Lucidus termination event
The Lucidus termination event refers to the spectacular conclusion of the Lucidus mission, which occurred relatively (on a galactic scale) near the Illuminatian planet when the three Lucidus ships initiated an automated evacuation and self-destruct sequence after experiencing an unexplained space-time irregularity.
The unplanned retreat of the entire population of the Lucidus ships via evacuation modules resulted in the settlement of Illuminatia by humans. A branch of humanity comprised entirely of descendants of the nearly 10,000 occupants of the Lucidus space mission now inhabits the Illuminatian planet in isolation from Earth as a consequence of the unintentional settlement here after the Lucidus termination incident.
- See main article: The Anomaly
The Lucidus ships, nearly 300 Earth-years into their mission, were traversing an uncharted galaxy at high speed in transit to investigate other more colorful regions of the known universe when they encountered the anomaly. Navigation and engineering operations were minimally staffed and unprepared to fully control the situation, as the crew were not expecting any phenomena in this quiet corner of space.
It was early in the morning just before sunrise on these three ships in the middle of outer space when automated navigation systems aboard all three ships simultaneously began reporting impossible and conflicting observations. The transition from normal navigation to the detection of a space-time irregularity was instantaneous. Observations reported by navigation systems are remarked to have included travel speeds in excess of 100 times the speed of light, bearings in multiple directions simultaneously, and ships on collision courses with themselves.
Engineering systems concurrent with this event immediately reported equally extraordinary observations. An Existential Crisis, one of the more serious declarations upon a space-bound mission, was established by automated systems. The protocol response to an Existential Crises, which included evacuation and self-destruction of the spacecraft, was initiated.
The Lucidus spacecraft were built to handle a rapid evacuation of all personnel in a semi-automated process thanks to construction methods that allowed large occupied portions of the spacecraft to serve as ready-to-go evacuation modules. All occupied evacuation modules contained navigation, environmental, and communication facilities sufficient to sustain life for a significant period of time while automated instructions issued by the ship prior to evacuation were executed to send the modules on a pre-planned course to a safe destination.
In this situation, the systems of the Lucidus ships determined it was safe for all evacuation modules from all three ships to chart a course for the same destination. The predetermined destination was a specific hemisphere of what we now call the Illuminatian planet.
Errors occurred in the accuracy of the navigation and other variations in the course were instituted automatically by the evacuation modules in efforts to avoid collisions between the numerous evacuation modules as they entered the atmosphere of the destination planet and descended onto the targeted hemisphere. No collisions were reported and it was determined all modules safely landed within a region spanning a radius of thousands of linear units.
It is known that the evacuation modules traveled an impressive distance to find the nearest safe and habitable planet as determined by the ailing Lucidus ships. It is not known for how long the evacuees spent traveling this distance, as the modules—as a result of an automated process intended to ensure the preservation of the Lucidus branch of the human race—discharged a gaseous sedative into the atmosphere of the occupied portions of the modules immediately upon separating from their parent ships, causing the populations aboard to fall into a deep sleep resembling stasis or suspended animation within an atmosphere designed to preserve human flesh in a living state.
First-hand accounts of the evacuation event were preserved by historians as a priority matter of record once the evacuees completed triage of their situation on the ground, so today we are able to study what it was that members of the general population and crews aboard the ships perceived that they experienced.
The Lucidus termination event survivors who were able to remain awake and lucid for a period following the incident, from their vantage points in evacuation modules leaving the ships, recall seeing significantly more than three Lucidus ships in a state of disassembly, which is peculiar as it is common knowledge that the Lucidus mission only built and sent three ships from Earth on the mission. Many historians believed the survivors were experiencing hallucinations or artifacts of deep dream states from the suspended animation situation.
Survivors commonly reported that they questioned their perception in their state of panic, assuming that they were seeing large fragments of the three ships in a disassembled state rather than more than three independent spacecraft. Other survivors were adamant that they saw six, nine, or even 27 unique Lucidus ships concurrently within a confined and overlapping space.
Still others who maintained impressive bouts of consciousness aboard their evacuation vessels claim they saw an equally impressive number of evacuation modules traveling in groupings or streams of vessels emanating from singular points in space and directing themselves into modestly divergent trajectories. The number of evacuees able to recall these details were limited by the small number of windows in the hulls of the evacuation modules, compounded by the fact that the vast majority of survivors quickly entered a deep asleep.
Arrival on Illuminatia
Miraculously, 100% of the evacuation modules were eventually accounted for on the surface of Illuminatia, although the process of finding them all continued for many annual units, during which most survivors were convinced that many of their fellow Lucidus comrades were utterly defunct or forever lost in the vast reaches of space. It was eventually established that a tremendous level of reliability was realized in the calculations made by control systems aboard the Lucidus spacecraft responsible for automated planning and execution of the evacuation procedures.
Evacuation modules generally splashed-down upon the oceans of the Illuminatian planet and used jet propulsion to thrust the craft to the nearest shore. A minority of survivors awoke from their non-consensual chemically-induced comas a bit early only to find their modules enjoying an extended parachute-supported descent onto solid Illuminatian land. Some of these survivors who endured the lengthy fall to the newly-found ground recounted to historians and cartographers the geography they observed from aloft of the planet's impressive circumference, though this was a difficult task to accomplish with a high degree of accuracy knowing the limitations of human memory. This aerial geographic knowledge—though limited—was found to be indispensable to initial exploration efforts, as it provided basic ideas of the layout of the Illuminatian continent and the unusual shape of the Illuminatian planet.
Some of these parachuted modules came to rest among awe-inspiring and decidedly foreign-looking land formations, which is understandable seeing as how none of the Lucidus survivors had ever stepped foot on a planet and possessed only academic knowledge of what an Earth looked like. With time, settlements and cities were established among these formations complete with local lore honoring the novel natural surroundings.
Legacy of the landings
- See main article: Settlement of Illuminatia
The immediate survivors of the Lucidus termination event established camps along shores, in the plains, and among towering mountains while the scientists and statisticians cobbled-together evidence to explain the space-time anomaly. Astronomers and mathematicians struggled to pinpoint where exactly Illuminatians were located in the universe and engineers labored to establish communication with other groups of survivors. Connoisseurs the humanities gave names to their camps and nearby land features, honoring everybody from historical figures—to fellow Lucidus colleagues they feared they lost—to the seemingly mythical Earthly figures they figuratively worshipped.
The locations of many of the original camps and other sites where adjacent groups of survivors rendezvoused eventually became towns and cities as the Lucidus survivors multiplied and settled the newly-found Illuminatia.