H I S T O R Y
NOTE: Whatever CL the GM decided to endorse, read until it is shown, then STOP there. Reading past that may lessen enjoyment.
The closing years of the 20th Century saw a fading of the great Nations and a rapid increase in the power and influence of multi-national Corporations. These Corporations were not restricted to a single field; their interests were vast, covering all aspects of industry and economics, as they diversified into every field that held profit. They were also not defined by country, society, or ideology. In industry, in business, and in the media, the multi-nationals became more powerful and more visible.
The first planet to have a scientific colony on it was Mars. The moon followed thereafter. Needless to say, Earth's space exploration was not united; many different countries have established colonies in space. The major colonizers are: The United Americas (USA, Canada, parts of South America), China, Japan, The European Federation and Russia. Though rare, conflicts have occurred between countries in space. The most significant cases are between the UA and China, because of the differences in government between these two powers; diplomatic unrest has occasionally turned into war. China is believed to back the notorious PRA, a communist extremist group that has been responsible for numerous communist takeovers.
As the corporations grew, they wove together the economic interests of the Nations of the world, and the specter of large-scale warfare was reduced. With head-to-head warfare economically unacceptable, the advanced states settled for venting their hostilities and waging wars in Third World nations.
This trend continued through the following decades, as the corporations prospered and the interdependence of the major Nations of Earth grew. Tensions did not end, but were kept under control and released in ways that did not damage anyone's ability to make money. Thus humanity entered the age of Space in an atmosphere of controlled tension but not outright war.
The Age of Space came in the wake of two tremendous technological breakthroughs. The first was the reactionless Displacement drive, which allowed Humanity to travel quickly and cheaply within the Solar System. The Jump Drive soon followed, expanding on the principles behind the Displacement Drive and taking Humanity out into the stars. As technologies were perfected, exploration craft went out from Earth.
The search for minerals and other raw materials was only a secondary goal of the explorers; those things were available within the Solar System itself, in amounts that would keep humanity supplied for many years. The most important things the stars held were knowledge, the potential of new habitable planets to ease the population pressures of Earth, and the opportunity to study new life forms.
The greatest value for the corporations lay in the life forms. Each world is like a gigantic laboratory, where the forces of nature have experimented on for billion of years. The creatures produced in those laboratories, and the complex chemicals contained within them, possess abilities far beyond those available to Humanity. Many of these abilities are nearly miraculous.
The expansion into Space had been a slow progress, since useful systems were rare and the effort involved in establishing colonies was great. Still, at least six Earth-like worlds have been found, and dozens more that are at least habitable. On other worlds, the process of terraforming is underway, as hostile environments are slowly changed into places where Humans can live.
On every habitable world, colonies have been established. They have expanded at varying rates, depending on the corporate support they have received and the qualities of the worlds. Shiploads of people and equipment are sent to each Colony, and eventually the colonies begin to send items of value back to the rest of Humanity; unusual life forms and mineral combination, the product of local industries, and after a generation, skilled workers.
These skilled workers are part of the rapidly growing populations of the colonies, and the corporations have developed many techniques for managing them successfully. Colonists have developed many techniques for making them successfully. Colonists are taught to live active, disciplined lives, to maximize their economic value and reduce the risks of living in the colonies. Good educations are available for those who are not. By contrast, the disorganized state of the population of Earth means that there are relatively fewer people who are well disciplined and well-educated, as the quality of life diminished on Earth. The value of trained, energetic, and obedient workers from the colonies increase.
In addition to the above aspects of corporate life, a major part of each corporation's management approach has been the establishment of a corporate military force. These forces are not large, but they are well trained, and have the best equipment their Corporation can afford.
With Colonies on many worlds, the power and influence of the Corporations rose rapidly. As they became more powerful, they became more of a threat to the Nations of Earth. The situation was a very delicate one; the nations had far larger armies, but the Corporation controlled space and vital high technology. The same economic interdependence, which prevented war among the Nations now, prevented the Nations from harming the Corporations.
Tensions between the increasingly wealthy Corporates and the Governments of Earth increased. The governments felt threatened. They saw the fabric of society changing and thought they might not be a part of the future of humanity. Every political weapon was used, including diplomacy, bribery, blackmail, and economic pressure. Separatist movements were created to destabilize Nations, which responded by seeing corporate property. Finally, one small crisis got out of control and erupted into warfare. Dozens of other small wars began within weeks, and the Earth spun into chaos. Fortunately, the wars remained limited; few nuclear or biological weapons were used.
The wars lasted for five years. The war concluded with the formation of a joint council to oversee the affairs of both Corp and government for the betterment of humanity. Out of violence came the Interstellar Commerce Commission (ICC), a coalition of Corporation and Nations which united Humanity. This organization was in charge or regulating activities among its members, and the Colonial Marine Corps was created as its military arm under the charter that they did not have to answer to any single corporation. The wars had taught everyone that it would be valuable to have some sort of “police force” to discourage them from using violence to solve their problems.
