Dragon Magazine (issue 88)

One of the most popular topics for debate among pure strain humans and mutant animals alike centers around the question: What was the world like before it blew up? Scholars and adventurers of nearly every Cryptic Alliance have searched the world for clues on the history of the “Gamma World” (as inhabitants of Earth are prone to call it in the middle of the 25th century). The results are often confusing and contrdictory, deepening the mysteries of the past.

Careful research has brought to light the following information on the years before the old world ended and the Gamma World began. It is possible that adventurers might recover some or all of this material as they explore the ruins of the Ancients or communicate with living beings or intelligent computers who might have survived the wars. Obviously, this information is of great use in establishing a consistent GAMMA WORLD® game campaign. The GM, however, should feel free to alter, delete, or add to this timeline if he wishes, to create his own personalized game world. Contradictory information may be given to player characters during a campaign; data from the Shadow Years and after is especially questionable in accuracy.

1945
— First use of atomic weapons in warfare.

1957
— Sputnik I, the first artificial earth satellite, launched

1961
— First manned spacecraft (Vostok I) launched

1969
— First manned lunar landing made by Apollo 11 spacecraft

1981
— American space shuttle service begins (earth orbit).

1988-1990
— World War III, world- wide general conflict between East and West, limited nuclear weapons exchange before ceasefire

1999
— First self-aware “think tank” computer activated

2002
— First manned spaceflights to Mars launched (Ares I/II); primary base established at Mariner Valley

2003-2021
— Ecosystem collapse in Atlantic and Pacific oceans; world-wide food and water shortages, severe civil disturbances; collapse of Japanese and European economies.

2010
— American, Chinese, Indian, and Soviet international conferences lead to establishment of the First World Council.

2013
— Rise of the first commercial business blocks to control countries.

2019
— First commercial spaceport opens (First Texan Space Complex)

2020
— First Earth-orbital commercial space factory assembled.

2034
— American and Canadian governments unify and form United North America.

2046
— Orbital city Atlantis becomes first politically independent space colony; moves to Martian orbit

2047
— Columbus, Magellan, and Marco Polo unmanned interstellar probes launched from Earth orbit.

2050
— Brazil establishes SAEU (unified South American government).

2061
— Columbus reaches Alpha Centauri and maps local planetary systems.

2066
— Establishment of Mount Olympus and Mount Arsia colonies on Mars.

2072
— Magellan reaches Tau Ceti; discovers terraformable planet (Gaea).

2076
— All Martian colonies gain political independence through treaties; Federation of Mars established.

2077
— SAEU collapses after civil war.

2078
— Mutiny aboard International Station One (first true space war), arrest and execution of mutineers.

2087-2089
— First Venerean terraforming project attempted, but fails.

2095
— Lunar population reaches 10,000 at Tycho Center moonbase.

2100
— Genesis project (re-terraforming of Earth’s environment) completed.

2101
— Terraforming of larger asteroids begins.

2104
— The Three Suns, the first manned interstellar spacecraft, launched toward the Alpha Centauri system.

2104-2111
— Widespread civil disorders in Asia lead to formation of Asian Coalition, collapse of Soviet Union.

2109
—Thorium fusion propulsion system perfected and goes into systemwide use.

2120
—Three Suns arrives at Alpha Centauri, establishes first extra-solar human colonies at Gagarin, Armstrong, Greenwood, and Sorokin.

2120
— Second Venerean terraforming project attempted; project crew lost in satellite collision.

2126
—Start of international conferences to develop a world government.

2131
—Sorokin colony abandoned.

2132
— The Humanity launched for Tau Ceti system.

2138
—Artificial gravity control achieved.

2144
—Martian world population reaches 10,000 (combined colonies).

2145
—World Union established; all national governments subordinated to World Union General Council in London. Uniform currency (the domar) established worldwide.

2163
—Construction of Trans-Plutonian Spaceyards completed.

2182
—Autonomists Society established, a terrorist organization promoting world-wide democratic anarchy.

2200-2300
— General dates for theìGreat Migrationî of manned and unmanned interstellar spacecraft to worlds within a 10-parsec radius of Sol; 28 colonization missions and 196 exploratory missions dispatched.

