Earth is dying.
In 2112, the Earth is overrun. Overpopulated, over polluted and plague-stricken. The population has boomed in the last 100 years or so and population has increased to an unmanageable 11 billion.
Great plagues have swept over the globe, cutting down millions, and yet, we continue to breed inside our walled off superstructures and city-states that have become our governments.
One thing has become clear. We have to leave.
The remaining United Nations have devised a plan.
On the eve of nuclear war, in a world strangling under it’s own weight and cabin fever, you have been sent. A multinational team of experts in various fields, you have been strapped to the greatest rocket mankind has ever devised. The Reykjavik Booster. Using the greatest untapped power in the universe, dark matter, you will travel at 92% the speed of light. You have been aimed at the closest star that may (or may not) contain a habitable planet, Gliese 581. The ship you ride, the Ark of the Covenant, has one mission: recreate our home.
It truly is an ark, filled with the tools and machines to colonize a planet with every possible species we have on file. Stacks and stacks of embryos, seeds, and data take up the bulk of the ship. You will be confined to one room where you will sleep for a mere 7 years as you hurtle at near-light speed toward our future. Due to time-dilation, 22.5 years will have passed on Earth when you have arrived. By the most recent computer projections, Earth will be a dead and cold glass ball at that point.
The small amount of dark matter our scientists have been able to accumulate will have been completely burned up by the time you arrive. You do not have the capabilities to gather more, and if you did, it would take you close to 350 years.
It is a one way trip.
Good luck my friends. Humanity is in your hands.
Do not fail us.
President Fitzgerald Washington II
President of the United North Americas
and Secretary-General of the United Nations