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[[Catagory: Beyond the Fire -==================< E X O D U S T O T H E S T A R S >==================-

 	       T H E  S A G A  O F  B E Y O N D  T H E  F I R E

In the late 20th century, the cold war did not end as you remember it. The Soviet Empire never fell to democracy and the Arms Race with the United States of America continued. Mikhail Gorbachev was assassinated by the communist party before he could begin to implement his plans. In 1993, the United Nations was dissolved due to treachery and deceit in its very core.

Meanwhile, the Commonwealth of Australia, in the late 1950s had run a series of computer simulations. The results from these simulations was very disturbing. They predicted that within the next two hundred years, there would be a nuclear exchange between the USSR and USA. They set fast to work, trying to come up with a way to save themselves and their way of life. They quickly disbanded their army and declared their neutrality. They began to dump all their resources into space related research and development. They quickly accelerated ahead of the other nations of the world.

By the early 21st century, the Russians, unlike the United States, had also kept developing space technologies. They had begun to reach the asteroid belt and set up several mining stations. The United States had dropped out of the space race after they set foot on the moon. Meanwhile the Australians had already set up a secret research colony on Mars.

The Australians had begun to explore the Sol System. Due to the vast interplanetary distances, the Australians became excellent mappers. They mapped out the entire star system. In 2013, a mapping team on the dark side of the moon discovered a rather large, rather odd magnetic anomaly. It was as if something very large and very dense were under the surface.

In this location, they discovered an immense 'object'. Over a period of 5 years, Australian scientists and researchers dug up the massive object which was buried 2 miles into the lunar surface. The device was covered with some sort of ancient alien writing. The bottom section of the ring shaped object showed signs of damage and an explosion. Australian scientists could not successfully carbon date it. It was possible that the gate was older than the entire Solar System. The artifact was hauled into a geo synchronous orbit above the moon and a space station 'shell' was constructed around it. The Australians spent the next 50 years researching it

In 2068, 55 years after the discovery of the artifact, they finally discovered its purpose. It was a gate, a gate to anywhere in the galaxy. The only problem was that the gate was damaged. From what the scientists could piece together, the device was originally in another location. Its reactor had overloaded and exploded, sending the gate tumbling off into space. Eventually it impacted with our moon.

The scientists set to work building and designing a new matter/antimatter reactor for the gate. Working quickly, but carefully, they managed to finally succeed in developing a reactor that would power the gate. However, it was very unstable and would only have one guaranteed activation, but that would have to be enough.

The first option the Commonwealth considered was moving to Mars. They had begun to create three massive ark vessels, under Melbourne harbor. They began design and base construction in 2003, it would take perhaps a century to design and build the ships.

In the early part of 2102, peace talks were called between the USSR and the USA. For the first time in over a century, the heads of state of the two governments sat down and talked. Presidents Townsend and Pruska began to outline an arms reduction treaty and mutual economic aid.

On June 30, 2102, for reasons still unknown today, the United States launched a partial nuclear bombardment on the USSR. The Soviets, knowing they wouldn't even survive the partial launch of nuclear missiles, were forced to retaliate. The hellish fire lasted for 12 hours. When people realized what had happened, North America, Asia, Europe, Middle East, and a good deal of pacific islands was rendered radioactive glass.

The Australians were taken aback. They had hoped it wouldn't occur until they were ready. The ark vessels were largely complete but their engines were not yet ready.

Admiral Jacob Rogers was the CinC of the Pacific Naval fleet. At the time of 'The Burning,' the United States Military was conducting a massive training operation in the Pacific. There were heavy Army casualties in the bombardment, but many survived. The fleet was at sea, and also survived. Admiral Rogers ordered what was left of the combined United States Military to assemble on, and around Midway Island.

Once they were assembled, Rogers ordered recon flights to the Mainland United States. They returned with images of burnt and destroyed cities, the entire country reduced to cinders. Rogers had to find a way for his people to survive, at any cost. If any of the Soviets were still alive, they would probably seek his and his people's destruction. Rogers knew Australia would be untouched due to their neutrality. He ordered the fleet to set course for Sydney. He would take that island if he had to, no matter the cost.

