An All-important Author's Note – slash – Backgrounder on This Story
Well, I know that fictionpress doesn't allow us to make author's notes as a chapter, but this could very well be part of the story, and it DOES need an entire chapter on its own. Why?
The world you are about to read about is extremely different from the earth you know.
And so, this would need quite an explanation. The way of story-telling would also be quite different. So I made this chapter, hoping that my readers and the admin team (is that what you call them?) of fictionpress would understand and not ban me. Bear with me, but believe me, if you actually read through this, you would understand the story a lot better.
*gulps nervously* Ok. Here goes:
We all know that the moon is an important aspect of the earth. Highschoolers have been taught that it is important in controlling the tides, and for some curious people who read/watch/hear other things, we know that the moon is also a stabilizer of the earth. It keeps the earth at a constant 23 and ½ degree tilt, it somehow keeps the seasons predictable, and it is important in marine ecology as those organisms at the bottom of the food chain rely on the moon, and if they can't eat, they'll die, and those that eat them die, and so on… You know the food chain theory, right?
So obviously, if the moon suddenly disappeared, or was thrown off orbit or something, things would be drastically different. I was watching History Channel last March 23, 2010 at 3-4 pm, "The Universe: The Day the Moon Was Gone." It said that if the moon disappears, there would be a shift in ocean currents. But it's not just as simple as that. There would be huge tsunamis, bigger than the ones in South East Asia (I particularly remember Indonesia) last… 2004, I think? The tides are pulled by the moon, but also by the sun (but since it's much weaker because of the distance, people don't really pay much attention to it), so if the moon suddenly goes away, the waves would tilt to the gravitational pull of the sun. This, however depends on the position of the moon in relation to the earth and the sun. If it's new moon or full moon, these three objects are in a lateral position. The water would just move back and forth until it stabilizes… Not like if the moon is in a quarter phase, when the moon, sun and earth are not in a 180 degree angle to each other. The waves would rock violently, not quite sure where to go.
There will also be drastic climate changes. Sine the moon stabilizes the earth's axis, the same places get the same predictable weather roughly at the same time of the year. But if the moon's gone, there won't be a stabilizer. The axis would keep rolling since the earth is pulled by the gravitational forces of different stellar objects. And as said earlier, marine ecology would definitely suffer, as the food pyramid loses the producers of marine life. And since it was the moon that pulled the earth to slow into having 24 hours per day instead of 8, who knows how long our days will be if it's gone?
But enough of this. I've never believed that the moon would disappear. It said at the end of the show that while the moon is steadily moving away from earth, it would take so long that the sun would become a red giant and incinerate both the earth and the moon before we'd be left alone.
What I'm really interested in is… what if the moon never existed?
Based on the Giant Impact Theory, the moon was formed when a Mars-sized proto-planet collided with earth, and the debris from that collision formed the moon.
What if there was never an impact? Heheheheee… I love this! Don't you?
I won't dwell on how life was able to evolve anymore. I can feel that your eyes are already rolling over my long introduction of what would happen if the moon disappeared and my telling you that I don't care less about it. I'll just talk about the conditions of the moonless earth at the setting of my story.
From 8 hours long, the sun pulled the earth to have a 12 hour long day. 6 hours of sunlight and 6 hours of pitch black darkness – wait. I'll change this. According to the show, it was pitch black at night without the moon, but I beg to disagree. There are STARS, right? The show said that if there was life, their senses might develop to see starlight. I don't know much, but I do know that the brighter the sky is, the less you are able to see the stars (example: a city night sky versus a country side night sky. Notice the difference in terms of star light?). So, since there is no moon, I'll say that at night there are stars seen "shining brightly over the plains," but not bright enough to light the way of, say, humans on the ground without an artificial light.
The winds have an average speed of 100 mph, hurricanes could last for months, and there are sudden changes in temperature. I want weather changes to occur as fast as over night. Like, on March 20, it would be blazing hot in all the summer glory then the next day, March 21, it would be as cold as the heart of a killer.
