The Babylon Effect


2055 Having conducted genetic experiments to introduce telepathy to the Human genome a team of Vorlons sets up a base in Antarctica and begins implanting the telepath genes into kidnapped Humans. These kidnapped individuals will be released with only a dream involving angelic creatures and an increased libido to spread the telepath gene as deeply into the Human genome as possible.

2069 First permanent settlement established in Shackleton Crater on the Moon. The lunar habitat is opened to colonisation on the one hundredth anniversary of the first lunar landing in 1969.

2070 Multi-Billionaire Victor Manswell frustrated at the pace of official space exploration begins funding his own space exploration program.

2075 The Manswell Expedition leaves Earth orbit bound for the Alpha Centauri system with 300 colonists in cryo-stasis onboard the heavily modified fusion drive freighter. Contact with the ship is lost shortly after it passes through the Kaiper Belt.

2080 Thralls of the Shadows discover the Vorlons are implanting telepathic genes in other species to use as weapons against their masters when they eventually return. The thralls track some Vorlons bringing supplies to the hidden Earth base and engage them. One Vorlon is killed and the Vorlons knowing there base will soon be discovered by the natives destroy the Antarctic base and flee.

Russian and American satellites notice a magnetic anomaly in Antarctica where the Vorlon base was. However expeditions sent to investigate find nothing but a smoking crater in the ground – it is later believed that the anomaly and crater were caused by an undetected meteor crashing into Antarctica.

2095 Conflict breaks out between the United Islamic Republics and the United Nations as UIR forces attempt to annex India and the former Soviet States to the south of the Russian Federation. The conflict soon escalates and the Third World War begins.

2097 The Third World War ends with kinetic kill vehicles being fired from space upon major military and strategic targets all over the UIR by allied forces. Facing the prospect of total obliteration from orbit the UIR signals its total and unconditional surrender. The environmental impact of the orbital bombardments soon become apparent as all the dust and sand blasted into the stratosphere lower global temperatures by one degree centigrade.

In the aftermath of the war some nations begin pushing for the establishment of a new alliance with sovereign powers but ultimately fail with the previous status quo returning as many nations refuse to consider giving up any sovereignty.

2103 The European space agency lands astronauts on Mars and establishes Lowell City – the first permanent settlement on the red planet. The development catches other space agencies off guard but within the year the US, China and Russia announce plans to set up their own settlements on Mars.

2115 International scientists certify the existence of telepathic abilities. The revelation sparks great civil unrest in many nations and in some places lynch mobs form attacking anyone believed to possess telepathic abilities.

2116 The United Nations establishes the Meta-Sensory Commission to investigate the full extent of Human telepathic abilities and establish a set of legal guidelines to ensure the protection and privacy of both telepaths and non-telepaths.

2135 The Eldfell-Ashland Energy Corporation develops and demonstrates a viable and cheap method of helium3 extraction from the atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn. The development revolutionises both fusion reactor design and starship fusion drives and transforms Eldfell-Ashland practically overnight into one of the most powerful of all the various mega-corporations.

2138 First asteroid capture mission launched to knock a near Earth asteroid into planetary orbit to allow easy mining of the asteroids mineral and metal reserves.

2143 Construction of Gagarin Station begins beyond Pluto's orbit.

2145 Satellites orbiting Mars detect unusual gravitational fluctuations near the southern polar region of Mars along with odd EM field emissions. Due to a raging dust storm over the southern hemisphere of Mars exploration of the phenomenon is put on hold until the storm abates a process that takes the better part of a year.

2146 Scientists sent to the southern polar regions of Mars detect traces of an unknown blue crystalline material in the recently deposited top soil of Prometheii Planum. Attempts to trace the source of the material are hampered when a fresh dust storm blows across the area forcing the scientists to abandon work until the storm fades.

2147 Prothean outpost discovered by scientists beneath Prometheii Planum. The outpost shows signs of having been bombed from space by high powered directed energy weaponry which destroyed the upper levels. However the lower levels of the base – including its hanger and computer core – remain intact allowing scientists to begin probing the bases secrets.

