Thursday, July 29, 2021

Microstory 1679: The Data

Long after Legend Oberti was dead, the world itself was dying. The remnants of humanity tried to eke out a living amongst the ruins, but life was harsh, and people were sad. They were only likely going to survive in the long-term thanks to the sustainable inventions of a historical figure named Axel Quincy. Axel died while Legend was still alive, but the specifications for his designs lived on beyond his death. Unfortunately, this was not good enough. The people of the future could not live like this forever. It was just too late. Perhaps if they had all this before, things would be different. There was no way to stop the world from having ended, but if they went back in time to save this one person, he could ultimately make their lives easier. A gamma-ray burst destroyed nearly all life on Earth, leaving only the survivors who were lucky enough to be on the other side of the planet alive. This consisted predominantly of people in New Zealand, Australia, southern Argentina, and many islands in Oceania, as well as people on sea vessels. A few researchers in Antarctica were fine too, which is where the time travel technology originated. They were already working on manipulating time there, free from the oversight of their countries of origin. When the world ended, they decided something had to be done to protect the people who managed to be out of the danger zone, for surviving the initial event was not good enough on its own. Their hope was to just send everyone back to prehistoric times, but things changed when they caught wind of something called The Data. Before this data was discovered, life was pretty hellish. The supply chain was broken, the network of artificial satellites in orbit were completely destroyed. Governments were gone, and chaos reigned.

While searching for entertainment files to keep their people from going insane, a small group of people stumbled upon Axel Quincy’s designs on a server in Papua New Guinea. He had kept his data in the cloud, and even after all this time, it was still there, just waiting for someone to find it. They didn’t know exactly what they had, but the data started getting bounced around the hemisphere until the right people learned about it. They knew how to build his designs, and reunite what was left of the world. When the time travel researchers found out about The Data, they decided there was a better way. Instead of just trying to make life easier, what if they went back and made sure these creations were made before the gamma-ray burst? The whole population of the planet could be relocated to the safe zone, and sustained by the Quincy structures. Many would probably not believe them, but at least they could try, and for those few from the past who were willing to take a leap of faith, there would be a place for them in Australia. Now all they needed was to find someone to actually go back in time, save Axel, and set everything in motion. It was not an easy search. Only one person would fit in the machine, and once they were gone, no one else would be able to follow. Even if the traveler succeeded in the mission, it would have to be a one-way trip, which people were all right with. The main draw was that they didn’t know what would happen to the original timeline. That was what really made so many people volunteer. They didn’t want to die in the collapse. Antarctica set up a lottery to choose a handful of candidates, and then formulate a training program to make sure they could handle the job. Siri Cobb ended up fitting the bill, but as we already know, things did not go as planned.

No comments :

Post a Comment