The pre-first contact history of the Nivenian Empire is quite long, and quite complicated. There is not really any point before or after first contact where the Nivenian Empire can be considered "truly" interstellar, but they have interstellar probes and can repel interstellar invasions. As such the history of the Nivenian Empire, and the Autocracy of Northwest Sunside before it, will be divided up by century and by decade. As Nivenia Prime is tidally locked, the Nivenians never had need of a consistent calendar, so thousands of different systems were in place before world domination occurred. Therefore this history is specifying dates in the BNE/NE calendar.
The regions will be specified using the region designations "sunside," "twilight regions," "nightside," and "central regions," along with the use of North, South, East, and West (still determined by internal magnetic field). These terms can be further clarified with this image:
[Note: this page is not finished and I will probably be working on it for a while]
798 BNE to 700 BNE Edit
This century showed the dawn of what would become the Nivenian Empire and a growing cold war.
798 BNE to 790 BNE Edit
The Autocracy of Northwest Sunside (ANWS) was born in 794 BNE, from a violent coup in the Unifying Egalitarian Front of Justice, also called the UEFJ (The UEFJ had been on a quest for 40 years to unify all of sunside under its rule. They had unified all but the central southern areas.). The coup started with the invention of Nuclear Fission Energy in a laboratory funded by inventor and entrepreneur William Roberts in 798. Roberts, seeing the importance of the nuclear reactor in a society where the light bulb had just been invented (The general technology level of the UEFJ at this point was not unlike mid-19th century Europe.), built a uranium power plant in an attempt to become the planet's richest Nivenian. However, the energy of the reactor dwarfed the productivity of the citizenry by a factor of 20, leading Roberts to declare himself dictator, bribe local officials, and take over a third of the UEFJ in a bloodless coup in 794. Though relations between the ANWS and the UEFJ remained sour, the ANWS found that the smaller, lower-technology nightside of the planet provided an interesting opportunity now that cheap energy was available. In 791 BNE, the ANWS formed a trade alliance with several smaller countries in nightside, giving them energy in return for materials and labor. In 790 BNE, the world population was 9,123,784,002, and the population of ANWS was 1,803,451,290.
789 BNE to 780 BNE Edit
The ANWS at this point was focused on strengthening its military and infrastructure. To this end, in 789 BNE, the AWNS started a government program to link the whole country by railroad, improving its transportation, and developing a new type of weapon, the "landship," made operational in 786. This was essentially an oversized WWI tank that ran on steam generated by nuclear fission reactions instead of coal or oil. This made the landships a devastating weapon since they could drive for months without refueling. In 785, the landship proved incredibly useful in suppressing a secondary coup bent on seizing the AWNS dictatorship.
In 783, though, an important discovery was made. Trinitrotoluene had been invented. With this, implosion devices could be created to detonate masses of nuclear material, opening the possibility for development of a fission bomb. The ANWS was not in immidiate danger, though, and the project was expensive, so during the 780s BNE it was thought that this was the sort of project that kept getting put off by another two years. However, the ANWS was putting money into another aspect of nuclear physics: the cyclotron. Cyclotron experiments had the potential to synthesize whole new elements, create positrons, and possibly even smash open the protons and neutrons. in 781 BNE, the first large (~3.7 m) cyclotron was built in a research facility near the capital, activated, and within the year elements 93 through 98 had been discovered. By the end of 780, an even bigger (~7.5 m) cyclotron had discovered three more. In 780 BNE, the world population was 9,838,471,826 and the population of AWNS was 1,971,209,344.
779 BNE to 770 BNE Edit
The 770s BNE were a decade of political turmoil, as Roberts was assassinated by what appeared to be an isolated fanatic in 778. The government then experienced rapid political turnover, as leaders, advisers, and generals assassinated each other to get up the totem pole. The country had 21 Dictators between Roberts' assassination and the re-establishment of the government. Scientific research and most government functions were paused for that time. However, a growing body of researchers and scientists supported one potential ruler, Dr. Rebecca Fulton. Fulton took advantage of the growing discontent among the civil service to create a "bureaucratic rebellion," halting most government operations. This prompted military action, but since all of the supply routes were neglected, most of the army deserted within a week. Fulton then took the "throne" in late 774, and remained dictator until 718 when she died.
Fulton thought that scientific advancement and academic prestige were the most urgent priorities, and proceeded accordingly. A program to develop a uranium bomb was started. The cyclotrons were replaced with synchrotrons and made much larger (the largest one was 25 meters). Four more elements were discovered by 772, and the first few kilograms of weapons-grade uranium was produced in 770. Testing would begin the following year. Also in 770, the first heavier-than-air engine-powered machine flew 53 meters to a point higher than its start, being the first airplane on the planet. In 770 BNE, the world population was 10,757,120,540 and the population of AWNS was 2,063,042,506.
769 BNE to 760 BNE Edit
769 saw the detonation of an implosion fission bomb with a yield of 3 TJ. This terrified the technologically inferior UEFJ, which was attemping to undergo a massive arms buildup at the time. Neither of the countries involved had reliable airplanes or rockets, so nuclear warfore was off the table, but it terrified the UEFJ nonetheless, specifically with the fear that nukes would be loaded into artillery shells and shot at them. Thus began the first trans-hemispherical war, larger than any other conflict on Nivenia Prime before. The war involved millions of soldiers and thousands of tanks, and destroyed millions of square kilometers of border territory. The war ended in a stalemate in 766, after over a hundred million deaths. The relations between the ANWS and UEFJ never fully recovered.
In the aftermath of the war, another splinter group of the UEFJ (The UEFJ had actually conquered all of the non-northwest regions of sunside, and while it had lost the central areas, it was still even bigger than before.) that believed in communism and fanatic equality, managed to conquer the southern twilight regions of the planet, becoming the PRSS (People's Republic of Southern States) in 765. The PRSS was actually governed by an elite group that rigged all the elections and siphoned the wealth of the country, the PSCP (Pan-Southern Communist Party). The PRSS had terrible relations with the UEFJ, as it was a splinter group, and had poor relations with the ANWS, viewing them as "imperialist technocrats." In 763, the UEFJ lost the central-northern area (an area especially ravaged by war) to rebels who promptly took over, lost power, and caused the area to splinter into more than 30 different soverign states by 761. While nuclear weapons were available in the ANWS, they could not be used strategically due to the lack of aerospace technology, so they were not immediately developed further. However, new advances in fluorine chemistry were producing some surprising new combinations for rocket fuels, and airplane technology was getting better by the day. In 760 BNE, the world population was 11,954,723,012 and the population of the ANWS was 4,023,544,914.
Culturally, this decade is interesting since politeness became an integral part of the ANWS' culture. The first trans-hemispherical war was commonly seen to have started when an ANWS general made an indiscreet remark to the UEFJ ambassador. While this did "start" the war, the looming threat of getting nuked, political differences, and the vengeance of those who fought for the UEFJ in the ANWS' war for independence contributed much more to the rising tensions. However, the population of the ANWS dramatically increased its formality in an effort to "be more civilized than the enemy," and after this decade, expletives were more than fifteen times less common than before.
759 BNE to 750 BNE Edit
The new politeness of all of the ANWS diplomats initially improved relations to everyone to some degree, lowering tariffs, creating treaties, and letting enemy spies sneak in to steal the secret of fission bombs. Wait, WHAT?!
In 757, after a 4-year period of renewed prosperity and security, a diplomat from the UEFJ who was actually a spy managed to sneak into the fission bomb storage facility (a big warehouse that says "Totally not a fission bomb storage facility - Keep out, there is definitely nothing important in here! And why are you still looking at this sign anyway?! Move along!"), and promptly discovered a spy from the PRSS in the same warehouse, stealing the same bomb. The two fought over the bomb until they decided to share, take a saw, and cut the bomb in two so that each one could take home half (Who knows what they were thinking!). They arrived to their home countries, were promptly fired for being stupid, and the secrets of the fission bomb were now revealed (Actually, building a fission bomb is not that complicated, and the design was spherically symmetric, so management could reverse-engineer the technology.). Testing began in both countries around the same time in 756.
754 saw the first continuous flight from the western twilight regions to the center, carried out by Neil Watson on his plane, the fusioned neutron, to commemorate a new scientific development in the ANWS. This was the development in 755 of the fission-fusion-fission bomb, a new type of bomb that used the compressing piece of uranium or plutonium to initiate fusion in a small capsule of deuterium and tritium, mixed 50-50. The fusion reaction releases high-energy neutrons that can cause even more fission to take place in the expanding cloud of actinide plasma. This increases the yield of the bomb by a huge amount. During some tests in 754, yields of up to 890 TJ were measured.
