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Will The First Person Back Turn On The Lights?
The Universe is dying. This line, as old as heaven itself was engraved into the hearts and souls of all life since they first came to understand the world they were born into. Under the light of their suns they knew that one day their worlds would burn, their stars would ache and explode, and everything would be for naught. One day even the birth of stars would end, the galaxies would float away into the abyss, and the universe would return to nothingness as the embers of light and life went out one by one.
There were attempts to fight the darkness. So many countless souls for years beyond measure tried. Great lifters were built to sift metals from stars and induce convection to eek out a billion or trillion more years here and there. Massive stores of mass were built, nebuli were compacted and solidified to be burned and consumed for quadrillions of years. Dyson shells and swarms encapsulated galactic arms, energy was siphoned from the vacuum, and biological life was even done away wi
:iconMattystereo:Mattystereo
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Up From The Fields by Mattystereo Up From The Fields :iconmattystereo:Mattystereo 44 27 W'wtena Dufkye So Di Dofree by Mattystereo W'wtena Dufkye So Di Dofree :iconmattystereo:Mattystereo 42 29 Star Trek: Not Quite A Mirror by Mattystereo Star Trek: Not Quite A Mirror :iconmattystereo:Mattystereo 22 5 Seventh Son (Isot!Georgia) by Mattystereo Seventh Son (Isot!Georgia) :iconmattystereo:Mattystereo 5 0 The Lands of Diis (Isot!Georgia) by Mattystereo The Lands of Diis (Isot!Georgia) :iconmattystereo:Mattystereo 27 7 Flag of The Chinese Fifth Republic (PRC!USA) by Mattystereo Flag of The Chinese Fifth Republic (PRC!USA) :iconmattystereo:Mattystereo 17 16 Flag of The Republic of Ashland (PRC!USA) by Mattystereo Flag of The Republic of Ashland (PRC!USA) :iconmattystereo:Mattystereo 14 4 Flag of The United States of America (PRC!USA) by Mattystereo Flag of The United States of America (PRC!USA) :iconmattystereo:Mattystereo 20 5 USA With Chinese Political Parties by Mattystereo USA With Chinese Political Parties :iconmattystereo:Mattystereo 39 41 O' Songs Of Glynn And Chattahoochee by Mattystereo O' Songs Of Glynn And Chattahoochee :iconmattystereo:Mattystereo 33 17 Mirror On The Marne by Mattystereo Mirror On The Marne :iconmattystereo:Mattystereo 44 23 Gangeulism (2150) by Mattystereo Gangeulism (2150) :iconmattystereo:Mattystereo 13 10 Terraformed Venus Basemap by Mattystereo Terraformed Venus Basemap :iconmattystereo:Mattystereo 39 14

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Jacob Furtado
United States
Former assistant teacher, part-time analyst, full-time woodworker and handyman, and now an US Navy Nuclear Engineer, hopefully eventually a full time analyst and cryptographer. So i'm simultaneously as off-kilter and pedantic as you feared.

Native Georgian currently trapped in South Carolina, eventually to be trapped on a sub, maybe one day trapped in the shackles of marriage. :p

I do all sorts of stuff in my time off, such as make maps and flags and graphs and info blurbs and stuff, i'm guessing you're here for those. In which case welcome! I hope you enjoy your stay.

Activity


Kairo Sill Man Jan Faa

The following is my entry for Sufficient Velocity's new AH sub-forum's Map of the Fortnight competition: forums.sufficientvelocity.com/…

This is my first time ever entering into an MotF and i'd like to personally thank ToixStory for pushing me to finally throw my hat in!

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This world diverged from our own in the 1850s, as the Falada Campaign in the Franco-Toucouleur War went more in the favor of the Toucouleur. The war still ended in a stalemate between the French and the Fula Jihadi States, with Umar Tall still sending his empire East to conquer much of former Mali and Bamana, but the success against the French in the West piqued the interest of the British. Following the death of Umar and the descent of Toucouleur into warring states the British moved in to support friendly warlords as OTL, but seeing the potential of Inner West Africa as more of a bulwark against the French than in our world were more vigorous in their support of their new allies. Chief among these would be Samori Ture and his Wassoulou Empire, the strongest of the Warring States, which soon became Britain's middle man in Inner West Africa.

