Cardassian Union/History/Space Age

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The First Steps into Space

Cardassian nations had been using chemical rockets for two decades as weapons and to launch communications and spy satellites into low orbit. The prospect of building rockets large enough to carry Cardassians into space was prohibited by the vast cost involved. Only Urrent Gar, ruler of two thirds of the planet, had access to the resources required and the desire to venture into space.

Scientists and engineers struggled for almost ten years to design a rocket large enough to carry a manned capsule into orbit. Gar seriously considered scrapping the program and replacing it with a massive missile defense project capable of defending Cardassia against attack from space.

But the solution was already under investigation. Almost twenty years after it crashed, the Bajoran capsule gave up its first secret - a lightweight alloy. This revelation was announced as a breakthrough by a commercial metallurgical concern and was quickly pressed into use by the space program.

Gar stood along side the leaders of every major nation on Cardassia as he watched the rocket carrying the capsule containing the astronaut Gir Yarin blast into space. All of Cardassia watched for three days as Yarin's capsule orbited the planet and then returned safely to Cardassian soil.

To the Planets

In the decade following Yarin's first flight, a dozen more Cardassians were launched into orbit. But the space program was in danger of being cancelled. Several conquered nations in Gar's empire were showing the first signs of revolt and Gar had to devote resources to maintain control. The other nations that contributed to the program were growing weary of supplying valuable resources for no measurable return.

Gar knew that if the space program were to survive it would have to have a definite goal. He decided that Cardassia must venture to the planets. When he presented his plan to the Cardassian leaders, he put it into terms that they would understand. Any nation that contributed to the program would be granted resources rights on Cardassia IV in proportion to their contributions. No nation on Cardassia could ignore this and every nation except Gerish contributed.

The project was given a five-year deadline. If the team could not achieve that, they would have to wait two more years for the planetary orbits to reach alignment again. There would be no test launches and no test flights. Against all odds, a gigantic five-stage rocket was designed, constructed and launched on time.

After a three-month flight, a six-man team led by Darin Ikarra landed on the surface of Cardassia IV. Ikarra and his team spent several hours outside in environmental suits before they opened their helmets to breathe the air of a new world.

After the first successful flight to Cardassia IV every nation on Cardassia was hankering after further missions to establish a permanent base and begin exploiting the planet. Two further rockets were under construction when a further technological development was extrapolated from data gained from the Bajoran ship - fusion power.

The two missions were launched to Cardassia IV and the base was established. Almost immediately following their launch, a fusion-powered craft was launched into orbit by rocket and traveled to Cardassia V in a fraction of the time the two great rockets took to reach Cardassia IV.

Gar now believed that he had achieved what he had set out to do. In less than three decades he had unified Cardassia and given her the power to face any threat from space. Now seventy years old, he began to look for a successor.

Urrent Gar's Legacy

Urrent Gar never quite achieved his dream of unifying Cardassia. National leaders would continue to meet annually, but it would be another two hundred and eighty years before a single government ruled Cardassia. However, he did take his race into space and prepared them for conflict among the stars.

But his most lasting achievement remained a secret during his lifetime - the Obsidian Order. He appointed Dal Vetrecia as the head of the Order and charged her with three specific tasks. Its primary objective was to protect Cardassia from threats without and within. The second objective was to safeguard the Bajoran craft and ensure its secrecy. Its final task was to ensure that when Cardassian ships ventured beyond the bounds of the Cardassian system it did not approach Bajor. Gar believed that the Bajorans must be a highly advanced civilization, and therefore should be avoided until Cardassia was capable of meeting them on equal terms.

Gar failed to find a successor whom he could trust with his empire. As his mind was eroded by senility, his empire was eroded by internal strife and rebellion. Finally Obsidian Order agents at the command of Dal Vetrecia assassinated him, so that she could place her puppet on his throne. But she was too late, for Gar's empire had fallen.

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