Earth spun below us, its legendary azure beauty standing in opposition to the ugliness I knew dominated the surface. Between the brute human struggle, the myriad of new diseases chewing its way through the population, and the rapidly increasing extinction rate of Earth-bound species, the view from space remained far more pristine than the reality warranted.
I had been placed in charge of Sol Command, charged with backing up the self-proclaimed Redeemers, those who claimed to have a way to restore Earth to her former glory. Or, at least, start her on the road to recovery. They claimed to be able to restore oxygen to the seas, to bring the fish back. They swore to make Earth into, if not a paradise, then as close as it had ever been.
I didn’t know if I believed them, if I dared believed them, but that wasn’t my job. It didn’t matter if I believed Dr. Paragon or not. My superiors did, and I was duty bound to obey their orders.
When the fleet from Seraphim IV arrived to contest the founding of the Protectorate, it surprised no one. Their belief that Earth could only be restored to its pristine condition in preparation for the faithful’s return flew in the face of the Redeemers’ intentions and, in fact, the very spirit of the Protectorate treaty itself.
Earth was to belong to itself, with those who remained acting as wardens only—claiming nothing for themselves but what the planet could provide, or what they could negotiate elsewhere.
Earth would no longer be the victim of casual and callous exploitation.
Even if we had to go to war to insure it.
From the private journal of Captain Barack Rufo, Commander, Sol Command, United Directorate Forces, Ubuntu Navy May 1st, 2148
(Time stamp is set mere moments before the official start of the Protectorate War).