Here's a short piece based off of the background of the Xenozoic Tales/Cadillacs and Dinosaurs attempting to make it more semi-rational. Originally, it was going to be a full-sized entry but lack of info on the pre-catastrophe world made it be smaller and rather more disorganized than most.
To be specific, it's based on the bits of the RPG sourcebook that give something of a brief timeline for it all. I've made up 90% of it, mostly to explain exactly how and why the massive global warming happened -- no, "industry making CO2" doesn't explain a over ten degree rise in temperature along with dinosaurs coming back. It just doesn't. The kind of technology you'd need to do that would require something truly ASB. That piece of illogic is on par with MasterAccount's "sonic the hedgehog in 1920".
Influences from various people's post-apocalyptic scenarios or Quantumbranching's Soylent Green are unintentional, but in this case are 100% inevitable given the lack of material to work with in the original setting.
It's set in the year 2014 before the collapse of 2015-2020, but to further clarify things both the POD and some of the intervening years are shown.
A disc-shaped probe takes extensive video footage of earth before making the journey back to it's homeworld 100 years away on a routine "every 10,000 years checkup". The pictures end up focusing on an island off of western Eurasia, in particular the coal smoke off of it's cities built by local biologicals. The lack of evidence for the existence of the second race of local biologicals noticed in previous surveys suggests ectinction by genocide, much like what happened to the first race's predecessors`.
system-A assigned to monitoring the AZ7119B-!) quadrant notices great activity going on the third planet of the BL2000$|| star. There is a population growth among the local complex of civilized biologicals and the beginnings of great environmental damage done by the same local biologicals. The lack of large animals outside of the southern peninsula of the greater world island is Noticed. Action is decided on -- the complex technologies of the hostile biologicals must be destroyed. In order to hamper re-building, new predators must be introduced or reintroduced to them. Also, the planet's current state with it's glaciers in the north and south is unhealthily cold for life and must be rectified and the world brought back to the temperatures of healthier eras. In particular, this involves bringing back the large reptilian forms of the third planet's distant past but upgrading their intelligence and bloodthirstiness to factor in their dangerous prey. If they survive but in the stone age, or rebuild a second, more eco-wise civilization after the terraformation of their world that's one thing but the current civilization of the time must be destroyed.
After three daytenths of discussion, a plan is arrived at by the rolers of the 'b!lxr!! civilization. After another half a daytenth, a #BZ
++ disk is launched into orbit to make the 100 year journey to the Third Planet of the . BL2000$|| star.
The 'b!lxr!! civilization will not survive long enough to be noticed by radio, because of the inevitable damage that massive disasters that are caused by systems failures do to civilizations -- the lucky and smart ones manage to get off planet in substantial enough ways to avoid extinction. Space is as empty as it is because a whole lot of species simply never bother with interstellar travel. Unfortuntely the 'b!lxr!! were strangly incurious about interstellar migration despite having had the capability to do so for millions of years -- being smarter and less prone to collective stupidies than mankind allowed them to get very, very far technologically during the 130 million years that race had civilizations despite curious lack of interest in AI, interstellar migration and fusion power. This one, involving artificial asteroids along with orbital powerplants turned the 'b!lxr!! homeworld into a nearly sterile ruin in the year 1890. The only people to know of the disaster are those resident in the other moons or worlds of the 'b!lxr!!'s home solar system. Unfortunately, for efficiency reasons the settlements opted to do full integration with the homeworld so within a year, the entire 'b!lxr!! race was extinct.
A disc-shaped object crashes to earth in the deserts of New Mexico. This is no crash, it is deliberate action -- the flying disc was a nanotech "egg" that when it impacted the ground released the nanites as planned. These nanites have four purposes -- The first one is to subtly lower the local temperature needed to melt ice by adding extra heat to the polar caps, leading to flooding, a second one to generate a signal ready to provide false information to their computers, a third one to subtly increase vulcanism to ensure the atmosphere's CO2 rises and finally, one is to amalgamate local carbon into revived local life forms of their past(oddly, mostly dinosaurs with some cenozoic mammals. Why dinosaurs?Aesthetic reasons on the part of the 'b!lxr!!, mostly).
Of course, before the 1970s this world while close wasn't a perfect mirror of ours --There are of course rumors of reptile-men in the deeper caves. There are of course other, less believable accounts of these same voiceless reptile-men helping lost spelunkers find their way out of caves. These accounts remain lumped into the "fiction" category. People like David Icke have bigger audiences.
Soviet researchers find the occasional wild mammoth in Siberia, and by 1979 there is a small herd being kept in the Moscow Zoo. There have been a few other, less notable species found. There sure are alot of rumors of reptiles being sighted in the woods...
The weather starts getting funny in the 1970s and 1980s, in a way people are only talking about as a possibility now in some of the more depressing climate climate science studies. One theory by Professors Quayle and Lundgren offering a potential explanation for the unusual rate of icewater melting of "the melting temperature being changed" is unfortunately discarded as pseudoscience. Both men end up drummed out of academia and end up drinking themselves to death by the late 1990s. Unfortunately, for this world they were right.
