The year is 2437. Earth has seen the rise and fall of nations and empires, and a third World War. The population hovers around 3 billion. The United States and China no longer exist. The United States and China split into several smaller nations after the War. Much of Europe is fractured. The Middle East finally stopped burning less than a century ago. But all is not dark in the world. Medical technology has advanced in leaps and bounds. Cybernetic surgery has become almost commonplace. Everyone, even the lowliest beggar, usually has a comm setup, consisting of an implanted earpiece, and a microphone implanted in the vocal cords. Many diseases have been wiped out. Slowly, life has improved for the survivors. But all is not well. Water and air are in short supply. Most of the population live in domes, or underground. A joint venture between the Sino-Indian Commonwealth (the eastern portion of what was once India, Korea, and parts of mainland China) and the Federated Conclaves of North America (formerly the states of Alaska, Oregon, Washington, and the western provinces of Canada) has come together, and through pooling of resources were able to build four starships. These craft were outfitted with an advanced ion pulse drive, (hopefully) drastically reducing travel time to distant stars. Each ship was outfitted with a crew of 1,000, as well as sufficient tool and equipment to establish a colony should habitable planets be found. The Essex departed on October 15th in the direction of Betelgeuse, the Nova departed a week later with coordinates for Alpha Centauri, the Phoenix for the stars of the constellation Orion, and the last ship, the Pharaoh, departed on December 1st, with coordinates locked in for Kepler 22b. This story is of the Pharaoh, and what happened when it reached the end of its 5 year trip.
- Show all