This page chronicles the history of the world BNG takes place in, and the significant events that influenced the AGL to become what it is today. The story begins at the turn of the century.
By 2100, the overwhelming attitudes present in most developed countries of the world were a sense of security and consumerism. Society had continued to trend away from typical careers towards more commercialised lifestyles with more flexible work and better working conditions. The advent of thorium reactors and other renewable fuel & power sources had provided relief to the sense of impending doom and worry that pervaded for 50 years after the millennium of 2000.
2050-2100 also saw a shift in the power balance of the world; as technology advanced faster and faster, developed countries such as the US became more and more modernized, and many remaining 3rd world countries were able to develop with assistance from their neighbours. Despite the crash of the UAE and some other setbacks, the general trend was towards progress.
2100-2110: Anti Gravity Technologies Edit
Anti-gravity technology was also invented at the turn of the century - almost. Final development and press releases actually occurred late in 2101. In fact, the small outfit of dedicated engineers and scientists had been working on the technology for several years, but under no fixed name. Come release, the group would incorporate themselves as Anti Gravity Technologies.
AGT was led by the trio of 27-year-old French-Canadian Félix Marion, 25-year-old American Alec Luna, and 26-year-old Canadian Kim Grant. Félix Marion already held a few commendations for outstanding academic influence, while Alec Luna had previously been named one of TIME's most potentially influential people for the coming decade. Kim Grant, despite joining the project late in development, had also made herself very influential to the 20-person team, providing a fresh set of perspectives on the problem. It had taken several years effort to crack the technology, but given that anti-gravity was previously thought impossible, this was a seriously impressive achievement.
The public showing included a number of potential applications - the most popular with fans was a single seater vehicle that hovered through use of AG tech, and could accelerate with a miniaturised aircraft jet engine. The craft became immediately popular with amazed fans; as a result, AGT decided to focus their internal developments on vehicles, aiming to sustain themselves with private contracts while they developed the tech to be portable. They were not hard done by in terms of money, although the cost and portability of the technology remained a concern that prevented Anti Gravity Technology from fulfilling all of the potential contracts they were sent.
By 2110, despite the survival of a consumer vehicle outfit in the company, the cost of the technology meant AGT was mainly involved in developing transit vehicles and solutions for cities and countries, mainly in the US and the Pacific. In most high profile contracts, AG transit required infrastructure. Unfortunately, infrastructure was expensive, and infrastructure was stable. Of the limited amount of companies that could afford it, the majority wouldn’t be returning customers. AGT needed the extra resources in order to crack the "portability problem", as Grant called it.
This would arrive in the form of global technology manufacturer Omni Communications. Omni Communications wanted to develop the technology outwards, for consumer applications, and make it accessible to all - and unlike AGT, they had the resources and the cash to jump-start the process.
The decision was heated. Grant felt that making the tech accessible was the morally right decision for scientific progress and human technology, while Marion was unhappy with allowing another company to take over everything he had worked on, lest they damage or corrupt it in some way. In the end, Grant was able to convince Marion to allow the merger, with the caveat that Marion would leave to continue AG development in his own direction. Grant promised him that she would "make sure they take care of AG" and stayed with the company.
Omni Communications purchased Anti-Gravity Technologies in October of that year, spent some time restructuring their business, and became Omnicom Technologies the following February. Grant became head of Omnicom's AG division under the general direction of Scott Holt, Omnicom's CEO at the time.
Marion, most members of AGT’s consumer division and of the several engineering companies they worked with would split from the merger and instead incorporate Gravity Technologies. They made it very clear that they were the spiritual successors of the original company.
G-Tek's company headquarters moved to Sapporo, Japan, for a number of reasons, including the member company nationalities, availability of resources, and Japan’s recently lessened technology / development regulations. Luna remained with Omnicom where (under Grant's direction) he led a research unit that worked to further develop AG tech.
2110 - 2130: G-Tek and Omnicom Edit
For the next five years, G-Tek survived on civil and military contracts that made use of it's technology, while further developing AG tech to become more efficient and portable. G-Tek and Omnicom's logos were both frequently seen on transport infrastructure. As they were the originators of the technology, G-Tek's build quality became very respected during this time. The company grew significantly, changing campus twice in five years as it outgrew it's original headquarters.
