Seventeen years after the Elemental ‘awakening’ throughout the Solar System, every single planet and even many of the planetoids had embarked upon incredible metamorphoses. The Sun in particular was growing extremely powerful.
Human life on Earth was impossible to be maintained any longer. It wasn’t only the surface that was in danger. Mana permeated everything, including the depths of the oceans and deep underground.
Although the plants and animals couldn’t survive in their original forms, mana-radiation had forced everything to ‘evolve’. Even the heavenly bodies themselves were dramatically altered at their most basic foundations.
Everything was growing in various ways. Venus had always been considered Earth’s twin, but that was only because the two planets were of similar size and relatively close to each other. As they both gained more mass and their gravity increased, they were slowly being pulled into a binary orbit. However, for the moment, they were still more than twenty-million miles away from each other.
Earth had nearly doubled in overall size, but so did the Moon. In fact, what was originally just a planetoid, had begun to closely resemble the planet it was falling towards. Normally, it would have been inevitable for them to collide, yet they still maintained a distance of two-hundred thousand miles. The reason was that both of them had started to gain sentience and understand how to utilize certain forms of magic. By manipulating magnetism, it was possible to overcome gravity, even on such a large scale.
Mars originally only had two satellites, Phobos and Deimos. Each was merely the size of an asteroid. However, as the Sun expanded, it pushed the four innermost planets farther away and pulled everything else into a much closer orbit. Innumerable comets, asteroids and meteors began bombarding Mars on a daily basis. Combined with the various magical-beasts and mutated plants, it not only gained an atmosphere, but also a multitude of new moons. There were oceans of molten rocks, constant volcanic eruptions and the surface would have been totally unlivable for humanity. Of course, given the primordial environment, it was actually the perfect place for someone to practice Earth, Fire, Water or Wind spells.
There had originally been a total of seven portals spread across the planet, but five of them had been destroyed by the incessant bombardment. One was actually located on Phobos, before the moon had been knocked out of orbit and ended up eventually crashing into Mercury. Surprisingly enough, the gateway survived the impact. Thus, it had become possible to access what was once formerly the smallest planet in the Solar System.
Mercury was still rather tiny when compared to the Earth, but it had managed to become significantly larger than it was twenty years prior. In fact, even though it was merely two-thousand miles in diameter, its gravity was actually a whole g. The planet had become the home of nearly one-hundred thousand Neo-Humans, who were the closest thing to the original species as possible. They weren’t Psychers and possessed little to no possibility of becoming anything more than what they already were. Essentially, they were part of the ‘Exodus Project’ that Azrael-Tech had been working on.
Creating an artificial teleportation device that could send people millions of miles away, would have been impossible within such a short timeframe. Fortunately, due to the happy-coincidence of a portal just landing on Mercury, all they needed to do was ‘hack’ into one of the gateways that Arcana created. Well, it wasn’t quite that simple, since there was barely any atmosphere. However, that was also a blessing of sorts, because it also meant that there were few magical-beasts or other monsters that were able to survive in such an environment.
The temperature was extremely high, it was close to the Sun, and it was fairly dangerous above ground. Yet, all of those things were unimportant when compared to safety. It was uncommon for asteroids to come close and even if they did, they could be deflected or obliterated before they hit the planet. Solarwinds could be harnessed for energy and mana, while heat could be counteracted fairly easily. As long as there wasn’t a constant onslaught of vicious demons, undead, monsters or even angels, it was still preferable to the other options available.
With Azrael-Tech’s constant advances, they had definitely reached the point where Neo-Humans could survive in ships and stations, but it was far too risky. It wasn’t impossible to create or counteract gravity, just difficult and costly. They would also need to deal with food, water, protection from solar and mana radiation, plus a whole host of other issues. However, the population of New Tokyo Ni was mostly robots, cyborgs and inorganic humanoids. If it really came down to it, they didn’t ‘need’ to take care of the Neo-Humans. Their desire to preserve their former species was similar to the way that the Old Humanity used to go through desperate lengths to prevent various wild animals from becoming extinct. They also had several genebanks, so that in the future, they would eventually be able to create cats, dogs, and other novelty lifeforms from Earth.
Compared to the other four planets, Mercury was fairly peaceful. Most people were struggling too hard to build a home for themselves, so they didn’t have time for much conflict. After all, while the planet was relatively small, there were only a few million inhabitants. Compared to their tiny space of land in Antarctica, it was a huge upgrade.
Mars was a very turbulent and violent place, but most of the chaos was caused by the constant rain of meteors, comets and asteroids. Those who went there to train, usually didn’t bother fighting each other, because the real battle was against natural disasters.
Venus, Luna and Earth were the three most populated planets in the Solar System. They were also fairly close together, so there were many magical beasts, demons and Psychers who could actually traverse the distance. Some could teleport, but most either had the physical ability to survive in space, or had obtained ‘Artifacts’ and ‘Legacies’ that allowed them to overcome the void between worlds.
The Asteroid Belt was getting closer, but it was still going to be a long time before the three planets had to deal with that. In fact, considering how powerful the gravity on Earth and Venus had become, along with the incredibly dense atmospheres, it would be difficult for much damage to occur. There were also monsters who were powerful enough to deflect or consume the giant space rocks, so it wasn’t high on the list of things that people had to worry about.
In small numbers, humanoids and other sentient beings are relatively easy to control. Before she had vanished, Arcana subtly created a religion. The purpose was simply to give a few basic rules and laws for everyone to follow.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long for people to either lose faith or bend her ‘commandments’ to fit their own political agendas. However, there were plenty of other factors as well.
Even though the Earth had become twice as large, there were still only seven continents. Each of them had obviously become much larger and barely resembled their original appearance, but only a sixth of the planet was covered by land.
Although the size doubled, the gravity only increased by twenty-percent on the surface. Thus, there wasn’t too much of a difference for all of the terrestrial Psychers, magical-beasts, undead and demons.
The enormous oceans and countless new islands were still incredibly chaotic, but the major landmasses were fairly ‘peaceful’. In fact, The Guardians had evolved from a small group of adventurers, into a truly enormous and terrifying military power. Beatrix Day was still their supreme commander, though they had fifty one other people who were within their ranks.
They were essentially the protectors and leaders of Earth. The Vampire Alliance had originally attempted to rule the planet, under the manipulation of Joseph Cain, but he was eventually defeated and exiled by the combined forces of The Guardians, Forewarning, The Observers and several other organizations. Butter had tried to kill him on multiple occasions, though he was always thwarted by Cain’s sudden and explosive increases in power.
Even when multiple Seed-Bearers teamed up against each other, it was usually impossible for either side to win outright. Of course, temporary Seed-Carriers such as the Demonic Emperor Penguin Emperor usually didn’t last very long. Once their souls were withered away, their mana-core would be consumed by someone or something else.
Days on Earth were only thirty hours, though they were steadily growing longer, while the years were extremely irregular. Since the usual temporal markers were in such dramatic flux, people all throughout the Solar System continued using digital clocks to keep track of time. Mechanical clocks wouldn’t function properly under anything but one-g, so they swiftly became obsolete. Everyone still utilized the original calendars as well, even though they didn’t actually keep track of the true months or years any longer.