The Almanate of Wassoulou, alternatively known as the Kingdom of All-Mandinka, represented a paradigm shift in West Africa through the solidification of Ture's rule and the founding of his national philosophy known as Fingnengo, roughly translated to "The Red/Black String/Mouth"*, which was a synthesis of his brand of West African Jihadism and more traditional local princely confederations typified by the neighboring Wolof and Fante. With British support in this world's Mandingo Wars, and a policy of industrialization and solidifying the local caste systems as part of the government aparati, the Almanate became, by the 20th century, a highly organized and hierarchical great power. Under the Almanate, West Africa's status as an Islamic scholastic power was restored. Libraries, schools, and printing houses were built, and varying degrees of universal literacy became the norm. Most of the empire was dual-script using to a degree, in Arabic (favored by the upper Clerical/Jakhanke and Singer/Nyamolo castes which held a monopoly on religious affairs) and a local constructed script known as Capatu** (used partly by the Freeborn/Foro in addition with some Arabic, and exclusively by the indentured Jongo). Likewise, inspired by older empires out of Mali, massive agricultural projects and waterworks were restarted. Artificial lakes, fisheries, and rice paddies were carved out of the Niger and Senegal rivers, dams were raised and fresh canals were filled with water. A joint project was even overseen with the British to flood the Volta Basin***, and create an arc of refineries and water shipping lanes across West Africa. The massive flood of capital from these projects soon led to more advancements, from modern plumbing, to railroads, to telegraph lines, and by 1919, a national radio service.

Serving as the main point of contact from which tribute to Britain was extracted from inner Africa did have a number of disastrous effects, however. It became a common sight across the Sahel to see Mandinka men in khaki carrying repeating rifles and brandishing the seven pointed blue star of the Almanate harassing convoys and storming into towns and cities coming to "collect" goods, money, and sometimes even children to be "adopted" into the Jongo Caste to work as what were effectively slaves in the Almanate's factories.

This, predictably, turned almost all of West Africa against the Almanate.

During the Atlantic War of the 1920s the Amero-German Coalition took on the British Empire and disassembled their colonial holdings. In the middle of this conflagration the tenuous British-Wassoulou System collapsed and the whole of West Africa entered a period known as the Great African War (sometimes considered a part of the Atlantic War) that continued on for 10 more years after the guns fell silent in Europe and North America. The war ended in an "Anti-Imperial" victory of native kingdoms and revolutionary regimes (and American volunteers and associated states under America's new "Commonwealth" network) against the Almanate, with it falling to a popular people's revolution (led mostly by the Jongo and sympathetic/cynical Nyamolo castes) by the end of the 1930s.

The Great African War would itself soon bleed into a newer, albeit shorter period known as Revolutionary Wars between the more traditionalist kingdoms and republics in the Anti-Imperial Alliance and the Revolutionary States. Many of the Traditionalists, though despising the old Almanate, themselves were also heavily nationalist and caste centered societies, and soon came to regret the fall of the Almanate as the nation that replaced it, the Mandeman Popular Republic, played a key part in the victory of the Revolutionary States and the fall of the Traditionalists.

By 1948, the Popular Republic and its network of Brother Republics became the dominant force in West Africa, which they remain to this day. Under Mandeman a national philosophy of African Socialism with Islamic Characteristics was born. Under African Socialism a system of devolved governance similar to localized Anarcho-Syndicates, supported by a dual-network of a "central" bureaucracy (in the modern day largely distributed online) that maintained taxes and infrastructure, and multiple clerical institutions that handled many larger social services such as housing, health care, and education became the norm and acted as the engine by which West Africa was propelled into a new Golden Age.

As of 2017 C.E. (1438 A.H. in much of West Africa following the re-adoption of the Islamic Calendar) West Africa is at peace and dominated by Mandeman and its Brothers, themselves surrounded by various friendly or at least cordial democratic states and constitutional monarchies that are loosely united in a de facto trade and science agreement that has pushed the region to the forefront of much of this world's scientific endeavors. Champions of computer science, much of the world uses forms of wireless currency, distributed networks, and block chain made in West Africa and even the capitalist world unofficially uses Mandeman's digital social credits. In the field of nuclear technology too, a band from Dakar to Lake Chad is alight with nuclear reactors that supply energy to the region and even to states as far away as Egypt and Poland. Some smaller states, such as Ougou obtain all of their power from nuclear and solar farms, and have transitioned over entirely to electric public transit.

