Overview | Eden
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Some decades or centuries in the future, a group of humans decide that Earth is no longer inhabitable or salvageable. The astronomers have discovered a planet, thousands of light-years away, which is almost identical to Earth, but does not seem to be altered by civilization. It represents the promise of a new start, a future that almost everyone had thought they would never get. Optimistically, the scientists decide to call this new planet Eden.
However, given the distance, it is near impossible for any humans to survive the journey. Light-speed travel has been accomplished, but no faster than that. It is ultimately decided that one hundred people will be cryogenically frozen to act as humanity's seed, and will take with them genetic material from as diverse a group of humans as possible. The space ship takes vast digital libraries of cultural information, hoping to preserve as much of humanity's essence as possible.
Upon arriving on Eden, the cryogenic stasis is lifted, and the council of humanity awakens. However, it is not a lush untouched Earth-like planet that lies below their slow orbit. Instead, there lies a vast ocean, and for several hours, they aren't sure if there's any land left at all. After a few orbits of the planet, it is established that slightly less than one tenth of the planet's surface is above sea level. Not nearly enough for the entire population of Earth, even if they don't use all the genetic material they have.
Three paths lie before them. An argument breaks out among the council. After weeks of intense debate, they can reach no clear solution and instead break into three factions.
They unfold the space ship from its compact flight mode to its spread-out civilization mode, and begin recreating the population. The council choose their favorites of this new population to join their factions, but most of new humanity gets to choose for themselves. Like their forbearers, they are split, unable to reach a consensus.
Eventually, most of the original council die off. But not all of them. A dozen or so obtain something resembling immortality, guiding and ruling the populations for generations to come.