Throughout the wars, the colonies strongly supported the Corporations. They wanted to remain free from the nations, and many believed they would receive status as independent entities with increased control over their own affairs. When the ICC was formed, it became clear this would not be the case; the Colonies were treated as corporate property. Another cycle of hostility, tension, and intense diplomacy began, an eventually several Colonies rebelled. The Colonial Marine Corps, supported by corporate forces was given the job of bringing the rebels back under control.
The cause of the Colonies was in danger from the beginning. The tremendous financial and military resources available to the ICC meant that their losses could be quickly replaced, while the colonies were very weak in technology, industry, and population. One by one, the Colonies were defeated militarily and economically. There are still underground rebel movements on most Colonies, but they pose little threat to the ICC at present.
The colonies, having supported the Corps in the war, thought they would win more independence from external rule. The creation of the ICC confirmed society's view that the colonies were nothing more than Corporate property. Many colonies rebelled. They were always going to lose. The ICC, Corporate forces and the CMC waged economic and military warfare and overpowered all but one corner of resistance. The rebel system of Alexandria sealed itself off from the rest of humanity. Soon after, the Union of Progressive People formed from several rim colonies and set up a military border. Their size is small but fortified. Attempts to retake their territory proved fruitless. Alexandria acknowledges the UPPs independence but the ICC does not.
The Colonial Marine Corps was created at the same time as the ICC. The intent was that the Colonial Marines, funded by coalition of all the space-going Nations, would be an independent force that would resolve disputes among the Nations and Corporation, and keep the peace in the Colonies as well. Each nation had its own portion of the force made up of its own citizens, but they shared equipment, training, and doctrine. They were led by the Colonial Marine Corps High Command, which included representatives from several nations.
Most of the power belongs to the Corporations, however, and the Nations have little influence among the stars. Their only tool is the Colonial Marine Corps, and its power is dwindling. Every year, the Colonial Marines fall a little further behind in technology; their weapons are not upgraded, their supplies and other equipment fail to incorporate the latest improvements, and their ships are faced with the improved designs available to the Corporations.
The shortage of personnel is also a growing a problem for the Colonial Marines. They have not replaced the losses suffered during the wars against the rebel colonies, and the additional drain imposed by the current turmoil has made the problem even worse. For the Colonial Marines, the loss of a single Strike Team can mean that large areas will remain un-patrolled and unmonitored for months or even years. It wasn't until later, from secret grants from corporations which believed the ICC to be corrupt, did they manage to compete again.
2122 - First contact with Aliens creatures on LV-426. The freighter "Nostromo" made landfall on the planet, one of the crew members was infected and subsequently the crew and the ship was destroyed by the drone that emerged. Sole survivor, Ellen Ripley, escaped in a Capsule, the "Narcissus" and floated homewards towards Earth (we assume).
Between 2155 and 2160 - Colony set up on LV-426, which was subsequently known as "Acheron." Due to a sheltering mountain range and the dire meteorological conditions, the colonists failed to find the "Jockey ship."
2179 - The Narcissus was found floating by a remote mining vessel with Ellen Ripley on board. She was brought back to gateway station in orbit around Earth where it was learned that she was been in hypersleep for 57 years. Her story was not believed by the ICC and she was stripped of her rank and duties. One corporate executive, Carter Burke, believed enough of the story to ask the colonist on LV-426 "Acheron" to go and have a look at the grid references provided by Ripley. Earth subsequently lost contact with the colony.
Burke, Ripley and a strike team of Colonial Marines made their way to Acheron and had a bad time of it all. The survivors; Ripley, Rebecca "Newt" Jordon, Corporal Dwight Hicks and a synthetic Bishop headed back towards earth in their vessel the Sulaco.
2179 or 2180 - The Sulaco had some of the Alien eggs left on board (Ripley apparently failed to check before she went into hypersleep) and the emerging face-huggers caused an electrical fire on the Sulaco which then jettisoned the sleep capsules in an escape pod. The pod found its way to the nearest inhabited planet "Fiorina 161 - Fury" a corporate penal colony.
Newt and Hicks failed to survive the landing and Bishop was scrapped carelessly by the inmates. Ripley found she was carrying an Alien queen inside her, lost more people to yet another drone that infected a local dog and ended up arguing the loss with a corporate bigwig who resembled her beloved Bishop. She threw herself into a boiling vat of molten lead
ENTER HERE FOR CL2 & TL2
In 2185, the CMC secretly funded its own group to investigate the reports concealed from them events on LV-426, or Acheron. The organization goes without a name and doesn't officially exist. Not even Weyland-Yutani knew of their existence. The group was ordered to investigate the reports on the rim and return in a year with a full report.