The discovery of the Prothean ruins sends a massive shockwave through the whole Human race, a shockwave even more powerful than the one caused by the revelation of telepathy decades earlier. Many religions are rocked to the core and struggle to explain the revelation while humanity in general rejoices at at last having proof that they are not alone in the universe. Governments and militaries are however unnerved by the evidence of the damage to the base – evidence that indicates that not all life out in the stars could be friendly.

2148 Analysis of surviving Prothean data leads to humanity discovering mass effect technology and developing the first true FTL drive almost directly copied from the drives found aboard the small spacecraft docked in the Prothean outpost and using the stores of refined element zero found in the base. The only difference in the design compared to the Prothean one is the installation of room temperature superconductive cabling addressing the weakness of static electric build up in the core during operation spoken of in the Prothean records.

As the year comes to a close the Terran Systems Alliance charter is signed by all major nations – the Alliance will pave the way for humanity to become a spacefaring civilisation. The Alliance Navy is chartered to defend the Alliance and its peoples from all enemies be they alien or otherwise.

2149 An Alliance navy ship arrives in the Alpha Centauri system to determine the fate of the Manswell Expedition. They discover a small colony present on the surface of the third planet of Alpha Centauri A which has been named Gaia by the expedition. Contact is established and the colonists are stunned to discover Earth is a newly star faring world but welcome the chance to have contact with their homeworld once again.

Surveys of the rest of the system discover large deposits of element zero in a number of asteroids at the edge of the binary star system.

2151 An interplanetary transport carrying refined element zero crashes on approach to Brisbane International Spaceport spreading a cloud of dust form eezo over the bustling Australian city affecting millions. Many children born in the months immediately after the accident die of horrific cancers or birth defects though others survive with seeming no ill effects.

2152 Friction erupts between the descendants of the Manswell Expedition and new colonists arriving from Earth beginning the Alpha Centauri III or Gaia Incident. Attempts to resolve the situation diplomatically fail and the colonies firebrand leader Damien Manswell fires on and destroys a transport carrying supplies for the new colonists.

Almost immediately the Alliance responds to the outright aggression by sending a Special Forces team into the original colony and arresting or killing all its senior leaders. With the more hard-line leaders dead or in custody and facing the threat of an orbital attack the original colonists surrender. Friction and simmering resentment will remain between the settlements on the planet for some years after the incident.

2153 Further analysis of data from the Prothean outpost on Mars speaks of a large device capable of transporting ships dozens, hundreds or thousands of light years instantly called a mass relay being present in Earth's solar system. Somewhat to the incredulity of the Alliance navy the relay is found to be buried in the ice of Pluto's moon Charon.

Excavation of the mass relay begins using lasers and missiles to begin chipping away the spherical cocoon of ice around the relay.

Colony Demeter established on Proxima Centauri Three.

2154 Excavations of the Charon Relay are completed however attempts to activate it following the Prothean instructions fail. It is soon discovered that the relays activating codes have been encrypted by an unknown source as the coding does not match Prothean data structures.

Work on deciphering the complex coding begin.

2156 First contact – Centauri vessel Malenos appears out of hyperspace at Proxima IV and is immediately intercepted by ships belonging to the 4th Colonial Patrol Group commanded by Captain Jon Grissom aboard the destroyer Independent Spirit.

Contact with the Centauri vessel is established and the Centauri are shocked to say the least to find a spacefaring civilisation in a region of the galaxy they believed lifeless. Recovering from their surprise the Centauri claim to be the masters of an empire spanning the galaxy and that Humans are genetic cousins of theirs. Both assertions will later be found to be false leading to many politicians and military figures determining never to entirely trust what the Centauri say.

Through the Centauri the Alliance is introduced to a number of local races and gains the ability to manufacture jump gates and jump engines. However the Alliance soon reveals that it prefers mass effect FTL technology which is faster, more versatile and doesn't rely on vulnerable jump gates and beacons to navigate. Despite this reluctance to embrace hyperspace – to the consternation of local races – the Alliance builds a series of jump gates to key points in their space where they establish trading stations.

2159 The last of the codes preventing the activation of the Charon Relay are broken and the relay powers up and reveals that it connects to one of two locations. Probes sent through reveal the relay connects to the Exodus Cluster and the Arcturus System.

A number of additional mass relays are noted to be present at Arcturus and scientists begin probing them and are surprised to note that unlike Charon the relays are not encrypted.