This has "interesting" effects geopolitically and economically. The whole tropical disease issue means globalizaiton as we know it is quickly reversed and immigration to the global north is kept out by means fair, foul and just plain atrocious; a zone of radioactive death between the US and mexico, the joint European-soviet-Israeli nuking of every city from tangiers to karachi, The european navy sinking refugee ships and in one case the USSR turning parts of central asia into a radioactive death zone just to prevent Chinese migration north during the second half of the 2000s.
The particular reason for the third world's collapse into order and attempts at mass migrations on par with the worst paranoid right-wing fiction is the economic and environmental disruptions doing rather poor things to agriculture in both the first and third world -- weather disruption, desertification, new species of insect pests, crop diseases and worse. By the 1990s, the first wotld was at the point where meat was pricey and government tax incentives for victory gardens kept food at the "expensive but affordable for most" point, but the third world saw mass famine.
Besides agriculture, the spread of tropical diseases to more parts of the former temperate or subtropical zones along with africa's diseases spreading further has not helped. A billion people died during the ebola epidemic of 1999-2003, with many other plagues seeing tens of millions dead.
Technology, especially in the fields of deep shelter-building and extreme survivalism continues to advance, if slower than OTL in most areas -- There is and will not be an internet for security reasons obvious to everyone in the know since they really do not want to end up hanging from lampposts for putting everything into keeping a few enclaves secure while letting everything go to hell.
The world stands at the edge of a precipice -- civilization is crumbling in much of the planet, hurricane season has become year-round worldwide, the oceans are rising, there's a second ongoing ebola epidemic that's just passed the 200 million dead mark among other problems. The collapse of the soviet union in 2009 into a multisided civil war is regarded as a Not Good sign(the biggest faction in the former USSR being "the lords of death" is also not an optimistic sign). The armies of The Lord Humungus have just taken canberra.
Violent nihilists being the prominent revolutionary faction in both the third world and the former industrialized world is not helping matters. The Lord Humungus isn't even the most visible or most brutal example of these people.
The United States has been under martial law for the past five years and yet the guerilla problem in the expanding deserts of the western United States has no end -- Violent J, Shaggy 2 Dope, Guy Fieri and a masked man remain at large and are rallying their followers on a platform centered around "Forget our narcissistic selves. Bomb for mental health, kill for inner peace.", "The fire rises" and other such slogans, fascism, theocratic mandates and recipes with bold flavor. Inane revolutionaries with atrocious bleached hair or ugly facepaint aside aside, life in the eastern parts of the US is normal-ish. Ok, normal as defined by grim 1980s SF movies but still normal-ish. The fact that food prices have skyrocketed as of late, along with water being rationed in most of the midwest isn't helping.
A CIA extraction team sent to capture the masked man has been missing without any sign of contact for the past two months...
The US-mexico border is now a 50 mile-wide radioactive and chemical kill-zone -- America's leaders saw the soviet efforts in Central Asia and wouldn't allow themselves to be topped. Illlegal immigrants were good cheap labor, but when the people sneaking accross the border are doing so just to kill as many people as they can before being shot down the attitudes of even the people who wanted(that and California's former agricultural zones now looking sahara-like).
The European Union seems placed to go the way of the Soviet Union. A population that's bitterly divided between radicals of the left, right and center combined with an economy that's gone beyond negative-sum to outright collapse is a recipe for a major explosion. Unfortunately, the more pragmatic or at least merely grey-authoritarian centrists are not the ones with an advantage. Instead this goes to a coalition of various flavors of extreme rightists, neofascists and national socialists who think talking alot about bringing back the old manly heroic virtues, the greek philosophers and futurist rambling about the singularity covers up the fact that they're basically fascists wearing fedoras instead of swastika armbands.
The third world is divided between places like OTL Somalia, places where not even aid workers would go, radioactive ruins and areas of depopulated desert in the drier bits. Instead of trying to flee to the first world, people from the third world are collecting weapons in an attempt to kill off the people responsible for killing the planet -- the biggest such organized states are the Caliphate extending from what was yemen, to now sharing an uneasy border with the European Union in thrace following Caliph Osama's successful siege of istanbul and the neo-Maoist regime in southern China.
In these dark times, even the .001% find their privileges being reduced -- their resort towns are being flooded out, or if they're coastal and in the third world becoming pirate nests, their investments are becoming less stable. If things had moved slow er, they could have preserved something with ideas like Operation PLAGUE being discarded with the resources that would have gone into engineering anthrax-leprosy mu being instead used for the one other project that got majority support from the world's oligarchs -- building a network of undeground cities to hide tens of millions of loyalists. If all goes well, the plan will be finished by 2030 or 2040, and something of civilization will survive.
The weather as of the last three or four years has been alarmingly unstable. Besides the weather, there have been other problems such as incidents with some labs in the US or former USSR and velociraptors. A few dozen climatologists have mixed up batches of kool-aid, added in cyanide and drank them specifically to not be around when the shitstorm they expect by the early '20s begins...