Timeline - The History of the Future
This take on the history of the future is based on the Human perspective and uses the dominant human calender.
After developing faster-than-light spacefaring capabilities based upon Prothean technology, the Asari begin to explore the mass relay network, and eventually discover the huge Citadel space station at a hub of many mass relays.
The Salarians discover the Citadel and open diplomatic relations with the Asari.
500 BCE: Founding of the Citadel Council
The Citadel Council is formed. The Asari and Salarians together colonize the Citadel and establish it as a center of the galactic community, led by the Council. This year is also known as 0 GS, the beginning of the Galactic Standard (GS) timeline.
First contact is made with the Volus. Eventually, the Citadel Council commissions the Volus to draw up the Unified Banking Act, which establishes a standard galactic currency known as the credit and links all galactic economies.
1 CE: The Rachni Wars
The Rachni, a species of highly intelligent hive-minded insects, are discovered when a Citadel expedition opens a dormant mass relay leading to their star systems. The Rachni prove to be hostile and begin a war with the rest of the galaxy. Negotiation with the Rachni queens is impossible because they cannot be contacted in their underground nests on the toxic Rachni worlds.
The Rachni Wars continue. The Salarians make first contact with and uplift the primitive Krogan, manipulating them into acting as soldiers for the Citadel Council. The Krogan prove able to survive the harsh environments of theRachni worlds and pursue the Rachni into their nests, systematically eradicating queens and eggs.
The Rachni are declared extinct. In gratitude for their aid during the Rachni Wars, the Council rewards the krogan a new homeworld. Free of the harsh environment of Tuchanka, the krogan population explodes.
300 – 700 CE
The Krogan begin to expand exponentially, colonizing many new worlds. Growing concerns about their expansion lead to the founding of the Special Tactics and Reconnaissance branch of the Citadel – The SPECTRES
Krogan warlords leverage veterans of the Rachni Wars to annex territory from other races in Citadel space. Eventually the Council demands withdrawal from the asari colony of Lusia, but the krogan refuse. A preemptive strike is made on krogan infrastructures by the Spectres. The Krogan Rebellions begin.
The Citadel Council makes first contact with the Turians around this time and persuades them to aid in the war. After the Krogan respond to the initial Turian offensive by devastating Turian colonies with weapons of mass destruction, the Turians vow to stop the Krogan from ever becoming a threat again.
Sometime after the Turians join the galactic community, the Volus are accepted as a client race of the Turian Hierarchy.
Realizing that the Krogan will never give in as long as they can replenish their fighters, the Turians unleash a Salarian-engineered bio-weapon known as the genophage on the Krogan. The Krogan population starts its decline.
The Krogan Rebellions end, though scattered Krogan insurgent actions continue for decades. The Turians fill the military and peacekeeping niche left by the decimated Krogan.
The Citadel Conventions are drawn up in the wake of the conflict.
The Turians are granted a seat on the Citadel Council in recognition for their service in the Krogan Rebellions.
1895 CE: The Geth War
The geth, machines created by the Quarians as a source of cheap labor, become self-aware. Fearing a geth uprising, the Quarians begin dismantling them. The Geth revolt against their Quarian masters, systematically drive the Quarians from their own worlds. The surviving Quarians are reduced to living as space-faring nomads aboard the Migrant Fleet. Contrary to expectations, the Geth do not venture outside the former Quarian systems into wider Citadel space, instead isolating themselves from the rest of the galaxy behind the Perseus Veil. As punishment for creating the Geth, the Citadel Council closes the Quarian embassy on the Citadel.
April 12: Yuri Gagarin aboard the Vostok 1 becomes the first human to travel in space. Humanity becomes a spacefaring race.
July 20: Apollo 11 lands on Luna. Neil Armstrong becomes the first human to walk on Luna, and the first human to walk on an astronomical object other than Earth.
July 20: Armstrong Outpost at Shackleton Crater is formally founded as the first human settlement on Luna, on the 100th anniversary of the first lunar landing.
Billionaires Victor Manswell and Chen Jianyu, frustrated with the pace of official human space exploration, begins funding their own private spaceflight expeditions.
The Manswell Expedition successfully launches from Earth en route to the Alpha Centauri system with 300 colonists aboard in cryogenic stasis. Communications with the vessel are lost soon after.
The European Space Agency’s Lowell City in Eos Chasma becomes the first permanent human settlement on Mars.
The Yahg, an intelligent pre-space flight race, are discovered on the planet Parnack. Ambassadors representing the Citadel Council arrive on the planet and attempt to open diplomatic contact. After the ambassadors are killed by the predatory Yahg, the Council ceases all contact with the Yahg and declares Parnack off-limits.
