In 1960, Jacques Piccard and USN Lieutenant Don Walsh made the voyage to the deepest part of the ocean floor, known today as "Challenger Deep". No one has been back since.
(Play the video below as an optional background track while reading.)
The world was at a breaking point in virtually every possible way, and the funny thing was, we brought it all on ourselves. We damn near sent a gold trimmed invitation to Armageddon, no RSVP required. Everyone was invited.
Our primary natural resources for power, oil and coal, were running thin. They were difficult to find and growing harder and harder to reach. While the resources were shrinking, the population was exploding. City infrastructures, including the power grids were failing on nearly a daily basis around the world. In the United States cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Dallas were forced to implement the "6/7" plan wherein a schedule of rolling brownouts meant that "non-essential" businesses and facilities were granted power six of seven days a week. Those were the "planned" outages, but that still didn't stop the occasional surprise blackout from a blown transformer, usually caused by some genius trying to illegally tap into the grid.
Other countries, such as Iran, China and Russia selected entire cities as "non-essential" and stopped providing power to them all together.
Power had become the most valuable currency on the planet. Any resource that provided it was worth more than gold.
Of course, things didn't go to Hell overnight. No, it took a little time. Let's have a bit of a history lesson, shall we?
It began innocently enough with the U.S. breaking it's "dependence on foreign oil". In a stirring speech given by the President on July 4, 2019, he set the wheels in motion for how we got to the mess we're in today. The speech was historic, inspirational, damn patriotic. Shoot, I think everyone in the U.S. stood up and cheered with his closing remarks.
"No longer will we be bound to powers overseas for our peace and prosperity.", he said standing in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia on that clear summer day. "No longer will our economy be reliant upon those that would seek to harm us. Today we take the reigns of our future out of their hands and place them firmly in our own. Today we break free from a centuries old habit. Today is July 4, 2019, and just as it was 241 years ago on this very spot, today is our Independence Day." Cue the formation of fighters flying overhead and the thousands of waving American flags in the crowd. Add in some apple pie and you've got yourself a straight up Norman Rockwell painting.
The speech did its job alright, it garnered national support, got the president re-elected and cleared the way for numerous bills to be signed that increased funding to damn near any company or organization that had to do with finding or creating power.
In the years that followed, billions upon billions of dollars were thrown at finding alternative fuels such as natural gas, wind and solar power, while the restrictions on where and how existing companies could dig and drill for traditional resources slowly fell to the wayside. Thanks to America's great "Power Independence" movement, we were finally pulling out of a nearly decade old recession. The cheers of those that were once again "living comfortably" drowned out the handful of whispers that were measuring, analyzing, and warning us of where we were headed.
YOU ARE READING
Deep Blue - The DescentScience Fiction
More people have visited the moon, than have found their way to the bottom of the ocean. Test piloting the military's latest top secret assault submarine, in the most inhospitable environment on the planet, a reckless test pilot teams up with a recl...