By 2080, the Davos Virus was well on its way to ending all human life. The first case of the Earth’s greatest plague appeared in 2076, in a small village in the Swiss mountains near the city of Davos. The plague, a virus, proved to be impossible to defeat. In four years, the Davos Virus infected 100 million people; launched a desperate project to colonize the Moon; and, ignited a titanic struggle between the new Republic of Texas and the State of Islam.
The Davos Virus was identified as an H7N7 variant of Influenza A, a new zoonotic virus incubated by a number of different avian species and passed to humans where it mutated with lethal effect. Once introduced into a human, the virus mutated into two forms, each having its own extraordinarily deadly pathology. Some humans were found to have an immunity to the virus. These people, perhaps only one billion worldwide, might survive. However, 70% of those survivors would be infertile. The remainder of humanity would die directly from the virus, some six billion people. In the next century, most humans would die if nothing could be done to stop the killer or escape its wrath.
After the expenditure of several national treasuries, stopping the plague remained beyond the reach of humanity. The only way to survive seemed to go somewhere the virus could not follow. In 2081, an international conference was hosted by the Islamic State at Damascus. The meeting was to discuss the practicality of creating a sanctuary on the Moon. The modern Islamic State had been at war with its neighbors more or less continuously for 100 years. Its sovereign territory now ranged from Pakistan to the English Channel and from central Africa to Poland. For the State of Islam, the Davos Virus was the only power on Earth that had slowed the growth of its adherents. The Twentieth Century superpowers had been decimated by plague, bankruptcy, and corruption. Texas had formed numerous political and economic pacts independently of the old United States. At the Damascus Conference, only the Republic of Texas, the Islamic State, China, Russia, India, and the new Federation of Southern Africa had both the will and the means to discuss a task as daunting as a lunar refuge.
The Treaty of Damascus, as it was entitled, ratified the conclusion that recent technological developments made human occupation of the Moon a possibility. The treaty authorized that key lunar materials would be shared, and it established special projects that would be worked jointly. Finally, the Treaty announced that the colony at the Plato crater owned and developed by the Republic of Texas was going to be opened for general use by all the signatories for the next twenty-five years. In exchange for the use of Plato, it was agreed that the Ocean of Storms would be governed by Texas in perpetuity. While the Treaty of Damascus recognized no other sovereign entity, it did create the means to establish sovereign boundaries in the future for settled territories outside the basin of the Ocean of Storms.
The key technologies opened by the Treaty of Damascus included: High energy density supercapacitors (Texas/EES); VHBC (South Africa/University of Cape Town); AutoCon (China/Nutide); the stillsuit (Texas/UA); MedBus (Islamic State/Omid); VZR (Texas/Allyson Cosmos); and, UMAX (Texas/Dow).
By the end of the 21st Century, the Davos Virus had killed 500 million people, and the first large-scale terraformed pressurized dome had been completed. The dome of Plato spanned its 60-mile diameter. Largely constructed automatically by massive UMAX plasma machines from lunar materials, the dome ran contiguously around the near 200-mile circumference of the crater enclosing more than 2800 square miles. In 2099, Port Plato was roughly twice the size of the State of Rhode Island and over 15,000 lunar pioneers prepared for the coming mass colonization. By the end of the 21st Century, the exodus had begun.
Within the State of Islam, some radical clerics opposed lunar colonization on religious grounds. These clerics formed small and fanatical groups that were extraordinarily well funded. Russia, China, and the Islamic State thoroughly purged these people starting as early as 2090 to eradication within their territories. The Islamic State was first to assign “enemy” status to these people and prosecute them as apostates. The United States, on the other hand, never expelled or disenfranchised these people or people of similar ilk. Radical Islamism and rampant nihilism flourished in the U.S. in spite of terror attacks and violent opposition to Moon colonization. The U.S. failure to defend is historical moral values or tamp down lunar obstructionism were critical factors pushing Texas toward secession. Texas militantly protected itself from Islamic radicals severely straining Texan-U.S. relations. Russia, China, and the Islamic State strenuously opposed the U.S. coddling of both radical Islamist and radical Nihilists, both of whom now violently opposed colonization of the Moon.
