|2.8 2118 CE|
|2118 CE: The answer to the world’s problems would come from on high. The newly established Space Development Organization made a shocking discovery. At 02:15:12 GMT on June 6, 2118, the SDO discovered a stellar object approximately eight months away from possible impact with the Earth. About 62 km in diameter, this solid chunk of rock would pass within just a couple of thousand kilometers of the Earth. Damage estimates were such that they already weakened biosphere would be rendered uninhabitable by Human life.
Two massive projects were launched. The first was to establish environmentally sealed colonies on Luna and Mars to insure that in a worst-case scenario some remnant of Humanity would survive. The second was to find some way of averting the disaster all together. It was determined that the combined remaining stockpile of Earth’s nuclear and conventional weapons would be insufficient to deviate the course of this rock, now dubbed Ragnarock. The entirety of the Earth’s scientific and industrial capacity was directed to solving both of these issues.
Major investments in fusion technology were made for both plans. The results of this were twofold: first came the development of the first Atomic Fusion Engines, allowing a ship to make the journey to Mars in just two weeks. Second, new Fusion Torpedo weapons were developed which allowed the projection of an active nuclear reaction suspended inside of a decaying magnetic field, which was maintained by a small control module. These torpedoes would have their warhead supplied by a cache of deuterium on board the vessel, which excited it to a state of fusion in a specialized reactor before containment in it’s field mere micro seconds before launch. While the low mass of this weapon allowed it to have great speed and ammo capacity, it’s limited range made it unsuitable for use by an Earth based weapon for attack on Ragnarock. By the time the asteroid would be in range, it would be too late. Additionally, numerous problems with maintaining the stability of the torpedo field existed, causing the field to occasionally collapse prematurely.
Construction on two ships, Hope and Genesis, was started in orbit before the Fusion drive technology was even developed. So quickly were they built, that their construction scaffolds were actually completed two days after these vessels were ready for initial system tests. It took three months to complete and outfit both vessels, but on October 30, 2118 both the Hope and the Genesis left Earth orbit for their destinations.
Hope was set on course for Luna, where automated construction systems had been working for the last four months. After the initial population was deployed, it would return to Earth for continual ferrying of population to the new Luna base. New personnel on Luna would throw themselves into the construction process for their new home.
Genesis was a one-time use vessel. She was much larger than her sister ship, Hope. Her total passenger compliment was eight thousand; four times that of the Hope. Additionally, her hull was designed to be broken down for the initial colony base, making her journey a one-way trip.
Both ships performed remarkably well in their assigned duties. Neither had any major system failures, and completes their missions on time. All told, the Hope was able to move 12,000 people to the Luna Dome, and the Genesis was successfully disassembled into the Mars Dome 16 days after her launch.
In secret, the GCC had been playing a major gambit. In stationary orbit over the North Pole, the GCC had been working on a ship construction yard for the last year and a half. Designated Bifrost Station, it was originally designed to build long range probes and colony ships to the rest of the worlds in the Sol system for possible use in the rebuilding of Earth. Now, she had a different mission. Hoping for the best, the GCC decided to build a torpedo warship in Bifrost Station’s births. Designated the Guardian, this ship was specifically designed to get to Ragnarock and deliver as much weapons fire as possible in the hopes of diverting it’s path. Small by today’s standards, her crew of twenty-eight pledged to keep the asteroid from hitting Earth, or die trying. She was launched on November 21, 2118 at 20:04:00 GMT.