In 753, the PRSS snapped after hearing of a new Petajoule bomb in development in the ANWS. They attacked with their bombers and their 5 small fission bombs. The ANWS retaliated with 7 small fission bombs and one fusion-boosted bomb. Neither side had any more nuclear weapons, so after the 5 million who died on the first two days of the war, the death rate slowed as conventional tactics were used. The second trans-hemispherical war had begun. The PRSS began by recoiling from the nuclear attack by going on the offensive, taking over the west-northwest sections near the twilight regions, and pushing the front almost a thousand kilometers back, where it stabilized in late 752. The stalemate slowly dragged on for two more years. In 750, the world population was 12,446,294,458 and the population of the ANWS was 3,979,284,439.
749 BNE to 740 BNE Edit
749 saw a gleam of hope for the ANWS. The UEFJ apparently decided that it disliked the ANWS less, and that the PRSS was getting too big. They agreed to join the war on the side of the ANWS if the ANWS did no more than reclaim lost territory. This turned the tide of the war, and the front moved 700 kilometers toward the PRSS by 748. However, in 747, the ANWS launched another nuclear attack on the PRSS of 37 fusion-boosted bombs. The PRSS agreed to a conditional surrender not long afterwards. The second trans-hemispherical war was the first war involving nuclear weapons. It cost eighty million lives.
During this time, ethnic and cultural disputes had lead to the constant fragmentation and re-combination of the nation-states in the central northern regions. In 747, all of this changed when a populist-turned-dictator, Diane Knight, managed to take over a large section of the region. With her newfound empire, Knight established an economic juggernaut by 744, creating a huge array of products. This made her and her country extremely wealthy, lowered the price of living in the rest of the world, and then, when everyone had refrigerators and cars and stereos, goods would sit on the shelves, and the economy stagnated. In 740, the stock market fell 63 percent, causing a depression that would shape the next ten years. Also, Knight was ousted after the flow of money stopped, but lived out her life in comfortable exile with her family and the ridiculous amount of money that she had socked away in nightside bank accounts.
During the 740's, rocketry in the ANWS advanced by leaps and bounds. First came red fuming nitric acid (tamed and made inert). Then came Chlorine triflouride (Blew up half of the industrial sector of the city it was tested in and almost killed Dr. Rebecca Fulton, who later recalled that she had a feeling that the project would not go anywhere. Sure enough, she cut the funding. Eventually, on the cryogenics side, Kerosine-O2 was replaced with H2-O2, which was replaced with H2-O2-F2, which was replaced with H2-O2-Li. In 741, during the economic boom, the holy grail (or it seemed that way at the time) of rocket technology was discovered: the solid-core nuclear-thermal rocket. Unfortunately, as soon as a program was developed to put a Nivenian into orbit, the economy collapsed, delaying it by another 10 years. In 740, the population of Nivenia Prime was 14,309,836,345 and the population of the ANWS was 4,343,982,047.
739 BNE to 730 BNE Edit
After the 740 stock market crash, the economy slumped, putting billions out of work and causing billions more to lose their homes and investments. After this, most research in most governments was put on hold temporarily. All in all, not much actually happened during this decade except widespread poverty. Crime bosses ruled the streets and police fought them, but no taxes could be drawn and most governments were running deficits. The depression eventually ended in 730 when Fulton declared war on the UEFJ. The increasing formality of the ANWS, which had initially helped diplomatic relations, got to the point where common euphemisms used by other countries were treated as expletives. When a diplomat from the UEFJ made what was perceived as an indiscreet statement by the ANWS ambassador, the ANWS declared war. The third trans-hemispheric war, as it would be called, would shape history for decades to come. In 730, the population of Nivenia Prime was 15,966,287,404 and the population of the ANWS was 5,034,289,345.
729 BNE to 720 BNE Edit
The third trans-hemispheric war was the most devastating war yet. The initial nuclear exchange in 730 involved fusion-boosted weapons on both sides, and 30 million died (The initial nuclear exchange was beginning to be a staple of warfare, since it lowered your opponent's initial industrial capabilities and your opponent's bombs helped drum up recruits. It certainly did not make peace easier though.). Armies of tens of millions marched back and forth along the central region, blowing everything up, conquering territory, and never holding that territory for more than two weeks. The war got even more intense when the PRSS sided with the UEFJ against the ANWS in 732. The PRSS and the ANWS had another quick nuclear exchange, and then the PRSS invaded the west-northwestern twilight regions again. The ANWS was losing territory, and losing it fast. Even though it looked like the ANWS was losing the war, they created a new, devastating weapon in 727. They created the rocket launcher. Rockets were excellent at destroying enemy tanks, encampments, infantry, and could do it from a distance. The ANWS pushed the UEFJ and the PRSS out of its territory, and a "status quo" peace was settled in 725. The war was important since the ANWS used better technology to defeat the UEFJ and PRSS. The death toll of the war was above 150 million.
In 725, after the war ended, Fulton declared a new program to develop better military technology. The program yielded results in only two years. The nuclear physicists had created a new type of nuclear weapon, the thermonuclear bomb, or fusion bomb. This bomb used the x-rays from a fission bomb to compress and ignite lithium deuteride fusion fuel, causing an explosion that can sometimes reach 60 PJ. Testing began in 723, and the weapon was considered combat-ready in 721. Another important technological event was the first supersonic aircraft, which flew in 722, reaching Mach 1.09. In 720, the population of Nivenia Prime was 16,722,492,591, and the population of the ANWS was 5,319,673,085.
719 BNE to 710 BNE Edit
The decade of the 710s BNE started rather well. The first Nivenian satellite went into orbit in 719, on a repurposed missile built and launched by the ANWS. The ANWS put a Nivenian into orbit just a year later. Then, disaster struck. Dr. Rebecca Fulton died. This left a power vacuum in the government, which lead to a faction of rebel military officers attempting to establish a military dictatorship. Before they could succeed, a rival faction of military officials launched several thermonuclear warheads at all who opposed them, starting the ANWS civil war in 717. The civil war killed tens of millions, but finally both sides wore each other down to the point that a third faction, lead by bureaucrat Craig Howard, managed to take over in 714, attempting to establish a system where qualified engineers, scientists, and bureaucrats could vote on a new ruler if the old ruler died, as a method of easing the transition of power. Of course, Howard would be dictator until his death in 641.
During the civil war, the UEFJ had managed to get a Nivenian into a higher orbit than the ANWS did before its collapse, and had completed the first spacewalk, both in 715. Eager to beat the UEFJ, the ANWS under Howard formulated a revolutionary new plan to "win the space race" by establishing a permanent space station. This space station would sit a thousand kilometers above the planet, and be armed with nuclear missiles and carbon dioxide lasers. It would weigh 580 tonnes and have room for 8 inhabitants, and be powered by newly invented molten-salt nuclear reactors. It required a massive diversion of manufacturing capabilities, and was completed and launched aboard a kerosene-oxygen rocket with a nuclear thermal second stage in 712. The ANWS had won the space race. In 710, the population of Nivenia Prime was 18,671,003,583 and the population of the ANWS was 5,823,267,840.
709 BNE to 700 BNE Edit
In 708 BNE, the ANWS continued spearheading technological progress with the construction of a liquid helium-cooled superconducting particle accelerator fifteen hundred kilometers in circumference. Using this device, many discoveries were made in a very short period of time. Quarks (all six), tau particles, an assortment of hadrons, the higgs boson, the Z and W bosons, and a new assortment of elements all the way up to Undiseptium by 705. New facilities were also created to attempt nuclear fusion as a power generation system via the CNO process. This lead to the development of a lot of test apparatuses trying to simulate the conditions inside massive stars, and then contain it. Between 706 and 702, many of these facilities exploded since the pressures and temperatures necessary to create a CNO reaction were not being reached, the reaction could not generate power, and the magnetic confinement failed. However, many technologies were gained from this, such as N-stage thermonuclear bombs, which could be scaled up to arbitrary sizes in 701.
On the engineering side, developments were underway to dome over cities to mitigate pollution problems. This was put into effect with the help of generous donations from industrial leaders, who had long since figured out that more industry in one place eventually created diminishing returns as the workers would be less productive because of the pollution. If the cities could be domed over with plexiglass, smokestacks could be put above the city, and air could be filtered. This would allow for more industry in a smaller space. A project to dome over 1300 square kilometers of the capital city of the ANWS began in 705 to reduce pollution (Howard thought that this was a good idea too, since more industry means more productivity which means more taxes.). The project was completed in 701, and a 500-meter high plexiglass ceiling was placed on top of the city, being supported by skyscrapers and smokestacks below. The ceiling had 4-meter deep drainage ditches every 100 meters, feeding into the city reservoir for storage and subsequent purification. The city was now climate controlled, perpetually 20 degrees Celsius and 70% humidity. The city then had a huge industrial boom, which produced new jobs while conveniently making the suburbs uninhabitable so new workers could move to the city. The project payed for itself by 698, a huge success. In 700, the population of Nivenia Prime was 20,843,043,986 and the population of the ANWS was 6,238,091,319.
