A thousand years after the Doomsday events the world was a very different place from what the pre-doomers had known. In some ways it was much better, and in others it was much worse. The thing which most of us pre-doomers would notice right away was how pleasant everything was, and how much calmer everyone seemed to be. People had developed a social ethic to live within their personal, and public means which after a thousand years had become quite stable. Part of that meant that a real effort was made for all humanity to live in an ecological balance with the Earth, which meant consuming only renewable energy, and renewable natural resources. This had been impossible for the pre-doomers, because of the necessity of maintaining group, and personal survival. This Darwinian survival of the fittest problem of out-breeding one’s competitors had been eliminated by the public voting on just how many people the planned world should have, and then maintaining a population policy of approximately two children per woman. Adjustments were occasionally made but they were now very modest ones because stability had been achieved, and everyone liked it. Undocumented people including undocumented babies were sent to a big natural wild island which was maintained without outside contact with the rest of humanity. Those people lived a totally free existence except that they had no contact with the outside world, and they couldn’t leave their island, and thus their population was contained by natural methods. Crime in the new world was rare, but when it did occur, and the people were convicted they were simply sent to a particular landing spot on the big island.
The very paucity of different species became evident when one traveled around this new world. It seemed that everywhere you went there were only rabbits, dogs, cows, and several other domestic species. But, everywhere they were largely the same ones without much difference in species, but a great deal of difference in varieties, and breeds. The Lifehaven strategy had worked okay, and a lot of seeds had been saved, and these were bred up into a reasonable variety which fit the different environments, but the kinds of animals were much more limited. The surviving animals had been almost exclusively small ones at the Lifehavens because of the problem of keeping them in the restricted space, and feeding them. It had been decided to have mostly smaller animals so there could be more species kept. This had worked out well because there were sperm banks fitted to each of the species. Thus, it became possible to breed up lots of different breeds of dogs, rabbits, sheep, and quite a few other domestic animals, but there were very few species, and subspecies of wild animals; mostly small predators had been kept. It had seemed like a mini-zoo. What had happened after a few years was that many of the surviving domestic species that had been brought out had gotten free and gone wild, and had population explosions, and collapses. This is a typical effect when there are few predators, and a very limited supply of different species for food resources. This problem had been recognized beforehand, but still there wasn’t enough species variety to totally smooth out the boom and bust cycles. It appeared that ten herbivores, and ten predators with about one hundred plant species at a given location was the minimum that would stay stable over many years.
The people which were followed in the previous blog posts have now all been dead for almost a millennium, and all of them would have been forgotten except for this literary device of tracking them.
The first man who was vaporized in the blast is now being studied in the form of part of the sedimentary band found scattered worldwide in old lake beds. It is part of the ongoing effort to understand the event, and its geological impact. This man never existed after the first few seconds of Doomsday as anything other than atoms, but now there is an effort to find out if humans had some particular radioactive components to their makeup. It is a moderately funded study, but mostly it is considered a futile undertaking.
The second man and his family were recovered by some archaeologists and his diary was found, and translated. It is called “The Mason Jar Diary”. It had been found because, as literary luck would have it, he had been on-line playing a game called “Chicken Run” with some other people when Doomsday commenced, one of whom, person number five, was in a Lifehaven. Much later these digital records were scanned at the huge data bank of the world’s knowledge which had been maintained at all of the Lifehavens, and the archaeologists who were going to a dig in that particular city thought this seemed like a more poignant spot than most. The “Mason Jar Diary” was a real piece of serendipity. It was a fascinating story of a hopeless struggle against impossible odds by an ordinary self-reliant, man and his family.
The third person who apparently had died of a disease was exhumed recently by biologists trying to determine the exact cause of his death. Their goal was to find vaccines for whatever the disease was that had infected his community. It appeared that it might have been a human concocted microbe, a weapon of war, which after it had run its course seemed to die out completely. On the chance that it was still lurking somewhere it was decided to make a vaccine if possible. It was thought that it was his son who had taken the sailboat down the river, and successfully sailed to South America. The boat had been identified by its ID markings many years later in Chile. He himself was never heard of again, but then records were almost nonexistent for the next hundred years. Back at his former home people realizing their struggles would be interesting to later people had kept diaries, and put them in the bank vault before they all had perished. The vault’s combination was thoughtfully chiseled into the face of the vault.
The fourth man had chosen to be buried high up in the Andes mountains in southern Chile, and therefore his corpse was in near pristine condition. He knew that he had lived an extraordinary life, and so he had dedicated his body in such a way so that it would be found by future scientists. A thousand years later he was exhumed by a scientific team who found him wrapped like a mummy in cold storage, in perfect condition. He had a smile on his face, and a chicken in each hand, but no one knew why. It was his little personal joke dedicated to those people with whom he was playing “Chicken Run” on-line when Doomsday commenced.
The fifth person a thousand years later had become something of an ancestral hero, and almost everyone alive could trace their ancestry back to him on at least one branch of their family tree. That wasn’t particularly unusual because most of the survivors of Doomsday had many linkages to subsequent generations. But, this man apparently had some special genes because quite a few of his offspring had became prominent over the following centuries, and his simple gravestone back at the Lifehaven had been preserved especially well because there had been a huge dome built over it. Inscribed in golden letters on the walls of the dome were some of his sayings, his deeds, and the names of many of his famous descendants and space was left for more.
A thousand years later the Earth was a healthy place again. There had been sustained efforts to make it perfect again by setting up automatic pollution sequestration factories. These took extra energy from off-hour power plants, and converted the pollution to storable forms which were then tucked away deep in the sub-ducting earth, and some of it to the bottom of the oceanic trenches where it was stable and then covered over with sediment to make certain it never surfaced again. The background radioactivity had very slowly dropped back to the pre-Doomsday levels, and techniques for radiation free living had further reduced human exposure. The geneticists had achieved considerable success in making food crops resistant to the lingering radioactive assaults. Also, careful genetic monitoring of people as well as plants and animals had kept the inevitable genetic flaws from being transmitted to future generations. Thus, the overall population was now extremely healthy, and it was considered normal to live past one hundred years. People found life affirming work, and other activities rather than the death defying wars, stunts, and tattoos of the pre-Doomsday years. Part of this was because the average age of the population was quite old, and thus the values of old age became the dominant theme of society. These older people were revolted at the savagery portrayed in almost all of the still available movies of that bygone era and wondered why those early people found them anything other than disgusting examples of how not to behave. People had found ways of nurturing life to be as exhilarating as had their predecessors in destroying it.