Interlude: The First Point of No Return

There had been so many rumors, so many different ideas circulating, that nobody knew what was really happening. And as usual, the government was being especially useless, keeping their mouth shut about the whole situation. The situation? The Earth’s average temperature had been going up higher and higher every year. News reports happily jumped at the chance to say it was doomsday. Science magazines said we’ve finally reached the breaking point. But what everyone could agree on was that something very, very bad was happening. The kids of the 23rd century grew up thinking in the back of their minds that there was a chance tomorrow would never happen, as much as their parents tried to shield them from it. Plenty of people laughed it off, saying that if we’ve gotten this far, what could really go wrong? Nobody was truly ready for what happened next…no one could have predicted it, because it had never happened before. They weren’t sure there would be an after.

Windenburg, before the day the sky fell

Date: January 1st, 2247

The people of Windenburg had always been a little more laid-back. They let loose more often. But it was a great place. Sure, there were a few nightclubs or whatever, but the people were great. The kids tried to get good grades, there was a good school system in place, and the scenery was beautiful. The young adults and some rebellious teens went partying a little more often, mostly because it was convenient, and a cool thing to do. Was it a party town? No.

When the first heat flash came, they weren’t ready. It never really got very hot there, and here they were, in the end of winter, and it was suddenly 60 degrees, instead of like 20.  It lasted six days…and since they had no idea what to do, they cancelled school. They cancelled work. Any kid under the age of 9, who had no idea what was going on, loved it. For them, it was summer break, early. For the adults, they were freaking out, most of them. They didn’t know what was going on, didn’t know what to tell their kids who were old enough to know something was wrong. And it might have been the worst for the children old enough to realize something wasn’t right. They weren’t being told anything by their parents, and weren’t young enough to just forget about it and play. Many families went to the beach throughout those six days…some thought it would be the last days of their life.

By the third heat flash of the new year, in March, it was a somewhat normal occurrence…and every newspaper was pronouncing doomsday. To forget, they partied. They started partying more and more often to try to put behind them what was happening, if only for a few hours.

Date: April 28, 2247, aka, the day the sky fell

That night, the residents of Windenburg did what they’d gotten so used to doing: they partied. While they were there to forget about the world’s troubles…it wouldn’t work out that way, not that night. It didn’t matter where they were partying, they would remember this moment. It would be ingrained in their minds forever. At first, it seemed to be a shooting star. Then, it suddenly very much wasn’t. It was like they sky was ripping itself apart. They looked on, and strangers were hugging each other. They thought this was the end. People threw more logs into the huge bonfire, screaming. The rift-like jagged line moving across the sky glowed a pale golden color, it appeared to seep down from the original ‘crack’ until taking over the sky. It all happened so fast. It became such an illuminating brightness that they closed their eyes, and didn’t open them until their eyes could no longer sense any kind of light, not even the light of their own bonfire. When they finally did, they were just happy to be alive. But those moments changed the essence of live in Windenburg forever, leading the way to the party town we know today.

Willow Creek, before the day the sky fell

Date: January 1st, 2247

It might be quite accurate that Willow Creek was the least affected by this whole ordeal. Most of it, anyway. Here’s the thing: Willow Creek has always been the typical nice neighborhood. The neighbors were great (crazy, right?) the kids were always polite, everything was great. Everyone knew it too. It was a simple place, nothing ever really happened. And its residents were fine with that. Who wouldn’t be, honestly? No drama, no nothing. Just normal people living out their very normal lives in a peaceful neighborhood.

Then, it started happening. The confusion global warming was causing was probably the most interesting thing the residents of Willow Creek had ever witnessed. If you turned on the radio…it seemed every station was covering the topic, even the ones meant to be music. They couldn’t get enough of it. If you got on your SimPhone…all the latest articles were talking about how doomsday was coming, the end of the world. But it didn’t feel like the end of the world, not there. There, it was life as normal. Unlike in Windenburg, Willow Creek didn’t feel the effects of the heat waves quite as much. It just seemed like a little more than the usual slight differences in temperature, like spring would come early. The kids went to school, and the adults went to work. What they did hear about was the crazy things it was doing to other places. Heat flashes in Windenburg, Brindleton Bay’s coastline shrinking just that much more.