2236
—IMT (instantaneous mass transporter) tested and developed.

2261
—Albuquerque accident kills 5 million people in nuclear explosion.

2266
—Breakup of WU General Council; United America, Asian Coalition, India, and other countries develop divergent policies.

2277
—The Warden, the largest interstellar colony ship ever built, laid down at the Trans-Plutonian Spaceyards by the United Western Starship Cartel program.

2282
—League of Free Men established, promoting the rise of pro-world government factions; terrorism increases world-wide.

2288
— Warden completed; trials and loading begin for 45-year voyage to Xi Ursae Majoris double-star system.

2289
—Work on giant starship Morden begins at Trans-Plutonian Space Yards.

2290
— Warden leaves Solar System; 1.55 million human colonists and crew aboard.

2302
— Star Voyager II returns on robot drive with crew infected by Canopus Plague ship destroyed after infecting crew of Earth-orbital spaceport.

2302-2309
—Several major outbreaks of Canopus plague throughout Solar System; Iapetus colony sealed off and destroyed.

2309-2322
— “The Shadow Years” so called because of the world-wide destruction of records and archives through terrorist action and government-supported sabotage.

2309
—(Sept 16) Start of Social Wars; initial collapse of Earth civilization begins; rioting and terrorism spread. League of Free Men and Autonomists are major instigators of world-wide conflict.

2314
—Social Wars expand into space with terrorist strikes against Earth-orbital colonies, Tycho Center, and other spaceports throughout solar system.

2321
—Ecological warfare causes destruction of ocean plankton and collapse of all coastal economies; introduction of nuclear and dimension-warp warfare into conflict.
—Fragmentary transmissions from the Warden received; ship apparently entered radiation cloud and crew was lost.

2322
—(April 12) The Ultimatium, the first appearance of The Apocalypse, a radical group ordering an immediate cease-fire in world-wide conflict.
—(April 17) Radiation strike made against all major national capitals by The Apocalypse. Retaliatory attacks reduce Earthís civilization to ruins in one week. System-wide trade, transportation, and economic collapse.
—(May 23) Major strikes successfully disable space fleets around Jupiter and Earth. Two of Saturnís moons vaporized. From here on in, only fragmentary historical records can be found. Most pieces of data were obtained from friendly cybernetic installations and think tanks which were able to link up with the remains of hidden libraries, orbital installations, or earth/space communications systems. All further information is considered questionable at best and can only rarely be confirmed.
—Social Wars produce major world-wide volcanic and earthquake activity; collapse of polar ice-caps; world-wide flooding; ozone layer collapse with heightened exposure to ultraviolet and solar radiation. Extreme alterations and die-offs throughout biosystem of Earth.
—Processed-ice asteroid (guidance circuits sabotaged by terrorists) strikes Mars; eight-year dust storm and climatic disruption result. All colonies on planet isolated; Federation charter suspended for duration.

2323-2340
—Rise of every known Cryptic Alliance takes place from the intact cities and power stations of Earth.

2325-2330
—Satellite Wars change the technological levels of all the terraformed asteroids and moons of all the planets.

2330-2340
—Last known interstellar missions flee solar system from asteroidal and outer satellite colonies; TransPlutonian Spaceyards abandoned; all outer colonies except Saturn World Fusion shut down; Mercury mining colonies abandoned and apparently die out.

2331
—Trans-Plutonian Spaceyards assume control of their own programs and generate robotic ìlife.î

2336-2340
—Occasional reports from space communications systems of transmissions from the Warden; Status unknown.

2380
—Saturn World Fusion ceases all Earth-directed transmissions; fate unknown.

2381
—Severe worldwide earthquakes; explosive volcanism around Pacific basin.

2381-2388
—“Years Without Summer” blackouts and prolonged winters common.

2385
—Ultrawave transmissions from Trans-Plutonian Spaceyards report open warfare between cybernetic installation there and the presumably automated starship Morden. Further transmissions cannot be interpreted and may be in code.

2399
—Short period of lasercom contact with Deimos Base at Mars; PCI at Deimos noted to be insane; no information on Martian colonies.

2420
—Strange transmissions picked up from Wardenís last known position.

2450
— Now