The History of the World to 1919
In the early 1870s, man believed they were alone in the universe, that the Aether contained nothing more than the emptiness of space and the void of life. The great reaches of space awaited the conquest of the Great Powers, as did the barbarian nations of Africa and Asia. As expansionism unfolded on the Earth, so too did scientists and inventors dream up ways of exploring and conquering the Aether.
It was in 1872 that the great British scientist and inventor, Lenard Albert Langston had discovered the Aether Engine. Shortly thereafter, the militaries of the Great Powers began sending small craft out rigged with the turbine engine - called LL’s Aether Displaceror or LLAD - into the reaches of the Heavens themselves. Unfortunately, these first attempts at space travel failed as the cabins were not pressurized and the crewmembers on board the Aether Ships quickly began to suffocate in the grimness of near Earth orbit. It was concluded that due to the lack of breathable air in the Aether that nothing could exist outside a planet. Furthermore it was concluded with observations of the heavily bodies in our solar system that nothing could live in the harsh climates of these planets except for on Earth. The greatest minds among mankind had concluded that humanity alone were the guardians of the universe, that mankind reigned supreme in the folds of darkness, that man was the only sentient intelligent living creature in the universe. Therefore, with expansionism and conquest on their collective minds the Great Powers turned their attention to the conquest of the world believing that nothing existed outside in the black void of space, they were wrong.