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2020, the world's economic crisis went even deeper. With natural resources slowly depleting, a huge energy crisis was on the horizon.

May 2021 – USA, Canada and Japan along with BRIC and EU states united at Bruxelles in a never before seen energy summit. Fossil fuel sources were drying up and the need for a new energy source was growing higher and higher. While wind mills and solar panels are still reliable, they are highly dependent on weather conditions and require a lot of space to function properly. Nuclear energy has been banned in most countries, especially after China’s “extensive use” of it during the “Zero hour conflict”.
Finally after over 10 days of debates and lots of nerves, a new project was proposed to the world, the “Solar Furnace” project. A large number of orbital mirrors will be built to focus huge amounts of pure solar energy directly into ground based collectors.

July 2021 – Project: “Solar Furnace” is officially started. As the brains behind the idea and the main financer of the project, the European Union took the lead. Construction of the first ground collector was started in Spain, while the rest of the world was tasked of building the orbital mirrors.
March 2023 - The first mirror is sent into space by the European Space Agency with the help of their Arianne 6 project, an improved version of the already highly successful Arianne 5 rocket. After a week of intensive work, the mirrors were in place and the first solar beam was focused over the Mediterranean Sea in order to not risk any fire or damage. The first tests were a success.
May 2023 - The first ever Solar Furnace was completed. A few days after completion, the space mirror was successfully linked to the ground collector. The project was deemed a success and soon 5 more mirrors and furnaces started to be built around Europe and the United States.

By the end of 2029 the project had reached a dead-end due to political and economic discussions between the countries involved. Only 20 such furnaces were built, out of which 10 were in Europe, 8 were in USA, 1 in Japan and 1 in China. Russia was talking about retreating from the project and starting one of their own, but demanded that the plans for the project would be shared among all investors. China soon followed demanding their rights as equal contributor. However the truth was that neither the US nor the European representatives had any plans to offer full access to this technology to their allies, in hopes that with the energetic and technological advantage they could easily impose their will.

December 2032 - The situation escalated with an almost imminent military confrontation between Russia and NATO. The global political situation was a total disaster. China declared that if a military conflict would start they would support their Russian allies, most of the Muslim world declared that they would also join the eastern forces in a glorified jihad against the western oppressors. The rest of the world concentrated around NATO. India, even though a traditional ally of the United States declared neutrality in this conflict and immediately after, Japan followed. This situation was deteriorating fast with Russian forces gathering at the western borders.

January 2033 - Disaster strikes. While all their efforts were channeled on the imminent conflict, all space agencies lost focus on monitoring other important things. A huge asteroid is discovered to be on a collision trajectory with Earth. The estimated crash location: North America, estimated damage: total and utter destruction. A few hours before impact, a powerful laser blast was fired at the asteroid, in the hopes of pulverizing it. However, things didn't go according to plan. Instead of blowing up the asteroid, the laser only managed to break it into 5 smaller, yet still highly destructive pieces. With little else to do, the world bunkered down as best they could and prayed. The first piece hit US mainland, North of Wyoming, inside Yellowstone Park. The second piece crashed into the Atlantic Ocean. The third piece crashed in Peru, near the Brazilian border. Finally, the last 2 pieces hit Africa, one in the east of Mali and another on the coast of Angola.
To those who survived, the event became known as “Deep Impact”.

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