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Awen: Tongue Of Flame

By Craig Beckham All Rights Reserved ©

Adventure / Scifi

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, 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.

With the colonies of Sol star system working together for seventy four years, in an effort to research and construct the first practical generation ship, not only had they achieved the forlorn goal by completing the first affordable, mammoth sized generation vessel, but a brilliant engineer; a pioneer named Charles Endeavor had ironically designed the ‘Endeavor Class’ warp drive, a device that would not only provide humanity with a more efficient means of reaching ‘Proxima Centauri’.

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 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 were four planets, two were barren and lifeless, and the third was a ball of ice, being too far out from the star, on the edge of the system 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 been on a planet 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, as countless soul-crushing minutes crawled by, then suddenly there it was, a stunning rock-ridden world, a lot smaller than they originally thought, and well hidden, but there it was, sitting majestically before them.

The planet boasted an enveloping jungle terrain, heaven-reaching mountain peaks, wild-running waterfalls, coalescing into metre deep, winding rivers and eventually free-flowing into untamed, roaring seas that were almost tropical, they appeared to be so clear.

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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