Introduction
Notes on the World of Miravel

This story is set on a world called Miravel, a world not terribly unlike our own, but this is entirely by design. In the struggle among the superpowers, many worlds across the galaxy were colonized and advances in terraforming produced scores of habitable worlds. The tense balance of power was shattered by a conflict known as the &Aelig;ther War and the infrastructure that tied together the massive territories of the superpowers collapsed. The terrible event that brought civilization to its knees goes by many names, but on Miravel, it was known as the Day of Silence.
With most advanced technology rendered inoperable, the people of Miravel had to start over. In these harsh days, nations were formed and broken, wars were fought and lost, and slowly but surely, humanity began to flourish once more.
It is worth noting that Miravel's orbit and rotation do not quite match that of Earth. The day is about 28 hours long and the years 460 days divided into sixteen months. Artifacts of terrestrial reckoning have proven stubborn, though. It is not uncommon for people to still think of time in blocks of 24 hours or to treat Miravellan years and Earth years as equivalent. For instance, in many nations the age of majority is 20, even though that would be roughly the equivalent of 30 in Earth years. Thankfully for the Miravellans, genetic modifications to the original colonists persist and the aging process slowed, narrowing the effective gap between the Miravellan and the Earther of many centuries ago. These points are brought to the fore to dispel any potential confusion.
Beyond this, pertinent details will emerge in the story itself as they become relevant. Over 600 Earth years have passed since the Day of Silence when our story begins. In these interwar years, the tinder has been piled up, waiting for a spark to ignite the flames of conflict once more. That spark appears as an unknown flying object streaking through the night sky one fateful day.