One hundred forty-seven years ago...
In the year 1064 TS (Terran Standard), Earth’s only intergalactic cruise ship company, “Galaxy Star Lines”, launched their third Galaxy Class Star Cruiser. She was officially christened as “The Galaxy Star.” However, she was such a beautiful and luxurious ship that everyone simply called her the “Star Shine,” by both the crew and passengers alike.
Three kilometers long, one and a half kilometers wide, and one kilometer deep, the Star Shine was the newest and most lavish of all Star Cruisers ever built in history of any known culture.
Well over two hundred thousand passengers from far beyond Earth’s own solar system would save for decades and make the trip just to take the famous four-month tour on the Star Shine. She had the space and size to easily accommodate at least three times that amount of passengers, but this was an Extreme Luxury Craft. Economy Cabins were the size of a small house and increased in size from there.
The Star Shine would visit neighboring planets, solar systems, and galaxies which the passengers or crew might never see again.
Cultures from a dozen worlds would converge onto one sweeping grand ship of pure unadulterated lavishness representing their histories, races, beliefs, and lifestyles. It took a week alone just to board all the passengers and shuttle them to their cabins - and yet another week to disembark everyone at the end of the trip.
Afterward, a complete two-week overhaul of all ships systems would be performed by the crew to ensure the next trip would be just as smooth and blissful as the one before. No one left a trip unchanged. No one. Not even the crew themselves.
Indeed, it had become a dream come true for many. Negotiations, company mergers, even a full-blown government peace treaty was brokered on the Star Shine. It quickly became more than just a Cruise Ship, but an extension of brotherhood throughout the known galaxies. The Star Shine was a beacon of hope, prosperity, and peace as it cruised through the slipstreams of space and laid its gentle wake across the veil.
On her fifty-third year of operation, Star Shine’s one hundred twenty-eighth cruise, that all changed.
The Encephalon, a cruel, heartless, and dominant civilization, attacked the Star Shine with absolute surprise and merciless fury. The Star Shine did have a small contingent from the Terran Star Force on board to protect her from piracy – but it was not enough to thwart the unbridled aggression and military might of the Encephalon.
As the battle raged, the Captain of the Star Shine, Beatrice Hoshikawa, a retired military veteran who had served for twenty-eight years in the Terran Star Force herself, took the helm. There was only one way out, and she knew it.
New hyperdrive technology, the “TemporaI Slip”, was mandatory to have installed on every System Class-sized starship and above. However, outside of testing facilities, the Temporal Slip had never actually been used in a real emergency.
Once engaged, the Temporal Slip saved countless lives. Captain Hoshikawa, the heroine of the Battle of Star Shine, was not one them; may the Gates of Heaven sanctify her passing forevermore.
Hurtling through unknown space, the Star Shine had no trajectory. She simply punched a hole of plasma, anti-matter, and cosmic radiation through the heavens until she met a planet whom she had never visited before.
The sheer size and massive ungodly shape of the Star Shine made her un-atmospheric. It was impossible for her to fly within a planetary envelope.
Shattering the planet’s stratosphere, a three-kilometer burning, smoldering mass of liquid twisted metal, fell to the world below. Breaking up into several pieces along the way, it took nearly eighteen minutes for Star Shine to come to her final resting place leaving a thirty-kilometer trench in her wake.
Of the passengers and crew, as impossible as this may seem, over half lived to tell the tale of tragedy, heartbreak, and death. The ones on the impact side of Star Shine were not among the lucky.
Ninety-four years ago…
Star Shine’s crash site became a city in of itself and has been called “Star Fall” ever since. It is now the year 94 SF (“Star Fall” – we standardized everything) and we have been raised on this planet of which we now call home. Collectively, we have named the planet “Hoshikawa” after the Captain who selflessly and heroically tried to save us all. Some people have shortened it to Hoshi or Kawa, but Hoshikawa remains the official name for our new Planetary home.
Of the pieces that fell off the Star Shine along its impact trajectory, small colonies and towns have been established as well, creating a natural highway of trade and commerce between our different cities.
Also, since Star Fall became a city, many different cultures have left Star Fall to form their own settlements besides the pieces that fell from Star Shine. They wish to begin anew – fresh. All these places run themselves, as independent city-states, governing themselves and answering only to themselves.
Tragically, this has led to some combative tension between some cities and settlements. We seem to have left behind the peaceful brotherly lessons we learned as we try to gain a foothold here and successfully thrive. It is our nature, competition, and we have let it get to us again.
Hoshikawa itself is a savage planet. The locals have not been so welcoming. Some of them have kindly joined with us to help us survive. Yet others want us dead, for we have in effect invaded their lands as completely foreign aliens to them. Although we have been here for over a hundred years, we are only now becoming familiar with the planet and what it takes to survive.
We do not know how to get back home, nor do we have the resources to do so. We are stranded on a new world in a region of the Universe that no one knows about. We are forced to gain a foothold here so that we can survive and move forward. Our resources simply are not enough to maintain the lifestyle that the first generation of Star Fall had become accustomed to, so we have in effect slipped back in time in many ways.
Natural resources themselves are both familiar and new. We discover new things on Hoshikawa almost daily and continue to help each other as we tame this planet, for the sheer necessity of survival itself.
Old technologies merge with the new. What was once unfamiliar is now common, and our newer technologies have become a quest just to be able to maintain the knowledge and capabilities to use them.
There are strange otherworldly energies that permeate from the land itself that none of us have experienced before. Although Hoshikawa is a savage and merciless planet, it has a strange purity and essence in its quality. It is almost as if the planet was actually alive and listening to our every word. We can almost hear it… breathing…
“Magic,” a term we have not heard except in fairy tales and legend, actually exists here. It is almost as if Hoshikawa is a cosmic spiritual nexus. Because of its purity, Hoshikawa seems to be connected to the transcendental energies of the cosmos itself – and then we fell from the skies and began to taint that purity.
This has led some of the surviving cultures to reach back into their roots and explore their histories. Perhaps there is more to the legends that we had all assumed.
Now, we live. Star fall is the de facto “capital city” of Hoshikawa and most of us were born there. We are effectively third generation Hoshikawa’n and have come to accept that this is our home. New companies have risen from the ashes of Star Fall. Entirely new cultural shifts, accepted norms, beliefs, and morals - even business practices have arisen as we forge ahead to a new future.
And that future is uncertain – but what is certain is that if we continue to erode ourselves from within with greed and selfishness, we may not last even two more generations.
We must tame this land. We must explore. We must survive, thrive, and conquer those who wish to enslave and oppose us. Our very survival depends on it.