Speculation Saturday #1: The Golden Age (Destiny)

by Ragashingo ⌂, Official DBO Cryptarch, Saturday, August 24, 2013, 13:45 (3931 days ago)


There is scant info on Humanity’s Golden Age. Partially because it was followed by an event that nearly ended us, and partially, I suspect, because Bungie wants us to uncover it for ourselves next year. That doesn’t mean they haven’t dropped hints for us along the way. Come with me if you want to live as I present The Facts, make some Informed Suppositions and engage in a tad of Rampant Speculation.

The Facts:

Everything changed with the arrival of the Traveler. Long ago, it breathed new life into our system and began our Golden Age.

“The stories tell of a golden age long ago when our civilization spanned the system. It was a bright and hopeful time...


Old Russia:
They say this was where mankind first reached beyond the confines of Earth. Whatever promise this place once offered is long gone -- now it just holds the bones of that long-forgotten time.


“The City wants us to recover a piece of Charlemagne, one of the great Warminds of the Golden Age—a vast machine intelligence built by the ancient Powers of Mars.”


Exotics are the legendary weapons of yesterday, hand-crafted by our ancestors and left strewn about the system.


Informed Supposition:

Humanity’s Golden age seems to have been a time of great exploration and expansion, but interestingly, also one with some amount of war and conflict. [image]When The Traveler came it brought about the Golden Age, seemingly through the terraforming of the worlds and moon of our solar system, perhaps even in the restoration of Earth itself. What came next was certainly a massive colony building effort, one who's remnants we’ve been shown in the abandoned colony ships still standing in Old Russia. [image]But it may have also been one of extreme nationalism and even conflict, again as shown in Old Russia with the large intimidating wall surrounding those colony ships. It seems unlikely that the Russians were the only ones on Earth with intense fortifications. Our expansion was a huge success. We’ve seen evidence of massive cities on Mars, on icy moons, on the once deadly surface of Venus, and even on the sun blasted face of Mercury. How one even begins to terraform Mercury just boggles the mind!

I imagine the Golden Age of Humanity as not too dissimilar to what we have today. Relatively widespread peace and large pockets of prosperity. There would have been great feats of exploration and breakthroughs in science, [image]but there would have also been conflict. From what’s left of the Fall we see that Humanity still knew how to build tanks and aircraft carriers. Are we to think that the Charlemagne a Warmind machine intelligence (aka AI) built on Mars was the only one of its kind? We hadn’t come together as one people and rejected our warlike ways, that much seems as certain as our expansion into the solar system.

Looking at the ruined remains of the cities on Mars, Venus, and Mercury it seems obvious that the Golden age was just that, an age. [image]Unless we mastered Star Trek like replication on building sized scales the cities we’ve seen on other worlds would have taken decades if not centuries to build, not even counting the time to transport enough colonists there to build them. Maybe there was conflict and overly intense nationalism, but it also seems that it wasn’t so bad that it stopped us from expanding and from living our lives. After all, if you're in an intense state of constant warfare you'd build bunkers, not skyscrapers. What was it like during the Golden Age? We have so little to go on, but thats never stopped us from guessing!

Rampant Speculation:


- While we have pretty good proof that The Traveler was responsible for making the rest of our solar system livable, but I think maybe that’s not enough to launch Humanity into a 200+ year age of expansion. If The Traveler terraformed our worlds today in 2013 would we have the technology and resources to expand? Not really. Sure we might send a few astronauts, but city building, on moons of Saturn and Jupiter? Nah, that would be hugely, prohibitively expensive. We don’t have the lift capacity to get big equipment into space, and we don’t have the speed to make trips to anything past Mars even remotely manageable. Because of this I posit that The Traveler also brought the gift of faster than light travel. Journeys that would have taken months (to Mars) or years ( to pretty much anywhere else) would have been cut down to minutes, hours, or days. Terraforming is great, but FTL is how you kick start a Golden Age!

- What was our civilization like during the Golden Age? Was Earth a sole authority over dozens of colonies? Did each planet and moon get to govern itself? Were planets carved into sections controlled by competing countries back on Earth or rebellions that had broken away? Did all of the above try to occur at the same time? The Powers of Mars seems to have been a thing, and it sounds pretty serious. Was it a government or a megacorp or just a rural province with an awesome name?

[image][image]- The Fallen, the Vex, the Cabal, The Hive, Race 5 (the black pyramid people) are all out there now, but what if they were also out there then, during the Golden Age? Did they all stream to the Sol system somehow knowing that The Traveler had scarified itself? Or could they have been with us since the start? Each world now seems to “belong to” each of the enemy races. What if each race was there during the Golden Age, not as enemies but as friends or benign competitors that followed The Traveler from the previous systems it might have helped? Or what if Humanity’s exotic weapons and Warminds of the Golden Age were built to hold off increasingly numerous and hostile invaders from far beyond our solar system? One can have a Golden Age and still have plenty of war at the same time can’t they?

- Destiny seems to take place entirely in our solar system, but there were some hints early on that it wouldn’t stay there forever. It’s likely that our enemies came from beyond on solar system, but maybe we too traveled farther afield than we’ve been told. [image]At the height of our power maybe we invited our own destruction through jealousy of our prosperity, or through wars we started who’s tide eventually turned against us. It may have been a bright and hopeful time, but that doesn’t preclude Humanity being bright and hopeful expansionist aggressors who the rest of the races finally had enough of and stomped out.

- What about the Exo and Awoken? Did they exist during the Golden Age? I’ve always thought of Exo as proof of widespread AI and perhaps even AI citizenship. It doesn’t make a lot of sense for one to be able to play as a robot if one doesn’t have all the rights and access of a regular ole Human. And the Awoken? What about them?

- And finally, The Traveler eventually saved us, but why did it help us in the first place? Was our Golden Age a gracious gift? Or could it have been a secret bargain that eventually brought both us and The Traveler a world of hurt? I fully expect a twist with the Traveler, who’s to say it was a force for good at all? Or that we were?

I know I can’t be the only one with ideas about humanity’s Golden Age. What do you think was going on back then? Are there any hints or clues that I missed? What’s the craziest idea you’ve have about this bright and hopeful time? Speak up! I’d love to hear from ya!

Next Saturday: The Fall

It’s very hard to talk about the Golden Age without talking about The Fall. So we won’t… at least not for long. I hope you’ll join me again next week for more Facts, Informed Supposition, and Rampant Speculation. Until then:


All Speculation Saturdays:
Speculation Saturday #1: The Golden Age
Speculation Saturday #2: The Fall
Speculation Saturday #3: The Fallen
Speculation Saturday #4: The City
Speculation Saturday #5: The Gameplay
Speculation Saturday #6: What's New?
Speculation Saturday #7: The Hive
Speculation Saturday #8: The Vex
Speculation Saturday #9: The Cabal

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