In 2115, Kim & Alec's unit in Omnicom would complete development on Diffusion Anti-Gravity Devices - allowing craft to not just repel surfaces, but truly float, fly and provide thrust. The technology allowed Omnicom to finally develop small, affordable consumer vehicles, and entered public domain a few years later. The market would blow up instantly, forcing a lot of governments to legislate and develop as hard as they could to provide traffic regulations and other systems. Over the next 30 years, consumer AG vehicles would fill the skies, manufactured by all sorts and for all kinds of different applications. Both G-Tek and Omnicom became significant AG vehicle manufacturers, while a number of smaller companies also began production. Having completed his task, Luna left Omnicom to found his own company Sirius 909, outlining a general intent to 'make the world a better place'.
By 2120, AG craft designed with sheer performance in mind were starting to become popular as people naturally began street racing them. Around this time a small korean outfit called Barracuda underwent a leadership change and switched from producing vehicle parts to civilian AG craft under the direction of Junseo Kim. They were not yet notable, but give them some time.
Alec Luna had not been relaxing during this time - in 2123, his company were able to successfully complete the first manned moon mission since Apollo - and as a private company, no less. The news sent waves around the world and turned Sirius into a very well respected group. Two years later Luna followed up by announcing his plans for a habitable moon base. Development of the project began immediately.
Also in 2125, G-Tek (having noted the recent performance increases in civil AG craft) completed development of their improved AGD and decided to act on the potential of a racing series. They built a small test track around their headquarters and began development of the technologies needed to make racing a reality. Over the next decade they created cockpit g-cancelling, reactionary AGD handling, surface-safe arc transfer, civil energy shielding technology and a number of other important units. The availability of military contracts allowed G-Tek access to a lot of state of the art research and development houses.
By 2135, everything was ready. G-Tek invited press and most major governments and corporations to view the demonstration flights; two prototype craft were shown, capable of steering with true agility and finesse and able to race each other and survive impacts without issue thanks to the systems G-Tek had developed. It was a hit.
Félix Marion announced G-Tek's intentions to create a racing league, and issued a public challenge inviting other companies to participate. Technology developed for racing would benefit the public, just like the military. The pilot race season was scheduled for 2141; giving other companies around 5 years to join the community and develop their machines.
G-Tek's priority during this time was to secure venues and other racing infrastructure. They formed an independent subsidiary in 2136 to act as the regulating body, naming it the Anti Gravity Race Commission (AGRC). Félix Marion would leave the main body of G-Tek to take charge of the AGRC in 2137. Taking his place was Kris Ridgeway, a young and promising engineer and race fan.
2135 - 2140: Craft and Circuit Development Edit
In the leadup to 2141, four other companies would develop AGL entries. In a surprising twist, the first company to join was in fact Russian military company Diavolt Engineering, who formed a racing division of the company in 2135, beating Omnicom to the post by less than a year.
Diavolt had already existed for many years, having been formed by Belorussian entrepreneur Samuil Mataei way back in 2091 as a Russian government contractor, manufacturing heavy machinery and equipment for construction, military, mining, and other heavy duty projects. The name "Diavolt Engineering" was attached to the company following it's 2095 privatisation; following this, Diavolt would gradually shift its focus towards research and development of military technology; in 2120 they were building state of the art military fighter aircraft and weapons systems.
By 2135, Diavolt had already generated a reputation for themselves as a precision military manufacturer, but were hampered by the conclusion of the war situation across the continent. With no obvious outlet for their products in Russia, Diavolt's then CEO Mikhailo Kozel chose to enter the AGL, aiming to promote their technology and provide a new direction for the company to focus on if it was to survive. And survive they did - they became one of the major manufacturers of consumer AG vehicles in Russia for a long time, and when their craft launched in 2141 it had the complete capital and resource potential of a major Russian corporation behind it’s technology. Kozel was already a motorsport fan and was keen to see his country participate.
Diavolt's prototype craft was designed by Oleg Kodysh, the lead engineer, and reflected the company's military heritage; it was fast, tough, and difficult to handle. Most of the test flights and tuning were performed by Kodysh himself. Diavolt would go on to become one of the most financially prolific teams in the league and be responsible for sourcing and training significant amounts of new pilots entering the scene.
