S0 E1 - The Genesis Plague
Updated: Dec 27, 2022
OK my friends.
I’ve got a lot on my mind. It’s only been a month off from the apocalypse. But, I feel a vast, yawning chasm filled with smoky wraiths (created by industrial light and magic) growing between us.
These two prologue pieces today are scraps from the cutting room floor.
These are pieces I penned that I had to cut. They didn’t fit into the episodes I was writing at the time. They didn’t add to the story. And they still feel like they are narratives without anchor. A bit meandering.
So, I did some rewrite and stuck them in as a prologue.
There is a lot to unpack in this narrative.
Let’s start with the bodies in the pit.
I am, as you will have figured out by now, a follower of history and archeology. I suppose in a parallel universe where bills didn’t need to be paid I might have been an archeologist.
This article of the stone age massacre in Kenya was widely reported back in 2016. They found these remains with hands bound and heads smashed in by the shores of Lake Turkana. The big headline was that one of the victims was in the late stages of pregnancy.
Think about that. 10,000 years ago. Modern humans. Just like you and me. 27 men women and children bound and killed by someone.
What was the reason behind this massacre? Was it population pressure? Was it religion? Was it disease? Was it one wild-eyed zealot who knew that the outsiders needed to die for their sins?
It boggles the mind. They were so far removed from us but, at the same time, so much the same. It points to just how thin the line is between what we consider civilization and savagery.
So I painted a picture of the plague. The evil spirits. The thin place between this world and the next. The questions and decisions. The unknowns. Are we that much different today?
They were people.
But they were a hair’s breadth from chaos and trying to make their way. They knew so many things. They had our same mental equipment and were trying tom make sense of their world. But all was chaos.
In the second part we introduce the old man in his flight from the pandemic.
And the point I’m trying to make is that apocalypse is not uncommon. Throughout our history we build things and we think they are permanent. But they are not. They are flimsy films of things that will fall.
And the great irony of the Victorians astride their hemophiliac, inbred empire pretending to be something better. Something above the laws of political evolution.
Like every society before them they though they had it all figured out. They thought they were the end point. The pinnacle of humanity.
With all our science and knowledge, we are still not the end point. We are ever evolving. And we are ever looking over our shoulders at our animal natures in hot pursuit.
You can wrap your intentions in science, but they will still stink of pretention.
The lesson we never learn is humility.
But I also wanted to build a universe with some hope. Some hope for renewal. Some hope for the future.
And that brings us to the bottle neck event. This is more of a theory than a fact. Scientist did some regression analysis on DNA and found this bottleneck in our evolution 50-70 thousand years ago.
When it first came out they theorized that there was some sort of volcanic event that put population pressure on us. That has been mostly disproven, but there was a bottleneck of some sort and we managed to live through it.
Again, these too were modern humans. Physically and mentally just like us.
Modern humans weren’t alone at the time. We had other cousins. But none of them survived this bottleneck. Why? We don’t’ know.
We can only guess about climate change and catastrophe.
Do you think these humans, whatever the pressure was, felt like it was the apocalypse? Do you think they made hard choices? Do you think they doubted their humanity? Do you think they turned to their god?
It seems apocalypse is a very human theme that runs through our history and our very DNA.
Likewise, I’m picking on the English and the Victorians because they have one of the most well documented apocalypse events.
During thefinal years of the Roman empire Britannia produced many pretenders to the throne. The last one was the wonderfully named Magnus Maximus who stripped the legions from Britain in 388 and became emperor of the west as part of the Tetrarchy.
At the time the empire was ruled by 2 senior emperors and 2 junior emperors – this was set up by Diocletian in an attempt to add stability to the vast empire.But, what it actually did was set up constant civil war between the independentrulersof each quarter of the empire.
Britain was part of Gaul. Magnus Maximus made his play to be ruler of Gaul and then the rest of the empire. In the process he pulled most of the legions out of England.
When the Franks and other German tribes invaded and the Western Empire fell, Britain was left to it’s own. The word German comes from the same root word as guard and garden and basically means people of the periphery, outsiders.
Picture yourself as a Roman plantation owner in the mid 400’s. You’ve got a great view of the Thames but the army has left. It seems peaceful. But there is no force behind the peace.
It fell apart pretty quickly.
The legend is that the Britains invited a couple Saxons in to fight off the threat from the Welsh and Irish. When those Saxons showed up they were like “Cool, Unprotected farmland – tell everyone it’s a keg party over here!”
The word Welsh, by the way, also means ‘Outsider’.
Most of the historical apocalyptic events were accompanied by the migration of outsiders into the civilized territories. Sometimes those outsiders just took over form the current rulers and kept going. Sometimes they burnt civilization down to its foundations and started over.
In our universe, after the apocalypse, who are the outsiders? Where do they come from?
Can civilization be saved?
Or will it be a total reset?
You will have to wait and see!
As always come over and join the other survivors at the Facebook page “OldManApocalypse”.
I’m working through creating an e-book of the first season. I’ve done a first outline of the second season.
My plan is still to create 5 seasons as we go through that.
For those of you listening far in the future, let me know how I did.
I know it’s a challenge with theses short episodes because you can listen through a whole season in a week and then you’re stuck!
But I designed it that way on purpose to make it digestible and manageable for all of us.
If you want to help, leave a review on your favorite podcast app, tell a friend or two, or leave me a few bucks on the patreon page.
And – as Summer turns to fall, keep surviving.