Updated: Jun 26, 2020
Prelude to the Fall
On 8th August (Earth Standard Date), 4,015 (A.D), two days before celebrations for the day of unification that created humanity's most advanced and prosperous civilisation, something would happen that would change the Aquarius Cluster, and Mankind's history, forever. At 0800:1901, Eridonian Time, Federal Navy Long-Range sensor installations positioned in the furthest reaches of the Temptest Ridge; the far-galactic-east of the Federation's known space, lost contact with an aging expansion-era Sensor Outpost.
What happened next changes the course of human history. Over the next twenty four Eridonian Cycles, an unknown, highly aggressive alien-species would unleash upon human civilisation a fury that of which had never before been witnessed by humanity. Greater than the sum of all wars humans had ever seen, the suffering that would follow would mark a new, dark chapter in their history.
The Unified Terran Nations was not a small civilisation. A powerful military, lead by the Federal Navy; a hundred-thousand starships armed with the most powerful weapons humans had to offer, staunchly defended the way of life; freedom, equality and peace, that humanity had enjoyed in their new homeworlds, for over a millenia before.
Twenty Five Earth Cycles passed, and the Federal Navy was almost in ruins. The alien onslaught was endless, for every hostile vessel destroyed, ten more would replace it. The War Effort was broadcast back home, in the core worlds; over the years there had been hope they could achieve victory. The War had become a way of life amongst the populations of the core worlds, and a harsh reality for the outer worlds. But after 25 cycles, it became clear that this is not a war the UTN could win.
The alien race, now known as the "Illuvian Radacri" from ancient Aurc scriptures, was an endless, hive-minded swarm species that was absolutely bent on wiping out human life in trhe Aquarius sector, and potentially; beyond. Humanity as a species stood at the brink of extinction and the UTN Government knew that. Valiantly continuing the war effort, the population hoped the Military could break through the onslaught, but slowly, hope began to fade. But in their darkest age, true camaraderie amongst humans had pushed all their difference aside, they stood as one. But deep inside, they knew their way of life could not continue.
The Hammer of Aquarius
Five hundred cycles prior, the UTN Government had authorised the development of a weapon system, a means of destruction greater than had ever been created by humanity in its history. Public support for the "Hammer of Aquarius" as it was known, was low. How could such weapons be allowed to exist? The Hammer of Aquarius was an inter-linked network of 120 orbital defence installations across the outer sectors of the Federation, each containing the most powerful weapons in human history.
Each platform was a self-contained battery, a dozen or so Extreme Long Range, Inter-Sector Weapons of Mass Destruction, propelled by advances in Advanced Jump Drive technology. The concept behind the Hammer of Aquarius was to be used as a defensive measure in the event that the UTN came under overwhelming attack, and that humanity as a species - in Aquarius - was threatened.
The First Wave
Perhaps it was fate that allowed humanity to create such devastating weapons, or in fact it was our very nature; we are of course, not strangers to war and suffering.
On 24 May (STC), 4,040 (A.D), after 25 years of bloody warfare against overwhelming odds, the UTN President and Senate gave the order for the deployment of the Hammer of Aquarius. An order that no president ever thought would have to be signed. But it is so, for unleashing the fury of the Hammer would potentially give humanity a fighting chance for survival in the Core Worlds. 24 Eridonian hours passed after the order, and the Final Act was cemented. The 120 platforms sprang into life, issued a directive order from the seat of Federal Power on Eridonia itself, the automated batteries took targets highlighted by extreme long distance probes and recon telescopes pointed beyond the Tempest Ridge; at areas the UTN Naval Intelligence belived to be likely to harbour their homeworlds.
And at that moment, the First Wave was launched; nearly 200 Inter-Sector "ELR-Harbinger II" missiles left their silos and entered Jump Space, begining their half-cycle journey into the unknown, against the alien aggressors.
When that Half-cycle passed, remaining UTN sensor installations in the Tempest Ridge detected enormous energy readings, greater than a distant supernova, eminating from beyond the Tempest Ridge; the weapons had found their mark.
"Forgive me, if there is God watching upon us, Forgive me, that I, We, had to unleash upon a Living Species, the horrors that we had created. Forgive us, that we may have ended a trillion lives."
- President Marco Rennford, 4th December (STC) 4,040 (A.D) speaking from Eridonian Tier IV, after recieving news of the energy spikes from the Hammer of Aquarius Impact. It shows the weight of the decision, even against the aggressive alien species, that humanity still has morals, that of which makes us Human.
The Final Act
UTN Naval forces stationed at the front-lines of the conflict in the Tempest Ridge, reported a reduction in the intensity of the alien advance, and after almost a cycle of fighting, the weary UTN Federal Navy almost completely pushed back the Radacri invaders from the Ridge.
But the hope would not last. As the energy readings from the impact began to disapate, new energy readings took their place. No one would have thought, that in the next cycle, an entire chapter in human history would be re-written. History and archives tell us the First Response from the Radacri was swift, and in the chaos the Hammer of Aquarius was once again deployed. For War, War never changes.
The Fall of the UTN
UTN warships stationed in the Tempest Ridge lost contact with the Core Worlds approximately 2 Eridonian days after the first news of the second deployment of the Hammer. One must wonder, what were their captains' thoughts? The crews, knowing that after 26 years of fighting, they had no loved ones to fight for, no homeworlds to return to?
The UTN fell in less than a Cycle, to an alien superweapon of unimaginable power; launched upon humankind in response to our desperate attempt to survive. The Core Worlds were set ablaze, and humanity plunged into the darkest age in its history. This became known as the Aftershock.
But, the Radacri were never seen again. Energy readings from the Second Wave cast shadows of radiation from the impactors beyond the Ridge; were the Radacri finally defeated? But there was no victory, for both species were in ruins. At least that's what our Scholars say.
Upon returning to the Core Worlds, the surviving Federal Navy fleets found their homeworlds on fire, billions of lives lost. Returning to the former seat of power, now a burning planet-wide ruin of a once-great mega city; the Eridonian Tiers. The next hundred years would see the returning fleets unify with the remnants of the UTN Government and survivors of the holocaust, to form the Terran Loyalist Alliance; humanity's last hope for restoring civlisation to Aquarius.
It has been two centuries since the Fall, and the TLA know that, one day; the Radacri will return. We must strengthen our defences, our resolve, we must show the aliens that we will not surrender, and we will not submit, we are Human and we fight for our way of life!
You can read Chairwoman Ashlai Vottori's speech to New Eridonia and the TLA, here.