The Great WarEdit
War had always defined human existence, and had many times taken humanity to the brink of no existence at all. Before the formation of the Terran Republic, Earth had known no years without the blemish of war, no time of worldwide peace, nothing but strife and anguish.
Even considering the great technological advances humans had made, they just couldn’t keep up with themselves. Earth’s population grew far past a sustainable capacity. In the years leading up to the Great War, tensions rapidly increased as countries scrambled to claim what was left of the planet’s natural resources. It was all futile, though; the course of this conflict had already been set centuries before.
The morning of January 18, 2426 marked the beginning of what would become the greatest loss of life humanity had ever seen. Responding to intel indicating imminent and simultaneous attacks, Earth’s six greatest countries declared war on each other. It was only discovered much later that nobody in command of any of the countries who survived the initial firefight could remember issuing the codes that launched their missiles, nor did they know who sent out the initial warnings. But they all knew the war that began that cold winter morning had been long expected. Perhaps it had even been desired.
The first year of worldwide conflict changed everything drastically. Nearly half the human population died, either in the war, or because of it. Weapons and tactics did far more than just destroy targets; they crippled integral parts of civilization, from communication to food production. Starvation and disease killed as many as the guns and bombs did.
It took eighteen years, but on December 19, 2444, the final war ended. Not because humans had learned the folly of their ways, but because scientists announced the existence of the wormhole, and a new threat from beyond. Humans were not alone. All past truths were eradicated in the single instant the universe opened wide, replaced by a single new truth: If mankind wanted to survive, all nations and all people would have to work together.
The first appearance of the wormhole was actually on November 28, 2345, and first described as a "fracture in space". Scientists scrambled to gather what information they could about the anomaly; however, it disappeared two weeks later, before it could be researched. The government launched probes to the area, but there were no new sightings until March 16, 2444. The probes examined the phenomena, sent back information, and then ceased operation as whatever was out there disappeared again, but this time the scientists weren’t left in the dark. The probes reported three possibly connected discoveries that forever changed the history of mankind.
The first discovery was the existence of the fracture, or “wormhole” as it was called. Scientists theorized that this phenomenon would allow near instantaneous transportation between two distinct points in space, potentially allowing humanity to reach far beyond their limited space-faring capability, but where the wormhole led remained unknown.
Secondly, on the day the fracture closed, the dwarf planet Pluto was inexplicably torn to pieces. Scientists had no idea what could have possibly destroyed an entire planet, and the news understandably caused widespread panic across Earth. However, despite this disturbing discovery of Pluto’s destruction, it was the probe’s third discovery that had the most immediate and profound effect.
Prior to Pluto’s destruction and the closing of the wormhole, scientists around the world detected multispectral transmissions, originating from the fracture, directed at Earth. Earth had been scanned, but by exactly what—or perhaps the better word would be “whom”—remained unknown. Still, whatever it was, humanity now had incontrovertible proof that they were no longer the only intelligent life forms in the universe. The implications were clear: whatever destroyed Pluto also scanned Earth and knew of humanity’s existence.
Rise of the Terran RepublicEdit
On May 13, 2445, an armistice was signed that promised all countries would lay down their weapons and work together for the good of mankind. The armistice was signed by all the nations and codified the end of war. Amazingly, in the following decades, borders fell and governments merged. Where there had been nearly two hundred separate countries, now there would only be one united planet under the banner of the Terran Republic.
Representatives from all the former nations would sit on its council. Because those in charge understood that Earth either moved forward together or perished together, they laid down laws that would be strictly and evenly enforced. It was vital to the TR that no individual would ever again be permitted to slow down the safe progress of all peoples. There was no longer any need for individual governments. The Terran Republic, working for all the people, took their place. The TR dedicated itself first and foremost to worldwide defense, then to peace, prosperity and technological advancement for all.
To achieve both security and advancement, the TR created a strict code of conduct for its people, with its ruling tenet being: No one is above the law. For all people to be free, all must follow the same rules. Follow the rules, and you will have your rights and freedoms, as long as they do not oppose or threaten this system of government. For the first time in mankind’s history, there would be total equality for everyone. In every way, the TR succeeded beyond anyone’s imagination. For the first time in her history there was peace on Earth, and this time, that peace was embraced by everyone.
