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Christians, Cannibals and Cannabis

By Brian Stewart All Rights Reserved ©

Adventure / Scifi

Blurb

When only 95% of the planet's population survive a global Apocalypse in 2010 AD, surviving in a new brutal world requires new skills, values and religions. The people of Red Valley 85 years later, trek to find their Promised Land, their Canaan, Troubles erupt as differences emerge and vested interests override the interests of the survivors whilst they resist the attacks of cannibals who have historic links to the leaders from Red Valley which are better forgotten in the mists of the past

Introduction: AA 85

Africa had become a very hostile continent, a changed continent. Its peoples, as with the rest of Earth’s people had been decimated by an apocalypse which not only changed the continent’s geographic profile but also its location on the planet.

Due to the massive shifting of Earth’s lithosphere in May 2010 AD, the whole continent rotated anti-clockwise thereby causing the southern tip of the continent to swivel around a central axis resulting in the Atlas Mountains settling south of the 30th parallel while Table Mountain now lay at 0°; 70°E along the equator that cut across the full length of the continent to just south of the Nile Delta that now flowed into what was the Atlantic Ocean. The Mediterranean Ocean no longer existed. The former West African bulge formed the southern tip of the continent and was largely located below the 50th parallel south with the effect that the former tropical jungles were now covered by massive ice sheets. As the earth’s crust shifted, the eastern part of the African continent known in ancient times as the Horn of Africa, sheared off the mainland along the Great Rift Valley, creating a mini-continent that lay a few kilometres off the newly profiled north coast of the African continent.

Europe lay to the west, closer to the longitudes of erstwhile North America. The British Isles had disappeared beneath the angry seas that swept the oceans of the world for more than three decades after the disaster. The massive Russian sub-continent now constituted the new North Pole, forming a hidden continent on which the ice would never melt. Thousands of villages, towns and cities lay buried under the ice. Siberia and the province of Chukotka however lay along the equator and eons of ice packs that melted rapidly, raised the planet’s sea levels by 20 meters, further flooding areas normally well beyond the reach of rising sea levels. Similarly Greenland glaciers and ice melted due to its shift to the south-west ultimately coming to rest south of the equator between the 10th and 30th parallel; a new uninhabited continent. Tropical forests started establishing themselves rapidly on the fertile soils.

The new Antarctic consists of separate landmasses which include the southern tip of West Africa and large parts of the North and South American continents. Massive ice sheets that formed within five years after the apocalyptic displacement, linked these landmasses. Ice-bears, once only found in Arctic regions now also inhabited the reshaped Antarctic as did wolves and other animals previously only found in the northern hemisphere such as caribou. The hunting grounds of the carnivores stretched over vast land masses and prey included the frozen corpses of humanity as well as pockets of survivors that survived the cataclysm in the ruins of some towns and cities situated to the north,.

Man reverted to the most basic of all universal laws: the law of survival. Highly populated cities were generally hardest hit, but even in some of these, one could find small groups of survivors who for some reason or other had not been wiped off the face of the earth. Many of the largest and coastal cities were however totally destroyed; Washington, New York, Rome, London, Miami, Durban, Cape Town, Singapore, Hong Kong, Sydney, Melbourne, Santiago, Tel Aviv, Istanbul, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Oslo and many smaller cities were swamped by massive tidal waves. Other cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Seattle, Vancouver, Santiago and Tokyo were swallowed along geophysical fault lines or where cities were situated on earthquake zones, were totally destroyed. The whole western seaboard of North America collapsed into the Pacific along the San Andreas and San Bernardino fault lines. Cities, towns and settlements close to volcanic eruptions disappeared beneath massive magma flows or were buried in ash.

The shift of the planet’s crust quickly changed regional climates, further decimating those who were unprepared or unequipped for the new world. In Senegal and other West African countries, the climate changed overnight from tropical to arctic. Jungle life froze in situ and over time, two kilometres of ice would cover its remains.

Volcanoes, new and formerly extinct, erupted for decades after the disaster and together with massive earthquakes and shifting continents, resulted in the planet being enveloped by a thick red cloud of dust mixed with ash and moisture. The sun, moon and stars were effectively obliterated for more than 8 decades. Electric storms raged over the earth for many years while tidal waves of unimaginable proportions crashed into outcrops of raw rock, cities and deserts. Centres of religion such as the Vatican State, Jerusalem, Medina and Makkah were totally destroyed, while the oil rich deserts of Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran were now buried by turbulent seas. The entire west coast of the Middle East, the Dead Sea, Lebanon, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Palestine all disappeared under the onslaught of the massive tidal waves driven by the enormous pressure of the returning waters of the Mediterranean seas. The waves simply rolled into the wastelands and mountains of the Middle-East. The rising waters penetrated the enormous sand dunes of the Sinai desert cutting through to the Gulf of Aqaba as well as the Red Sea and using the Suez Canal, effectively, finally splitting Africa from the Middle East, creating a new desert island.

All sentient creatures as well as the natural world were forced to change to adapt to their new environments. Camels and antelope, that survived the original disaster, and their offspring developed thick hair on their hides; birds migrating to different parts of the relocated continents were forced to hunt new sources and types of food; the weak perished but the evolutionary process was given a massive quantum boost, accelerating and creating new species while wiping out many of the old. Wolves that had inhabited Siberia and Canada shed their thick coats and became sleek hunters of man and animal while the predators of Africa were forced to trek eastward away from the desolate cold that now pervaded the former tropical regions.

The most significant changes occurred among humans. Flung back in time, and required to survive by their ability to gather food and protect the very scarce resources such as water and shelter, many perished in the process while the strong preyed on the weak. Without access to modern technology and weapons of mass- or other-wise destruction, many pockets of those who had survived, became as savage and territorial as their distant cousins; gorillas, orang-utans and other primates. Over time, they would regress even further to resemble the hominids of the Pleistocene era, clothed in animal skins, hunting with spears, bows and arrows. However, with his developed brain, the cunning of the planet’s most violent species had increased tenfold. Survivors formed small totally independent communities that were forced to use and protect whatever resources they could find in their immediate surrounds. Technology as it existed in the world prior to 2010 was a vague memory and became the stuff of legends. Virtually nobody who was still alive could speak of experience of internal combustion engines, airplanes, medical science or communication systems. Electronics, computers and even the generation of electricity was unknown. Roaming bands of humans often arrived at the ruins of strange buildings, saw mythical machines and structures but did not understand what they were or even who had built these things. Their main concern was how they could use the materials to build shelters, extract and purify water from rivers and pools, or generate food from the impoverished soils they lived on.

The people who inhabited Red Valley were a special group of survivors. They had departed from London Heathrow Airport on 5th May 2010 in an Airbus 388 bound for Johannesburg, South Africa. The aircraft crash-landed on a remote mountaintop somewhere in Ethiopia where they were marooned for close to two years after which they gradually migrated to the valley floor to eventually establish three villages, separated in the main by religious and traditional differences, in what became known among them as Red Valley. After living in the valley for 82 years and growing tired of constant fighting and discord between the three ‘tribes’, the descendants of the original survivors decided to commence a search for the Ancient World spoken of in fireside tales and legends. The exodus from Red Valley started in the year of what they termed 83 AA (After the Apocalypse) or in terms of the Gregorian Christian calendar 2093 AD.

It was now 85AA and this is their story.

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