The Commonwealth knew the surviving country would soon come to take control of their country. They needed time to complete the engines of the Arks. They sent out a call to arms. They quickly amassed a large civilian army. It wasn't much but it would have to suffice.

As Rogers's forces closed upon Australia, he split his grand fleet up, having many battle groups surround the continent. His group headed for Melbourne harbor, quickly taking up station, unbeknownst to them, over the three Ark starships. Rogers sent his ultimatum to the Commonwealth parliament, ordering they surrender, promising a peaceful life under his rule. They, of course, deny his surrender request. Rogers orders his Marines and US Army Soldiers to invade the country.

The Volunteer army of the commonwealth had absolutely no idea what they were to face, it was a horrible pitched battle. Nearly 3,000 brave defenders of the Australian way of life, perished the first day. These brave men and women, in some cases children, fought to the bitter end, and held their lines. The slaughter was unimaginable, but soon the Arks were ready to leave the Earth, forever.

There was the problem, however, of getting rid of that fleet in the harbor above them. If they launched now they ran the risk of either hitting one of the ships as they surfaced, or getting chased down by fighters and destroyed before they made orbit. Captain Richard Adams devised a plan to fix this. He led a team of expert divers, on a mini sub, silently up from the construction station to the fleet over head. They silently attached shaped C-4 charges on all the keels of the ships.

Quickly and quietly, Adams' team moves back down to their minisub. They then the moved back down to the construction base. They mobilized all the repair crews they could, debris from the ships above decided to land on the base. As the battle with the Volunteers raged above, they detonated the charges. Caught completely off guard, Admiral Rogers watched in horror as his command carrier, USS Forrestal, slowly began to dip foreword in the water. The blast had damaged the carrier's fighter elevator, so anything below would go to the bottom.

There was only a fighter present on the launch deck. Rogers quickly made his way up from his Combat Information Control center, deep in the carrier, to he flight deck up above. He hoped into the second seat of the battle craft. By sheer luck, the pilot was able to take off of the stricken carrier even though it was nearly pointing into the sea. Rogers grew angry as he watched his fleet sink beneath the waves. He moved quickly to the USS Constitution, in Sydney Harbor. Then, in gruesome retribution, he ordered his bombers to drop neutron bombs on all the major population centers of Australia.

His fleets moved off to a safe distance. The Australians watched in wonder as they left. A single wing of bombers streaked overhead. Due to the small number of craft, the populace knew what was coming. They did not even attempt to run as it was futile. In a flash of hell fire, every living thing within 10 miles of the city's center had their flesh disintegrated off the bone, leaving only skeletons. All living things for 15 miles after than, was dead or dieing from intense radiation pulse.

Their engines now ready, the valiant crewmembers and colonists of the Ark's watched in horror as tens of millions died in a flash. They ordered the ships launch.

Quickly the Ark vessels, named Wandering Star, Wayward Voyage, and Australia's Pride, power up for lift off. Engaging their anti-gravity field generators, the massive ships pushed up from the depths of Melbourne Harbor. The vessels soon reached the surface of the sea. Techs quickly swarmed the now very vulnerable Colony Ships checking for last minute problems. During this, however, fighter craft reached the site of where Roger's fleet had sank. Instead they found three vessels so large they took up most of the harbor. The ships, which were lightly armed with various laser and missile turrets to take out any asteroids that may threaten the ship, opened fire on the fighter craft. These fighters, having never seen advanced laser flak, quickly turned tail. The Colony Ships managed to take down 3 of them before they went out of range.

Knowing their time on Earth was quickly drawing to an end, they took in their last load of colonists, survivors of Melbourne. Sadly, a city whose population once numbered in the millions, only had survivors in the double digits. Firing their main engines, the vessels slowly began to lift from the cradle of humanity. A wing of bomber craft arrived just in time to see the vessel's vapor trails and points of bright light at the ends of them, high in the night sky.

