The Earth Exodus

"It is better to travel well than to arrive."


The Horizon Power Failure and Course Correction

With Earth left behind, the vast majority of the new colonists were kept in cryonic sleep, with a skeleton maintenance crew on-board each Axiom awoken in yearly-intervals to do a complete check of the ship. The crew of the Horizon were woken on the 12th of February, 2220 to respond to a power issue. Upon attempting to find the materials to fix the problem, it was discovered that an unreported shortfall in funding for the Horizon's construction led many of the required components to be missing, and being in deep space more than 100 years away from home, there was no hope of resolving the issue.

A decision was made to change course to a nearer star, Rivis 490, in the hopes of reaching it before the power failed completely and finding a planet at least partially-habitable in order to launch the Horizon's colony pods and preserve the lives of the colonists (at least until the planet killed them). A temporary fix was achieved, but it powered less than half the ship - and so 12 of the Horizon's 20 pods had to be ejected into deep space to conserve power, as maintaining the cryonic sleep was the biggest source of power drain.

8 years passed with the whole mission touch-and-go, and the fix began to fail as the Horizon entered the inner system of Rivis 490 on the 30th of December, at which point its sensors discovered Rivis 490d, a Mars-like world with a breathable atmosphere. The decision to fire the pods there was made unanimously and immediately.

The crew filed into their designated pods and began the ejection procedures.

Pod #8's Landing

Pod #8 landed safely, and began the automated procedures for unpacking its heat-blasted shell into the basic structures to form the new colony, as well as waking the colonists from cryonic slumber and directing them to the maintenance crew. Of course, many expected a verdant, lush world - and were noticeably less than pleased with the sandy dunes of Rivis 490d.

Once the initial hysteria had passed, and the maintenance crew had time to explain the situation, the original planned chains of command and responsibility began to fall into place as people realised that if they did not co-operate and get on with what needed to be done, they would simply perish. Initial construction, production and infrastructural work was slow, but it sped up as more and more of the core systems were put in place. The Colony Central Council was established, giving each group of the colony's people a say in what needed to be done. At the first meeting of the Council, it was decided that the planet would be named Aurora, and the colony itself Phoenix, if only for poetic and literary significance.

To this day, with long-range scans scuppered by the atmosphere and exploration teams few and far between with a lot of barren, featureless terrain to survey, no evidence has been found of the landing (safe or otherwise) of the other seven pods still on the Horizon when it arrived. The Horizon itself, originally intended to be like the other Axioms in functioning as both a satellite relay and orbital government, would be visible from the surface - but it has not been seen since.