UPDATE No.5 – World introduction: The Colonies
Above: 3D Queen Mab turntable for your viewing pleasure (pre-alpha in-game model).
The global hysteria caused by the 2020 discovery was all consuming, and had profound effects on all walks of life. Science was not spared: the general population and politicians alike started putting extreme pressure on scientist of every field to sacrifice all of their resources for finding a way to save the planet.
But of course, there was no way – you can't overpower the forces of the universe. However, not all was lost: when the grasshopping technology was discovered at the beginning of the 2060s, fleeing the doomed Earth became a possibility.
In 2062, astronomers frantically looking for habitable planets in the vicinity of our Solar System came out with findings they thought are 95% accurate. The scientists were convinced the planet Kepler-22b (later renamed to Icarus, for convenience sake) was almost positively habitable for human settlers, although the term „almost” filled the masses with dread.
The first hopping attempt was a complete success. Kepler-22b proved to be a planet brimming with natural resources and an amazing flora and fauna, with animal species and vegetation unseen.
Although, there was a problem with the atmosphere. After returning to Earth, the astronauts visiting Kepler-22b started to die, one by one. The Ikarian atmosphere was not that harmless at all – even though the air on Kepler-22b was „almost” a complete match to Earth's, in 0,0000000094% it contained a strain of mutated, lethal variation of methan.
The next dozen hoppers launched in the 2070s were all shipping equipment to Icarus to build a gigantic atmosphere purifier facility. In a year the facility has became operational, and in 5 years the Icarian atmosphere was completely breathable and safe for humans. Simultaneously, a second, similarly habitable planet was discovered in a nearby system: the astronomers named it Siriad.
In the decades following the start of the colonization, almost 1 million earthlings took the transports from the old, dying planet to the new one. This is of course just a very small fragment of humanity – the richest fragment; those who were capable of paying the cost of travel and living on an alien planet. Colonial real estate and infrastructure on Icarus were maintained, sold and provided by gigantic corporations, operating mostly from Siriad.
By the early 22nd century, most of the land on Icarus’ sole continent was sold: approximately 45 million square miles were in the hand of its single million inhabitants. Transports still depart from Earth, on a daily basis – but these ships now transport employees and workforce: servants to the masters. Still, you need to be quite rich or pretty much talented to get your hands on a ticket to ride.
(This text has already appeared on the official website – please visit veronagame.com for more background story!)