A Colony is any settlement off of the home planet of the settlers. These can range from the ten-entity research platforms of Observer III, Mesklin V, and Phantasm I, to the multi-billion-inhabitant worlds of Aresprime (Solprime-IV), Venus-λ (Sol-λ-II), Hivehom (Rhii'clict-ν-VI), We Made It (GAC00387909-η-I), Centaurus (Alphacentauri-ɣ-II), and deMarc's World (Epsiloneridani-ω-III)
History of ColoniesEdit
Throughout post-Rift history, the Colonies have been of incalculable importance. The ever-expanding frontier of settlement has kept the government of the Inter-Continuum Republic sufficiently occupied to stay the slow slide into decay, and through every truly major disaster the Colonies have been there to insure that the our future is secured.
Human Colonization actually predates the Rift. The first human colony, a space-based project called the Contained Orbital Habitat, was built in Terraprime orbit in -43 PRE. It served mainly as a home for satellite repair technicians, as a place to study the effects of zeegrav, and as a midway point for intraplanetary traffic.
The first Lunaprime colony, named Selene I, was built -33 PRE. It was built mainly from native materials, and was meant as a stepping stone to Aresprime and the other planets of the Solprime system. Over the next decade, Selenes II, III, IV and V were built, serving as research stations, habitats, frontier settlements, and spaceports to the rest of the system. Selene IV, an experimental research platform built to contain experiments in genetics and esoteric physics that could potentially threaten Terraprime and its myriad inhabitants, would eventually grow into the ill-fated (or, depending how you look at it, unbelievably lucky) New Geneva base.
In - 21 PRE, the lunar bases would eventually serve their intended, higher purpose, as the first Aresprime colony (named Heinlein Base) was constructed. New colonies would continue to be established on Aresprime right up until the ALICE II event. The newly opened frontier caused thousands to settle on Aresprime in what is known as the Dust Rush, fueled by dreams of better worlds, solitude, freedom from excessive government, sense of adventure, and questionable commercial ventures. The mostly lawless, ungoverned frontier eventually declared independence from Terraprime in -2 PRE, kicking off the Interrupted War.
A major factor in off-planet colonization had been that should some disaster befall Terraprime, humanity itself would still survive. This proved definitively true in the ALICE II event and the Energetic Period. Although an enourmous fraction of the Terran population, and the entire Lunar population, either perished or involuntarily Jaunted during these events, Aresprime escaped almost entirely unscathed. As soon as ships could be mustered, the Aresprime bases set aid to the chaotic Terraprime of the Energetic Period, accepted refugees, and attempted to rebuild the world and stabilize the massively complex situation that had resulted from the importations and exportations of the Energetic Period. Resettlement begain in 8 PRE, after the worst of the Energetic Period had passed, and Terraprime was brought back to a rough approximation of stability (both politically, ecologically, and geologically) by 12 PRE. The extraordinary efforts of Aresprime in the Reconstruction were one of the main factors in the recognization of the Aresprime Coalition as an independent entity.
Although the off-planet colonies saved Terraprime during the ALICE II disaster, the off-universe colonies saved every Terraprime-touched world after the Downfall. The so-called "Paranoid" or "Luddite" colonies established by xenoarcheologists, perceptive Paragons, and simple skeptics of the Benefactor proved to be the only ones to emerge unharmed from the Downfall, and it was they that, thirty years after the Benefactor disappeared, would reestablish contact with the now stranded and disparate worlds of the Confederacy and forge them into the modern Inter-Continuum Republic, aided by the Elonatha.