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Awen: Tongue Of Flame

By Craig Beckham All Rights Reserved ©

Scifi / Adventure

Blurb

Over one century ago, humanity journeyed through the cosmos in search of a new home. The generation ship 'Aspire' had eventually discovered that home within the confines of the mysterious solar system, Proxima Centauri. This was a new beginning for some, or a new adventure for others. There would be no telling whether or not this star could actually support life at all, nor were there any clues as to what secrets it beheld. One thing was certain, humanity had arrived at Proxima Centauri with the sole purpose of creating a new colony, and that is exactly what they would have to do. They were over a light year from Earth, and they did not possess the fuel that would have been required to travel to an alternate destination either. Only time itself, and the determination of a new generation of pioneers would allow for humanity to thrive within such a future of uncertainty.

Prologue

Humanity had set out to traverse the ocean of stars one hundred and ten years ago. The exploration of Sol star system was no longer enough to satisfy the ambitions, or the passions of many space enthusiasts’, they sought the stars, and the stars, they found.

Prior to the ‘great exodus’ of the year 3,184, flocks of humanity had stumbled out of the proverbial woodwork of Sol star system with hopes of embarking upon greater adventures. Humans had arrived in the thousands at the now revered ‘Ascendance station’ from the colonies of Mars, Jupiter and Lunar, hell, even Earth.

This gargantuan colonization effort was originally proposed as an eighty thousand year trip to the closest star next to Sol, this was a star known to astronomers as ‘Proxima Centauri’.

This of course was a time frame that was meaningless, expensive and impractical for the humans of that time. In order for the journey to succeed, they had to shorten the time frame of the journey exponentially.

The colonies of Sol star system had worked together for seventy four years, in an effort to research and construct the first practical generation ship.

Not only had they achieved this forlorn goal by completing the first affordable, mammoth sized generation vessel; but a brilliant engineer, a pioneer named Charles Endeavor had later designed the ‘Endeavor Class’ warp drive.

This was a device that would not only provide humanity with a more efficient means of reaching ‘Proxima Centauri’, but would provide them with untold years worth of research into the mystifying technology.

This magnificent device had in fact shortened the journey by an unimaginable scale. Humanity would reach the fabled star on board the newly christened vessel ‘Aspire’ within one hundred and ten years.


Space was quieter than quiet, with only the tranquil sounds of planetary bodies echoing endlessly through time, there was no sign of disturbance, until humanity arrived.

A little over one century later, humanity certainly did reach the star ‘Proxima Centauri’ as they had planned; and the long journey had inevitably reached a final conclusion, a mere three months prior to the suggested deadline.

'Ascendance' tumbled out of warp space, ahead of time. It was as if the vessel had been clawing its way out of the experimental warp corridor; ever since they commenced the daring journey through the heavens all of those years ago.

There were several major astronomical bodies present throughout the star system. At first glance, there appeared to be four planets, two were barren and lifeless, and the third was a ball of ice, due to it being too far out from the star.

The third planet sat idly on the edge of the system, where it was impossible for it to obtain any life-inducing warmth.

The hoped for ‘habitable zone’ had thus far neglected to live up to its name.

Star system-wide scans had been running for a while now. The passengers aboard 'Ascendance' were becoming more and more agitated, as absurd as that sounded; especially considering the fact that they were all born in space and had not set foot on a planetary surface before.

There was but one thing left for them to do, they would have to remain confined to their ship in instilled anxiety, bearing a forlorn hope. The discovery of such a habitable planet within this star system was just that after all, a forlorn hope.

Morale throughout the entire vessel had been declining toward an all new low. Countless soul-crushing minutes had crawled by, and then suddenly there it was, a stunning rock-ridden world. The world appeared to be a lot smaller than they had originally thought, and well hidden too, yet there it was, sitting majestically before them.

The planet boasted an enveloping jungle terrain, heaven-reaching mountain peaks, and wild-running waterfalls. All of which coalesced into metre deep, winding rivers and eventually continued free-flowing into untamed, roaring seas that were crystal clear. The gorgeous spectacle was almost tropical-looking in nature.

The planet was a rarity, a diamond in the rough. Some could even argue that it was too good to be true. Scientists had predicted that the star system may well contain some habitable planets that would barely register as being 'habitable', and they were almost entirely wrong.

Before journeying out into the dark space between stars, scientists' had also assessed that despite the star’s potential ability to support life, this generic star type was regrettably notorious for causing unpredictable solar storms.

Despite this unnerving insight, several initial assessments of the star system had revealed little solar activity when they arrived, and damn it, these 'space-faring' pioneers' were here to do one thing. They would colonize the planet, and with it, begin a new era, one that they were trained for, and one that would be recorded within the annals of humanity.


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