For Gaian Military High Commander, Lea Wurfel, the war was not over. In her view there were billions of threats to Gaian security living throughout the galaxy. Every colony on every planet was an enemy of Gaia, and the most immediate threat was Pangaea. The massive orbiting complex was home to nearly a billion people, many that had never set foot on Earth. Wurfel, like most conservative Gaians, believed that people not born on the planet lacked a connection to the Earth Mother, and therefore held no loyalty to Gaia. In fact anyone not born on Earth wasn’t seen as a true human, and had no rights under Gaian law. As such, there was little opposition when Wurfel order the extermination of Pangaea on April 20th 2179.
For ten days Pangaean security forces resisted occupation but, severely outgunned, Pangaea eventually fell. What was once arguably the greatest engineering marvel in human history, and often touted as the closest to utopia man would ever achieve, was turned into a concentration camp overnight. Wurfel and her troops showed no mercy. For weeks Gaian soldiers tortured and executed Pangaean citizens by the thousands.
The death squads would disable life support and watch people suffocate and freeze to death. When they became bored of that, they would pack people by the hundreds into large cargo containers and launch them out of airlocks to burn up in the atmosphere. It seemed to have become a game for them as they worked their way through the massive space station. News of the atrocities on Pangaea spread quickly throughout the outer planetary colonies but most were unable or unwilling to intervene. There was hope however.
Leap Of Faith
A decade prior the “Leap Of Faith” mission was to be the furthest LEAP ever attempted. The mission was intended to explore a solar system in the NGC-1300, or Draco-Tao galaxy. Discovered four years prior by a LEAP probe, the system contained two habitable stellar bodies named Solum and Solide. The first was one of the most earth-like planets ever discovered with conditions and resources as close to perfect for colonization as anyone could ask. The second was a moon, not as earth-like, but rich with valuable minerals and ores critical in technology manufacturing.
Initially the Faith mission was to be just another scientific conquest, but as the Gaian War unfolded, EDI Director Grey Hevey saw it as plan B. He knew that without UGC support human colonization of the Milky Way was unregulated, and with the harsh living conditions and no central authority, corruption would quickly take root. Piracy had already become commonplace and seeing the situation only becoming increasingly unstable Hevey decided that establishing a foothold in the distant galaxy was the best strategic move.
The Leap of Faith mission was kept under the strictest secrecy, known only to a few top level EDI and WSO officials. On March 7th 2169, a massive 240 meter tall space station named Isis Tempus, along with a small fleet of support stations and ships, LEAPed out of orbit around an isolated planet in the Milky Way. Twenty two seconds later it reappeared in the Draco-Tao galaxy located in the Eridanus Cluster, approximately 61 million light years from Earth.
In the end none of the outer colonies had the resources to do anything about the atrocities on Pangaea. But, unbeknownst to most of humanity, over the previous several years the manufacturing facility on Solide had been busily turning out the most advanced military craft ever produced. The Grendel HF-A05 was the first of its kind. A fighter craft capable of both atmo and space combat.
With the fall of the UGC, Grey Hevey moved to rally former EDI personnel under a new flag – The Brotherhoof Of Sol. While nowhere near the scale of the former EDI, Hevey still inspired tremendous loyalty, and thousands pledged themselves to the newly formed Brotherhoodl. However, even with the new ship there was no hope of taking on the full force of the Gaian military on the ground. So Hevey aimed for the moon.
On May 28th 2179, Grey Hevey, aboard a Shinigami class space station positioned just outside the range of the Earth Detection Network, gives the order to launch operation “Hell Hammer” and fifty Grendel fighters pour through three specially modified LEAP gates.
The first squadron emerged from LEAP at top speed, skimming 30 meters above the lunar surface. The ships plow through the Gaian rail gun placements outside the Luna Chorda Moon base before the defense system can even come online.
The second squadron LEAP to secure the Pangaea space complex while the third and fourth squadrons head for the planet surface. In the night sky above the new Gaian capitol, people look up at what they believe to be shooting stars. By the time they hear the the growl of Grendels engines, fire is already raining from the sky as plasma cannons hammer the city.
By morning, as Hevey and a fleet of Shinigami LEAP into orbit, the Brotherhood have secured Pangaea, the Gaian capital, and most critically, Luna Chorda. The Gaian airforce respond by are no match for the maneuverability or power of the Brotherhood fighter craft.
Hevey makes a simple demand. The safe release of anyone that wished to leave Earth or he would destroy Luna Chorda. Not knowing the extent of Brotherhood forces, Gaian Military Commander, Lea Wurfel begrudgingly agrees to Hevey’s terms and sanctions, not only the release of the Pangean prisoners of war, but also the free passage of anyone else that wished to leave Earth.
Over a period of four months the combined fleets of the former EDI and WSO ferry some 2.5 billion people from Earth and Pangaea to their new home on Solum. On September 13th 2179, the last of the refugees LEAP away from Earth.