Chapter 4: The Second Fall

A Hollow Moon

On August 12th 2163, the crew of the Letwene Arbor Class Space Station, led by Commander Darren Hessler, intercept an aberrant radio signal coming from a moon orbiting planet PL9987 located in the Centaurus Arm of the Milky Way. The signal is persistent and highly structured suggesting an intelligent source, and as per protocol, the Letwene reroutes to investigate. What Hesslers crew finds is truly amazing and within weeks of its discovery teams of scientists swarm the location.

The whole of the moon’s interior was host to a vast alien machine. This machine, powered by the moons own molten core, had devoured the moons resources from the inside out leaving behind a vast network of tunnels and massive chambers. There was much speculation over the purpose of the machine and the complex left behind. Of particular interest was what had been housed in a network of chambers filled with rows and rows of identical cells, theorized to have been some form of stasis or incubation system. The hollow moon housed an estimated 30 million pods and the mysterious race that was presumed to have once occupied them were dubbed the “Sleepers”.

As news of the Hollow Moon and the Sleepers began to saturate global media, conflicts with Children of Gaia groups steadily increase, and public fears begins to spin out of control. The new fear over a potential alien threat bolsters support for “Earth is home” extremist groups, and even many hardcore WSO supporters begin to shift alliances in the reality and uncertainty of the recent discovery.

At the same time, in the wake of the Gaian terrorist violence, millions flee to the refuge of Pangaea. But as the enormous space complex quickly reaches capacity, and the stations steady expansion is all but halted by disrupted supply lines, more and more people are turned away. This further strengthened the Gaian movement by reinforcing propaganda that Pangaeans did not care about the problems of the planet side population. While profoundly untrue, more people began to see Pangaea as an elitist culture living in luxury as everyone else suffered. In reality, by 2164 the Pangaea population was over 900 million, and over crowding had began to take it’s toll on the communities of the once Utopian society.

As the Gaian ranks continued to grow, so did their resolution and violence. The complexity and number of casualties of their terror efforts was increasing. In September of 2165 Gaian agents infiltrate the food courts of a popular mall in Dubai resulting in the poisoning deaths of over a hundred thousand people. Humanity had not seen this level of unrest in over a century and UGC Security forces were unprepared and struggled to maintain order. The EDI was more adept at handling extreme situations but their resources were stretched thin with most of their forces off-world.

The Gaian War

The Children of Gaia were no longer a series of “Earth is home” factions operating independently of one another. The group had become a unified and highly organized separatist movement under the leadership of Yonas Girmay.

Girmay was a dynamic leader and a brilliant strategist. Under his flag the Gaian movement grew at an exponential rate. He turned the random terrorist attacks of hundreds of factions into a calculated global campaign of psychological warfare. Girmay and, his right hand and leader of the Gaian military, Lea Wurfel, successfully captured and held enormous regions unofficially defining territorial boundaries between the UGC and the Gaians.

On May 11th 2166, the Unified Global Committee, in an effort to stave off war, offer to grant the Children of Gaia sovereignty. A temporary ceasefire was proposed to allow for the safe passage of UGC citizens out of Gaian controlled territories. Girmay responded,

“We have taken the first step to liberation, but our journey is far from over. We are Gaian and we will not rest until our world is purged of those not of Gaia. We have been offered our own territory up as a gift, as if we had not already taken it for ourselves. But we will not be petty in the face of this disrespect. We shall honor this cease fire. For the next 48 hours no Gaian shall raise a gun to our enemy. However, a reward will be given for the head of every fleeing rat cut down by a Gaian blade. We will see to it that the UGC receives every one of the citizens from our lands. Let them sort out the pieces.”

As thousands are brutally slaughtered in the streets the Unified Global Committee officially declared a state of war for the first time since its establishment in 2039. UGC Security Forces move into Gaian controlled territory, thus beginning the first battle of the Gaian war.

Tides Of War

Since the beginning of the Gaian war advantage shifted regularly between the two sides, with the UGC steadily losing ground in each exchange. However, despite consistent victories, public opinion of the war was shifting inside the newly formed Gaian Nation. In particular opinions regarding the tactics endorsed by the Gaian leader, Yonas Girmay, and his military head, Lea Wurfel. More and more their methods were viewed as unacceptably brutal.

On December 25th 2173 Girmay is killed during a conflict between Gaian and UGC naval forces in the Baltic Sea. Immediately following the news, Lea Wurfel steps up to take the role of Gaian leader, but the Gaian Council quickly dash her aspirations and instead appoints Brodie Mustar as the new Leader of the Gaian Nation. Mustar was a well known figure and represented the Gaian public’s growing distaste for war. However, over the next two years under Mustar’s new policies the Gaian Nation was diminished both in territory, and in political might.

The UGC still held the Luna Chorda Moon Base and thus the whole of Earth’s Helidyte supply. Previously, under Girmay, all the Helidyte that fueled the Gaian Nation was captured from strategic conquests of UGC reserves. Now with Mustar’s lack of military progress left them buying Helidyte from unscrupulous off-world resource traders, and as the Gaian treasury was exhausted, so became the Helidyte. For the first time the UGC saw a clear path to victory as Gaian financial and energy reserves dried up.

By late 2175 the Gaian Nation was critically weakened. With the Gaian military severely crippled, its war machines sitting with their reactors cold, the UGC issued an ultimatum. The Gaian Nation could surrender and enter negotiations to retain their sovereignty, or the UGC could end the war with a final military action. Seeing no other options Mustar conceded. On November 8th 2175 Mustar prepared to announce surrender, but as he begins his speech Gaian military forces, led by Lea Wurfel, storm the building. Without pause Mustar’s entire political committee is executed where they sit. Then the world watches as Wurfel cuts down a pleading Mustar during the live broadcast. Her face streaked with blood, Wurfel stares into the cameras saying only one thing,

“As I breath Gaia shall not fall.”

With Wurfel in command the Gaian military returns to guerrilla warfare and violent acts of terror. While initially seen as futile attempts at holding onto the already dead cause, it soon becomes clear they are merely diversions. On July 6th 2176, Wurfel, and several heavily armed squads of a Gaian special forces landing party, attacks and captures the Luna Chorda Moon base. Space travel was a punishable offense by Gaian law and in the entirety of the war no Gaian forces had ever left the planet, so the lunar complex had been left almost completely unprotected. Suddenly the Gaian Nation held all the power and the tides of war had shifted once again.

The War Ends

Several attempts to retake the Luna Chorda facility were made by UGC and EDI forces, but none were successful at breaching Gaian defenses. Over the next year a series of strategic attacks on UGC facilities further tightened the Gaian stranglehold on UGC resources.

Cut off, the UGC leadership finds it difficult to reduce energy consumption across its territories and quickly burns through its Helidyte reserves. Like the Gaian Nation two years prior, UGC cities begin to go dark and the UGC Security Forces are severely weakened. As more and more territory falls to the Gaian military and their brutal methods, UGC leaders reach out to the Gaian High Command. Wurfel however is not interested in their surrender.

On December 14th 2178 the Gaian military takes the UGC capitol city, executing every member of the UGC leadership and slaughtering hundreds of thousands of citizens. Over the next few weeks Gaian forces, as part of Wurfel’s Operation Locust, systematically eliminate all remaining resistance. The Gaian war was over.

Chapter 5: Exodus

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