The Eldfell-Ashland Energy Corporation demonstrates helium-3 fuel extraction from the atmosphere of Saturn.
Construction of Gagarin Station (Jump Zero) begins beyond the orbit of Pluto.
Trace amounts of element zero are discovered on Mars.
Humanity Discovers Mass Effect Physics. In the same year they discover a small cache of highly advanced Prothean technology hidden deep beneath the surface of Mars on the south polar region of Promethei Planum. Building on the remnants of this long extinct race, humans quickly explore the science of mass effect fields, leading to the development of faster than light travel and beginning detailed exploration of the Sol system.
Following information from the translated data cache on Mars, humans discover that Charon, Pluto’s moon, is actually a massive piece of dormant Prothean technology, a mass relay, encased in ice. Once activated, Jon Grissom leads the first team of explorers through the relay, which instantaneously transports them to another relay in Arcturus, 36 light-years away. The explorers discover that the mass relays are part of a vast network, making travel across the galaxy possible.
The Systems Alliance charter is signed by the eighteen largest nations on Earth. The Alliance soon becomes the military and exploratory spearhead of humanity.
The Systems Alliance begins the first surveys for colonization prospects outside the Sol System. One of these surveys discovers the planet Terra Nova.
To defend its expanding territory, humanity begins constructing a massive military fleet and space station at Arcturus, the nexus of several key mass relays, even though they have yet to encounter another intelligent spacefaring race.
An accident at Singapore International Spaceport exposes hundreds of humans to dust-form element zero. Roughly 30% of the children born in Singapore after element zero exposure suffer from cancerous growths. After his mother is exposed during the accident, Kaidan Alenko is born later that year with biotic potential.
The Delta Pavonis Foundation, a major consortium based on Earth, begins settlement of humanity’s first extra-solar colony world, the planet Demeter. Later that year, additional colonies are founded on Eden Prime and Terra Nova.
The Systems Alliance occupies completed portions of Arcturus Station, intended to become the Alliance’s headquarters.
Arcturus Station is formally inaugurated.
A small number of human children exposed to element zero exhibit minor telekinetic abilities.
Pluto’s orbit becomes circularized as a result of mass relay operations.
Humanity makes violent first contact with another spacefaring race: the Turians. The Turians observe human explorers attempting to activate a dormant mass relay, a practice forbidden by galactic law after the Rachni Wars, and attack. Over the next three months, a brief but tense conflict known by humans as the First Contact War and by Turians as the Relay 314 Incident ensues.
The First Contact War culminates in the Turian siege and occupation of Shanxi, the first human world to fall to an alien race. Admiral Kastanie Drescher leads the Second Fleet in battle against Shanxi’s occupiers one month later, catching the Turians by surprise and evicting them from the planet.
The Turians prepare for a full-scale war against humanity, but this draws the attention of the Citadel Council. The Council intervenes before hostilities escalate further, revealing the existence of the greater galactic community to Humanity and brokering a peace between them and the Turians.
While aiding the human resistance effort on turian-occupied Shanxi, mercenary Jack Harper becomes embroiled in a plot by Turian general Desolas Arterius to use an ancient alien artifact, the Arca Monolith, to convert the Turian race into an army of invincible “meta-turians”. Harper convinces Desolas’ brother, Saren of the dangers of the Monolith, which is “devolving” the Turians into mindless beings under the Monolith’s control. To protect his people, Saren orders the destruction of the building holding the Monolith, Temple Palaven, with Desolas and the meta-turians inside. Later, having realized that humanity and the galaxy face dark times ahead, Harper founds the human-survivalist organization called Cerberus, publishes its manifesto, and assumes the identity of the Illusive Man.
An anonymous extranet manifesto is published following the end of the First Contact War. The manifesto calls for an army, a “Cerberus”, to be established to defend humanity against inevitable alien attacks. Derided as “survivalist rhetoric written by an illusive man”, the manifesto is quickly forgotten by the media.
Humans learn the potential of biotics. An international effort to track element zero exposures begins. Roughly 10% of recorded exposed children show indications of biotic ability.
The Systems Alliance purchases Gagarin Station for a fraction of its construction cost, and converts the facility into a biotic research and training facility.
The Systems Alliance Parliament is formed.
With the existence of human biotics firmly established, the Biotic Acclimation and Temperance Training (BAaT) program is set up on Gagarin Station to train potential candidates and develop biotic implants.
The biotic drug red sand is first used.
