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Building a Better World Part 10: Home Sweet Home - Cephus' Corner

Building a Better World Part 10: Home Sweet Home

December 31st, 2013


Damn it!  This is another post WordPress didn’t publish as scheduled! It was supposed to go up on December 3, it says scheduled for December 3, but by the time I realized it didn’t post, it was almost the end of the month.  Sorry if these are going to be out of order!

In most far-future science fiction universes, the human homeworld is sacred, it’s often depicted as a paradise, where problems of crime and pollution have been solved and it sits at the pinnacle of human achievement, which all other planets strive to emulate.

Not me.  I blew it up.  Read on in Building a Better World Part 10 to find out how and why.

Now partially, this was done on purpose and partially, it was just how things turned out, you have to remember that these things happened inside of a game and, even though I was running the game, I didn’t have complete control over what actually happened, the players and, to a lesser degree, luck, determines how things play out in the end.

From my perspective, I really don’t like the earthly paradise idea.   You see it in Star Trek, you see it in many literary universes and it never has sat well with me.  After all, humans are far from perfect, why should this one shining jewel in the sea of night be? Plus, if humanity has moved out to the stars, if there are billions of potential worlds and nearly unlimited resources, why should this little blue-green marble mean that much to us, even if it’s where we sprang from?  Let’s keep in mind that, at the time this was all happening, humanity had colonized nearly 50 worlds and I didn’t want to keep them tied to Earth, I wanted them to consider themselves citizens of the cosmos.

I don’t know that I’ve ever described the dating system that’s used.  In the original Other Suns game, it started a new dating system called Anno Atomica, starting in 1945, with the first human atomic explosion.  I didn’t really like that since it glorified destruction so I moved the first year to 1969, the year man stepped on the moon and called it Anno Caelius, or AC, although I know I screw up a lot and still use the AA acronym.  This story takes place between 408 and 446 AC, meaning it begins in 2104CE.  As you might imagine, even early on in our expansionistic phase, we’d colonized several worlds in this solar system, as well as having an extensive presence on the moon.  Earth, while not a paradise, was certainly well off and most of the people who lived there were quite high on the metaphorical food chain.  Earth was the center of the fledgling Terran Empire and whereas most lower-class people had gone to the stars, either by choice or by force, you had a lot of people on the planet who felt better than everyone else and it showed.  The colonists on Mars and Venus were relatively free from Earth‘s direct influence but the lunar colonists were virtual slaves, treated as second class citizens.


Once humans started to run into unsavory aliens who might want to attack us, Earth started to set up a defensive perimeter around the planet, armed with anti-matter missiles, pointing out into space. Eventually there were more than 3,000 orbital satellites, each sporting more than a dozen missiles, primed to take out any space-based threat. The lunar colonists were charged with the maintenance of the satellites and all was relatively well for a while until more radical elements started to gain power of lunar society.  Primary among them were a particularly fanatical splinter Islamic group that resented being pushed off the planet and away from Mecca.  Over the course of a couple of decades, they slowly started to infiltrate the colony from various gulags and spread their message, converting many thousands of people to their beliefs.  Upset, both because of this supposed religious slight, but because it was clear that, in case of an invasion, Earth had protection but the moon, outside of the missile defense system, had to fend for itself but was not allowed any offensive weapons, a plan was hatched to take the Earth effectively hostage so the moon could sue for independence.  It took several years, but the lunar workers went from satellite to satellite and reversed all of the missiles so that they were pointing down toward the Earth and altered the programming so it looked like they were still pointing out into space.  It was something never intended to be used, they wanted to force the Earth government to give up it’s power and control, but within the large Muslim population on the moon remained that original fanatical splinter group and they were getting more fanatical all the time.

earth_explodingBy now, a new Purity Colony had already been established called New Mecca and the Islamic Imams had decided that, due to the impracticality of even locating the original Mecca in space, it was no longer required to bow down in that direction.  It really made no sense to keep that tradition alive, even for places still close to the Earth like the moon, what do you do when you’re on the opposite side of the moon from Mecca, stand on your head?  Besides, Mecca was not really a Muslim stronghold anymore, it was more of a traditional and historical relic.  However, these Muslim fanatics refused to accept that they should change their ways and their rituals simply because it was difficult to perform them.  Therefore, it wasn’t all that hard to understand when, in the midst of negotiations with the Earth, these fanatics, screaming “Allah Akbar”, launched a catastrophic missile attack.  Nearly 50,000 anti-matter missiles streaked downward from space, raining destruction across the globe and, in fact, shattering the planetary shell, resulting in the physical destruction of the planet Earth. Not coincidentally, it also resulted in the destruction of the moon through tidal forces.

The planet destroyed and the seat of government vanished, the Terran Empire sat on the brink of destruction and war until a new government arose from the ashes of the old on D’Fron, a former gulag colony in the Andor system, where political expatriates had been exiled.  The planet was renamed New Earth and declared the New Terran Empire, promising a more democratic and representative of the people.  It probably saved humanity when they met up with the vastly superior (at the time) L’Doran Hegemony a few decades later.  Previously, the Terran Empire had no problem trying to kill most any alien species they ran into, but now, with a new outlook, they joined the Hegemony and shared technology, making the new Empire stronger in the long run.

Today, at least the today in my universe, the Sol system is largely abandoned.  With Earth gone, there was significant damage done to the colonized planets and everyone escaped to other planets beyond the gravitational carnage.  There is an orbital memorial around the asteroid belt that remains between Venus and Mars that cautions people never to allow fanaticism or ego to get in the way of a united humanity.

So what would you like to know more about in my universe?  I can ramble on forever but I’d love some suggestions!  Please post it below in the comments if you have any specific questions, I’d love to hear your ideas!



  • Niall Shapero says on: December 4, 2014 at 3:01 am


    Ok, OTHER SUNS did set the calendar starting in August 1945 (as year 0 AE/Anno Atomica). Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa! (I’m hardly the first person to pull this stunt). In OTHER SUNS, Earth was pasted (blasted down to the bedrock) during the Second Earth-Hegemony war — I don’t like Utopias either, you see…utopia is boring, after all (no conflict, or it wouldn’t be a utopia).

    • Cephus says on: December 4, 2014 at 2:13 pm


      I hate utopias too, I find them entirely boring. I hate them almost as much as I hate dystopias. You have to have conflict, conflict generates story, but you can’t have nothing but conflict or there’s no reason to actually try to improve the situation. Without that light at the end of the tunnel, the thought that you might be able to resolve this particular conflict in some positive manner, what’s the point of even trying?

      As far as dating systems, it really doesn’t matter as they’re all arbitrary anyhow, but it never made any sense to me that a relatively minor player on the galactic stage would be able to set the larger chronological standard. It seems that any group would have had to have earned a place of importance in the larger community to be given that honor. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

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Cephus' Corner

A Place to Share my Geeky Side With the World. Comics, movies, TV, collecting, you name it, I indulge in it.