In the late 2240s, the United Nations of Earth (UNE) began a mass colonization program of continental worlds in neighboring systems. The endeavor, and colonists associated with it, became known as the ‘First Wave.’
Terra Nova in the Alpha Centauri system was one the first worlds colonized in the ‘First Wave’. While it is now an important core world of humanity, few people know that its initial planetary settlement was almost abandoned after a critical food shortage and subsequent outbreak of violence caused the deaths of over 15,000 colonists.
The project would have been shut down completely had it not been for the 13th Planetary Guard, a colonial defense army that was tasked with reducing unrest. The platoon, also nicknamed ‘The Supply Suckers’ were credited with restoring law and order for long enough to allow for supplies from Earth to arrive.
Xenonion News was able to speak to one of the key soldiers involved with the 13th Planetary Guard, Sergeant Conrad.
This article is sponsored by TeleShroud - the galaxy’s largest psionic telecommunications provider.
Sergeant, thank you very much for taking the time to speak with us. Can you talk us through your experience on Terra Nova?
Of course. It was tough. The defence army had just been established only a few months after the first colonists had re-assembled that ship shelter. Those first few months were the hardest.
I understand food went pretty quickly?
The amount of Space Ramen we went through was insane. I don’t know why the colony ship was only stocked with 1,500,000kg of Space Ramen, but it wasn’t enough, that’s for sure.
How soon did it run out?
Pretty soon. Maybe a month or so later. It probably didn’t help we were all comfort eating. But the supplies dwindled - in the end people were getting upset and unrest was rising.
Did the UNE try to help?
We were expecting them to send some more supplies, but it turned out our colonization had pushed the whole government into debt, and they couldn’t afford to help us.
But really, it felt like they forgot about us. The remaining Ramen packets were our lifeblood. A currency. A really precious currency that was hard-fought to come by.
What happened next?
More and more pops were unfrozen from cryo. We had maybe 400 people originally on the colony, with up to 19,000 in stasis that were automatically woken after a set period of time. The computer couldn’t be overridden. Every day tens of new pops were unfrozen, and every day more Ramen went.
Then the food stores in the ship shelter got raided. Thank the Worm we were given laser carbines, they were next most important thing that people would pay attention to after Ramen.
So the 13th Army took it upon itself to guard the food stores?
We did, and for trying to help we faced a damn revolt. The People’s Front of Terra Nova they called themselves. Or wait, maybe it was the Terra Nova People’s Front. Or Popular Front. I don’t know.
Anyway, while it may have sounded like a proper planetary revolt, it was only forty people. But when all forty of them have slug throwers, things tend to get a bit more complex….
It sounds like a precarious situation, how did you resolve it?
Unfortunately, it got worse.
Those bastards got one of my soldiers, Private Easting, when he was on his lunch break. We didn’t have any food, but we would pretend to eat Ramen for the psychological boost.
Anyway, he was in this fake canteen that we’d drawn on one of the hallways, and he got fifty shells to the chest. The fake canteen was ruined too.
We tried to fight back with force, and the Popular People’s Front of Terra Nova started using guerrilla tactics.
They kept cutting the power. There was only so many temporary fixes our techies could do to our Fusion Generator. Stalking through the darkened corridors of the reassembled ship shelter, we hunted them and they hunted us.
The halls became a blood soaked battlefield as pops picked sides. Worm, we were barely holding out. What started as a fifty strong security force, got reduced to ten after months of all out fighting.
The irony was, for all the pops that we lost, equal amounts awoke from cryo. We had this constant flow of new, terrified pops. In the end, we stopped explaining what was going on to them and started shoving flak jackets and kinetic pistols into their hands.
Did the UNE know what was happening?
We tried calling for help on a daily basis. No-one responded. They did seem to be reading our biweekly reports though - the read receipts were on. On our charts, it looked like Terra Nova had a booming population with all the pops coming out of cyro, but the only thing that was booming was the mortuary. Literally. It was bombed pretty early on.
It sounds like a tough situation. If only you had a TeleShroud fax machine. It has excelled psiwave upload speeds and has been proven superior to other forms of communication in terms of guaranteed message delivery.
Look, do you think we had time to be fixing fax machines? The one damned one we had was destroyed alongside the fake canteen.
It was up to us, and no-one else, to end the strife.
It’s a shame, because it sounds like you really could have benefited from a TeleShroud subscription package
What the hell are you talking about?
TeleShroud. The galaxy’s largest telecommunications provider.
Ok but… why?
TeleShroud offers some of the most competitive -
Right, right, whatever. Can I just finish my story?
In the end, we enforced peace by gunpoint. We unthawed every cryo pop there was and gave them the last of our weaponry.
I would have liked to seen the facial expressions on those smarmy People’s Front fools as we drowned them in ten thousand angry colonists.
What happened to them?
They got pulped to death. The pulp made for a pretty good nutritional replacement, so the survivors fed on that.
Of course then an outbreak of Super Scurvy set in, and we lost about 90% of the colony. But by that time, we’d all seen so much death that we didn't even flinch at our comrades falling beside us.
Well that took a particularly grim turn.
Desperate times indeed.
The government finally remembered us about six months later when the economy stabilized.
They kind of just ignored our reports and just gave us the order to build 25 tiles worth of hydroponic farms.
I guess they wanted to really fix the problem. And work goes quick when you’re ravenous for a packet of anything but Spicy Pitharan flavoured Ramen.
However, thanks to the establishment of those farms, things are back to normalcy... mostly.
If those People’s Front fools come back, we’ll hold the line while you fellas get the cavalry, right?
I cant make promises, Sergeant. But TeleShroud certainly can. A promise to deliver not only the best in psionic telecommunication devices, but also the galaxy’s highest rated customer service.
I... Wormdamn it. I guess I can order a few of the damn things.
Sergeant Conrad has remained a member of the 13th Planetary Guard on Terra Nova, and is now based out of the newly constructed Planetary Fortress.
Sales of the planet’s main luxury resource, Ramen, remains buoyant, and stocks remain closely guarded by ‘The Supply Suckers’