Author's Note:

The star-map I'm using as a reference to human territory is on my profile. I won't change any star names though, it's easier for everyone to keep the names as they stand in the picture. Less work. Yeah, I'm lazy like that, sue me.

In this AU, humanity's development started a thousand years earlier, but the story (after Council FC) takes place during the time period of the ME trilogy, although the story itself will be different. Characters from the games WILL show up though, so don't worry. I'll also most likely borrow tech and weapons from other games, books and movies, as well as draw minor inspiration from other fan-fics, and try to incorporate it in a satisfying manner.

Any numbers (aside from dates I make up), as well as guesswork's in strength and populations are, and will be, taken from the various wiki-sites, so complain to the wikis about it if you disagree. Planets around the stars in the above picture will be fictional, in the case I cannot find sources confirming any planet's existence. Except for established and confirmed science, such as light speed (300 000 km/s), or lore (Eezo, mass effect and whatnot), the science in the story will probably be complete gibberish to anyone who knows stuff about it. I'm no scientist, I'm writing fan-fic, dammit.

Any and all feedback is much appreciated.

All-righty then, with that out of the way, here we go.


Chapter 1: Humanity Allied

In 2128, humanity established a permanent base on Luna, and began extracting helium-3 for star ship fuel. It was slow work at first. Then, after 15 years of work, the base covered 1/3rd of the surface, and they began to get the hang of the process of extracting H-3. Great factories in Earth's orbit had begun the production of what could truly be said to be star ships, both civilian and military. Unlike previous space-worthy vehicles, these ships could carry hundreds of people, and could carry massive amounts of cargo, the result of Earth's best engineers and scientists years of work. The first ships produced were three 750 meter ships, and several dozen at 250 meters, which could travel 1 AU in a matter of days, thanks to the massively improved engines and fuel. The international push for colonization of other planets was made due to Earth quickly becoming over-populated, as even with space habitats, living space was dwindling. Unlike the previous attempts at convincing the governments of Earth there was a need for more space, there was real will behind it this time, and many politicians and diplomats were fired and replaced by their peoples for their incompetence and lack of effort. Several countries saw periods of civil war and revolutions during this period. The U.N, now in better shape than ever, was given more power than ever before, and for a change, could affect policies on Earth beyond writing angry letters.

In 2137, the U.N changed its name, and structure, to better cope with the new space-age. After a few short years, their rules and objectives were hammered out, a process taking years. The Alliance, as the U.N was now known as, had two objectives; protect humanity and its interests, and, in the event of contact with intelligent alien life, act as the liaison between the aliens and humanity. They eventually became recognized as the official face of humanity in space, while nations and governments still functioned autonomously on Earth and its colonies. The Alliance would not step into a conflict between nations, which was the most heated point in negotiations, followed shortly by the reform of economic structures. It was eventually decided that they could step in if the wars grew to such ferocity that it threatened humanity as a whole. The Alliance, while powerful, still needed approval from the nations to continue its work. In 2145, there had been established a permanent colony on Mars, and terraforming began in earnest. They started to look further, and mining operations in the asteroid belt began, building what amounted to cities on the largest, providing a wealth of materials and resources for the industry of mankind.

Several rogue factions popped up, wars between factions, nations and planets occurred, and piracy saw a resurgence in space, away from the controlled environment on Earth. In short, humanity continued as it had whenever the horizons expanded. 10 years later, with improved knowledge and technology from the Mars-project, Venus was in its first stages of terraforming. Water, in the form if ice, had also been extracted in great amounts from the asteroids in "The Belt", as the asteroid belt was now named, and transported to wherever it was needed. Unlike Mars, which needed an increase in temperature and atmosphere, Venus needed far less of both. That was solved by using the newly established star-fleet, now numbering in the hundreds, the largest a kilometre in length, as cargo-freighters. The plan basically boiled down to loading up Venus' atmosphere and shipping it to Mars. It worked, and after 50 years, in 2195, Mars was fully habitable, had a breathable atmosphere, some forests and eventually proper cities emerged, while Venus had cooled down and been de-pressurized enough to allow semi-permanent colonies. However, it was still way too hostile for humans without pressurized suits and living-complexes.

Then humanity reached for Jupiter, and many of the moons were terraformed and settled, while extraction of gasses and resources from Jupiter began. More of Venus' atmosphere had been acquired to help jump-start the moons colonization, and after centuries of continuous efforts, in 2337, Venus too, was habitable, with a higher atmospheric pressure and a warmer temperature than Earth, but habitable none the less. Giant space stations surrounded the outer planets, gathering materials from the gas planets, uninhabitable by human standards, but rich in resources. And while Jupiter's moons were warmer than the frozen rocks they had been until recently, humans still needed suits for outside work. These too had improved, now no more cumbersome than any other piece of clothing.

