Both my planned novel “Angel’s Brother” and screenplay “Epiphany” present the idea that at some point, a group of people will “evacuate Earth” and move to another planet, while most of the remainder are “leftovers” to face calamity.
Although the idea has been tried in sci-fi and explored in some apocalyptic films and television series (like “Deep Impact” (1998) and “Salvation”), it may sound negative, judgmental, and unempathetic to “ordinary” or handicapped human life where it is allowed to prevail. Yet, we all know that at some point, humanity will face choices like this. It might be a billion years from now, as the Sun gets ready to eventually become a red giant; or it might be relatively soon because of some not yet anticipated calamity. Both the screenplay and novel, with different plots, allow some events to unfold in a way that will seem plausible, immediate and engaging to an audience; it’s the stuff that would get on CNN if it happened. As we know from the HIV pandemic of the 1980s. nature sometimes launches surprises that seem logical only in retrospect.
In both works, some “superior” people are presented as “angels” and may be immortal. Some of the characters don’t know whether they are angels until well into the plots. An “angel” may be viewed as in the Bible, or might be conceived as a very human-like alien but maybe only slightly different. The legal rights of such a being, if he or she existed, would be an interesting question, and Trump would not get his way.
In the screenplay, much of the action happens on a space station on Titan, a moon of Saturn, and in an intentional community, segmented into subcommunities and sheltered, on the moon, with much reference to flashbacks. Much of the substance of the screenplay is told in flashbacks. But at the end, it’s clear that the citizens (call them “raptured” if you like) will go to an new home.
In the novel, most of the action takes place on Earth in a normal progression typical of a spy/science thriller, but at the end, the “chosen” to leave, and the “leftovers” will struggle.
I wanted to cover some of the “supernatural” events and show how they might be plausible.
The new Retrovirus can include an unusual radioactive isotope (known to be stored at two or three locations in Russia – until Randy “steals” some and has “Bill” (me) transport it to a clandestine facility in west Texas), but understood equally well by the KGB (and Putin) and American intelligence) that can produce a mini-black hole. The virus may be able to store holographically or in a quantum-computer fashion most of the memory of some it infects, where the transmission seems mysterious but happens mainly among people with poorer circulation or at higher altitudes. The one exception is the “angel”, who can sometimes receive the consciousness of the infected person after “death”.
It’s useful to consider how the consciousness of the “victim” and of the “angel” work. Think of a muscle fasciation or twitch. When it happens, it preoccupies the body owner and seems to have a “free will” of its own, but is essentially expressed only through the owner. There are other automated nervous system activities like this (some of them undesired, like nausea). This gets into panpsychism, and whether individual tissues or even cells have wills of their own sometimes. That sounds like how cancer could work.
Consider what happens the first time a teenager becomes aware of sexual excitement. It seems like chasm to cross where what looms on the other side can present transformative risks and drive new purposes. For many adults, it settles into a new normal for decades – marriage with procreation (or maybe adoption) and children. Yet it has been transformative of consciousness “the two become one flesh”.
As a result of the virus, a select number of “angels” will eventually acquire the consciousness of almost everyone else in a consolidation or contraction that is necessary if Earth needs a new home. The departed soul has occasional dream-like re-emergences, but through the consciousness of the new host. Hence there is a new vicarious immortality.
There are a couple other things that happen. In both works, it is possible for a character to suddenly appear as a “younger self”. This might happen with stem cell rejuvenation, which may happen in the “Mobius subway” in the screenplay or with the application of certain “royal jelly” that only the angels have, in the novel.
In the novel, it is possible for two of the characters to become disembodied onto a special quantum computer (at the West Texas “Academy” and based on the Russian version) that has an “eye” that can hover and watch the others but not participate for a time. Eventually the consciousness returns to the body and it returns to its previous age, possibly worse off for the indulgence.
(Posted: Monday, January 1, 2017 at 10:45 PM EST)