Where West Africa really shines though, although perhaps not obvious at first, is its literary and theological culture. Under the early Red Jongo and later Revolutionary regimes, the reforms to public education and literacy only expanded, and soon multilingual and multi-script literacy became the norm. With it came an explosion in print media, novels, biographies, comics, poetry, and theological theory. Under the revolutionaries a massive rethink of Islam, its place in society, and inspiration from God came like a tidal wave, and from this a new form of liberationist jurisprudence was born. Combined with West Africa's literary culture and printing capacity this jurisprudence would not be ignored, even as Arabia and Egypt**** attempted to drown out competing traditions as per OTL. In response, much of the Ummah began to question Arabia's place as a head of Islamic theology and a quiet revolt spread across the world with Central Asia, Indonesia, Turkey, and Morocco soon asserting themselves as well. As a result the Ummah itself is entering into its own new age, more placid, less millenarian, less nihilistic, and far less racist than OTL's crisis with modernity.

This does not mean all is well however, as Mandeman now faces a vigorous rival in the form of Morocco's Saadic traditions, a form of crypto-sufi internationalism that has many similarities to OTL's Neoliberalism and which Mandeman finds disgustingly anti-revolutionary and stoic. There is conflict, but not on the battlefield or in the streets, instead on the television, the public chat forum, the livestream, the university, and in the millions of books the scholars of the Ummah pump out to wrestle for the heart of Islam and the World. Mandeman is not concerned however, as to them convincing the world is only a matter of time. To the Mandeman and their Brothers they are content knowing that they've seen the tribulations of jihad, the dangers of imperialism, the cruelty of tribute and capitalism, and the liberation that comes from one's own citizens and trust in God.

Across the fields of the Sahel sighing under the summer sun, through the endless waters pocked with ferries skipping about like jumping stones, taking in the perfumed breath of hamlets and syndicates, rising to the call to prayer in sight of the gleaming moon, and embracing the shimmering and beaming hope of their cities reaching for heaven itself, one can almost feel their resolve and the shape of an ever more glorious age to come.

-----------------------

*Mande languages are heavily context and geography driven and so even the way they refer to seemingly straight forward things like colors can get very murky from an outside perspective

**West Africa is known, IOTL as well, for its abundance of deep constructed and historically reconstructed languages, with many of them, such as N'Ko and Nsibidi, even being unicoded and used in localized apps. This is an interesting phenomenon as even in the face of three perfectly usable lingua franca and scripts (English, French, and Arabic), due to various reasons people prefer linguistic "nationalism" of varying degrees. A phenomenon which has only been picking up in the face of globalization even! This intersects, to a certain degree, with the importance of oral and written communication in West African praising and worship and the desire to have an unbroken chain with one's ancestors and the spirits. Talking and writing to the First Men and other mythical or historical figures in the Queen's English is terribly rude after all. This is not the whole reason of course, there are traditional material, national, and anti-colonial stresses behind this as well, but I find this one the most interesting.

*** Flooding the Volta is actually a horrible idea and IMHO the British were extremely irresponsible to do it IOTL. Were it not for the timely actions of modern Ghana the whole area would be a cesspit of disease, toxic soil from lead and heavy metal leaching, and poverty. However, it is likely a mistake I see most ATL empires making if they controlled, or at least had suzerainty over the Volta.

**** There was in the later 19th and early 20th centuries, in tandem with the re-rise of literacy in the Ummah, a move to standardize Quranic and Hadith traditions, as much of Islam at the time was heavily influenced by oral folk traditions and national interpretations of text. As such what were roughly 200+ standard traditions were officially slimmed down to one based out of a standard from Egypt and so outside of Iran and parts of Yemen pretty much every collection of Islamic writing is based upon this tradition now. Though deviation has started to occur again.

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First off i'd like to say that i'm flattered by the response to "Will The First Person Back Turn On The Lights?". I've always felt that the end of all things is something we all have a morbid curiosity and fear of, and as such could use a less crushingly depressing take, and i'm glad to see that people very much agree.

With that said I feel like the short story wrapped itself up pretty well, but there's potential there for more looks at how civilizations in the Dark Era could be and the forms they could take, a number of which I held back on a bit and didn't post because I didn't feel that it flowed with the story as it ended with the reigniters. If people are interested though i'd be more than happy to take these parts I left out and use them to write a "part 2" if you will, focusing on a region i'll call the "Outer Heavens" for now, beyond the 80KLY sphere of civilized space. The Outer Heavens would be the home of other civilizations, some even from Old Andromeda, that have themselves chosen their own ways to survive, and thrive, to the point where they've taken on forms that not even The Heavens can really understand anymore, or simply cannot contact or work with due to mutual unintelligibility or conflicting goals. Maybe even eventually do a map outlining the Heavens and Outer Heavens and the countless polities within?