At the end of its ten-year term, the Terran Republic constitution mandated free and open elections. The people, freed from worry, didn’t want anything to change and voted the Terran Republic back into power. Ten years later they did the same. Over the next hundred years, humanity worked together, learning to compromise and cooperate and together they not only rebuilt Earth, but also created new technologies that allowed the salvage of squandered natural resources that had originally led to war. Humanity made incredible technological leaps in medicine, aerospace, materials sciences, manufacturing and nano-agriculture. Even without traveling to the stars, Earth became a paradise.
There were some who fought against such mandated peace. There were always those who wanted more. But when they struck, the Terran Republic struck back, harder. To ensure the continuation of peace, the TR enacted strict laws and harsh penalties. The people, enjoying the most prosperous moment in humanity’s history, encouraged them. As TR President Harrikan proclaimed in 2598: “All citizens must display loyalty and fealty to the Republic, above all. Strict retribution is sometimes required, and if minor freedoms must be compromised to ensure the continued security and prosperity of all, then so be it.”
Loyalty and fealty to the Republic, above all. These became the words the Terran Republic lived by and the words the people embraced.
At the end of the first century, on the date the wormhole was to open again, the people once again voted the Terran Republic into office. And so they did for another hundred years.
Return of the WormholeEdit
On July 3, 2542, exactly 98.3 years from the last appearance of the wormhole, the wormhole opened for the third time. Probes and an automated defense perimeter were ready, but humanity detected no further scans of Earth. It was suggested that what they believed to be alien scans were in fact only feedback from their own probes. Perhaps, some scientists theorized, they were never in any danger at all.
However, with a never-ending abundance of created fuels and food, there was no longer any reason for war to resume, for humanity to return to its old ways of thinking. Humanity had created a world at peace as a means of saving themselves, and in effect, they had. Freed of the need to fight to survive, their spirit of adventure, lost for so long, finally returned.
By June of 2582, exploratory colonies traveled the solar system and terraformed worlds and moons. Where humanity was once trapped on a single, tiny planet, the spirit that led Columbus to search for new trade-routes and lands led mankind to discover unknown worlds beyond the orbit of Pluto Beta ( The Pluto Belt ).
That spirit of adventure and discovery grabbed the imaginations of all peoples. Humanity realized they needed to explore further. That is where the story of Tom Connery began, and that is why more than 75,000 people eventually embarked on mankind’s greatest journey.
Thomas Connery: The Man, the LegendEdit
Former Terran Republic President Tom Connery was beloved, not only for his terms in office but for his work before and after he left the Presidency. Connery had been a space colonizer, opening up and terraforming planets throughout the solar system. In 2615, Connery discovered what he called “the Moon Belt,” a sparsely populated sub-section of the icy Kuiper Belt that extended from Neptune’s orbit to beyond.
Connery and his crew had found the shattered remains of Pluto Beta as well as fragments of hundreds of moons that had been destroyed millennia before Earth’s crust cooled and the first one-celled life form split into two. The discovery of something other than various types of ice in the vast Kuiper belt, never mind the presence of pieces of the destroyed dwarf planet, was nothing short of a miracle. There had been rumors that some of the larger chunks could provide clues to possible alien existence, although Connery neither confirmed nor denied that. In the hundreds of years since space travel became common, no one had ever discovered any signs of extraterrestrial life. However, everyone believed that if it did exist Tom Connery would be the man to find it.
In May of 2618, TR Vice President Martin Harris died of a heart attack. President Sylvia Wyatt asked Thomas Connery to fill the position for the remaining few months of her term. Although nobody expected him to agree, Connery took the position. When President Wyatt’s term ended and she retired, Connery ran for the office and on November 10, 2618, he was elected in a near-unanimous vote. He served three four-year terms and finally retired in January of 2630 with the intent of returning to the Moon Belt.
Birth of the New ConglomerateEdit
By February 2630, Business Forward, an entity co-founded by the CEOs of some of the solar system's largest corporations, held a summit at which the members agreed to closely monitor the activity of former Terran Republic President Tom Connery. In a memo from Terrance Mattherson, one of the high ranking members of Business Forward, it is postulated that Thomas Connery had indeed found evidence of extraterrestrial life in his earlier adventures and was now formulating a more serious, long-term plan to recover the evidence. As a member of Business Forward, he further believed they should offer their full support of manpower and technology in order to reap the financial and other benefits that such discoveries would no doubt incur.
