What destroys all modern societies on Earth in Surviving Outbound?
Honestly, I had a great deal of possibilities to choose from: Wars, Global warming/followed by a deep freeze, meteor strikes, super volcano eruptions (such as the one beneath Yellowstone) etc. To be honest, remaining on Earth doesn’t look like a good future at all…
It’s scary how many realistic choices I had. However, I chose the magnetic poles reversing because that will almost certainly happen (anywhere between 20 & 2,000 years from now, (we don’t actually know, but the process appears to have already begun, it just takes it’s time) and there is nothing we can do to stop it. During the long reversal process, the magnetic field could drop to 10% of its current strength (based on computer programs), allowing solar flares from the sun to fry our electrical grids. The consequences will collapse all economies that depend upon electricity unless we ‘harden’ our electrical grids by ensuring the EHV (Electrical High Voltage) transformers don’t fail under strong and sudden electro-Magnetic pulses, but the bill never gets past Congress, no doubt because the cost would be several billion dollars.
Some blogs I read downplay this scenario, claiming our atmosphere will protect us. But even now, we get blackouts from solar flares, they just aren’t world wide—yet. So I think this is a serious threat. Just not one we can do anything about…except harden our grid and maintain large quantities of backup parts in steel lined bunkers. (Which would be costly, so we won’t do it.)
The Magnetic Poles have reversed many times before. Some reputable sites claim it caused no serious problems when it flipped, and won’t cause us any trouble in the future. But that statement, with no evidence to back it up, is absurd. Exactly who did they ask? Humans weren’t around 786,000 years ago. But looking at later reversals which are considered to be minor excursions, animals have gone extinct during the same time as the reversal period. Was it coincidence, radiation poisoning, or cancers?) Honestly, I got the feeling a couple of the Science articles were written just to calm us down so we won’t freak out, as other bloggers try to reveal our real risk.
Even how often the reversal occurs varies greatly by blog site. Some say the last one was 786,000 years ago, but others say the last one was 11,000 years ago. Whichever is the correct answer, it’s irrelevant. No creature stored all their hard earned money in digital form, dependent upon electrical grids when they incurred a reversal in previous times.
With certainty, this will be the first time most economies run on electricity.
Sadly, in the 20 to 100 years it takes to flip the magnetic poles, our magnetic shields will diminish and in some cases, collapse entirely, leaving our electric grids at serious risk of solar flare damage. (It also puts us at a higher risk of cancers, makes air and ship transportation impossible (navigation equipment will cease to work due to four North pole and five South pole readings), and will probably cause our nuclear plants to melt down—but let’s stay focused on the electrical grids.)
In my story, a series of solar flares blast the Earth just as the magnetic fields are at their weakest strength, frying all electrical grids around the globe. One of the consequences is all the digital money in banks and investment houses disappear in the blink of an eye. “But wait,” you say. “The banks have backups for their data.” They do. Huge electrical databases, which might still hold data if they had the foresight to unplugged them, exists but you’ll be long dead by the time they can safely retrieve it since with the grids down, there’s no electricity. “But there are fuel-driven generators,” you remind me. Yes, but how long will that last? Sea and air travel will have ceased so any fuel, must be obtained locally. All manufacturing sites will soon close due to the lack of electricity, so if a critical part gets fried by yet another solar flare, all drilling stops once they run out of backup parts.
In a short time (10-20 years), all major countries will be in very bad shape. Looting and theft becomes an act of survival. Those who remain in the cities live by the code: Kill or be killed. Others not willing to kill and eat their pets and neighbors, try to escape to the lands of the Shamans. The Shamans never used electricity and their banks keep accounts on paper ledgers. However, the number of people who arrive at their gates wanting help will overwhelm their cities, so with regret, they must bar the gates to their land.
Unfortunately, desperate starving people don’t give up and die just because you won’t let them in. They’ll group together and figure out how to break in.
And this is why going Outbound, even when the survival rate of outbound colonists is less than 5%, sounds like a really good idea.
Saran along with her ‘not dead, just no longer human’ soul-bond—Tamara, and their giant blue bull leave in search of a handler so Blue can escape Earth and travel outbound. The man Saran meets and falls in love with turns out to be Tamara’s husband. Their spiritual joining of three sets into play a prophecy written long ago. Together, they become Tamsarandem, the most powerful soul-bond in all the multiverses.
The shamans pay for their voyage to Terranue, an unknown planet, never before colonized by humans. In return, Tamsarandem must look after the other colonists and help them to prosper and find their Paths of Light. They will need to do this mostly on their own, for the Gods are running out of authorized interventions. However, the God Pane, with the help of the sentient ship-computer, Marybell, constantly search for clever workarounds to ensure The Path of Light will reign supreme upon the final collapse. But there is only so much they can do within their bureaucratic rules.
Having failed to stop Tamsarandem from leaving Earth, those who walk the Path of Darkness embed their own people, including their darkest lord, on the ship to ensure it will never arrive at Terranue.
Tamara knew if she shared the details of her plan, Saran would declare it impossible and refuse to try. “We don’t have time for this. In order to get passage on the ship, we must leave now. The only reason we still have a chance is because they have closed the gates to the outer walls.”
“The cities outside of shaman influence are rioting, but the walls the cities demanded the shamans build to keep us apart, now protect us. But we only have a short time to act. People will soon realize the shamans won’t be able to protect their walls, and then the rich will decide to leave Earth and every slot on the ships will be sold to them.”
“I need to tell Father I’m leaving.”
Recalling the disaster the last time Saran had tried to leave, she sharply replied, “You’ll do no such thing! He’ll lock you up again, and when he finally lets you out, Blue will be gone, and not to the ship, I assure you. We have to leave now, Saran, as quickly and quietly as we can.”
“At least let me pack food and water.”
“You don’t have time. Even now your father is making arrangements on the phone to sell Blue to a meat packer.”
After a grunt of concern, Blue placed his head on the metal gate and pushed forward. Less than a second later, the lock gave way and the gate swung open, cutting Tamara in two.
“Blue, that was very rude,” Tamara chided as the air wavered and her form reunited.
Liza is a multiple genre author of 15 novels. A Late Victorian Series, The Adventures of Xavier & Vic, plus a spinoff, A Right to Love, is an ongoing series. A Long Road to Love is a humorous Contemporary Disaster Romance series of five books. She has two single books. One is a humorous, bad boys contemporary novel with ghosts, called Ghost Lover, the other is Untamed & Unabashed, a spinoff from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
Now, she’s rolling out her Science fiction series (with romance & humor) called The Multiverses. The first four books are slotted for the last half of 2015. In addition she hopes, if she hasn’t dropped from exhaustion by then, to re-release a sometimes humorous/suspense thriller called Saving Casey
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