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    Ferragus posted in the group Verdant Eclipse

    2 months, 2 weeks ago

    For roughly one hundred years after Humankind set foot upon the moon they turned their backs on the vastness of space, focusing inwards. They destroyed habitats and polluted the earth. They crushed the downcast in the gears of industry. They cut and drilled and burnt. They turned the water, air and earth themselves into commodities, packaged, priced and marketed, all to line the pockets of the rich. The earth grows steadily more inhospitable, and so humankind once again turnes their gaze outwards, towards the stars.

    With governments turned into little more than puppets for those who pay them, it’s the soulless corporations which lead this new foray into the inky black. The cost of carrying workers and supplies up from the gravity well of Earth is astronomical, and so the corporations establish way stations on Luna, from which they can refuel and resupply before voyaging deeper. These drab way stations become the first permanent human settlements in space.

    The first humans ever to reside beyond the reach of Earth’s atmosphere do so only after signing the last shreds of dignity away with draconian work contracts. The cost of carrying them up from the dying Earth to Luna is such that they will never repay what the corporations say they owe. Their lives are analyzed, dissected, micro-managed and charged. It’s too expensive to carry food from Earth and so seeds are brought instead. Hardened, glass-roofed Agricultural domes are erected on the lunar surface, to feed the indentured workforce, for which they are charged. Each moment they are not working is fined. Their waste is collected and processed; The bodies of the dead are recycled, mulched and used to fertilize the plants that will feed those who yet live.

    Amongst the workers of the domes a strange pseudo-religion begins to arise. They toil ceaselessness under the domes, a single fruit grown with their blood and sweat worth more than they could hope to earn in months. Tending the lunar gardens becomes almost an act of worship, a salve for their battered souls.

    Though it is kept under wraps by the corporations at first, an anomalous object is recovered from below the surface of the moon Ganymede. Contact with the nearby orbital station is lost, in what would later become known as the Karsov Genesis Incident, but not before a few desperate survivors recovered the object and returned to Luna. In the coming weeks strange outbreaks began to occur in the lunar agri-domes. Harvests fester with horrible growths, and those who eat rations prepared from infected plants suffer horrible, painful debilitations. One by one outposts and domes begin to go dark. Those few that manage to escape offer delirious reports of workers turning feral and savage, sprouting wooden and ichor-dripping growths that twist and contort their bodies, and screaming mutant plant-creatures budding from sickly trees. These reports are whispered of, and the horrors given names: The twisted, moaning Gnarl, and the screeching, barbed Mandrakes.

    Each day the corruption spreads, and each day new domes go dark. Panic spreads. Productivity slows. Workers whisper and rumors of riots begin to finally spread. The executives, in secret, offer freelance contracts to small groups, known as Wardens, who are brave or foolish enough to venture into the haunted domes and face the horrors within, to bring back information and recover lost assets.

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