2161 Construction of Arcturus Station – a space habit based on the work of scientist and engineer Gerald O'Neill begins, meanwhile exploration of the Exodus cluster gets under way.

2164 Colonies on Terra Firma and Eden Prime in the Exodus Cluster established. Additional colonies are also established in the Sirius and Beta Durani systems known as Avalon and Amaterasu respectively.

Some of the children who survived the eezo exposure at Brisbane begin to show unusual abilities that do not match any known telepathic or telekinetic phenomenon. Investigations by scientists working for the Alliance Office of Meta-Sensory reveal the presence of tumour-like nodules of element zero present in the brains and nervous systems of the now teenage children.

2170 Extremists opposed to Earth's ongoing trade with other spacefaring societies blow up two ships entering Earth's atmosphere spreading dust form element zero over large areas of North America and Europe. Once again the pattern of most children exposed in utero to the dust dying of cancer or horrific birth defects occurs and it is soon noted that those who are most likely to die of the more hideous mutations are children with a strong expression of the telepath gene.

Quiet monitoring of the children who survive exposure begins to see if they also display unusual powers as they grow older.

2179 Alliance warships patrolling the Exodus Cluster pick up a large group of electromagnetic signals in an out of the way system at the edge of the cluster and move to investigate. Upon arrival they discover a massive armada of 50,000 vessels of all sizes present in the system mining resources from planets and asteroids.

Contact is made with the alien armada revealing it to be a giant refugee flotilla filled with a species called Quarians who've been forced to wander the stars for 300 years following the loss of their homeworld to the Geth. From discussions with the Quarians the existence of the Citadel and the rules of the Citadel Council is revealed.

Deeply moved by the plight of the Quarian people the Alliance offers what help it can – providing a number of surplus ship hulls to replace aging vessels and whatever refined raw materials can be spared. The Quarians prove very grateful for the assistance and provide valuable information on a variety of subjects in particular the strange abilities being exhibited by some individuals. Abilities the Quarians reveal to be called biotics.

With the information provided by the Quarians the Alliance begins working to understand biotic abilities and develop implants to allow its citizens gifted with such powers to use them effectively. As the year ends the Quarian Migrant Fleet moves out of Alliance territory though the Alliance makes it clear that should they ever need help from them then all they have to do is ask.

2180 Border clashes erupt between Humans and Drazi. Raids carried out across the Alliances borders by the Drazi are responded to with lethal force and the Alliance warns the Drazi Government that it will not tolerate aggressive violations of its borders.

The Drazi ignore the warning and launch an attack on the Terran colony of Pacifica in the Orion System near the Centauri border. The attack is decisively beaten back by Alliance forces but not before considerable damage is dealt to the colony. Surprisingly the Centauri step into the dispute before full scale war can erupt between Terrans and Drazi and the situation is diffused with the temperamental Drazi pulling back from the border.

2188 Colonies established on Yedoa and Shanxi.

2189 Alfred Bester is born or Earth as Stephen Kevin Dexter. Six months after birth he is stolen by an unknown but well armed group that will later be known to be called Cerberus and given the name Alfred Bester.

2195 Jha'dur is born on the Dilgar homeworld Omelos in the Caliban Sector.

2201 G'Kar is born on Centauri-occupied Narn. As per Narn custom he as a pouchling is given a temporary name until he comes of age when he can choose his own name according to whichever Narn religion he chooses to follow.

2202 Delenn is born on Minbar.

2209 Centauri occupation of Narn ends. Narn is left a desolate, arid world stripped of most of its natural resources with its people scarred, angry and bitter about what the Centauri have done to their once green world.

2213 G'Kar takes his adult name.

David Anderson is born.

2214 March 2nd – Alliance vessels attempting to activate a newly discovered mass relay near the Shanxi system are detected by a patrol of Turian warships. Recognising the Turians from the Quarians data the Alliance vessels attempt to contact them only to be ignored and fired on without warning or provocation by the Turians. After a brief skirmish all but one of the four Alliance ships are destroyed – the survivor flees leaving behind three damaged and one destroyed Turian vessels.

