Nonnie Jules is the founder and President of RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB, as well as interviewer of RRBC authors in the famed, “Who’s On The Shelf With Nonnie?” interviews. Her interviewing skills are legendary and she decided to accompany Author, John Fioravanti, through space and time to another galaxy 700 years into the future. Nonnie’s goal is to meet the key personalities on planet Genesis featured in Fioravanti’s series, The Genesis Saga, and utilize her formidable skills to find out something more about these characters. This scene is the seventh of many, which will follow.
Nonnie and John have followed their host, Professor Marco Rossini, back into his formal living room in his home on the UGC campus. They have settled back into their armchairs and look expectantly at Marco, who is about to explain to Nonnie how the UN was in a position to launch the mission into deep space to a planet they believed was habitable.
Nonnie: (Suddenly turns to face John) “John, I appreciate that you saw fit to have us stay here this long!” (Marco cocks an eyebrow in question at John)
John: (addresses Marco) “Don’t ask!” (Marco looks from one to the other and grins at his visitors knowing there’s a story to be told here)
Nonnie: “Hmph! Don’t ask, indeed! (Gives John another long, stern look then addresses her host) Marco, I’d like to know how the UN got into the space business!”
Marco: (Warming to his topic) “Nonnie, it’s an interesting story. You see…
…A unique and colossal starship was commissioned by the UNSA (United Nations Space Agency) in January of 2061. The Agency, created ten years earlier out of the remnants of several failed space agencies throughout planet Earth, believed it was time to build a vessel capable of deep space exploration and colonization. Their ultimate goal was to mount a colonizing mission to a planet, newly discovered by an unmanned probe. Scientists called the planet, Genesis. The bankrupted predecessors of the UNSA had abandoned the building of space stations and, for the past decade, the Agency had worked to create a shipbuilding yard on the Moon. Designed to build large and small craft simultaneously, Earth was on the precipice of the dawn of an Earth Navy in space.
The abject failure of national governments on the planet to effectively curb environmental degradation, spurred many leaders to persuade their own national governments to empower the United Nations to develop and act upon new initiatives to save the planet for human habitation. The colonization of space was considered a prudent safety valve in the effort to save humanity from itself. It took eight years to design the colonizer and another fifteen years to build it…”
Nonnie: (Interrupting suddenly) “Marco, are you saying that the unchecked environmental damage would have killed humanity anyway?”
Marco: (Smiles at Nonnie) “Actually… not. You see, Nonnie…
During those decades, great strides had been made towards repairing the environmental damage on the planet’s surface. Unfortunately, a war broke out between radicalized believers of the great religions who had wrested control of their organizations from those of weaker faith and resolve. One group hired scientists to create the ultimate bioweapon – a self-aware, or sentient super virus to prey upon their enemies. Unfortunately, the virus had other ideas and decided to feast upon all humanity. The plague was dubbed the Omega Virus since all efforts to cure it ended in failure. The UN decided to launch the starship colonizer with almost a million, hand picked souls from every nation on Earth.
Prior to departure, UN Secretary General, Amy Valens, mandated the implementation of a significant policy designed to guarantee unity and cohesion aboard the colonizer. Roughly half of the selected ‘survivors’ were to be conditioned to believe in a religion concocted by a group of hastily assembled bureaucrats, who, after a few drafts, wrote a new set of Sacred Scriptures for the Unity National Church of the Gods. Their leader and supreme ruler of all aboard the colonizer was given the title, High Chancellor. A dozen chancellors who sat on the Chancellery Council would assist him. His word was law. The church-armed force, known as the Crusader Army, protected their authority.”
Nonnie: (Incredulously) “You know, John, (faces him squarely) I’d love to give that Valens woman a good shake! Don’t get any ideas, John! (Wags her finger) Really! She divides the survivors into two groups and that’s supposed to bring peace and stability? I’ll wager she didn’t get out much!”
Marco: (Looks at Nonnie, then to John) “I can’t argue that! Allow me to continue…
The remaining survivors were not to be conditioned as believers out of fear that this manipulation might erase, or impair, their scientific and technological skill sets. The leaders of these people were the officers, enlisted men, and women of the Navy and the Navy Marine Corps. The balance of this Naval Class was civilian scientists, doctors, architects, engineers, businessmen and women, who adopted the name of their class from their military leaders and personnel.
It should come as no surprise, therefore, that the starship was named, UNS Divine Scepter by the first High Chancellor. Scepter departed from the Agency Yard on the Moon in 2086 to seek out a new home for humanity – Genesis.”
Nonnie: “John… this is downright scary! We can’t let this happen! My grandbabies…”
John: (Interrupts quickly) “Calm down, Nonnie… (Marco is looking from one guest to the other in surprise) Not to worry, Marco. As a gifted writer, Nonnie’s imagination sometimes gets carried away.” (Nonnie turns away from Marco and sticks her tongue out at John!)
Nonnie: (Realizes her gaff, composes herself and addresses Marco)
“I’m sorry, but that story got me thinking about my family. Tell me, did any descriptions of that ship survive in the Archives? I can’t imagine… a million people…”
Marco: Yes, Nonnie, I can tell you a little bit about that great ship. But let’s do that over dinner. I’ve wanted to cook dinner for John for quite some time – and this is the perfect opportunity. Come with me into the kitchen and I’ll put you both to work! I have an apron you’ll just love, Nonnie…
(Nonnie looks askance at John, who chuckles and steers her into the kitchen on the heels of their host.)
Join us for the next post and find out about UNS Divine Scepter!