Having escaped Earth, the vessels refueled with a prebuilt station in orbit, topping off their tanks. They then engaged on a course for the dark side of the moon. When they arrived, they found a group of ships from the Mars colony. They docked with the various Arks telling them that many had decided to stay behind and live on Mars, fearing the Colonists wouldn't make it through the untested gate. With everything ready, they activated the Gate, entering it and leaving the home of humanity behind.

Meanwhile back on Earth, Admiral Rogers was infuriated with the escape of the much more developed than thought Australians. He launched a spread of spread of nuclear missiles after the ships, un known to the Australians. They run out of fuel long before they reached the moon, but when the Australians entered the hyperspace tunnel, three large radiation pulses were emitted from the gate as they entered. Rogers took this to mean that his missile attack had succeeded. Now he had more important things to worry about, like Rebuilding. He quickly claimed Australia as his own and announced the formation of the United States of Australia. This military dictatorship was nothing like its now dead counterpart. He set up a capital in Sydney, a city which fell his forces before he launched the Neutron Bombardment. He redubbed the city New Washington and quickly set about rebuilding what was lost.

In Russia, those government officials that survived hidden in bunkers and mountains, quickly began to re-establish contact with each other. They realized that the new United States would soon come and rain cleansing fire down upon them. They began to launch ships in to orbit in hopes of taking as many people as they could to the distant asteroid belt mining bases. The Japanese had monitored this and realized they too would come under the yoke of Roger's rule. They sent envoys to the Russian Provisional Government requesting an alliance and offering their technical expertise. The Russians, realizing that they could be invaluable quickly accepted. The Japanese had built a massive space liner, designed to go on a tour of the inner planets and then eventually become a large orbiting hotel. They quickly refitted it for colony duty. They quickly filled it, and any room on Russian transports and left their homeland in Exodus, as did the Australians.

They set course for the many mining bases in Sol's primary asteroid field. There, they met up with the rest of the surviving USSR. The Japanese quickly set to work, trying to find where the Australian's and their Arks disappeared to. A scout team was dispatched to the point of origin for of the radiation pulses. The small ship soon found the Australian base, and the Alien Transit Gate.

Japanese scientists poured over the records left in the station's computer core by the Australian scientists. To their amazement they learned of the estimated origin of the gate and its purpose. They quickly set to work recharging the reactor and prepping the gate once more. They hoped to enter the gate and go where the Australians went, hopefully to seek asylum.

Back in the asteroid belt, Japanese engineers began to bring the many asteroid bases together. They began to link them together, forming ark vessels of their own. The fleet became the Starliner and 4 rag-tag colony ships. Knowing it would take some time to reach the moon in a way to avoid detection from Admiral Rogers, they set out for Luna as soon as the vessels were ready to move out. Slowly but surely the gate rearmed for another firing. Unknown to the new coalition between the USSR and Japan, the gate has to be precisely aligned and the orbit of the moon around the Earth, as well as the galactic position our star system had to be taken into account. If not properly aligned, the point of exit would be the strongest and closest gravity well to where the gate is aimed.

Once the gate was charged for firing, they set it on automatic and abandoned the station. They lined up their ships, first two of the 'roid ships, then the Japanese Starliner, followed by the other two 'roid ships.

All went well as the first three ships when through, however, just as the fourth ship was crossing the event horizon of the hyperspace aperture, the gate overloaded and began to have a feedback loop in its emitter coils. What the humans didn't know was this was a self-destruct mechanism set up the aliens who built it. It was lucky the Australians didn't set it off. The gate built up into overload, releasing a massive amount of energy. The resulting explosion in space atomized the Australian space station and the 4th Russian 'roid ship, but this also trapped Rogers within the confines of the Sol system.... for now.

*Epilogue* Greetings and thank you for choosing Beyond the Fire. I am Concordia, creator of this story which I hope you have enjoyed. The rest of the history is found on the individual faction news files. It is recommended that you only read the news files for the faction you are a part of so that you may discover the rest of the history through inter faction RP. If you have any questions, commends, or suggestions, please @mail me. Thank you.