In an effort to secure more freedoms from the Terran Republic, and ultimately more freedom for the people, the CEOs decided on a financial plan. Knowing they could not outright pressure Connery to include them in his plans, they devised a plan to push everyone else surrounding him. When Connery needed financing from the banks he would turn to the top banks in the TR federation. In the meantime, Hank Witherspoon, Ben Tolliver, Sarah James and Calvin Fitzgerald, who ran the top nine banks in the TR federation, had all applied for membership in Business Forward. In accepting their applications, Business Forward acquired control over Connery’s access to money.
When Connery needed to construct ships, among other things, Business Forward knew JoAnn and Mike Conway headed up Construction Union 437. No one could build anything on the thirteen planets without them. Business Forward decided to loosen up their corporate money belts on a few Union issues in return for the Union's cooperation. All this was done under the guise of helping the people while helping business.Finally, they knew Connery had already taken bids from various Guardian service orgs. It was a safe guess that
All in all it was Terrance Mattherson who first proposed bringing business, unions and even the mercenaries together into a new conglomerate. Mattherson knew full well that without engaging their services, Connery would not be able to get to his rooftop penthouse, let alone the Moon Belt. By July 2630, the other members of Business Forward were on board with the plan of forming this New Conglomerate and moved forward in developing a logo to use for their cause.
The First Vanu DiscipleEdit
It took Connery’s team 15 months to reach the Moon Belt, and another three to find one particular fragment that was no more than half a mile long by fifteen hundred feet wide. It was an unremarkable pencil-thin line of rock that resembled many of the various fragments they had found before. To anyone exploring the Moon Belt after its discovery, this particular piece of rock looked like all the others. Connery, however, thought differently of it.
On Connery’s first trip he had detected a high-frequency signal pulsing with a steady repeating rhythm. Its pattern was not natural and therefore had to have been created. The question was, by whom or what? Connery did not have the equipment with him to locate its source, and swore he would return another time with all the proper resources. As many had postulated, Connery had indeed used his connections as TR President to get everything he needed and more.Henry Briggs had been hand selected by Connery to join his team for this second expedition to the Moon Belt. Henry was 27 years old when he graduated from Southwestern State University with a triple PhD in Xenobiology, Cultural Anthropology and Linguistics. Diagnosed at age 6 with Asperger’s syndrome, Henry was a genius but lacked any ability to socialize or be part of society as a whole. Still, Connery knew Henry could understand and comprehend things outside of humanity that no one else could, and that was exactly who he needed on this mission.
Henry Briggs was at Connery’s side when, after searching the rock for almost a week in September of 2632, the sound detectors they brought with them pinpointed the source of the rhythms. He helped Connery drill into the rock wall, which subsequently revealed a small tunnel. He was behind Connery when they found, at the far end of the tunnel, some sort of "thing" half embedded in the stone, that pulsed synchronously with the rhythms. And next to that, also embedded in stone, Henry Briggs saw a small figurine no more than eight inches tall. It was definitely not human.
Henry had not meant to touch the statue. In fact, he had been warned not to, but he was compelled by a force beyond his control. The ensuing contact he had with the statue lasted only a moment before Connery yanked him free, but the short time the artifact had been in his hands felt like days. He was left with an impression of an incredibly powerful presence that he could only describe as divinity and a vision he would carry with him for the rest of his life.
In the days after the event Henry noted a startling change to his thought processes. Henry’s rational mind seemed as robust as ever, but he was able to see things from other points of view like never before. It became obvious to Henry how completely myopic he’d been in so many areas of thought, and he now felt a vastness of new interests and understandings flooding his consciousness. Henry knew that this was the very moment his life forever changed.
As time went on, he noticed more subtle changes about himself. Though the voices never returned despite all his attempts to conjure them, a purpose was crystallizing within him. For the first time in his life, he felt he belonged and he felt he knew why he was there.
Vanu. Vanu was his purpose, his reason for being.