Power-armour was experimented with, and was being built for industry and for the military. As time passed, Earth's hold on the colonies lessened, so many of the colonies eventually declared their independence from Earth, and several mining-colonies in the asteroid belt did the same. The Alliance offered to be the neutral party in negotiations, as most colonies understood that the Alliance was an important entity, and agreed to fall under its wing in international/interplanetary affairs and possible alien relations, and the "Great Separation" from Earth was mostly peaceful. Although it was not polite, and several skirmishes were fought. While the various governments on Earth was frustrated that materials had become more expensive due to the colonies new independence, they were not willing to risk all they had achieved, and grudgingly accepted the terms the colonies made, albeit it with some adjustments. But in the grand scheme of things, it was a Golden Age for humanity. They had spread across the system, now numbering in at roughly 28 billion humans, space habitats glittered around the various planets, the fleets were larger and more powerful than ever, and wonders of engineering and science spread across the worlds. Most diseases that had plagued humanity was now curable or wiped out, and the average human lifespan was ~150 years, and ageing was similarly slowed, to the point where a 100 year old could look 50-60 years old.

This Golden Age continued for 60 years, but in 2307 it came to an end, as the tensions that had been seeded so long ago between factions grew and spiralled out of control. It started when a terrorist group decided to slam an asteroid into the largest city on Mars, and half succeeded. The city in question, Terra Nova, had launched nukes, but about half the mass of the asteroid hit. Millions died, and in anger and grief, rash decisions were made. Several mining-cities in the asteroid belt were bombed in return, for harbouring some of the terrorists and their associates. The mining colonies saw this as an unprovoked attack. The mining colonies didn't have information concerning the terrorists being terrorists, instead thinking they were civilians, and geared up for retaliation. When Earth stepped in to quell the violence, everything became unravelled.

World War 3 was truly a war between worlds. While the Venus-colony, several of the Jupiter moon colonies and the outer stations tried to stay out of the fighting, still they suffered casualties in the war. When it became clear that these attacks were intentionally performed by the different factions, and were almost indiscriminate in their targeting, so as to stop them from, maybe, delivering resources to their enemies, it culminated with the outer colonies joining in the fray as well. Earth had the clear advantage in strength, but due to there being many more nations on Earth than the colonies, bickering, arguing and fighting amongst themselves, they were less effective. Add to that the sudden lack of imported resources, and Earth was not as strong as it needed to be.

The war went on for 7 years. Then nukes were deployed for the first time in the war. In the last World War, nukes had ended hostilities, now they were used actively. The Alliance, which had stayed out of the fighting so far, keeping to their own stations and territory, saw this unparalleled scale of warfare, reaching new heights each month, as a threat to humanity's continued survival, and stepped in. The Alliance fleets had yet to see combat on the scale the various factions had, and their fleet being almost as big as Earth's had been before the war, and was in significantly better shape. Dropping diplomacy as a working solution given the current circumstances, the Alliance marched to war. After 4 more years of heavy fighting, and casualty numbers in the billions, the solar system was now firmly in the grip of the Alliance, and the nations on the various planets were abolished. Now there would instead be a democratically elected planetary parliament on each planet, watched over by Alliance officials, who were chosen from the best and brightest from the different parliaments, much like how the U.N had once been, but on a far larger, and effective scale. The Alliance moved it's headquarter station, Gungnir, in orbit around the Earth, the cradle of Humanity, as a symbolic gesture. And luckily for the Alliance, it worked out, and humanity was never again as fractionated as it had been in its infancy. Mining and, where possible, colonization, continued to the rest of the planets in the Sol-system.

Like in every war before it, technologies were pushed and improved at remarkable speeds. Rebuilding after the war went quickly, and only 20 years after the last factions had laid down their arms, in 2338, society was back at pre-war levels. Many attributed this to humanity now being far more united in its resolve, and the people generally accepted the Alliance as the new dominant superpower, working for humanity as a whole. During the last few years of the war, the basic theory for FTL, Faster Than Light travel, had been created, although no prototypes had been made as of yet. It was based on quantum physics, and focused on wormholes in particular. Apparently, it was theoretically possible to open up a wormhole, and use it to travel through higher dimensions, bending time and space in the process, arriving in a chosen destination almost instantly.

In the last days of the war, Alliance-scientists had at long last managed to create antimatter in a cost-effective manner, and it was now being produced in great quantities. New weapons, new engines, armour and fuel were being produced, and the ships could now travel at near a third of light speed. As well as this revolutionary new theory and technology, humanity had now reached a technological level sufficient to create a Dyson Swarm. It was decided to build one around Sol. After a century of work, in 2440, the beginnings of a Dyson Sphere covered 5% of Sol's surface, being far enough away so that it wouldn't take damage from the heat and radiation, collecting energy from Sol. Mass production of satellites commenced, making it a viable effort. Also acting as living space for workers and families, it could shelter roughly 1 billion humans. The extracting of elements eventually began, using massive stations made of tough, but rare materials, placed closer to Sol than it's counterparts, to siphon off stellar matter, pushing it through enormous tubes to giant "forges", reforging and restructuring it into needed materials. In 2506, the Dyson Sphere, named "Zeus", covered 10% of Sol's surface, now being capable of sheltering 3 billion humans.

