Chapter 0:


[NO LONGER UPDATING] Ceres's Chaos: A Tragic Space Opera

The great thinkers and prophets of the ancient ages were all incorrect.

Earth did not die in 2012, where the public went mad over the coming of a predicted Mayan apocalypse.

Earth did not collapse completely despite the resurgence of COVID-25 in 2025, with the supply chain fragmented.

Earth did not fall apart in 2030, when the Third World War began over the declining resources. Instead, the incredible death rate made the recovery better and clearer for the survivors, who built back better. They learnt the mistakes of their predecessors, planning ahead.

Earth did not end in 2045 due to rising sea levels or devastating weather changes when climate scientists thought it would. Humans worked around the clock to build barriers, floating sea cities, solar blockers and developed better infrastructure to handle the environmental changes. New technologies helped to stave climate change, with increased understanding in geo-engineering.

Earth didn’t suffer catastrophe in 2067, when an asteroid threatened to send humanity back into the stone age. The space defence network that stretched beyond the Moon accurately pinpointed the trajectory of the asteroid and long idle nuclear warheads from the Cold War were used to explode it at a safe distance.

Humanity didn’t die off stuck on Earth, with the Solar System colonized from the Sun to the Oort Cloud by 2120. New variants of human grew up on the rocky surfaces of dwarf planets and moons, looking up to the gas giants that dominated their skies. Technology improved at a ridiculous pace!

Humanity did not remain idle in the Solar System, as the first Faster-Than-Light (FTL) drives tested successfully in 2150. Warp drives allowed for interstellar travel, cutting lightyears into hours. With unmanned starships leading the way to install stable warp beacons, humans spread across the stars.

Humanity didn’t suffer from oppression when it met its first alien race in 2180 thirteen stars away, despite promises from pessimists of all walks of life that every alien is out to kill every other race in some sort of dark forest.

Military industrialists who all tried to instigate war were dumbfounded to find that not every human was as bloodthirsty as them, and the lessons from the Third World War was too ingrained in the people.

Humanity did almost falter during a pandemic that threatened to incapacitate them, all because of a common cold virus from another alien race in 2250, but even that didn’t put an end to humanity’s meteoric rise into the stars as it stretched far beyond its home star system, colonizing planet, moon, asteroid and even deep space far beyond the cradle of Earth.

They survived the first intergalactic human civil war in 2450 between Earth and the Alpha Uprising, despite the sheer amount of human lives lost numbering in the quadrillions. Alien races who coveted the human race as slaves or subjects watched with glee as they thought humans to have finally imploded, but yet reason and restraint prevailed amongst the leaders, allowing them to stave off collapse.

Humanity splintered into various factions and nations over the centuries – forging new paths into the galaxy that was now within reach. New religions sprouted from alien ruins, trading planets with more than a hundred alien races prospered, an entire new frontier was available to exploit and explore: the Galactic Era was now here!

Humans spread out among the stars over the next thousand years, surmounting impossible odds that threatened them at every turn – viral pandemics, AI uprisings, alien invasions, cosmic disasters, superhuman rebellions.

Vultures in the form of alien empires and warlords circled around, hoping for the demise of humans. Yet space is vast, and so was the population of humanity. Dispersed amongst the stars, the possibility that humanity could be wiped out due to a singular event was unlikely.

Split into various human star nations numbering in the thousands, with more than two million star systems within ‘human controlled space’, the humans continuously fought amongst themselves. Planets and entire star systems could change ownership three times within a decade.

Yet they all knew that what they had now was but a drop in the ocean that is the Milky Way Galaxy, which much of remains untouched by humans. Ruins of predecessors, cosmic horrors, galactic cults and ancient battlefields that hid within dense nebulas; all of this yet unexplored throughout the galaxy.

However, despite humanity’s consistent refusal to die, all great civilisations come to an end eventually. Humans have even recorded the death of a known foreign alien power, watching the nation collapse over a thousand years.

To this end, a ‘Council’ made of the smartest and most powerful humans was established in 3000 between the human star nations, to ensure the continued survival of humanity by responding to any threats.

Serving as the representative of humanity as a whole, they engaged in diplomacy with external alien races, while managing the vast swaths of human star nations.

The theory was simple: have humanity act as a non-monolithic entity with light diplomatic relations, and no single apocalypse will ever wipe out them as a whole unlike other alien empires.

It wasn’t an argument on whether an apocalypse would occur or not – in fact the Council agrees that the end is inevitable regardless of how hard humanity tries to prevent it. But ‘how’ it ends is something for humanity to decide themselves.

This is the story of the end.


“We did it!” Goeras shot three of his insect-like arms into the air in celebration. The entire research lab burst into shouts and gurgles of cheers from both aliens and humans alike.

Different species of all types were hugging each other in joy as they danced in whatever fashion they liked, prancing across the lab.

The researchers had been staying up for close to a week straight, and many of the humans were running high on enhancers to keep themselves awake, while other aliens pushed their bodies to the brink.

