Even before the Martian War, none of the habitats in the Earth-Moon region had been entirely self-sufficient. During the phase of the War before Shiva, this situation had been made much more serious by the many attacks by Mars-sponsored groups. The Lunar surface farms and the agricultural rings of the Orbitals had proved especially vulnerable to sabotage. The Cis-Lunar cities had been forced to rely on food shipped up the beanstalks; the destruction of Artsutanov and the collapse of the Gabon beanstalk forced most of the region to impose rationing.
The impact of Shiva and the chaos on the planet below profoundly affected life in the Cis-Lunar cities and in Luna. As the shadow of famine fell across them, the habitats were forced into a massive programme of agricultural development to feed their tens of millions of citizens. The Lunar polities, which had been carefully conserving the non-renewable ices of the polar craters, began feverish ice-mining operations. Aldrin's separatist Lunarian Party even began negotiations with the Saturnian Unified Ring Territories for the emergency transfer of icy chunks to Lunar orbit. In synchronous orbit Glaser-Sarkisyan, which had remained staunchly neutral during the War, led attempts to relieve impending famine in the industrial stations. By the most heroic efforts, disaster was narrowly avoided, and Cis-Luna soon began to rapidly recover.
The Mars/Belt aid programme in Cis-Luna was concentrated on replacing the Gabon beanstalk; by the time the aid teams arrived most of the other reconstruction work was well underway. Before the War, Exxon-Mitsui had planned a fourth Earth beanstalk, and had positioned an asteroid into a high parking orbit in preparation. In July 2003 Martian workers manoeuvred this asteroid into synchronous orbit above West Africa and began construction of the replacement tower. On its completion (in March 2205) the Mars Coalition presented the space elevator to the Earth as a gift, with a few conditions. The beanstalk was to be maintained by a non-profitmaking foundation, and no charge was to be made for the transportation of people.
By 2210, life in Cis-Luna had returned to normal. Cis-Lunar society remained much as it had been before the war, but with one crucial difference: all dependence on Earth had been removed. In the period after the Martian War the transition to a balanced, equal partnership between Earth, the Orbitals and the Lunar polities was entirely completed. The nascent Ecclesia/Praesidium pseudogovernment was as much a product of Cis-Luna as it was of Terra. For the first time an all-encompassing polity emerged across the entire Earth-Moon system; one that had not been imposed (as had the UN) by the nations and corporations of Earth. Finally, perhaps, humanity had truly stepped beyond its cradle.
Cis-Luna: 1 | 2 3 | 4 5 | Now
The future of Ad Astra