Date: April 28, 2247, aka, the day the sky fell

With hardly anything happening there, it was a shock to them when the sky started glowing that night. It had somewhat seemed like they’d been living in a parallel universe, where they had no part of everything happening, and this was like worst case scenario. Not everyone was actually awake to see the ‘sky fall’ that night…some woke up at the bright lights. In one household, a little boy woke his toddler sister up to proclaim aliens were taking over, as if the lights were from a UFO. In another house, Delaney Goth went into labor with her second child, a girl named Victoria, and so she saw the events transpire through the window. (Victoria is Bella Goth’s grandmother 🙂 ) For some reason nobody knows, The Goth family changed a lot after April 28th. They had been just another normal family that had come into money, building a nice house one of the better lots. But they became more and more mysterious as the years went on, with secrets surrounding the family, but one things for sure: it all started the day the sky fell, with the birth of Victoria Goth. While the rest of the community stayed mostly the same, it was the Goths who reminded them that not everything could always stay the same.

Oasis Springs, before the day the sky fell

Date: January 1st, 2247

Oasis Springs had its own character. The houses were a different style, not what you see when you typically think of a house. It was known for being a bit warmer, being able to have palm trees grow with little difficulty. But it wasn’t some desert…grass grew mostly everywhere. No, it wasn’t as green, more of a paler, slightly more yellowish green. Where the grass wasn’t, sand was. It was still different than what most people were used to. There was one area that looked like an oasis. The grass was greener there, surrounding a pond. It was what the place had originally been named for. In some ways it was more caught up with the times. A glass, super modern house would look fine there, even next to all the other houses. The people there were slightly more outgoing, it wasn’t as much as a family neighborhood, there weren’t as many families choosing to live there. The residents were mostly young adults who were not yet settling down. And the thing was, without kids, and most not even married, they liked to chat, have cook-outs. They didn’t keep to themselves as much, everyone knew everyone.

It was a normal January for Oasis Springs: warm. People even joked about it being a desert, had for a while, because of the warmth. So…nobody there was really worried about the temperature. Yeah, it had been getting steadily hotter over the past decades, but as long as it didn’t affect everyday life, they were good. But eventually, they started getting worried when the grass began dying. The hardly-alive grass couldn’t take the heat anymore, and was starting to leave behind sand. It was actually starting to become a desert. The temperature spiked to 90 degrees within a week. At one point they thought they would have to evacuate. But they didn’t end up having to do that, the temperature never got higher than 109 degrees. Which is hot but definitely not evacuation levels. They’d never been the kind of people who shied away from talking about anything, and they weren’t going to stop now. Everyone was talking to everyone about what was happening.

Date: April 28, 2247, aka, the day the sky fell

That night, many of the residents were at the cookout. By now, there was hardly any grass anywhere. Oasis Springs was truly looking like a desert. Unlike in Windenburg, they weren’t trying to forget about everything happening. They easily, and openly talked about anything and everything. So that night, they were in the main park, chatting and eating hot dogs…when it started happening. A few scientists were there, and they captured some of the only pictures of the event. A few people slid under the picnic tables, trying to protect themselves from what was happening. But just like in Windenburg, they thought it was the end. If you were there, you would have thought so too, seeing the sky seeming fall down and break. When it was over, they hoped things would go back to normal after this, after all, if it wasn’t the end, what was it?

Brindleton Bay, before the day the sky fell

Date: January 1st, 2247

It was a small, quiet town. Not that many residents, but they were still able to outnumber the pets. It was just something about the nature of a beach town that drew people to have pets, and this town was specifically pet-friendly. You’d see people walking their dogs early in the morning. But there were still residents who didn’t have any animals. A cat or dog just wasn’t appealing to some people, but that didn’t mean Brindleton Bay couldn’t be the place for them. There was lots of things to do that didn’t involve pets. Many people were drawn to the place for its beach, the seaside feel. The architecture there were different from both Willow Creek and Oasis Springs. It was very coastal. They had sand, too, but different from Oasis’s. Not as orange…but beach sand, what you typically think of when you think ‘sand’ (unless you live in Oasis, of course) a pale tan color, and soft under your feet. It was a place for people with all kinds of lives. Instead of mostly families, like Willow Creek, or young adults, like Oasis Springs…there was a mix. There were a few families, some young couples around, and plenty of people just starting out. Older people liked the area too, with a few older couples scattered without the town. Most people knew each other, the kids liked playing together. It was really just a place for people to live out all kinds of lives.