If y'all are interested please let me know below.
The Universe is dying. This line, as old as heaven itself was engraved into the hearts and souls of all life since they first came to understand the world they were born into. Under the light of their suns they knew that one day their worlds would burn, their stars would ache and explode, and everything would be for naught. One day even the birth of stars would end, the galaxies would float away into the abyss, and the universe would return to nothingness as the embers of light and life went out one by one.

There were attempts to fight the darkness. So many countless souls for years beyond measure tried. Great lifters were built to sift metals from stars and induce convection to eek out a billion or trillion more years here and there. Massive stores of mass were built, nebuli were compacted and solidified to be burned and consumed for quadrillions of years. Dyson shells and swarms encapsulated galactic arms, energy was siphoned from the vacuum, and biological life was even done away with to be more energy efficient.

The most desperate sacrificed their galaxies and local clusters. Converting their heavens into globular red clusters the size of a few dozen light years but with the mass of multiple galaxies. Others converted their star systems into rings of kugelblitzes and turned themselves into strings of data feeding off their plentiful, if erratic, radiation.

But the universe marched on. Even the hopes of an endless sea of souls could not stop destiny.

It is the year Duodecillion. It is not the Stellar Era of ancient life, or even the Degenerate Era after the last star was born. This is the time of the great darkness, a universe dominated by black holes and cold whisps of iron trudging through eternity. The end that life feared from its birth has finally come.

But life refused to die.

In the heavens once known as Laniakea the eye can make out something impossible in the cosmic background, a crackle, a sea of heat, growing at an unstoppable rate. Looking deeper, in the center of former Laniakea, in a great expanse once called Andromeda and the Milky Way one can almost see them.

Lights.

The Heavens, as the inhabitants of this land call it, is an expanse roughly 80,000 light years across populated by the 10^39th years removed descendants of the first empires of the now long gone Milky Way. Far from the pitiful stragglers and remnants of a once great civilization though, life itself is just beginning on its most glorious epoch yet. In the Heavens there are five great empires, each of which have chosen their own way to survive and thrive in this era.

The Great Engine: Arguably the oldest civilization known, the Great Engine traces its lineage back to a Late Stellar Era Empire in the Small Magellanic Cloud, though historical sources can only confirm their lineage back to a society of stellar engineers from the Middle Degenerate Era. The Great Engine was a globular culture that converted their section of space into a community of 0.25 Stellar Mass Red Dwarfs centered around an artificial black hole. While these cultures were common in the early and middle degenerate periods most had burned out as they clung on to each star until it died out and cannibalized it, until they themselves either died or their black hole destroyed them.

The Great Engine however was proactive and began dividing up their globular cluster well before it collapsed, and converted it into a string of massive black holes surrounded by an ignited layer of mass composed of leftover stars and giant stores of mass they saved up from solar systems and nebuli long gone. From these they built a near perpetual series of engines composed of slow burning black holes fed with a trickle of mass covering an energetic layer of ignited material shining as bright as the long lost stars. From this system the Great Engine controls a special balance between rotational, thermal, and photointeractive energy, changing them at will trough manipulation of the strong force to prevent iron precipitation and shifting the feeding and rotating periods of their black holes. Within the fabric of the ignited layer and the warm blanket area between the ignited sphere and the black hole core, quadrillions of minds live in a computer made from the movement of the thermal blanket itself.

The Great Engine is the most noticeable civilization from a purely visible standard, and indeed is the first destination of the countless migratory civilizations that crisscross the Heavens. The people of the Great Engine are known for their cheery and hospitable demeanor, and mild pretension as they posses the title of "Most forward thinking" civilization compared to the countless millions like them that died. The Great Engine often sends out exploratory missions to find dead globular civilizations and consume them, though often making attempts to reanimate the minds of their inhabitants first, and if they cannot do so make a point of mourning their loss. This massive mission though would not be possible without the aid of another civilization.

