The Exodus refers to the period between the years 2074 and 2085 when large numbers of settlers arrived on Mars from Earth. Although the first humans on Mars landed in 2045, and colonization began in earnest starting in 2050, Mars did not see a large influx of settlers until 2074 when civil war broke out across Europe, which rapidly spread to the Americas and Asia. It was a brief period of major social upheaval known as the Global Civil War, which was ended by prompt intervention from the Eden Project Director Gabriella Romero.
Gabriella had used AI to seize control of the world’s industries and infrastructure, and she used the Global Civil War as justification to exert totalitarian control over the human population. Although the majority of the world's peoples hailed her as a saviour, not everyone celebrated. Intellectuals all across Earth criticized her authoritarian policies and sounded the alarm over the degree to which she had centralized the power of AI under her sole control.
Among her harshest critics was Enon Truss, Founder of Solar Resources, which at the time was a multi-trillion dollar asteroid mining company. Enon alone possessed the economic clout and industrial power needed to challenge Gabriella’s rule. Where she ruled the Earth, he ruled space.
Long before Gabriella’s rise to power, Enon had already predicted that a cabal of multinational tech companies would one day usurp the world via artificial intelligence. In preparation for such an event, he pushed his company to establish a self-sufficient colony on Mars to act as a failsafe against the worst case scenario. When Gabriella took the helm of power as predicted, Enon already had a fleet of interplanetary transport ships ready to ferry refugees away from Earth.
In total, six hundred thousand settlers made it to Mars during the Exodus. A thousand lives were lost, including Enon himself, when the Eden Directorate ordered the destruction of Solar Resource’s space fleet. All one thousand passengers were aboard the ITS Hiigara when it was shot down while in orbit over Mars. It crashed at the edge of the Valles Marineris Canyon.
Years after the crash, the Martian pioneers erected a monument to the Hiigara-1000 near the remains of the doomed ship. At the heart of the monument stands an obsidian obelisk surrounded by a ring of obsidian tombstones, carved from nearby volcanic rock. This monument serves as a reminder of the sacrifices the Martian people have made to preserve life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
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