Date: 2573 A.D.
296 T.D. (Terra Drift)

Dear Francis, my friend,

Earth, 2573 A.D.…

Engineering advancements have shaped the world into a realm of shining neon lights. Humanity has moved into vast cities underground after the Great Crash happened. The Great Crash was from the fall of meteors all around the Earth; the crashes shot up plumes of residual dust to the atmosphere, blocking out the sun and turning the world’s face into an oven of suppressed heat with no vent from which to escape. Plant life and wildlife ceased to exist; humans now survive by consuming synthetic nutrients created from underground factories.

Nearly three hundred years have passed since humanity sought protection in the Earth’s colder crust to escape from the heart, the exact date is irrelevant. Scientists have long known that the Oven Phenomenon ebbed away hundreds of years ago soon after the dust fell and the heat seeped out through cracks in the atmosphere, but the surface remained a desolate wasteland. Humanity was forced to linger underground until it was safe to venture forth.

Rumors spread that much of Earth’s bodies of water evaporated and oceans of magma replaced them. As if to contrast long lost, but not forgotten deserts reversed; what was once the Sahara Desert now looks like the Fourth Ice Age. Of course the Polar Caps remains, but now their icy grips reach twice as far, or so I have been told. There are some areas on Earth that are returning, slowly, to how they once were: The rainforests of South America for one.

Scientists have declared the environment safe enough and in 10 days humanity will rise to the surface once more as the dominate species of Earth, if only the last remaining species.

Much talk erupted at this news, the majority of it not in stimulating animation. These people have never seen sunlight, and source of natural light. They have adapted to living in the darkness, in caverns stretching endlessly for miles. Now for the sake of humanity’s future these persons are being forced to leave the only home any of them has ever known for the unknown.

Old fears rise up when remembering the seven world wars. Humanity worked together as one cohesive unit to survive in the face of extinction, but now it’s like being forced back into those old roles: Country against country, race against race. Friend against for.

I will write again when I reach the surface, but for now we are still preparing for the move.

Your Friend in Study,
Wing Willard