One of the great achievements of the pre-collapse Solarian Federation was a central information repository constructed in orbit around the (now-lost) planet Solrain. It was constructed in space both to solve a cooling problem for the massive central processors, and also to make it more accessible to everyone since it was built not just for The Federation, but for all of the various peoples and cultures in the neighboring systems. It was a monument to the history, knowledge, power and technology of the Sol system; and a testament to the Federation’s culture of openness and goodwill.
Some — including the late Cameron Dannewar (of Thrice Seven fame) and his grandson, Dr. Thane Dannewar — contend that periodic transmissions from the Aethenaeum have been received but none have been completely authenticated.
The most recent alleged signal was identified and decrypted in 117 and could possibly provide an exact date and time for The Great Collapse.
The following partially-corrupted communique was discovered on a DSS recovered in 116. The date 22.5.4751 corresponds with 2059.5.22 BT — 59 years before The Great Collapse. It appears to be a report made late in the construction phase.
It appears that stellar flaro activity caused the disruption of the Aethenaeum datacores, but automatic backup-and-restore routines seem to be working perfectly. What appeared to be a setback, has turned to be an excellent test of the recovery systems. It clearly illustrated that while the ___ advantages to placing things __ processor station in orbit, there are also dangerous ___ approach.
Now we have to quickly improve both the physical as well as the electromagnetic shielding in time for the ceremonies planned for the official boot-up of the system ___ opening of the freenet.
On a different topic, the SkyNex defending system nodes have begun to be moved into place. Unfortunately there is still significant code debugging required. On virtual testing, five authoriz_ _lian ships on a docking trajectory with __ Aethenaeum were targeted and destroy a __ Aethenaeum structure itself was damaged by deadly fire from the SkyNex turret …
It was a time of light, it was a time of darkness. The four systems had prospered greatly within the balance that only peaceful coexistence could bring. Each of the known systems had something to offer the others, who were all eager to receive. The ancient axes which had been ground for millennia between the traditionalists of the Octavian empire and the rebellious commonwealth of Solrain had long since been buried. The vicious, seemingly eternal struggles between Quantar and Hyperial forces had been temporarily resolved.
Then occurred the unthinkable… an event of religious armageddon for some, an event of impossible chaotic chance for others. To this day, no one fully understands what happened, but the memoirs of Desigrey Hettir, Cornea Station’s first commanding governor, attempt to provide the simplest description possible.
A great vibration of unknown origin quaked across the fabric of the universe. Entire planets were torn to pieces in great flashes of light. Countless life forms, thousands of years of prosperity and technology, and all that made sense disappeared in the blink of an eye. It was a tragic event of proportions grander than we have known, or ever will know.
– Desigrey Hettir, Memoirs of Time That Was
The death and destruction is horrific and widespread — both in space and dirtside. Martius is made completely uninhabitable (and remained so for over 1,000 years) when a small moon is sent crashing to the planet’s surface; the population of Perasca is almost completely wiped out. Planet Solrain with its huge population and massive information repository (The Aethenaeum) is ejected out of the orbit of Solaria, apparently becoming a rogue planet.
Hellion Day is a commemoration of the day that has traditionally marked the end ofthe Dark Age that followed The Great Collapse — the day when Sorian explorers first landed on the planet Hellion.
Hellion was a product of The Great Collapse, which altered its orbit so much that it’s frozen oceans melted. The newly-thawed planet was discovered in 1,959 BT and terraforming began in 4,908 BT — but the first explorers did not arrive until 1707.10.15 BT on the ship New Dawn.