanced weapons that the corporation sells to the highest bidder. Meanwhile, experienced X-COM soldiers are frequently hired by other corporations and by governments agencies as mercenaries. These activities ensure a constant cash flow, and the corporation is immediately successfully. --------- 2050-2053 --------- Ecological collapse and overpopulation come to a head. Many world governments are consolidated under single regimes in order to more effectively share resources. The first and largest of the so- called "Merger Governments" is the North American Alliance. Formed in late 2051 through the merger of the United States, Canada, The People's Republic of Alaska, and the New Mexico Cooperative, the NAA is instantly recognized as formidable world power. Taking what is considered the best of all of the represented forms of government, NAA establishes a new ruling body headed by an official known as the "Premier-President". Alexandria Scott is elected as the first Premier-President, and the serves three consecutive two-year terms. In mid-2052, the X-COM Corporation grants full access to their UFOpedia data bank to the Transtellar Corporation for research purposes. Transtellar's goal is to develop a practical means of interplanetary space flight that is not all dependent on alien technology. With ecologists predicting that Earth's resources will be completely exhausted within the next two decades, the people of the world look to Transtellar's efforts as, possibly, the last hope for mankind's survival. Many of the world's largest corporations begin the research and design phase for huge interplanetary colony ships, bettling everything they have that Transtellar will succeed. ---- 2054 ---- On New Year's Day, 2054, the Transtellar Corporation unveils the prototype for the Mark 1 Conversion Drive, an ion propulsion system that generates power through helium-carbon fusion. The key to success of the design was the use of a reaction containment chamber with a shell composed primarily of inert Zrbite. Transtellar is immediately showered with funding and given exclusive rights to operate all Earth- based space ports until the end of the century. The Mark 1 Conversion Drive is mass-produced in large quantities as the major corporations of the world ready their first generation of colony ships for launch. By the end of the year, there are several colonies on the moon. ---- 2055 ---- The first freighters from the lunar mining colonies begin to arrive on Earth. Deep-core mines on the moon quickly become a much-needed supplement for raw materials used on Earth, but it's still not enough. In June, the Solmine Corporation begins construction of a major space port and shipyard facility at Tranquility Colony. By November, the first three ships of the Tranquility Fleet-mining ships manned by Solmine's best engineers begin their long journey in search of mining prospects in the asteroid belt beyond the orbit of Mars. Leasing space in Solmine's Tranquility Shipyards, Transtellar begins construction of the first in a series of military transport vessels. With all the state of the art armament and equipment available, the Patton-class military transport will go on serve in both military and civilian roles for the next two decades. --------- 2056-2059 --------- The X-COM Corporation's profits soar as governments all over the world negotiate exclusive contractsfor weapons, equipment, and protection. For the first time in X-COM history, an off-world base is established at the Luna 3 colony on the moon. A small force of X-COM mercenaries is maintained on-site at the Luna 3 base to act as security for the existing lunar colonies and those currently under construction. In late 2056, freighters on the Earth-Luna run begin to experience sporadic raids by a group calling themselves the Kabron Pirates. Using decommissioned X-COM Avengers, refitted to operate on conventional fuel instead of Elerium, the pirates concentrate primarily on shipments of precious metal such as gold and platinum. Because of their precision in striking only the most valuable shipments and the fact that none of the plundered materials ever seem to surface on the black market, X-COM and other authorities believe that the Kabron pirates are working for one of Earth's major corporations. In February, 2057, Harvey Wayne is elected Premier-President of the North American Alliance. He goes on to serve three consecutive two-year terms. In March, 2057 the first Transtellar's military vessels, the UGS Patton is commissioned at Tranquility Base. The vessel is purchased by the X-COM Corporation and immediately placed on patrol duty on the Earth-Luna shipping run to defend shipments against pirate attacks. by 2059, there are eight Patton class ships on patrol, and pirate activity has been greatly reduced. --------- 2060-2061 --------- By mid-2060, the Tranquility Fleet has established three large mining colonies in the asteroid belt. The asteroids are rich in raw materials, and will prove to be an excellent source of sources. Unfortunately, the long travel time to and from the belt-ten months, even for freighter equppied with Transtellar's new Mark III Conversion Drive - limits the immediate uasefulness of the new mines. Meanwhile, unmanned probes have been sent to Mars to scan for possible mineral sources. Despite extensive examination of the alien base at Cydonia and the area immediately surrounding it, much of the planet remains un-sacnned. In