French Quarter Space Program
The year is 1799. The War of Independence concluded 16 years ago. Napoleon is marching through Egypt. The War of 1812 looms 13 years in the future. The new republic stands proud, but the future is uncertain, as the mighty nations of Europe battle across the four corners of the globe.
Radical voices are heard in the parlors and bars of New Orleans. The Earth is nothing more than a bloody chessboard for kings, emperors, and sultans, to whom the lives and freedoms of the common man mean nothing. If the liberty of the American states is to be preserved, it must find refuge beyond the reach of warring empires.
The year is 1809. Somewhere in the shadows, the best and brightest of New Orleanian society come together in a volatile combine representing all cultures, creeds, and walks of life. Lead by drunkards, swindlers, pirates, and whores, the group makes a bold decision.
Salons are held. Philosophers are consulted. Plans are drawn. Pamphlets are distributed. Passions are inflamed. Monies are raised. Hidden among the fortress islands of Barataria, three banners are flown: The flag of the thirteen United States of America; The Fleur De Lis; The Skull and Crossbones. Beneath the three banners fluttering in the gulf breeze, a great project commences...
The year is 1899. Due to the peculiar properties of space travel, the calendars on Earth show the year to be 2015. Fulfilling the promise enscribed on the prow of their vessel, me orbis mundi non retineat, four generations of colonists have pushed ever further into the frontiere sombre. With courage and determination, the Fourteenth Colony thrives beyond the light of unknown suns.
Looking back towards their ancestral home, from their perch amid the night sky, the descendants of the first crew witness 200 years of Earth history sweep before them in double time. As they explore the grey planet and tame the hexabison, they see Napoleon fall, and rise, and fall once more. As they hunt the mighty gastodons, they see American soldiers setting fire to American cities. As they drive the kraken back into the planetary rings, they see whole continents smashed by machines of war. As they earn the respect of the faceless warriors who ride the comets, they see the hearty colonial spirit of their homeland given way to decadence and idleness.
Again and again, the colonists witness the endless parade of revolutions become tyrannies, and noble intentions used to crush liberty. Seeing the sad pattern repeat once more, the great grandchildren of the first crew resolve to act. A small launch is cobbled together from pieces of their vast spacefaring home, and dispatched to distant Earth. This returning expedition is tasked to assist refugees from the home planet, who, like the founders in 1799, choose to claim freedom beyond the bounds of the Earth.
Having crossed the great gulf of space, a blue orb comes into view. It is the stuff of legend, but none of the current crew, nor their parents, had ever seen it with the naked eye. The ship begins transmitting a single repeated message, to be heard by the people of every nation:
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