The Blue Suns mercenary group is founded by Zaeed Massani and Vido Santiago in the Skyllian Verge.
Amid concerns over gene therapy and genetic modifications being misused, the Systems Alliance Parliament passes the Sudham-Wolcott Genetic Heritage Act. It imposes sharp restrictions on controversial uses of genetic engineering, but provides government subsidies for beneficial applications.
Construction of Arcturus Station is completed.
The first experimental L1 biotic implants are used in humans.
A series of starship drive failures are orchestrated over populated areas on human colony worlds, causing widespread exposures to element zero. This results in a second generation of humans born with biotic potential.
Ivor Johnstagg is sentenced to 21 years in prison for attempting to assassinate Venta Tox, the Volus ambassador to the Citadel. Although Johnstagg claims to be acting on behalf of the radical human political party Eternal Earth, no connection is found and Johnstagg is diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Backlash from the assassination attempt jeopardizes the Systems Alliance’s bid for an embassy on the Citadel.
Humanity continues to expand, founding more colonies and establishing trade alliances with many of the other species who recognize the authority of the Citadel Council. In 2165 CE, the Council makes official recognition of humanity’s growing power and influence in the galactic community. Humanity is granted an embassy on the Citadel, the political and economic heart of the galaxy. Tensions grow between humans and batarians as they compete for territory in the Skyllian Verge.
Terrorists steal antimatter from the Alliance cruiser SSV Geneva. The sole figure arrested names his sponsor “Cerberus”. This is the first such incident of sabotage connected to the Cerberus organization.
L2 biotic implants are first developed and used in humans.
The human colony of Mindoir is attacked by Batarian slavers. Many colonists are killed or captured.
Biotic training for humans is outsourced to the military, selected R&D companies, and renamed divisions of the defunct Conatix Industries.
L3 biotic implants are developed after L2 implants prove to be dangerous.
In protest at the refusal of the Citadel Council to limit human expansion in the Skyllian Verge, the Batarians close their embassy, withdraw into their home systems, and effectively become a rogue state.
Cerberus assassinates Pope Clement XVI on Earth via rosary beads coated with toxic substances; his death is attributed to age and heart failure. His successor, Pope Leo XIV, espouses beliefs more in-line with Cerberus’ ideals.
Cerberus covertly contacts Michael Moser Lang, a political dissident on Earth, and provides him with funding to purchase weapons. Cerberus continues to monitor him after contact ends. One year later, Lang assassinates United North American States president Enrique Aguilar and Chinese People’s Federation premier Ying Xiong. The resulting political shuffle benefits Cerberus’ shell companies and plans for the Systems Alliance Parliament.
Batarian-funded pirates and criminals launch a surprise attack, later known as the Skyllian Blitz, on the human colony of Elysium. The assault is repulsed by the Alliance Navy and ground teams.
The Jon Grissom Academy is commissioned over Elysium, and becomes home to the Alliance’s new biotic training program, the Ascension Project.
The Anhur Rebellions, a civil war waged over the practice of slavery, begin on the Human and Batarian colony world of Anhur and spread throughout the Amun system. Abolitionism supporters hire the Eclipse mercenary group to fight the Batarian pro-slavery Na’hesit faction.
In retaliation for the Skyllian Blitz, the Alliance launches a major offensive against the moon of Torfan and destroys the criminal bases there, mostly populated by Batarians. The threat against human colonies from Batarian extremists is curtailed.
The Anhur Rebellions end with the abolitionist forces in power, and the reconstruction of Anhur commences.
Humans and Turians collaborate on an engineering project co-sponsored by the Citadel Council: an experimental frigate with a prototype stealth system, the SSV Normandy. David Anderson is given command of the ship, and Commander Shepard is assigned as executive officer.
The human colony of Eden Prime is attacked by the Geth, initiating a wider conflict between humans and Geth known as the Eden Prime War. After exposing the involvement of rogue Spectre Saren Arterius in the attack, Commander Shepard and the crew of the SSV Normandy pursue Saren in his search for the Conduit, later revealed to be part of a larger plan orchestrated by the Reaper Sovereign to return its kind to the galaxy. While Shepard follows Saren through the legendary Mu Relay to the Conduit, Sovereign and a Geth fleet assault the Citadel. Shepard defeats Saren and the Alliance Navy destroys Sovereign, preventing the release of the Reapers. The Citadel Council is irrevocably changed by Shepard’s decisions.
The Normandy is destroyed while mopping pockets of Geth resistance. Most of the crew get to the escape pods but Commander Shepherd is declared killed in action.