Radical Nihilism was the parent organization of rabid environmentalism, the remaining followers of the now discredited Climate Change sham, and the anti-religious zealots of social nihilism.” Since Texas was the leader in lunar exploration and development, they could not tolerate the madness of this group that had made “DIE ON EARTH” their mantra. In direct opposition to the U.S. Government in Washington, Texas expelled these people and worked with other States and Countries to keep them out of territories controlled by Texas, especially the lunar territories.
By 2132, the radical group “DOE” was all but eliminated and only a small number remained on the Moon and were considered only as a vocal opposition. For the second time, Texas underestimated the virulence of these fanatics in their midst. Public scorn, as much as anything, led to the constant reduction in their numbers. However, in one last act of terror, the group DOE exploded a nuclear device at the Moon-Earth Shuttle Station in northern Plato. One million people died in the blast, by depressurization, or later from radiation sickness. A large number of the dead were citizens of the State of Islam. The area targeted was populated by Islamic technicians, engineers, and their families as a base from which the State of Islam had begun the construction of their colony in the Sea of Serenity.
Even though Texas had seceded from the old United States in 2104, twenty eight years earlier, and even though the Republic of Texas made Nihilism antithetical to their way of life, the State of Islam blamed Texas for its forbearance. Within weeks of the bombing, the Islamic State tore up the Treaty of Damascus and moved all of its citizens out of Port Plato. Within a few more weeks, they declared the sovereignty of Port Aqaba in the crater of Le Monnier.
After the bombing of 2132, Texas converted its stock of mining and construction vessels into warships. This conversion resulted in a fleet of massive, armored machines that could be used to defend any assault on Texan sovereignty. Three years after the nuclear terror attack, Texas completed construction of a dome in the crater of Archimedes. Archimedes stood on the eastern wall of the Sea of Rain. Archimedes was intended as a safety measure in case of another dome depressurization like the one at Plato. The State of Islam, however, saw it as aggression, a forward base to support hegemony against the Caliphate.
On May 1, 2135, the State of Islam launched an attack on the Earth Shuttle Facility at Plato. After 10 assaults in 11 days, the Islamic Army was stopped even though they outnumbered the Texans 6 to 1. The Battle that became known as “Eleven Days in May” was a bitter defeat for the Army of Islam, an Army that had not lost a significant battle in the field in nearly 100 years. The State of Islam had underestimated their opponent assuming that the Republic of Texas was made from the same narcissist, insipid, uncommitted soldiers that had come from the secular world for decades. In the first eleven days of May 2135, they found a Texan ideology and a Texan resolve that was as hard as flint and resistant to the Sword of Allah. The Islamists discovered a national furfur comparable to theirs. While the constitution of Texas supported all compatible religions, the government of Texas was not driven any single religious orthodoxy, rather Texas was guided by its Constitution that reflected a composite of many religious principles.
What the Islamic State encountered at Plato was a people that had been cruelly devastated by the Davos Virus. By 2081, four million Texans were dead from the plague, and two million died in an invasion led by criminal cartels that openly governed Mexico. In 2093, Houston was destroyed by a cluster of miniature nuclear devices of Iranian design placed in the Sky Lobby of the Chase Tower built by the Saudi billionaire Khalid bin Mahfouz. In 2093, the old United States refused to invade Mexico, and the United States government in Washington voted to eliminate the word “America” in the nation’s name as being: “a word violently misappropriated from the rightful owners of this land.” The people of Texas voted to act as independently as possible and seized control of the
Texas National Guard and all U.S. Military facilities within their borders. In 2094, the Government in Washington voted to send a strongly worded protest to the United Nations about the behavior of Texas as Texas invaded Mexico.
The decimation and secession of Texas, the death, and destruction, was the beginning of a furious distillation process. From 2090 to the end of the century, Texas expelled nihilists, socialists, and other subversives, they defeated the cartel oligarchy and restored Mexican democracy, and welcomed 10 million refugees from the old United States, who were looking for a new beginning. This superheated process boiled off the weak and the entitled. The grit left by the evaporation was forged into human steel. The process created people who were relentless, resilient, resolved, and ready to sacrifice for the future. These people would build the first colony on the Moon, these were the people the Islamists faced in May 2135.
