Introduction to the Story
The year is 2540, 15 years into a harrowing war between humanity and the zealous Covenant Empire, a powerful alliance of diverse alien species united by a common religion. The Covenant perceive humans as an abomination in the judgement of their gods, and are methodically advancing through human-controlled space, exterminating every inhabited world they discover. Their objective is humanity’s extinction.
The humans have responded by mobilizing for total war, led by the United Nations Space Command. Previously having only had to deal with the fires of insurrection that flared up throughout the outer colonies, the UNSC quickly found the Covenant to be a superior military adversary – holding a profound numerical and technological advantage. Despite some scattered, costly human victories and a thus-far resolute will to keep fighting, the long war of attrition is overwhelmingly favoring the genocidal Covenant.
The Covenant have recently destroyed the UNSC’s great fortress-world among the outer colonies; Vigil. Also referred to as ‘Outer Reach’, Vigil was the last hope of keeping the war contained in the outer colony systems. Though the humans fought hard to defend it, in the end Vigil fell. Now the Covenant have begun to spill into the inner colony systems. These are humanity’s oldest and most populated worlds. Thus, casualties have greatly multiplied since the fall of Vigil.
Through shrewd strategy and committed effort, the UNSC has prevented the Covenant from learning the location of humanity’s homeworld, Earth. So far. Even so, with the Covenant war machine burning a path into the inner colonies, many believe it is only a matter of time until they find and destroy every last trace of human civilization. It is at this moment that the story of Aeolian Hope begins.
While many of the inner colonies are huge, developed worlds with massive civilian populations and tremendous infrastructure, this is not always the case. Udachi is a small moon orbiting a gas giant in a classified star system. It is dominated by rugged, mountainous terrain and frigid temperatures. There is very little liquid water on the surface, and the plant life that exists is almost entirely made up of cold-adapted species from Earth, introduced as part of a small-scale terraforming effort. For most of its history, Udachi had been little more than a remote science outpost. Within the last few years however, operatives from the Office of Naval Intelligence noticed something in the geological survey reports that sent them into a frenzy. Within months the colony had doubled in size as civilian contractors were brought in to establish an aggressive mining operation. A small but strategically effective military presence was immediately established as well, in order to safeguard the booming colony.
Fate is so often a cruel trickster however. Just as the colony has started to grow and excavate the first loads of these curiously important minerals, the Covenant have discovered Udachi. Now they move to expunge yet another population of humans from the galaxy…