Concordia Owner and Head Wiz

-=================< S H A T T E R E D S T A R S >================-

Great Battles of the Gate Conflict: Volume IV, the Aftermath 

The Great War had gone on and off for a hundred years, and the most recent installment ended in 2429. The bloodiest decade of the war yet, billions died in both the United Earth Militia and Free Australian Alliance. The Falkirk Slaughter destroyed a great deal of the Militia's fleet in an all out assault on the Alliance's front staging point, costing them five ships for every one Alliance craft destroyed. A majority of the Militia’s cruiser and medium craft strength was lost in the slaughter, the single bloodiest fleet engagement of the war to t hat point. Three Militia Carrier groups were wasted, forces that would have been vital in the coming and unexpected conflict from the Galactic Rim Soon after the Falkirk Slaughter, the incursion from separatist forces of the puritan Knights and subsequent Alliance counter attack broke the back of the Militia’s century of military hegemony. Lost in the mysterious Frob system a hundred years ago, the Knights were one of the Militia’s premier war fleets commanded by the great grandfather of Supreme Admiral Rogers himself. They found a new home out on the Rim, in the Sigma Pegasai system where they stewed until the present day. Upon finding a route back home to the core network, these long estranged brothers of the Militia found their society to be ‘corrupted’ from the ideals of their past, and believed the current Supreme Admiral an il legitimate heir to the empire. They waged war on the forces of Earth, devastating the Artanis Colony and breaking the he art of the Artanis sector fleet. In their over-eager attack on Sol, the Knights failed to anticipate how large and powerful the UEM’s empire had grown. Their flanks were struck, and the remnants of their fleet were destroyed in a climactic battle at the Bunker Hill system. The picturesque pleasure planet of Caspia was ravaged in the process, and the premier military academy of the Militia was destroyed by a destroyer that reentered orbit and crashed upon it’s grounds. With the devastation and chaos inflicted upon the Militia, the Alliance took action at t heir only advantage after a hundred years of strategic withdrawal and net loss. Starting a massive attack wit h the Royal Navy’s grand fleet, they smashed apart what was left of the Militia’s frontier defenses. By year's end, the whole of the Hawking sector was under their control and the war ground down to a stalemate again as both sides rested, waiting for their ship production to bolster the depleted fleets. The Alliance industry had been strained, and many of their heaviest vessels were destroyed in the conflict. The Militia bunkered d own around Sol and Artanis sectors, massing what battleships they had left to defend the Gates in full force. Unable to breach or even cause any significant damage to each other’s gate defenses, the great fleets of the Alliance and Militia entered a wordless, unofficial truce to strengthen themselves. </b>2434 After a brief five year respite, both sides resumed the war with all their available stre ngth. Starting with an attack on Alliance home worlds from the Rim, it developed into a period of slaughter unrivaled in human history. Massively powerful juggernauts and battle fortresses threw themselves against ea ch other, making little advance but decimating every world a battle was fought over. The war spread to the Coreward Imper ium and Irktusk Union as well, a push from the Imperial forces to annex their estranged neighbors turning bloody. Panick ed, the citizens of the increasingly civilized Rim and core systems fled outwards to the Outer Rim, away from the war that was ravaging civilization in humanity's home.

</b>By June 2nd 2436, the first Interdimensional Weapons were deployed, destroying whole star systems utterly. Scorched earth became standard policy for both the FAA and UEM. The gate network itself b egan to have gaps, systems stranded without a passageway out. By design or accident, the gates that led to t he frontiers of space were knocked out of alignment and disabled. With no resources available from the warring powers to rep air it, it would stay so, leaving the denizens of the New Rim distant from their kin living in the hotly contested core sys tems. The age of reliable travel through the stars was no more. Now crossing the so called 'Black Gates' (misaligned gates ) meant risking almost certain death in interdimensional space.

</b>Twenty years would pass in total. The age of the terrible warships of the so-called 'Final War' was passed. Out beyond even the rim of human space would small groups of humanity struggle to rebuild civilization. Using primitive spacecraft, they would once again strive for the stars. But human ambition is n ot so easily crushed. Two rising stars amongst the scattered colonies would attempt to spread their influence in a cold war of sorts, seizing territory and striking deals with the neutral nations of the far rim. They would be the Rim Sector Authority and New Artanis Colony. ]]

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