On the Moon, there were two more significant battles before 2142, the
Battle of Copernicus, and the Battle of the Gassendi Crater. In 2139, the Islamic State moved to occupy the crater of Copernicus virtually at the center of the great Ocean of Storms (Oceanus Procellarum). The Moon’s only “Ocean” was believed to be the richest source of important minerals on the Moon. The intention of the Treaty of Damascus was to reserve the Basin of the Ocean of Storms as neutral and available to the signatories. The occupation of Copernicus by the State of Islam threatened to completely change the rules for Procellarum. The Islamic commander at Copernicus was Colonel Hamza ibn Abdul, also known as the “Lion of God,” he was 30 years old. Hamza was part of the attack on Port Plato where he distinguished himself. Hamza attacked, occupied and secured a base after a brilliant campaign against India and Africa. After securing Copernicus, Hamza was promoted to a general of the Army and ordered to return to Islamic headquarters at Aqaba. The history of the Moon might be quite different if Hamza had been left to defend his victory at Copernicus.
Within weeks, the Texas admiral, John Rocklin returned to and retook Copernicus in an equally brilliant battle. In this encounter, Rocklin would use the repurposed vessels of Texas as the backbone of his strategy. One of the 310 vessels of the Navy of Texas at Copernicus was the cruiser, RTS Dallas. Aboard the Dallas, in charge of the main railgun battery, was a young lieutenant named Jack Ashton.
The Battle of Gassendi, a year later, was another attempt by the State of Islam to secure access to the Ocean of Storms. Hamza, now a general, launched an extraordinary attack from Aqaba by way of a forced march 1000 miles south to the crater of Humorum. Humorum was occupied by India, who were planning to build a dome in the crater of Gassendi. India discovered painfully that there was no neutrality in this conflict. The Islamists swept through Sea of Humors (Humorum) decimating the Indian inhabitants there and pushed into the crater of Gassendi. In a subsequent massive and bloody battle, the Navy of the Republic of Texas under John Rocklin ejected the Army of the Islamic State supported by elements of their Navy. Thousands of warriors died on both sides, in the end the no one built in Gassendi even though it had tremendous strategic importance. Gassendi was over 2250 kilometers from Plato and Aqaba, and the Indians would be recovering from their losses for years to come.
As the titanic storms of dust thrown up at Copernicus were still ascending into lunar orbit, Texas and the State of Islam prepared for a longer more incremental war. All six lunar powers were combatants. The Federation of Africa had a strong alliance with Texas while India and China had a friendly yet less reliable arrangement. Russia and the State of Islam were allies and campaigned together strategically and often tactically. By 2142, Texas and the State of Islam sparred, parried and thrust, and drew blood from one another. The next strategic battle was going to happen soon. Both sides searched for signs of aggression and fortified while they continued to accelerate the exodus from the Earth that was rapidly killing the populations of both sides. Terraforming and construction were proceeding within pressurized domes built at the crater Aristotle (Federation of Southern Africa), Posidonius (Russia) and Le Monnier
(State of Islam), Cleomedes (China), Hippalus (India) Plato(Texas), Bliss
(Texas), and Bianchini (Texas). By 2142, 60 million people lived on the Moon in terraformed domes, networks of pressurized modules, or aboard one of the myriad ships of the Texas Navy.
By 2142, the dominion of the Republic of Texas included former U.S.
States from Florida to New Mexico and countries from Mexico to Venezuela. The universe of ethnic groups and religions embraced by the scope of Texas were all represented on the Moon. The crater of Bianchini was home to the Republic of Texas’ newest dome, it was the western outpost at the edge of the Sea of Rain. Port Archimedes, facing the Apennine Mountains, formed the eastern buttress of the Republic against invasion. At the northern rim of the Ocean of Storms, on the border of the Sea of Frigorisu and the Sea of Rain, stood the jewel and capital city of the Lunar Republic of Texas – Port Plato.