2469 500th Anniversary of the First Moon Landing in the Sea of Tranquility.
The first human activities in the decades "after Tranquility" were characterized by few low-flying manned space stations and occasional orbital flights, propelled by large and expensive chemical rockets. Since then, much has changed.
Today, 40 million people live permanently in interplanetary space, on the inner planets and the outer moons. Small "tin cans" have given way to spacious habitats. Megatons of material are sent into orbit by laser launchers and linear accelerators. And the orbital transfer is even more extensive, because Earth and Mars orbit are much closer to each other energetically – and therefore economically – than the planetary surfaces.
The interplanetary economy is thriving. While there are tensions between the system powers there has been no major military conflict in space recently. Earth's self-imposed isolation has been in place for more than 100 years. Initially, the embargo by Earth was dramatic for space stations and habitats, but the interplanetary civilization has come to terms with the situation. The initial shock has long been overcome with the solar system being now independent of Earth. The interplanetary economy is currently in a long-lasting growth phase.
In the previous decade, humanity has made two great leaps forward. Just 11 years prior a spaceship matched the speed of light for the first time in the famous Lighthugger-Flight. And the development of FTL propulsion systems continues to make great progress. The first colony ship with FTL drive has just left the solar system. Only 42 years later, a period shorter than between the sixth and seventh moon landing, the first interstellar merchant ship will set off for the stars.
Not only space travel has changed fundamentally during the 500 years since Tranquility. Humanity itself has also changed. Most people have genetic optimizations: association boosters, IQ upgrades and artificial savant aspects. Nano-implants provide advanced sensor technology, connectivity and data storage, 4-color vision, and multiple parallel thought processes. The biological bodies stay in good health for 150 years and after that there are perfect biomechanical replacements available. In the age of mind-backups final death is rather unusual, because people can continue to live as mech or in a simulation. With countless gene-mods and nanotech, humans have even adapted to life in space, including ZeroG gene hacks against calcium depletion, nanobot-assisted repair of radiation damage, and feet with opposing toes for a life in zero gravity. Yet not all gene-lines are compatible. The human gene pool is diverging.
Earth and the Sol system had great political turmoil in the past. There were wars, crises, and disasters. There were united world governments and political fragmentation. The civilization collapsed and was rebuilt. Yet, there have been enormous scientific advances, the effects of which have also changed daily life. The face of the earth looks different now due to climate change and the rising sea levels. But humanity supported by technology has managed to cope with these challenges. Big problems of the 21st century have been solved. The oceans are now being used as living spaces. Energy is cheap and the earth has just reached a turnaround point from which its ecology is recovering.
The interplanetary civilization has written its own history with religions and ideologies, military conquests and economic conflicts. Great political powers emerged and disappeared: after the isolation of Earth, the Moon/L4/L5 region dominated the system, then the United Mars colonies, later the Ganymede Directorate, and now we are experiencing the rise of the outer system.
The next 500 years will bring as many changes with humanity reaching out into the interstellar neighborhood meeting new opportunities as well as existential risks. The Sol system will be undergoing severe crises, interstellar wars, occupation and liberation, victory and defeat. It will be both, an aggressor, and a victim of conquest. The Sol system will unite and fragment again. Humans will colonize other solar systems, some of them so far away that they will have an independent future. They will have to find their own ways among other species.
The human sphere will become multipolar other human population centers rising and surpassing the Sol system. And then the new interstellar humanity will be drawn into the dramatic developments of the local sector and will learn that stability is not a given.
2471 Fashion War on Venus.
The so-called Fashion War, also known as the Retro Incident or the 10-minute war, is a military conflict between two floating cities in the upper Venus atmosphere: Taibo IV and Nueva Mesilla. The violent exchange result in unexpected high damage and a large loss of lives: 14,288 temporary casualties that are restored from backups, but also 1,598 permanent deaths.
Taibo IV, the old former Brazilian dome habitat, is attacked by Ciudad Nueva Mesilla, a bubble raft. Both habitats are badly damaged in the process. Taibo sinks into deeper layers of the Venus atmosphere due to vacuum loss and must be abandoned. This happens so quickly that a large part of the biological population cannot be evacuated. Almost everyone has backups. Many however lose months or years of memories and of course their biological bodies. Nueva Mesilla undertakes an emergency fragmentation distributing the population over still operable segments. A third of the habitat is lost with little loss of life.
At first glance, this conflict is about the leadership in the fashion industry. The inner system is very rich in energy and resources. Venus dwellers can afford to spend most of their day with leisure and entertainment. So, fashion and lifestyle trends are important economic factors.
Nueva Mesilla is a founding member of the Cyclist Working Group, a network of tradition-oriented habitats. Cyclists have taken on the role of conservatives. The past five centuries have shown that nothing stays the same, but trends keep repeating themselves. New developments in art, fashion, entertainment, and philosophy adopt previous trends mixing and modifying them to create the next wave. Permanent change is the constant. Classic conservatism has been replaced by Cyclism, a dynamic variant of conservative thinking that has come to terms with change and uses it as long as the changes stay within established boundaries.
In contrast, Amadistas like the Council of Taibo IV reject the notion of economic cycles, fashion trends, and meme waves. The Amadist movement "Sendero Amado", after Cecilia Amado, primarily recruits young people under the age of 100 who have gone through many waves without anything having substantially changed in their life. Amadistas try to break the cycles.
The situation is exacerbated by the fact that the technical development stagnated in the 25th century. There has been progress, for example in space modulation, but people's everyday lives in the wealthy communities of Venus have not changed for a long time. The generation that came to economic and political power 100 years ago during the establishment of humanity in the solar system is still in control. This generation is over 120 years old, often 150 years. Some still have their biological bodies. Though, many are now uploading and living on as androids. The youths under 100 sees no way to displace the older generation. This so-called "expendable generation" has become desperate and radicalized.
The conflict between Cyclists and Sendero Amado has worsened over the last 50 years. Cecilia Amado was one of the first trying to counter Cyclism with spectacular disruptions. In the ends, he failed. Since then however, the movement has become exceedingly popular. In some Venus habitats Amadistas have even been able to displace Cyclists as the ruling party. Mostly through internal hostile takeovers using toxic memes associated with excessive psychological violence.
The current fashion war has been sparked by a disruption carried out by Taibo against Nueva Mesilla. The disruption has discredited a new fashion memeplex, called *Retro*, which the Cyclists WG lead by Nueva Mesilla created at great cost. Taibo's activities caused damage to the new *Retro* trend drastically reducing Nueva Mesilla's reputation. As Nueva Mesilla's exchange rates begin to fall, both habitats start using military weapons almost simultaneously. From Nueva Mesilla's point of view, it is the only way to show predominance in an otherwise hopeless situation. For Taibo on the other hand it is just limited physical blow to a fallen and already isolated star.
Both habitats use non-nuclear hypersonic missiles as attack weapons. The defense comprises a multi-layer ceramic pellet storm, high-speed defense pods with laser armament and electronic counter measures, ECM. For hypersonic weapons the habitats are only two minutes apart. The exchange is largely automated. Other habitats do not intervene. After a short time, the damage done is so severe that the hostilities must be stopped.
This exchange of blows is an impressive demonstration of modern warfare.
The conflict between Cyclists and Amadistas continues.
The *Retro* trend ends before it starts.
The generational problem remains unsolved.