(Martial Law: Book One)
Christopher G. Nuttall
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Part I: Ensign
From: An Unbiased History of the United Nations. Williamson, Mike. Baen Historical Press, Heinlein, 2555.
We have seen in the preceding chapters how the factors of improved access to space, growing ethnic and international conflict and endless Wrecker attacks led to the exodus of human industry to the solar system, where safety could be guaranteed. The construction of the first orbital towers, the development of fusion power and – not coincidentally – ever-harsher regulations on Earth ensured that the space-based communities would lose most of their loyalty to Earth. The development of the Jump Drive by Professor Kratman in 2156 merely cemented that trend.
The first viable extra-solar colony world was discovered in 2157 and settled under the auspices of the UN. The land was shared out among interested groups who could afford space on the first colony ships – and the vast bribes paid to various UN bureaucrats – and those who were victims of ‘historical oppression.’ The result, for reasons that will be examined later, was a catastrophe of the first order. The next seventeen worlds to be settled by the human race were established by various nation-states – America, Britain, China, France, Russia and many others – and immigration quotas were firmly centred on those who could fit in. Although this policy was regarded – not entirely without reason – as racist, the UN was unable to counter it, as national armed forces were still a significant power. Other worlds, including Heinlein, Balboa and Williamson’s World, were settled according to a political ideal, or by corporate interests. By 2200, there were nearly one hundred and eighty worlds settled by the human race, with an ever-growing sphere of exploration and secret settlement.