The Shattering

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The Shattering

It was an age of enlightenment. The nations were busy with progress! So much hope for the future, there were issues sure, but many problems could be solved. Science was the new religion, and the world felt better for it. With each passing year new inventions were created, new resources discovered, and more and more knowledge uncovered. It was a time of prosperity and many felt it would never end.

Over time, the population, for the majority, fell into two camps. Those who embraced the new religion and those who did not. The politics of the day always centered around two parties: the alarmists, and the technologists. True to their names, the alarmist were quick to point out the issues with how the technologists continued to harvest resources, how the world was finite and they offered words of caution. While many technologists sympathized with them, and understood the world was finite. Brilliant researchers kept discovering new resources, new methods, and new ways to consume.

Heated debates often occured between leaders of both parties, each time the alarmists pointed to a resource becoming scarce, it seemed the technologists had an answer to meet it. As this trend continued, less and less heed was given to the alarmists, until one could hardly find any people voicing these concerns anymore. Those who still saw the danger of unchecked ever-forward "progress" began teaching outdated behaviors. Such as farming, hunting, and coping with nature (the Technologists, after a brilliant swaft of genius had finally bent most of nature to their will, albeit doing so consumed immense resources and was normally only done to avoid large natural disasters).

The age of technology lasted for decades, the scientific progress giving faith to man in themselves and not to their old gods. The word outdated became the most popular insult. To not live on the bleeding edge was to not live at all. Students were taught to always be curious, to always push boundaries, to do first and study the results. To forego predictions for many experiments and simply to discover.

However, this could not last. As the alarmists had warned, there came a time when a new resource was required, and one was not immediately synthesized or found. The planet was scoured for something new, gorged and dug for minerals, the search was on. However, the tree had no more fruit to give. The raw earth itself became fuel, converting and causing duress to the very fabric of the planet. Even still, the technologists didn't stop. Their way of life was the only way to live for them. The few alarmists left began voicing themselves again. Calling for an end to what they began referring to as "The Shattering" of the planet's resources.

A disaster occured, the technologists methods of avoiding predictions for results backfired and the capital of science was destroyed. Other cities continued burning the planet, synthesizing the raw material into fuel for their machines that dug deeper and deeper looking for resources. Cracks the size of countries scarred the planets crust. After more self-destruction occured, the elders and leaders of the two parties met.

Begrudgingly admitting to their folly, the technologists turned their remaining resources towards aiding the alarmists efforts. They assisted in creating safer communities, seeking out the most rich land for new sustainable cities. They used the last of their resources terraforming the earth into habitable zones for the people who had survived The Shattering and destruction of the largest of the Technologist's cities.

The age of science was over, and so began the simple times. Of living day to day. Machines and great computers still existed, however their use was seldom. The few machines left were great monitors, using deep analysis of the planet's internals and weather to predict natural disasters, they drew on the planet core's heat itself to function. All seemed well, though the many luxuries of scientific life had all but disappeared, the people lived.

However, the damage had been done. And the machines signalled their last alarm, a massive earthquake along one of the many scars of the planet. The prediction models all came to a single conclusion. The planet would crack. The faultline was too close to one of the oceans, the deep mines that provided power to the machines creating the prediction themselves were too close as well. The earthquake would drain the oceans to the planet core, the steam and mist released would overpower the atmosphere and block the sun. Crops would die from overhydration or from the earth slipping into itself. The loss of the ocean would unbalance the very planet itself and the tilt would shift: seasons would become extreme or worse, lost.

The only way to stop it were ancient machines, machines that had been turned off and could no longer function. The resources that had once powered them all drained by the decades of progress and unchecked bounty. Most of the alarmist people had no clue what would happen. To them only a great mist, a rumbling, and silence would be their alarm. The elders and technologists left surveyed the data with great remorse; for they knew that if they had but heeded the advice of their fellows, if they had worked together to moderate themselves as well as continue to make progress, perhaps, this would not have happened.

And the planet was dead.

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