They arrived in a sea of airships. People watched from outside their homes and businesses, convenience stores and schools. From outside the churches, sitting on the steps of museums, people watched as the sea of unified rockets flew in a uniform formation, perfect little triangles covering the sky in bright metal and opaline lights in an almost perfect alignment. Then, fire poured from the skies. In a matter of minutes, 3.5 billion years worth of evolution had finally been decimated. The apocalypse had arrived, and whatever technology the unsuspecting people of Earth had to defend themselves against such an invasion wouldn't last, even for a few seconds. Earth was purged from whatever microbes and muck it had possessed before. The Otherworlders could now rejoice and rebuild their Empire in peace.
The Otherworlders were forced to flee their home galaxy, due to an impending war and threats to surrender their population to an eternity of enslavement. The Eye, their nemesis, was stage three in technological development, and considered supreme ruler of their previous cradle of life. They boarded up, and drew whatever leftover energy from their star, and warped across galaxies, past stars and black holes, pausing only to draw energy from leftover nebulae, finally arriving at an oasis in a void of darkness. It was suitable for living, the supreme Otherworlders noticed. And it was far, far, far away, almost at the edge of the Universe. It would be nearly impossible for the god-like Eye to find them. So, they arrived with their space modules all in near-perfect alignments and purged this muddy asteroid of any offending, primitive life forms. And thus, their life resumed itself. The Otherworlders busied themselves with construction and rebuilding. They tried not to think of loved ones left behind, tried not to think of red skies and pink mountains.
And most especially, they tried not to think of crystalline structures, that when their old sun's rays hit the towers of Tanzanite and Benitoite, it filled their hearts and minds with such enlightenment and joy, that they could go months on end without any worldly desires. Now, they could only achieve such a sensation with their technology, Dreampunk technology, for a few hours at the most. The Otherworlders were deprived of what they desired most, something that was all the way across the Universe, a place where they were driven out, no longer wanted. Yes, they could no longer reach their Garden, for they were now in Hell.
Centuries later, the Otherworlders were thriving. They built an Empire of Glass and called themselves Empirians. They completely forgot about their glistening towers of Tanzanite and Benitoite, forgot about their previous lives, forgot about loved ones now long gone. They forgot they never truly belonged here. They forgot that glass could shatter under circumstances of pressure. They forgot that anything else other than them lived here. They forgot that they were mere cuckoos in a foreign nest. They forgot that they had left their Garden. They forgot that they were in Hell.
The Earth and its current inhabitants forgot that once, an Eon ago, the first humans gathered and hunted other life-forms. The Earth forgot that humans had wars here, polluted its skies, burned down its forests, and buried their kin in the deep blanket of rockm. The Earth forgot about the greatest civilizations with long, winding walls, and impressive castles. The Earth forgot about the human's Science and Religion, forgot that humans once had satellites orbiting its atmosphere. The Earth forgot that humans stepped on the Moon. The Earth forgot that humans had perished under the new inhabitants, the Earth forgot. The Earth forgot that humans ever existed. The Earth forgot it once was a cradle, a twirling, spinning, revolving, blue and green cradle that thought they were all alone.
The Otherworlders forgot, rather they made a mistake. When they purged the Earth of whatever inferior microbes existed, they didn't do it well enough. The rare humans who didn't perish, took refuge in caves, and escaped further and further into bedrock. Soon humans forgot what the changing seasons felt like. They forgot what sunlight felt like, what the dual particle waves felt like on your skin, how they caused an explosion of color to reflect in brown eyes. They forgot orange and yellow and blue and pink. They forgot the brilliance of a sunrise, the somber tones of a sunset. They forgot sunlight, sky, and warmth. They forgot the stars, the moon, the changing patterns of the skies. All they knew was an everlasting night.
In the beginning, they busied themselves with salvaging for parts, building an underground compound to house the remnants of yesterday's civilization. They rebuilt and reconstructed their lives, as well as plotting to take their rightful planet back. But at the moment, they knew their efforts were futile. So they waited, and while they waited they tried not to think of yellow sunshine streaming through paned windows and brilliant sunrises and somber night skies. They tried not to think of pinpricks of light in their endless horizon. They tried not to think of a time where they wondered about life beyond their solar system, beyond their galaxy. They tried not to think of loved ones too late to save, loved ones burned to the ground, loved and indifferent lives, timelines severed by fire-rain and fireballs and fire. They tried not to think of their darkening future with each hesitant step deeper into the Earth's interior.
Centuries later, the humans were barely getting by. But they forgot their pains and their suffering, they forgot past lives and past loves, and they forgot their precious sunrise. They forgot their sunlight, they forgot their stars and moon. They forgot what grass felt like underfoot and open sky overhead. Yet, they never forgot about the fateful time where fire poured openly from the sky, and they had to leave everything they loved behind. But they forgot vast oceans and seas and rushing rivers and the majestic animals that would populate them. They forgot about a time where they wondered about life beyond lifetimes, beyond lightyears, beyond galaxies and distant stars. They forgot that once, they were all alone in a sea of darkness. They forgot that with each step they took towards the deep bedrock of the Earth, they were walking into a darkening future. Instead, with blind, yet determined steps towards vengeance, the remaining humans strived to stay alive.
Over the many centuries of the new, forgotten civilization under the earth, the Compound was built to resemble a clock. There were twelve highly-functional Sectors centered around and connected to the Hub. Each sector had specific characteristics and kept many different necessary institutions to keep the Compound running. Sectors 4 to 8 housed the inhabitants in abandoned train cars, converted to resemble modern living spaces, one person for every train car. People weren't housed according to society rank or class, but skill level. When a child turned 13, they were assigned their own living space, and war assignment. Those who were tasked to work in factories, building weapons and drones in Sector 10, lived in Sector 4. The combat fighters all lived in Sector 5, and traveled to Sector 3 to train relentlessly. There were the civil workers, who dedicated their time to improving the general atmosphere of the Compound, who were all lumped together in Sector 6. Those who lived in Sector 9 were failures, fated to work recycling plants and in janitorial positions. Musicians and artists, though were rare, as it was generally discouraged as an unnecessary skill, lived among these delinquents in silent resentment. Librarians, Historians, and Assistant Directors all lived in the quiet, but pregnant air of Sector 7, and worked in giant buildings like the University and the City Hall building in the Hub. Engineers and Scientists lived in Sector 8, and took the monorail to the Hub. The Hub was the center of the whole society living underneath the earth. It was where great, sprawling libraries housed ancient texts, where great minds socialized, and where students spent their time working towards the war effort. Many were trained for combat, but only a select few were apprenticed under Engineers and Scientists and Directors, and helped to develop technology and weapons, as well as advancing fundamental technology, thus ensuring that humanity would continue its now limited population.
Seasons in the Compound were always boring. No matter the season, it was always bone-chilling cold. Even during the summer, the Compound was cool since the underground caverns were dark, moist, and cold. Only the uppermost level reached a peak temperature of 294.2 kelvin, as it was the closest to the above ground. However, the everyday citizens lacked the authorization to access the uppermost floor, so they never truly knew what warmth was, what sunshine's heat that filtered through the earth felt like. Although the civilians no longer had any memory or the slightest inclination of what sunshine, of what the sun looked like, they still dreamt of sunlight, of sky and sun. The nights in the Compound were always noisy. Gatherings of comrades near their respective train car-turned- apartments discussed the war and argued and complained. It was always chilly at night. Civilians drew their cloaks in, stayed in their apartments, or huddled in large groups near warm pipes supplying hot water and powering engines to keep them sustained, but barely living…