VANGUARDS LORE
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2421. The year of first contact.
 

Centuries of exponential growth had left earth overpopulated and on the brink of collapse. Government attempts to curb the expansion of humanity were unsuccessful, and the great masses only demanded more and more resources to sustain themselves.

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Extensive colonies had been established on the moon and mars throughout the twenty-second century. New economic regulations and competition on earth pushed the middle-class to seek more affordable accommodations and opportunities amongst the interplanetary mining operations and exploration hubs. The influx of new citizens to the colonies, especially the lunar ones, created a great demand for jobs.

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The great industries on the moon were the mining of metals and natural resources to be shipped back down to earth or used for the expansion of the Human Colonies. The industry transformed the colonies into bustling lunar cities. As opportunity called and residency on earth only grew increasingly exclusive, the lunar population exploded and the moon became not only a centre of industrial processing and manufacturing but also a hub for space exploration throughout the solar system. By 2421, many of humanity’s sustainability concerns had been resolved and the first plans for interstellar exploration were underway. Everything looked set for a bright and hopeful future for humanity.

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That was until the Rift appeared. On January 4th, 2421, an enormous anomalous energy signal was detected directly in the moon’s orbital path. Lunar researchers rushed to try and understand what had occurred, but the public was not notified of the event. However, as soon as scientists had locked onto the signal, it disappeared entirely. An hour passed after the initial surge before a second signal was detected indicating a colossal object was headed directly for the moon. This time, the entire lunar surface was thrown into a state of alarm. The object was suspected to be an asteroid thrown out of orbit, so the heaviest of anti-meteor defence turrets were deployed to neutralize it. As the anomaly approached, it quickly became obvious that it was not what it seemed. Depicted on the holographic radars was an enormous dark figure, that came to a sudden stop a few kilometres away from the moon’s surface, suspended perfectly in place as if it had been affixed there since the beginning of time. The radar model was broadcast to the entire surface, as all the citizens of the moon stared at it, in shock and silence, struggling to accept what they all already knew: an alien craft had appeared. It quickly became obvious that its inexplicable materialization near the moon was related to the energy signal that was first detected, perhaps some kind of dark wormhole. Scientists would later nickname this wormhole “The Rift,” and the transition into a new age would be marked by its coming.

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The mothership hovered in space where it had stopped, utterly motionless. Every long-range defence turret on the moon was aimed directly at it, and the eyes of every lunar citizen were fixed to the skies. Without any warning, every edge of the alien craft lit up with a bright purple glow, and from its moon-facing cannons, a blast of energy was released. The luminous glow lit up the lunar city as the beams of light struck every defence turret on the surface, completely vaporizing them. The attack was over in seconds. The moon had been rendered defenceless by the blast.

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Panic erupted from within the lunar cities. The citizens exploded into a frenzy, frantically trying to do something, anything. Some managed to escape into evacuation ships, while others rushed to their families. The ships glowing purple light faded, as enormous holes opened under its hull, releasing thousands of alien crafts. They crashed into the lunar surface like meteors and mechanically transformed into war-like machines, armed with blades and assault cannons.

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Within hours, eighty percent of the lunar citizens were dead, slaughtered in the greatest massacre humanity had ever known. The rest were lined up, tortured or enslaved, forced to continue the vast mining operations. Earth communications were silenced upon the ship’s entry into lunar orbit, they were not aware of the situation until the survivors arrived in their escape pods. They detected the massive object in the moon’s orbital path and were finishing preparations for the defence fleet when the first survivors crash-landed on their homeworld. Within minutes, warnings were relayed, and the launch was cancelled. The Terran Republic (TR) held an emergency meeting discussing the implications of what had occurred and how to proceed, but in the middle of their discussion, they were interrupted by a broadcast. The Earth was horrified, as images of chaos and death filled their screens. The meaning was clear: the invaders were merciless, and Earth was next. The TR no longer had a choice. They declared unconditional war on the alien beings.