It had always been warmer than Willow Creek, but not nearly as hot as Oasis Springs. It was sorta like their own little world there, a quaint small town with lots of history to it. They had plenty to talk about in history class, even if the kids thought it was boring, some grew to appreciate the value. The museum, on the island, was the favorite spot for everything historical. If there was one part the kids loved about history class, it was the yearly trip, going on a boat to the museum. It was also the most stressful trip for the teachers, especially bringing the younger kids, starting at seven…hoping nothing gets broken. The historical significance didn’t just stop at the museum, it was scattered throughout the whole community. You felt like you were part of something bigger, thinking how crazy so many other people, who had very different lives and some even in different time periods, had once sat on the same bench you’re sitting on now. It hardly snowed that winter, it was an oddly warm January for them. Yes, there was a beach, and yes, it still snowed. There weren’t palm trees, like Oasis Springs had. It wasn’t that warm! It rained more times than it snowed, and people accepted that as the new normal. With newspapers, radio stations, and the like, all reporting it was warming up so much (because of us, what else is new?) that it may someday be to hot to live here…which wasn’t for a while, they said, but snow would be a rarity.

Date: April 28, 2247, aka, the day the sky fell

They didn’t know that one day, this night would be etched in history, just like so many other things in this town. Nobody knew how this moment would change a lot of things. How it would cause a ripple effect until the people of the 26th century had to fix it, before it started to take the world to a point of destruction-wait…I’m getting ahead of myself. Back to the 23rd century. Anyway, most people were sleeping. There was no bash, like Windenburg, or small party, like Oasis Springs. It was a normal night, more like Willow Creek than anything else. But it did affect them. Whoever was awake was convinced it was likely the end, like everyone else who witnessed it. A ship had been slated to dock late that night, and they were nearing the docks when the sky started brightening. The people on the ship couldn’t see, freaking out. While they tried to hide, not knowing what was happening, their ship, no longer being controlled, crashed onto the shore of Deadgrass Isle. The ship slowly sunk into the crashing waves, but the cats and dogs that had been on the ship, having not been knocked out from the crash, jumped into a stray lifeboat that had broken free, and were able to make it to shore. More pets had seen the sky glow than people that night. More people after than ended up having pets in their lives. The first people to make it over to Deadgrass Isle noticed the new abundance of pets, and brought them back. Some became strays, but many were adopted. It left Brindleton Bay even more of a pet town than it was before.

San Myshuno, before the day the sky fell

Date: January 1st, 2247

There were so many different cultures intwined into San Myshuno, but every piece made it into the town we know today. It was a place where you could do your own thing.  You see, it’s not just so diverse from the culture, it’s also from the people themselves, what they like doing, what they want to do. Some people were a bit more calm and welcoming, while some others could be quite electic and even more, some were elegant, very rich. And then there were a few couples raising kids, and the kids of San Myshuno grew up in a very different environment than the kids of…well, anywhere else! Your best friend could be living in just the next apartment over. It was very possibly the easiest town to meet new people in, and people with your same interests. Love video games? Go to GeekCon, you’ll be guaranteed plenty of fellow geeks to talk about games! The Sims 4, anyone? 😛 The festivals were what people knew best about San Myshuno, they were kinda famous, even all the way in Windenburg. Sometimes they would drive all the way there, just to go to a festival. It was the city, and that set it apart from everywhere else.

There was plenty of different opinions on what was happening there. The people of Uptown weren’t really bothered. If it got hotter, they’d just buy another air conditioner. But it was the people in the least expensive places that the global warming had really affected most. If something happened, they couldn’t just pay to have the problem be ignored. Many of those families and residents got very skilled at fixing their air conditioners over those past few years. But many of the people living there just loved life, they embraced it fully…and they didn’t have time to worry about ‘the end of the world’. There were protests over it in Uptown seemingly every day. But the thing is, everything ‘weird’ just happened so often, it wasn’t weird anymore. It was normal.

