The Haunted Stars
The Days of Ruin
As the 21st century trudged on, the world’s nations largely ignored the dangers of Climate Change, despite the warnings of a great many scientists. Big business was too important, the economy too fragile at the time to enact any of the drastic policies that so many pushed for in order to at least slow the coming ecological collapse. But governments and corporations were too worried about the possible economical collapse, which they had so narrowly avoided at the dawn of the century.
Unfortunately for everyone, both groups were right to be worried. In the late 21st century the US economy collapsed, experiencing what historians would call “The Second Great Depression.” This collapse had a ripple effect across the planet, with the European Union also succumbing, the patch job on their own economy from over a decade prior finally giving out. The dominos toppled, and the world over suffered.
As people were distracted with surviving in the shambles of the world economy, only a few noticed the rising waters, the ever more frequent hurricanes and draughts. Years passed, and with them, the weather worsened. Areas that had never seen snow now were having blizzards, and normally frigid climes were having record-breaking heat waves.
In the midst of all of this, various world governments mobilized their militaries in an attempt to control the world’s various dwindling resources. Out of these desperate military actions rose what would be called World War III. Though smaller in scope than the two previous World Wars, WWIII pitted what remained of the various world superpowers’ militaries against each other for the first time. The fighting went on for two years, and saw the collapse of the United Nations, the fragmentation of the European Union, and the annihilation of Cairo.
But then the first Armada Storm hit the Gulf of Mexico. Nobody took much notice of it as it was gathering power in the Gulf, it was just another hurricane. There had been so many as of late that they had even stopped naming them, instead just granting them numerical signifiers. New Orleans and the surrounding towns were evacuated, which wasn’t hard considering the rising waters combined with a lack of funds to repair the many flood walls had left the city half deserted already. For those who hadn’t left though, they weren’t going to leave every time there was a hurricane.
The Armada Storm hit a day earlier than predicted, and within 24 hours New Orleans and the surrounding towns were wiped off the face of the Earth. Not even the bombings of Cairo or Baghdad had been as thorough in wiping away any trace of human civilization.
The destruction of the Louisiana coastline acted as a sort of wake-up call to the American government, which had been floundering in their attempts to agree on a solution to the economic crisis. With the consultation of the top ecologists, a plan was formulated that could protect the population and potentially bring about an end to the Depression. The coastlines were receding, storms were growing fiercer at an increasingly fast pace, and the American people were quickly becoming a nation of nomads as they left their homes that they could no longer afford and went in search of work and a safe place to live.
Thus were the first Arcologies created. Massive structures that were strong enough to weather the full power of an Armada Storm, housing anywhere from 500,000 to 2 million people, the Arcologies were self-sustained cities. The largest public works programs ever attempted in modern history were created, with the first Arcology constructed at the Boston end of the Sprawl. Millions were put to work in the construction, and the economy throughout Boston (and eventually trickling down to the rest of the Sprawl) slowly began to come to life once more, feeding off of the Arcology’s construction.
The eyes of the world were upon the project, with similar programs started in London and Berlin. Work went slower on the Boston Arcology than anticipated, and Arcology projects around the country were desperately needed. At the rate they were building them, though, many experts believed that there would not be enough people left to live in them.
It was at this point that the miracle of what would come to be known as Mechs were invented. Immediately, the potential was recognized, and manufacture began on as many construction Mechs as possible, which were put straight into construction of the Boston Arcology.
Construction accelerated as soon as the Mechs were put on the job, and with this newfound success construction of Arcologies across the globe began in earnest.
Within a decade of the Boston Arcology’s completion, much of Earth’s population had moved from the coastlines and into similar Arcologies. The economy gradually recovered, with new industries invented for the construction and maintenance of the Arcologies putting many back to work. As new Arcologies were completed, eventually the vast majority of Earth’s population migrated to these new fortress cities. Some, mostly anarchists, criminals, and other outcasts, stayed in the cities outside of the protection of the Arcology. Little is known of these groups, other than the ones that have somehow survived the hostile environment have made venturing outside of the Arcologies even more dangerous.
As the economy recovered, civilization’s focus turned to fixing the ecology. The migration of humanity from traditional cities and villages to the self-contained Arcologies helped immensely in reducing the harm that was being done to the planet, but at this point, the damage had already been done. Massive geoengineering projects were undertaken, but each one ended in either utter failure, or an accomplishment that was far from the predicted mark. In many of these cases, the projects seemed to actually worsen the ecology.
By 2120 the decision was made to once again shift focus, and this time to move humanity away from Earth as its primary habitat. Earth would be repaired, but it would take time, and it might not be time that they could afford to lose.