Home Again at Last
Fierce competition in X-3043 and the skirmishing between ASF and CSF forces hurt margins for several corporations. There were safer markets to tap. Surveys aimed at exploring mineral prospects far from established “pirate coves” were commenced. A region of space seldom plied was examined first, and led them to something truly astonishing: a way back to Sol. The cause of the phenomenon was at first unclear. Some accredited it to the work of Algeira, others to the Order or GMG. Rumors amongst Lane Hackers alleged that one of their own - a gifted quantum physicist – had “programmed” the warp anomaly. Maybe it was divine intervention, or perhaps a mere fluke of nature. Unfortunately for the expeditions, Sol had no vacancies. Nomads were on the prowl. It would take the Order’s most rousing campaign yet to drive them back from the ruins of Earth. Following their success, a vanguard HQ was built in orbit around Mars. To their valor and sacrifice this station remains an enduring, evolving monument.
With the descendents of the Alliance returning home it was only a matter of time before the pieces to the puzzle fell into place. Wreckage turned to foundations. Cities were erected upon the ashes of their predecessors. Warp buoys were refurbished and put into service. At first Earth was exclusive - a destination of choice for society’s über-elite. The population there never did return to its former, all-time high. Despite humanity’s best efforts, their homeworld could never again relive its former glory. Instead, long and arduous trade routes began to funnel treasures back to Sirius. These were lucrative (if not perilous) runs for the typical freighter and transport captains. Ancient “artifacts” went to those who could afford them in the Houses one way. Returning back, demand on Earth for exotic (often illicit) commodities was high. Most crews were no strangers to smuggling. This problem went unchecked by overburdened police authorities and the fledgling, Alliance fleet.