Omnicom were next to enter, having formed a racing division in 2136. As Omnicom owned many of the datacasts and broadcasts in many parts of the world, it would be in their interest to support the sport, being able to provide race fans with any number of insider access segments or exclusive TV angles. Their communications technology became the de-facto standard used around the racetrack.
Kim Grant led development of Omnicom's racing craft. Her team created a very polished and professional looking machine, with acceptable performance in all aspects of its design. The all-rounder approach was chosen due to the fact that nobody in Omnicom really knew what to expect from an official AG racing season. At any rate, the craft's slick dual-hull design and purple scheme made it very popular with fans.
Grant chose up-and-coming Californian F1 driver Cody Soto to pilot the machine. Soto was already heavily involved with improving motorsport tech and his skills had impressed Grant at a scouting event.
Naturally, Omnicom also positioned themselves as one of the major AGL sponsors, going out of their way to construct a dedicated race circuit around their Antarctic communications station Harpstone. The track took about a year to complete and was ready by mid 2137. Marion was excited to have Grant on board and the track was placed on the roster immediately at it's completion.
Nexus was formed in 2138 as a direct response to the racing announcements of Omnicom and Diavolt. Based in Salzburg, Austria, and jointly financed by the governments of France, Germany, Austria, Poland, Switzerland and Hungary, Nexus was intended to participate in the racing and allow the participating countries to grab a piece of the AG research as a combined unit. Nexus was set up in two divisions: One half racing, one half R&D. French scientist Émilie Fortier was appointed as R&D director based on her experience with anomalous materials, and Swedish engineer Mark Östberg was made racing lead based on her suggestion. The division allowed the company to perform well in both areas, although the member nations naturally preferred to prioritise research (with the notable exception of Poland, where racing became ridiculously celebrated).
Under Östberg's direction, Nexus's craft prioritised raw engine power, producing very high acceleration and very high top end during testing. However, the ships handling suffered, and it became quite a demanding machine. To choose a pilot, Östberg initially scouted European F1 racing, but was unimpressed. He eventually turned to the higher echelons of stunt aircraft racing, where amongst all the loud, brash, popular pilots, the most talented test pilot actually turned out to be quiet 19-year old Jullianne Rochet.
Hyperion were a Finnish research and development station based in Isorakka. Originally formed in 2125, then CEO Elisa Tuija Laaksonen decided to follow Nexus into the AGL in 2138, after their military contracts began to dry up. Previously quite a quiet and secretive unit, they suddenly found themselves on the world stage in front of a curious public aching to know more about them. With their R&D division located in the snowy wastes of the country, they certainly looked the part, and rumours about their real identity and motivations started to become common. Elisa decided that she liked it this way.
Hyperion opted to release their ship data in the winter of 2140, using the opportunity to truly step into the spotlight for the first time, launching their brand as an R&D based group. The racing would promote their main operations as well as make them extremely popular abroad.
The ship they demonstrated was slightly odd; it had above average speed and agility, notably in the acceleration, which was actually quite difficult to pull off in combination. But they also included extremely weak shields, to the point where some questioned the point in bothering with shields at all. As is characteristic, Hyperion gave no word on whether the shields were intentional or simply an unfortunate side effect, and maintained full confidence as they entered their first seasons. To find pilots, Hyperion were able to make friends with nearby Nexus and lift a few pilots from their junior program. Elisa selected Lotta Elonora and Tarra Susanna to fly for them. Both pilots were characterised by their determination and willingness to improve.
Marion's race commission wasn't simply sitting around during this period. While the participating teams were organising themselves, the AGRC was scrambling to organise venues. Calling in a favour or two from his old friend Alec, Marion was able to bring Sirius 909 aboard as the main sponsor for the construction of several circuits. In addition to Harpstone, the circuits of Utah Project, Maceno Bay and Aciknovae began construction in 2137 and were complete the following year. To save resources, Utah Project and Aciknovae were built over previously abandoned areas - Utah Project took over an old mining base.
