(1) T’was the first year of the 22nd century that the Earth’s population has become dreadful. The population has boomed to a very huge number that it almost approached infinity. Scientists have calculated a formula that will compute for the number of babies born per minute. They modeled a function that predicted the population count of Earth by the end of the century. It was f(x) = e^231, such a great number, even a standard scientific calculator couldn’t display.
(2) It was found out that there had been an unknown reason for the high birth rate of the Earth’s population. Even the greatest computers and machines couldn’t decipher this reason. All it can do is to compute for the birth rate, the death rate, the population of Earth by the end of the century. The death rate in percentage was found out to be a number that almost approached zero, such a small number. The scientists couldn’t figure out what to do, whether to configure their machineries to the extent that it could figure out the reason to the population’s big boom, whether to devise plans to minimize the Earth population, or simply to abandon the study. They were getting more and more confused by the minute. It became harder and harder for them to concentrate.
(3) Brought about by this quick escalation of population, the Earth has become a huge mess. There was chaos everywhere! Wars, terrorism, landslides, deforestation, pollution! The Earth was no longer a habitable place to live in. The huge population also caused the amount of Oxygen to drop steadily. In effect, more and more Carbon Dioxide are produced.
(4) Two years after, the death rate has also risen. Scientists could no longer find ways to improve a better Earth and thus, more and more people, especially young children, are dying.
(5) But a group of five secret scientists who were childhood friends got together in a secret lab. They had a meeting on the crisis Earth is facing.
(6) “This is the worst I have always imagined,” Luke exclaimed.
(7) “Well, this is probably the worst!” Evan complained.
(8) “What do you propose we should do?” Iris asked the group.
(9) “Well, we are scientists! And we should invent something!” Eric encouraged them.
(10) “This is not going so well, dear. I don’t think it’s the best plan,” Iris opposed.
(11) “I agree. It’s not so brainy to come up with another invention on such an experimental stage,” Rica agrees.
(12) “I think it is much better to get out of this crazy joint… Get out, I mean get out of Earth!” Evar proposes.
(13) “Ok, so the five of us can find a way to get out of Earth. But haven’t you thought about the other people?” Luke questions his proposition.
(14) “It’s either we get out of this planet or everybody dies and humanity ceases to exist,” Evar responds.
(15) “There is no more hope for the people. I really think it’s better for us to get out of here. Well, at least we can save humanity by looking for a place where man can live,” Rica proposes.
(16) All five looked at each other and within the next 48 hours, they made a rocketship that will help them escape Earth and find another planet to live in.
(17) “Food and Water Supplies?”
(23) The rocketship blasts at full power and in no time at all, they were already at space. They encircled the different galaxies: Milky Way, Andromeda, Pinwheel, and other galaxies they have discovered.
(24) They have been in space for almost 13 Earth years and still have not found a planet where humans could live. They orbited the Earth once more to check how things are.
(25) “According to my radar, there is no one here anymore,” Luke says with a frowning face.
(26) “Looks like all have died,” Rica laments.
(27) “Then it’s up to us to save humanity!” Evar pushes.
(28) But the engine’s fuel is steadily dropping. Their food and water supply levels have almost approached zero. The amount of oxygen in the ship was also down to zero. No one could breathe anymore. They have suffocated, hungered, thirst, died.
(29) No one was running the ship anymore causing it to crash in a nearby planet called X-37. The rocketship crashed into tiny pieces when it had fallen.
(30) In X-37, it was all quiet. There was no one there. But something was actually growing behind two purple rocks. It was a plant-like organism. It was color green.
Analysis of “What Lies Behind”
“What Lies Behind” is a science fiction story about the most probable things that could happen to our planet in the future. (1) The population of the Earth has escalated with a big boom. (2) The death rate was set to a minimal. (3) A group of five decides to leave Earth in search of a better place where man can live.
Basing it with the current population of 7-8 billion, I can foresee that the Earth population will increase to a greater amount! I have a standard scientific calculator that computes e^230 = 7.72 x 10^99. My calculator could no longer compute for e^231, which is farther a greater number. I have also described this number that will approach infinity, such a huge number.
And to emphasize this huge population, I intended for a small death rate percentage, something that will approach zero, 0.02% for instance. It’s a very very small number which will intensify the population to the highest number possible.
This great number of Earth population will hopefully lead to the devastation of the Earth, which will result to an utter chaos! Because of this, five scientists have decided to group themselves and figure out a solution to the problem.
There were no longer other ways to restore the Earth they had once known so they decided to build a rocket which they would eventually use to get out of the planet and find a new place to stay.
There were five: Iris, Eric, Rica, Evar, and Luke. All of them had four letters in their names. It may have to say something that they are the ‘chosen’ ones to find a better place, but they ended up in failure. I could use different names as well like Armand, Ronald, Solana, Calleb, and Tyrone. It doesn’t really matter how many letters they have in their name, as long as they have equal number of letters. But I intended to use those names because if you would notice, the last letters of their name are S, C, A, R, and E. It spells the word, ‘SCARE’. It is pretty much that a big scare is brought to Earth.
They have been in the rocket for 13 Earth years, such a long time. Their supplies (food, water, oxygen) have already dropped to zero that they have all died. It says something to us that there will always be a limit. There are limits to what we have. It is unlike the Earth’s booming population that it multiplied fast and that the numbers were at a geometric. Their supplies were approaching zero while the population was approaching to infinity. They are different! There will and always be a limit!
Because of the lack of food, water, and oxygen, they died in the rocket ship. It didn’t say anymore who died first. What matters is that everyone in the ship will eventually die. It says something of man’s human condition, that all of us will eventually die, no matter how young or old we are, no matter how prepared we are or not. We will all die eventually. No man is immortal, so everyone on Earth eventually died because it was no longer a habitable place to live in. It also pretty much tells us that no one can escape death. Even though the five managed to get out of the unhabitable Earth, they still died in the end, because that is man’s true human condition, something we can no longer change, even with the help of science!
In connection with science and limits, it also tells us that there is always a limit even to science. Science cannot do all things for man. It couldn’t decipher the reason for the Earth’s big population boom. It couldn’t suffice the supplies man has. It couldn’t even save man from death! There is always a limit to everything, even in science!
The last two paragraphs describe the planet that the ship has crashed into after the death of the five. It was X-37. And beyond two purple rocks was a plant-like organism and it was described as green. It just says that it was a plant-like organism and was color green, but it didn’t say it was a plant and that life could exist in this planet.
There are two perspectives. If you look at the optimistic side of it, you would see that this plant-like organism could be a plant and that life could exist in this planet, and so evolution would undergo once again until man could exist in the planet anymore. The pessimistic side of it would be that it just said a plant-like organism but it didn’t explicitly say it was a plant. There was no proof that life could have already existed in the planet. There was no proof it was a plant. It hadn’t been studied before.
But no matter how you look at this, it would just say that the future has many possibilities and that this is just one of them.
From the title, “What Lies Behind”, we may think of this as (1) What lies behind the purple rocks, (2) What lies behind the Earth after the death of the people, or even (3) What lies behind humanity after man had ceased to exist.
In ironic state, it could be something like “What Lies Ahead”: (1) What lies ahead of the future, (2) What lies ahead of the five who would eventually leave Earth to find a new place to live, or even (3) What lies ahead of the future of the people that they had left behind in Earth.
It is really up to you what you think lies behind or even ahead. There is just too many possibilities. If I could give this another title, it would be, “The Future of Possibilities”. Could you give me another title for this sci-fi story? Let me know. I’m eager to hear from you.
Date of Post: 03.26.14