shafnutz05 wrote:The year is 2042. As the Earth's oil crisis reaches a fever pitch, and the population explodes, scientists are desperately trying to find a long-term, sustainable energy solution to stave off a rapidly worsening run on resources. World governments, desperate to quell their own populations, grow increasingly aggressive. In the Arctic Circle, joint Canadian/American forces find themselves in repeated skirmishes with Russian amphibious and naval forces in the Aleutians and the Seward Peninsula. Meanwhile, the U.S. government has heavily fortified the border with Mexico, and has begun using lethal force to keep a desperate Mexican population from trying to find better luck north.
On the other side of the world, Russian and Chinese forces are locked in increasingly heavy fighting over the Mongolian petroleum fields, which have miraculously remained largely untapped. Africa is a nightmare, as thousands are massacred daily as governments rapidly crumble.
At Arecibo Radio Telescope in Puerto Rico, a multinational team of radio astronomers (the main cast, if you will) detects an anomalous broadcast emanating from a location far closer than any radio signal to date. As they start to try and decode the repeating message, they quickly realize that the message contains instructions on how to create a fully-sustainable source of energy that has never successfully been discovered by human beings. Desperately working against time, and the specter of nuclear war, the scientists must balance deciphering the message, ensuring their own families are safe back home, and wondering if, and when, they are going to discover the sender of the signal.
"Heaven Save Us"
In west Africa, Ali Francois Dimjo works hard to find a way to get a cup of water so that his crops can live another day. His okra plants have been eaten by locusts. He is trying to grow a few potatoes. The sun is heavy on his bare back.
"Work is for the best."
Ali stands and turns, seeing the speaker. It is Sisiko, the Front Man. The Head Man then will know what Ali says.
"The ground is harsh, sir. My plow is rusted and my bicycle was taken. I try to fulfill my obligations for the good of the village."
"Yes," says Sisiko. He pauses for a long while, looking up at the holy mountain on the horizon. "The village." He stares to the east, still and unmoving. "Move your will forward, Ali Dimjo. Work for the earth, for the sky, for the grains of paradise in your heart. Remember: That is best which comes from the womb of the Alabaster Gutter-Spade. Seek not to rise above yourself. Always look to the Great Jujimbo Up The Mountain."
Sisiko's eyes drop to peer intently into Ali's and then he moves on.
Ali considers Sisiko's words for only a moment before returning to his toil. He is empty and broken. He has seen his father hacked to death by machetes, his mother disfigured with acid, his brother castrated, his sister raped and Christianized. Once Sisiko is out of sight and hearing, Ali allows himself the barest sigh.
The few potato plants draw his attention again. He realizes that he must not stop.