Light flashed and reflected off the glass of the Adonis spacecraft that orbited in a calculated figure eight around the Earth and Moon. The Adonis had been on the edges of the Earth and Moon's atmospheres for 50 years. From the outside of the craft, as it swirls in perpetual motion, the silence echoes to the furthest reaches of the void that is space. The interior, however, bustled with life. The humans that have been on the Adonis had been living through a generation or two of space life.
The Earth had been met with catastrophe. A war broke out on all corners of the planet for life's most precious resource: Water. After years of blood and fighting, a single war head would begin a chain of catastrophic events that would ultimately lead to the near depletion of most life on Earth. One after the other, every capable country that had such weaponry would send full-on assaults to all opposing forces. A Free-for-All ensued.
All major cities were nothing more than rubble after the first week. Surrounding areas would be hit with high-level radiation. The bombs continued to drop up until there was no one left to push the buttons on the control modules. Most had fled from the impending destruction, avoiding the fallout from deep within bunkers along hillsides and on mountain tops. Others less fortune would find safety in the cracks and crevices of dank caves filled with bats and venomous insects that hide under rocks which were coated in fungi. All these things would become staple foods for the remaining survivors. Sometimes, a lucky group of people would stumble upon a cave with a source of water and perhaps even fish.
In any regard, the whole planet faced near extinction.
However, a group calling themselves "The New Crusade" initiated a plan that would change the course of history. Just south of the island of Kyushu in Japan, there launched a massive platform that would subsequently launch another vessel known as the Adonis. The first rockets cast the platform into the edges of the atmosphere, and from there the Adonis would take off with practically all fuel cells completely full. In space, they would compute the coordinates for orbiting the Earth and then the moon. A crude black smoke engulfed the planet as everyone who was on the starship watched in fear and sadness.
There were approximately over five thousand people aboard the Adonis. That number would grow quite a bit as they continued on their path for 50 years. That was the suspected duration of the fall out. After the allotted time, there would still be radioactivity, but it would be manageable they thought. Able to sustain life once more. It would be difficult , but the scientists believed it possible with the remaining technology they still had. Something that they cherished above most things. Only second to social standing.
On the return journey they would salvage all useful laboratory facilities and strip them for all the equipment that they could. There was a low possibility of being met with resistance, so there was a good chance that they could rebuild a functioning city within the next decade or so. And with the amount of people they had, they could continue to sustain themselves until the farms were set up. Electricity would have to be reestablished to the grid and that would take time. Out of all the people, there were only a select few that were capable enough and had the knowledge to do these things and they were among the top of the social ladder.
The population on the Adonis consisted of three different groups. The maintenance crew, although integral to the Adonis, were subjected to being nothing more then peasants that should just worry about their jobs. Then there were the rich. All of those who could afford to be on the Adonis once they found out about it. They would spend everything that they had to fund the rapid completion of the ship. Last, there were the scientists who ran the ship and made sure that the maintenance crew were doing their jobs correctly. Mostly, they would keep to themselves and could only be seen walking through the halls to one lab or the other.
There were a total 3 labs on the ship and they were always occupied by busy personnel.
The Adonis spacecraft was spherical and smooth which was coated with Magnesium Chloride that collected ambient water on the outside of the craft. In each of the polar opposites of the ship were retractable thrusters and landing equipment. Since there was no reason for them to be in use, they were neatly tucked within the orb and was seamless. There were also two mirrors on either side that reflected light into the core of the ship where food was grown. This method was hardly rudimentary. An intricate system was placed in order to capture the necessary amount of lumens per cubic foot in order to grow the produce and small trees to sustain the ships population.
For the most part, it was easy living on the ship.
Earth was now a gray ball whose clouds swirled around like muddy water. After all the bombing had stopped the surface had become a wasteland of rubble, dust and ash. Huge waves of bomber aircraft carpeted the landscape of every major continent, rich or poor, and laid waste to all of humanity. Every country had their targets and hit them accordingly until there was nothing left but relics of a civilization that couldn't save itself. "Blown to smithereens" a teacher would later tell a class of students as they learned the history of the strange star they orbited.
What these same teachers wouldn't tell them was that there were still pockets of life well hidden in bunkers and catacombs that were eventually carved out by those who inhabited the caves in the hills and mountains. These people survived through the apocalyptic epoch of what would be called "Old Earth". These people lived their days underground and found sustenance where ever possible. No person would see another until the sixth year and by this time, depending on where you survived, there were already posses and gangs that roamed the wasteland looting whatever they could. At first, most of the time, they would die from radiation sickness; sometimes carrying back other diseases to camp and infecting others. Not having any sanity left and willing to do whatever they pleased, it was a mistake to be caught alone when they began a murderous rampage.
Human settlements started to spring back up but did not venture far from their bunkers. The stories of what had happened turned in to urban legends and fairytales. Stories of huge metal birds that dropped giant eggs that exploded poisonous gas in to the atmosphere. Even now there were traces of radioactivity. They never gave up hope and were inclined to keep moving forward with humanity; albeit left to their own devices. Relaying knowledge from one generation to the next until it was a societal norm. From the rubble they had gathered all the text that they could from the old world. Information was like gold and it was bartered and sold to the highest bidder. Pieces of information about the old tech was hard to come by because of all the destruction that occurred. It had destroyed all major science facilities and the subsequent fires that inevitably occurred burned the rest of it down.
There were two scientists however from opposite parts of the globe that managed to keep most of their research intact via USB thumb drives. But they wouldn't be as lucky. Somewhere within a bunker in New Mexico was all of the studies for reverse engineered flying craft and several dozen schematics for advanced weapons. On the opposite side of the planet in Kyushu's launch facility's underground control room was another flash drive that contained the blueprints of bioengineered DNA and RNA along with the algorithms to harness electricity in space . Soon, they would be discovered once more.