March 4th – The battered remaining ships of the Turian patrol follow the Alliance vessel back to Shanxi and are immediately challenged by warships stationed at the systems perimeter. A brief fight ensues that sees all but one of the Turian vessels be destroyed or disabled. The survivor flees back to the Turian Hierarchy. Knowing the Turians will be back the Alliance begins making preparations to defend Shanxi and to send an expedition to the Citadel to resolve the conflict before it escalates into war.

March 12th – The Turian 32nd Assault Fleet under the command of General Desolas Arterius enters Alliance space. Resistance encountered by the Turians is sporadic and consists of hit and run attacks by frigates and destroyers with occasional fire support from a cruiser. Overconfident – believing they have the upper hand against the Terrans the Turians proceed to Shanxi unaware that they are walking into a trap.

March 13th – The Battle of Shanxi occurs. Turian forces attempting to enter orbit of Shanxi to begin landing troops find themselves caught up in a field of self guiding orbital mines as well as taking heavy fire from satellite and ground based defensive weapons.

As the Turians attempt to extricate themselves from the orbital defence grid the Alliance Second Fleet under Admiral Kastanie Drescher drop out of FTL and open fire on the Turians at close range with torpedoes, plasma cannons and lasers. Caught in a lethal crossfire between the defence grid and the fleet the bulk of the Turian forces including the commanding dreadnought Demarius are destroyed or crippled. Several ships manage to escape the 'Slaughter at Shanxi' as it will come to be called by the Turians and flee back to the Hierarchy with severe damage.

March 20th – Enraged by the almost total annihilation of the 32nd Assault Fleet the Turian Hierarchy begins preparations for an all out invasion of Alliance space. The movements of Turian forces catches the attention of the Citadel Council who quickly move to stop the war escalating.

March 25th – Asari diplomats travel to Shanxi to resolve the conflict between the Alliance and the Turians. The Asari Matriarch in charge of the delegation is shocked to find out that the Alliance had been aware of the Citadel for some time but had not moved to contact them after hearing what they did to the Quarians and some of the rules they demand aligned races abide by.

May 12th – After extensive negotiations the Alliance and the Citadel come to an agreement. In exchange for a cease fire and access to its trade routes to the other side of the known galaxy the Alliance gains an embassy on the Citadel but is exempted from some of the stipulations set out in the Citadel Conventions.

Despite the peaceful end of the conflict many in the Alliance and Turian Hierarchy will be bitter and resentful about what happened for many years to come.

2215 John Sheridan is born.

2218 Jeffery Sinclair is born.

2220 Scientists on the Dilgar Homeworld Omelos discover that the star there world orbits is becoming unstable and will go Nova within 15 years. The Dilgar begin a quiet but extensive military build up in preparation to conquer the League of Non-Aligned Worlds.

Jha'dur joins the Dilgar military.

Stephen Franklin is born

2224 Ganya Ivanov is born in Vladivostok, Russia to Sofie and Andre Ivanov.

Catherine Sakai is born in Alaska.

Kaidan Alenko is born in Vancouver. Unknown at the time however is the fact that Kaidan's mother was exposed to dust form eezo while visiting a mining site for the valuable material as part of her job.

Michael Garibaldi is born on Mars.

2225 An element zero leak occurs aboard the Alliance dreadnought Pandora exposing an unknowingly pregnant Lieutenant Hannah Shepard to dust form eezo.

An explosion occurs at an eezo refinery on Gaia exposing thousands to dust form eezo. An investigation later reveals the explosion to be the result of sabotage investigation of which yields only a name, Cerberus.

2226 Zack Allen is born on Gaia.

John Shepard is born on Arcturus Station.

Lyta Alexander is born.

2228 The Dilgar begin there campaign of conquest by launching a lightning attack on Belos IV and the Narn colony of Hilak VII. Both fall quickly.

2229 The Dilgar sweep over the League of Non-Aligned Worlds conquering and destroying multiple worlds. The cruelty of the Dilgar particularly of the Warmaster Jha'dur horrifies the rest of the galaxy.

The Alliance cruiser Persephone is monitoring the evacuation of a world in the Dilgar's path when she is attacked and destroyed by the Dilgar. The Dilgar will later explain that the attack was a misunderstanding. Not believing them and sickened by the Dilgar's cruelty the Alliance prepares its military forces for war.