699 BNE to 600 BNE Edit
This century, known later as the century of chaos, showed rising tension, a devastating nuclear war, and the start of a more efficient society. Note that even by the end of this century electrical computers did not yet exist. Relay computers, electromechanical and extremely slow, were used when precise measurement was needed.
699 BNE to 690 BNE Edit
The completion of the plexiglass ceiling in the capital sparked an entire wave of city-doming projects spanning the country. The new clean air sparked a boom in births in the ANWS, with birth rates at twice their previous levels. The UEFJ and PRSS, however, were beginning to feel left behind in the technological dust. To maintain their military standing, they both stole the secrets of N-stage fusion bombs from the ANWS, started research, figured out that the other one also had them, and promptly declared war on each other in 698. The fourth trans-hemispheric war, as it was called, happened much like the previous ones: Nuclear exchange, tens of millions of deaths, soldiers get riled up, and the battles consume the regions, blow up everything important, and eventually realize that they are not doing anything except destroying stuff, wait another year, and then finally sign a "peace agreement." The war ended in 694 with two hundred million casualties, and both sides began building more thermonuclear weapons, and continued throughout the rest of the decade.
Meanwhile, the ANWS realized that the new domed cities could be put on nightside and be run by lamps and electric power. Thus the colonization of the night began! Nightside countries were small, primitive, and sparsely populated, so armies could march through without much resistance. The northeastern nightside regions directly bordering the ANWS were colonized first, starting in 695. Meanwhile, the fusion experiments seemed to actually be getting somewhere, and in 693, the first energy-positive CNO proton fusion reactor was constructed 500 kilometers from the capital (for safety in case it blew up). Economically viable reactors followed shortly, in 690. In 690, the population of Nivenia Prime was 23,542,484,102 and the population of the ANWS was 7,112,741,204.
689 BNE to 680 BNE Edit
The beginning of the 680s BNE showed great promise, as the new fusion reactors promptly lowered the cost of energy in the ANWS threefold, and made cheap, clean, renewable energy. It also made tritium as a by-product. This tritium was usually just buried. This lowered the cost of living by half, which lead to increased prosperity and another growth in the birthrate. Once energy started being exported, the birthrate was climbing all over the planet, and ANWS corporations were getting rich. This new influx of energy lead the UEFJ and PRSS to do colonization of their own in the mid to late 680s, halting the ANWS expansion at the central nightside regions. Countries in the northern central regions were now being re-absorbed into the UEFJ at an alarming rate, and the number of sovereign entities was rapidly declining. By 685 it was as low as 17. The ANWS, now awash in cash, domed over most of its industrial centers, and newer methods of manufacturing steel lowered the costs tenfold. These new prices made it economically viable for construction companies to build building like nuclear bunkers, with a meter of steel on the outside. These new buildings were designed to withstand anything short of a point-blank nuclear fireball. An exajoule bomb might destroy hundreds of city blocks, but not the entire city, as it would have 10 years before. By 682, most cities over five million had at least 30% steel buildings with more than 50 cm wall thicknesses.
All three major powers were building 3- and 4- stage nuclear fusion bombs by the ten thousand by now, and nuclear stockpiles were getting to the point where nuclear exchanges could destroy an entire nation. Nuclear weapon yield was increasing too, with exajoule bombs now commonplace. Tensions were mounting, and by the end of the decade there were only three countries left on the planet: the ANWS, the UEFJ, and the PRSS. In 680, the population of Nivenia Prime was 27,802,874,754 and the population of the ANWS was 8,403,325,986.
679 BNE to 670 BNE Edit
The 670s began well enough. This was the calm before the storm. While all three countries were building nuclear weapons, the ANWS was covering its cities with new carbon-dioxide lasers to intercept oncoming nuclear missiles, and encouraging its population to move to cities. Hydroponic and aquaponic farming methods were becoming more and more commonplace.
In 674, the PRSS finally snapped, launching missiles at the UEFJ and ANWS. What followed was the most brutal war the planet had ever seen, as the total world nuclear stockpile was airborne in less than an hour, and detonated or shot down in less than two. The thirty yottajoules of energy released from several million 4-stage thermonuclear warheads was enough to heat the planet up to 350 degrees Celsius for several weeks. While nearly all UEFJ and PRSS cities were destroyed, the air-conditioned, fusion-powered ANWS domed cities held through, blowing up the nuclear missiles with their lasers, and cooling the cities at maximum capacity. The world was now a charred, radioactive wasteland devoid of all life except the hardiest bacterial extremophiles buried deep underground and the ANWS domed cities. The ANWS subsequently declared itself the unified government of Nivenia Prime. For the next four years, new cities were constantly being constructed, population growth surged, and there were no longer any rivals to the new empire. In 670 BNE, the population of Nivenia Prime was 4,948,563,198.
An interesting side note is that this event may have accelerated the development of the Nivenian Empire in the long run, since the total environmental destruction was (understandably) the end of the environmentalist party, which had dissented wildly over the previous few decades over the domed cities. In other words, now that the environment was already totally destroyed, the Nivenians could do whatever they wanted to Nivenia Prime.
669 BNE to 660 BNE Edit
The 660s started with the rapid population growth that accompanies large reductions in the population combined with demilitarization. The new economy thrived, deriving its energy from nuclear fission and fusion, building domed cities, and strip-mining the planet for resources. The birth rate had reached 45 births per 1000 per year in 668, and 60 per 1000 per year in 665. Since the entire planet was unified, the economy was booming, and even if the outside world was completely barren of life, the atmosphere was breathable, and Nivenians are quite resistant to radiation. This event made the Nivenians even more resistant, as the global radioactivity level prevented births in those more susceptible to it, while those less so were repopulating very quickly.
The more people were born, the larger the economy got, and the birth rate would remain constant. Howard was a primary motivator for the high birth rate, advertising the benefits of a larger family, and by extension, a larger population. Experimental science was formally resumed in 663, when the successor to the now-destroyed superconducting particle accelerator was completed. The new "Huge Experimental Super-Colossaltron" was another superconducting particle accelerator, but this one encircled the entire planet. The HESC was able to accelerate protons to 100 ZeV energies, just barely reaching the bottom of the grand unified theory scale (when the electromagnetic, weak, and strong forces become one). This confirmed several theoretical grand unified theories and invalidated several others between 663 and 660. In 660 BNE, the population of Nivenia Prime was 7,274,928,004.
659 BNE to 650 BNE Edit
In the year 659, Howard announced that plans for a new station were underway. This station, larger than the previous one, would rotate to generate artificial gravity and could support a maximum crew of 750 Nivenians. The station would have a diameter of 80 meters and a length of 200 meters. This station would act as a new trade hub in space, where asteroid miners could use the station as a refueling point. Asteroid mining began in earnest after the station was put up in 656, yielding thousands of tons of materials for space infrastructure.
In 655, however, there was a mass uprising against spending so much money on space, and a third of the army defected. This civil war took sixty million lives, but was ruthlessly quashed by Howard's regime in 651, which vowed not to let something like this happen again. Howard, to preserve peace on Nivenia Prime, had the brilliant idea of creating a defense grid in middle orbit of the planet of gigawatt carbon dioxide lasers. This stirred fears of a totalitarian regime in the public, but the lasers were a lot more precise than nuclear weapons (which Howard already had), so the discontent was not widespread.
These generators were not as efficient as CNO fusion generators, but they were very compact. 650 saw another important invention, the closed cycle gas-core nuclear thermal rocket, or nuclear lightbulb. This new rocket could generate specific impulses of over 3000s, making them invaluable to the exploration of space. The population of Nivenia Prime in 650 was 10,837,014,598.
649 BNE to 640 BNE Edit
In the year 648, a program was launched to try and colonize another planet in the Nivenia system, A11 (Space Engine designation). This program would use the nuclear lightbulb rockets to land a fusion reactor and domed city of the planet. Most of the preliminary orbital infrastructure was complete when the program was delayed in 645 due to a stupid technician accidentally putting plutonium in one of the thermonuclear igniters instead of uranium. The igniter exploded, destroying the lab and public confidence in the plan. A new party, the industrial safety party, formed in the aftermath, claiming that if one of them had been in charge, the accident would not have happened. Another party rose to oppose the industrial safety party, calling itself the industrial progress party. As if to make the fervent political polarization worse, Howard died in 641, leaving the parties to compete for the votes of scientists, engineers, and bureaucrats in the 640 election.
