Welcome to Home, the cradle of humanity, the fourth planet in our system, revolving around its binary stars. For several thousand years, the human species has thrived, evolved, and dominated, constantly pushing the boundaries of discovery and technological advancements. It had already been many centuries since our race gradually abolished the archaic borders that divided our civilization into arbitrary communities and imaginary nations. The advent of the Consortium marked the end of politics, rendered territorial conflicts obsolete, and ushered humanity into its scientific golden age, united by an insatiable thirst for progress.
However, the constant expansion of technology and the exponential need for energy and resources had eventually depleted our planet, leading to multiple animal extinctions and dangerously reduccing mineral reserves. Water, food, energy—three fundamental needs that could not be sustained for much longer for everyone.
Nevertheless, the Consortium knew how to reassure us. Hundreds of years of peace and astounding discoveries had made us confident, docile... gullible. And when our leaders announced the Grand Exodus, unveiling the Holo-projections of Hope, our next planet, we exulted and applauded. We continued our insatiable overconsumption while the Orbital Gate was assembled before our amazed eyes, visible as a moon, proudly rising in front of our two suns.
Then the Tillac took off: the largest spaceship ever built, carrying with it numerous precious resources. Its journey to Hope was supposed to last hundreds of years. The greatest scientists of the Consortium left the atmosphere of Home to ensure the construction of the second gate, in orbit around our future abode. Several generations would pass, but one day, the Orbital Gate would open, and the population of Home could join their new Eden. The Consortium had ventured into the darkness of space so that their descendants could once again illuminate the future of humanity.
Over 300 years passed, and life on Home became increasingly perilous. The threshold of resources had surpassed the point of no return, acid rains taunted the thirsty populations, and Anomalies—devastating solar winds—had multiplied. Humanity was in free fall. Cults began to worship the Orbital Gate, even if the last religions had faded away over 1200 years ago... All eyes were turned toward the stars.
Then the unthinkable happened. Imperceptibly at first, then impossible to ignore. The Orbital Gate began to disintegrate. Gradually and inexorably, fragments separated from its structure and started floating around it. Action needed to be taken. The activation of the Gate could not be missed. Each passing day risked jeopardizing the survival of the entire planet.
The Institute then dispatched a repair mission, struggling to assemble a team capable of fixing the damage. No instructions, no user manual for the Gate had been left behind by the Consortium. How could such geniuses have been so negligent? It took several weeks to train a team to analyze the Consortium's technology, and the Institute had little confidence in the possibility of completing the repairs during this initial expedition. A second mission and, most importantly, several months of additional study and preparation would be necessary after the return of the analysis team. The return of that team signaled the death knell for all of humanity.
The Orbital Gate was empty. Not a single circuit board, not a power source, absolutely nothing. The Consortium had built a gigantic and pointless decoy to keep our gaze fixed on them while they took away the planet's last resources to save a select fraction of the population... and we applauded them for it.
There was no Hope, no itinerary. We are alone.
Welcome Home, the tomb of humanity.