War. War never changes.
Our ancestors, the ones that came before, plunged the world into nuclear fire. People, nations, entire continents burned. All over a scramble for the earth's remaining resources.
But we recovered. Slowly, incrementing ever forward, we recovered. Centuries passed, and a semblance of order was regained. The Brotherhood of Steel, the New California Republic, the Enclave, the Institute, and several other organizations grew in the aftermath of the war. We waged war as was our want, fighting over the scraps of a world that no longer existed.
Some, like the Enclave and the Institute, were defeated. Others, like the Brotherhood of Steel, were eventually subsumed, becoming part of a greater whole. And some groups became true nations, recovering the meaning of the phrase, 'human civilization'. The NCR and the Commonwealth Minutemen were such groups.
Eventually, we touched the stars once again. We expanded, colonised other worlds, and created life from dust. We even discovered a new element, thanks to a bygone civilization. And now we push the boundaries of discovery, always expanding, never resting. Because we knew aliens were out there, waiting. Their numbers, their technology? Unknown. But if we must fight, we will.
Because even after the apocalypse... War never changes.
-Branching off from the Fallout timeline-
The Sole Survivor becomes the leader of the Institute. Rather than continuing their isolationism, the Sole Survivor forces them to establish diplomatic relations with the Minutemen and the Brotherhood.
The Institute SRB rebels against the Sole Survivor, in light of his radical changes. Using a group of mixed Minutemen and Brotherhood of Steel, and using Liberty Prime to spearhead the attack, the Sole Survivor retakes the Institute in less than a day.
Debate begins over the synth problem. The Railroad, the Brotherhood of Steel, and the remainders of the Institute attend the debate, with the Minutemen providing neutral security. The Sole Survivor agrees with the Railroad, liberating the synths and granting them autonomy. The Brotherhood violently opposes this.
With numbers from the Minutemen, and the surprising quality of the Railroad's armor and gauss rifles, the fight is evenly matched with the Brotherhood on the ground. Utilizing teleportation and captured vertibirds, more men and synths capture the Prydwen and disable Liberty Prime. Ultimately, Arthur Maxson is killed by the Sole Survivor's own hand, and the latter becomes Elder of the East Brotherhood remnants.
The second attempt at forming a Commonwealth Provisional government occurs. With the Commonwealth firmly under Minutemen rule, with towns and settlements everywhere, and support from the Railroad, Institute, and Brotherhood, the Boston Commonwealth is formed. Diamond City and Goodneighbor become member cities, but retain most of their autonomy. Boston Airport forms the military headquarters, the CIT ruins houses research and development, and Sanctuary Hills becomes the headquarters for both the Commonwealth and the Railroad, the latter of which merges into the Brotherhood, becoming their special tactics group.
With superior training, experience in guerilla warfare, and ballistic armor and gauss rifles, the Railroad remnants quickly rise to prominence as information specialists and the go-to special forces of the Boston Commonwealth. They change their alias to the Railers, both in honor of their history and their signature weapon, the gauss rifle (or the railgun).
Between Minutemen defending and forming the militia, the Brotherhood forming the military backbone, and the Railers performing high risk missions in spectacular fashion, the Boston Commonwealth becomes a force to be reckoned with. With support from Vertibirds, Gen 1 and 2 synths, Liberty Prime, and the ability to teleport anywhere, they become practically unstoppable.
Raiders and the Gunners are driven from the Commonwealth. The effort to fully retake Boston and its outskirts begins.
Virgil is recruited back into the Institute, cure for the super mutants in hand and welcomed back fully. Efforts to cure the super mutants in the Commonwealth start, with mixed success.
The largest super mutant pockets are cleared, and for the most part cleanup of Boston is proceeding smoothly. The Boston Commonwealth is firmly established.
X-01 and X-02 armor is recovered from around the Commonwealth, and development of new armors begins.
The Prydwen returns to the DC ruins, with members of all former factions presenting the front of the Boston Commonwealth. The remaining Brotherhood of Steel members in the Citadel refuse to accept their authority, but are quickly subdued when they falter and refuse to fight former allies. The Citadel becomes another bastion of the Boston Commonwealth.
