The Mineman Saga
An Alternate Timeline
Please keep in mind: the gaming group that wrote this history is made up of US Navy Sailors -- active, retired, and reserve ( yours truly) living in Southern California. All of us met and began gaming in 1986 while stationed aboard the USS Knox, homeported in Yokosuka, Japan. While that may seem trivial to the many 2300 gamers out there that may read this, it plays an important role in how we revised the history - Scott
Following the Twilight War, the United States was enduring one of the deepest crises in its history. A split occured between the martial-law Military Government and the ad-hoc Civilian Government during the period of post-war recovery. While technically the United States "won" the war, the devistation caused to Europe, North America, and Asia meant that they couldn't truly enjoy the fruits of their victory for at least a hundred years. Both MilGov and CivGov argued over how best to conduct the recovery, and in the first difficult years following their split, Mexico took advantage and occupied territory in the Southwest; territory it believed stolen from them in the first place. A majority of people within the occupied area, including those of Hispanic descent themselves, were opposed to their new masters, and began a guerilla conflict that would last for nearly a century.
Additionally, the right-wing fringe, primarily in the old Confederate states, began its own neo-fascist campaign. Calling itself "New America", its stated purpose was to "bring a New America out of the rubble of the old". However, it used terror, repression, and outright enslavement to impose its will upon a mostly unwilling populace. Re-segregation of the races, enslavement of non-whites, forced labor camps with political indoctrination for those who disagreed with the New American philosophy, and suppression of civil rights for all except the "New Aristocracy" were the order of the day for much of the South, and for years it proved too tough for either of the US governments to correct.
Yet the resilience of the American people could not be held back for long. In 2020, CivGov's new President, Harold Milner ( ex-D, Nevada), offered a concession to MilGov. In return for acceptance of civilian rule, MilGov could retain effective control of the areas of the country it was already managing, as well as a stronger defense role in the other parts of the US. MilGov, having already turned most local functions over to elected councils with only "advisors" to execute the authority over those regions, was more than willing to cooperate with President Milner.
After the first joint CivGov-MilGov elections following the Conference of Memphis, Milner set America on a path of "Renewal, Revival, and Recovery", and gave notice to New America and the Mexican occupation armies that the reunited United States government would use any means at its disposal to regain control over the entire nation. The now-subordinate Joint Chiefs of Staff were given their orders, and New America was nearly eliminated from their strongholds in the South and the Rocky Mountain region by 2023, and by the time our game begins, any positive sentiment towards New America, and fascism and racism in general, has been relegated to a very small fringe of malcontents. In 2302, one never sees the old Confederate Battle Flag displayed openly anymore.
Under the so-called French Peace, however, Mexico was able to hold onto the occupied territory in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Not wishing to bite off more than they could chew until the recovery was complete, the US military merely strengthened the border and supplied anti-Mexican guerillas with arms and other forms of support. Mexico responded by becoming more repressive towards the people of the occupied territory, and complaints to the international community about "American interference in Mexican internal matters". However, the international community, France included, really wasn't interested in what a third-world military dictatorship thought, and so remained neutral in the conflict so long as Mexico and the US weren't at war with each other.
In 2099, Texas, siezing an opportunity while Mexico troops were forcibly annexing Cuba and Puerto Rico, declared independence and, with US logistic support, drove the Mexican forces south and west of the Rio Grande by 2013. The Mexican forces, demoralized by its defeat at the hands of the Texans, became even more brutal to those living in the remaining occupied territories, bringing the Mexican Civil War. For four years Southern California, Arizona, and New Mexico fought against Mexican Federal troops in order to remove the occupier. The were joined by Baja California in 2105. That Baja joined came as a surprise to Mexico, as it had always been a part of Mexico. Yet many of Baja's people were refugees and descendants of refugees from southern California, holding pro-American views, particularly as the northern part of the peninsula was used as a staging area for forces supressing Arizona and southern California.
Mexican forces made their greatest mistake when they attacked Las Vegas, in US territory. The US government responded by annihilating the fleet threatening Los Angeles with air and naval assets based in Hawaii and San Francisco in a suprise night battle off the coast of San Diego, followed by an amphibious landing in the area just north of San Diego, near the former Camp Pendleton. American land forces concurrently took Arizona and New Mexico west of the Rio Grande, and within months US Marines met up with their Army counterparts south of Yuma, Arizona, and fortified a line running from Tijuana to Nogales to El Paso. At that point, France decided to intervene.
Arranging a summit in El Paso in 2106, the three nations agreed that the US and Mexico should end hostilities, and that the peoples in the disputed regions, which at US insistence included Puerto Rico and Texas, should hold referenda to decided their future. Arizona, New Mexico, southern California, Baja, Texas, and Puerto Rico were given the choice to a) join the US, b) remain with Mexico, or c) become independent. The first three by a wide margin chose to return to the United States, Texas chose independence, and Puerto Rico narrowly chose to remain with Mexico. Baja, however, by a 55% margin decided to join America. Mexico then claimed voter fraud had occured in all territories, especially in Baja. However French, Japanese, and Australian observers had ensured the voting was fair, and forced the Mexican government to accept the outcome through the threat of a complete trade embargo. The US-Mexico border is now ( 2302) nearly hermetically sealed, with only three ports of entry between El Paso and Yuma. Entry is all but impossible elsewhere, as armed troops have shoot-to-kill orders to defend the border, provided the entrant makes it past the 30m minefield just on the northern side of the 5m high electrified and brightly-lit fence.