The Cold Ones: Where the Great Engine made preparations to continue their way of life after the death of the universe the Cold Ones dreamed of a civilization that could not exist before it. As the cosmic topology cools and flattens out with age the utility of energy in terms of "movement" increases exponentially, which means that a computer of any kind actually becomes more and more efficient, faster, and useful for longer the older the universe becomes. The Cold Ones are that. They are a civilization carved into the cold of spacetime itself, running off of mere watts of power siphoned from artificial black hole farms. The Cold Ones are in reality a dual semi-hive mind, composed of a farming civilization woven into the outer layers of the black hole farms and which live in simulated worlds dancing across distended spacetime, and a plane civilization existing in the cold topology, feeding on the farmers' output.

The Plane though is vitally important to the Heavens as it is needed for "FTL". In reality faster than light movement is impossible, as C is actually the speed of information transmission (light just goes at that speed), but the subjective experiences of the traveler and the points along its travel can be altered to give effectively the same result as FTL. The Plane artificially chills and flattens out an area of space between two points, effectively stopping the subjective experience of time between sender and receiver, and then moves a ship or packet of information across it. The travel time can be as much as tens of thousands of years, but to all those involved it will appear instantaneous. The Plane asks very little for this service aside from occasional tributes of mass (of any kind), copies of memories and experiences, and requests to go on exploratory missions for them.

The latter is connected to a point of contention between the Cold Ones and the Great Engine, although they are otherwise very friendly to each other. Although they do not speak on the matter much, the Cold Ones themselves claim to come from an Empire even older than The Great Engine, which emerged from an Early Stellar World they refer to only as "Mother" or "Earth". These claims can of course not be proven, but the Cold Ones frequently send out missions to retread what they claim is their ancestral land.

In this quest to rediscover their "Mother" the Cold Ones' simulated farmer worlds are mainly different attempts at simulating their first world, some based on cosmic-archeology, others based on recombining cultural memory and memetic engineering, and others based on pure fantasy and popular cultural myths. The simulated Earthworlds have actually become a major attraction in the Heavens, and all the major and minor civilizations frequently provide tourists of various stripes to visit the Farmers to try out an Earthworld for a while, sometimes hundreds of thousands of years.

The Material Consensus: The Material Consensus is one of the three "non-traditionally physical" Empires in the Heavens, as opposed to the Great Engine and Cold Ones which largely take advantage of mundane physics and material to fuel themselves. The Material Consensus has in a way turned back the clock in their section of the Heavens to conditions from before even the Stellar Era, relying on physical quirks that began in the early inflation.

Dark Matter is a very exotic form of matter in that it acts as both its own particle and anti-particle, meaning that in high enough concentrations it undergoes cyclical annihilation and recreation, a phenomenon that it exhibited heavily in the primordial universe in the form of Dark Matter Stars. The Material Consensus has taken advantage of the massive over-representation of dark matter even in the post-degenerate universe, and has fashioned an entire section of the Heavens into an archipelago of dark matter stars and "highways" between them.

The properties of dark matter, allowing for the focusing of gravitational attraction, and to a certain extent, quintessical repulsion, have allowed the Consensus to eschew traditional propulsion entirely, instead comfortably floating along artificial highways composed of carefully placed dark stars and strings of matter from one location to another. Consensus space is rather laid back, and is a popular destination for life that could still be considered "embodied" as it houses an impressive number of physical habitats arcing between their stars and the radiation heat lines of their highways.

The Sea Of Bounty: The potential of randomness in "empty" space to give rise to fully ordered structure, from simple matter, to stars, to even fully functioning minds was known before even the first life left their primordial worlds, however harnessing this quirk of reality remained ever out of reach, until now. The Sea of Bounty is a large collection of states that composes the Heavenly Northeast that exist as "islands" of ordered shells and black hole anchors in between a sea of artificial topological randomness.

From this randomness Boltzmann effects are exaggerated and used to siphon matter by "boiling" it off of spacetime itself. Any sort of object within reason can be siphoned by the sea, though slowly, from stellar era stars, to habitats, to thinking beings. For the most part it is used to generate a constant trickle of matter and energy to the islands, allowing them to live with a degree of opulence out of reach of even the Great Engine, to the extent where some of the wealthier islands have even recreated old stellar era space as cosmic art projects, complete with entire biospheres.

The more bizarre potential of the Sea however is sought after by other civilizations and minor states, and the Sea is often petitioned for its services in creating specialty objects and habitats for the other empires. For the less fortunate and desperate, the requests often consist of providing sustenance, shelter, and even bringing their loved ones "back to life". The Sea is more than willing to provide these services as long as an equivalent exchange of mass and energy for processing is provided.

