The Middle Kingdom was the largest and most powerful human star nation during the second half of the 23rd century, but only in an alternate timeline created by Miro Creed, Fialla Spencer, and several members of the Yasuyama Family messing about with Time Magick in an unsuccessful effort to save the Eastern Bloc and prevent the rise of the Holy Terran Empire.
In this timeline, the Vin Shriak invaded human space starting in the northwest quadrant, not the southwest, and thus fell first upon the core worlds of the Earth Federation. Although a desperate mission by Admiral Nirav Patel destroyed the Vin Shriak homeworlds with Dooms Day Devices, the Earth Federation had already taken so many losses in ships, troops, and entire systems that it was fatally crippled.The Eastern Bloc and its alien allies in the K'Nes Tor and Jurvain Commonality struck hard and fast, defeating the Federation handily. The Bloc had carefully manipulated the campaign so that the bulk of the casualties fell on its alien allies, leaving them weakened. Then the Bloc turned on the K'Nes and Jurvain, defeating them in turn and reducing them to tributary states. Rebellious systems were handled by dropping tamed and domesticated Bugs onto the primary planet to weaken or wipe out the population. Although victorious, the Bloc was weakened enough that they were unable to prevent the formation of the Western Reserve and New Israel on the fringes of former Federation territory. The victorious Eastern Bloc Emperor Chiang I then declared the reform of his government into a more formal monarchy, renaming it the Middle Kingdom, after an ancient term for China. He moved his capital from Showa to Wilke's Star, and completed its terraforming to give it sunlight again and thus reduce the grip that Vampires of the Sabbat had on the system.
Several years later, the death of Chiang I initiated a power struggle between his top ministers, Andrea Treschi and Vin Dane, as well as among his various sons and other top nobles, for the right to succeed him as the ultimate power in this part of the Galaxy. Before that power struggle could be decided, the timeline was erased from existence by further time magick shenanigans, resulting in the timeline that saw Vin Dane killed and replaced by an imposter as Emperor of the new Holy Terran Empire.
Behind the ScenesEdit
The entire Season Eight Alternate Timeline resulted from the fact that the previous season of online play had left Arthur Clarke firmly in power in the Federation, and most potential players considered him too difficult to defeat to make any sort of civil war or threat to topple the Federation plot line possible. Without the future of the Federation at stake, any possible plot for a potential next season seemed insufficiently interesting or exciting to be worth devoting several months of our lives to. Furthermore, TI creator Nathan Bax had written out the history of the TI universe for a thousand years into the future in preparation for the Y3K game, thus greatly reducing the possibility for player characters to have a lasting impact on the future of the TI universe.
Thus was born the idea to play in an alternate timeline where the Eastern Bloc had taken over and an ailing Emperor was about to die and kick off a succession struggle. Disagreements among the players and moderator over plot direction contributed to player and moderator burnout, and the season fizzled out anyways after only a couple of months. Which is too bad, as a couple of the plot lines were fairly interesting. More information about the Middle Kingdom canb be found on the origional Season 8 website.
Later, the existence of this alternate timeline was worked into the backstory for one of the plot threads in the subsequent ninth season.