The Timeline is an ongoing basis from which to work out the history of the WWU, divided into five distinct eras.
ERA I (Exploration) Edit
(In-depth treatment of the Era can be found here.)
A catastrophic ecological disaster rapidly makes Earth uninhabitable (over the course of decades or a century, two centuries at most), and sparks a series of decisions leading humanity from their terrestrial home, out, into Sol System, and then to the stars. In this context, we work on extrapolation of current technology based on real science (see TECH below). Tone is “Hard SF” with an interplanetary scope dealing with nearby interstellar neighborhood.
· Terran Alliance is formed, becomes de-facto world government. One of its chief concerns is moving heavy industry into space as well as establishing viable colonies within the solar system. [Note: This almost certainly would include terraforming Mars, Lunar colonies, and a lot of habitats in Earth orbit.]
· Terran Security Force is created [Note: TerraForce? TerraSec? Perhaps they earn a nickname based on some obvious uniform element, such as the blue helmets of UN Peacekeepers? Blue Shirts? Greencaps? White Hats?]
· Early FTL is developed, based on theoretical “warp drive” that alters space itself in front and behind a starship. [Note: As discussed earlier, India is the nation that makes this breakthrough, which gives the Terran Alliance an enormous boost, so it eventually encompasses nearly every nation on the planet.]
· Extra-Solar Colony program begins. Called Diaspora, Directed InterstellAr Sequential POpulation Resettlement Activity, humanity is sequentially packed up and shipped to chosen and often prepared colonial sites for subsequent reanimation. [Note: At some point, this becomes relatively easy, so that entire groups and populations might establish cultural havens, etc. My own suggestion is that suspended animation, i.e. “cold sleep” is now commonplace, allowing huge Arks to be ferried via some kind of Warp Tug to target systems.]
· First natural wormholes are discovered. Before too long a method of safely traversing same is developed, probably by robots and then manned ships. This creates a “web” of colonies in relatively close contact, i.e. The Core. Other colonies become collectively known as The Fringe.
· Colony program rapidly expands as Earth rapidly declines [Note: Perhaps this is when most of those nations that refused to join the Alliance make their escape, as it were.]
· Colonies form "Federated Web of Terran Colonies"
· Terran Security Force becomes Federated Security Force [Note: This sounds as if the Terran Alliance has more-or-less dissolved or at least been eclipsed by the new Federation.]
· FSF uses naval ranks and follows naval traditions [Note: This interestingly hints at a force overwhelmingly ship-based, which in turn suggests its usual operations—exploration, surveys, search-and-rescue, anti-piracy, escort, maintenance of governmental space buoys/sensor arrays, etc. Which feels different from the Alliance Security Force.]
· FSF employs "marines" for shipboard and limited ground assault actions but forms no standing armies
· Colonies form "Colonial Militias" which uses army ranks and army traditions. When the "Fed" needs an army they call upon one or more of the colonies to provide units from their colonial militias and they operate under the overall FSF command. [Note: Likewise this presume a necessity for local infantry, etc. I would suggest some planets were settled by more than one colonial “group”—planets are huge after all—which may have some resulting conflicts, depending on the specifics.]
Era I Technology Edit
The above presumes several different types of new technology
1. Warp Drive
2. Some kind of extremely efficient uber energy source (matter/anti-matter mix?)
3. A superior form of sublight propulsion.
4. Fuctional suspended animation, i.e. cold sleep. Note: This probably involves slowing a body’s system to a crawl, rather than stopping it altogether. Thus maybe someone would age one day every few years or so.
5. Given the relatively benign nature of the Terran Alliance and its security forces, probably some kind of working sleep or drowsiness gas, and/or a long range stun weapon of some kind. Use of such would be a powerful symbol of the Alliance’s benevolence.
6. Really advanced robotics and/or AI, probably along extremely narrow parameters—the equivalent of extreme autistic and/or savant minds. Descendants of Zuckerberg's JARVIS, WATSON, and others.
7. Space elevators. This is bound to be vital in moving really large populations off the planet.
8. Terraforming. In establishing colonies, it becomes a much easier task if the ability to alter a planet to suit human needs is a fairly straightforward process.
9. Radiation shielding. Without something very impressive along these lines the bursts of things like solar radiation outside an atmosphere makes space travel untenable in anything but small numbers.
ERA II (Federation) Edit
Earth is completely uninhabitable and the former "colonies" now govern themselves through the "Federated Web." When a non-human world and its colonies offers to join the "FedWeb" the new political entity is created. Tone is Speculative leaning towards what most people think of as Space Opera. TECH (see below) is very speculative but based upon what we might predict from current science.
· Discovery of one or more alien civilizations. [Note: Presumably some of these are so alien/advanced we cannot meaningfully interact on a regular basis, while others might be simply gone, leaving puzzles for xeno-archeologists to study. But others are more-or-less on Humanity’s level.]
· The Federated Web of Aligned Worlds is formed, in the wake of non-human membership in same.
· An advance in warp technology (“superwarp”) allows the Fringe to expand and interact with nearly as much ease as the Core.
Era II Technology Edit
The above presumes several different types of new technology.
2. Some kind of really impressive defense technology like force fields, enough to protect planets, ships and habitats from advanced missiles/beam weapons.
3. Highly advanced translation software, so much so as to be able to cope with alien languages to some positive effect.
ERA III (Empire) Edit
Corruption and crises results in a replacement of the Federation with an Empire, possibly by way of military coup. Space Opera progressing to High Fantasy Space Opera tone. Scale is approximately galaxy-wide. TECH ranges from highly speculative to virtual space magic.
· Creation of artificial wormholes helps de-stabilize the Federation.
· Taboos such as those against really advanced AI and major genetic modification are broken.
ERA IV (Warring States) Edit
The center does not hold. Artificial wormholes are destroyed, disrupting the imperial infrastructure. Over time, the near-godlike TECH (see below) of the Empire is lost to legend.
ERA V (Renaissance) Edit
Order rises from the chaos, possibly from the re-discovery of artificial wormholes. A new Federation is formed, while a healed Earth is re-colonized by the human race.