A Conclusive History of the United Nations Space Command: Chapter Two: The Colonial Period
Posted By: witelancer<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 12 December 2003, 6:31 PM
Author's Pre-Piece Note: This is not fanfic, technically. I wrote this to clear up the Halo backstory, and to show people what the UNSC really is, since i'm sick and tired of poorly based fanfics on this site. If you're looking to write a fanfic with the UNSC involved in it, I'd reccomend reading this beforehand so that you know what forms the UNSC. That's all.
Chapter Two: The Colonial Period
(Author's note: the Microsoft timeline gets very spotty throughout this period. I have only speculated on what I feel is a logical flow of time. I have not added any characters or significant events.)
Part One: The Inner Colonies are founded (2362-2390)
The launch of the Odyssey in 2362 enabled the UNSC to greatly expand the dominion of Earth. Thousands of volunteers signed up to emigrate to the Colonies, but only the best and brightest civilians were selected for the colonization effort. Aside from being a logical thing to do with any sort of colonization, the practice also resulted in a sort of elite culture in the Inner Colonies, as the colonists there consider themselves to be the most culturally advanced people in the UNSC.
Also, the colonization of the Inner Colonies (beginning with Reach) allowed for the militarization of human culture. The UNSC assigned escort vessels and hundreds of military personnel to each colony in an effort to disperse the gigantic and bloated UNSC fleet, which would now be kept busy by assisting the newly founded Colonial Administration Authority (CAA) in developing the new worlds. Terraforming equipment quickly was developed and shipped to the new colonies, allowing the colonists to create habitable planets as they pleased. Eventually, it was even considered "normal" to have an oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere and a climate close to that of Earth, thanks to the widespread terraforming enacted by the CAA and UNSC.
The effort to colonize the "Inner Colonies", as they're now called, was not only a morale boost to the entire UNSC and all of Earth's population, but also enabled the UNSC to disperse its fleet and create an interstellar economy. Freighters like the Laden (an independent freighter seized by the Spartans in TfoR) soon be came common as the new colonies developed a economic system that continued to fuel more colonization efforts.
In addition to the expansion of UNSC territory, the expansion era also allowed for the development of new technologies and a refinement of others. The SFTE was painstakingly re-developed, allowing for more accurate Slipspace jumps (although the properties of Slipstream space still made plotting coordinated military attacks a headache). Some time during this period of time, the Archer missile series and the Magnetic Accelerator Cannon (standard shipboard armament for UNSC ships nowadays) were developed.
As the UNSC continued to expand, older colonies began to become political and economic strongholds. Reach, for example, built up its titanium industry, supplying the shipyards in the Sol system with valuable titanium used in UNSC vessels' armor plating. By 2390, a mere 28 years after the launch of the Odyssey, aggressive colonization efforts by the UNSC and CAA resulted in 210 human-controlled worlds. Although not all of these colonies were completely terraformed, the initial population burdens imposed upon Earth were now lifted as colonists continued to expand the human empire.
Now, the colonies founded from 2390 onwards are considered the "Outer colonies", for the Orion Arm of our galaxy was becoming less and less of a challenge to colonize for the UNSC.
Part Two: The Founding of the Outer Colonies (2390-2525)
The founding of the outer colonies began in about 2390, as the UNSC urged more and more colonization. Self-seeking entrepeneurs and rejects of the Inner Colonies' elitist society began to expand outwards into the Orion Arm, carving out wide swaths of colonized territory. Also, the Inner Colony worlds became more stable. Rather than supply raw materials to Earth, and Earth send high-level technology to them, the Inner Colonies soon became economic bastions of their own, trading in high-level technology and creating military bases along the way.
For example, Reach, the fourth planet in the Epsilon Eridani system, became the primary naval facility of the UNSC, and also a training ground for the Marine Corps. It produced more ships than any other shipyard in the UNSC, including the Reyes-McLees shipyard built in 2510 over Mars.
By 2490, just a century after the birth of the Outer Colonies, the UNSC controlled over 800 worlds in the Orion Arm of the Milky Way galaxy, from tiny worlds like Harvest and Eridanus to the monstrous industrial colony of Reach and Earth itself. As the UNSC expanded, however, there was potential for disunity and fragmentation.
In 2494, a rebellion in the Eridanus system reached its peak. Two years after the formation of the insurgent movement, a UNSC fleet attacked the insurrectionists' base, losing four destroyers in a pitched space battle. Usually, these little brushfire wars, although bloody, made little to no significant impact in the UNSC's efforts to colonize the rest of the galaxy, as the insurgents were no match for the combined power of the UNSC fleet, which by this time was nearing the present-day standard of efficiency and firepower.
The Eridanus system, however, proved to be a hotbed of insurrection and rebellion. A traitorous UNSC officer, Colonel Robert Watts, sponsored a rebellion, and was only stopped through Operation TREBUCHET in 2513. His fleet destroyed, Watts escaped into the Eridanus system's asteroid belt, licking his wounds and waiting for another chance to strike at the UNSC.
And just four years later, in 2517, the most ambitious project in the history of the UNSC—Project SPARTAN-II, began when Dr. Catherine Halsey began to abduct children from the Outer Colonies(More about Project SPARTAN-II can be found in Chapter Three). Altogether, as the year 2525 approached, things were looking up for the UNSC—an empire of over 800 worlds was under their control, their military was well-dispersed and powerful, and the population worries of the 22nd and 23rd centuries were a thing of the past. But this future was to be dashed when on April 20, 2525, contact was lost with Harvest, an outer colony.