• Spinning through space, a small green, white, and blue planet had life on it. Creatures that lived, loved, and died, oblivious to the ebb and flow of the universe, teemed on and in its surface. They took control of the pristine skies, owned the depths of the oceans, thrived in the beauty of the world around them.

    Then one creature emerged on this lonely little planet that could not see the beauty he was born into; a soft, weak, defenseless, bipedal animal that had to learn to survive on his wits. Somehow, this creature, Man, managed to take control of the entire planet. The territories that had been the law of the creatures of the eons had little meaning to him, he had to have more, he must conquer. It had to be his.

    Before the universe had time to blink, this little weak creature owned the planet all by himself. He had raped and pillaged all that once was, and sucked every last drop of beauty from his home. The once beautiful planet finally had nothing left to give when he at last turned his eyes to the stars. He took what he could from the dying world, the charred husk glowing faintly red through the cracks in its crust.


    Seventeen ships left Earth that day. They all had their separate destinations. The Council had decided that mankind’s best chance of survival was to split up and find new homes, staying in contact via small unmanned relays dropped periodically by each ship as it journeyed through space. Those who could afford it, the Council themselves included, made the short hop to Mars, which had been undergoing terraforming for two generations now. They would be the hub of the future network of mankind’s colonies. Twelve of the ships, filled with those who weren’t quite affluent enough for the coveted Martian utopia, were headed to other worlds that had been classed as suitable for human habitation, but not yet developed. The remaining four ships were headed for unknown space, the brave explorers diving into the unknown, headed for no one knew what, but with strict orders to report back as soon as they found it. These four held the dregs of society, each containing around a billion passengers, three times what their more luxurious sisters carried. They also held ready to eat food supplies to keep the brave explorers going for a carefully rationed week, as well as seeds for crops of staples and frozen fetal domestic animals. Despite what the council had had the media tell the masses, they weren’t quite as confident about cryogenics as they would have liked to be, and knew well that around sixty percent of the passengers in these ships were already corpses before they had left orbit. This was why the thirteen ships that tickets had been sold for had no cryogenic facilities, and the cheapest tickets had been sold with the promise that the purchasers’ grandchildren would be the pioneers of a new world. There were crews on the space faring cemeteries, but as they would only be needed to land the ship in the unlikely event that a habitable world was found, they were also frozen, with an automated system to wake them up if they were needed, and alive.

    This callous disregard for human life would be the saving grace of the survivors of the Endeavor, the only one of the four barges to ever make contact with Mars. Their week of rationed food was able to be dragged out to a little under two months, long enough for the crops planted in that first week to begin to yield and stomachs to become accustomed to the edible foods of the new planet they would call home. The herd animals that had been carried so carefully were lost in the violent landing, as the only six members of the crew to wake up struggled valiantly to land the almost powerless ship safely with controls designed for a crew of at least eighteen, and one side of the massive barge had been torn away on atmospheric entry, meaning that over five hundred million bodies added their atoms to the new planet without ever seeing it.

    Of the hundred and fifty million passengers who woke up, around half succumbed to the side effects of the cryogenics within days, their immune systems, shut down by being frozen, unable to stop the onslaught of foreign bacteria and viruses. The bodies were burned on massive funeral pyres, as the world they had landed on was on its way out of a severe winter, and the survivors needed the warmth.

    By the time the first human child was born on Planet Endeavor, a little more than fifty million of the passengers of the ship that had been remembered in the name remained. Three were members of the crew that had landed the ship, and they were asked by the masses to be the new world’s leaders.