When the Cataclysm ripped the galaxy apart for a radius of fifty three light years, it left behind the Hurakan Nebula.
Basically, the nebula formed from the remains of numerous planets, moons, and stars blown to bits by the trans-light shockwave.
That was more than two centuries ago.
Two hundred and thirty seven years to be exact.
Twenty years later, humanity had picked up the pieces and put together two spheres of political influence.
But then the Aventis were exposed and all Hell broke loose between them and the Regulars.
This Hell came to be known as the War of Supremacy.
The Regulars lost the war, the Aventis won, and peace settled upon the remains of human civilization in one little corner of the galaxy.
Then the Prides initiated the Pharos Project which was to build a colony within the edge of the Hurakan Nebula, and for this colony to serve as a harbor, a safe haven, for the thousands of starships plundering the nebula.
It took forty years to build. First, asteroids of sufficient size had to be found, taken from the debris that remained after numerous planets and moons were smashed to pieces by the Cataclysm. Today, we call these asteroids The Islands.
There are five Islands tied together by powerful effect-fields, and numerous cables as thick as inter-habitat buses.
Giant caverns more than a dozen kilometers long were scooped out from inside each of the rock islands. These came to be known as the Habitats. Immense tunnels connected the habitats within an island, allowing people to commute between them. However, pressurized and atmospherically sealed trains ran between the Islands, transporting hundreds of passengers at a time.
A hundred years after the start of the project to create Pharos, the asteroid colony is the largest port-of-call in the Hurakan Nebula, and a vital point in the shipping trade as thousands of starship pass through it on their way in and out of the nebula.
I was ten when my parents died.
They were killed in an explosion set off in the largest starship dock Pharos had to offer, the Harbor Sphere of Island One – a massive empty sphere six kilometers wide, with a hundred docks and berths cut into its rock wall.
My parents worked for a shipping company as dockside managers.
That day a bomb was triggered inside a super freighter that had just pulled into the dock.
The vessel went boom.
The dock went boom.
My parents and hundreds of others died in an instant.
Thousands more were scarred for life, both physically and mentally.
It was a week before the day Pharos was due to celebrate its centenary.
As historians would call it, it was a Day of Infamy – a centenary marked in blood.
The ones responsible for the explosion announced their existence to the people of Pharos.
They declared their opposition to the Prides and thereby to the Aventis.
Sharing a common cause, they had banded together to form an organization.
The name of this organization…was Crimson Crescent.
Note: in the finished manuscripts, the Reflections interleave the chapters. But they're out of order here. Sorry.
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