General A different apocalypse scenario


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  1. #1
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    A different apocalypse scenario

    The thread on Revolution and the current cultural interest in a Zombie Apocalypse made me think of this.

    It's been many years since I Hyperion, but if I'm remembering correctly, in that book (or the series?):

    Mankind is spread out across the galaxy, connected by instantaneous teleporters. The teleporters are so ubiquitous that people walk through them like simple doorways. People leave home on one planet, walk through a teleporter to work on another planet (maybe on the other side of the galaxy), and then come home in the evening. Some buildings are spread out across numerous worlds, connected through simple doorways.

    Then one day, the teleporters are shut down, permanently. People are stuck on whatever world they were on at that moment. The world may be a fully civilized place, but suddenly you are cut off from home, family, never to see or communicate with either ever again. Without warning.

    Comparing this to our real, modern, world, it would be like if you have any kind of commute outside your immediate town or city, you are suddenly completely disconnected from home and family. Forever.

    How's that for an apocalypse? Everything works, no break down of technology or civilization.

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    Well,as long as there are horses or sled dogs or even feet, it doesn't have to be forever.

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    Your apocalyptic idea reminds me of one of my favorite threads on ENWorld, ever. I present to you, from 2002 (!),
    http://www.enworld.org/forum/tableto...-no-boats.html

    (The premise of that thread is: what would the world look like if you had a bunch of permanent Teleportation Circles? And then, what would happen if that network of circles failed?)
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    RebelsTSRI Defended The Walls!NumeneraD&D

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    I feel sorry for the people who had just popped into the public toilet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dioltach View Post
    I feel sorry for the people who had just popped into the public toilet.
    On the toilet planet....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullgrit View Post
    How's that for an apocalypse? Everything works, no break down of technology or civilization.
    No *direct* breakdown, perhaps.

    But what if the same system were being used for cargo - specifically food and/or water? Assuming the society doesn't have food-grade replication technology, having agricultural worlds cut off from urban worlds will lead to break down of civilization.

    What if all your government personnel work on one planet, leaving other worlds without control structure?

    Change those two out for any particular good or service that a world depends upon, and you have trouble. What if most hospital functions are on one world, for example?

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    The portal technology had to get to all those planets somehow. So unless it took thousands, or millions of years to set up via slowboat, FTL tech still exists. It might be a PITA to dig out and then build starships, but it won't be forever! (For some, yes. But not for everyone, anyway.)
    Scrag 'em all and let the gods sort 'em out!

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    this could be a serious problem, if each planet hyperspecialized (like my one-trick pony races in star trek). The toilet planet, the food planet, the housing planet, etc.

    So if you go to work on the mining planet, and all that's on it is mines, then there's no food source, etc.

    You are effectively screwed.


    If you're on the farming planet, which is mostly agriculture. You're probably fine. You got food. The planet was likely picked for its mild climate (so food can grow).

    I am of course discounting the loss of friends/family who are stuck on other planets. A human can get over that, just as any other loss of a human they are close to. From the macro-view, each planet's reall challenge is self sufficiency. Does it have a liveable environment and do the resources exist to maintain life?

    I suspect that humans won't put all their eggs in one basket. True, the mining planet might be inhospitable, and is only visited for the purpose of mining it. Those people are screwed. But most of the other planets with breathable atmospheres will serve multiple functions. There will not be a Hospital planet, with no other hospitals in the universe. That would be foolish and excessive. it's safer to put a hospital on each world to service the people on that world, in case of a failure of the teleport system (or a blockage of the teleporter on your planet by bad guys, accident, etc).

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    The concept of other apocalypses is interesting.

    Consider these end of world as we know it:

    disease: wipes out most of the population (humans, animals?) so there are not enough people to perform all of the societal functions (who runs the electric company, removes garbage, drives delivery trucks)

    communication: solar flare wipes out satellite/radio communications, perhaps ongoing interference. The internet is fragmented, no TV/radio news, no phones. people are isolated.

    transportation: gasoline/oil runs out so the bulk of all transportation is shut down. No cars, trucks, trains, airplanes are running because everybody lacks the fuel. Riots over fuel prices cause social disorder initially. Folks with horses/oxen start hauling supplies, slowly. Alternative fuel sources are invested in, but adoption is slow because the materials and end products can't quickly be delivered.

    society: social divisions get more extreme and folks get into civil and religious war. Since groups are interspersed with each other, this means in-fighting with neighbors, rather than at discrete borders. This causes cities to become battlegrounds within themselves.

    machine intelligence: Nobody welcomed the new robot masters, and they let their displeasure be felt. W've got enough science fiction examples of what this is like.

    climate change: global warming kicks in, and hot places get hotter and become dry deserts. People move out of the southern states to the Northern states. The amount of arable land is diminished, while the number of people trying to squish into Canada increases.

    Nuclear Winter: the commies (do they exist anymore) finally go too far, and nuclear war escalates to everybody having to duck and cover.

    Alien Invasion: the aliens want our resources, and to minimize our interference, they decimate as many cities from orbit as they can

    Zombies: somebody used Worcestshire sauce as an embalming agent, and the dead have risen. Bruce Campbell is nowhere to be seen.

    Natural Mega Disaster: a volcano in Ohio erupts, destroying the mid west. It causes a tsunami to radiate out in both oceans to wipe out most of Europe and Asia's coastal nations.

    Asteroid: a big rock in space hits us. It destroys a bunch of stuff, fills the sky with dust, makes it cold and a new ice age arrives. Also, lots of humans die because food production is interrupted.

    Religious Event: some religion turns out to be correct, and every non-member doesn't benefit from it. Probably violently. Don't assume it is your chosen religion, it'll be something obscure with a very small membership that nobody would have guessed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Janx View Post
    ...a volcano in Ohio erupts, destroying the mid west.
    Can't XP you, so: Hilarious!

    Here's another: ENWorld turns into one gigantic freakin' ad. There is no longer any content, just things to click on that send you to places you don't want to go to buy things you don't want and/or can't afford. We are all separated and can no longer war over which edition rocketh most mightily. I'd continue but I really need to pee, need a beer, and when I get back, "Edit" will likely have been replaced by "Click here to donate to OMGWTFBBQ Kickstarter."
    O ye who go about saying unto each, "Hello Sailor":
    Dost thou know the magnitude of thy sin before the gods?

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