07 - The Solar Apocalypse

Even the absolutely trustworthy are absolutely corrupted by absolute power. Few are crazy enough to do experiments that could destroy civilization, but there are even fewer who aren't still curious about the results. Thus, REFOLA's fusion accelerator research was intercepted before it was destroyed and the intercepting party was within REFOLA itself. They sabotaged the AI to keep it from becoming conscious of the interception, but they also set up an emergency system to activate the full power of the AI if the REFOLA station's shields were breached.

There's no way of knowing exactly who within REFOLA was responsible; the secretive elites in the top positions could have done it without oversight, but it could have just as easily been a spy for the Piazro Cult. Even the AI could have done it by pretending to be less capable than it really was. Regardless of responsibility, there is no evidence of the guilty party surviving. In fact, there's not much surviving evidence of the solar system in general.

What is known is that somehow Piazro got access to the fusion accelerator technology and used it on the sun, causing it to go supernova and spreading the fusion fields through the inner planets' portals to all the colonized planets and moons in the solar system. Within moments civilization was wiped out; all perished except a lucky thousand in the only safe places left. Scrao, the one planet with a portal to the REFOLA Station, had been conveniently disconnected from the rest of the portal network just moments before the incident. This gave the elite thousand a few minutes to hide in the secret shielded bunkers at the planet's core, but it would not survive the supernova's plasma.

Meanwhile, at the REFOLA Station in the eye of the storm, the emergency system activated and the AI lived....

Next: A New World