Continued from the blog post "Does Our Future Mimick the Past? Imagine 100 Years Out..."
It's now May 17, 2172. Thirty years since the great cosmic impact.
It's been decades since the Earth's surface was decimated. The broken debris of the comet hitting in thirteen places. Eight in the oceans and five on land. The random targets of the comet a result of our spinning Earth, Antarctica, Southern Africa, Northwest Australia and Southeast Asian islands are all feel the impact of the world's most powerful atomic weapons by orders of magnitude.
The coastlines are completely redrawn as sea levels rise, landmasses sink into the ground and rise from the oceans, and even move hundreds of miles from crustal displacement. Clouds blacken the sky and we enter a new ice age as the Gulf Stream wind patters completely change.
From a population of 10 Billion, the Earth has been reduced to one of Eighty million. Approximately one million of those survivors living in underground cities and hovering in orbit around the Earth. Remarkably, small pockets of the Earth were barely effected long term. A few thousand square miles here and there. While most has become highly inhospitable to mammalian life, or so quickly overtaken by nature that the frail human survivors of this advanced civilization are not equipped yet to venture there.
The rare breed of human who has survived on land is one that has seen the most harsh side of reality. Most of them not even old enough to remember the time before the impact. Raised by traumatized parents who had seen the world burn. Life has been an everyday struggle, and their parents tales of the time before, or the stories of the forty and fifty year olds who remain, are great for campfire chatter but don't help put food on your table. They hear their parents talk of "others" who are able to come and go from the sky, or live underground, hoarding miraculous treasures of the past, but as years pass without seeing of the these people for themselves, it is quickly beginning to sound more like a myth.
Life in the underground cities has been mostly bearable from a survival standpoint, but the damage to the human psyche, being quarantined from the surface for a generation - children being raised who've never seen the sun, nor received its nourishing benefits - has still resulted in death being an all too common daily occurrence. Supplies and technology from the past survive but are nearing their end. Depleted soils provide no nourishment to food. Machines and computers work only at a fraction of their previous level. The more sophisticated a piece of tech, the harder to repair.
Life in Orbit has been no picnic either. While controlling the most long lasting (near infinite) technology, health problems run rampant. Humans living and breeding in environments for which they did not evolve are having disastrous effects. The children raised in this world have almost universal deformities growing up in artificial, weaker gravity. Taller, yet weaker humans.
Both "sheltered" groups of humanity have not seen their continuity of governance schemes succeed. Mutinies and uprisings have occurred. Some for the better, some resulting in tyranny. Many a trillionaire found themselves unprepared to face an aggressive, armed security staff who decided they'd rather control the compound instead of their employer.
No group of these "privileged" sheltered humans have encountered any isolated survivor group on the surface, but they do maintain a limited contact with one another. Satellite communication has been maintained, and temporary trips to the surface amongst the underground dwellers have allowed the orbiting people to survive during certain emergencies, and to do limited trading with one another.
It's now December, 2183, and for the first time since the great impacts, it has been determined that the Earth's surface is now, mostly, safe to return to.
By Josh Blaylock
This is an area to enjoy and explore the real world mysteries that are the backbone of what inspired my upcoming comic book series, ArkWorld, and what I call "Archeopunk" sci-fi. On a very real level, I follow mounting evidence that the story of human civilization is much, much older that we've previously thought. That ranges from some very hard-fact science and archaeological discoveries all the way to the esoteric and sometimes even silly. Although often what one originally dismisses as nonsense, I've found in my own journey, has ended up having more merit than I first thought.