Setting – a few years into the future on Earth
Backstory- The Sun’s magnetic field reverses causing a new wrinkle – Earth’s gravitational field weakens by 11% across the board. Chaos breaks out everywhere as this completely disrupts the entire planet. All of the world’s major cities like New York, Berlin, Paris, Beijing, Moscow went into utter ruin when the Lift happened. Buildings were uprooted like trees in a hurricane. Anyone living near the coasts were flooded and destroyed. Live near a nuclear reactor? Bad news. The first year alone saw Thomas Malthus’ dream come true – over 70% of the world’s population was killed. Those who survived were most of the people living in fly-over country and remote villages. The ones who were unfortunate losers in the grounded world before 2016 were now the winners. Jesus would say the weak were now the strong but after the Lift, most organized religions disappeared. The world was fundamentally altered in ways that no one would have ever believed. If dinosaurs showed up, people would not have been surprised.
Fast forward 20 years.
Our story takes place in the world that was reconstructed from the ashes of what people have dubbed “The Lift” which happened in 2016. We meet a small group of people living in a village in an unnamed part of the Midwest. These villagers have built up a primitive society, similar to the ones that were created by Native Americans before the arrival of the Europeans. In the intervening 20 years many things have changed in the world, even more things were simply lost. We didn’t know it at the time but stashing all of stuff in the “cloud” made it all vulnerable. Not developing low-tech redundancies for our power supplies were quickly revealed as a massive Achilles heel for mankind.
One thing that the inhabitants of the Lifted World needed to learn was how to keep themselves and their things on the ground. From heavy ankle weights to keep humans and animals on the ground to elaborate methods to keep homes and markets locked down. Let’s not even get into how difficult agriculture has become now that it’s not as easy as dropping a seed in the ground and waiting for it to grow.
Society has essentially moved back to small bands of people living hunter gatherer lives. The few older people who survived the Big Lift still carry on the stories of life before while they struggle to make it in the new world. Slowly over time, inventions spread that helped make life easier. These small villages began to develop new ways to live, free from the world’s previous struggles burdened by massive overpopulation and global warming.
Then one day a young villager – one who was born after the Big Lift – is out hunting in what would’ve been central Iowa. He wanders a long ways away from the village to discover a forest that is still lifted. Picture the scene of thousands of dead trees hovering a few feet into the air and you will have a good idea what he is seeing. This villager discovers a gigantic metal door built into the side of a hill. He has never seen anything like this solid metal door. He runs back to the village to get an elder to tell him what it is. When he returns with a skeptical elder, the door is open. They both star at each other before the slowly approach the door. The enter into the darkness. The elder lights a torch which illuminates the inside to reveal a sleek, modern underground bunker for a military command center. Like what we might think Cheyenne Mountain looks like.
Inside this bunker it’s as if the Big Lift never happened. All of the technology is pre-Lift and appears to be working. The young villager is scared shitless while the elder cannot believe his eyes. How did this place survive? He runs his hand along the smooth walls while he stares at the myriad of computer screens alive with information flowing across them. His eyes fill up with tears as he struggles to grasp what he is seeing. How can this be? The young villager wants to leave but the elder is transfixed. Footsteps can be heard just outside the room they are in. They both panic as the sounds get louder and louder, the footsteps are right outside the room they are in. Both of them duck under a gigantic console as the door opens. They both look out to see who these people are – and what they see confuses them.
The long, skinny aliens with gray skin and big round black eyes – the stereotypical alien image that was seen many times on Earth pre-Lift. The kind of aliens everyone thought was made up by Hollywood. Here they are now in the flesh. The young villager of course has no idea about the alien’s back-story but the elder does and he can’t believe what he is seeing. They both lay there, paralyzed by fear and a small mixture of curiosity. The aliens approach the console. The two of them are about to be caught when the legs stop moving. One of the aliens speaks:
“Tom, we need you and the boy to come out. We need to talk to you.”
The young villager looks over at the elder. “Tom?” The elder is stunned. He has not heard his pre-Lift name in over 20 years. WTF? he thinks to himself.
“Tom, come out. There’s someone we think you will want to talk to.”
They see a pair of human legs approach the console. The young villager is now closing his eyes, he is scared to death. Tom cannot take his eyes of the human legs.
“Dad, can you come out.”
And that’s what I have so far.
Does it sound interesting? Is this a world people would like to see?
You tell me.