The Toba catastrophe was an event during human prehistory, dated to 75000 BC, which saw the near total extinction of both humanity and the First Civilization, who were involved in a military conflict at the time.
In modern times, the disaster was often misconceived to have been the eruption of a super-volcano, but was in actuality caused by a coronal mass ejection, closely related to a solar flare.
Embroiled in their war with humanity, the First Civilization did not foresee the coming apocalypse until it was too late. Despite this, certain members of the First Civilization worked to find a means of suppressing it—or at least protect future generations from the predicted repeat—by researching ways of preventing the cataclysm within underground Vaults.
As stated by Jupiter, they tried six different methods that showed the most potential, but none of them worked. When Desmond Miles and the other Modern Assassins entered the Grand Temple, Juno appeared to tell Desmond of the six trials they took to prevent the disaster.
The first solution was to build four towers to collect the solar flare that would strike the planet and virtually dispel it. While they had the means and resources, the time taken would be too long. The first tower was never completed and the research went on. The second solution was to enhance metallic rings known as the Shard of Eden that emitted a forcefield around them that repelled metal such as bullets. The idea was to create the Shard the size of the world, but obviously it was too large to build and would be impossible. They tried saving portions by doing so. The hoped to save half, a sixth, an eighth, or even a tenth of the world. Even building the Shard for one city would be too costly, and the solution was abandoned. The third solution was discovered by using the Apple of Eden on humans. If enough humans were told to believe in one idea, it would take form in reality. The third solution would be to launch an Apple of Eden into orbit, aim it towards the planet, and commanded all humans to one thought, "Make us safe." This thought alone would take form and make the planet safe. The issue was trying to aim the Apple in a right direction. After sending a dozen more, the answer was still the same and solution was abandoned.
The fourth solution and further solutions focused on matters on the body level. The fourth solution was to enhance the bodies of the First Civilization externally. The means would be transforming the bodies internally into steel and able to withstand a hostile environment. Aita, Juno's husband, volunteered to test the method. Within an instant, his mind degenerated and became increasingly catatonic. With enough will, he wished for Juno to euthanize him, and she fulfilled it. The solution was abandoned and the researchers continued on similar matters. The fifth solution was to create entirely new vessels that could safely transfer the consciousness the former solution failed to do. The new vessels would be able to withstand the new environment, and they could house the transferred consciousness, but the ability to actually transfer it was impossible, and this solution was abandoned.
In time, Minerva discovered through divinations, there is a pattern of numbers and equations to existence. If one could comprehend them would tame time itself. The sixth solution was to attempt going back in time and trying to prevent the disaster beforehand, but the means would be too dangerous and it was abandoned.
Minerva founded one more solution, but it was never tested. Minerva created a pedestal, the Eye, that would allow one who has the genetic material to manipulate the numbers and to protect the Earth by doing so. However, before Minerva could test it, she discovered that Juno had tampered with it. While the patterns to save the world were still there, the patterns would also allow Juno to have total control and power. Minerva forced the solution to be abandoned.
Before the world ended, Minerva looked forward in time using the numbers. She, Juno, and Jupiter used them to speak to Desmond Miles and his ancestors so that he may comprehend the situation, seek the Grand Temple, and prevent the disaster again that will occur in 2012. And soon the sun released the solar flare, and the planet burned.
Disaster and aftermathEdit
The coronal mass ejection hit the Earth just as predicted, flipping the polarity of the Earth's magnetic field and exposing the planet to the Sun's deadly radiation. The entire planet burned for weeks afterward, and earthquakes and catastrophic blazes ravaged what remained of the Earth.
The surface of the earth was rendered barren, and less than ten thousand humans and "far fewer" members of the First Civilization survived the catastrophe. In order to recover from the event, the remaining members of the First Civilization and their human creations brought their war to an end and began to work together to restore life to the planet.
Because their numbers were too few, the First Civilization failed to survive long as an independent species. Humans on the other hand, who had been built by the First Civilization "to survive", successfully managed to reconstruct their society and flourished. Over time, the reshaping of the Earth's landscape and geography would eliminate nearly all physical evidence of the First Civilization.