The resulting conflict was known as the Lunar-Terrestrial Haiker War, or the Haiker War. Haiker was the name given to the invaders. The Haiker desired the resources of both the moon and Earth. They had taken one, and now prepared to move on to the next. Humanity’s advantage was superior numbers, but the Haiker were confident in their technological superiority. Three war vessels accompanied the mothership, known by humanity as the Kogo. The alien ships all assembled for the conquest of earth. The Kogo served as a warship and a command centre for the Haiker. It possessed destructive power and was the main factory for the Haiker’s mech-fleet that had ravaged the moon. From the very beginning of the Haiker War, the aliens had the upper hand. Despite outnumbering their opponents, humanity was nowhere near their level of technological development and frantically struggled to catch up while simultaneously defending and fighting off the Haiker. The initial Kogo’s energy barrages were devastating, and billions were killed along with the destruction of enormous tracts of land and valuable military infrastructure. A prototype energy shield was finally implemented to protect the earth’s military assets from the assaults, but not before humanity had suffered unimaginable damage. The shield was not perfect, and its energy cost was impossible to sustain, the TR quickly realized that humanity had to counterattack, or the war would end before it had begun.

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Earth finally deployed their counteroffensive. However, once again the Haiker prevailed. Each mech-ship of the Haiker fleet was a marvel of ingenuity and engineering, a hyper-advanced weapon that fused organic material with synthetic machinery for the purpose of granting its pilot total control. The human fleet stood no chance. Earth gained a precious few months reprieve through the sacrifices of its pilots and fleet. This gave them time to learn from the Haiker and develop what they could to survive. The energy field and counteroffensive bought humanity enough time to retrofit its mining droids and exploration ships into an army of war machines. With the energy and resources of the entire planet pumped into all military-industrial complexes, they managed to produce a new unmanned fleet equipped with assault weapons and disruptors that would hopefully level the playing field. With this new development, the war truly began.

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Over the following decade, vicious battles were fought in the space between Earth and the Moon. No matter how hard they tried, and no matter how advanced their fleet became, humanity was unable to break through their opponent’s defensive line to reach the Kogo. But they were surviving, and humanity’s numbers held up against these assaults. However, the casualties on both sides, particularly for humanity, quickly began to become nearly incalculable. As the years passed and both sides continued to consume vast amounts of resources, the war began to move more and more away from an effort to destroy the opponent and more and more towards an effort to outlast the opponent. The earth and moon were squeezed dry by their respective sides, their precious gifts drained in the constant production of new war machines. There was one difference between humanity and the Haiker, however: the Haiker fought for conquest, while humanity desperately fought to survive. Eventually, this difference decided the outcome of the war. The Haiker, completely exhausted, realized that the conflict was worth their sacrifices. The Haiker, battered, and no longer assured of victory, retreated back into the right. The Rift was opened for the final time and the Haiker disappeared as fast as they arrived.

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Earth’s victory was bittersweet at best. Humanity had survived against a superior opponent, yes, but the costs were high. As the years passed, humanity slowly recovered. They developed a new reliance on renewable energy and turned to the forgotten Mars colonies to fill the space that it couldn’t. Not long after the end of the war, humanity returned to the moon and was greeted by a surprise: the Haiker had left much of their technology behind in the form of secondary ground factories, advanced mining technology, and a half-built Kogo. Bolstered by this discovery, the prosperity of the moon was slowly restored, and it became a great centre of innovation and utilization of alien technologies and techniques.

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These new developments, particularly the latter one, sparked a massive controversy. The citizens of earth, weary of war and death, were horrified to find their lunar brothers embracing the technology of mankind’s most bitter enemies and strongly supported the destruction of anything Haiker related. The new progressives on the moon opposed this idea vehemently, infatuated with the power of alien machinery. This conflict grew so intense that within a year, humanity, still not fully recovered, was poised for yet another brutal war. Seizing the opportunity, massive military-industrial corporations manipulated both sides of the conflict, knowing that war not only brings death and destruction but also wealth and status And so began the greatest civil war mankind had ever experienced, the Second Lunar-Terrestrial War.

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Once again, great battles were fought in space between the Moon’s new modified Kogo and the TR’s fleet. But this time, war was fought on the surfaces of both the earth and the moon, as carrier ships bearing infantry units broke through enemy lines and made landfall. The moon’s forces, now known as the Akukin, were equipped with advanced combat suits made with Haiker technology. Pilots’ consciousness were downloaded into the droids to gain total control of the war machines. The earth’s forces, known as the Hideo, adapted the same technologies and built unmanned armies to nullify and destroy their Haiker-sympathizing enemies. With no end in sight, the Hideo and Akukin are locked in an eternal battle!

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