Up until perhaps 350 AE, Vectors hadn’t really expanded beyond the orbit of Mars. There was lonely Luna Colony, but it was still an airless moon. A few robots were decaying on Mercury as a part of the Dawn March project sometime in the 200s. Venus was just a mess. TTI’s first exploration of the Jovian Moons and the creation of the Ganymede colonies began opening up the solar system in the late 300s, but those were still distant ice balls. It took a hailstorm of little moments and technical steps for Vectors to become an interplanetary species.

We’ll start with need. By 380, Mars was likely more densely populated than Terra was. It had a population of 3 billion Vectors on a planet maybe 1/5 the size of Terra. Overcrowding was on the horizon.

Technologically, the right place and right time was clearly now. ASR had developed the Thrust Drive, either the drive that makes modern space travel possible, or at least a precursor. This was likely in the early 300s. The terraforming of Ganymede started around 360, and making that distant, frigid world inhabitable made Venus look like a possible goal.

In the early 400s…maybe around 425, give or take…a lot of things changed in a narrow window. The IRPF was growing in power, establishing a system-wide set of reasonably consistent rules, and enforcing them in a winningly blunt and violent manner on the space pirates between Luna and Terra. The image of the heroic space patrol and a string of “I Want You!” type advertisements spread across the system. There was a new, brave, hero, an archetype that had slumbered for 400 years. Military Chic was suddenly hot, and Pulse pushed that image hard. And by 440, vectors had discovered evidence of alien civilization. The skies were full of mysteries, profit, and really sweet form-fitting jumpsuits. Even 300 years later, this is kind of a golden age: the dark gloom that the Whispers spread over Terra, the strange ambiguity of Transcendent technology, all that was in the unknowable future. Venus spun in the skies, and it spun the right way. 

Jewels started dotting the heavens: this period was a massive boom for Stellarum, who pioneered bluesky technology. Corporations with delusions of grandeur could hang a city in the sky, a custom worldlet with your corporate logo on the side. Life was good, and MarsCo’s allied companies sold the dream of manifest destiny in space…at least until the Whispers.