The 640 election was rife with corruption, scandals, and popular discontent. The candidate that finally came out on top was a member of the industrial progress party named Lisa Sanchez. Sanchez would rule until her death in 549.
Sanchez's first policy of note was her re-activation of the program to colonize A11. The program was estimated to finish in 629. The next important discovery was that of a machine that could mass-produce rubies directly from boxite. With hundreds of tonnes of synthetic rubies easily available, ruby-reinforced steel became commonplace as a construction material. With the growth of the domed cities, large-scale mass-transportation became a major bottleneck on population. To mitigate this, the expressway system was created. This system consisted of dozens of moving conveyor belts that one could horizontally move on to accelerate and decelerate. Typically, the belts of the right moved forward and the belts on the left moved backward, with the ones in the middle moving the fastest and a moving guardrail on the fastest belt on each side. While these were over two hundred meters across, they could transport millions to work easily in minutes. The population of Nivenia Prime in 640 was 16,529,065,198.
639 BNE to 630 BNE Edit
The year 639 was quite an interesting one, as a new material was discovered that could be made into a superconductor at only -64 degrees Celsius. This was higher than most of the underground nightside permafrost in the colder regions. As this temperature could be easily maintained, superconducting cables could be used for lossless electrical currents to flow through this region, increasing the incentive to build there. Within a year, prospectors were buying up land in these regions of nightside to use as fusion plants and domed cities. In sunside, three close domed cities were now merging together into a single domed megacity, with the capacity to support over 400 million Nivenians. Population growth was allowing for massive strip-mining operations all over the planet, allowing metals to become cheaper than ever. In 635, a process was invented that took the ashes of the former biosphere and reacted them with oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to create fertilizer for the hydroponic and aquaponic farms. This process pushed out the capacity of the current farms to over three times what they were before, halting the growing concerns of Malthusian doom.
In 633, a new process was invented that allowed mining to become more productive than ever. The process involved using nuclear weapons to dig boreholes into the mantle, exposing huge geothermal on-site energy sources that could be used to extract the magma below for refining. This boosted mining yields and lowered the price of building materials even further. These technological boosts were however coupled with a growing political instability in the ever-more-prevalent bureaucracy. The bureaucracy had been growing steadily since the 660s, and was getting completely out of hand. Not only were there ridiculous amounts of paperwork and absurd legislation, but the system was more corrupt every day. Eventually, large strikes were held against "the establishment," meaning large corporations and the government, and a political movement of Nivenians desiring a simpler way of life quickly developed. These Nivenians typically wanted to move back to conventional agriculture, but soon realized that the planet they lived on was a barren, irradiated wasteland covered by only ice, cities, and strip mines. These Nivenians responded to this realization by becoming the radical environmentalist movement, a new political party rapidly gaining support from students, extremists, general environmentalists, and many others. While this party never reached the level of membership that the industrial safety party or the industrial progress party had, it was quite prolific at delaying things for decades to come. The population of Nivenia Prime in 630 was 28,093,184,316, now fully recovered from the nuclear apocalypse.
629 BNE to 620 BNE Edit
The colonization of A11 was now beginning to reach the point where a manned base could be set up. A fusion reactor, ice mining equipment, and a pressurized dome complete with life support were now established on the planet. The plan now called for 750 Nivenians to launch from Nivenia Prime and land on the planet for permanent habitation. The rocket was set to launch in early 628 BNE, but protesters from the radical environmentalist movement delayed the launch for several months, shouting slogans like "How can we colonize another planet when we have so many problems on this one?", which were maddening for all of the Nivenians who had been working to make this launch happen for decades. Eventually, the rocket was launched, and the colonists arrived safely on A11 in 626. Over the next few years, the population would grow, and the colony would begin to send shipments of harvested ammonia (useful for its fixed nitrogen) back to Nivenia Prime.
The radical environmentalist movement also managed to cause major problems when several of the largest mining sites were blockaded by civilians in 624, claiming that they were "damaging the environment," never mind that there was nothing but rock and water and air anyway. This caused consumer prices to spike, leading to counter-protesting, and riots all over the planet. The riots were quelled via liberal use of tear gas in 623. The population of Nivenia Prime in 620 was 41,950,643,188, and the population of A11 in 620 was 2,137.
619 BNE to 610 BNE Edit
In 618, a new rocket engine was invented that allowed the colonization of A11 to proceed at a greatly accelerated pace: the nuclear salt-water rocket. The nuclear salt-water rocket worked by maintaining a continuous nuclear explosion in a magnetic nozzle to generate thrust. Saturated aqueous uranium-235 hexaflouride is pumped into the engine, where the fuel reaches supercriticality, explodes, is ejected out the nozzle, and causes the rocket to accelerate. This method can be used to achieve an effective exhause velocity of 2,500 km/s, allowing for rockets that are more than three quarters payload to reach A11 in less than a year. The main drawback of nuclear salt-water engines is their radioactive exhaust, which means that they cannot be used on the ground. This meant that nuclear lightbulb rocket engines were still used for planetary operations, despite their lower performance. The nuclear salt-water rocket engine also indirectly created interest in colonizing the A12-A12.1 binary planet system, which was focused on because of its constituents' large size and mineral abundance.
On Nivenia Prime, two other technological breakthroughs occurred: the construction of an orbital ring, and the commercial usage of cathode-ray tubes for display of visual information. An orbital ring is a planetary transport and launch structure that consists of two components: a stationary component tethered to the planet via cables and accessible by elevator, and an active support structure moving faster than orbital velocity that pushes on the stationary component via a magnetic sheath. This allows for cheap equatorial launches and fast planetary transport via coilguns mounted on the sides of the orbital ring. The first orbital ring around Nivenia Prime was built in 613. The commercial usage of cathode-ray tubes for display of visual information, a method invented in 610, created new opportunities for political advertisements, commercials, and
mind control making current events accessible to the masses. The population of Nivenia Prime in 610 was 62,493,025,732 and the population of A11 in 610 was 131,846.
609 BNE to 600 BNE Edit
The rockets to A12 and A12.1 were launched with 50,000 Nivenians in 609, followed by huge shipments of mining equipment to A11. A11 was now exporting millions of tonnes of fixed nitrogen in the form of ammonia, a vital component in hydroponic and aquaponic farming. The domed cities on Nivenia Prime were getting bigger and bigger, with mergers occurring whenever two cities' borders touched. The waste heat from urban developments and mining was beginning to melt the ice and permafrost on nightside, which could be harvested for even more fixed nitrogen. Large aquaponic plantations were developing on the outskirts of cities, but were quickly absorbed after their construction. The mergers, more and more frequent, prompted Sanchez to divide the planet up into administrative districts instead of dividing it up into districts of a single city and its immediate surroundings. The rural areas of the planet were strip-mined more and more to bring in material for the cities, and the buildings inside the cities were getting taller too. These factors lead to a push for the colonization of space, with A4 seen as another promising candidate once a working model of a habitable aerostat colony was developed. A rocket was sent to A4 (which had huge supplies of organic compounds in its hydrogen atmosphere)in 605, with a pre-fabricated aerostat colony on board capable of supporting 75,000 Nivenians. Infrastructure around Nivenia Prime was growing too, with a new space station developing with multiple rotating habitats attached to provide living quarters to those on board. While insurgencies on Nivenia Prime occasionally arose, the government had thousands of carbon-dioxide lasers in orbit for use quelling rebellion.
The colonization of A11 was proceeding as planned, and by 603 there were 4 million Nivenians on the colony. The first domed city of A11 was under construction, and plans were being made to electrolyze the water and ammonia ices on the surface to create an oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere. While this atmosphere would still be extremely cold, the domes could be less expensive since being completely air-tight would no longer be a concern. Longer-term plans involved using mirrors to reflect solar energy to heat up the planet. While these colonies were not ready to transport a large part of Nivenia Prime's population, there were growing quickly. The population of Nivenia Prime in 600 was 104,518,046,381 and the population of the Nivenian Empire was 104,527,482,946.
599 BNE to 500 BNE Edit
The interplanetary century, as it was later known to historians, was a century of expansion, with the scope of the Nivenian Empire growing wildly, and the population grew wildly throughout this time period. The first vacuum-tube computers were also developed.
599 BNE to 590 BNE Edit
The new century started very well, with the continuing urbanization of Nivenia Prime progressing as planned. A11, A12, and A12.1 were now more or less self-sufficient (their planets had extremely limited metal reserves), they had populations in the millions, and in 599 a mission to the bold frontier of the system secondary was launched. The craft accelerated on nuclear salt-water rockets to carry a payload of 2.50 Gg to the secondary at 2,500 km/s (it took almost a year to arrive). The rocket returned in early 597 with exiting news: The fourth planet of the secondary was suitable for colonization!
