On a world not unlike our own, in a time not far from now, astronomers discovered a terrifying fact. A massive group of meteors was flying through space and on a direct collision course with their planet in under three years. World leaders convened and met with a council of scientists, but it was decided that the fate was inevitable. Based on the size and number, the surface of the planet would most likely be wiped out.
While space travel might allow hundreds to escape, no permanent colonies existed off world, thus making it a poor choice to save the human race. Instead the nations banded together to fund a super project referred to as CASS (Computer Aided Survival System). CASS was based around a new technology currently in field trials that allowed paramedics to place a human into stasis until they reached the hospital, drastically increasing trauma victims chances of survival.
With all of the world’s resources behind them, massive bunkers were dug deep into the earth and within each, thousands upon thousands of stasis pods were placed. Connecting them all was the most powerful computer array ever created, designed to track and take care of the hundreds of thousands of humans under its watch, but also to monitor the condition of the world above. It’s AI was often referred to as Mother, as she would determine when it was time to awaken humanity from their slumber.. if they survived at all.
The bunkers were loaded almost a full six months before the impact occurred, with the nations militaries placed solely outside of their entrances. In the following days, the world above fell to ruins and civilization collapsed as the billions of people left above rebelled and fought amidst the coming disaster. It is unknown what the death toll was leading up to impact.
Computer records show that the meteor shower lasted thirteen days with over 163 recorded strikes, the scientists were right, humanity could not have survived on the surface. Of the 63 bunkers created, only 48 remained intact. Even worse than that, despite the precautions taken to shield the CASS systems from emp and other various effects, the monitoring stations positioned both in space and underground were all but destroyed. This left Mother with a dilemma, she was unable to tell whether or not the surface was capable of sustaining human life again.
Records show she choose to wait 37 years to see if any systems came back online, but when they didn’t, she made the decision that the best option to ensure humanity’s survival was to keep them asleep as long as she possibly could.
Powered by massive geothermal power plants with backup nuclear generators, she held up for almost fifteen thousand years before the components of her systems began to degrad to the point she deemed it was time. She could no longer keep humanity safely in stasis, so whether or not the surface was ready, humanity was awakening.
The process occurred in stages, first key personnel were awoken. This included engineers, medical personnel and others that were needed to ensure the operation went smoothly and handle any complications that might arise. The second stage was the awakening of special operations teams. These teams were trained and prepared before the impact to act as scouts and security after the awakening. They were the first groups to leave the safety of the bunkers and discover the true state of the world. After this, 1,000 people were awoken in waves. It took nearly a year to complete, but allowed humanity to build and prepare for the slowly increasing numbers.
What the special operations teams discovered was a world that was no longer our own. In the thousands of years we had been asleep, the world had reborn, new creatures grew and evolved in the new world and the geography had been completely redesigned.
Thousands died to hunger and the elements as humanity worked to establish itself on the surface, but establish ourselves we did. At the end of the second year, as one of CASS’s final operations before its system shutdown, it gathered a population consensus. Roughly eight million humans survived upon the surface.
Now that CASS is gone, each bunker, now largely abandoned for cities on the surface, has been largely cut off from one another. Each one is on their own, each one attempting to take their own path, each one attempting to create something out of this new world.