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Hugh Harper Hailey
August 7th, 2069, Hugh Harper Hailey was born. 10:17 am, in the region of North America dubbed “Maine'' to Martha and Francis Hailey. It didn’t take long for the small town of Mission Bay and quite frankly the world to realize that Harper, as he would go by, was something of an extraordinary creation. By the age of 13, Hugh had completed a model of the double helix that cured nearly all hereditary disease, gone were the days of a mother or a father passing down ill gotten genetics, any couple could now produce a healthy, vibrant offspring.
By the age of 27, Harper was consulting with the governmental powers of the time, from health care to robotics and even the holy grail, faster than light travel. Mr. Hailey was truly the Tesla, Hughes or even Musk of his time. It was though, at the age of 35 where this journey really started to come into focus. The year, 2104, Harper had a 10 story R+D lab with 23 technicians, assistants and other PhDs all working towards a similar goal. Augmentation. Humans plus technology, it was something birthed out of Neural Net technology from century ago, and Hugh was hell bent on cracking it. Naturally, for a man of his stature, it took only 96 months, 8 years, to crack a millennia old science fiction dream. The only caveat, the technology was so specifically tuned to his DNA, it did not work for anyone else yet.
The consequences were significant. Harper ascended to a human intelligence, never before seen, understood, or comprehendible. Gravity Physics among other innovations came easy to the augmented man, and the future of humanity looked to be one of the stars once they could crack the science on widespread augmentation. But this, this is where our story turns, where the happy ending you thought you were getting to is not what awaits you on the other side of these lines. Years would pass, with no visible solutions insight, it would seem, Harper's breakthrough was an anomaly rather than a first step. The deaths, the lives lost in the attempts to solve this chemical issue started to mount, and started to pose whispers in the public square to the efficacy of the trials.
But as these questions started to arise, another breakthrough was made, Hugh had cracked Faster Than Light travel, 2111, October 13th. However, with great inventions came great hesitations, and while those concerns were not the loudest voices in the room, they were certainly not discarded. The divide of people had been growing despite the lines for pilots to test the technology. So 2 months later at the cusp of the new year, Hugh decided to captain the mission himself with 4 other space cowboys, a complete and utter divider of a moment for the people of earth.
Half saw it as losing the greatest mind, the other half didn’t understand the fuss. The tensions were palpable. On the day of the test, Hugh gave a resounding and powerful speech to the people of Earth, ending it with a line that still to this day is kept near and dear to the hearts of many humans, “Fear not the unknown, fear only the stagnation and destruction of earth.”
See, Hugh, like many others thought earth was dying, and space travel, and resource management across the many bodies of the solar system and beyond, could help in curing, fixing the planet. So the launch took place, the precautions were set, and then, then he and the crew were gone. The signal was lost, the radar dead, and the greatest mind of all time and his team lost to the cosmic sea.
See, Hugh’s crude but effective FTL engine did work, and he did make it out into space, but he moved so fast and so far that he was no longer traceable on earth. But what did happen is, he met the Photoli god-like being Ahr, who found their interaction, quite fascinating, though only Hugh had this honor, while in the space vortex of FTL transit, Hugh communicated with Ahr, explaining the experience to the rest of the crew, who did not believe him, and even to their dying day refused to believe this interaction occurred.
However it did, and Ahr decided he would go to the planet of the “Humans” to support them with better technology, thinking most humans, at the time had Harpers augmentation, though he would be wrong about that, he saw the potential of the humans, and would help in many ways to fix the errors that were still causing failure with the augmentation, and with the better, more sustainable, FTL.
What conversations had occurred between Hugh and Ahr are lost to time, only they know the specifics, but when Hugh, did return, 10 years later, with earth on the brink of destruction, he would end up leading a group of humans, by way of prophet; to this group who believed in the safety and preservation of the planet, the group of beings would later go by the name, ECOS.