Amidst this was a push for orbital habitats around Nivenia Prime led by those who wanted a slightly less urban setting. As the planet proper was still full of nuclear waste, the only comfortable portions were the domed cities, where land was incredibly expensive. While birthrates had fallen a few percent over the last few years, the population was still growing exponentially, and nuclear salt-water rockets were more expensive than would be desired (not to mention the uninhabitability of A11, A12, and A12.1. Therefore, those who wanted genuine nature had to use O'Neill cylinder rotating habitats. This not funded by the government, but from the radical environmentalist movement and private individuals and companies. The number of O'Neill cylinders in orbit increased from 11 to 1,843 from 596 to 590, and then the number plateaued.
Civil insurgencies were widespread during the later part of the decade, as a huge scandal occurred in the intelligence department when some agents tried to assassinate several business leaders in 591, but failed, were charged with murder, and taken to court. This was bad enough, but when the intelligence department attempted to assassinate the former assassins and were caught red-handed in 590, rioting ensued all over the planet. While these riots were not organized, looting and pillaging were common. The population of Nivenia Prime in 590 was 151,849,217,845 and the population of the Nivenian Empire was 151,903,472,843.
589 BNE to 580 BNE Edit
The continuing intelligence scandal convinced Sanchez to instruct the intelligence agency to comply with the demands made by the courts and not murder anyone in 589 when they assassinated 4 witnesses. The intelligence agency then declared independence, although they did not claim any territory. However, they began enticing riots in an organized way, leading to the outbreak of outright civil war in 587. While the government tried to quell the rebellion with kinetic projectiles dropped from orbit, tanks battled anti-tank and infantry units all across the planet. Surprisingly, A11 declared independence in 585, but Nivenia Prime could not do anything about it. While most of the conflicts subsided in 585, the former intelligence agency (now calling itself the Illuminati) became essentially a secret, manipulative power trying to discretely destabilize the government. The aftermath of the incident involved public distrust of intelligence agencies, massive declassifications, and a series of secondary scandals made public.
The A11 problem was taken care of with light thermonuclear bombardment. A12 became the "secondary capital" in the aftermath.
The colonization of B4, commonly considered the current frontier, attracted hundreds of thousands to board a colony ship headed there. The ship launched in 583, reached a 1,000 km/s cruising velocity, and arrived in 581 to set up a colony.
Technology was currently turning toward a new direction, as vacuum tubes were found to have applications as logic gates, opening the door to possible electronic computing.
The population of Nivenia Prime in 580 was 217,015,431,039 and the population of the Nivenian Empire was 217,122,873,329.
579 BNE to 570 BNE Edit
The new decade opened with a bang when a fusion rocket experiment exploded violently, destroying an icy comet in the outer system in 578. Fusion rocket technology, now on the horizon, was a particularly well-funded research opportunity, as it provided cheap interplanetary travel and the capability to send interstellar probes. Although this technology was still a ways away at the time, the technology involved in cheap production of Neodymium magnets was improving all of the time. Several proposals were made in 576 when the government announced a competition to decide what could be done with this new technology. A group of large private corporations, known as the trust, created the winning proposal: A giant ring could be built around the secondary of the system, spun for gravity and supported by magnets, capable of creating cheap land for potentially trillions. The proposal was considered, and permission was granted by the government. For years to come, the construction of the "ringworld" would be the largest economic opportunity in the system.
The radical environmentalist movement, realizing that the ringworld's construction would negate all attempts to preserve Nivenia Prime, became strongly opposed to its construction, leading to protests breaking out all over the planet. The protests were violently quelled when one of the more radical protesters successfully detonated a homemade thermonuclear bomb in a major city, to "reduce the population," in late 573, killing himself in the process. The lesson learned was this: do not allow those who are wacko to possess nuclear material. Stricter nuclear regulation was passed.
Materials harvested from all over the system were being piled at a construction site near the secondary, where most of the work of the ringworld's construction would be done. Huge amounts of material would need to be stockpiled, on the order of a hundred million cubic kilometers. The stockpiling had just begun in 570. The population of Nivenia Prime in 570 was 297,487,334,108 and the population of the Nivenian Empire was 298,173,303,163.
569 BNE to 560 BNE Edit
The new ringworld project was ahead of schedule, as more Nivenians were in need of work than originally anticipated. The only project of comparable scale to the stockpiling of resources was the removal of ice defrosted by waste heat in nightside. A third of nightside had disappeared from the waste heat, and more was melting all the time as the cities grew. Even though power usage per capita was dropping due to the introduction of 0 Celsius superconductors in 568, the population was rising faster. The Trust, confident in its abilities, had hired hundreds of millions or workers, bringing a huge economic boom to B4. Although the populations of A11 and A12-A12.1 were unhappy about this, there was still ammonia and methane to be harvested on their worlds, and immigration from Nivenia Prime was getting steadily stronger.
Nivenia Prime itself was recording record numbers of domed city mergers as cities in the same area slowly grew together. Submunicipal authorities became more and more common as cities got bigger and bigger, often with neighborhood homeowners associations petitioning for legislative power and submunicipal courts. Vacuum tube computing was officially commercial once the first commercial electronic computer was available in 564, creating new opportunity in bureaucratic efficiency and stock market prediction. Almost every large company wanted a computer of their own, paying several lifetimes of wages per unit. The units themselves were the size of a room, clunky, noisy, and high maintenance, but they preformed the jobs of tens of thousands of accountants in some cases. The population of Nivenia Prime in 560 was 419,878,303,256 and the population of the Nivenian Empire was 421,843,727,465.
559 BNE to 550 BNE Edit
The year 559 opened with the melting of the final parts of the nightside permafrost, and the addition of a giant new bureaucratic building in the center of sunside. The new building spanned multiple square kilometers, and was over a kilometer high. It was considered one of the greatest architectural marvels of its time. The newfound bureaucratic efficiency that this building provided was cited at the time of its construction to be 68.379%, but more recent calculations place the number closer to 68.377%. This gross misrepresentation of the increase in efficiency was likely caused by the actions of one bureaucratic employee who misreported his individual productivity to be a thousand times what is should have been, and bribed his supervisor to accept this and enter it into the system. After the mistake was found, the employee involved was sentenced to 5 years of forced labor constructing the ringworld.
The ringworld itself was celebrating the 5 billion worker milestone in 557 when the stockpiling of raw materials was complete, enabling construction on the frames. Two frames would be built in orbit around the star to prepare for the inner and outer ring construction on the completed ringworld.
Unfortunately for the citizenry, the Nivenian Illuminati succeed in destabilizing the government in 554 when they crashed a nuclear salt-water spaceplane into the new bureaucratic center, causing a compression of the engine, and an atomic explosion. Seven hundred thousand lives were lost, and building regulations were put in place to necessitate 30 centimeter-thick steel walls or meter-thick concrete. Due the the exponentially dropping price of steel, the new regulations were not prohibitively expensive. The Nivenian cities began to take on the look of metal spires after the regulations were passed, with a concrete-metal foundation. The population of Nivenia Prime in 550 was 558,334,816,506 and the population of the Nivenian Empire was 571,034,839,560.
549 BNE to 540 BNE Edit
In 549 BNE, Sanchez died. Although there was a method for transition of power in theory, General Sharon Miller declared herself the new dictator, completely forgoing the electoral process. Although the transition was (mostly) peaceful on Nivenia Prime, the colonies rebelled, leading to a brutal thermonuclear exchange between Nivenia Prime and its colonies. A11 had incited the rebellion this time too, so martial law was declared there once the war was over.
Objection to Miller's policies among the radical environmentalist movement lead to many of the orbiting O'Neill cylinders to leave for the interstellar cometary cloud a thousand AU away. This became common practice for anyone who was unhappy with the government, and numerous conspiracy theories involving cometary cloud civilizations have appeared in the meantime. The remaining O'Neill cylinders unified in 546 to form the Nivenia Station, a huge hub of thousands of O'Neill cylinders focusing on interplanetary trade.
The ringworld frames were completed in 544 BNE. Although these were very thin, and not suited for habitation or even for artificial gravity, they were considered a huge milestone. At this point, the manufacture of the bulk of the material for the ringworld could begin, and after this the material would slide into the frame of the structure and be welded together. The population working on the ringworld now topped 10 billion. Mining on A11, A12, A12.1, and B4 was increasing exponentially, and numerous proposals were being filed about the possible extraction of large amounts of material from the system's gas giants and ice giants. While these ideas were still far in the future, the space infrastructure needed to implement them was quickly being created.
