In 2198 an asteroid, named Shiva, was directed from the Belt against Earth. In 2201, just one month before impact, it was detected by the GLO on Luna and the entire remaining arsenal the could be brought to bear dent against it. This mainly consisted of nuclear missiles jury rigged from other duties.

However, on the Shiva asteroid a crew controlled a major anti-missile battery which fended off most these attacks. The remaining detonations had little effect on the body.

In these latter days the ramblings of the crew were completely incoherent. They talked of population control the really old fashioned way, of saving what remained of Earth's ecosystem from the humans, of showing the Transnats and Earth population what war and ignorance of effects really meant.

Shiva struck in mid-Pacific on 22 February 2201.

The effects were enormous. Consequent flooding around the Pacific Rim of around 11 metres above highest recorded tides immediately displaced over three billion people. Of these, two billion died of starvation or disease.

The tertiary effects were even worse. Dust from burn-up of the asteroid and its subsequent destruction on impact caused a drop in insolation of 20%. A minor and short lived nuclear winter ensued which drastically hit crop production.

The political impacts across the solar system were almost as big. Even before Shiva hit a massive effort was in progress on all sides to find the perpetrators and planners who conceived of and executed the Shiva action. Martian resistance groups denied all knowledge, and invited observers to view their investigation.

The Ceres government also mounted an investigation, and announced even before Shiva hit that analysis of wreckage and detritus around an abandoned torus indicated that the culprits had fled. This was not believed on Earth, and subsequent to the flooding massive retaliation from mass drivers on Luna and in cis-Luna space punctured many of the more visible Belt habitats. Unfortunately these were exactly the habitats full of peaceful refusniks who wanted as little to do with anybody as possible.

Those actions were not forgotten. In the following year over 350 people who were involved were summarily executed on Mars, in the Belt and in cis-Lunar space. However, several key perpetrators were never accounted for. The actions of Transnat authorities against innocents marked Ceres' policy toward Earth for years to come as a dangerous and uncontrolled force.

Transnat forces on Mars, meanwhile, were effectively neutralised by April 2002. They had been gradually losing the war for Martian orbital space because of Belt help, and had no identified ground targets left to lash out against. Having lost all means of support, it became simply a question of when the underground would wipe them off Mars.

The future of Ad Astra

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