Thinking dark thoughts

It’s what I do. It’s how I find the stories I write. ‘What would happen if…’

The thing is, fiction has to make sense. Real life doesn’t, but fiction does. You can’t just set up a whole future world with no explanation of how it came to be. Okay, you don’t want a long explanation in the story, just hints here and there in conversation, but in writing future-based stories you have to reason out how the world came to the point you’re writing about. If it looks impossible, or implausible, readers will give up on you.

There is an easy way out – set it on another planet or in a fantasy reality, but if you want it to really raise the hairs on the backs of reader’s necks, set it in the near future and make it horrible. It can’t just ‘happen’ though. There has to be at least the possibility that it could really happen.

So let’s say you want to set a future dystopia in a world with a vastly reduced human population. Not just decimated, but driven pretty close to extinction. You have an elite who run things and who made this near-extinction happen so they have a small and easily controlled slave workforce. I actually have a much darker theme than just a slave workforce but I’ll keep that surprise for another time.

How did they do it? How did they reduce the billions of people to just a few million?

Well, there’s war of course. Tessie the Impaler is currently trying to start a war with Russia. The old adage ‘Pick on someone your own size’ comes to mind. As in, someone you have at least a remote chance of beating. I have a feeling war with Russia would go something like this –

Monday: Tessie declares war on Russia.

Tuesday. The EU suddenly finds it doesn’t have to worry about Brexit any more, but now has to hope the easterly winds continue, so they carry the radioactive cinders out into the Atlantic.

Yeah. We aren’t going to win that one. Best to back off a bit, I’d say. Besides, all this talk of ‘we won’t stand for you killing people in the UK’ rings rather hollow when they won’t even identify the ones doing the daily acid-based face changes, street acupuncture demonstrations and occasional exploding vest incidents. Yet one dead Russian spy is enough to declare war?

War won’t work for this story because it would leave large areas of the planet uninhabitable and spread a radioactive cloud over most of the rest of it. No point achieving your goal of massive population reduction if you have to spend the rest of your life in an underground bunker.

The same goes for a rapidly-spread disease. How can the elites guarantee they won’t catch it and how can they be sure it’s finally gone once it’s done its job? Back  to the underground bunker…

I need, for this story, a world largely pristine but with an awful lot of unmarked graves. How to get there?

An idea arrived today. Two more days to the vernal equinox, the official start of spring, and it’s -2 degC out there and snowing. It’s still snowing heavily on a lot of the northern hemisphere and we’re told it’s global warming.

Because it’s ‘global warming’, heating costs are taxed whatever you use. Electricity, gas, oil, all taxed to combat ‘global warming’. We are told the wood burning stoves and fireplaces are a very bad thing and we should get rid of them. New houses are built with no chimneys and have been for some time now. When the power goes off,  the gas runs out and the oil delivery trucks can’t get through, there is no way to heat those houses. No way at all.

So, I thought, wait for signs of a coming ice age and make sure nobody has the means to survive it. Great. Population wipeout with no effort and no environmental impact. Well, apart from clearing away the thawing corpses when it’s over.

There’s only one little niggle. A small ice age, not a total snowball earth, would really only affect countries near the poles. Those in the middle, around the tropics, would hardly be affected. That’s a lot of people still to get rid of. How?

Aha. Make them move north.

Tell them global warming is going to make their country too hot for human life. Tell them they can have free benefits and never have to work if they come to the north. Even go so far as to start wars in their countries so they have to flee.

A solar minimum is approaching. It’s going to get colder. Maybe not a full-on ice age but the cold this year is only a taste of what’s coming. The scene is set for this story to be plausible, I just need to work out the details.

So, all you need to do is concentrate the world’s population in countries that are going to freeze, and then wait. When the ice hits, turn off the power. Stop the gas. Make the oil too expensive. Make coal and wood fires illegal. Wait for inevitable crop failures. Even if you don’t get a real ice age, a few of those seriously cold winters will drastically reduce your population for you – especially among those who moved from hot countries and who are unused to sub-zero temperatures.

You’ll have riots, sure. You’ll have people attacking each other for food and shelter. What the cold doesn’t kill, the neighbours will.

In this context, a new tension with Russia actually helps. Russia might get sufficiently pissed off to turn off the gas pipelines. They’ll need that gas themselves anyway, when it gets seriously cold.

I don’t think this is enough to get to the low population levels I need for the story but it’s a good start. There’s still China and India, for example, densely populated and probably mostly okay in a hypothetical ice age. Russia also – they know how to deal with deep cold and Putin isn’t playing the globalist game. He’s not going to turn off the heating.

But then I’m working in fiction. Putin might be replaced, as might Trump (who also wouldn’t play along) and then the corpsicle count goes way up.

Actually, the story can work even if China, Russia, the USA and India are untouched in this first round. The major wipeout would be in Europe. Once it’s done you can further reduce population by means of constant wars with other countries. Would the other countries use nukes? On what? You have nothing left to aim a nuke at! The major cities are abandoned and the population is now in a series of small towns, reliant for news on a media that’s totally under elite control.