On 542 BNE, one of the larger domed cities had another, smaller dome develop on its roof. A new city was forming there, populated mainly by the extremely wealthy. This was another major step toward the urbanization of Nivenia Prime. However, the population of Nivenia Prime was facing an issue. The waste heat from their civilization had almost completely melted nightside, and the water was flooding everything! The solution was obvious. Creating a really deep borehole and dropping a giant thermonuclear bomb into it, the Nivenians created a hole 500 km wide and 50 km deep for excess water to flow into, while transporting more water into space for the construction of more habitats. These solutions worked well, and Nivenia Prime continued to grow. The population of Nivenia Prime in 540 was 761,293,820,367 and the population of the Nivenian Empire was 793,027,501,747.
539 BNE to 530 BNE Edit
In 537, Miller declared a "New Nivenian Empire" to replace the old government. This was followed by a culling of unnecessary key supporters, a slight cut in taxes, and a massive initiative for a reliable interplanetary transport network "to facilitate economic, demographic, and cultural exchange" and to cement Imperial authority. Construction began at a rate not seen before, and unemployment dropped to an all-time low. The new Nivenian Empire was defined by increasing arrests and shortening incarceration periods so that more money could be made. During this period, the speed of life increased dramatically, leading to a part of the Nivenian culture demanding hastiness and work.
534 saw the revival of the Nivenian Military, now used to discourage rebellion within the empire. The trust, now quite a ways into the ringworld's construction, began setting up orbital transport and defense facilities and turning a huge profit from Miller's efforts. 533 saw the radical end of the civilian response to increasing government power, namely the riots on Nivenia Prime and A11, with explosives being used on both sides.
The rest of the decade saw rioting and suppression continue until it finally died out in early 530. Miller declared victory over terrorism, and began passing new laws to cement her power. However, this all abruptly ended when Benjamin Gray, the leader of the Illuminati, assassinated Miller and declared himself the ruler of the "New New Nivenian Empire." This would prove to be a huge turn for the worse. The population of Nivenia Prime in 530 was 1,044,369,275,016 and the population of the Nivenian Empire was 1,118,638,602,640.
529 BNE to 520 BNE Edit
Gray, leader of the Nivenian Illuminati, had declared himself the ruler of the "New New Nivenian Empire." Gray began his campaign for "newness" by installing new voice recording devices in most parts of society, leading to a police state. As one might imagine, the police were quite pleased by this new development, deciding to make even more frivolous arrests than they were before. Then, in 527, Gray demanded the appropriation of all private businesses into the government. This met with considerable resistance from the majority of the public and part of the military itself. Rebellions in 527 and 526 were crushed without mercy, but the tides changed when soldiers refused to drop a giant thermonuclear bomb on Nivenia Prime's most urbanized area, which was revolting. When these soldiers rebelled, a long, bloody civil war began, with billions of soldiers on both sides. Before long, Nivenia Prime successfully established independence from Gray's regime, and promptly split into left and right Nivenia Prime, with the two sides being enemies. Of course, no one knew which was which, leading to another bloody civil war while Gray, pressing his temporary advantage, shelled the planet from orbit. In 521, though, Gray was finally defeated, leading to 3 factions on Nivenia Prime, and 1 faction per colonized planet in the rest of the system.
Though a hundred and fifty billion died in the war, the birthrate shot up during this decade, leading to a huge population surge. Many moved to other planets or orbital habitats, but the mergers of domed cities were beginning to get so numerous and hard to keep track of that the planet was divided into a new system of local and regional government: Districts, each with about half the authority of the former domed cities and a quarter of the authority of the previous planetary government, the domed cities themselves, which kept about half their power and gained some of the judicial system, and submunicipal areas, which gained the same powers as homeowners associations had previously. The new system meant that even if two domed cities touched, they would still be seperate units in the same district.
The matter of the new ruler was much more difficult to decide. Two of the three factions on Nivenia Prime became democracies, and the third was the direct descendant of the former "New" Nivenian Empire, ruled by former ruler Sharon Miller's nephew Keith Miller, who declared himself Emperor Keith I. Keith I decided that all of this "New" nonsense was just that, avoidable new nonsense. He decided to bring about the return of actual government and policing that was not oppressive. The following decades were marked by the wars of reunification.
The population of the Nivenian Empire in 520 BNE was 692,482,034,122 and the population of the Nivenia System was 1,564,204,396,118.
519 BNE to 510 BNE Edit
In 519 BNE, the Nivenian Empire, reduced to just less than half of the area of Nivenia Prime, began a military buildup with the intent of retaking the rest of Nivenia Prime by force. As the Nivenian Empire controlled the satellites orbiting the planet, they would have the option of using "rods from god," a weapon composed of a 1- to 20-meter metal rod designed to fall from orbit and blow stuff up. These could be improved with nuclear warheads too. War was officially declared in 517 BNE, when the Nivenian Empire focused its military force on the Democratic Republic of Northern Nightside (DRNN), destroying its infrastructure in a matter of weeks. The DRNN's military, however, became a guerilla resistance force against the Nivenian Imperial Armed Forces. After several years of sporadic fighting, the DRNN formally surrendered in 512 BNE. This war cost 50 billion lives in total
When the war between the Nivenian Empire and the DRNN began, the third faction on Nivenia Prime, the Confederacy of Southern Nightside (CSN) began a military buildup of its own, as well as a revolutionary laser-point-defense network to protect against rods from god and missiles. The Nivenian Empire, concentrating on defeating the DRNN, took notice but could not do anything. In 512 BNE, when they took over the DRNN, they were much weaker than when they started in terms of morale, and did not immediately declare war against the CSN. Instead, the CSN, seeing its advantage, invaded the region of the Nivenian Empire that had previously been the DRNN, and took about half of the region with very little resistance. However, they eventually crashed into an advancing Nivenian army in 511 BNE. With almost five billion troops on both sides, and spanning 500 kilometers, this battle was decisive in the war. Near-total casualties for both sides occured, with almost as many civilian casualties. This gave the Nivenian Empire a slight edge over the CSN since the Nivenian Empire still had billions of troops garrisoned in the former DRNN.
The population of the Nivenian Empire in 510 BNE was 1,379,205,715,407 and the population of the Nivenia System was 2,183,702,756,295.
509 BNE to 500 BNE Edit
The battles between the Nivenian Empire and the CSN in the rebellious territories of the former DRNN soon became commonplace, with millions of casualties every day. Both sides were using larger and larger tanks with missiles until someone invented a new weapon in warfare, the atomic blaster, in 507. The atomic blaster worked by using new, very good neutron reflectors to detonate a small mass of fissionable material and blast it out the front of the gun. Due to the technology of the era, the first atomic blasters were single-use only, and the size of a rocket launcher. However, a typical 2.5-gram charge would release 60 TJ of energy, making these extremely valuable assets in combat.
Meanwhile, the secondary of the system had fallen into the hands of the Trust, which became a commercial empire focused on ringworld construction and trading. They had reached the 40 billion mark on their employee count, and were now nearing the 10% mark on completion of the ringworld.
With the introduction of atomic blasters as weapons on airplanes and tanks, the Nivenian Empire plowed through thousands of kilometers of enemy territory in a matter of months, winning the war in a decisive victory in 505. Now with full control of Nivenia Prime, the Nivenian Empire could turn its eyes toward system-wide domination. The latter half of the decade was notable for seventeen suppressed rebellions in the former DRNN and CSN, and the rebuilding necessary after the wars were temporarily over. The Nivenian Empire needed a fleet to take over the other planets in the system, and they would build one.
The population of the Nivenia Prime in 500 BNE was 2,403,926,340,912 and the population of the Nivenia System was 2,681,307,627,475.
499 BNE to 400 BNE Edit
This century was a century of construction, science, and most importantly, reunification.
499 BNE to 490 BNE Edit
The Nivenian Empire had retaken Nivenia Prime from rival factions, and needed to build a fleet to retake the rest of the system. A11, A12, A12.1, and B4 all had separate governments by this point, so A11 was the closest target. The first years of the new century showed the development and testing of new coilguns and thermonuclear missiles designed to work in space. These weapons would augment the capabilities of the nuclear-salt water rocket engines for combat. Fusion reactors were huge and bulky, so conventional fission reactors were used, and the new ships were built with high-grade reflective aluminum alloy to reflect lasers. Each ship was to be five hundred meters long, a hundred meters wide, and 50meters thick and be towed into orbit via orbital ring, where they would use their nuclear fission rockets to accelerate to high speeds. The ships would use radar detection systems and laser tracking, and used 5.0 MHz, 100 square meter vacuum tube computers.
