Sunday, 16 October 2011

A history lesson: The First Lunar War

The First Lunar War
How did the long time allies, the UK and the USA, become enemies?  The First Lunar War is how.  The actual events that led to the war were difficult to unravel, and now following the Apocalypse, impossible to unravel.  One version is that a UK scientific mission on the Moon discovered the Haumean ship, but a USA team happened on the find a few hours later.  A struggle ensued and people died.  The other version has the USA military finding the ship, and hours later a UK vehicle crashed into the US vehicle.  Whichever version, by the end of that day the ship was in US hands and dozens of US and UK Loonies were dead.

Rhetoric exploded across the US and UK televisions.  US tourists in the UK were assaulted.  A UK plane crashed in Canada, the US was blamed in the UK e-tabloids.  After two weeks of tit-for-tat the US landed a “rescue mission” in London to evacuate its embassy and its citizens.  Most commentators said the whole affair was staged or an overreaction on the part of the USA.  Some say a rogue UK squadron attacked without orders, in the end two US VTOL crashed and the ambassador and his family were killed.  Some blame a third-party, China.  The first retaliation occurred on the Moon, after a wounded UK Loony died in US care the US base was holed (natural event or sabotage, no one knows) and several people died.  The main UK Lunar base was attacked by a rogue group of US Dustdevils (US Lunar special forces) with a loss of 20 souls.  In all the First Lunar War resulted in 43 dead on the Moon.

The real First Lunar War, however, was fought on Earth.  The US air bases in the UK were overrun by protesters, when a dozen civilians were killed by nervous US sentries the British military arrived to bring the situation under control.  In what is known as the Battle of Lakenheath the war escalated.  A firefight developed between the US and UK forces.  The battle expanded into the local towns and country, and over 1,000 civilians were killed.  Before the political leaders could bring it under control it expanded into open conflict that lasted three months.  By the time the Canadian brokered peace agreement was signed there were over 15,000 dead, wounded or missing.

The shock of the Anglo-USA conflict pushed the US and UK into a general isolationist policy while they worked out how they had come to blows.  Relations remained frosty after the US accused the UK of state sponsored terrorism in the USA.  During this period of the US special force attacks on “terrorist training camps” in the UK the Sino-Nippon Lunar War started.

The Chinese accused the Japanese of spying on their operation on the Moon, it was commonly believed that the Chinese had found an alien ship over a year before the First Lunar War.  When the United Nations voted through the Universal Alien Technology Exploitation Resolution, both China and the US used their power of veto.  This fuelled speculation that both these superpowers had already made significant alien discoveries.  Following the failure of the resolution the nations of the world voted out the veto options of the superpowers.  Russia, UK, USA and China immediately withdraw from the UN.  France remained.  Following an explosion at a Chinese exploration base on the Moon the Chinese-Japanese powder-keg exploded with China invading Japan.  No nation comes to the aid of Japan, the UN was a shell of its former self, and Japan is occupied by China.  No one knows how many died in this conflict, the best estimate is about 5 million.

By 2065 the world is at peace once more.  The UN was attempting to diplomatically free Japan from Chinese occupation, and  the Torres Strait War was finally cooling down.  South East Asians forces were withdrawing from most of northern Australia.  Just as the world economy was returning to a stable state the Great Jamming began.  A full spectrum radio jamming hits the Solar System.  The Earth nations lose control of all their space probes and colonies.  The source of the jamming is Haumea.  The United Nations is reformed as the League of Sovereign States of the Solar System (LSSSS or LS4) – including the nominally independent Martians (ex-UK and ex-US colonies on Mars who declared independence in protest against their parent nations conflict.   Plus the Free People of Lunar, a private colony on the Moon).

In 2066, communication with the ESA probe orbiting Ceres is regained using a laser communication system.  Before the 2065 event the probe had detected alien artefacts on Ceres where they had not been visible in prior missions.  The 2066 images showed thousands of robots mining large blocks of rock on Ceres and stockpiling them.  The rocks were on average 30m across.

