It is the 25th century, after years of conflict the human race has started leaving a climate-changed
and resource-depleted Earth and moving out to colonise the rest of the solar system.
As they do so, they discover more and more evidence scattered around the solar system –non-human monuments and relics standing on the surface of far-distant moons and planets, pieces of advanced technology – that our system had been visited and comprehensively explored by alien races long ago. What drew these alien races here were Rare Solar Elements (RSEs); incredibly energy-rich elements that don’t exist on Earth but can be found throughout the rest of the solar system. RSEs are the power source for alien tech, and – it is believed – will eventually enable humans to unlock the secrets of interstellar travel and explore the galaxy beyond the bounds of our solar system.
The discoveries of RSEs and alien tech change everything, and galvanise the human race as nothing has ever done before. They also cause humanity to split into two rival factions which soon clash over how best to exploit these new discoveries.
GAIA UNITY (named after the Ancient Greek earth mother goddess) is the Earth-wide alliance dedicated to gathering the space-born resources needed to restore humanity’s homeworld. Gaia – derisively called OLD EARTHERS by their rivals – think it is foolhardy to flee out into space and abandon our home planet Better, they say, to use this alien tech and the new energy sources of the RSEs to repair the damage done to Earth, regenerating the planet and allowing it to remain the home of the human race for many more centuries to come. A reborn Earth would be a safe and secure base from which to start exploring the galaxy. Earth is the birthplace of the human race, they argue; it would be wrong and ungrateful of her children to abandon it to die from the damage they have caused her.
The other faction is the HIGH FRONTIER ALLIANCE, a coalition made up of the first generations of colonists who have established off-world communities throughout the solar system. Gaian estimates of the High Frontier plan claim that their calculations are based on only 5% of the human race being saved from the Earth’s eventual extinction, which has given rise to the Gaians’ contemptuous nickname for their enemies – the FIVE-PERCENTERS. The High Frontier see things differently; they are the children of those who fled the polluted and overcrowded Earth, and they look outward to the promise of the stars beyond our solar system, not backwards to a sick and dying planet. To them, these new resources are the means to eventually travel to those distant stars, and terraform any worlds there into new homes suitable for human life.
Both factions believe they are right, and that humanity’s best chance of survival lies in their possession of RSEs and alien tech. Both believe their rivals are dangerously misguided. To the High Frontier, the Gaians are nostalgic fools, clinging to the skin of a dying world when it’s obvious that the future of humanity’s best and brightest lies in the stars. To the Gaians, the High Frontier are callous and irresponsible fanatics, willing to abandon most of the population of Earth to their fate in order to pursue their selfish dream.
Both sides know they only have one shot at this. The RSE resources will be completely used up, either by the Gaians’ plan to terraform the Earth or by the High Frontier’s goal to develop interstellar travel. The battle is on for which vision of humanity’s future will come to pass.
Rare Solar Elements
High Frontier Alliance