Thread: Small Worlds
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Old 01-07-2010, 04:49 PM
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Idea Small Worlds

As some people may know, I've always held off posting my original fiction on the forums as, due to copyright laws, once a story's released into the 'public domain' (that is, somewhere where anyone can see it for free, such at the internet), it can't be published.
Which is a bit rubbish, but never mind!

Plus, you know, I don't any of you diabolical people stealing my ideas.

However, I have recently participated in a possibly-monthly fiction competition on a different forum and, since the stories there are being put on public display, I see no reason not to post them here as well.

These competitions used to run monthly on the other website, any are seeing a bit of a revival. I'm currently working on my entry for the second competition I've entered and will post it here after I post it there. And I may or may not get another story to post every month or two, and assuming I do, I will keep posting them in this thread (as I said, why not?).

So here's my first story! The theme of the competition was 'Aliens' and I decided to write a story using the back-story to the sci-fi epic I'm hoping to write.
I can't say it's the best thing I've ever written (it really isn't), and it's a little bit depressing, but here ya go.
Also, it has a stupid title (The title was an experiment in its own right)

The Cause of the End of the World was the Increasing Rarity of Fossil Fuels, and the Rising Price of a Loaf of Bread

Earth’s World War Three was not a war of nuclear weapons; half of the fighters didn’t want to poison the ground they were fighting for. The other half knew they were too poor to win a nuclear war, but on the other hand they did have much of the world’s agriculture and fuel.

It was a long, tentative war, marked by long hungers and millions of people crossing the world on foot. But in the end the powers that fought together turned against one another and the great inevitability of any story of modern global warfare occurred.

No one ever took claim for dropping the dry-nuke that destroyed north-western Russia, flattening mountains, massacring millions of people in the space of minutes and leaving thousands of miles of land uninhabitable for hundreds of years to come.

The shock of the first dry-nuke ended the Third World War for most of the people on Earth. As with so many wars before, people tried to make peace, to restore friendships, to rebuild what was left to rebuild. There were promises not to forget, not to make the same mistakes, not to let the billion people who died in the war have died in vain, and people did what they could, but the world was broken and could never go back. As the pollution of the first dry-nuke began to seep into the lives of the 10 billion people left in the world, the call for global nuclear disarmament was finally heard and people began to do what they could to repair what they had done.

Fifty three years after the end of the Third World War, people forgot. Once again, no one claimed credit for the dry-nuke explosion that destroyed the United States of America, from north to south. And as can only inevitably happen when the most powerful nation on Earth ceases to exist during a night, everyone saw the opportunity to gain power, or to have it snatched away, and so the Fourth World War was fought for the role of being top nation on Earth.

After more than 15 years of skirmishing and hatred, the Fourth World War began to peter out in the face of a more pressing problem. Two enormous nuclear explosions had done the Earth no good, and the oceans began to die. The land began to die. Across the world, billions of people left their homes and fled inland seeking food, health and life. The sustainable parts of the world were soon overfilled. Across India, China, Europe and South America, overpopulation led to more fighting. What was to be known as the Dying Earth Era of human history had begun.

Famine and disease crippled the human race and still the nuclear poisoning crept inwards. Governments began quite independently trying to construct shelters to keep the lethal winds and deadly poisons at bay. Across the world, the largest cities began to grow shields that blocked out the deadly forces of a vengeful world. This also kept out the refugees, allowed some control over crime and resources and restored some sense of order to human civilisation. From the combatants of the Fourth World War, eight world powers arose; North America (Canada and Alaska), South Africa, East Africa, Siberia, Europe, China and India, Oceania, and the Middle East. South America was poisoned beyond habitability by the nuclear weapons and the fighting that had been going on there since the refugees came pouring in, and eventually as many survivors as possible were evacuated, but there were few better places to take them.

But still food shortages wrecked the dying world, and the Earth’s life continued to die. Poisoned oceans did not produce much oxygen, and the enormous photosynthesis factories that appeared across the world could not sustain the world’s ecosystem.

And so people ran. There was a universe out there. People had tried to make the moon, Venus, Mercury and Mars liveable, but attempts had failed. Scientists theorised that there might be more Earth-like worlds out in the infinities of space that could be changed. And if Earth’s population could be decreased enough, it might just be enough to allow things to heal.

For some the evacuation seemed like a way of saving some of the species, leaving the others to die. For others, it looked like a way of sending a large portion of humanity to their deaths so that those left on Earth might have a chance at survival.

The Eight Global Powers agreed to the plan, and the building of the Juggernauts began.

The ships were huge beyond belief. They were built entirely in space and were intended to land only once. They were designed so that they could be taken apart easily and rearranged into a habitation; a construct-it-yourself-kit for a complete city. The ships were coated in solar panelling and collision-power-generators (that generated power by being hit by space-dust at rapid speeds). They each used country-sized ion-cluster engines and solar sails to power them at enormous speeds through space. Each of the world powers built ten. Between them they would carry one billion people away from their parent planet.

Eighty city-sized ships left Earth over the space of three years. They headed out into an empty, lonely universe. Loaded with largely experimental technology, the first exploded before it reached the Sun’s closest neighbouring star. The others fanned out in different directions, searching for any world where they could land and terra-form, any place that offered some hope, some future, for the human race.

Many vanished. Many at least managed to send a broadcast back to Earth to explain what had gone wrong before transmissions ceased permanently. In control centres on Earth, technicians sat at their terminals, ticking off routine transmissions from the ships, and crossing the ones that failed to call. Several ships landed on planets that had seemed suitable, but then failed to adapt them. Some of these stranded colonies managed to struggle on for a while. Every report received for more than a century that a ship had seen a possibly suitable planet for terraformation and was altering course for a closer inspection was met with increasing hopelessness. Earth was still dying, slowly, and the dreams of salvation on another world seemed more and more foolish. The transmissions to and from the Juggernauts were routine and pointless.

The message, when it came, was not long, or bold, or clever. But it ensured that Captain Josiah Raven of the South African Juggernaut 7 would become one of the most famous men in history, and that humanity would be changed forever. The message that would become more famous than Winston Churchill’s or Franklin Roosevelt’s declarations of their countries joining the second world war, more famous than the words of Martin Luther King sharing his visions of equality for the human race, more famous than the words of great poets or philosophers, and that would be taught in schools for centuries to come, was heard now by underpaid technicians at their unkempt terminals on the dying Earth, “There are ships around the planet… By the dying Earth, there are ships! Not human… They’re approaching us; we don’t know if they’re hostile… We’re not alone out here.”


It didn't win But there you have it! As I say, my entry for the next competition on this site is almost finished so I'll probably post it here within the next two weeks.
Oddworld novel: The Despicable. Original fiction: Small Worlds.

Last edited by Splat; 04-22-2011 at 04:57 PM..
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