The report returned was alarming. The aliens somehow, were not exclusive to LV-426. It was very possible they either escaped or there was another source the infestation was originating from. That location had yet to be found. Colonies had vanished and several life specimens had been examined. Life specimens had yet to survive to reach a major laboratory. After the devastating fall of the Anchorpoint station on the UPP border, the CMC realized it had a major problem. The sub-division of the CMC was given a name (the Silver Twin) and sent back with an arsenal. No longer were they to retrieve information. Now they were to control the problem. Backlash was felt from the Corporations but CMC's newfound independence with rival corporates kept their power base stable. The CMC even managed to recover the lost Sulaco and finally managed to settle a party on LV-426, quarantined from the critical processor disaster years earlier. The Alien craft there was destroyed to prevent the technology from being recovered by approaching UPP forces.
Several groups like Grant Corp funded research in the alien technology and even funded a trip to the Alien Proteus, a planet with the largest infestation and which could also be, the homeworld. (Alien: Genocide) Research into the alien's physiology uncovered a “royal jelly” secreted by queens that can turn humans into supermen, athletes, or homicidal warriors! Billionaire Daniel Grant wanted to get his hands on the purest form of the jelly, and headed a military expectation to this distant world inhabited by not one, but two separate hives, each at war with the other. Armed to the teeth with specially designed alien-killing battlesuits and ready for anything, even these well trained marines ended up getting caught in a barrage of blood and tactical nukes!
To counteract the alien threat, several rival labs were set up to investigate their capabilities. Most are shut down by the ST because of bad conduct. One such incident was on the Inomminata run by Dr. Paul Church. His desire to understand and conquer the aliens was fueled by his own nightmare from long ago, during which he was trapped in an alien hive where the drones and queen were slowly rotting from an unknown disease that kept them from reproducing. He uncovered new information about the aliens (they die in captivity), and we witnessed the first alien autopsy. Unfortunately, it is uncovered he crossed the line in his experiments, and the future of his research was brought into question. (Alien-Labrynth)
Not learning from their mistakes, another corporation attempted to open a laboratory on a planet with a known hive, thus not worrying about stock for experiments. This time, the real monsters are the humans, especially project leader Ernst Kleist, who ignored the extreme greed that ran through his staff. He concentrated on taming his “children”--the swarm of aliens that infested the bowels of the installation. But even as the body count rose and more and more people became victims of “accidents” in the bug-ridden lab, Kleist revealed a threat that will force every sentient being in the place, synthetic or note, to stand together: A king alien! And this monster was more twisted, lethal and voracious than any other xenomorph ever encountered
The Silver Twin do benefit and are soon the only force against the infestation and start clearing out one hive after another, having more and more technology at their disposal.
They realize that the aliens cannot be controlled and start shutting down all but the most needed of alien labs. Even some of the ones deemed controlled, like the station run by Casper Nordling turns do dust when corruption is revealed. Not even a super advanced station crewed only by synthetics (including the high priced alien-xenomorph synth and the anti-alien combat synth) with a sealed, self-enclosed hive could be controlled.
The ST charter expands to complete extermination. Soon the CMC sub-division is directly opposing the corporations and their funding is cut. This doesn't stop their progress. They soon became the powerful anti-alien force around. Help from the UPP and Alexandria pushed back the infestation…but in the future, man's greatest enemy is still himself.
ENTER HERE FOR CL4 & TL4
Years after the initial encounter on LV-426, the population of Earth was plagued by nightmares, dreams and visions of the arrival of aliens on Earth. Stranger still, there were many people who wanted the aliens to arrive, and who formed a religious cult, sacrificing themselves as willing hosts to the facehuggers. The Earth was soon overrun with hives. Mankind witnessed a dying Earth, only to discover a third alien species: The advanced race that first brought the aliens to our Galaxy.
ENTER HERE FOR CL5 & TL5
Earth was now utterly overrun with the bugs. A small band of survivors hid and hoped from help from above…in the skies. The fight continued. Gateway station soon became the home of the resistance. Most corporations crumbled. The CMC stood in the way of mankind's extinction and soon led a daring strike against the aliens from the orbiting platform, armed with information garnered from an envoy to the home planet of the aliens. Earth's defenders faced a strain of even deadlier aliens that dwelled deep within the bowels of the hives. Planting a series of linked bombs at the largest hives, the CMC succeed in killing the queen and stemming the alien infestation, but the advanced race that brought the xenomorph to LV-426 seemed to have its own interest in planet Earth.
ENTER HERE FOR CL5.5 & TL5
As the CMC cleaned up the planet and mankind started to rebuild, an unstoppable alien monstrosity orbited. It soon started terraforming the planet for its own colonization. Somewhere in deep space, A fleet of these ships approached to inhabit this new world. Soon, man was drawn into a new fight. The CMC came across the species that created the aliens as well as cleaning up the mess they left for us. Our greatest fight was still yet to come…
ENTER HERE FOR CL6 & TL6