MIGRATION FROM EARTH
In the Earth year 2138, astronomers discovered asteroid 873592 — named Ragnarok — was on a collision course with the moon. Teams of scientists set to work trying to avoid calamity: some sought ways to divert the asteroid’s course; while others designed huge underground bunkers designed to protect people from the catastrophic effects such an impact would have on Earth’s climate. As attempts to change the asteroid’s course failed, a third plan grew in popularity and funding.
In an effort to save humanity, governments around the world worked together to build a series of huge space ships capable of supporting large numbers of people for an indefinite amount of time. The completion of these generational arks signaled the beginning of the largest migration in Earth’s history. The arks were loaded with seed banks and DNA samples of all known life on Earth. Archives of all types were loaded onto computer servers at the heart of each ship.
On April 25, 2173 the majority of Earth’s population boarded the arks and set out to the stars in search of new planets to call home. The arks did not stay together, but rather set out in all directions to increase the chances of at least one ship finding a habitable planet. The ships remained in contact with one another at first, but that soon dwindled to a few sporadic contacts in the course of a year. Eventually all contact between ships ended.
There was nothing unusual about the Thelian Dawn. Like the other generational arks, it was designed to support it’s population (human, animal, and vegetation) indefinitely as it traveled through space. Four generations lived and died on the Thelian Dawn. 20 years after the death of the last person aboard to have walked on the Earth, long-range sensors detected a potentially habitable planet. The ship diverted course to orbit this new planet and determine if it would indeed make a viable home for the Thelian citizens.
They proceeded with caution – running initial tests and observations from the Thelian Dawn itself before moving on to unmanned drones and eventually scouting parties. The atmosphere of this new planet was similar enough to Earth to support terrestrial life. Scouting missions discovered life forms both benign and aggressive, though the aggressive species were deemed to not pose a significant risk to the settlers. Meetings and forums were held to discuss options and make decisions. Eventually the citizens of the Thelian Dawn voted to stay, naming the planet Thelios.