The research complex on the planet was shaped like a bright green ‘donut’ when seen from afar, about one kilometre in diameter. It was a sizable facility with a cylindrical building in the centre of the donut.

This was where the main lab was, with a sphere levitating gently in the centre of the lab. Rows and rows of terminals all hooked up with long large cables extending towards the sphere, outside of which Goeras was standing, still peering instead.

Monitors scrolled with graphical information that spiked with a consistent rate, while researchers ran around, verifying the results found on the screen.

Within the sphere was a cylindrical vat, filled to the brim of the most expensive exotic fluids they could find in the known galaxy.

If one peered into the vat, there was absolutely nothing other than a pile of small bones and skulls along with some black residue that was resting at the bottom, yet that was exactly what was so exciting to the researchers.

The vat itself was sturdy, able to withstand the unrealistic temperatures and continuous vibrations coming from within the fluid, the ‘glass’ being a form of “exotic” transparent metal holding it together.

The sphere formed an additional layer of protection in-case the vat broke, levitating with a low humming drone in the middle of the lab, drowned out by the continuous celebratory cheers of the researchers.

It looked as though whatever monstrosity inside had been melted to its very bones, not even leaving any signs of what it was before. Despite the seemingly slow process of melting over three days, the resulting scene still gave the researchers hope and meaning to their work and life.

They had finally done it – the breakthrough of a millennium!

An impromptu party had broken out around the lab as Goeras finally laid down on the floor, his exoskeleton cracking at the signs of both old age and overuse.

He was shaped like a 2.3 meter tall human-sized ant, except for the fact that he had six arms and two sturdy legs, all covered in an exterior shell dyed in blue, and a single antenna that looked more like a feather stretching out from the back of his head, drooping down behind him as it pulsated in the same colour.

Goeras could not speak in the human language naturally, but that hardly fazed him as everyone in the lab was equipped with a universal translator. The boundaries between alien species were that easily traversed.

Another researcher sat on the ground next to him, holding one of his arms with her hand. “Did we really do it?” she asked as she stared at the vat, seeing the bones and leftover residues slightly float as fluid continuously bubbled into it.

“Yes, The culmination of two hundred years of research! We have saved ourselves, and most likely millions, no billions, trillions, quadrillions! Countless lives will be saved by what we have accomplished here today!” Goeras gripped her hand harder as he spoke, too elated to notice that she didn’t share the same joy as he did.

“Are we going to show this to the galaxy? The result might fall into the wrong hands who will abuse it for power.” The female researcher questioned.

“Nonsense, of course we are going to publish it! This is a breakthrough for any species in the current age! This research was performed by a combination of all of us here. It’s a sign that there can be cooperation between all types of races!”

“I’m sure our sponsor will handle it with care. They paid for it either way!” Goeras sat up, waving his multiple arms at the crowd of researchers, who were all either fast asleep on the floor or drinking various liquor.

The female researcher remained silent, her face expression darkening slightly, but Goeras didn’t notice, still slightly exuberant over the success of the research. For a good portion of his long life, this research had been the only thing he focused on.

It was also then his fortune that he managed to marry the female researcher next to him! Interspecies marriage was common on this planet, which was the hallmark of scientific and cultural progress without being burdened by conflicting ancient morals or racism.

“Sasha, don’t worry! This project was funded by the UHC themselves! And they promised to publish the results of the project no matter the outcome, failure or success. With such a great success, they will protect us. Trust in them!” Goeras held Sasha’s hands tighter, his mandibles rapidly clicking in excitement as he imagined his name rising to fame and fortune.

He could even win the prestigious Galactic Supreme Scientist Award that the planet handed out only for major breakthrough, forever enshrining him and his race’s intellect in the Galactic Hall of Fame!

"The first batch of test subjects will be arriving within a week. Once we clear the clinical trials, we would have solidfied our name in the annals of history as saviours of the galaxy! We have forged a path to ascension for everyone!" Goeras continued to espouse on how great the achievement of their research was.

Sasha didn’t say anything, only returning the grip as her face continuously darkened. As to what went on in her head, no one knew.

The party went on for hours, with many falling asleep from over-exhaustion or over-drinking. Goeras himself was caught up in the festivities, his arms waving wildly as he danced with his fellow colleagues, laughing. He had spent the better part of years on this research project, from the start to the finish.

Despite finally collapsing from the party due to having stayed awake for more than a week straight, his head was still full of joy and celebration, his exoskeleton even turning a slight hue of pink. The emotions seem to run rampant in the form of colours on his shell.

The last thought he had was how celebrated he would be when the UHC responded.


The first thing Goeras noticed when he finally woke up from his deep sleep pod was that the sky was on fire. Literally.

Screams and thundering sounds of explosions rocked the apartment that he was in, shaking loose dust that continuously falling from the walls.

The walls virtually displayed the surroundings of the building, making the apartment seem transparent itself, as though the deep sleep pod and Goeras were floating in mid-air.

