Episode 1: The Pilot

By Joe Vasquez

There was a day that the sun was too hot, the ground too dry, and there wasn’t enough money to make it right. We had almost made it. We had colonies across the stars, science like magic, and our bodies were glimpsing immortality. One day, one riot, one trigger happy fool. One day is all it took, and the world changed.

The December World Protest: a third of the population linked in the Cloud. It was supposed to be beautiful— the ultimate zeitgeist moment of emotional evolution. Through the power of digital empathy, a billion people would share one feeling, one need, one goal. Finally, the powerful and the weak would all, for one moment, feel the same.

But that’s not what happened.

One shot, one death, one well-planned suicide sabotage, and like a maze of carefully placed dominoes it toppled. All of humanity watched itself end in live stream. Faces locked onto little screens and HUDs, until they all went dark or were covered in their own blood. Trampled by their peers, blinded by their distractions, killed like cattle driven from a cliff.

No one knew who planned it. There were no claims of victory, no flags planted. The entirety of the cloud had collapsed, and it was never coming back.

By the time the governments had gained some semblance of control, it was too little, too late. Skills were lost, millions were dead and entire branches of technology and culture deleted. The world was broken, and there was no one left to fix it.

Where one world ends, another begins. This is the story of America after the cloud collapse, of a people that lost everything, but would rise higher than any that had come before…

MGySg; Kilday, Grant,  GMP/MBF-001: NC 38.07.22

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