The original Carrington event was a super solar storm that came in much faster than a normal storm; it was observed by Carrington in 1859. At that time, there was very little technology on Earth, only a primitive telegraph system that was affected and, in some areas, caught fire.
According to surviving records, there had not been another super storm of that magnitude until 2789.
The Carrington event of 2789 was unpredicted to be of that magnitude, so when the portal network shut down 6 hours earlier than expected, it stranded hundreds of Military officers on Earth's five solar arrays.
When the solar super-storm was detected, Military personnel on the Earth solar arrays only had five minutes to evacuate. Instead, they decided to stay and shut down the arrays so that the planetary power beams would be safely switched off.
This stranded them on the arrays with no way to get to safety other than ships that were never meant to fly in atmosphere or withstand re-entry forces.
Under the command of Riak Torrek, needed materials to modify the ships to enter earth atmosphere were portalled in, the ships were hastily modified to give them a chance to survive reentry.
The military now has lifeboats on each solar array in Earth's orbit. These lifeboats are to be used if the portal network is down and they have to get off of the arrays in a hurry.
References and Notes
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