In the 23rd century, before Interstellar Portals were invented, 3 massive projects were started on earth as new habitats. One was a new city, Eden located in Earth Africa, another was a self-contained underwater habitat off of Earth America, Atlantis and the 3rd was Ark, a self contained Arcology underground in Earth Australia.
Granitoid caverns were created underground, they think by using two entrained portals, with one of the portals sending the debris off to form the Artificial reef system for Atlantis.
Ark was meant to be only accessible by portal, with it's own recycled air and water, grow it's own food and manufacture everything that they needed. It would be able to house a billion people with their own schools, hospitals and shopping.
When interstellar portals were invented and prove viable, Ark and Atlantis were abandoned. University Australia continued to maintain the air system and conducts school tours.
Jarra went on a tour when she was in school..
“I’ve been on an Ark tour myself. It’s just endless bare granitoid caverns. They built the air purification system as they went along digging the caverns because they needed to breathe, but nothing else was ever installed..."
During Earth Star Jarra suggests Ark be used to shelter the handicapped that will be stuck on Earth and in danger if the Alien probe proves to be hostile. Because of her suggestion, the Military immediately forms an Ark Team to find out what all will be needed and to make plans on how to evacuate everyone that is on Earth.
It was decided that when the next solar storm happened, everyone would evacuate to Ark. They were expected to take a sleeping bag and minimal luggage.
Later in Earth Star, the evacuation was called and 99.3% of Earth population complied.
While at their evacuation site, many people had day long parties to keep themselves entertained. It was while there that Jarra put together some events and came up with the idea that there was an actual Alien Artifact buried in Earth Africa under where the probe was in a geostationary position.
“Sir, the alien sphere appeared only weeks after a solar super storm. My theory is that was no coincidence. Suppose the aliens came to Earth a very long time ago..."
After Gaius Devon leaked the information about the Alien probe Colonel Torrak decided that they would have to look for the Alien Artifact in full view of everyone, so the planning was all done at Ark during the remainder of the lock down period.
- Edwards, Janet. Earth Star (Earth Girl series Book 2) (pp. 56-57). Prometheus Books. Kindle Edition.
- Edwards, Janet. Earth Star (Earth Girl series Book 2) (p. 268). Prometheus Books. Kindle Edition.