200 of these ships were planned, but cost analysis lowered this to 76. These "Atom-class" ships were crewed by twelve thousand Nivenians each, and were launched to A11 in 494. The ships arrived in 493 to bombard the planet with thermonuclear missiles and nuclear-salt water rocket exhaust, heating it to around 70 Celsius before the planet surrendered. A11 was accepted back into the Nivenian Empire with a military garrison of five Atom-class ships. The remaining 71 ships then went to the A12-A12.1 planetary system, arriving in 492 to an unconditional surrender without resistance. Ten ships were left in orbit, and the remainder went back to Nivenia Prime, arriving in 491. The Nivenian Empire had reclaimed the primary of its star system, but the secondary was currently out of reach due to the prices of fissionable propellant for the nuclear salt-water engine. Faced with this, scientists began developing a method to convert a billion-ton fusion power plant into a hundred million-ton fusion rocket.
The population of the Nivenia Prime in 490 BNE was 3,702,755,265,959 and the population of the Nivenia System was 3,971,947,163,920.
489 BNE to 480 BNE Edit
The 480s were a period of medical advancement for the Nivenian Empire. Having retaken their primary, a fusion rocket was under development to transport their fleet to the system's secondary, and their economy had more or less returned to normal. Due to the atrocities and deaths of billions in the previous wars of reunification, mostly made possible by nuclear physics, the main focus of research changed from nuclear physics to medicine. Even though Emperor Keith I and his administration were attempting to push nuclear physics even farther with the fusion rocket, most scientists were against this endeavor. The medical technology of the Nivenian Empire, or the ANWS before it, had not changed substantially since its inception, and was still at levels that would have been considered late 19th century on Earth.
One of the first major medical breakthroughs of the decade was the discovery of a good antibiotic in 486, something which saved billions of lives, given the cramped living conditions that most Nivenians lived in. Biology advanced in leaps and bounds as a science, and Chemistry did too, though to a lesser degree. In 484, most cellular biology had been discovered, leading to new sterilization methods. Once it was determined that when seeds are exposed to nuclear radiation, some of the planets produced grow bigger, the size of most food items doubled, as well as their labor efficiency.
Another technological advance of this decade worth noting was the discovery of the first experimental transistor in 483, a device with great possibility as a computational component.
With regards to colonization, the gas giant A4 was determined to have an atmosphere suitable for colonization using aerostats, and in 481, a colony of ten thousand nivenians dropped into the atmosphere for resource extraction purposes. As A4 was the only planet inhabited with a reasonable amount of sunlight, the alternative name Nivenia Secondus gained favor. The population of the Nivenia Prime in 480 BNE was 4,918,506,721,912 and the population of the Nivenia System was 5,473,275,027,452.
479 BNE to 470 BNE Edit
479 was defined by an experimental fusion rocket exploding and causing an uproar that forced the Nivenian Empire to pursue other methods of transportation. A concept gaining traction was the idea of nuclear pulse propulsion, i.e. a thermonuclear bomb pushes a pusher plate that accelerates the spaceship forward. In 478, testing was conducted in a research facility in solar orbit, followed by an actual drive being constructed in 477. Meanwhile, the Nivenian Navy continued to grow, and it now had 120 Atom-class ships at its disposal. For the next two years, Nivenian manufacturing turned to thermonuclear weapons for the nuclear-pulse rocket that would bring the Nivenian Navy to B4.
In 474, the nuclear-pulse rocket went into action, carrying more than a billion tonnes of fleet to the secondary of the Nivenia System. When they arrived, they made quick work of the resistance on B4, and re-established Nivenian control. The trust was quite supportive of Nivenian occupation, and the occupying fleet was surprised to see that the construction of the ringworld had continued to accelerate during the civil war. The number of workers had exceeded 150 billion, and the ringworld was set to be complete in only 25 years.
The reclamation of B4 brought the Nivenian Empire back to its former glory, but several billion Nivenians had vanished in orbital habitats that had just accelerated away from the system of nuclear-salt water propulsion. The population of the Nivenia Prime in 470 BNE was 6,602,894,726,498 and the population of the Nivenia System was 7,401,749,672,048.
469 BNE to 460 BNE Edit
In 467, the Nivenian Empire started efforts to colonize B3, the third planet from the system's secondary. The colony was much like the colony at A4, except with slightly higher gravity. B3 was used primarily as a source for large amounts of poly(p-phenylene-2,6-benzobisoxazole) for constructing the ringworld. The ringworld, having now reached 250 billion workers, was progressing quickly, with the halfway point being reached in the ringworld's construction. When the ringworld's construction finished, huge amounts of energy would have to be dumped in to speed up the inner layer and slow down the outer layer via electromagnet. So, a few tenths of a percent of the light from the primary would have to be focused onto solar collectors on the ringworld, activating electromagnets to spin the ringworld up. The trust was preparing for this for a long time, and started in 465 by constructing giant solar collectors and Fresnel lenses around the primary of the system. This meant that they had to establish at least a small base on mineral-rich A2 to get the materials.
However, all of these expenditures were draining the reserves of the corporations that formed the trust, and in 463 several declared bankruptcy, severely limiting work on the project. In the aftermath, the trust fell apart, but was supplanted by the Megastructural Construction Corporation (MCC), which bought all of its assets. The MCC, a private corporation owned by the Edwards family, used the Edwards fortune and the proceeds from the resale of non-ringworld related assets of the trust to speed up construction on the ringworld to get the project back on track by 460.
All of this caused quite a bit of political turmoil on Nivenia Prime, mainly fueled by distrust of big business. Most of the elections during this decade were accompanied by rioting, looting, and total wackos. This caused Emperor Keith I to opt to change the electoral rules to be much more restrictive toward the population, only letting distinguished scientists and engineers vote. The population of the Nivenia Prime in 460 BNE was 10,373,519,403,265 and the population of the Nivenia System was 11,710,472,519,506.
459 BNE to 450 BNE Edit
The decade of the 450s was marked by another population boom. At the same time, the space infrastructure was growing faster than ever. To compensate the enormous market for material transport, huge stations were under construction orbiting the habitable five, Nivenia Secondus, and B3. In 458, attention was turned toward A6.1 due to its useful and valuable pink spice deposits. The new mining industry on A6.1 took off due to the value of the pink spice and the proximity of A6.1 to Nivenia Prime. On Nivenia Prime, large advances were being made in the field of nucleics, and a new theory showed a possible way to construct useful force fields for ship protection and better fusion reactors. The new design used advances in Grand Unified Theories to change electromagnetic fields into strong nuclear fields under the right conditions. While this would be impossible at low energies, it would be potentially feasible at energies where GUT effects become important. This new type of shielding would also require a color superconductor to function properly, something not yet achieved in Nivenian science.
In 454, a milestone was achieved when the first transistorized computer was placed on the market. This new piece of computing technology could achieve processing speeds of over 40 kflop (40 thousand floating-point operations per second!), making it a milestone in Nivenian computing technology. This allowed the automation of over 10% of the Empire's clerical jobs over the next few years.
Politically, the 450's were for the most part stable, except for a paper-burning indecent in 456. An angry mob sacked the administrative building and burned most of the stored paperwork of the last two decades (luckily there were backups.). Unfortunately, the hundred million tonnes of paperwork burned inside a dome caused problems with the local air filtration and conditioning system which lead to catastrophic freon leaks. The population was evacuated. The population of the Nivenia Prime in 450 BNE was 16,531,846,387,603 and the population of the Nivenia System was 18,310,382,547,603.
449 BNE to 440 BNE Edit
The 440s began with the 600 billion worker milestone for the ringworld in 448, and the completion of the structure in 446. At this point, the ringworld was ready to be spun up. Electromagnets used refocused solar energy from both stars to push the inner section of the ringworld against the outer section, generating artificial gravity on the inner section. After a few months of this, the ringworld was ready for biosphere installation. Huge amounts of soil and water, and most importantly air, would have to be brought from hydroponics farms and icy planets to create a viable surface. These ringworlds were designed to emulate Nivenia Prime sunside conditions near the twilight regions, and therefore had constant, but dimmer than central sunside light. The introduction of the biosphere was completed in 445, and land began sale at 8.0 Kilocredits/hectare. The new Megastructural Construction Corporation, eager to keep its hundreds of billions of workers, immidiately started assembling the next ringworld using the proceeds of the sale of the first one. This ringworld was named Nivenia B Ringworld 00, and had the capability to support over 6 trillion just using conventional farming techniques.
This land stimulated the agricultural sector, which was now straining to support the population of Nivenia Prime, but addressed a larger problem: the ever-growing population of Nivenia Prime was creating so much waste heat that the planet was now heating to temperatures of over 35 Celsius. Nivenia B Ringworld 00 was a temporary solution at best, and even with nuclear salt-water rockets, colonization was still expensive.
Emperor Keith I decided on a four step plan:
- Subsidize ringworld construction to increase population capacity
- Enact a "three-child policy" for the next twenty years, where Nivenians were only allowed three children per pair.