Eternity: Eternity is not quite the name for this civilization, as it has eschewed language entirely, although that is the least "bizarre" thing about it. No longer composed of normal matter, Eternity is a massive cloud composed of strange matter plasma, slowly circling the length of the heavens, nibbling on bits of debris and the waste heat of the other civilizations. Strange matter, being fully stable as opposed to metastable baryonic matter can effectively last forever, and knowing this Eternity is the descendant(s) of an unknown civilization, that sometime in the Later Degenerate Era converted their collection of brown and black dwarfs into a mass of excited strange matter which they then imbued with their consciousness.

In many ways not a civilization so much as one giant mind, or perhaps even an animal, Eternity does not interact much with the rest of the galaxy aside from making its presence known to spectroscopes and arrays whenever it passes near inhabited space. It is however rather placid, and in some ways helpful, often irradiating back waste heat that it captures into useful bursts of x-ray and gamma radiation to be collected by other civilizations, and helping weary travelers that approach it looking for help.

Eternity has been known to take a liking to smaller migratory cultures, iron-eater islands, and small bubble-habs in the space between the Great Empires, often providing them with free energy, or in the case of iron-eaters, strange matter energy converters to help them along. This helpfulness has actually inspired a new rising civilization that hopes to make itself known on the Heavenly Stage as a sixth great empire.

The Reigniters: Formerly an inconsequential iron-feeding civilization, roughly 30 million years ago they came under the wing of Eternity and The Sea of Bounty. Since then they have grown to encompass a billion iron worlds, and have, much like their patrons, pushed the boundaries of known science. A culture dedicated to, as their namesake implies, Re-igniting the universe the Reigniters have in Recent Heavenly History discovered a loophole in metastable decay that could allow this to an extent. Although proton decay and delayed electron "burning" were not shown to be natural phenomena, under the Reigniters it was discovered that these processes could be forced, turning any matter into a potential source of stable exothermic reactions on the sub-atomic level.

With this knowledge the Reigniters have turned to their multitude of worlds as the focus of a new project: starting a second stellar period with a new type of stellar birth. Over the past several million years, with the aid of the Sea of Bounty and donations from countless minor civilizations (in exchange for being allowed to set up shop in Reigniter Space) the Reigniters have turned their former iron worlds into giant reserves of matter that match the great stars of the early universe. Cold and dark though the Reigniters live largely in habitats and simulated worlds along artificial micro-black holes and strange matter reactors, all of which orbit the black spheres of their former iron worlds, so dark they can barely be seen against the backdrop of the universe.

The Heavens watch with interest at the Reigniters' project and its potential, and although many are skeptical, and some middling powers (and even The Great Engine) make plans to swoop in and devour the"stars" should their ignition fail, they hold back for now.

After all it is worth a shot.

-------

Aumea was the first home of the Reigniters, what they considered to be their mother, and so its ignition was to be proof of their zeal and faith in the great project. Truth be told however many had doubts, and even the director of the reignition project only appeared at the ignition ceremony in body, their mind was off somewhere else with their body on autopilot. It was now only a few seconds before ignition though and the director briefly inhabited their body again, a small jolt in their servos giving away to those more attentive the fact that they were rushing back to save face.

"To the future!" They exclaimed and everyone followed in step with yelps and approving cheers.

Aumea stood silent, small shifts in the continent sized lumps along its southern pole were noticed, but these were just landslides, gargantuan though they were. The ceremonial delegation quickly came undone. Some stood in shock, others collapsed as their own tension and formality gave out, and others still chuckled and congratulated themselves for never believing in the dream of reignition, already making plans to leave for some other sector of space.

The spectroscopes picked up something, radiation was blurring around the edges of Aumea. First mild sparks barely above the melting point of water were found, then clippings of increasingly more energetic light. Radiowaves turning into microwaves and finally infrared. The spectroscopes shone red as Aumea bled heat at an alarming rate. The director rallied their supporters as the first flash of visible light erupted from Aumea's equator.

The landslides quickened and soon gave way to fissures and explosions. The top layer of Aumea blew off in a storm of fire like the pangs of a protostar. The surface became like an egg cracking from the inside, something forcing its way out, until finally the shell came off.

Deep red and brown, then red, and finally a brilliant orange, Aumea grew and grew until it was swollen to the size of a small star. Habitats across the system reported massive surges of energy and whisps of solar wind dancing around them. Aumea was now a brilliant white light on every spectroscope across the system. Radio and laser light chatter washed over civilized space, the sound of celebrations came like a torrent over all who had ears to hear.

