What followed was another sixteen years of intense research, building, experimenting, and creativity. The first extra-terrestrial freighter was completed after nine years. Using fusion energy, it was theoretically capable of reaching the moon in eleven days, the first taken up with an anti-gravity-assisted takeoff to low-earth orbit. That first ship, called simply Prime, reached the defunct moon base left by one of the warring earth powers who had tried to create a laser-artillery site there; although it had succeeded in destroying many of its “enemies’'” satellites, it failed when its food supply from earth ended, its launching sites destroyed by war; the same fate met other moon colonies..
Prime made eleven flights before being joined by Deuce and, shortly after, Trey. Within five years, seven freighters were making regular flights between earth and the moon; a base had been established and a dome was being built. The moon mineral mines, reachable from base by mechanized rover, were opened for the production of metals, the supply on earth limited to cannibalized wreckage that was difficult to reach from Iceland. Water, hitherto unknown on the moon, was readily available as a by-product of fusion, and an artificial aquifer (still in use) was begun.
After sixty-one years in Iceland, the project that had begun as a search for an alternate energy source was officially closed. Thirty-one thousand people survived there. Of these, twenty-one thousand, four hundred and seventeen elected to sign the First Protocol and emigrate to the now-developed moon base. A condition of emigration was that nothing cld be brought from earth, not even the clothes they wore: they were given a robe and underwear when they were in the boarding shed and their clothes were taken away. They were radiographed and searched. They went aboard the freighters and began the flight to the moon. These people were The Founders.
Families sometimes elected to separate, some to stay on earth. Those with religious convictions stayed; they could not sign the First Protocol’s prohibition on proselytizing and public worship. Those over seventy and those with either weakened immune systems or illness or crippling physical problems were not allowed to go. No pregnant women were allowed to go. No men or women who insisted on their right to produce children in any quantity beyond two were not allowed to go.
Over the final three years in Iceland, the eggs of all fertile women, including those who elected to stay behind, had been stored, genetically modified, and frozen. These eggs, fertilized on the moon with genetically modified sperm collected from the entire male population, including those who elected not to go, became the first generation of Outlanders. All subsequent Outlanders spring from them.