In 2067 thousands of large rocks were detected leaving numerous asteroids, an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 were spotted, the majority between 25m-35m.  A dozen 1km rocks were also spotted being nudged onto impact paths with Earth.  The rocks would all intersect the Earth orbit four years after leaving the belt, arriving in 2071.  Calculations showed all the rocks would hit Earth head-on over a period of 24 hours.  Impact velocities would be in the order of 70-80km/s.  The scientific models showed the majority would air burst in multi-megaton explosions.  The large rocks were largely aimed at deep sea locations.

The LS4 realised that if the humans placed all their resources to stopping the rocks they would not even dent the rain of rocks.  The LS4 Resolution Prevention of Human Extinction directed the worlds resources to protect as many humans as possible, this meant moving humans to space stations, the Moon, Mars and the construction of bunkers and creation of massive stores of food, equipment and seeds.

The Apocalypse
On the 20th of January 2071 the attack on Earth began, and it lasted twenty four hours.  First to arrive were millions of small rocks and dust, the upper atmosphere was heated to thousand of watts, setting plants, house and humans alight.  The second wave was the medium rocks, the majority air burst in megaton explosions between 10 and 16km above the surface, with fragments smashing into all the cities of the world.  Last game the large rocks, resulting in massive tsunamis.

The sun was blotted and twilight only returned to the surface of Earth in mid-April 2071.  The winters of 2071 were up to 15°C colder than normal.  Though no comprehensive study has been done, an estimated 3 billion humans perished within a week of the attack, and by the end of the 2071/72 Northern hemisphere winter a further 5.5 billion humans had perished.  The present estimate of the human population of Earth ranges from 200 million to 1 billion.

Many of the LS4 “Safe Zones” were hit, robots on board the incoming rocks fired engines and directed the impacts on safe zones and masses of fleeing humans.  Two year after the Apocalypse the LS4 survivors began to emerge, some to unite, others deciding to go on their own path.  LS4 came back online and started organizing Earth’s survival.  The majority of survivors were however those who were abandoned by LS4, not everyone could be saved.  The self-survivors formed small communities, some beginning to farm, loot or roam as armed bands.  In the last four years LS4 has had little success at uniting the self-survivors.  Rumours persist of some LS4 members resorting to force to resettle the self-survivors.  The LS4-survivors, however, are in rudimentary communication with one another (using microwave links and direct wire), have facilities and are working in an organized command structure.  Microwave communication satellites have been switched on in orbit, but have poor coverage at present.

In 2075 the LS4 orbital probes switched on and mapped the Earth to ascertain the impact of the Apocalypse.  The Earth was down but not out.  The world was covered in fungi and insects, but the plants were already making a comeback.  The maps revealed that one area of Earth had not been attacked, southern Afghanistan.  First the scientists thought it may just be an anomaly or the aliens may have perceived no targets in the region, but further investigation showed that aliens and robots were landing all over southern Afghanistan.  In fact, alien vegetation was starting to sprout across the desert and waterways.  Within a month massive earth moving operations were under way.  A massive orbital laser was dissecting the rocks below the southern desert of Afghanistan, the laser was so large that it would melt 100m wide swaths of sand and rock and send fountains of molten glass across the desert.  The first special force operatives to image the laser in operation called it the "rip-n-roar".  Large areas are the region are now covered in black glass ejecta from the laser.  LS4 directed an array of fusion bombs on these mines, and captured the massive orbital laser platform for a short while.  This did not stop the aliens arriving.  In fact all the world's surviving nuclear weapons were destroyed in a week long campaign by unseen aliens.  Several of the command and control nodes of LS4 were also obliterated by the rip-n-roar laser.

The LS4 then sent in the troops to discover what the aliens were doing in SAFG.  Self-sufficient columns from several nations, leagues and private companies made their way to southern Afghanistan.  Special forces with geophysical mapping equipment were the first to arrive, they soon found “anomalies over an area of 100km by 30km” in the Permian-Triassic rocks under the southern desert, aptly named the “Desert of Death”.

The columns vary in composition, some are more scientific, some are more engineering-orientation, some are more militarily-orientated.  Many contain old equipment, one even containing tanks from the 1950’s.  Many have scavenged the planet as they have headed to the alien mines.  Some have massive baggage trains, bloated with camp-followers.  Others are lean fighting machines.

The campaign begins.

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