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In the year 2088, pollution brought the earth to the brink of destruction. Ferocious natural disasters chipped away at the human population and devastated civic infrastructure. As the polar icecaps melted, islands vanished underwater – then entire coastlines.
Faced with the possibility of extinction, the United Nations created a binding global resolution called the Earth Rehabilitation Act, and a supranational committee to implement it called the Ethics Oversight Syndicate, or ETHOS. The committee’s first action was to establish a hefty universal tax to pay for itself.
Severe regulations on manufacturing and resource extraction aided the environment, but crippled industry. ETHOS advisors decided to hedge their bets by diverting huge sums to a private technology contractor named Asgard. It was appointed the task of creating a failsafe – an exodus, should the worst come to pass. The desperate search for habitable extraterrestrial planets began.