October, 2061, after several weeks of transmission, the Mars probes show an indictuib what could be huge stockpile of Elerium-115 several thousand kilometres from Cydonia. Plans are immedialtely set in motion to send a manned expedition to Mars - the first since the final X-COM clean-up mission in November, 2009. ---- 2062 ---- The UGS Patton is pulled off pirate patrol duty for the Mars expedition. In preparation for the trip, she is stripped of most of her weaponry and refitted with sensors and other science equipment. She is manned with a crew of the best scientists and engineers available, with only a skeleton crew of her original X-COM complement remaining to pilot the vessel and handle routine shipboard tasks. She departs for Mars on April 23. After a four-month journey, the Patton settles into Mars orbit and begins a detailed surface scan. The crew starts by scanning the Cydonia scientists to calibrate the Patton's new hyperwave pulse sensors to match current data. Shortly after the scans commence, sensors show activity on the surface: a tremendous power surge in the vicinity of the base. On Earth, scientists monitoring the Patton mission are puzzled when communication is abruptly lost. After three days without contact, they launch a high-speed probe from Tranquility Spaceport. Its destination: Mars orbit and the last known position of the Patton. When the probe arrives in November, there is no sign of the missing ship. The probe's scanners are turned toward the surface, and they record evidence of a massive explosion at the site of the abandoned Cydonia base. A board of inquiry is convened on Earth, and it is agreed that the Patton must have experienced drive systems failure and crashed into the surface of the planet. The case is quickly closed. -------- Progress -------- 2063 ---- Most of the Earthbound corporations and many of those with colonial interests in space as well, continue to seek a solution to Earth's problems other than depending solely on extraterrestrial support. Designers, architects, and scientists devise a bold and elaborate plan for a series of self-contained, futuristic cities. Each Megalopolis would house large sections of the population, with all the support facilities they could possibly need contained within the walls of the city. The world's governments realize the potential of the Megalopolis plan, but are hesitant to commit the money and resources necessary to build an entire series of the expensive habitats. In 2063, the New World Council agrees to fund a single Megalopolis as a test case. If the experiment is successful, funding would be made available for more cities. Within months of the Council's decision, work begin onto the first Megalopolis-dubbed "Mega-Primus" - on the site of the ruins of Toronto in the North American Alliance. In February, Harvey Wayne retires as Premier-President of the NAA. He is succeeded by J. Scott Cameron, who quickly becomes one of the most popular world leaders in history. Cameron serves in the office until his assassination in 2069. ---- 2064 ---- Basing their judgement on nearly year's worth of detailed scanner data obtained through remote probes, scientists ate the Earth Science Corps (ESC) confirm the presence of a huge Elerium deposit on Mars. Despite the loss of the Patton two years earlier, the promise of Elerium is too great a lure to put off another manned mission to Mars. This time, a fleet of fifteen Solmine ore freighters, accompanied by three Patton-class X-COM vessels, set off on the journey. They arrive in June, encountering no problems along the way. Within days of their arrival, full- scale mining operations have begin at what becomes known as Mars Mine 1. With the promise of the Elerium supply looming on the horizon, Transtellar purchases the rights to all previous research in the field of interstellar space flight. Within a matter of months, Transtellar's top scientists have designed a prototype engine that might be capable of propelling spacecraft at faster-than-light speeds. ---- 2065 ---- When the first shipments of Elerium-115 arrive from Mars Mine 1, they are divided evenly among all the governments of the world. The North American Alliance and the Eurasian Hegemony grant 50% of their allotments to Transtellar for the testing of the new hyperspace drive. The test is a success, and Transtellar is commissioned by several world governments to build an undisclosed number of small engines. Transtellar is given top-priority when it comes to Elerium availability. The success of Mars Mine 1 causes a gold rush of sorts. More than a dozen corporations launch their own missions to Mars. Before long, there are 15 separate colonies on the planet, mostly inhabited by miners and their families. With all the problems still facing the people on Earth, the world's governments pay little or no attention to the affairs in the Martian colonies. As a result, border skirmishes between corporate-run mining villages are commonplace on the red planet. An X-COM base is established at Mars Colony 1 in an attempt to keep the peace. In May, the ESC launches 37 trans-light science probes, bound for regions of space that are considered promising for colonization. Telemetry from several probes is lost within hours of their jump to hyperspace. Most of the others reach their destinations only to transmit the disappointing new that there is nothing of value to be found.
And mankind reaches a new Frontier.