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The Astral Gate accident was an incident in 2021 AD, in which the first Astral Gate, built in orbit around Earth's moon, was destroyed. The explosion shattered a massive portion of the moon, resulting in lunar debris falling to Earth with the same frequency as rain. The rock showers devastated the planet's surface, killing 4.7 billion people. Fifty years later, the human race numbers only 1.5 billion, but has colonized the entire Solar System through the use of perfected versions of the Gates.
While the Earth is still inhabited, its few remaining denizens must shelter themselves from the continuing rock falls in underground cities. With reconstruction rendered impossible by the rock falls, the human race instead terraformed other bodies of the Solar System, including a variety of space habitats and industrialized asteroids.