The 19th C is a burst of innovation in the West, many spectators point to the explorers of the 200 years before for unlocking enlightened minds to new possibilities with fresh ideas and cultural edification.
Others wonder what those expeditions had been sent to look for… and what they found.
In 1870, after much speculation and anticipation on the nature of life and the universe, aliens finally came. The Martian Invasion begun.
It is now 1880 and England is rebuilding.
While Britain’s role as a securitor and ambassador between nations was well established before the 1800s, the destruction of Southern England by the Martian Invasion of 1870-1875 left Britain in a dire situation.
While it’s colonies remained strong and fought off several advances by other powers (notably Germany and the Dutch) Britain has become isolated.
Any left-over Martian Technology is restricted to those authorised personnel working on Security Classified Government Projects with a minimal number of Research Licenses granted to civilian scientists.
Military personnel guard Martian salvage against scavengers and journalists, with a number of reported shootings and arrests publicised by a variety of sources.
England is known to make use of this technology, this is clear from the easy availability of electrical power from highly protected sites in Somerset (Hinkley Point) and Kent (Dungeness) for industrial uses. This seems to be clean-burning from journalistic reports.
In much of the country (and in Scotland), there is still much pollution and smog from home heating fires and steam trains, as well as the light industries that do not have access to this power.
Very little is known about the Martians themselves, the occasional picture of a dead Martian has emerged but all of very poor quality. They are known more by their machines, and numerous pictures of them in operation and collapsed after their decay are available in publications.
Military security operations protect all Martian salvage, they regard Artefact Thieves as Treason Against the Crown due to claimed Salvage Rights and again there have been high-profile prosecutions.
One of the repercussions of the collapse of British power that has been felt in the rest of the world, is the loss of the Golden Cavalry of St George – payments made to fund opposition to foreign colonial powers have ceased and allowed France, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands, as well as Russia to expand into Britain overseas possessions to the point where they threaten and rub against each other.