2230 The Alliance warns the Dilgar not to enter Markab space or be prepared to face war with them. The Dilgar ignore them and the Alliance declares war on the Dilgar.

The Alliance joining the war against the Dilgar turns the tide and the once seemingly unstoppable Dilgar juggernaut falters and begins falling back.

Susan Ivanova is born in Vladivostok to Sofie and Andre Ivanov.

Jeff 'Joker' Moreau is born.

2232 The Dilgar fleet is decisively defeated at the Battle of Belos. The Dilgar do not recover from the loss and there defences are simply overpowered. Warmaster Jha'dur disappears as allied forces close on Omelos.

After a fierce battle in orbit of Omelos the Dilgar Imperium offers unconditional surrender. As punishment for their actions the Dilgar are confined to their world with all spacecraft, spaceports and Quantium forty supplies confiscated or destroyed by the victorious allies.

2233 Warmaster Jha'dur finds shelter with the Wind Swords clan of the Minbari Warrior Caste.

Ashley Williams is born on Amaterasu.

Delenn begins her internship as an aide to the Minbari leader Dukhat onboard the Grey Council's cruiser.

2234 Alliance expansion into the region of the galaxy known as the Skyllian Verge leads to conflict with the Batarians. The Batarians demand the Council declare the whole of the Verge a 'zone of Batarian interest' and off limits to aliens. When the Council refuses stating that the uninhabited worlds in the Verge are free for others to colonise if they wish the Batarians withdraw from the Citadel.

John Sheridan joins the Alliance navy.

2236 Kaidan Alenko begins exhibiting biotic abilities.

Sofie Ivanov is revealed to be telepathic after hiding it for most of her life. When discovered the Alliance Office of Transhuman Affairs (which has taken over responsibility for biotics and telepathy) offer her a choice pay a fine for hiding her abilities for so long and accept training, go to prison or take drugs to inhibit her abilities. After a brief time to think about it she agrees to the first option and accepts training as well as paying a heavy fine.

To avoid harm coming to their children Sofie and Andre speak to Ganya and Susan convincing them to reveal there own telepathic skills minor as they are.

2238 Kaidan Alenko is fitted with a new generation of biotic implant. Too late it is discovered that the newest generation of biotic implants have unforeseen side effects resulting in pain and insanity for many biotics.

Kaidan however is lucky and only suffers headaches. An offer is made to replace the implant with the older model but is refused.

2240 Stephen Franklin attends Harvard University studying medicine with specialisation on biotics and xenobiology.

Jeffery Sinclair joins the Alliance navy and attends fighter pilot school.

2242 Catherine Sakai joins the Alliance navy as a drop ship pilot and meets Jeffery Sinclair.

Zack Allen and John Shepard begin exhibiting biotic abilities. Both enrol in a new Alliance training and schooling program called Ascension for new biotics and new telepaths where they become friends.

2243 Elizabeth Levy is elected president of the Terran Systems Alliance.

Ganya Ivanov joins the Alliance navy as a fighter pilot.

Zack Allen meets a young Lyta Alexander at the Ascension school and the two date for a time before Lyta leaves with her parents moving. Lyta and Zack will not see each other again for many years.

2244 Delenn begins standing in for the ailing Satai Kadroni as a member of the Grey Council where she becomes involved in the debate on if the Minbari should make contact with the Alliance and through them the mysterious Citadel Council.

When the Minbari vote narrowly to not make contact Delenn begins quietly studying all the Minbari know about both groups.

2246 Sofie Ivanov dies in an accident devastating her family.

2247 May 2nd – Lennon head of the Anla'shok goes to see the Minbari Grey Council about increasing funding for the rangers as the time of the prophesied return of the Shadows is approaching. The request is denied however the Grey Council decide to plan a journey to Z'ha'dum themselves to see if the Shadows are returning. Meanwhile on Earth a fateful decision is made to send ships to the Minbari boarder to find out more about the enigmatic species.

May 5th – Satai Kadroni dies and the Council votes to replace her with Delenn.

May 12th – The Alliance task force headed by the cruiser Prometheus commanded by Captain Michael Jankowski arrives at the Minbari border.