The skids touched down on the landing pad, engine fans blowing red and brown debris in the air. It wasn’t so much of a landing site as it was a patch of barren ground. Then again, most of the planet was pretty much just that. This particular system had become popular after terraformers were able to create a few large bodies of water and Earth-like weather cycles over one of the northern sections of the planet. Shortly after, hotels and palm trees sprung up over the terraformed section, thrusting Tab Kabelac into the spotlight as the hottest vacation resort in the galaxy.
There was a time when terraformers worked relentlessly to create machines that would change entire planets, but there were too many variables involved. No two planets are alike, as no two areas of a planet are alike, and to create a single machine specific enough and powerful enough to change an entire planet – the effects can be devastating.
Multiple Terra Units were created some 25 years ago, to test on an uninhabited planet in a remote system. Scientists worked to create nine different units, each one designed for a specific geographic region, and more importantly, to work together with the adjacent units. Terra Units create an “umbrella effect” over the area they process, adjusting the specific conditions of that particular area. Because a unit is working with different variables than the adjacent terraformer, the units clash on the edges of the umbrella, creating turbulent effects where umbrellas overlap. When scientists were able to create a system of units that work together, they were sent immediately to a remote, uninhabited planet to be tested.
Interest in this technology had not been limited to humans. Ierki had been monitoring the expansion of Earth colonies for nearly a decade before extending a handshake. This was the first contact mankind had with an intelligent alien life, and mankind, eager and naïve to establish a relationship, embraced them with open arms. That is, until the Ierki learned of the multiple Terra Units and decided they needed them a lot more than the Colonies. The Ierki launched a swift attack on the group of Terra Scientists and their small military escort, and stole the units. It was to their own detriment however, as three months later they were activated on an inhabited Ierki planet, causing catastrophic earthquakes that killed two-thirds of the planet’s population. Somehow the blame fell back on mankind, and the next 15 years were spent in war.