- Contract with the MCC to use the mirrors and lenses from the ringworld spin-up to send fast interstellar laser-powered probes to other systems. Even though the computers would be massive, the probes could be made to weigh less than twenty tonnes, and sent towards other systems at a high fraction of the speed of light.
- Subsidize migration to the colonies
These reforms were enacted in the "Sustainable population increase" law, declared by Emperor Keith I in 442.
The population of the Nivenia Prime in 440 BNE was 17,810,405,284,681 and the population of the Nivenia System was 26,920,673,017,445.
439 BNE to 430 BNE Edit
The new population reforms were working nicely, and the MCC thought that with their new government support and growing workforce they could finish another ringworld by 428. As such, Nivenia B Ringworld 01's construction site was a popular place for visitors to go, and even more bought land in Nivenia B ringworld 00.
However, there was a large disturbance in the political dynamic at the time when Emperor Keith I finally died in 437. His daughter, Sharon II, now assumed the title of Empress in a remarkably peaceful transition of power. Empress Sharon II decided that the best course of action would be to continue her father's governmental policies, which is part of why the transition of power was so peaceful.
In 434, Empress Sharon II decided that since B3 could be colonized, it would help mitigate the population crisis, and fleets of colony ships were sent to B3 immediately. Nivenia Secondus, A11, A12, and A12.1 were also receiving their share of colonists (not so much on B4, but still some), and now all had populations of over a trillion. The administrative system was rapidly expanding to maintain cohesion, and A6.1 was colonized as well in 431, even though it did not have the right gravity (O'Neill paraboloids could compensate, but were expensive.).
During this period, an important technological breakthrough was made: by smashing atoms together in just the right way, physicists in the lab created a stable color superconductor. While this technology was far from completely developed, it would revolutionize many applications.
The population of the Nivenia Prime in 430 BNE was 19,064,206,463,892 and the population of the Nivenia System was 37,732,045,183,592.
429 BNE to 420 BNE Edit
Nivenia Prime was getting hotter. By 428, the temperature had passed 45 Celsius, and was still climbing. At this point, something needed to be done. Empress Sharon II declared the Nivenia Heat Disposal Initiative (NHDI), to do the following:
- The planet will be shaded from its sun with a giant Mylar sheet to lower temperatures and provide temporary relief.
- The gigacities will be required to install heat transfer mechanisms and huge radiators to dissipate some of the waste heat into space.
- Any new construction must use infrared-reflective materials on the outside to prevent re-absorption of radiated heat.
This plan worked nicely, with the solar shade providing some relief, and the municipal requirements and building codes working as planned. The second ringworld, Nivenia B ringworld 01, was also completed this year, providing another 6 trillions worth of living space. Fortunately, increases in the number of potential laborers from population increase was increasing too, and the Megastructural Construction Corporation opened its doors to trillions of new workers in 426. The increasing workforce lowered wages too, making construction easier. This new surge of workers brought the employment of the Megastructural Construction Corporation to a full 4 trillion, and the construction time of a ringworld around the secondary down to 5 years. Thus, Nivenia B ringworld 02 was completed in 422, and Nivenia B ringworld 03 was halfway done in 420.
These measures increased the carrying capacity of Nivenia Prime to 40 trillion, and the ringworlds to 18 trillion by the end of the decade, temporarily solving what would have become a Malthusian catastrophe.
The population of the Nivenia Prime in 420 BNE was 25,420,471,548,603 and the population of the Nivenia System was 46,181,548,607,386.
419 BNE to 410 BNE Edit
At the start of the new decade, the Nivenian Space Program decided to attempt to explore some of the nearby stars. To accomplish this goal, probes were built to conduct fast flybys, and a list of relevant stars was chosen, basically everything within 8 light-years. To propel the probes to the necessary velocities, giant mirrors would have to be built, which would reflect sunlight through Fresnel lenses to focus it. Only a small fraction of the primary's light would be needed, so the construction process begun in 417. Several dozen probes were constructed for each star, for redundancy. The probes were launched from 415 onwards, with new targets being found as fast as probes could be sent.
The ringworlds numbered 5 by the middle of the decade due to advances in construction and larger labor capacity, and could now be built in only two years. This provided an almost unlimited food supply to Nivenia Prime, which was still building heat transfer systems to deal with excess waster heat. The population capacity was rising, but all of these efforts were putting a great drain on the economy, so Empress Sharon II decided to take precautions and attempt to lower the size of the family through propaganda. This worked too, but the population would still increase slowly, so more ringworlds had to be constructed.
The population of the Nivenia Prime in 410 BNE was 31,923,064,832,185 and the population of the Nivenia System was 59,385,002,475,295.
409 BNE to 400 BNE Edit
Now that the population explosion was mostly under control, efforts were being focused on increasing population capacity proactively. For example, A2 and A3 were both colonized in 409 BNE as part of Empress Sharon II's Colonization Initiative. The Colonization Initiative established the following guidelines for colonization:
- For each object, the government should have a specified maximum colonization date.
- Anyone who colonizes an object before the government's date gets to keep it.
- However, even if step 2 is followed, government laws still apply
- If the government colonizes an object, then the government must eventually sell 95% of the land on that object to private individuals and corporations.
These new laws greatly sped up the colonization process, with the government incentive leading the Megastructural Construction Corporation to take advantage of this to lay claim to both A7.1 and A7.2 in 408 BNE, colonizing them in 406 BNE to establish ownership. These bodies had reserves of aluminum, magnesium, and silicon, materials needed for the construction of megastructures.
Meanwhile on Nivenia Prime, another project was underway in an attempt to build a giant station above Nivenia Prime. The station would be a huge structure composed of O'Neill cylinders designed to import food from the ringworlds and ship materials between the planets. When the project started in 405 BNE, no one expected the progress that would take place in the next year. Hundreds of O'Neill cylinders were built and launched, so that by 404 the station had a population capacity of 100 Billion. Similar progress happened in the years after, and by 400 BNE the station, now called Nivenia Prime station, had a population capacity of over 550 Billion. This of course was nothing compared to the 11 ringworlds around Nivenia B that were up by this time, but the station's construction facilitated interplanetary trade to the degree that extra-planetary goods finally became commonplace.
The population of the Nivenia Prime in 400 BNE was 37,372,454,806,723 and the population of the Nivenia System was 76,204,855,185,076. This decade was the first decade where more Nivenians lived off Nivenia Prime than on it.
399 BNE to 300 BNE Edit
This century showed a rapidly growing population and the beginnings of current Nivenian society.
399 BNE to 390 BNE Edit
The new century started with profound hope, as government and corporate outposts were established on B5.1, B3, A7.1, A7.2, A8.1, A10, A10.1, A11.1, and A11.2 during the first half of the decade. Medical science also made a starling discovery: Nivenian aging was caused by a number of complex, but identifiable mechanisms, which left the door open for immortality (although actual immortality was still a long way away.).
Empress Sharon II, seeing that the colonization of the Nivenia System was nearing completion, proposed two strategies for further expansion:
- Building ringworlds around the Nivenia System primary: A not unfeasibly hard task for a huge reward.
- Trying to colonize planets around other stars: An unfeasibly hard task for a relatively small reward.
Reviewing these options, Empress Sharon II decided to pursue option 1, but leave the possibility of interstellar colonization open by sending near-lightspeed robotic exploration missions to other stars. To accomplish these goals, Empress Sharon II turned to the Megastructural Construction Corporation in 392 BNE. They said that since the ringworlds around the secondary were not done yet, it would be economically unfeasible in the current market environment. However, in exchange for more government subsidies, they would begin gathering the materials needed. They also proposed a method to push the robotic probes: Huge mirrors would be built, capable of reflecting light from the primary through lenses and into tight beams, which would be shot into "laser-sails" attached to the probes to push them up to 95% lightspeed. Empress Sharon paid for the mirrors to be constructed, and declared that every detectable star in the galaxy must be eventually surveyed. In the last two years of the decade, the mirrors were built, and probes were launched to every detectable star within twenty light-years.
The population of the Nivenia Prime in 400 BNE was 43,710,475,927,454 and the population of the Nivenia System was 98,296,326,458,907.
389 BNE to 380 BNE EditThe thirtieth ringworld was completed in 389 BNE, and the secondary was beginning to noticeably dim. The Megastructural Construction Corporation was selling huge amounts of land to private farmers and large corporations alike, and was drafting the plans for a ringworld around the primary. In 389 BNE, probes had been launched toward every visible star within twenty light-years, and the first two probes had arrived to two systems nearly as diverse as Nivenia itself. These changes provided the political conditions for another random backlash against progress from the radical environmentalist movement, and the outflux of nearly a trillion Nivenians to random points in the interstellar cometary cloud.