In 2053 Sub-Street Dwellers

52m | Jun 3, 2024

A gripping narrative set in a post-apocalyptic Detroit where society has crumbled, and the city is teeming with desperate survivors. The story follows Filipo, an elderly man stranded in the real world after living most of his life in virtual reality. As he struggles with the harsh conditions and the loss of essential supplies to a ruthless gang, he finds hope in the form of Pen, a resourceful individual who provides him with food and water. The interaction between these characters highlights the dire circumstances and the small acts of kindness that keep hope alive.

Pen, the food brewer, becomes a beacon of hope for many. He not only aids Filipo but also embarks on a quest to find resources and help others survive the catastrophic conditions. His journey through the forested remnants of old neighborhoods and his encounters with other survivors illustrate the resilience and ingenuity required to adapt and survive in this new world. Pen's determination to find cooling units and create food from available plant materials shows his commitment to helping his community withstand the extreme heat and scarcity of resources.

The story delves into the lives of other characters like Merch, who runs a gaming hall and dreams of creating an AI to excel in video games. His interactions with the children in the gaming hall and his subsequent struggle for survival in the tunnels reflect the broader theme of adaptation and the clash between past comforts and current necessities. Merch's ingenuity and the harsh reality he faces underscore the drastic changes the world has undergone.

As Pen navigates this treacherous landscape, he confronts personal tragedies and moments of desperation. His efforts to reach his family, the loss he suffers, and his relentless pursuit to provide for them paint a poignant picture of the human spirit's endurance. The emotional weight of these experiences is palpable, making the reader empathize with the characters' plight and root for their survival.

A tale of survival, resilience, and the enduring human spirit in the face of overwhelming adversity. The story's richly detailed setting, complex characters, and interwoven narratives create a compelling and immersive experience. It serves as a reminder of the fragility of civilization and the strength that lies in unity and compassion amidst chaos.

Virtual Reality (VR) Systems: Used extensively by characters like Filipo, who spent most of his life in VR. These systems also include VR girlfriends and other VR social interactions .

Prosthetic Arms: Advanced prosthetics that require subscription keys to function. A character is mentioned to have hacked a prosthetic arm to bypass these keys .

AI and Gaming: Merch uses an open-source app to record human gameplay data to train an AI. He aims to create an AI that can play games indistinguishably from humans to reach higher character levels .

Food Brewer Technology: Pen uses brewing technology to create food from plant materials. This includes a process for making "burger-tasting" food items from raw ingredients .

Cooling Units and Suits: Developed by Merch, these units and suits use air-blowing systems to keep the wearer cool, crucial for survival in extreme heat .

Hydrogen-Powered Generators: Used to power cooling systems in emergency trailers. They consume hydrogen canisters to provide electricity for cooling during heatwaves .

BritLight Panels: Light-emitting slabs that hold a static charge and can be recharged by rubbing fabrics together. These panels are used for illumination in the dark underground areas where survivors reside .

AR Glasses: Augmented Reality glasses worn by Pen, which tag animal and plant locations, identify plant types, and provide night vision. They enhance his ability to forage and navigate through the forested areas .

VR Dots: Tiny RF chips implanted in faces to enable video calls by mapping facial expressions, allowing realistic 3D portraits of the speaker without needing to aim cameras .

Eco-Terrorist Engineered Plants: Genetically modified plants with enhanced RuBisCO enzymes and nitrogen-fixing capabilities, designed to grow rapidly and thrive in harsh environments. These plants are a result of eco-terrorism, aimed at reforesting urban areas but causing ecological imbalance .

Many of the characters in this project appear in future episodes. 


Using storytelling to place you in a time period, this series takes you, year by year, into the future. From 2040 to 2195. If you like emerging tech, eco-tech, futurism, perma-culture, apocalyptic survival scenarios, and disruptive science, sit back and enjoy short stories that showcase my research into how the future may play out. 


This is Episode 54 of the podcast "In 20xx Scifi and Futurism." The companion site is where you can find a timeline of the future, descriptions of future development, and printed fiction.

These are works of fiction. Characters and groups are made-up and influenced by current events but not reporting facts about people or groups in the real world.

Copyright © Leon Horn 2021. All rights reserved.

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In 20xx Scifi and Futurism