Read the web comic Andean Sky (2016) (Will open a new page)
Read the short story Through the Andean Sky (2012) (Will open a new page)
Read the comic Going Home (2017) (Will open a new page)
- The State of the World
- Story (Will open a new page)
The State of the World
Between the 21st and 22nd centuries oil reserves ran out causing a global crisis which fueled unrest and conflicts on a world scale. Powerful nations, and some emerging economies, turned to nuclear power for their appetite of energy. More nuclear plants around the planet also meant higher risks of nuclear accidents. Indeed it took only a few of them to wipe huge chunks of populations. Extreme-right wing parties had already a strong foothold in the west by the turn of the 21st century and now with this chaotic and violent world scene it was a perfect opportunity for them to dominate. European and North American nations fell into totalitarian and populist regimes. Mass migration and refugee crisis were a result of this political shift. These countries experienced cultural and economic decline; the powers of the global economy shifted as the old nations lost influence on the global scene. The underdogs had a chance to emerge and take the lead.
Economies in South America, Africa, Asia and The Middle East experienced cultural, scientific and social progress. At the turn of the 21st century the developing world had limited access to nuclear power and had to find other sources of energy such as solar which was very cheap and abundant. It was a period of scarcity but after realizing the destructive dangers of nuclear power it became a less attractive alternative. Due to the totalitarian regimes in the old west, the world experienced mass migration to these developing nations. This migration also meant the migration of knowledge which helped further to bring the developing economies to become the developed economies.
By the end of the 22nd century the planet runs on clean energy and humans are exploring the planets. The speed of light and worlds beyond the solar system are the next frontier.
This is like today’s EU and NATO combined but with the power nations in the future. After the space elevator was build a growing fear of a potential alien invasion inspired the developed nations to create a world unifying front that would protect humanity as a whole.
The space elevator is located on the equator line.
The raise of the far right in Europe during the 21st century established ever more totalitarian regimes. Poland and Romania are the most obvious examples of this phenomenon but even historically progressive countries like Sweden or Norway fell into populist regimes. Loss of culture and knowledge shaped these nations into ever weaker economies. After Great Britain left the European Union it lost its influence on the global scene, but soon after the rest of the continent followed. Russia saw this as an opportunity and moved forward with a military campaign to take on Europe (Crimea was just the beginning) but having lost its ally and main sponsor: China, it failed to accomplish its objective. Never the less, the country is at war with Europe. Many European scholars and skilled workers have migrated in search of a better life.
North America – USA
The rise of white supremacy parties left a devastating effect on America. The country is more concerned with internal conflicts charged by racial disparity than looking at the outside. Self isolated and impoverished, the nation looks more like what North Korea used to look like than what the land of the free should have looked like. Having alienated and lost their allies in Europe and economical ties with China, the US is alone. Those who can leave to Canada or elsewhere.
The Middle East
Having lost the economical power and will to pursue their international military interests, America left the Middle East. Europe is also gone. Slowly and painfully, the region achieved peace by itself. Civil wars ended and terrorists groups vanished. Not all nations experience the same economical growth but surely all of them eradicate poverty. People have a decent quality of life. Solar power is the main energy source after oil reserves dried out. The Middle East is once more the cradle for thinkers and mathematicians. Many Europeans migrate to the Middle East.
Although the whole continent is prosperous and stable, India is by far the most advanced nation in the region. Having set a strong foot in space, its technological advancements are astonishing. India competes with South American nations such as Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and others in the race for space exploration. The solar system is no longer the limit. Future pioneers want to achieve light speed and travel through worm holes in order to explore other worlds beyond our solar system and find alien intelligence. China is a case apart since it remains isolated and communist. Having had an intertwined and dependent economy to the US and Europe, China declined along with its economical partners. Although less dramatic and severe, the nation has lost the economical and political power that it once enjoyed.
Many countries break ties with Europe and emerge as self sufficient and economically independent. Kenya, nicknamed silicon valley of Africa, is at the forefront of high-tech and computer technology and it’s their main export to the world.
These are first world nations which have achieved the highest standards of living on the planet. The Andean region is specially developed when it comes to sustainability (clean energy and conservation of habitats for example) and space exploration. Space exploration encompasses various different fronts such as: exploring the planets and moons of the solar system, reaching the speed of light, traveling to other solar systems, opening a wormhole, etc… It’s a time for innovation. Although space exploration is a national endeavour, independent inventors and explorers are in the race too. Countries like Ecuador have achieved a balanced ecosystem between technology and Nature. Culturally it continues to hold on to conservative values such as religion: if technology and Nature can be balanced and coexist, then so can modernity and tradition. South America no longer looks at the old “West” as a role model but instead looks within its own culture and heritage to develop a new national identity.
Ecuador has risen as a developed country with a stable economy and a strong industry. Benefiting from a unique geographical position in the world, located in the equator and at a high altitude, Ecuador has built a space elevator which runs a lot of business for the country. This technological wonder is a national symbol which encourages the right wing political movement to maintain national borders. As a contrast, the opposition believes that nations do not exist anymore and a new ONE WORLD COUNTRY should exist instead and encompass the entire planet. These are the people that align more with the World Alliance than the Ecuadorian government.
