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But it was not how we expected it. Before, we had dreamed of meeting aliens that roamed across the stars in graceful starships, ruling countless worlds, who could teach us the mysteries of the universe. In fact, we were hopelessly wrong. The Aash'n are a race of refugees, numbering just a few hundred million, who have been fleeing an ancient and forgotten disaster for thousands of years. Most of them don't even understand how simple machinery works. And, perhaps most tragically of all, we are stuck with them.
We are only the fifth race they have made contact with across an entire galaxy. The four before us have all flatly denied the Aash'n permission to land, or worse, attacked them. But this time the Aash'n could not escape - their ships were in disrepair, their fuel supplies drained. We could either open our world to five hundred million extraterrestrials and play host to them for what could be centuries whilst they repaired their ships - or we could let them die in orbit over our world. We did the only sane thing.
Some would say that the result of Contact has been advantageous. The East and the West no longer fear one another, although the two systems still compete. We cooperate, sharing our knowledge and resources as we slowly piece together the ancient Aash'n technology to allow our extraterrestrial guests to leave. But war is still common. European power has redoubled as it becomes host to the world's most powerful industries. Nuclear weapons still sit in their silos, ready to fire if necessary. And perhaps the greatest tragedy is the sacrifice we made to allow the Aash'n to land; vast areas of sub-Saharan Africa were rendered lifeless following the overfarming required to sustain the visitors, and few can forget the massive tidal wave that rolled around the Mediterranean when an Aash'n vessel overshot its designated landing point in Libya.
Our world has changed, but even nearly half a century after the arrival, we still cannot say whether we have changed for better or for worse.
The Aash'n naturally have their own language(s), which includes words and sounds that can't be pronounced - or would at least be too ridiculous to spell phonetically - so they are represented with asterisks (*). It's up to you how how pronounce these sounds.
This timeline is still being built an internal consistency may take a while to fully harmonize. Sorry.
Some of the political decisions I've laid out here may also be completely ridiculous; please point them out and make them clear to me as scathingly as you wish.
- History, Post-Contact
- Braking Day
- Global Politics
- Project ASCENSION
- Space Programs
- Anti-Aash'n movements