WorldAlpha Story - 1. Escape

October 5, 2012

Captain Cole van Khun stared at the hazy holographic sphere, rotating it in every direction like a gyro, shaking his head in denial. Blue oceans were now a mottled mess of brown, and green forests now lay crumbled, patches of grey coal. The dust, the smoke, the ash covered everything, way into the stratosphere. Only a small hole around Antarctica survived, and that too was closing.

He chewed at a dry fleck on his lip and remembered the taste of that dust.Hologram

The EarthCorp remnant, those sorry heroes who volunteered to stay behind, they would find a way. Hidden like rats in a sewer, they would continue to create, communicate, and hopefully one day cleanse the planet that mankind had failed to cherish.

Assuming the surface remnant didn’t find their way into EarthCorp’s hidden labyrinth first. No, EarthCorp was too smart for that, he decided. If they can build this ship, they can protect themselves against the crazies who still ravaged the planet. With time, they would wipe each other out, leaving EarthCorp to rebuild.

The irony is that EarthCorp started it all. Their massive Proton Collider, the size of Utah, failed. Or perhaps it succeeded far beyond humanity’s worst nightmare. No one ever called it an explosion – the devastation was too big for that. It was as if a small black hole had ripped into the Earth, bouncing around within until it reached energy zero. No seismic meter successfully gauged the event, but the resulting earthquake could be measured by the number of buildings it left standing.

None. Not one – anywhere on the planet.

The shell-shocked populace fortunate enough to live another day went one of two directions: violent, mad-minded existence, or cooperative, rational survival. Its greatest mistake now history, EarthCorp chose rationality. Gathering thousands of survivors of like mind, they burrowed and they built, fighting for a society that once was.

Or maybe something better.

Captain Cole van Khun gazed at the array of shimmering controls before him. The greatest achievement of EarthCorp’s rebuilding strategy was this ship. They named it AlphaOne. If all went well, the ship would journey only a few months to reach the nearest habitable planet. And once there, it would serve as the seat of government. AlphaOne: The ship and the society it carried were synonymous.

Van Kuhn wondered how long his skills as a leader would be necessary in the new World. He hoped not long. The new Citizens of the planet would need to form their own governments, leaving van Kuhn to enjoy a reclining hovercouch in some remote corner of the ship.

With enough supplies to give Citizens a head start, AlphaOne would also be the hub of commerce. To begin with, anyway. Once transportation and communication were firmly re-established with EarthCorp, AlphaOne, as a ship, would be outmoded. Besides, the new citizenry would build superstructures, factories, farms and mines that should dwarf the ship’s capabilities. That was the hope, anyway.Spaceship

Captain van Kuhn shook his head in mild awe. EarthCorp had all this in mind even before they discovered WorldAlpha. Its construction already well underway, AlphaOne was launched within four months. WorldAlpha was a desperate reward for a dying race.

“Think we’ll find it, Captain?”

Van Kuhn turned to his First Officer, surprised by her silent approach.

 “That’s not the question,” he replied, more sharply than he wished. “We know exactly where it is. The question is: Will we survive the Passage?”

His First Officer nodded, her eyes betraying only a fraction of everyone’s fears. No one had ever travelled a wormhole before. AlphaOne’s engineers had wrestled every contingency into their plan, but the ship was untested. And so was its crew.

Never had the lives of so many depended on the efforts of so few: 17,654 souls – give or take a few stowaways. And the livestock.

Noah’s ark on steroids, he mused.

Van Kuhn turned to a holographic image of his ship, tiny lights speckling without and within. All systems green. He wondered how many of those lights would be red or even black when they were spewed out the other side of a wormhole.

With a final glance at the image once called Earth, he saluted its underground inhabitants. Then, with a gesture of his hand, he indicated the door. “Time to eat, First Officer. No sense chewing on tomorrow’s worries when there’s real food waiting.”

The Passage, humanity’s survival, and the hope of WorldAlpha all waited as well.

--Manfred Koehler



Comments

Can't wait to play. Awesome backstory! Great job!
October 14, 2012 | Baccar

Can't wait to play. Awesome backstory! Great job!
October 14, 2012 | Baccar

Damn good backstory, i love it!
October 11, 2012 | Jame320

Gonna be a great Game! Awesome Backstory!
October 7, 2012 | Gazimu

Holy backstory! Very nice, cannot wait to play this game haha :) !
October 7, 2012 | NateSutera

very nice backstory, can't wait to see how it progresses
October 7, 2012 | marksteele


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