It would be more watery than earthy. Since there was no collision, there wouldn't be plate tectonics, and so there would be less land. Tide strength would only be a third of human tides since it is only the far-away sun that pulls on it. High and low tide would occur regularly at roughly the same time each day. The lands would be mostly plains because there are no plate tectonics that cause mountains. The only high points of the lands are volcanoes.
Since the earth moves faster, it would have a bigger electromagnetic field that blocks off most solar flares which results in bigger, more beautiful auroras.
Here comes the interesting part! Or so I'd like to believe.
Since I hardly know anything about marine life, my story would be based on land creatures residing on a patch of land that mostly sees the auroras. According to the show, it is bacterial life that would dominate this sort of earth since complex life forms find it difficult to adapt to extreme environmental fluctuations. This environment favors stout creatures. It probably wouldn't have jungles, things that fly, things that "fly" (aka monkeys, flying squirrels), and plants with shallow roots. Evolution of life would probably call for ears that hear at a different pitch from the wind, extra limbs for wind protection and communication, and enhanced sensory abilities.
So, I made up creatures!
Agisa – a type of plant that moves (thanks to my brother!). It is the closest to a hardwood tree that you would find in this world. It has a thick but flexible trunk, a favorite of the terra, as they make sturdy boats in the sea. It keeps the dry in, the sea out, and takes a lot of battering before it gets the smallest hole. The tallest living thing on earth.
Terraeus – plural "terra" – the "humans" of this world. They have the ability to change colors as a means of communication and camouflage, but it is limited to the blue of the sea, and the greens and browns of the forest. Their bodies resemble centaurs, except the tails are longer and stronger, with a pike (the one that has a long, metal point at the tip and a curved knife at the side) their natural weapon against predators, and a means of obtaining wood and meat. Their face is like a regular human's face, I guess, except for the skin. As you may have already guessed, they have reptilian skin that allows them to keep either warmth or cold inside. They run as fast as the fastest horse, but they are small. Their nose can predict changes in weather, but children are better at this than adults. They communicate on a different pitch than the wind. Their ears have tuned out the worst howls of the wind.
Famiscus – plural "fam" – well, I felt like putting a horse, but then I realized that the terra already is a half-horse! So then, this would be like a parrot, or a dog, or a fish (?), or yes, a horse. This is the terra's equivalent of the "man's best friend." They are smaller and more agile than the terra, and can jump really high. They walk on six legs, but the first two can double as arms, and their ears are very sensitive to sound waves. They alert their terra and other fam if a vocar is near using high-pitched trills.
Vocar – meat eaters at the top of the food chain. They live in packs. They have four legs ending in talons, a long hairy neck that picks up heat energy emitted by living, moving creatures, a mouth of teeth in a mouth of teeth, and strong hands that grow or shrink in order to choke the breath out of their prey. They communicate within the pack using sound waves that are lower than the registers of a terraeus, but can be heard by the fam. They are so stupidly big that they are easily buffeted by the winds, so when it is windy, the plains are usually devoid of vocar.
Contadur – collective word for any edible plant. You know that a plant is edible if it hides from the light. Usually leaves and root crops, but are sometimes berries.
I saved the most important thing for the last!
Foralun – the name of this moonless earth
I'll put some creatures that are found on today's earth, only they have enhanced senses to survive in Foralun. They have minor roles, i.e. to be eaten. Lolz
I will be using first person POV for this story. I shall share the mind of the main character. If ever he clarifies or compares anything in his planet to earth, don't think twice about how he would know that. It's me talking, then, not him. =))
There! If you're interested in my about-to-become-a-story, please put this story (or me) on your favorites list, or your alerts, or review. Any of the above. And I will continue. Or rather, I will start! [And look for a betareader. XD Since I ALWAYS make typos.]
If not, I will assume that no one is interested.
A/n: Most of the factual information in this chapter are taken from the show said up there ("The Universe: The Day the Moon Was Gone"). I think I may have misheard some names, but the ideas are basically the same.
Review or I shall admit to the fact that I'm crazy, no one understands me, and this is a useless effort. It's hard! I won't continue if people don't like it.