With the United States mostly reunified, and with new resources added with the inclusion of Baja, the US government began anew their delayed reach for the stars. This coincided with redevelopment of the reaquired territories, with the opening of a new, greatly expanded launch facility south of Ensenada, Baja, and reestablishing Mission Control in San Diego, at the former Montgomery Field airport in Serra Mesa ( Guess where the author lives..). The Kennedy facility on Cape Canaveral, Florida was sold to a private firm, which later became Trilon Industries. Three newer launch facilites were also built by the US government; at Hilo, Hawaii; Boulder, Colorado; and near the former Edwards Air Force Base in California. Initially, the military spacecraft were to be operated by the US Air Force. However, with the advent of the stardrive, this responsibility went to the Navy, with the Air Force maintaining system defense in and near American colony worlds, as well as near Earth and the Mars colony.
A resurgent USA also brought Japan out of its isolation, with a great deal less heartache and cultural clashing than that experienced by both nations after the US first approached Japan in 1852. Japan had initially recognized MilGov, and arranged with MilGov the administration of Guam and the Mariana Islands in MilGov's name. This Japanese involvment in these American territories continues to this day. Although the US resumed its administration of the islands in 2072, 100 years after Okinawa was restored to Japanese sovereignity, both Japan and the US share small military spaceports on Guam, as well as cooperate in matters relating to the islands economic development and military defense.
Japan since the Twilight War annexed all of the Russian islands north and east of Hokkaido, the Micronesian islands save Guam, Palau, and the Marianas. Palau, one of the last of the former Trust Territory islands to gain independence, remains independent to this day, cashing in on a Japanese-built spaceport on its largest island. Japan also has two larger facilties, one near Kagoshima on Kyushu's southern end, and a leased facility in the Philippines, at the former Subic Bay Naval Station near Olongapo. The Japanese are strong supporters of their space effort, as well as America's, and at least a few citizens of each nation can be found in the other's colonies and outposts.
Canada's recovery wasn't nearly as tumultuous as that of its southern neighbor, but it wasn't entirely without its problems, either. Conflict with Quebec continued until 2015, when France recognized Canadian soveregnity over the renegade francophone province. Reunification with other distant parts of the country continued until the late 2020's, when the last warlord in the Northwest Territories surrendered to the RCMP. Development of mineral resources in the far north was a mainstay of the Canadian economy until very recently, and its manufacturing, forestry, education, and tourism industries continue to provide her people with a very high standard of living.
Canada's physical space effort lags behind that of the US, Japan, and Australia, yet her people are content to maintain their one colony and provide scientific and logistic support to the other three nations. Their only spaceport facility is near Vancouver, which provides spaceplane service to their orbital stations maintaining their small but advanced navy and colony vessels. Canadian military spacecraft designs are often copied or imitated by their allies, as ton-for-ton Canadian ships have been proven to be faster, better armed, and require fewer personnel to man them than other similar designs on the market ( One need only look at the 1990's Halifax-class frigates to see what Canada can be capable of in the 2300's. Give me a Halifax over a Knox-class any day....)
Australia in some ways has had a more difficult time of recovery, yet the strength of the Australian people to survive and triumph in the face of adversity continues even now. Despite the harsh conditions found there, Australia managed to weather the crises intact around the larger cities, and eventually reestablished Federal authority in remote areas. Tasmania had been left independent until recently, when a referendum in 2301 paved the way for the island state to reunite with the rest of Australia. The racist minority government in Papua was driven out of north-eastern Queensland in the 2210's, and Papua's majority Melanesians overthrew them in 2225. The Australian government reunited the Cape York Peninsula to Queensland following 5 years of direct federal rule in 2218, and Papua New Guinea remained independent after the coup.
Australia, with its vast natural resources and a drive to succeed, joined the US early in its journey to the stars, and has nearly the same number of colonies througout the stars as its more populous partner. Australian naval assets often excercise with the US Navy throughout Human Space, and less frequently train with the Japan Interstellar Self-Defense Force and the Royal Canadian ( Space) Navy. Its launch facilities are at Darwin in the "top end" of Australia, on the Cape York Peninsula north of Cairns, and on its Indian Ocean coast at Geraldton. Australia is leading negotiations with Papua New Guinea to lease land for a joint US-Canada-Japan-Australia launch facility at Lae.
Australia, Canada, Japan, and the United States have co-operated in their efforts at recovery and space exploration so well that the press has been referring to that alliance as "Pacifica", earning the respect of other nations and alliances througout Human Space, particularly Manchuria and the French-dominated ESA. The ideals of democracy and human rights championed by the Pacifica nations led them to re-form the United Nations, returning its seat to its original location at San Francisco in 2155. Avoiding the entanglements that characterized the UN in the twentieth century, the new organization is a forum for the nations of the Earth and beyond to settle their differences peacefully. In fact, much of the cooperation between nations fighting in the Kafer War can be traced to agreements made in San Francisco. Conversely, many of the conflicts between nations are also caused by resolutions passed by the Assembly.