Earth has been devastated by the impacts of climate change. Sea levels have risen, engulfing large swaths of land in salt water, driving people inland- simultaneously rising temperatures and over-farming due to land constraints have resulted in rampant desertification. Capitalizing on the world’s distress, a multinational corporate conglomerate- the EDN company, has risen to the task of revitalizing the earth through a global geoengineering initiative. Their research results in a series of geoengineering machines: the ATMOs, which form an ecologically governing network. the machines and technology evolve alongside the landscape, transitioning from mechanical servants to biomechanical giants. As the technologies demonstrate their success and transform the earth, the EDN company’s machine network becomes a new governing superpower, dictating the ecological well being of the entire planet.
Fifth Genesis Foreword focuses on the beginning of this transition- before the technologies are adapted at a global scale. The testbed for the ATMO network is an ecologically devastated rural America which has experienced a new long term dust-bowl. Many of the locals have already left the dead land, but one woman named Ryan chooses to remain. As she stays, she witnesses huge machines traversing the land, bringing it back to life. She becomes obsessed with these new life-bringers and takes to painting them. Eventually, through imminent domain, she is forced to leave her home which is left as a time capsule for those who venture into the restoration zone.
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