A dreamer and a visionary, Segundo or El Seco as knowns by his friends, is a strong role model who does not fail to be kind an gentle. Partner to Gloria Chicaisa and father to Washington Toapanta Chicaisa, Seco is an explorer who wants to visit distant worlds and lives in awe of the beauty of nature. Gloria and Seco share a passion for racing and science without loosing faith. They build their own ships and they are very much inline with the Ecuadorian space dream: to find intelligent life. Washi admires his father and wants to become like him. When his son is still young, Seco embarks on a interstellar trip. Their goal is to reach light speed and travel to the nearest solar system where intelligent life might be found. The trip goes wrong and both Seco and his space ship vanish. No one knows what happened and it is assumed that Seco died. In reality he didn’t died but rather he traveled to a different dimension. It is years later that Seco meets his son again when Washi embarks on the same trip as him and “something goes wrong.” Washi learns that his father did not die in the accident but instead his soul transcended into another dimension. In this dimension there is intelligent life and these aliens often visit Earth in the form of angels or divine figures. Seco and Gloria did achieved their goal of finding intelligent life but not quite the way they envisioned and at the cost of this endeavour was quite high. Gloria is not delusional when she claims that she can talk to her presumably dead partner. They communicate through deep meditation (pray) and they believe that each person needs to find their own way to find a connection to this new dimension. Seco believes that some day there will be a passage into this dimension and other can follow him.
She is a strong woman who seems not to be afraid of anything. Gloria has a deep passion for science, racing and exploration; something that she shared with her partner Seco before he disappeared in space. Seco is presumably dead but Gloria, a deeply spiritual woman, claims that she can talk to him through pray. After Seco’s disappearance Gloria goes through a period of grief which she overcomes by dedicating herself to racing and building ships. In fact, It is through racing that she discovers how to communicate with her partner. Racing for her is like meditating or praying. Since Ecuador is a religious country Gloria is not seen as a delusional woman but no one quite believes her claims either. Only Gloria knows about the other dimension where Seco lives, and she understands that people are not ready for this truth yet. Her son, who is not religious, does not believe her either. She is a patient woman and she knows that the time will come. And the time does come when Washi decides to pursue the same goal that his father did. Indeed Washi’s trip goes wrong too but unlike Seco, he does survive and comes back to Earth alive to tell his story to Gloria. She knows that he now understands and believes her.
Washington Toapanta Chicaisa
Washi is very much like his father Seco, who he admires: a dreamer and a traveler with a passion for science and racing. As a young teenager he experienced a great loss when his father disappeared in space. Although he didn’t blamed his father for “leaving him” he was marked with a sense of abandonment. Unlike his mother, who found comfort in racing, Washi left home to travel in order to “find himself.” As a skilled aeronautic engineer he spent years between various countries. After a painful love breakup Washi decides to come back home in order to reconnect with his mother and pursue his real purpose in life: to follow his father’s footsteps. Deep inside he hopes that his father is still alive and he wishes to find him. Gloria fully supports Washi in his project and she advices to race the Panecillo circuit in hopes of winning the race and use the money price to build the space ship. He meets Agnieszka Kowalska, Ines for short, who is a skilled racer and a cold fusion engineer from Poland. Ines is hired to design the engine for the space ship and also to be Gloria’s copilot for the Panecillo race (since Washi is not a skilled racer.) Ines and Gloria win the race despite crashing on the finish line. The money price is used to build the space ship for interstellar travel. After finishing the ship, Washi travels through the solar system and while attempting to achieve light speed his ship explodes. The Madonna of Quito reveals herself to him and she takes Washi to meet his father. Seco is alive and he explains to Washi about this dimension that has become his home. What we see as angels and divine figures are in fact an alien intelligent life living in this dimension who occasionally visit Earth. After speaking to his father Washi is returned to Earth. He meets his mother to tell her about his experience. He now understands that Gloria and Seco can communicate because of their spiritual connection. He also meets Ines to tell her about his experience, they are indeed in love and go on in search of a passage to the other dimension.
Ines for short, is an immigrant from Poland who escaped the impoverished and totalitarian European country after her family disappeared under the regime. She is a survivor and a fighter. She wants a better life for herself and eventually she manages to reach Ecuador where she sees a future for herself. Her talent is her ticket for her prosperity. Ines works at various shops designing cold fusion engines and she also keeps up with her passion: racing. After meeting Washi and Gloria during an event she agrees to work with them on an ambitious project: to build a space ship that will travel beyond the solar system. She is excited about the challenge and she is equally excited to become Gloria’s copilot in the Panecillo race. The race, if won, will raise funds for the construction of the space ship. Ines and Gloria get along really well and they win the Panecillo race despite crashing at the finish line. While working on the space ship, Ines stars falling for Washi. They both fall for each other. After learning what happened to Seco she becomes worried that Washi might share the same fate and she tries to persuade him not to go. Washi leaves regardless and goes missing. Having experienced another loss, Ines leaves Ecuador devastated. But not for long, as Washi eventually returns from space and finds her to tell her an incredible story. They fall in love and start their own journey.