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Megastructure: An Alternate history SD

Based on the story Missile Gap by Charles Stross, no copyright breaches intended


In AD1959, the world changed radically. It took only a moment. One moment, the human race was living on a rotating sphere, third of a collection of nine orbiting a conventional star and orbited in its turn by a moon.

The next instant we were elsewhere. Earth’s map seemed not to have changed, but now it was flat, mapped onto a much vaster structure and surrounded by a vast, seemingly trackless ocean. Long range aircraft and rockets equipped with cameras were able to photograph other landmasses in the distance, other world maps apparently mapped onto a massive, flat structure with the surface area of millions, even billions of earths.

The conditions of this structure seem impossible to normal understanding of physics. There is earth normal gravity, but how it’s generated is a mystery. The structure is kept what appear to be a series of miniature stars which are occasionally occluded by other objects which pass between them and the structure, simulating day and night. Even stranger, other, similar structures can be seen in the far distance, no more than a few light months away. Another mystery is where we are. None of the stars are familiar; we seem to be in another galaxy all together.

How did we get here? Were we transported or copied? Transported? Six years after the world changed, it’s still a mystery. Maybe in time we’ll find out.

State of the World

The Change caused huge geological and political upheavals; both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans became larger, and without the poles to fly across, long range aircraft and missiles became less viable systems.

Both superpowers found themselves in the unenviable position of attempting to upkeep commitments now at far more remove from their homelands than they had been before the change. Worse, both the USA and USSR were struck by serious natural disasters. In the USA, Yellowstone erupted shortly after the event, spraying ash across the continent. The damage was not as dreadful as it might have been, but it still put a strain even on the USA’s vast resources.

The USSR initially faired better, but suffered more from a series of vast storms which blew in off the great ocean that now circles the world. A series of disastrous winters have forced the USSR to pull some resources out of Europe, and forced a more hands off approach to the rest of the Warsaw pact.

Europe and the other previously middle ranking powers have faired better, and many of them now seek to use the opportunities presented by this new situation to advance or regain their former glories. After all, didn’t Europe use the resources of colonies to become the centre of the world once before? And who knows what resources rest beyond the limits of our earth, out in the vast, alien ocean beyond.