Date: April 28, 2247, aka, the day the sky fell

Some people didn’t see it happen. but for those who did, seeing the sky seemingly tear open through the city skyline, it was frightening, but beautiful for others. Those others were in the Arts Quarter. They saw beauty in everyday life, how could they not see it in an once-in-a-million-lifetimes event? There was one young painter who was able to make a painting of what it looked like. The rooftop lounge in Uptown was filled with young partiers that night. Some freaked out and tried to run down the 46 flights of stairs to get out, apparently remembering not to take the elevator in case something went wrong. The people that had been in the pool quickly dashed under the overhang in hopes everything would be okay. It was the best view in the whole city…as the sky did its light show for all the world to see…things were a bit crazy that night. In one apartment, people that were sleeping had not been sleeping long before their very-awake neighbors started screaming about how ‘we’re all gonna die’… But after, not much changed. San Myshuno was still that vibrant town, filled with culture. That night was just there, in people’s memories, for a while, before it faded away to just that – a memory. They had always been the kind of people to live in the moment, and eventually there was something else, many something-elses, that were what people talked about. Until those things, too, were to be lost by time.

Afterwards…

Of course after everything happened was when the government decided to step in. I guess you can’t ignore it after practically everyone saw something very not-normal happen. There were pictures and paintings, and a ton of eyewitnesses. What they had seen, exactly, was the atmosphere passing the first point of no return…when weather and seasons would slowly stop changing. As the weather slowly disappeared, until it never rained anymore, as the seasons faded into one endless summer…they started the RGWI, the Reverse Global Warming Initiative. At first it was a big deal, but then they started transferring scientists and simoleons elsewhere, until it became clear, almost 3 centuries later, that the world was slowly tip-toeing towards the end-the real end. Which was the second point of no return, when having no seasons or weather really started to take a toll on the world. The scientists knew while the first point was somewhat more like a warning sign…the second was going to have worse effects than living without rain. So they started the RGWI back up again, and in full swing as to try to save the world from certain destruction. And they took a few months before – wait – that’s going a little too far. Back to the story…

A/N: Sorry this took so long to get up! It’s my longest chapter ever, at around 3300 words! 🙂 So yeah, they’re in the 26th century now…even though it doesn’t really look like its so far in the future! I guess sim-worlds don’t progress at the same time as ours… it just made sense for this chapter to take place in the future, so that made them even farther in the future (which is a lot like now LOL) Anyway, this really got me thinking about the ‘towns’ and what they’re like! I tried to entwine what we already know about these places into this event! I really doubt this is realistic, but I tried to make it sound somewhat realistic! The two hardest things were describing the ‘sky falling’ , and doing the part with San Myshuno, because it’s really hard to say what most people there were doing because there’s so many different places and people there! If there was any confusion, each part was a different place at the same time! So what did you guys think? Is it good?


Chapter 3.40: The Next Step ->

9 thoughts on “Interlude: The First Point of No Return

  1. This was really interesting to read! The structure works great. I like the way the narrative voice is similar throughout–sort of like a documentary narration. And I really love getting to see what this is like in each of the towns. That big-picture, out-in-the-distance perspective was just right for this!

    It was also very tough to read. When I was a teen in the late 1970s, environmentalists were already warning about our getting too close to the First Point of No Return. As I read this, the predicted temperatures for Monday and Tuesday are 110 and 115. That’s hot for the middle of our rainy season.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I really had to get into each town for this. I didn’t know that something like it actually happened in real life once!! I was trying to think of something that could happen, I just didn’t realize (part of it) actually did! Yikes. That’s something you want to stay in a ~story~.

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      1. Well , I’m was referring to climate change. Your scenario seems cataclysmic , rather than gradual, but the comparison stands .

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved this chapter! While I was reading, I found myself comparing it to what I’ve heard about our situation here on Earth. According to some, our real world has already passed the first point of no return (not quite like the one in the story, more about out-of-control weather). If it’s true, I can only hope that everything works out like (I assume) it will in the story :p

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I tried to do something somewhat realistic. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting read. I have one note, Bella is a Bachelor so Victoria would be Mortimer’s grandmother. This was such a creative way to do things.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This was very cleverly done! A bit frightening to think about when our real world gets to the First Point of No Return. Hopefully, not too soon! I really enjoyed seeing how various towns took it. It must have cost you lots of planning!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! And yeah…that would be scary.

      Liked by 1 person

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