The partnership between Sirius 909 and the AGRC allowed both of the companies greater notoriety - this paid off in 2138 when Sirius announced a 99.9% reliability rate in their transit operations between the Moon and the Earth. The publicity boost provided the AGRC with the muscle to produce a fifth track, Zephyr Ridge, the first track near to a metropolitan center. It proved to be a very popular venue with locals and would go on to become one of the highest grossing race venues in AGL history. It was completed in 2140.
The pilot race season took place in the US winter of 2140, to tremendous success. In 2141, the Commission revised the format. The system of speed classes was created, and it was decided that the Toxic, Apex and Halberd leagues should run every year, and the Spectre and Zen leagues every two years. This commenced in February 2142 with Toxic, Apex and Halberd leagues; Spectre and Zen ran for the first time the year after that. The insane speeds of Spectre and Zen were unlike anything seen before, and the 2142 season cemented AG racing as an incredibly popular sport, making household names of it's competitors and opening the floodgates to all manner of sponsors and partners willing to fund teams and see their logo on a broadcast. AG Racing had finally come into its own.
Having seen his vision finally come to fruition, Félix Marion announced his retirement in December 2142, passing leadership of the AGRC to Laure Coline, a prior race engineer who Félix knew wanted to see AGL become the biggest sport in the world. He would remain associated with the sport for years to come, participating in commentator and network roles.
The following year would also see Kim Grant pass leadership of Omnicom's racing team to 25-year-old engineer Mattie Esmé, and Scott Holt pass CEO role in the company to his son Martin. It would also see the emergence of another figure - a 19-year-old Morrocan engineer called Anisa Dima became the youngest graduate to join Omnicom's company, taking a broadcast network position. She would quickly make herself extremely relevant in Omnicom's daily operations and showed a particular interest in AG racing. Notably, Tekinfo magazine ran an article about her in December, citing her achievements in and out of academia. She would become a frequent TV anchor for AGL broadcasts over the coming years, generating quite a fanbase.
2141 - 2159: Expansion Edit
The AGL would expand significantly over the next few years. 2141 was notable for two reasons - it saw construction begin on the first lunar base, and it saw the inclusion of Scorpio, an Italian team from Palermo, into the league. The formation of Scorpio's AG racing division was a direct and immediate reaction to the first league season and a natural conclusion to the company's pursuit of performance (having previously been a supercar manufacturer). Led by director Ottavio Erminio, the company would rebrand itself that year, and focus on developing AG craft, taking advantage of their previous connections and the funds they had available. As is natural for Italian vehicle companies, they opted for pure speed when designing their ship, and speed has remained a core principle of the company ever since.
Scorpio first deployed their ship in the 2145 slow season, flown by Estonian junior pilot Kadri Mare. 2145 was also the year that Luna, Alec Luna's lunar base, was due for an expansion, having reached it's population limit. Marion and Luna held a business meeting and pulled a few strings, and the ensuing base plans mysteriously included space for an anti-gravity racing circuit. The Luna circuit would become operational in 2153.
2146 saw the construction of four more circuits: Cassandra in Barcelona, Omega Harbour in Paris, Marina Rush in Venice, and Ishtar Citadel in New York. Cassandra and Marina Rush would act as smaller introductory circuits during the season, while Ishtar and Omega represented two highlights of the roster, both breathtaking constructions full of twists and turns and gruellingly long laps. These tracks would all come online by 2149.
Wyvern and Tenrai Edit
2149 was also the year that saw the formation of Wyvern, a small independent outfit based in Bristol in the UK. Wyvern's formation was chaotic; the group of engineers founded it intending to participate in the 2151 season. However, having begun the team in June, they had less than two years to design and manufacture a capable craft and business model. It took a serious effort, but thanks in part to several generous sponsor deals and donations, Wyvern looked on track to complete their ship in time.
In 2150, Diavolt approached the AGRC with a business proposal to add live weaponry to the races. Diavolt had developed the technology to keep the races safe, and had even incorporated G-Tek products and standards into their own proposal. It was a promising offer, and stood to improve the excitement of the races and increase even further the sport's popularity, while providing Diavolt the outlet it always needed to promote their military development and focus their research since their last major assignment back in 2135.
The AGRC implemented the changes, and Diavolt-manufactured weaponry and equipment would feature in the league ever since. This did well for the sport, but had two knock-on effects.
