Vendetta Online

The Chronicles of Exile

Section 02

AD 2310

Domed City

The wormhole area linking Sol and Sol II suddenly and abruptly ceases to function. Further measurement and study of the wormhole demonstrates a modulation change much like what had been predicted by the young scientist from earth, twenty-two years earlier. All contact and traffic between the systems is cut off. Being thousands of light years apart in real space, any communication or travel is impossible. The scientists of Terra II determine that the wormhole area will not become usable again for another two million years. Earth is never heard from again. On Terra II, panic reigns. With the terraforming process at least fifty years from completion (had the schedule with Earth continued), the residents are left in their domed cities and towns. While they are self sufficient as far as producing food and other necessities, many of the consumable items which they had taken for granted (medicine, parts for machinery, etc) were shipped in from factories on earth. Analysis concludes that while the terraforming process can continue, without the supplies from earth it will take much longer, and many hundreds of years will be required before the planet is truly habitable.

AD 2330

Life on Terra II has become difficult. While food and water remain available, much large machinery and equipment begins to break down. Without the necessary parts to properly maintain them, the colonists are forced to inventively adapt parts out of available scrap material. Functional environment suits, for work in the still-hostile atmosphere outside the domes, become scarce. A new black market crops up around the distribution of spare parts. Some attempt is made to manufacture new parts, but with very limited success. Many of the alloys required are difficult to make or work with, while even the simpler materials can be made only from existing (broken) parts. Prospecting and mining for new ore is nearly impossible while environment suits and transportation remain so scarce.

The people are despondent. Their civilization, although made up of settlers who had not expected an easy life, they have nonetheless never been entirely cut off before. Many wonder of their family and friends left behind on Earth. In some areas government and societal structure begin to break down, and crime and dissent increase. About this time, several of the descendents of former genetic and cybernetic engineers come forward, and suggest that they be allowed to use their knowledge to try and revive their society. They tell how, with time and adaptation of some facilities, they could harden themselves against the harsh environment, strengthen their bodies to ease the toil of the hard times ahead, and even create beasts of burden who could exist in the world outside the domes. The response to their proposal is sharply divided. There are those who favor survival at any cost, and see these possibilities merely as a means to that end. Others are reminded of the last war on earth, and how the same technology had run amok to wreak havoc among the people who had created it. They ask if things are really so bad that it is necessary to resort to such means. Eventually these debates became grim and heated.

AD 2331

The genetics and cybernetics debates have reached a stalemate. Most colonists still remain sharply divided, while some are apathetic. Eventually, the scientists and their supporters begin adapting existing labs and computer fabrication facilities to fit their needs, despite political opposition. Relations between the two sides remain strained, but peace is maintained out of shared desire for survival on their new hostile home.

AD 2405

The scientists have made great strides in their work. A new generation of genetically enhanced and cybernetically augmented people are able to do maintenance work in the hostile atmosphere with minimal life support systems or robotic machinery. The pro augmentation group, now calling themselves the Serco (SIR-ko), hails the successes of science. The opposing group, now referred to as the Itani (It-ah-nee), has grown even more suspicious of such technology over the past 76 years of trial and error. There have been enough (albeit few) incidents of humans going berserk from cybernetics bugs, genetic enhancements with outcomes far different from what was intended, and other issues that the Itani believe lend further weight to their concerns. The societies of the two opposing groups begin to drift apart, neighborhoods becoming either all-Serco or all-Itani, while a few populations remain neutral. An uneasy friendship remains between the two factions, but floats on a deep well of disagreement.

AD 2511

The quality of life on Terra II has improved considerably. The Itani have succeeded in repairing and even advancing the machinery they use for maintenance. The Serco have continued to make achievements in their specialized scientific fields, and have even managed to build farms in the still-hostile environment. They have begun to grow special genetically-engineered plants tailored to the new world, which hasten the terraforming process while providing an additional source of food and raw materials. New beasts of burden are developed to help maintain these farms, giant creatures with native armor against the fierce outside world, kept in line with cybernetic brain control systems. The two factions remain separated, often by neighborhood within the same dome, but many of the Itani concerns have been calmed by the last hundred incident-free years. The two groups coexist in friendship, although there are those within each who remain wary of the other. Both view themselves as opposing political parties within a single nation.

AD 2542

An incident occurs on a Serco farm. A cybernetic implant bug, combined with a genetic mutation brought about by extended exposure to the outside environment and radiation, causes the Serco to lose control of a farm creature. The 125-meter-long goliath, standing several stories tall at the shoulder, wanders off the farm in a random direction trailing its Serco masters, who futilely attempt to regain control. While largely docile, the great creature is very dumb and far too large to physically control. After some minutes of aimless wandering, the animal crashes through a small domed town, almost entirely populated by Itani. While the town had a few minutes warning by radio, the time was insufficient to completely evacuate. A number of injuries and a few deaths result from the sudden exposure of the unprotected people to the harsh outside atmosphere. While the incident does not cause great damage or casualties, it rekindles the Itani mistrust of cybernetics and bio-engineering. Anti-Serco hardliners resurface, and call for an end to the abominations created by these technologies. The Serco, who by now are mostly genetically and cybernetically enhanced themselves, take a dim view of the Itani protestors. They also point out that they are now dependent on the food and resources provided by the surface farms, and thus the beasts who help maintain them. The Serco are nonetheless repentant and remorseful over the destruction their creature has caused, and promise to develop safeguards to prevent such things from occurring again. The Itani populace are mollified, but the hardliners within begin to gain followers who murmur against the dangers of Serco science.

AD 2568

Some years have passed since the last incident, without mishap. However, a new "drug" begins to circulate among the Serco youth. Entirely software based, this drug uses loopholes in the most recent series of cybernetic implants to provide feelings of pleasure and euphoria. Highly addictive, the drug has massive demand in the Serco market. Many outspoken opponents to the drug exist within the Serco hierarchy, but since no significant side-effects are seen, most users consider any concerns about the drug to be baseless. However, after about a year of the drug's spread, psychotic episodes begin occurring among users. Drug frenzied Serco begin murdering helpless Itani. Not because of any dislike of the Itani, but mostly because the augmented Serco are comparable to only one another in strength and stamina. Thus, while a random assault by a frenzied Serco on another Serco will end with some injuries to both parties, the same assault on an Itani will often result in the Itani's limbs or head ripped off by the physically powerful Serco. Both the Serco and Itani leaders work diligently to bring an end to the drug, however a frightened Itani populace begins to relocate itself farther from the Serco and the threat of their technology. Anti-Serco hardliners again give voice, and gain still more followers. Domes become entirely Serco or entirely Itani, with a few remaining neutral.