The Last Man, Continued

posted Jan 17, 2010, 9:01 PM by Jeremy Poehnert   [ updated Jan 17, 2010, 9:19 PM ]
This is a continuation of an earlier post that I didn't have time to finish.  You can find that first post here - The Last Man.

I have a sequence in mind for how the Last Man's experiences develop.

First, the energy aliens have taken steps to insure that his basic needs can be met.  Because they didn't have much time, and don't have a good understanding the physical universe, let alone Earth culture, their efforts demonstrate their tremendous power, but also their limited grasp of human needs.

They shut down any immediate threats, like nuclear reactors or crashing airplanes.  Then they establish a "protected space" centered on the Last Man's home.  His home is the center of a circle with a 1/2 mile radius (the layout is based almost literally on where I currently live).  Within that area, things are preserved.  Power still works, plumbing still works.  Buildings won't decay.  Broken things fix themselves.  The weather is always mild.  It is intended to be a safe zone, giving the Last Man as many resources and as much basic infrastructure as possible.

The important part of the story is the existence of the zone, but I'll also give a bit of a sci-fi explanation.  First, the area is surrounded by a special force field that keeps the weather stable.  There are nano-creatures that go around fixing everything.  Underground there is a special energy warp that provides water and electricity and removes waste.

But the aliens aren't able to take care of everything.  Specifically, they didn't give him a food supply.  So one of his first tasks is to gather food and figure out how to store it.  Because he has power (and therefore refrigeration) in his protected zone, he gathers as much food as he can before it spoils and stores it throughout his home zone.  He also gathers other resources he needs/wants; batteries, first aid supplies, clothes, etc.

This leads to a very surreal setup.  He has this deserted area at the heart of his city where things function, and he has supplies stored all over the place.  

He finds that animals are attracted to him, and gathers a certain group of special pets around him.  He has an "inner circle" of pets that are special; he seems to have some unique bond with them, and they are unusually smart.  But lots of other animals move into the area to be near him, and he starts taking care of them.  They all seem to respond to and obey him.  The force field seems to keep out pests or any dangerous animals.

The aliens also gave the Last Man an Observer; a ball of energy that follows him around, apparently recording what he does.

I'll stop here, but I'll continue the story later...