Efforts to colonize the DC ruins and the Capital Wasteland begin in earnest.
With technology from both the Brotherhood and the Institute, the research division of the Commonwealth focuses their efforts and make great strides in technological progress. And now that they have more or less free access to the Commonwealth's resources, their progress is unhindered.
The Boston Commonwealth is fully cleansed of enemies and dangerous mutated animals. Deathclaws are brought in for research. With a way to reverse the effects of FEV in hand, and notes taken from the Enclave provided by the Brotherhood, experimentation to produce intelligent Deathclaws ensues.
The Lone Wanderer returns to the Capital Wasteland upon hearing the fate of the Brotherhood of Steel. Taken aback at first, she soon agrees with the course the Boston Commonwealth is taking. Using her status and experience, she helps with the cleanup efforts.
The Lone Wanderer and The Sole Survivor meet. A long courtship begins.
The X-03 armor is produced. It is lighter, more durable, and more armored. The scientist heading the research is quoted as saying, "We could do better."
The Boston Commonwealth expands at a slow but steady pace, retaking the wastes one mile at a time. Communities spring up overnight, following incentives from the government to repopulate and spread out. Every man and woman is a militiamen, ready to fight at a minute's notice.
The VB-03, or the Vertibird Mk II, is developed. Jet propulsion is used instead now, with oversized fusion cores used to power it.
AI research plows ahead. Mr. Handies and Sentry Bots are now controlled remotely by military AI's. These AI's are reverse engineered from the ZAX computer remains at Raven Rock. Miniaturized and plated with armor, the Mobile Artificial Control Units, or MAC's, are a new breed of command and control units for mechanized robots in the field.
Work on Gen 4 Synths begins. The goal is to create synths based on human DNA, instead of just mimicking organic systems.
The Lone Wanderer and the Sole Survivor wed. Not long after, Gerald Shepard is born.
The Capital Wastelands are almost entirely reconquered and cleaned now. Rivet City and Megaton are major trade hubs in the region now. The Republic of Dave is left alone. The area becomes its own state, known as New Columbia.
The Boston Commonwealth and New Columbia form a new hierarchical government, much in the vein of the old United States. This new government is named the East Coast Alliance.
Mothership Zeta is revealed to the East Coast Alliance courtesy of the Lone Wanderer. When asked why she didn't reveal it sooner, the Lone Wanderer replied, "I kinda forgot about it, to be honest." Work to begin replicating its technology begins at a feverish pace.
Intelligent Deathclaws become a reality. With minor cybernetic enhancements and liberal amounts of FEV, Deathclaws are now granted sapience. They are ultimately still very aggressive beings, but when provided with modern comforts and a guaranteed food supply, they fall in line and cooperate with the ECA. They form pack-based hierarchies, Within their packs, they are very peaceful. They are on par with average human intelligence.
The ECA makes contact with the NCR to the west. After a brief war, the ECA emerges victorious thanks to massive technological superiority. The NCR and the West Coast chapters of the Brotherhood are brought into the fold. A rush to begin settling the land in between the two still distant areas begins. Thus begins the efforts to retake the old United States in full.
Military technology increases further. The VB-04 is introduced. This variant is equipped with jets, and can achieve sub orbital flight. It is larger and less mobile than previous variants, however. But increased flight time, speed, and troop capacity means it now forms the ECA's primary form of long range deployment of troops.
In conjunction with the VB-04, the X-04 and the O-12 power armors are introduced. The X-04 armor is designed to be the lightest armor yet, yet maintains the protection of the previous version. Power armor troops can now match lighter armed forces in terms of speed and mobility. In comparison, the O-12 armor is much heavier, in the vein of older models. What it lacks in mobility, though, it makes up for in sheer durability and strategical importance. Whereas older models can only survive falls of several hundred feet, the O-12 (with the aid of a personal jetpack) can deploy from low orbit. In conjunction with the VB-04, the ECA gains a large strategical advantage.
Buildup of a wet navy and air force begins in earnest, though it takes a backseat to the priority of achieving orbital dominance.
The Gen 4 synth is ultimately classed as a failure, not having achieved its goal of merging humans and synths. To be sure, the Gen 4's are literally indistinguishable from humans, but reproduction with a synth is still impossible, and the goal is to ultimately merge the two and create transhumans. Work on Gen 5 synths begins.
