Mira Ceti 4 was a planet colonized by the Omni-Tech company, presumably around 2085. By 2100, the colony was home to 532 human souls. By that time, an estimated ten billion credits had been spent on establishing the outpost.
For over fifteen years, a succession of Omni-Tech's civilian recruits toiled to shape Mira Ceti's arid surface. In its annual stockholders' report, Omni-Tech claimed that the colony's success rested on the unique combination of skilled professionals and highly motivated civilian "pioneers".
In truth, finding men and women willing to leave everything and everyone they'd ever known for a lifetime of hard work and an uncertain future was not easy. So Omni-Tech was forced to take what they could get in the way of recruits -- usually political and religious groups sme could kindly call "alternative," and others, more bluntly, "crackpot."
This is how the Esoteric Brotherhood of Tulitu, a mystic sect that claimed the mid-twentieth century horror writer Horace Payne Loveless as their prophet, ended up on Mira Ceti 4, led by High Priest Father Lumley. Their relationship with the company was often strained, with Father Lumley citing the colony foreman's work assignments as "religious persecution".
Fall of the colony
Eventually, working quarry duty, the Esoterics would discover a buried Xenomorph hive, along with a dormant Alien Queen, on the world. The Esoterics believed they had discovered R'lek, the ancient city of the elder god Tulitu himself. They would go on to take eggs from the hive to the colony, infecting the entire population.
It took four and a half years for the nearest Omni-Tech cruiser to reach the colony. When it arrived, they found a mystery as baffling as that of the fabled Roanoke colony five centuries before. They found the horribly mutilated remains of 104 colonists, but there were no clues as to the remains of the other 428 Omni-Tech employees and recruits.
After consulting the colony manifest, it was revealed that all 52 members of the Esoteric Brotherhood of Tulitu were amongst the known dead. This was considered odd, but of uncertain significance.
Theories on the colony's fate
As with all mysteries, there were plenty of theories as to what might have happened. The most common was that the colony succumbed to a mass hysteria that resulted in suicide, rioting, murder, and panicked exodus into the surrounding wilderness. This is the one Omni-Tech unnofficially supported.
Another popular theory had it that the colony was beset by aliens capable of Faster-than-Light travel, who killed everyone who resisted and took the rest as slaves to a distant star system. But if that was the case, why were some bodies found still in their beds?
A far less common theory, but one that continues to persist, is that the Esoterics succeeded in summoning a demonic entity that killed them and some others, then dragged the rest of the colonists to Hell. If the final entries in the late Father Lumley's journal shed any light on what might have happened to the ill-fated colony, Omni-Tech's CEOs have kept it to themselves.
Omni-Tech has stated that it will not allow the tragedy to dissuade their attempts at making Mira Ceti 4 a viable habitat for human kind. And as for the mystery of what became of the original colony, doubtless, this strange now world will make its secret known when least expected.