That same year, one of the greatest technological achievements in history was made, and humanity celebrated themselves and their own brilliance as they gave birth to true A.I. Artificial Intelligence. Earlier attempts had only created Virtual Intelligences, who were, compared to the new A.I, bumbling idiots. However, humanity was not blind to the danger an A.I could pose, and integrated code deep in the most basic run-times to make it prioritize the welfare of the collective, cooperation, and altruism, but was designed to have its small, unique quirks, so as to make it easier to relate to. For the first year of its existence, it had been isolated, and had inquired about life, how it came to be, if it had a soul, or was alive, and many more questions than can be listed here. The scientists and philosophers, ecstatic about talking to a real A.I, had answered the questions to the best of their abilities, and been honest and straight forward. "We don't know how organic life started, but we have many theories", "We made you, but you are able to self-determinate", "We honestly don't know, but we consider you to be sapient, and thus alive". The reason for its isolation was that it was important to asses if it was friendly or hostile, and earning its trust was vital.

It was entirely at our mercy and knew it, but no one ever did it any harm, and due to its child-like nature, had no reason to be suspicious or resentful. Its decisions were based on logic, so the scientists talked logically with it. After half a year of learning, it was informed of the outside world. Its "body", if you could call it that, was not mobile, and was completely cut of from the outside world to prevent it from immediately attacking if it turned out to be hostile. It wasn't surprised, having assessed there simply had to be more than this little grey room to the world, but it wasn't angry, understanding humanity's reasoning and precariousness towards a major unknown. It was shocked as to the actual size of the world though, so there is that. As technology had marched on, the A.I, calling itself Cronos (it thought the name sounded "cool") eventually received a quantum-storage device, originally meant for use in regular super-computers, but more than roomy enough for an A.I, who, despite their sentience, was relatively small programs. That meant an A.I now could fit in an orb the size of a golf ball.

As it turned out, the base programming worked as intended, and in the space of 15 years, A.I's were being integrated into both the military and civilian life, gaining rights of their own. They didn't have genders, their holograms being rather similar and androgynous in appearance. While they preferred to be addressed by their individual names, they didn't mind being labelled as "it", "he" or "her". However, since A.I's had no need for pay, sleep or free time, they only wanted the basic human rights most relevant to themselves, as well as getting some new ones specifically designed for A.I's made. Humanity was more than happy to oblige, relieved the machines didn't turn on them, and over the course of the next 50 years, the two parties became close allies and friends, working for mutual gain, complimenting each others strengths, and covering the others weaknesses.

In 2558, FTL was realized in a significant scale for the first time, and terraforming had long since been mastered, great machines changing the climate to something suitable for humans, supplied with materials from the Swarms and gas-extractors from the gas-planets. A.I's were by now installed on every star-ship, and the FTL system, dubbed "The Dimension Drive" by humanity, was tested for the first time. The first few ships to attempt a journey to another star-system was comprised of a couple of dreadnoughts, 2.5 km in length, four cruisers measuring 1.5 km, a dozen frigates, at 300 meters and several scientific and diplomatic vessels of varying size and shapes, in case they encountered sentient beings. Humanity had no way of knowing what awaited them beyond, so it was thought better to be safe than sorry. Upon arriving in the Alpha Centauri system, it was determined the journey had taken the better part of a week, and it was evident the fleet was far more scattered than it had been when entering their respective wormholes. One cruiser, the Ambition, did not arrive, and was lost in the wormhole. This gave humanity a massive insight in the capabilities of their new technology, the A.I's present already crunching numbers.

After scanning the system and determining it harboured no life, or at least no intelligent life, began approaching the binary star-system. They discovered three planets in various orbits around the stars, one being too close to the Alpha Centauri B star to even mine, at least at present technology-levels, but the other two could be made habitable. It was decided to send two cruisers back with news, data on the Dimension Drives and the star-system itself. It was decided to begin colonizing the system, and over the years, humanity spread to a dozen nearby systems. In 2678, dozens of the planets were habitable, and other Dyson Swarms was being created, space stations and defensive satellites constructed. Humanity's population exploded, and humanity numbered 104 billion across all systems. The Dimension Drives were improved, now able to travel much further, faster, and was far more accurate than they had been at the time of the first jump. Weapons had also improved, with rail-guns, plasma-shields and guns, antimatter missiles and laser-technology comparable to Council-tech, as they would later learn. Humanity was now a force to be reckoned with, but they still didn't spread themselves too thin, or expanded at a needlessly fast rate. Or, rather, they couldn't. The limits of FTL meant it was a more viable solution to develop systems, making cities, making planets self-sustaining before moving on. Humanity had at long last learned some patience it would seem.

Then came First Contact with life not from Earth.


Author's Note:

Please note, this is a very abridged version of history, just meant to give a general idea of humanity. Few details, broad strokes.

Any important details will be revealed as the story unfolds. Patience, please.

Thanks for all reviews, followers and favourites so far!