Wyvern, who were still developing a craft on a budget and a time limit, had to scramble to obtain shields, weapon mounts, crossfeed systems, pickups and safety features. Purportedly, the ship was still trussed up a week before competition, and they were still bolting pieces on at Omega Harbour after landing there for the first race of the 2151 season. The team became very popular in Australia and the UK after they not only passed scrutineering but produced an incredibly close race for 3rd - an amazing result given the circumstances. The race was flown by engineer Charlie Emery; Wyvern would later claim that Emery was not a dedicated pilot and only flew because "someone had to." Despite the strong performance Emery would only race in a few more events before retiring to an engineer role, muttering something about bulkheads. He would be replaced by Christopher Ashworth in future events, under the leadership of James Summerfield as racing director.
The second result of the decision was an internal split inside the AGRC, between those members who supported the change and those who felt it damaged the purity of the sport. This tension would manifest in the form of Tenrai, a protest team formed by board members in direct response to the inclusion of weapons. Led by Ross Hope, Tenrai deliberately placed themselves across the channel from G-Tek in Morioka. While not completely shunning weapons outright, Tenrai’s motivation was to demonstrate that racing does not need artificial drama in gunplay and eliminations in order to be exciting. To that end, the ship they designed focuses on extreme agility, with deliberately low shield levels, the logic being that their rivals shouldn’t even be able to shoot what they can’t catch. Despite the optimistic approach, the ship really was very impressive, with incredible handling capability that has Tenrai’s development unit into the record books. The rivalry between Tenrai's first pilot Akira Sato and G-Tek's first pilot Yuka Ishino would become well known over the coming years and form great viewing for race fans. Tenrai would race for the first time in 2153, their inauguration coinciding with that of the new Luna circuit.
2153 would see Alec Luna finally step down from a leading role at Sirius 909, the position having been taken over by his daughter Mistral Luna. She would continue to spearhead technological innovation in the company.
2153 would also see the emergence of Barracuda onto the AG scene. South Korean AG manufacturer Barracuda had been ticking over quietly for several years now, building personal vehicles focused on performance; but since a second leadership change in 2150, they had also been developing their own supercraft in the form of the Barracuda Model 0 and Model B. Under the new direction of CEO Ji-min Kim, the 0 represented Barracuda's foray into a high-performance all-rounder, while the B represented a design study on pure speed at the cost of everything else. Early testing of these craft indicated record breaking performance even at an early stage. Keeping the craft under wraps for the time being, Barracuda iterated on the design and in 2153 entered the Barracuda Model A, combining performance data from both early craft and representing the next evolution of their design study. It rocked the AGL.
The Model A carried no weapons and in fact no pickup unit of any kind, exploiting an oversight in the AGRC league regulations. It's shields were paper thin, strong enough only to hold the craft together, but its thruster technology and powerplant were completely revolutionary. With so much energy available to the craft's thrust, its speed was blistering and its handling performance was unbelievable. With frankly insane test pilot Jong-Su Choi at the helm, Barracuda dominated the 2153 zen season and sent the AGRC into panic as they tried to deal with the extreme pace of the Barracuda machine. The reaction from other teams varied from respectful, to incredulous, to admissions of defeat. Tenrai felt particularly vindicated.
The 2154 season saw Barracuda's ship outlawed under new regulations that sought to even the playing field, but predicting the change, Barracuda didn't even attempt to enter, perhaps feeling that they had made the impression they were looking for. They weren't wrong - famously, a Barracuda associated twitter account sent only a single message, on January 1st: "너는주의를 기울이고 있니?"
Instead of the AGRC, Barracuda's few 2154 communications informed race fans of a new competition they planned to hold, focusing entirely on outright speed. More information was not forthcoming until 2156, where Barracuda finally revealed the details of their organisation; a Barracuda Challenge league, to be held on specialised tracks, and raced with standardised craft - a newly developed version of their old Barracuda Model B. Stunningly, the new Model B managed to be even faster than it's early predecessor. The regular teams embraced the new challenge league wholeheartedly, and while its season was short, it became a staple on the AG calendar. Notably, both Tenrai and Scorpio would see prominent success here.