Famine, flood, earthquake, volcano. Man survived them all. Spread across the world despite many setbacks. Then came the later threats. War, nuclear annihilation, catastrophic climate change, asteroid impacts, biological terrorism.
Again man survived, adapted, thrived. Advanced technology resolved not only the threats themselves but the cause of so many. Poverty and inequality were eliminated by technology that provided near limitless resources. Rapid global travel destroyed national borders, integrated the worlds population and in doing so destroyed the foundation for racial intolerance. Advances in medicine cured most illnesses and psychological advances saved millions from the dark pits of mental illness.
With poverty eliminated and resources freely available crime was almost entirely unknown. The few individuals still driven to commit offences were soon caught and then monitored closely.
Man lived a life of comfort, cradled by mother earth and high technology. Progress slowed but didn’t stop. By the middle of the twenty third century large communities were living in space around the earth and on the moon. Mars had been visited many times and plans were drawn up for a Martian colony. Life was easy. Life was good. Life was… about to end.
We know exactly what happened, and yet we know nothing of the cause. We have every record from that time, images of every death, but it happened so quickly. Over a two hour period every human on earth, in space and on the moon fell ill. An hour later more than half of the population of mankind were dead and the toll kept rising. Automated medical machinery kicked into action, tried to save every single person as they fell ill. But to no avail. Four hours after the start of the outbreak only a few thousand still survived, every one being ravaged by the illness.
Two statesmen from the worlds government remained alive and issued a brave order. Whatever had caused the illness had only affected humans so far but they feared it could mutate and spread to other animals. If that happened all life on earth might be wiped out. The timing of the disease, affecting those in space or on the moon who had not received visitors for days or weeks, showed that the disease had been dormant for some time. They ordered that all human corpses were to be incinerated immediately. In twenty four hours all medical samples, all medical records would be automatically destroyed. They stipulated that any surviving human could countermand the order, still holding onto the hope that a few might survive the disease.