The Third Era of the Human Race
The first era of human civilization ended with the mass evacuation of our dying home world, as humanity scattered to every corner of the solar system in the barely space-worthy vehicles which served as our homes for the next several generations. Once our populations learned how to survive on asteroids and planetesimals, and we were finally able to do more than just struggle for a fragile day-to-day existence, each group tried to create its own vision of Utopia. Humanity’s second era became a time of profound cultural experimentation, as various groups took very different approaches for rebuilding civilization.
The remains of some of those original home ships, rebuilt and modified a dozen times over, are still in service in new capacities. One these, once called Estação de Espaço Esperança, Estación Espacial Esperanza, and Space Station Hope, is now known simply as E3 and acts as both a neutral meeting ground and collaboration space for different human populations. This has turned the venerable facility into the de facto capital of humanity.
Many of the second era’s great initiatives were started on E3:
- The standardization and distribution of basic technology for improving each person’s quality of life.
- The ongoing search for the ships which lost contact with the rest of humanity during the evacuation.
- The attempt to build first era Mexican physicist Miguel Alcubierre’s proposed faster-than-light drive —an initiative which ushered in humanity’s third era.
Humanity’s first era happened all on one world; its second era was interplanetary; its third will be interstellar.
Titles for stories set in E3 include the people and ships of humanity’s new era.