Once you have a base (Europe) you can then unleash biological weaponry on the rest of the world. Probably best to do that before the ice age ends so nobody from the other countries wants to come to Europe. The elite are sealed in to one area while the rest of the world’s population is vastly reduced by a particularly virulent virus. Such a weapon would, of course, be most effective in densely populated countries.

This still needs some thought, but I think I can come up with a plausible scenario for a fairly rapid depopulation of the planet. Leaving an elite and a small, easily controlled population to serve them.

If I do though, in the current climate, should I publish it or just keep it quiet?


10 thoughts on “Thinking dark thoughts

  1. Certainly the Elite perpetrating this genocide would first be prep the population for the flash freeze by advising and then making them reduce their calorie intake. Get them skinny. Start with the kids…

    And perhaps then move on to removing easy access to highly calorific food…

    As for keeping quiet about it, Leggy…

    *Dunno, Clicky… /rubs chin and sucks teeth… Seems Nineteen Eighty Four’s been seen more as a manual than a warning…*


  2. For me and my stories, the explanation is always the interesting bit. I can rabbit on about that for ages. It depends on how you write it. Not that I have ever had a story published, but then I have never tried to.
    My words are a bit too precious to me.
    I once wrote a really good poem. I was sixteen years old at the time, but no one believed that I had actually written it myself. It put me off for ever sharing again. It didn’t stop me writing, but then I do that for my own desire. My children can make what they like of their Mother’s mountainous piles of scribblings; I have kept it all.
    Some of it was written in the dark hours of the night when I was a bit pissed, but those were often the best of it.
    Oddly enough, I have begun to realise that New Moon is my best time. This is when the desire to put words on paper most overcomes me.

    Sorry, not a lot of help for your publishing thing.

    I don’t comment much these days. I had more to say when you were unhappy, and possibly a bit pissed.
    Now I am just pleased that you are happy.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. An easily-communicable disease (GM to be fairly human-specific but goodbye most apes and many monkey species) with a long incubation period but rapid development once it starts on the system; an elite that has secretly developed the only effective antidote/vaccine. This would minimise the ecological destruction of a world population roaming to find food and fuel in a collapsed economy, and allow your overlords to cherrypick servants to join them in their bunkers. A long period in the bunker to wait for the explosion of carrion-eaters etc to pass (crows and ravens shot on sight after the all clear, just in case). Ex-special forces servants employed to deal with the clever unchosen few who know where the old Cold War nuclear bunkers are and come looking for a haven or for revenge; complications if it dawns on one or two of the guardians what the big picture is. Certain island populations escape the pandemic, e.g. the ultra-hostile Sentinel Islanders.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The big African Ebola outbreak originated extremely close to an American-run “biological research facility”. It’s suspected they were attempting to weaponise it for just such thus use.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The Russia and China “independent Nation” issue can be solved by a nulcear first strike. Russian and China refuse to share resources and boom: we launch nukes ostensibly as a grab for resources, but we overegg it with the nukes so both become an irradiated wasteland we can’t access the resources of.


  5. Maybe take your story the opposite direction?

    Pick a number between 1 & 10,000.

    I choose 7,984. Maybe have 7,984 of “the world’s most powerful an influential” form a suicide pact. Maybe they are all members of various “secret societies” that put aside their petty differences and join forces to solve the world’s problems or something. /shrug

    They all kill themselves, but do so in ways that makes it appear as if there is/was some large revolutionary conspiracy, all in the hope(s) that it will throw the world into a self-destructive chaos. They themselves may be dead, but their beliefs and some of their believers live on, and the population is vastly reduced in the war(s) that are sure to follow, and eventually, the world will find peace and safety again through their efforts. It will ensure that their beliefs are proven right in the end, people will pick up and carry on these beliefs up on the other side, and the perpetrators will be enshrined forever as heros for their selfless sacrifice(s) “for the greater good(s)”.

    Of course, there will need to be some twists and turns. Opportunists of all kinds, some within the pact who don’t actually kill themselves and the auxiliary systems that fail to eliminate them, unforseens and unknowns of all kinds. Prolly gonna be some of the remaining “faithful” who weren’t high enough up on the ladder to be aware of “the plan”, and they are likely gonna have some trust issues to deal with as time wears on. Some find out, some do not. Before long, no one trusts nor believes anyone else because of the use of and play off of…truth/falsehood.

    Sorry for the rant, but I watched a documentary on Mars terraforming last night that made my skin crawl. The battling interests over “how it should be done” was quite comical at times.. Not to mention all of the implications of “climate control” here on Earth/Terra.

    ^Mars: Making the New Earth – Full Documentary (HD)^

    Plus I just watched the new Deadpool 2 trailer. “Mutant Control” seemed to be a theme in the movie.

    Liked by 1 person

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