What he did not know, what he could not know, was that sixteen years later, on a planet on the other side of the universe, he would find a second identical figure. He could not know that, because of his discovery, he would be the first human to hear an actual alien voice, and that it would speak directly to him.
Nor could he know that precisely ten years after that historic day, Henry Briggs would commit suicide.
The Golden Age of Space TravelEdit
In May 2634, Connery and his team returned to Earth and announced their discovery. Revealing that single alien figure led to an explosion of curiosity and space exploration beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. Thousands of star cruisers and space jumpers were hastily assembled and launched into the void. Everyone wanted to be the one to find the big haul, to uncover a trove of alien artifacts, to find their art, to locate their machinery and devices, to learn exactly what they looked like, and of course—the holy grail of all space exploration—to find actual alien life.
Humanity took to the stars the way their ancestors had taken to the seas. Having already colonized the Solar System, human cities thrived on several planets and moons. But now they moved into a galaxy that offered thrills and excitement like no man had known before. Everyone wanted to find the aliens, to be sure, but the thrill of the unknown was just as strong a lure. That lone figurine led to rapid advances in spaceflight, to rush further and faster to find the remaining artifacts before anyone else could. Everyone thought this was the dawn of a new golden age.
Yet, less than two years later, after picking apart every pebble in the Moon Belt and searching every planet and heavenly body twice as distant as Pluto, the explorers had found nothing else—no more figures, no hint of art, no machines or devices, no sign of extraterrestrial intelligence. Suddenly, the thrill of the hunt was over and all but the most ardent of the explorers stopped searching. Some figures in the media began to accuse Connery of manufacturing the original artifact himself, to make it appear that he was still the great explorer he had been in his youth. Fortunately, Connery had built up enough goodwill over the years that his critics remained few, and their listeners even fewer.
Shortly after, Connery had dinner with his dear friend Henry Briggs, the awkward, resentful kid that had turned into an infinitely more pleasant person and an incredibly preeminent xenobiologist. It was over this dinner that Henry mentioned that the wormhole was due to open again in a few short years, and that this time they would have the ability to travel to it and study it at close range. Connery immediately had the idea that he should not only launch a crew to go study the wormhole up close, but also to go through it, to discover an unknown part of the universe. And while it would be nearly impossible to assemble the massive effort to make the trip possible at all, he still felt he could do it. In fact, he felt he had to.
Mankind’s Greatest JourneyEdit
It was January 21, 2636 when former TR president Tom Connery petitioned the Terran Republic federation for the funds to re-commission "no more" than two hundred space faring ships, an all-volunteer crew to man and pilot them to the wormhole, and if considered safe, through it. The Senate members argued at great length over Connery’s petition but they finally agreed to fund the expedition provided he could raise the necessary number of volunteers by February 12, a mere three weeks. Only then would the Senate honor their end of the bargain and fund the repair and reconditioning of 200 ships.
By Feburary 3, Tom Connery supplied signed affidavits containing more than 300,000 volunteers for his wormhole mission. He did so nine days before the Ministers’ imposed deadline. He stated that he would narrow the list to a total of 75,000 people. To carry them on their mission, he requested 128 ships be reconditioned, and set a launch date of May 13, 2638, the anniversary of the Armistice. The Ministers unanimously approved Connery’s request and offered him their personal congratulations. Minister Adam Miller even expressed his desire to volunteer for the mission personally and Connery gladly accepted.
237 star cruisers and jumpers were ferried to the Sao Paulo spaceyard to use as parts to rebuild no fewer than 128 space-faring ships. Each final craft was outfitted with newly calibrated engines, stabilizers, sensors, scanners, fuel hoses and crew quarters. Hundreds of technicians were brought in to analyze which of the salvaged ships were in spacefaring shape, and which would be scrapped for parts. The corporation Gettysburg Food converted a fifth of the ships into hydroponic chambers in which fruits, vegetables, and grains could be grown. Dairy products were to be artificially replicated. Water was to be recycled from treated human waste. The space journey was designed to take around 28 months, with a few weeks' leeway, depending on the shape of the slowest ships in the fleet. There would be three refueling and restocking stations as the ships made their way to Neptune. After that, they would not be able to restock until they reached Dosojin, Shiva, and Shangdi, the furthest three worlds in the Solar System, and the most recently discovered. With time slipping by, pressure mounting, and more and more work to coordinate and accomplish, it was only Connery who never questioned whether the mission would happen at all—at least not until after the fleets had launched.
