In a global telecast from a UN Summit in Switzerland, the leaders of the countries which compromise the UN Security Council came forward with an unprecedented revelation: alien life exists and we have been in contact with this life. Lengthy press conferences and question and answer sessions brought to light the existence of the Stargate Program. In a proactive response to the predicted chaos, panic and mayhem of such an announcement, the President of the United States, and the leaders of many other countries, imposed martial law immediately.
What wasn't known, revealed or hinted at was that the earth and human life as it was known, was currently threatened with extinction by the machinations of an unknown but supremely technologically advanced alien race. The primary star of the solar systems of many of earth's alien allies (the Tok'ra, the Asgard, the Free Jaffa), and now earth's as well, had been targeted and would soon explode unless a way to reverse the reaction was not found. The motives of the aliens doing such were unknown; attempts to communicate with them failed thoroughly, and even the technologically advanced Asgard had not found a way yet to counter the problem. To compound the problem, this enemy attacked starships moving through space: the Tok'ra, the Asgard and the Jaffa had already lost ships. Though the "top scientific minds of the galaxy" were working to find a solution to the problem, the governments of the world had a contingency plan.
A remnant of earth's population, a small percentage of each of the member countries of the UN would be evacuated to various off-world colony sites, known as "lifeboats" and designated by Greek letters, via the stargate. Aside from political figures,heads of state, scientists, doctors, engineers, and teachers the remainder of those would be chosen at random from nations around the world. In the United States and many other countries, this would be done by lottery. This lottery was not announced or publicized, but rather under the auspices of martial law, those selected were quietly rounded up and taken to a secure site where they were briefed on what was truly happening.
Prior to this "round-up" public assistance was requested of many civilian construction workers, engineers and disaster and rescue relief workers (ie, the Red Cross, Peace Corps, UN Relief teams) to aid in helping relocate and assist several test colonies off-world which were threatened with an unspecified danger. They were told that danger was high and that they might not be able to return to earth. Only when they actually reached the "lifeboat" sites were they briefed on the full truth.
Each colony site would have a military contingent, medical doctors, teachers, farmers, etc. The sites were already constructed or in the midst of construction, chosen from the data of numerous explored worlds over the eight year tenure of the Stargate Program.
You were among those chosen for Gamma site, located on a very earth-like world, with the exception of a longer year and longer days, and placed in a temperate climate. Originally a science and research outpost, Gamma site was easily expanded into a Lifeboat colony.
In spite of the foundation, life at the colony site was not easy. The settlement was only half built and composed of modular and pre-fabricated buildings, military camp tents and disaster relief shelters. There was building to be done for personal shelters, and the old world timber would be used to build log cabin homes. Land had been cleared for farming, but the ground needed to be tilled and seeds planted. Working on the settlement provided distraction from the worries about earth.
After nearly four months at Gamma site, the news came one day: dialing earth no longer worked. A wormhole could not be established.
Earth, as you knew it and remembered it, was gone.
Two months after the destruction of earth, a meteor storm struck the Gamma site. A cyclical event, it had not been detected in preliminary scans. There was barely time to find shelter within deep caves and caverns located several miles outside of Gamma site. What could be salvaged was, but not everything made it out.
The meteor storm took out the database of stargate addresses and buried the stargate. Because the "Lifeboat" sites were only given the stargate addresses for two other sites, for security reasons, the loss of the database was significant. Unfortunately, with the stargate buried, this didn't matter and with winter approaching, there were other issues to consider.
Winter, however, proved to be mild and much of it that wasn't spent rebuilding The Settlement was spent unburying the stargate and the DHD. By the time spring arrived, the stargate and DHD were unburied and The Settlement had weathered its first challenge.
The Alpha site, Beta site and the Zeta sites were dialed, but no wormhole could be established. Gamma site is cut off, with a working stargate but no means to contact the other Lifeboat sites.
This is where the game began.
*No year is given to allow for more flexibility within canonical timelines for characters who join the game.