The race of 2178
Humans were shocked when hyperdrive did not create a galactic utopia but rather
a galactic race for expansion. Each civilization severed communication with one
another and shut down their stargates and began building colony ships as fast
as they could to claim worlds made newly reachable via hyperdrive tech.
Unfortunately for the humans, the aliens had long since mapped out the galaxy –
they knew where the best planets were. Earth was hamstrung by the need to
blindly search for habitable worlds at the same time it built its colony ships.
In 2178, the first starship full of the pioneers, prefabricated dwellings, and
terraforming equipment needed to spread humanity left the solar system.
The colonization race wasn't the only race taking place during this period. The
technological balance in the galaxy had remained stable for hundreds of
thousands of years. Contact with the humans changed everything. Humans
provided the technology for immense amounts of energy along with the concept
of massive, instantaneous communication linking its entire planetary population
to one another. Other civilizations had long been united, and communication
technology had not advanced as quickly as it had on Earth. These two factors
kicked off a galactic technological race.
Earth was at a disadvantage on colonization, but maintained an advantage in
technology. The Humans could be ruthless when necessary, and demonstrated
their own brand of cunning by quickly catching up to the older races.