Sunday, January 5, 2014

1/1000 - Species Profile: Humans

Following this post and starting with it, I will present profiles of each species in 1/1000. Each will have a list of what is going for them, what are the problems they face and how their situation might look a year, 10 years and 100 years after the bomb hit.

To start us off: humans.
So, as the previous post showed, the humans in 1/1000 are in a pretty terrible spot. The world population was cut very considerably and even then many had died in short order. As a whole, the number of living humans, the Unchanged, is between 3M to 4.5M.

So what do they have going for them now? A number of things, actually:
  • The elevation bomb worked instantly worldwide. While it crippled many aspects of modern life, one was left untouched and that's immediate availability of resources and food. Shops and supermarkets are still stocked and in great condition. There was no rioting since no one had a chance to riot.
  • The Changed aren't numerous by any count. It took time for their own condition to settle and a very primitive structure to arise. They killed each other off just as quickly and about a third of their original number remain alive. They are also pretty much missing in the wilderness, so the wide world is still very much an option.
  • Superpowers. That one word describes the leap of survivability humans now have. Whereas before they had to rely on tools and circumstances, now there is a great deal fo circumvention. Some can create fire and never really go cold, others can harden their and ignore the need for armor, more still are living weapons of a sort. Everyone now has a unique, powerful talent that isn't going to run out easily if at all.
  • The Unchanged are now nearly universally useful. Due to their new superpowers, everyone now also brings something unique and helpful to the table. This also ties into survivability - killing is more of an issue now than it had been. Killing someone is removing a potentially important ability, one that can't be gained in other ways, from the table.
As can be seen, humans aren't in bad shape, just in a terrible situation. However, that isn't to say that they don't have things going against them:
  • The Shadows, while being held back by the Aliens and Angels, are still able to infiltrate the planet's surface. Between the massive Destroyer Shadows and the sneaky Dopplegangers, humanity is facing an enemy that they can't quite take down easily enough, nor understand well enough to avoid.
  • Scarcity of commodities is a growing worry. Much of the comforts and basics of modern life and the modern human are a product of their population size. With the numbers considerably down, the access to new commodities and essentials is becoming smaller.
  • Nature itself has reacted to the bomb, as could be expected. Due to this, many animals have either grown feral or terrifyingly intelligent. Awakened animals or hyper-mutations are common enough to be a threat to humans everywhere. The short term places emphasis on the danger of the hyper-mutants, but the long term threat are the awakened animals who grow in intelligence and capability.
  • The Angels, while not a malevolent faction, aren't about the freedom of humanity. They will try to contact influential or powerful humans with offers of power if they assist with the subjugation of others. Those who take the offers are normally dangerous and frequently not in their right mind.
The dangers humanity faces are pretty big and scary. Humans find themselves fighting for their own survival in the long term while also combating short term threats that might wipe them out.

So how will humanity look in the future?
  • One year - humanity most likely had settled into some motions. Small groups have taken over buildings and interaction is minimal between groups. A pregnancy boom is expected, but child survivability isn't great in most places. Resources and commodities aren't too spent and most infrastructures are in their dying stages if not already dead. The Shadows have only arrived and their threat seems terrible in potential but is currently minor.
  • Ten years - humanity is trying to pick itself up. The children of 9 years ago have grown a bit and all exhibit powers, sometimes of their parents and other times not even close. Powers are definitely inherited to some degree and both the Aliens and the Angels try to make the work for them - the Aliens will try to help breed humans in beneficial ways while the Angels will offer more for the capture of children with certain powers. Resources are very scarce and most old commodities have run dry. Old infrastructures have likely all collapsed. The Shadows might have dropped off altogether or redoubled their efforts. This might mean either decreased or increased Alien and Angel involvement, depending on many factors.
  • One hundred years - Humanity has developed. The several generations that have come and gone have helped shape an interesting future. Based on powers and their inclinations, as well as the Alien breeding programs, a new culture and civilization has risen. If the Aliens had been able to maintain a foothold, they work in a nearly symbiotic way with humanity, helping it technologically and with transportation. Humanity starts rebuilding its world population and may have reached 10M by now.
    Another future is where the Angels were the most successful in their endeavors. Earth is vacant, or nearly so, as humans have been shipped to the many worlds of the Angels. Breeding and training programs rise and a specialized, highly competent workforce
    The third and most grim future is that the Aliens and Angels have given up in front of the Shadow threat. Humanity had died due to the increased Shadow activity. Earth is scorched clean and the bad mark on Shadow history is crossed out by the winners.
The possible futures aren't amazing, but they show promise. In the likely scenarios humanity lives on and possibly prospers. We grow into a galactic species with our powers and our unique minds, from which stemmed the entire situation.

To wrap up, a common linguistic idiom that rose up from the situation is so: "Live to see another day." In the first years after the bomb, any concept of assured survival had gone out the window. Humans say goodbye in pretty much one way - a request and a blessing combined into one meaning: I hope you stay alive until we can meet again.