Imagine how the Earth might be if the population kept increasing, if our fuel consumption did too, if buildings got taller and spread across the countryside as sea-levels rose, destroying coastal dwellings and making their residents homeless. Now imagine if technology existed that meant we could terraform other suitable planets and fly out to them within a reasonable measure of time. Would we leave, or would we stay behind to clear up our mess?
Who would leave? Who would stay behind?
Who would decide?
This was the starting basis for my construction of Plentiville. In my imagination, the people who'd leave Earth would be the wealthiest; the ones most culpable for its destruction and those more able (and willing) to leave their mess behind.
The fundamentally religious would also see an opportunity in leaving Earth. How could they resist the appeal of setting up a world where only their religion and beliefs were practised?
Trickling down from this, different political groups may want to leave to start worlds where their opinions weren't challenged. Imagine the scope for abuse?!
In the future I've created for Generation Lawless, this is how the first colonies are created. Different groups splitting off from the mainstream to create worlds that fit in with their own ideological beliefs.
Once all these groups leave, the Earth that's left behind is a desolate, decaying, wasteland. There may be some who try to create a better world, but there would be many more who would seize this opportunity to take power. Imagine if there were no coherent police force? No courts to uphold the law? How long would there be a law left to uphold?
Plentiville is meant to have come into existence a significant time after terraforming rose in popularity, as an alternative to the other models that were in existence. Its aim was to be a world where children had childhoods, similar to the ones their grandparents may have experienced; with schools, roads, transportation, parks, cinemas, galleries, museums. It aimed to be self-sufficient, with an abundance of resources. Basically, Plentiville is meant to be an example of how our world could be.
The first wave of Settlers to Plentiville were those with skills: builders, farmers, carpenters, anyone who could construct the dream world its founders envisioned. The second wave of settlers, who set off from Earth five years later, was made up of families who wanted to raise their children in what could, potentially, be a utopian civilisation.
But of course, that utopia was not to be...