End of the Second Golden Age
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TYRANT is a Kardashev-2 entity or entities that dwells or dwelt in an alien megalopolis in the South Pacific abyssal plain. According to unconfirmed DocInt, TYRANT arrived on Earth in excess of 200 million years ago. TYRANT is only able to function under certain astrological conditions. When these conditions are not met, TYRANT becomes comatose and nonfunctional. (Paragraph is MaxConInfo: HIEROPHANT)
According to unconfirmed DocInt, TYRANT warred with the Architects during their period of ascendancy, and drove them out of their land settlements. This war may have caused the Permian-Triassic extinction. References to this war were found in the mosaics of the Architect ruins, but it had been assumed these referred metaphorically to internal conflicts among the Architects. (Paragraph is MaxConInfo: HIEROPHANT)
TYRANT broadcasts scalar waves that have traumatic psychological effects. When comatose, this transmission is too weak to effect anyone who is not unusually susceptible (1.0 or lower on the PsyVul scale). When active, this transmission is powerful enough to cause catatonia, uncontrolled psychosis, or traitorous dissociation in all people within 10,000 km of TYRANT, and within ten minutes in anyone within 20,000 km, with the effects falling off with distance. (Paragraph is MaxConInfo: HIEROPHANT)
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Human civilization collapsed on Earth essentially immediately after TYRANT's reawakening. Within one hour after TYRANT's reawakening, no organized government was functioning within 40,000 kilometers of Earth. Riots and spontaneous terrorism were reported by every colony in the Earth-Moon system. A massive evacuation was under way by the end of the first day. (Paragraph is MaxConInfo: HIEROPHANT)
The level of violence and psychosis escalated rapidly. After a week, only a handful of stations were still maintaining life support services. Pubdom records claim that all transmissions from the Earth-Moon system ended within two months after TYRANT's reawakening. This is not true; in fact, transmissions continued for at least five years from the deeply-buried Lunar Exotic Physics Laboratory. The contents of these transmissions are a level two memetic hazard, classified as MaxConInfo and secured with the security phrase MAGENTA MIRROR. Access to MAGENTA MIRROR is available only with authorization from the HIEROPHANT InfoCon Committee. (Paragraph is MaxConInfo: HIEROPHANT)
Several orbital transports made kamikaze attacks on TYRANT. The personnel of the Lunar Exotic Physics Laboratory jury-rigged a twenty-megaton thermonuclear weapon, which they delivered to TYRANT's location by rocket eight days after TYRANT's awakening. Finally, an asteroid mining crew diverted an asteroid onto a collision course with TYRANT's location, arriving approximately eight months after TYRANT's reactivation and carrying approximately a gigaton of energy. None of these attacks had any observable effect. The crews of the transports, the Lunar Exotic Physics Laboratory, and the asteroid mining crew are listed as Martyrs for Mankind (First Class) on the Wall of Honor. (Paragraph is MaxConInfo: HIEROPHANT)
UN attacks on TYRANT ended after the failure of the asteroid strike.
In the years after the loss of Earth, human civilization in the solar system consolidated around the colonies on Mercury, Mars, and Saturn. There had been many smaller outposts, but they were dependent on Earth-based industry for spare parts and other critical supplies that could not be produced with small-scale fabricators. The fate of these outposts is not recorded in detail, but most are believed to have either joined one of the main colonies or perished.
Mars is the only colony for which we have detailed records. The Martian bases had been the largest outside of the Earth-Moon system, in order to support the archeological excavations. However, aside from bulk goods like food and fuel, most goods had been shipped from Earth, rather then being manufactured on-site. There were periods during the first century on Mars after TYRANT's reawakening when the public ration dipped below the starvation mark, and even after the situation stabilized, life for the Martian colonists was extremely austere.
Human Presence on Mars in 4,026 AD
(Image Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geography_of_Mars)
On January 4th, 4,031 AD, a series of explosions destroyed the two main fusion reactors of the Saturn orbital station. The explosions were traced to lunar refugees. With the reactors lost, the station was no longer tenable, and the inhabitants were transferred to Mars and Mercury. The colonial governments refused to accept refugees from the Earth-Moon system, fearing infiltration by the covertly insane. At the time, it was believed the refugees subsequently perished in the cold of space. A pogrom began on Mercury and Mars against those refugees who had already arrived.
In 4,033 AD, the Martian authorities abandoned the manned stations in Martian orbit. The platforms had been supporting scientific research and transshipment to other colonies, both of which had ceased, making their upkeep an unnecessary expense.
In 4,102 AD, the Martian colonial government fractured. The largest alien ruin had been located at the foot of Elysium Mons, and the largest human base, and the capital of the colonial government, had been built there. Elysium base had more than half of the Martian population, but produced less then a quarter of its mineral resources. Infected by a deplorable, toxic separatism, the inhabitants of the other bases began to feel a loyalty to their local group rather then their natural loyalty to the human species. Leaders of the Amazonis and Polar bases, believing that it was impossible to support the “useless” population at Elysium, broke away. With few weapons beyond police sidearms available to the legitimate government, they were unable to prevent the secession. Both sides began arming for a violent sequel.
In 4,114 AD, a second civil war was fought on Mars. This war was far more violent and far more destructive. Nuclear weapons were used by both sides, primarily on troop concentrations in Amazonis Planitia. Besides making the balkanization of Mars permanent, the war also destroyed the remaining Martian orbital launch capability.
At around this time, the Mercury colony broke off communications with Mars.