The Orbiter. Part 2

They rose from inside the remains of asteroid Raika, their hibernation now over. Eight limbed each and serpentine in nature, they stood at their smallest twenty feet tall, completely imposing in appearance. They made their powers obvious from the start, allowing themselves to be seen as formidable and vicious, but not to be feared, as all they wanted to do was establish a home.

The surface-dwellers who witnessed the beasts referred back to the remains of earth’s history and literature, and discovered that the beasts had clearly visited the planet in the past. For while they called themselves the Gerosus, they were in literature in many forms, under the branching title of ‘Dragon.’

One of the leading impulses in the surface-dweller’s minds was that of survival, ingrained after years of struggling and fighting one another, and while sharing resources often led to starvation. However they knew above anything to never pick a fight they could not win, and this was obviously one of those fights. Instead they struck up an agreement with the Gerosus, giving them free reign of the planet in exchange for a supply of food and not being harmed.

The Gerosus took the offer and spread out, traveling to the six other branches of the world, with a few remaining by the asteroid. Little by little they all adapted to the land they inhabited, taking on different shapes as well as losing the powers they no longer needed. Soon what had been one species of draconic creature became seven different ones, with the original, Gerosus, becoming increasingly rare.

All was well for many years, with both sides living in relative harmony, until the under-dwellers rose to the surface again, and took a disliking to the way the world now looked and operated. They disagreed with the surface-dwellers decision to let the creatures set up home, and tension was created between the three groupings.

Tension that was taken full advantage of by Mackiavelli.

He rose less than a year after the under-dwellers resurfaced, and, borrowing and altering the name of the Italian philosopher, created a heavy rift between the three, pitting them against one another in an attempt to bring all three too their knees. His past had taught him that there should always be three powers, and using the only knowledge he had at hand, attempted to cripple all three at once, bringing them to similar levels.

The under-dwellers were the easiest to sway, just using the dragons to cripple their leaders was enough to cause an uproar, and pitting them against the surface-dwellers took no effort either.

It was during his attempt at pitting the surface-dwellers and dragons against one another that his past came back to haunt him, for rising from the same place as he, came his long-forgotten sister, Andli. She was able to unite a few under-dwellers with some surface-dwellers, and uniting them with three undecided dragons, was able to overthrow and destroy Mackiavelli, sacrificing herself in the process.

In light of the realisation that they were all being manipulated, the three sides came to an agreement, in which the majority of the under-dwellers, who wanted nothing to do with the other two, would set up anew on the other side of the planet, keeping that half for themselves. They blessed their half, the ‘New Earth.’ The Dragons and the surface-dwellers, who had lived in relative harmony before, chose to live together on the remaining half, with the asteroid marking the centre of the land. They chose to name their land after the Dragons original home, ‘Gaelith.’

The three dragons, grateful to those who had aided them, chose to bestow upon them certain powers, which would be unpredictable in nature but generationally passable. The powers allowed the newly dubbed, ‘Gaelithians’ the ability to survive using their powers as their main tool. While the New-Earthians reverted back to the technological ways of old, allowing both to be used and refined at the same time, each unaware of the other.

As a final sign of peace, the dragons chose to give the planet a new moon. Using their capabilities, they brought one, bigger, redder and more beautiful than the original.

As a sign of thanks for the peace the Dragons had brought, the Gaelithians decided to name three of the most prominent features of Gaelith after them. The Asteroid Raika was renamed Grard-Conih, while the two neighbouring capital cities were named Kioso-Brog and Froyk-Da.

All remained well with this arrangement, up until the rise of Vermabay.






The Orbiter. Part 1

It wasn’t until twenty-three years after the Moon was destroyed by the McKenziean  Fanatics that the Asteroid was spotted. It made a shallow pass of the Sun, the gravity of which brought it around to pass over the orbit of the Earth. Calculations were run, and simulations were made, all within days of it being spotted, and two things were discovered: Firstly was its size, with observations placing it at around 5 miles wide. The second discovery was its impact location, just to the west coast of the USA. They also calculated, rather Ironically, that had the Moon still been in place, it would have been in perfect position to protect the Planet it had formerly orbited.

In a thick slice of irony, the ones who had destroyed the Moon in order to protect the Earth, had ultimately sealed its fate.

Meetings were held, governments worldwide gathered together to between them decide how to combat the problem. Two tiers of action were decided upon, the first being large, self-sustaining underground bunkers to wait out the destruction the impact would cause.  The second course of action was to bump up the funding of space exploration, with the main goal being to destroy the asteroid. Private investors and pioneers would be reached out to if they felt they could be trusted. But the thing agreed upon more than anything else, was that the public would not be told.

422 days after the asteroid was first discovered, the largest non-modular space vehicle was launched from a vacant stretch of Russia. its purpose was a simple one: Impact head on with the asteroid and detonate its payload. The hope was two-fold, either the impact would bury the vehicle deep inside the giant metallic space rock, or it would slow it down even slightly. Neither happened, and the warheads detonating barely even scratched the surface.

As the Governments made provisions to start moving select people into the bunkers they had each built, a last ditch effort was made by a force no-one had predicted. Team Ogni-Ratha launched The Black Sparrow once again into the confines of space. No explosives on board, but instead ferrying an experimental nuclear engine.  The asteroid was at this stage so close it was visible even in the day, a bright shining ball that seemed to rise in the sky just after the Sun itself.

Black Sparrow latched itself to the side of the plummeting hunk of metallic rock, as powered up the engine. With just enough force, he was able to nudge the asteroid away from direct impact.  But not far enough to avoid impact entirely. Both the Sparrow and the asteroid ended up ensnared in the Earth’s protective layer, its atmosphere.

Black Sparrow, crushed between the falling asteroid and the burning re-entry, was  destroyed almost instantly. But the giant rock kept tumbling, its elongated re-entry slowing it, spinning it, burning off huge chunks at a time. She lost a mile of rock as she tumbled, the pieces separating as she rotated.  By the time she had exited the atmosphere again she was half the size she had been.

But despite her now reduced size, she impacted hard, a few miles off the coast of Australia, in the Indian Ocean. A 2.5 mile twist of metals and rock striking the earth at near 25,000mph.  Whatever water wasn’t vaporised instantly by the impact was sent north and westward in excessively giant waves.  While a dry shockwave spanned inland, dust and debris blew so fast along the surface that near enough everything was torn apart. Neither shockwave stopped until they stuck each other a full halfway around the globe, where they dissipated, dust and water molecules settling high in the atmosphere.

But Black Sparrow had done the job, the gentle nudge had been enough to stop the impact being completely head on, and as such the reduced size resulting from a longer burn through the atmosphere had kept the surface at least partially hospitable.

For the next 300 years after the impact, the people of Earth lived in two separate realms. The first were the Under-Dwellers, those who had been selected to live in the bunkers, and the generations that lived after the originals. They lived very structured lives, everyone playing a role in keeping the bunkers sustaining, either mining for fuel in the deeper portions or farming crops in makeshift soil. No-one’s time was ever wasted below the surface. The second were the Surface-Survivors, later known as the Surface-Dwellers, those who had survived the impact but now had to fight for everything. In the chaos after the impact there had been no effort to establish a chain of command, and so for those on the surface, every day was a battle for food and water.  Every day  became a battle to survive.

Then the beasts came.