Life had finally won.

The lights were coming back on.
Up From The Fields

A map I put together after learning about the upcoming show CONFEDERATE. Suffice to say, the premise of the show... upsets me for a number of reasons, so I felt compelled, partly as a means to vent, to write up a quick "CSA survives" scenario of my own.

> The exact nature of the Southron victory isn't important, just that they won. Following the war the CSA quickly started to unravel, as the slapdash confederacy, broke from war, and living to come in to the Long Recession of the 1870s, was hit with the Boll Weevil, breaking the back of much of the South's disparate agrarian economy and nascent industrial system.

> As the CSA started to fall apart towns emptied out, the cities started to surge with what were effectively internal refugees and discontented masses, and slave rebellions supported by the North bloomed again. States began to motion to leave the CSA, and a Confederate Civil War was in the making. In the face of these odds in 1885 the CSA underwent a coup with a cabal of generals taking the lead. They embarked on an economic and civil reform platform that included such desperate measures as manumission of the slave force for their repurposing as "contracted" laborers in the cities and a new army logistics corp.

> Yes, even in a TL with a surviving CSA, Brazil is still the last Western State to outlaw slavery.

> The CSA begins to move internal refugees back to their farms, mainly the lower class whites, giving them "ownership" of old plantations in exchange for working the land to support new cash crops (tobacco and later opium) alongside more traditional foodstuffs to support the country. Meanwhile, the former owners of these estates, many still lost and wandering cities such as Atlanta and Charleston were given IOUs by the government to recompensate them for all their holdings once the government made the money back and was firmly on its feet again.

> This situation, of course, did not work out for anyone, and soon the "Negro Corps" was used to keep down internal dissent, creating a new military class of semi-freedmen effectively hereditarily tied to the families of the ruling cabal. This dysfunctional system, combined with the stillbirth of industry (despite repeated attempts to catch up to the North) left the CSA a country on the brink.

> In the early 20th century there would be a "Second American War" between the USA and CSA that would descend into utter bedlam. The CSA totally collapsed, falling to a dozen revolts and revolutions, while the USA found itself awakening to a veteran' revolt in Kentucky that soon flowered into a full "martial revolution" (which would later on go to form the "Citizens' Republic", an idea much like a lovechild of Heinlein's military libertarianism and state-subsidized capitalism). The CSA itself fractured into over twenty countries with a new nation, the communist "Confederation of Free Socialist States" taking root in the deep south.

> The CFSS soon came to absorb much of the former CSA east of Mississippi (although it was soon disappointed by a number of mixed "Freedmen" Republics that had no interest in it) and quickly established itself as an ardent supporter of the growing global Communist Internationale. Headed now by the descendants of the Negro Corps, the power dynamic in the former CSA was flipped, with frequent purges, struggles sessions, massacres, and intentional starvation campaigns conducted on the urban whites, though many of the rural whites forced into labor under the old CSA were treated much better as long as they towed the party line and formed new state-driven cooperatives.

> Pointing out that the cooperatives were exactly the same as the forced labor of the CSA, except actually less efficient as now there wasn't even an internal market for half of the grain produced was often met with a bullet to the head.

> The CFSS formed close partnerships with other revolutionary states, such as neighboring Haiti, and became a major producer of petroleum goods, especially fertilizers, which kept it aloft in the face of what would otherwise be crippling sanctions and espionage by the USA. Much of the gains of this would not be seen by the average CFSS citizen though, as almost all the surplus went to the new political elite and their offshore stores of gold and other precious goods in Haitian banks.

> The CFSS would come to rely more and more on the state industries of allied communist powers, namely Russia and Germany, to keep their state running, and soon the CFSS became effectively a Fourth World Nation owned by Red European agricultural and industrial interests.

> In the 80s the communist world system came undone and so did the CFSS as all its international support evaporated overnight. By '85 the economy ground to a halt and by '86 the CFSS had fallen and a new transitional government composed of a loose coalition between the lower officers and enlisted in the military and the farming class was established out of Mobile, Alabama. Much of the leadership fled to Haiti or the CFSS' Indies territories to found the Tahoe Democratic Republic. A few generals and some coerced social service workers established a continuing regime in west that would be conquered/liberated in '91.

