24c-26c: The First Expanse
Humanity expanded beyond Sol under a Belter-Socialist government; establishing colonies who lost touch with their home. The Emergence Era ended after the Belter revolution established he Belter-Socialist terran government. Scientists discovered superluminal travel, which allowed humanity to establish colonies in hospitable systems. Travel hazards and times combined with local issues to lead colonies to break with Terran government and establish their independence.
The Belter revolution led to unifying humanity under a pan-Terran government—the Belter-Socialist Regime. This regime focused on massive government regulation of the economy, but minimal intrusion into individual mores. This Leftist-Statist regime encouraged improving communication and transportation in an effort to expand its control on more remote, Solar, human colonies. This burst of technology enhanced the Beltar-Socialists popularity, disguising some inhuman treatment of dissidents.
A significant improvement in transportation—superluminal travel—resulted in massive colonization. Hop travel allowed humanity to explore other star systems, but the nature of the Soup meant that human settlements were not necessarily proximate to one another in real space. This led to other discoveries in astrogation which helped locate where many human colonies were located. The hypo-predictability of Hop travel required development of AI technology to calculate safe travel. Humans discovered many systems with life compatible with theirs—including parasites that complicated interstellar travel.
Initially, the development of AI computing to manage hop travel helped the Belter-Socialists control key trade between colonies. However, non-government organizations covertly developed AI systems and acquired the data necessary to challenge the government monopoly.
With the government monopoly broken, colonies began to drift away from the Terran government. The key break developed in, of all places, recording time. The Terran government maintained the ancient Anglo-Babylonian Time (Base-60, 365 day year) calendar for tracking years. This calendar was useless on systems with different stellar revolutions. Local colonies developed their own calendars. Many colonies adopted a new zero-year; either with the first year beginning when Hop travel was developed, or when the colony was established. Most colonies adopted a metric time system.
This break in time recording led to further alienation between Terrans and colonials. Problems in the predictability in hop travel (later identified as hop pollution) caused ties between most colonies to sever. The period of the First Expand drifted into the First Decline.