Nanites are created, vastly increasing human reaction times, regeneration speeds, and overall health. Life spans are doubled. These miracle robots cause concern for purists, but many take the technology in with open arms due to their numerous benefits.
Large scale cloning becomes feasible, thanks in part to Zetan technology.
Contact with other fledgling nations and groups that survived the war happen. Talks begin to discuss unification, in order to prevent another nuclear war. Nuclear weapons are banned from use on the surface of the Earth, though no restrictions are used in space.
To celebrate the beginnings of a new stage of mankind, the ECA, now joined in alliances with other nations, reveals their first interplanetary vessel. Based off Zetan warp technology, humanity can now create wormholes between two places and instantly travel between them. The folding of space takes time and not an insignificant amount of energy, but to the leaders of the ECA and its allies, it marks an important step in furthering their goals.
The neural lace is created, allowing people to access the Internet 2 (another recent invention) through the use of cybernetics in their brains.
Gen 5 synths are a reality, as are organic backups. People and synths are now one and the same, as a person can transfer their mind into another body. Bodies can now be fabricated easily, and death is now literally the step to the next journey. Servers are built, allowing people to choose to 'upload' themselves to the internet, forgoing physical bodies entirely.
Disparity is still rampant in the world. Places that have been recivilized are practically utopian, while areas that are still under raider and tribal control are still at the post war levels of civilization - which is to say, almost none at all. Unfortunately, uncivilized areas still take up the majority of the landmass of the Earth. Colonization and recovery efforts are still underway.
Mars has been marked for colonization. In exploring the red planet, they discover the prothean ruins. However, the Zetans were there first. A brief struggle for the archives ensue, which the Systems Alliance, now representing all of humanity, wins. They discover mass effect technology, and begin integrating it into current technology. Progress is slow, however, as very little eezo is left in the ruins. The zetans are discovered to be a nearly extinct race, with two subspecies. The smaller, more docile members form the working class, while the aggressive, larger subspecies form the upper class. The upper class is exterminated, while the remaining zetans are allowed to form a colony on Mars. With almost no population, however, their species is almost ensured to die out. Debates rage whether to save the species.
Efforts to replicate element zero are progressing, but they have a long ways to go. Many predict they will never be able to replicate the means to do so.
The Alliance space navy grows to 200 ships.
Earth is rendered mostly habitable again. Soldiers can choose to become super mutants, or meta humans, retaining their intelligence and gender, and gaining increased speed and strength. It is spread as a serum the soldiers can inject before battle, and afterwards can reverse in order to become regular humans again - though the process to turn back takes several days.
Ghouls are almost gone now, most having chosen to regain bodies through the use of cloning and mind transfers. Some choose to remain, however, saying that it reminds them of the time before the war.
The Systems Alliance chooses to save the Zetans, forming ways for them to also clone their bodies, form synths, expand their genetic pool, and transfer minds to servers and other bodies. The Zetan population explodes, and many are extremely grateful to the Alliance. Relations between the two groups warm up greatly, and the Zetans eventually choose to join the systems alliance.
Talks of forming stellar lifting stations begins. With highly advanced fusion, laser, and cooling technology, not to mention warp and eezo tech, the possibility to gain large amounts of matter for energy and construction proves too tempting. Plans to create a dyson swarm or net enter pre-planning stages.
Multiple colonies have been formed throughout the solar system and beyond. Most rely on fusion power and lifting fuel from the gas giants in order to provide their power. Mining the multitude of asteroids has been commonplace for years now. Shipbuilding picks up, as humanity knows there are aliens out there, and they may be hostile.
Systems Alliance Population: 25.35 billion (including ghouls and deathclaws)
Zetan Population: 2.13 billion
Systems Alliance total naval strength: 1673 ships
Systems controlled: 7
Planets Colonized (terraformed/garden worlds): 17 (14/3)
Ship Warfare: Systems Alliance warfare relies on medium-distance engagements, using orbital patterns to predict fleet movement and using warps to catch enemies off guard. In battle, lasers and plasma dominate. Armor has developed to the point that conventional mass accelerators simply can't disable a ship in a timely fashion. Lasers, though energy and heat intensive, can boil away entire plates of armor in one blow, achieving penetration in two to three hits. Plasma has the benefit of being less heat intensive, though there are ammo concerns when using it. Plasma is used more as a broadside weapon, meant to be used in close quarters since it is relatively slow moving and loses heat the farther it travels through space. It is even more deadly than laser weaponry, able to pierce armor in one blow if it hits dead on.
