"Soap and education are not as sudden as a massacre, but they are more deadly in the long run."
- Samuel Clemens
Words from our past haunt the charred earth we walk today. Historically, humans used less than 10% of their intellectual capacity. As we entered the third millennium, that was abruptly changed...
Hailed as a "Man Plays God" miracle, the technology to unlock our latent abilities was developed and marketed. Compared to the rising cost of bread, these "smart pills" were by no means expensive. As the populous' faculties expanded, technical breakthroughs happened too quickly to be published. The means to control even the Earth were easily engineered and implemented.
In this hyper-accelerated market place, it should have been expected that the competition would breed increasingly dangerous experiments. The higher the risk, the higher the potential gain. Human and environmental experimentation were at an all-time high.
Surgically swapping certain organic components with mechanical alternatives, the cyber organism (cyborg) was born. Giddy with new-found power, cyborgs terrorized their non-mechanically enhanced peers. Soon these "naturals" evened the playing field by expanding their telekinetic prowess. This was when society diverged, separated into either the witch or cyborg category. A planet-wide civil war erupted. At the time we naively considered this the worst that could happen.
A major technology company, in an attempt to capitalize on the feud, began construction of a solar control system, much like the environment control systems used on our home planet. Called "The Great Equalizer", it was to be auctioned off as a weapon to end the war permanently. The project, a week from completion, encountered a "minor containment error."
The next thing that people knew, the war was indeed over; the cyborgs were dead, killed by the very implants they had long touted. But as the war was finished, so it seemed, was our civilization. In the wake of the catastrophe, the world has been thrown into anarchy.
The Equalizer had somehow caused the most massive discharge of energy in recorded history. This solar flare indiscriminately wiped out all electronics in our system. We were alone. It had been decades since our first and only inter-system colony vessel had departed and it had been decades since we heard from it.
It is unlikely that the colonies on our moon or on Mars survived, with the loss of their force fields, precious oxygen filters and generators. If they had not died already, they would soon die from lack of breathable air or heat. I mourned my parents the day I realized that colony M-02-H1 was by now long dead. But now I must honor their memories by surviving. By growing.