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Their World Broke Down
At the end of the twentieth century things were looking good. Dire predictions on the millennium fizzled and optimism swept the earth. New beginnings brought belief in an unlimited future. With this new mindset came an idealistic vision of the world as it should be. Pollution and waste clouded the sky and the streams, but this New Year’s resolution was stronger than any before it, and the world worked with vigor to stop the pollution from continuing.
Within a generation, people began to realize that the task before them wasn’t as easy as it had seemed. Slowly, but in ever increasing numbers, people flocked to the station on the Moon and the much larger colony of Mars. As a wave of colonization swept over the earth, the cream of the crop began to evacuate until it was a veritable running of the lemmings. At least, that was how the governments tried to characterize it, as more and more of the brilliant politicians, scientists, and engineers found the money and connections to lift off.
Other swift minds, those of artists, criminals, and all the others who traditionally pushed boundaries, followed the smell of change. Those left behind felt much like adult children reviled for still living with their mother. The new question became whether they were the caretakers for her old age or moochers looking for cheap rent.
The situation grew worse, as more resources were siphoned away. New, stricter laws came into effect to halt the flow of goods, but by that time the earth was importing more than it was exporting and there was little left to protect. The first wave of plagues swept. While some blamed outside forces, most of those who watched her suffering from above thought it was well earned.
After that, it was difficult to rally, Earth put out a plea for aid, and some colonists responded, but their vision was outward in the solar system and not inward. The news relays were full of stories and images of the decay, as diseases came more often and violence increased. Those who visited Earth left with a shudder of dismay and a healthy appreciation for their parents who had brought them to a better world.
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