A result of these limitations and strengths is the use of tactical warps. Ships can jump to and from battle using miniaturized wormholes, catching enemies off guard. However, it is very energy and heat intensive, and smaller ships can typically only use these warps once in a short engagement. They could use two warps, but then they'd have no means of escape. Larger ships can utilize more warps.
Frigates: These ships form relatively fast wolf packs, much as Citadel races use frigates. However, their main role is providing a screen for heavier ships against fighters and other frigates. They are armed only with a few railguns, and several lasers that can double as point defense or ship to ship weaponry.
Cruisers: These ships are the bread and butter of ship warfare for the Alliance. Durable and packs a punch. These ships are equipped with plasma weaponry and lasers, with no railguns. These ships are meant to get right into the middle of the fighting.
Destroyers: Between Cruisers and Frigates in weight, these ships are the equivalent of long range snipers. They are equipped with a massive spine mounted laser that can reach out and hit targets at up to 20,000 kilometers, the typical range of Council Dreadnoughts. Their only other means of defense are small point defense lasers, and so they must rely on frigates and other ships to provide protection. Otherwise, they are vulnerable to enemy warps.
Battlecruisers: Still in development, these ships would be the same size as a cruiser but be more analogous to a destroyer. They would fire large bolts of plasma at far distances, but current technology limits their range and speed. In most tests, they underperform when compared to a destroyer or a cruiser. No battlecruisers have been deployed yet as a result.
Arks: These ships, contrary to their name, are small frigate sized vessels with oversized cores. They are the only ships to be deployed with eezo cores so far, and therefore are the only ones that have barriers and any reasonable amount of real space maneuverability. Their primary armaments are ionizing rays and large tesla coils. Normally they need to get close to a target, usually within 5 kilometers, to discharge their huge bolts of electricity. While effective, it puts the ship and crew at risk. Utilizing mass effect technology, however, they can deploy a relatively long range stream of particles that are then ionized, which paints a target for easy electrocution. While any other fleet would consider this gimmicky, considering the heavy armor of most ships and their resistance, these weapons have the potential to one hit disable enemy ships at range by frying their electronics. In essence, the power of a plasma cannon with the range of a laser. Additionally, their close proximity and relative vulnerability puts them in a perfect spot to use AI's. While most ships are given one AI for cyber warfare and targeting, Arks are given three. They can cause havoc with enemy targeting, giving the ship time to line up their shot and otherwise lighten the load on friendly cruisers.
Why the name Arks? The original name was going to be the Tesla class vessel, but one of the researchers detested that name. He suggested A.R.C.S., or Assisted Reconnaissance and Combat Vessel, as a reference to its electrical attacks and its multiple AI's. The name stuck, but the Brotherhood preferred to name it after a previous class of ship - the Ark. And so the name stuck.
Dreadnoughts: These ships are still in development. Current railgun technology simply isn't fast enough to make a difference in current ship to ship combat, both in terms of firing rate and slug speed. Utilizing mass effect technology would help with the issue, but with so little eezo, the dreadnought is nothing more than a pipe dream at the moment, as it is deemed an expensive waste of resources that underperforms and could be replaced by a cruiser or destroyer for a third the cost.
Carriers: Currently the largest ship class in deployment. Like the name suggests, they carry large amounts of fighters and bombers. While they are lacking in other primary armaments, they do have one other advantage: huge fusion cores. These ships are in prime position to fire off missile, torpedoes, and bombs through flash-created wormholes. They have the capacity, the power, and the heatsinks to open up dozens of warp fields, or wormholes. These ships typically fire off the opening shots of an engagement at large ranges, raining ballistic fire on enemies. Once their ammunition is spent, they then hang back alongside the destroyers and deploy their squadrons.