The knowledge of the desolate

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In the years leading up to WW II scientists and military explorers were receiving funds from their respective governments to carry out expeditions into earth's forbidding polar regions. They began to map out land and frozen masses and to find passageways through the icy waterways and over the mountainous passes of the stark terrain. But it was not until after that war did any serious scientific research get underway. The United States and the Soviet Union were now world superpowers and they were constantly competing with one another over scientific discoveries or advancements. It was no different when it came to their forays into these forbidding territories. Each was determined to one up and outdo the other in scientific discoveries, and they rarely cooperated on anything.

At first, the information coming back to the United States Government from these regions was not unexpected or even that interesting. But as teams began to drill through the ice and take core samples from the multiple layers of snow and packed ice that had formed over thousands of years of earth changes, the analysis and data discovered began to ring alarm bells and cause secret meetings to be held behind closed doors deep within the Pentagon and the alphabet agencies of the Federal Government.

There was a lot of knowledge gained from these trips and not all of it was good news for civilization. The biggest takeaway was that extinction level events happened a lot more often than what anyone had suspected, and the worst news was that the ice cores revealed that these events happen on a regular basis approximately every six thousand years, and we were fast approaching the six thousandth year since the last event.

The details of what had been learned from this new data was declared top secret and filed away. Cover stories were initiated to handle any information that was leaked by the expedition members before it was determined too sensitive to release to the public, or especially to the USSR. But it was soon discovered that the Soviets had conducted their own expeditions and drilled their own ice cores and had come to the same conclusions.

More secret meetings between Nations were held and a multilayered master plan was hatched to attempt to save civilization from a disaster that they knew was coming, yet they still had little idea about what the cause of the coming disaster could be attributed to. There were many theories but little evidence to support these theories. The planners thus concluded that they must try to account and prepare for every plausible scenario in hopes that one or more of their plans would succeed and save mankind from extinction.

The next big hurdle would be over how to pay for the drastic measures that would be needed, and it was critical for them to determine as precise a timeline as possible so that they could budget and prioritize these plans. It was decided that the only way that the public would accept the burden of these expensive preparations and still be kept in the dark about what was coming, would be if their lives depended on it. The population needed something else to be afraid of, something that could be used to generate years of almost unlimited funding and that would justify millions of man hours of labor by a frightened and willing work force. This then became the beginning of the great cold war between these two superpowers with its threat of nuclear annihilation. This provided both the excuse to build elaborate, well stocked, and expensive underground shelters all over the world, and it also birthed the space race. Which was billed as a matter of pride for the Nations people, but in reality it was a bid by the planners to learn if people could escape to the moon or some other planet to avoid a catastrophe.

Somewhere along the way It was determined that the world had between sixty and eighty years to prepare, so they set their sights on the year 2020 to complete the preparations. Trillions of dollars worth of resources and labor from thousands of corporations, government agencies, and military units began work immediately. In the midst of all these massive preparations the people cowered at the news of nuclear buildups and were terrorized by the constant threat of war while their children grew up learning to duck and cover for fear of nuclear bombs.

Men walked on the moon, so they say, and the people eventually grew weary of the constant threat of war. So the tactics of the elite planners changed, the Soviet threat was dismantled and a new era of cooperation began. It was discovered that the people didn't care how much money the Governments wasted as long as they had plenty of food for their families and affordable entertainment beamed into their homes. The work then continued to progress, and citizens were distracted by politics, sports, and scandals of all flavors. They were kept worried about the future through tactical "Terrorist" attacks. Terrorism then was used to justify more military over spending, most of which was diverted to preparations. Stories of visitors from outer space and such evidence as crop circles provided cover for continued space development and exploration. More and more, essential people were let in on the truth. But billions of people were just living their lives never looking for the truth. Most people were happy with their distractions and the occasional staged mysterious events to take their attention away from what was really happening.

It was realized early on that it would be impossible to provide space to save everyone, and an in depth ethical discussions were held to basically decide who would receive the chance to enter the shelters and live, and who would be left to find a way to survive on their own.

No method of a selection process ever received unanimous approval until 2005, up until that time every government formulated a plan that best suited their culture and moral mindset. But as Internet technology matured and the idea of social media took shape a young technician with training in psychology came forward and proposed a new idea. Thus it was decided to utilize social media to gather intel on populations all around the world. By doing this they could determine who would be most suited to survive the apocalypse, and who was skilled enough to be an asset during the rebuilding of civilization.

In order to accomplish this, every possible trait and skill was considered, and hundreds of scenarios were tested until at last they had a near flawless algorithm to help accomplish their goal. This algorism would run in the background and glean the personal information, schools attended, hands on training, health, DNA purity, and work history of every connected citizen of the world. But most importantly a psychological profile was started on each citizen also, and every social media platform was flooded with games, puzzles, quiz's, cognitive tests, and every gimmick or trick available to determine personality types and the mental makeup of everyone who used an app or socialized on the Internet. Blogs and comments were scanned for key words and behaviors to determine mental stability and the likelihood of being able to live with others in a confined space for prolonged periods of time.

Then a scoring system was designed, and it was determined at what point a human would be considered an asset during an end of the world scenario and at what point a person became a liability. The acceptable score that would allow a person entry into a prepared survival shelter, or to be loaded on ships and blasted off of the planet was determined mathematically and strictly adhered to. When the time came, people would be selected by an encrypted computer program starting from the top of the list, which would then work its way down the list highest score first until all available billets were filled. Special military units would be tasked with bringing in the selectees and protecting them until everyone selected was sealed inside, neither the military personnel nor those selected would be told of the purpose of the process. The algorithm, the needed score, and the final list were all kept strictly secret even from world leaders and top military brass so that even those who knew what was happening could not determine if they were on the list or off, thus they were in no position to blow the whistle or stop doing their job lest they sabotage their own chance of survival.

As the time of the end approached there were many entities, corporations, governments, military leaders, think tanks, major news outlets, and universities that had been filled in on what was going on, but they all kept silent so that they could preserve the possibility of a spot in the survivors pool (SP) for themselves and their qualified family members. Governments began to make final preparations and update all of the equipment in shelters and on rocket ships to the latest technology and most up to date supplies. Every Nation had spent themselves into a huge monetary deficit during these preparations and at the last they simply began printing money to pay for needed supplies. The money didn't really matter or actually pay for anything, it was useless and worthless to all but those still blind to the truth. But it was still printed up and payed out just to keep up the ruse and so that everything seemed normal.

The last few years had been spent trying to scare the general population into making at least some preparations of their own. The threat of war was always kept at the forefront and conspiracy theories of impending disasters were thought up, repeated, and then debunked. Because of these tactics people all over the Internet were scared of something, but they were confused and misled by every kind of half truth or fake data that could be dressed up and made plausible. These people were told everything but the truth, maybe some would actually make some preparations and survive the end of the world, it could happen.

The only thing these insiders and great scientists of the world had determined for certain was that a cataclysm was coming and it was somehow tied to a very long solar cycle. A cycle that had apparently been happening with incredible precision for as far back in the history of the world that men were capable of seeing. And it was time for it to happen again.