> In 1987 the Third Southron Republic was established, a tenuous democratic coalition dedicated to a "non-partisan mindset and mutual development of the South". Within months it devolved into a one party state dedicated to little more than the mobilization of a new military and the squashing of the remaining CFSS' pretenders in the west. By the beginning of the 90s though real reform began to be seen.

> Outreach was made to countries such as Mexico and the Dominican Republic to lean on the tightknit Caribbean system for support. A cool, yet not dangerously volatile relationship was worked out with the USA, and the TSR soon looked for investment from nations like France, India, and Ashanti. The TSR began to develop an economy based around natural gas, processed glass and salts, bauxite, uranium, potassium and phosphorous fertilizers, ceramics, rice, pharmaceuticals, makeup, and more recently in the 2010s, animation, mobile gaming and specialty energy drinks.

> The TSR is a very troubled nation, and a lopsided one at that, emerging from a prolonged period of civil unrest, racial and class conflict, civil war, and depression like much of OTL's Fourth World, but it is finally starting to emerge from what could be called 120 years of hell. It is a solidly one party state (though there are some opposition parties in government), but one more like Ethiopia's Ehadig or China's Communists, and has developed a reputation of actually caring (in its own way) for the well being and future of its people.

> The TSR is starting to experiment with advancing a truly independent foreign policy of its own, rather than continuing to rely upon foreign powers. Centerpoint in this new era of engagement is the TSR's passion project, the Agoritin Agreement, a Free Trade and Mutual Investment Area between it and several of its neighbors. Cooperating on matters such as banking, currency standards, climate change, science, health care, and education, the TSR hopes that this project is the beginning of a newer, better future.

_____________________________

For those wondering about the TSR flag, it is variation of the Moultrie Crescent with stars representing the states of the TSR. Now, did I put it on a green background and position the stars in a way that it looked like an Islamic Republican flag to OTL sensibilities? Yes. Of course I did, because it was funny.

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First off i'd like to say that i'm flattered by the response to "Will The First Person Back Turn On The Lights?". I've always felt that the end of all things is something we all have a morbid curiosity and fear of, and as such could use a less crushingly depressing take, and i'm glad to see that people very much agree.

With that said I feel like the short story wrapped itself up pretty well, but there's potential there for more looks at how civilizations in the Dark Era could be and the forms they could take, a number of which I held back on a bit and didn't post because I didn't feel that it flowed with the story as it ended with the reigniters. If people are interested though i'd be more than happy to take these parts I left out and use them to write a "part 2" if you will, focusing on a region i'll call the "Outer Heavens" for now, beyond the 80KLY sphere of civilized space. The Outer Heavens would be the home of other civilizations, some even from Old Andromeda, that have themselves chosen their own ways to survive, and thrive, to the point where they've taken on forms that not even The Heavens can really understand anymore, or simply cannot contact or work with due to mutual unintelligibility or conflicting goals. Maybe even eventually do a map outlining the Heavens and Outer Heavens and the countless polities within?

If y'all are interested please let me know below.

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:iconwarsie:
Warsie Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
hey are you still making earth 2150 stuff?
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:iconshaymin0000:
Shaymin0000 Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2017
Happy birthday!
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:iconterrantechnocrat:
TerranTechnocrat Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Happy birthday! :D (Big Grin)
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:icontodyo1798:
Todyo1798 Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Happy birthday Matty :)
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:icontwiggierjet:
Twiggierjet Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2017
Happy birthday.
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:iconwabash56:
wabash56 Featured By Owner May 19, 2017
do you have a sea leve rise basemap that you used for Earth 2150 with the present day boundaries?
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:iconpinkjenkin:
PinkJenkin Featured By Owner Edited Apr 27, 2017  Professional Photographer
Question: What's the fate of Pure Land Buddhism in the world of Earth 2150? It's actually surprising to me that Zen Buddhism, with its difficult and strict practices, and Tibetan Buddhism, with its arcane and strange rituals and pantheons, have become so relatively popular in Europe and America. Meanwhile, huge Pure Land sects like Shin Buddhism are almost unknown among Westerners, despite the relative simplicity of their soteriology, which even appears pretty similar to Protestant Christianity. Has this changed in 2150, or are Pure Land followers still limited to East Asia?
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:iconbagelbagelbagel:
BagelBagelBagel Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2017
What are your [public] thoughts on the overarching controversy of Russia influencing the election? I wonder if it's revenge for Yeltsin...
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:iconkyuzoaoi:
kyuzoaoi Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2017   Artist
What kind of new alphabets and scripts are made in your future TL?
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