On May 13, 2638, as promised, the exploratory fleet of 128 ships, crewed by 75,000 volunteers and led by former Terran Republic President Tom Connery, launched from Earth, bound for the wormhole with the intention of exploring its far side. The fleet consisted of Terran Republic military peacekeepers; New Conglomerate-affiliated corporation executives and their hired enforcers and civilian labor force; and many scientists, engineers, and tech experts eager to learn more about the possibility of alien life.
Months passed quickly as the fleet journeyed to the wormhole. Abundant excitement about the future of Mankind was everywhere, but Commander Connery suddenly faced an undercurrent of looming personal doubts and fears. Yet Connery's resolution against these fears became the foundation of the entire expedition: “No matter the warnings or the doubts, no matter how inflammatory words become or how many fists are raised in resistance, mankind has never, and can never, turn from their future. Whatever must, will occur today, but there will always be a tomorrow.”
Disaster at the WormholeEdit
October 20, 2640
The wormhole opened right on schedule and cheering filled every open channel when Connery received positive confirmations of it forming. The doubts of the people could finally be squashed with this irrefutable evidence. The initial wave of 38 ships, including the Discovery-1 with Connery aboard, scrambled to engage engines to go through, but to their surprise, they’d already fallen safely through to the other side. Twelve more ships followed into the rift, as the wormhole was not nearly as deep as had been initially thought. Based on the previous analysis, the wormhole should have remained open for approximately two weeks, but as soon as the first couple of waves moved through, it began to destabilize. Sixteen ships were suddenly caught struggling in the extreme gravity created by the closing rift. The eleven closest to the opening pulled through, but were severely damaged. In the last moments just before it collapsed, the remaining five trapped ships were ripped apart by gravitational forces.
Once gravity anomalies were no longer detected, Connery ordered the military to rescue the crews of the eleven damaged vessels. Their engines were overheating and on the verge of self-destruction, but Connery refused to give up on the crews. They ultimately lost 200 lives on the damaged ships due to space exposure, but thousands more were saved thanks to rescue efforts. In the beginning, at least, the approximately 40,000 survivors considered themselves lucky. There was relief and some sense of happiness for the time being. Sadly, it was short lived. The severity of the situation settled in as quickly as the relief of being safe wore off. With the wormhole already closed, there was no way to go back to Earth. There was no way to find out what happened to the other ships. Scientists couldn’t even offer theories; no one knew how the wormhole got there and nobody knew why it disappeared. They knew nothing, other than that they were alone and had no idea where the hell they were. Even a fantasy rescue mission from Earth wouldn’t be possible for another 100 years.
The leaders, including Connery, quickly moved to hold a meeting with fleet advisers to assess resources and plans for the immediate future. The results were unsettling. They had a surplus of doctors and engineers, as most of the ships that made it through were primarily civilian ships; as it turned out, the fleet had suffered large losses in the military and agricultural departments. After assessing the remaining ships, only three of the twenty-three hydroponic ships had made it through, and the only Explorer-class battle cruisers that survived were the two leading the fleet, leaving only 1,100 soldiers.
The Death MarchEdit
Five months passed and the lost fleet still was not any closer to finding a planet suitable for terraforming. To make matters worse, tensions between the TR and the NC were steadily mounting, and Colonel Morgannis repeatedly vocalized his increasing worry about an insurrection.
More and more innocent people were becoming injured during the increasingly turbulent times. Connery, to protect the people and to enforce the peace, called in the military. Armed soldiers began patrolling the halls in increasing numbers.
After a year, the fleet still remained lost. Without the ability to turn back, all they could do was continue on. The people referred to the voyage as a death march. Attacks by the insurgents continued to force Connery to order strict curfews. Despite the curfews, fighting continued to break out regularly throughout the fleet. Initially, the soldiers were instructed to shoot only to stun, but when the insurgents started to kill innocent people, the order was escalated to shoot to kill.
