Planet Earth is overwhelmed with humanity. Entire continents have sunk into never-ending cycles of famine and war. The southern hemisphere is devoid of viable government. Where once there were jungles and forests there is only barren land, stripped of fuels and eroded of topsoil. Strife and deprivation result in massive migrations, migrations that are invariably stemed by force of arms, by famine, and inevitably by wholesale death. The functioning governments still extant include:

The Asian Cooperation (AC), a Beijing/Tokyo axis that governs the east, sometimes effectively, usually ponderously. Old suspicions die hard, and the governments of the AC too frequently withdraw inward, isolating themselves and their oppressed populations.

The Turko-Germanic-Soviet Republic (TGSR), an amalgam of old enemies, is in constant warfare with its neighbors and with itself. Its southern borders shift like the tides in constant effort to preserve and expand its arable lands and depleted natural resources.

The People's Republic of the Americas (PRA), a hapless collection of ostensibly socialist states maintained intact largely by the economic beneficence (and frequently the military intervention) of the neighboring Tellurian Legion. The reasons for this largess are not obscure; the PRA is a buffer against migratory pressures of swarming populations.

The Tellurian Legion (TL), the last quasi-democratic government on the face of the globe. Its capital city is Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Its constituent nations include Great Britain, France/Navarre Spain, the Scandanavian Protectorate, and all of North America above the St. Lawrence Seaway, Ohio River, Missouri River, Sacramento River lines. It is in reality a military plutocracy, with the rich and vested military interests running the goverments. There are elections, but very few voters. Earth's future is indeed dim, but then the discovery of hyperlight technology rekindles the candle of exploration. There is for the first time in centuries the vision of another frontier. Earth's diminishing treasure is invested in a final effort to explore the universe, perhaps to find an escape from the hopelessness of a dying planet.

That enthusiasm is sorely damaged by the destruction of the fleet of the Asian Cooperation at Shaula. Asian exploration efforts are terminated, but the Tellurian Legion builds defensive capabilities into its fleet and continues to search the galaxy for another home for humanity.

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    Gier Genellan 1996-2000 Scott G. Gier