"This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."Winston Churchill
The Tornado and Marshal Vedette
Six months passed before a tornado of incredible severity formed in the vicinity of Phoenix, and its course passed through the colony, causing enormous devastation. Phoenix's infrastructure was designed to withstand the frequent dust storms, electrical storms and magnetic field fluctuations, but this raw force of nature laid waste to the colony city. Predictions and monitoring managed to greatly mitigate the loss of life in the event, but that was little consolation for the colonists who left the bunkers and shelters to discover their hard work ripped to pieces.
Relief efforts were slow and crippled in numerous ways as the lack of infrastructure made it costly and time-consuming to fix what had gone wrong. The Colony Central Council was thrown into turmoil over decisions about where relief efforts should be focussed, and in the arguments disagreements about other aspects of the colony's administration system came to light, carving schisms between the councillors. Amongst them was Marshal Gabriel Vedette, charged originally with the defence of the colony from external threat (predators and elements alike) and from internal threat (in the form of crime, which Phoenix had plenty of before Vedette's security team was fully operational). To him it was logical that he should be placed in temporary command, and when the rest of the councillors refused to listen, he used the security team to force their consent, taking control.
While, to his credit, relief efforts gained momentum under Vedette's regime, the other councillors reacted badly and soon orchestrated protests and colony-wide dissension against Vedette, branding him a dictatorial tyrant. His responses in the form of armed guards forcibly breaking up the subversive activity were arguably too heavy-handed, and when talks to re-unify Phoenix's crumbling governmental and social system failed, many colonists sided with the figureheads they most admired and agreed with, and began an exodus from Phoenix to start a colony elsewhere. As much of the colony had yet to be repaired, and many parts of the colony were designed to be mobile and packable, they took whatever they could salvage, whatever scrap appeared useful, and whatever vehicles and transportable resources they could get, and left.
Not everyone left Phoenix at the same time, and those who left in smaller groups (or even individually) without adequate preparation very quickly perished in the desert, leaving the resources they transported with them open for ravaging by the elements or plundering by other colonists who happened the same way they did. Many of the splinter colonies had begun setting up by the time they expected some of their later members to arrive, but in the end there were altogether too many cases of people who never made it.
Present Day: 14th August, 2229 [Year 1 AE (After Earth)]
It has been only a few weeks since you have set up your splinter colony. There are no longer issues concerning immediate survival, but the daily struggle is far from over. Your colonists look to the future with trepidation and unease, then to your figureheads for guidance and a plan. Where do you go from here?