Once James accepted that he had no choice but to burn the books, the question became which to burn first. He held in his hand the last sherd of humanity left in this God forsaken land. Centuries of warfare had taken their toll on the people of Shanrian. Once the envy of the Empire, Shanrian was now a cesspool. The Rehan Federation had seen to that.
It was thought that war had been left behind when the peoples of Earth had set out among the stars. Their home planet had been scared by the ravages of Nuclear warfare. The exact cause had been lost shortly after the first warheads had obliterated the major population centers. No one knows who launched the first missile, but the all out brigade that follow nearly turned the Earth into a second sun, Those that survived had no choice but to seek a new home among the stars.
Efforts at terraforming both the moon and Mars were unsuccessful. The moon was deem inhospitable due to its close proximity to the heavily radioactive Earth. So close was the moon it was deemed a bio-hazard and had been quarantined off.
Early attempts at colonizing Mars were success, and it was hoped that it would one day become a thriving hub of life much like Earth had once been. The only problem was that Mars’ thin atmosphere only allowed for a small number of inhabitants.
Once the refuges from Earth started arriving it was clear that something needed to be done. Emergency measure were implicated to keep the the fragile environment from collapsing. But these band-aid measure were nothing more than sticking one’s finger into a dike to keep it from bursting. Eventually you run out of fingers.
It was clear the orbital colonies were not a long term solution; solar radiation could only be blocked for so long. The filters needed to shield the celestial communities were in high demand these days. The manufacturing of the filters had become problematic with the recent population explosion, the material used to fabricate them were extremely rare. The increased demand had put strain on the already dwindling materials.
Tension started rising, it looked as if what had happened on Earth was going to repeat itself on Mars.
If it is said that necessity is the mother of innovation, than scarcity is it father. Before blood could be shed the solution to the problem of over crowding was discovered. The final hurtles to stability had been achieved allowing for the manufacturing of long range wormhole generators. Allowing humans to travel beyond there own solar system for the first time.
Soon the human race was scattered along the solar winds.
New worlds to inhabit with new, plentiful reserves of resources brought with them something unexpected.
No longer did humans need to compete for an ever decreasing supply of resources. The number of new worlds that could sustain colonization seem infinite. It was impossible to imagine the conditions that led to the destruction Earth ever being duplicated out here amongst the stars. An unprecedented millennia of peace reigned as an intragalactic empire was build.
Seven planets made up the Empire. But none of them had the grandeur or beauty possessed by Shanrian. It was the only planet to have blue skies like Earth once had. For those original immigrants this alone made the planet invaluable. Shanrian also possessed an abundance of mineral wealth, what with it’s diamond waterfalls and emerald deserts. It wasn’t hard to see why Shanrian was know as the jewel of the Empire.
For a thousand years Shanrian sat at the heart of the Empire. As more people flocked to the planet, it grew in both power and wealth. It became so influential that it Shanrian became to capital for Empire. As went Shanrian, so to did the Empire.
But among the human race, peace cannot last forever. War is inevitable. Soon the cracks began to show. For too long the wealth of the Empire had found its way into the coffers on Shanrian. As the citizen of the other six planets began to burn, the fat cat businessmen and the crooked politicians of Shanrian played their fiddles.
A rebel force known as the Rehan Federation began to assemble. If the powers that be on Shanrian were just going to devour the wealth of the Empire than someone needed to take a stand against them. To make sure that the other six planets benefited from the taxes that were levied against them.
Three hundred years of war had brought James to were he was standing right now. The Rehan believed that society breed complacence in man. It was their contention that every evil dead done throughout the history of mankind where enabled by societies. No animal built walls to cut themselves off from the world around them, and man wasn’t meant to either. Rehab philosophy stated that man should live out among the wild things.
Everything must be burned, to cleanse away the contamination that man imposed onto nature. Having recently been pressed into action, James had landed a spot in the sterilization patrols. It was their job to to cleanse the areas the Rehan held of any traces of what they deemed to be “primitive” human societies. No building must be allowed to stand erect, no transports must be allowed to continue polluting the air.
James had been assigned the library. The recording of knowledge was seen as the catalyst for the grow and the maintaining of societies. James had been an avid lover of books before he had joined the Rehan. He had taken his name from a series of spy novels that had originated on the Earth home world. But now he must destroy that which he loved. Having come to grips with that fact, James…