Hammer's Star Impact
The distress message represents the last recorded action of the Spes colonists. Evidence later unearthed on the planet reveals that the Borealins fled to avoid their attackers. The most popular destinations, indicated by the highest concentration of recovered bones, were the caves in the mountain surrounding Silver Bell.
After analyzing the data, scientists now conclude that a meteor probably struck Spes on the same day that the distress call went out. Information about the episode strongly suggests that the asteroid collision was more than coincidental, as the impact occurred in the midst of an attack by an unknown hostile force. In addition, examination of the crater site reveals that the asteroid’s velocity reached close to 0.Dlc-more than 10 million kilometers per hour. The likelihood of a free asteroid from the Vicek Belt—the asteroid’s assumed point of origin-reaching such a speed naturally is infinitesimal. Finally, there’s the precise point of impact. The asteroid landed squarely in the center of the plateau on which the city of Silver Bell rested. With its incredible size and speed, its violent landing created an explosion equal to millions of kilograms of dynamite. Even the tunnels beneath Silver Bell couldn’t protect the colonists; they died instantly.
Only a month after the attack, ships from other Verge systems came to Hammer’s Star, investigating the site of the distress call that Aegis continued to receive. They found Spes a smoldering planet of ashes and the city of Silver Bell nothing more than a crater that radiated heat. As for the smaller settlements, energy-weapon bombardment from air and space left them in ruins. Broken, unburied bodies littered the towns. From the wreckage of buildings and fortifications, it appeared that the invaders landed on the planet’s surface to complete their devastation. Unfortunately, they left nothing behind to identify themselves, and the only remnant of Spes culture was the drivespace communication relay and its orbiting drivesats.
For the rest of 2489, systems as far away as Aegis tensed and shored up their defenses. Even the warring planets of the Algemron system took a moment to stockpile defenses rather than consume them. No one could be sure where the attackers of Spes would strike next, much less predict what motivated them Speculation over the origin of the assault took the Verge by storm. [[Hammer’s Star]] had been one of the most, well-defended planets on the frontier, and even distant Tendril felt a momentary chill.
As the next decade passed, the people of the Verge put aside their fears of another attack and went about the business of living. Some concluded that pirates, fighting long and hard with the Borealins of Spes, finally put an end to the war. Others speculated that the Thuldans of Alitar, or some other enemy of the Borealins back in the Stellar Ring, obliterated Silver Bell. What no one could explain was the ease with which the attackers overwhelmed Spes‘s fortifications and the dearth of any clues to their identity.
Within a short time, the pirates and criminals that the Borealins had once chased away came back to the system, setting up bases of operation on both Spes and the moons and asteroids of Hammer’s Star. Nevertheless, daring ships would make runs to Spes‘s surface over the next few years and retrieve pieces of wreckage. More than a few of these intrepid explorers didn’t return from Hammer’s Star, and such tests of bravery soon diminished in popularity.