Dead... and Back is a survival horror Role Playing Game. The Anarchy Zones is its official setting - aliens, reanimates, and the ruins of 2055 America.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Orbital Wasteland

If you're ever far north, look at the Aurora Borealis.  Note the brown haze around the edges. That is our satellite communication network. Well, what is left of it, anyway.

Back in the 2030s there was a bit of a crisis - we almost lost global networking a quarter century ago. Crud in orbit was reaching a tipping point. A little screw the size of your thumbnail doesn't seem like much, but remember, anything in orbit is generally moving somewhere around twenty or thirty thousand kilometers an hour. A piece of junk the size and weight of a tennis show will absolutely demolish anything it comes in contact with. Apparently we were pretty close to "Kessler Syndrome" - where one impact spits out debris which cause further impacts - much like a nuclear chain reaction in an atom bomb, and probably no less devastating to our way of life.

It took some pretty concerted effort to clean everything up - that was one of the big impetus to get rail launch payloads with laser boost over conventional rockets by the way - no waste booster stages. A few close calls with people claiming they were going to intentionally blow up a space flight or blind a satellite to set it off.

Then the aliens come along. First the EMP fries most of the constellations, then they try to shut down military communications, and then they have the gall to explode when our weapons intentionally spew ball bearings and similar payloads in their path. At 40,000 kph closing speed, a marble has more power than several times its weight in TNT. Shrapnel Everywhere.

So frankly, at the moment the process isn't reestablish communications with the outside world, and get our nation back on track. Its restore power and build giant lasers to ablate junk until the plumes coming off of them force the bits into the atmosphere to burn up, then design new rockets, then launch satellites, and then we can have cell phones again.

That ring of junk may have a hidden benefit though.

Considering how powerful an advantage the ships represented during the Event, it is rather surprising that the citizens are not using them much now. I have heard a number of speculations about why this might be. Perhaps the FTL jump drained them of power, or they were previously damaged which is why they jumped to here. Maybe there is something special on board they don't want us to have, or something dangerous like whatever created the reanimates or unstable power supplies.

What if they won't get any closer, because we now have an unplanned and unmapped orbital minefield between them and the planets surface?

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