Billowing pillars of smoke soared into the turbulent clouds, forming a desolate scene of the planet. Floating buildings crashed into grounded buildings as their anti-gravity systems failed, crumpling both into a twisted nightmare.

Falling debris pierced the clouds with trails that seemed as though a monster had shredded the atmosphere with its claws, while continuous sounds of guns, energy beams and laser fire echoed through the streets below his high-rise apartment building, where citizens were running from armoured soldiers raiding the buildings.

“Sasha? Sasha!” He quickly rose out of his pod, noticing that the deep sleep pod next to his was empty and vacated long ago.

Checking around his apartment, he was only greeted with an empty flat. The rooms around showed none of the items that he had grown so fond of. The place looked sterile, as though the apartment was brand-new and ready for tenants to move in.

There was no sign that he had ever lived in it, nor was there any sign of his marriage with Sasha. She had been living here too for the last five years.

Goeras became extremely suspicious, realizing that he didn’t even remember coming back to the deep sleep pod. Had he not collapsed in the research lab? Who carried him back here?

Finally concluding that this was not his apartment, he scanned the living room that he was in. The only thing that was left was a translucent piece of glass with a single metallic button clipped to the bottom like a phone.

Goeras didn’t recognize that as his own multi-terminal, but it started ringing as soon as he tried to touch it. Picking up the ‘phone’ with his two arms, he held his breath as he waited for the other side to speak first.

“HELP US!” A desperate scream shot out of the ‘phone’ as soon as he answered the call.

It was followed by a gurgling sound and large amounts of clicking sounds, but the color on Goeras’ exoskeleton started to change from its usual hue of blue to green, and then to red as he listened intently to the seemingly random noises. The colours seemed to fluctuate in correspondence to his emotions.

As the call went on, his exoskeleton finally started deforming to a pure black color, one that felt like a black hole where no light would escape, a sign that he had killed off all his emotions.

The material of his shell became harder and as dense as metal, while his drooping antenna behind him pulsated with an intermittent shade of red with a furious frequency. Flexing the various joints on his six arms, the black exoskeleton crackled with sounds of metal rubbing against each other.

His previous suspicious and confused attitude was completely replaced with one of solemn duty and an unflinching fighting spirit. Without preparing for anything, he immediately sprinted directly to one of the virtual walls, smashing right through the screen!

A hole was created through the wall that continued to showcase live images of the city around them, but Goeras no longer needed them as he could see it with his own set of eyes as he soared out of the apartment, freefalling.

The blistering heat from the melting, burning, exploding city seared the surface of his black exoskeleton, but it didn’t faze him. Not even the fall from the apartment down thirty stories could.

He dropped straight onto the ground, his clawed feet cracking the ground beneath him. Landing on the streets, four human-sized ants, all dyed in the same pure black as him, rushed towards him without any obvious form of communication.

In synchronization, they dashed past in a squad down the street, with Goeras immediately turning to follow their lead.

The beautiful city that he had spent his life in was in ruins and tatters, with almost all road infrastructure and public utilities damaged.

Collapsed neon signs and hovercars riddled with holes were scattered across the streets, while the corpses of aliens and humans alike were strewn in various fashions on the ground, limbs drooping from the roof of crushed hovercar while heads rolled on the street with trails of blood, their faces filled with horror at their death.

Their long-dead eyes stared into the sky, where the clouds were still being ripped apart by dazzling beams of light that slammed against the ground.

As they ran through the various collapsed buildings and even over the bodies of other aliens and humans, Goeras took a chance to finally look up at the sky.

Thousands of flashing spears were falling from the sky, burning up in the atmosphere alongside a looming starship which descended through the clouds, as though it was heralding the apocalypse of the world.

The starship pushed the air below it as it descended with speed, causing an air shockwave to echo through the city as it hovered just over the section where Goeras was, like the call of the apocalypse.

More flashing spears shot out from the belly of the starship – lancing out across the various districts as more explosions rocked the city. Anti-starship defense turrets and weapons shot back against the sky in fierce resistance, leading to a kaleidoscope of colours.

The thoughts of his fellow friends and other acquaintances dying all over the metropolis which blanketed the city fuelled Goeras’ anger to the brink, forcing the squad of soldiers to pick up the pace.

As they sprinted down a straight street, their destination soon became clear: it was the research complex! The now darkened green ‘donut’ loomed before them, its walls covered with soot but yet untouched.

But before they could get near, three of the spears that were falling from the sky suddenly changed their paths and lunged towards them instead!

They crashed in-between Goeras and the research lab with devastating force, one even slicing through the base of an entire skyscraper, collapsing it in flames, while the dust explosion shrouded the entire scene, forcing Goeras and the squad to use their clawed feet and six arms to dig into the ground, withstanding the shockwave.

A few pieces of debris knocked right into Goeras, but they didn’t even dent the black exoskeleton on him.

Out of the smoke, a robot-like entity exited the ‘spear’ that had landed. It towered over 20 meters, more than ten times the height of Goeras. The robot featured a fully blue armour adorned with various decorations, while a five meter long railgun was mounted on its block-like shoulders.


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