Attack on Explorer-5Edit
On January 3, 2642, the conflict within the fleet reached a new high. 53 insurgents broke into the military weapons supply aboard the Terran Republic military ship Explorer-5. They killed six soldiers and stole nearly 300 Cyclers. With their stolen arms, they forced their way onto the ship’s bridge and demanded that the Captain step down and give them the ship. It became clear almost immediately that reasoning with the insurgents was out of the question. They would not disclose where they planned on taking the ship, how they were going to feed their crew, or how a few dozen armed civilians planned on operating an entire battle cruiser. Connery ordered troops to respond.
In the ensuing firefight, over 70 people died, including nearly two dozen TR soldiers. The insurgents were nearly wiped out, with only a few critically wounded. The fleet’s greatest losses came with the death of Captain Rebecca Grey and a few other key military leaders. Both Col. Morgannis and Connery quickly agreed it was a suicide mission intended to weaken the military, as they decided to attack one of two military vessels full of armed troops instead any of the civilian ships; the insurgents never had a chance. It was with this attack that Connery realized the human race had not progressed beyond their base fears; it appeared as if technology was the only thing that separated them from their caveman ancestors. Worst of all, Connery realized, he had brought some truly terrible people aboard the fleet.
The civilian ministers, urged on by their constituents, declared martial law for the fleet. The military presence was increased dramatically. The curfew Connery originally instated was strengthened. Everyone was to remain in their cabins after the 6 PM dinner. Except for immediate family members, no groups larger than three could be together either in public or private. The people, desperate for peace and security, voted to extend military presence. For security against a minority, they voted away their own freedom.
Another year passed with the increased armed presence and there were no new outbursts of violence, but the people remained imprisoned within the confines of the ships, as they had been for over two and a half years.
Fearing another uprise of insurgency, Connery called for a secret meeting between the civilian ministers and the military to discuss easing the restrictions. Morgannis and Connery intended to try out a plan they hoped would persuade the people to put down their weapons and work together. Connery fully believed that if they failed to convince them now, the fleet would become nothing but a collection of derelict ships within a year. The board meeting would take place on the Discovery-7 on January 6, 2642.
Unbeknownst to Connery at the time, there were already powerful forces working behind the scenes against him, and not from the enemies he thought he had. Terran Republic Lieutenant Commander Brent Waterson called his own secret meeting with Councilman Miller and made clear to Miller his concerns that Connery needed to step down and a more heavy handed approach taken to the operation of the fleet. Waterson intended to frame the insurgents for his plan, and threatened that if Miller did not back him, harm would come to Miller’s family. Ultimately, the plan itself was never fully revealed to Miller. By the time the New Conglomerate was made aware of the conspiracy, it was too late and the evidence had been destroyed.
Death of a LegendEdit
On January 6, 2642, the fleet was awakened by massive explosions on the civilian starship Discovery-7 in what was called “a savage act of treason by unknown agents.” The tragic destruction of Discovery-7 occurred during the undisclosed meeting between Mission Commander Thomas Connery, TR military representatives, and several civilian insurgent leaders. The attacks resulted in the loss of Commander Connery as well as the lives of all 591 on board. Brent Waterson became the new provisional commander and quickly enforced an immediate fleet-wide curfew while the council conferred to determine a plan moving forward.
The next day, another vote was sent out to the fleet to determine which security measures should be enacted. The Level 2 option giving the TR military control over all fleet ships was passed by a mere 2% majority vote. The Level 2 measure also gave the TR military the authority to perform random searches with the intent to find possible weaponry for the attack on Discovery-7. Those found possessing such weapons would be executed without trial. Furthermore, identification was to be carried at all times, and curfew hours remained in place.
Only a few short months later, on April 10, 2642, a world that could support human life was discovered on the other side of the very system the fleets were in. The composition of the atmosphere could not be determined yet, but they were confident regardless that the terraforming equipment would be able to handle whatever the planet threw at them, so long as there was oxygen and a nearby star. Finally the fleet had real hope again. Plotting a course, they determined they would arrive on “New Earth” by January of the following year.
With hope restored to the crew, spirits lifted and people began drifting more into cliques. Those individuals that valued law and order and who feared the rise in violence and crime gravitated to the Terran Republic gatherings. The TR continued to give speeches, promising safety and security, and they drew a lot of the frightened folk in with their message of protection and equal treatment.
