Science has always been at the forefront of our civilization, guiding us through the darkest of eras. Though we long ago conquered the notion of war amongst ourselves, in the first decades of space colonization we had to return to the history reels and again gird ourselves for battle. Though we had discovered both microbial and primitive civilization in our pursuits to understand our surroundings, time and time again we encountered beasts of truly terrifying ferocity and capacity for violence.

On a scale not seen since the Cataclysm, our brightest and most learned minds turned their attention toward the implements of battle, knowing that without their timely success our very civilization could be at risk. New ships, planetary defenses, and strategies were formulated and analyzed, incremental improvements giving way to leaps in technical understanding.

The question however remained, would these advances be enough? Could our fleets train and be outfitted with enough time to stem the encroach of disaster? Where once our society looked to the stars with hope and promise, now our multi-world empire looked up with determination and drive.

Some feared we were falling into a military dictatorship, the overarching fear of unknown enemies eroding our rationality and freedom. The scientific council did well to calm those doubts, placing strictures on the military such that their command would only hold sway over the areas between star systems, and could not influence matters at home. Nobody seemed truly pleased with the compromise, which as one great thinker once penned, “is the proof of a great one.”

As if to celebrate our focus on science and advancement, no matter what the universe held, the ISS Warm Sunrise returned from its emergency escape. Badly damaged but repairable, captain Stalk of Burgundy all but dared the skies to try again, as he set out to survey new systems, undaunted from the attack on his ship and crew. In that moment he became a symbol of hope, of longevity, and of perseverance that was so indicative of that age.