Since the dawn of time, mankind has looked up at the stars with a sense of awe and wonder, and said, “Dude, what a cool place to dump our crap!” And in the middle of the twentieth century, he began doing just that.
One hundred years later, give or take a few, the destruction of a tourist ship carrying international dignitaries and wealthy political supporters brought short-lived unity to members of Congress. Spearheaded (and entirely funded) by the United States, the Federation of Nations (FN) created the Space Command, and tasked it with reducing hazards to space travel, regulating extraterrestrial commerce, and other “vital” missions, though not necessarily in that order.
China Mines and Swain Industrie Nationale (SIN) had begun mining operations on the Moon, and colonies had grown near them. The International Space Station (callsign Delta Station) had expanded to the point that it became the main supplier of logistical support (and a variety of other services) to miners, colonists, tourists, and anyone with the cash, desire, or reason to leave Earth. There was still only limited means to thoroughly explore even the solar system, though three missions to Mars had been undertaken – the third to find out what happened to the first two. On the opposite side of the Earth, the International Research and Construction Station (IRCS), commonly called CONSTAT, hosted scientific research facilities that included the JAW Warp Drive research lab. Construction facilities at the station handled all off-planet construction, including ships for the fledgling FN Space Patrol, interplanetary missions, and the Space Command Orbiting Wrecker (SCOW) program.
Of the five ships originally planned for SCOW, only one was completed before funding (and memories) grew short. SCOW P. A. Chekov was commissioned on July 4, 2084 under the command of Captain Leroy C. Palmer, and began the slow, lonely, and thankless task of cleaning up the massive debris fields that surrounded the Earth. The following month, an unfortunate mishap in the ship’s head left a vacancy at the top. Robert J. Church, Colonel, USAF (Ret.) was offered the command. With a great deal of reluctance, and little choice, he accepted.
Little did he know what he’d gotten himself into!