The group of businessmen, the New Conglomerate, surprisingly began to draw in a lot of younger individuals. The NC’s rallying cry for freedom from government intervention was something that hired mercenaries, businessmen, and youth alike all seemed to favor. The conglomerate group, fed up with the increasingly harsh government regulations, decided to stand together against a common enemy despite their diverse backgrounds.
Connery’s dear friend and xenobiologist Henry Briggs found himself spending a lot more time with the other scientists, doctors, and technicians. Each day between shifts and during breaks, a growing number of them came together in the mess or in the labs and talked about their lives. One of their favorite subjects was the artifact Henry and Connery had found years earlier. Even though he desperately wanted to, Henry never revealed too much because he feared being labeled insane, a fact he wasn’t even sure of himself. Yet, they were still excited by what he did reveal. They were thrilled at the very concept of learning about a race that had no ties with humanity. The small group was definitely filled with kindred spirits, less involved with the politics of the TR or the NC and far more aligned with Connery’s hopes for the future.
Most of the fleet, except the insurgents themselves, believed that Tom Connery’s death and the destruction of the Discovery-7 was the work of insurgents. Many of even Connery’s closest friends now believed that if Waterson had just been able to take stronger control earlier, perhaps Connery would have survived to see the day they discovered New Earth himself. Many questioned the actions of the military, but since the Terran Republic had standing laws against military rule of any "colony," many believed that after colonizing this new world, the military would be required to relinquish power. "Peace and the rule of law, but never at the expense of their citizens." Others however, questioned Waterson’s ability (or willingness) to release the control he had taken. Councilman Adam Miller worked to keep the fleet calm and optimistic, assuring the civilians that all the measures and curfews were only temporary. Miller repeatedly reassured people that Waterson fully intended that the military would return control to civilian authorities as soon as they landed.
Little detail is given of events over the next 175 years. The fleet landed on New Earth in January 2643 as planned. However, upon landing on their new home world, things did not change as Waterson and Miller had promised. Strict curfews, which had been put into place during their travels when discipline needed to be maintained, were not rescinded after they landed on "New Earth" (later re-named "Auraxis"). In fact, they became even harsher.
“Don’t worry,” the TR council told the people, “we have a planet to reshape, cities to build, and we don’t know what the hell might be out there. As soon as we can, all restrictions will be lifted, but for the safety of our 60 thousand citizens, we have to keep all rules and laws in place."
The TR kept the peace and ruled the government. The NC built and set up their businesses. Five years after arriving on New Earth, xenobiologist Henry Briggs discovered an alien artifact identical to the one he discovered alongside former Terran Republic President Tom Connery in 2634. He received another vision and became the first human to actually hear an alien voice. Precisely ten years after that, he committed suicide for unknown reasons. Over the next century, the scientists found and learned vast amounts of information about the Vanu. Through excavating their cities and analyzing their artifacts, they learned that the Vanu had been extinct for approximately 325 years before the humans arrived through the wormhole. However, it was revealed that at least the Vanu followers continued to receive sporadic telepathic feedback since Henry Briggs' death.
Regardless of motives or affiliations, it was clear that the crew of the expedition worked grudgingly together year after year to build a new home for everyone to exist and thrive on. With a new place to call home and the fear of starvation finally gone, the underlying differences between groups remained and grew over time. So just how long could the peace last?
The Next Great War?Edit
June 21, 2845
After 175 years of tentative peace, the Terran Republic and New Conglomerate collapsed into open warfare after accusing each other of massacring civilian populations in the Kaorr desert region. This led to the NC's attempt to seize control of the Kane Prison Compound in order to to release their captured forces, and ultimately full scale war. It was never determined which Empire, if either, carried out the massacres which instigated the war.
Following the announcement that peace negotiations had been called off between the TR and NC, Chairman Willis Scott, leader of the followers of Vanu, declared the group an independent Sovereignty. Once armed conflict had broken out between the other Empires, Chairman Scott began preparations for the Sovereignty to enter the melee.
Over the course of the war, the adoption of "Rebirthing" technology and nanotech rapid-construction methods by all three Empires has effectively eliminated attrition from warfare for the first time in human history. As a result it is improbable that any Empire will ever achieve total victory.
You now posses the knowledge of how this war began. Choose wisely and good luck.
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