The sudden activation of the Nova Burst during the Great Departure sent several of the Arks leaving Vikare into emergency jumps. One such Ark was the Neo Shodai Ark which carried thousands of Neo Shodai infants in cryo sleep as well as the ten genetically modified Sages who were tasked with watching over them. During the hectic takeoff from Vikare, the Neo Shodai Ark gained two more unintended inhabitants: the heroic Pilot and creator of the Everglyph known as Jirel and his brother-turned-Everai, the legendary warrior Duo. While the Neo Shodai Ark escaped the Exoswarm-infested Vikare, the Nova Burst caused significant damage to multiple systems on board, including the communications tech. Because of this, the Sages, Jirel, and Duo were essentially drifting in unknown territory with little to no help. They came to rely heavily on Solis, the A.I. that ran all of the Ark’s functions. Although the Sages were genetically modified to live 10x longer than the average Shodai, Jirel knew he would not live to see the new Neo Shodai homeworld. His limited time motivated him to use his genius level intellect to help the Sages expand their already substantial knowledge base. During the early years of life on the Ark, Jirel used Solis’ expansive database to develop mental exercises that would build the Sages’ knowledge specializations in topics such as combat, chemistry, medicine, or engineering. Even though the Sages knew the job they had signed up for, the tedious day-to-day of searching for planets, maintaining the Ark, and checking the cryo pods took its toll on their mental state. Specializing in a certain field of knowledge was the only outlet they had to break up the monotony of their lives. Meanwhile, Duo would train vigorously with the Sages’ Everai, preparing them for whatever threats they might find when they finally touched down on new planets.

Learning new skills through Solis was how the Sages spent most of their time on the Neo Shodai Ark until around the stardate 55 GD when they first encountered a new solar system. Using specialized technology aboard the Ark, they would scan each new planet they discovered to check for favorable living conditions. With each scan Solis would compute the success rate of establishing a new homeworld on the planet, taking into account factors such as atmosphere, terrain, and natural resources. If a planet had at least an 80% success rate, the Sages would travel to the surface using one of the Ark’s short range transport shuttles and investigate. By this point Jirel was an old man and was physically unable to explore the new worlds, but continued to work with the Sages to design a new society for the Neo Shodai. Jirel died peacefully in his sleep in the stardate 72 GD, and his passing meant that Duo was returned to his Everglyph. The Sages took great care of Duo’s Everglyph and enshrined it in a ceremonial casing in one of the mediation rooms aboard the Ark until they could perform the traditional releasing ceremony planetside.

The Sages spent nearly 600 years traveling from planet to planet to find a suitable homeworld, but they found nothing but hostile elements that prevented them from establishing their new society. Many planets were home to aggressive flora and fauna, such as poisonous spores or carnivorous beasts. Over the centuries, the Sages’ numbers would begin to dwindle, with many of them losing their lives to these planetside threats. The Ark itself also took damage as it traveled from solar system to solar system due to stray asteroids, solar flares, and the occasional interstellar creature attack. About 700 years into the journey, with only two Sages remaining, the Ark was critically damaged to the point of no return. A navigation failure on Solis’ part caused the Ark to drift into an asteroid belt, destroying one of the massive engines. An emergency scan of the nearby solar system revealed a planet with a 73% success rate but with a breathable atmosphere. With the ship going down, the Sages took control from Solis and manually guided the Ark down to this new world. The crash landing damaged the Ark beyond repair, including the meditation room that housed Duo’s Everglyph…but the Neo Shodai infants were safe.

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