Here is the question that most contains the scenario for this new one because it’s a continuation so I would recommend reading the scenario in that question. Note: this is about the Venus society extinction, and is set in those times (200M in the past), ignore anything set after that on the previous one.

Aditions to scenario for this question (still dependent from the other question):

  1. There are 300 nations (10 are super powers, 90% are Democratic.
  2. They are at minor conflicts between some.
  3. Only habitable planet is Venus, so all people living outside of Venus lives on artificial habitats.
  4. A total population of 15 billion (11 in Venus and the others in other worlds and space habitats)
  5. Space warfare is widespread and common, and combat is at long range, the primary weapons are rail guns and misiles generally located in satellites as spaceships don’t have weapons (most of the time) because isn’t effective.
  6. Planets have means of defending from space bombardment, making it real hard to attack one.
  7. Fighting in the surface of planets isn’t common but happens.
  8. There are lots of unsatisfied and angry people with the governments, because they were poor, or tired from corruption and war) (about 2 billion in total) and want change (less wars and corruption).
  9. Most powerful weapon is still the nuke (I’m not counting here non conventional types of weapons like viruses.
  10. Corruption is widespread.


  1. The conflict is started by the unsatisfied people, creating a terrorist like group, with the objective of getting a more peaceful life (they didn’t succeeded).

  2. Bio weapons and nukes are used.

  3. The terrorists didn’t noticed they were killing the civilization until to late (they were not evil, just wanted less corruption and war)and couldn’t stop anything.

  4. Venus is rendered hostile to life.

  5. After this, happens all In the previous question.

question: What worldbuilding conditions would need to exist to allow a terrorist organization to inadvertently destroy the civilization while looking for freedom/change? Edit: made some adjustments for reopening, like explaining some things better. Nobody told me exactly why I was closed, so I’m trying my best to get it right.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Apr 2, 2021 at 16:09

4 Answers 4


It's the End of the World as we Know it:

several sets of preconditions could leave an advanced civilization vulnerable to a sudden event or series of events that would cause the whole system to collapse.

  • Inflexible Fanatic Ideology: Your ideologs have a vision for the future that is incompatible with reality. Imagine they are Maoist communists, and believe in a hyper-simplified society that doesn't take into account the needed elements to make things work. Those who buy in to the ideology blame all the failings of the system on their enemies, and are more than willing to let the people responsible for the failings (i.e. anyone in a habitat that collapses out of lack of critical supplies, etc.) to die. They staunchly refuse to acknowledge the failings of the system, and continue to destroy those who defy their vision of reality/support the old "false" belief system. They could even be microchipping people who are then incapable of believing anything but the new ideology. Like a virus, the ideology spreads, destroying the society but needing to keep spreading to survive.
  • Schadenfreude virus: The loyal old guard built a computer virus that incapacitates all the machines, air filtration systems, fusion reactors, or whatever irreplaceable technology that keeps every part of the system running. They then either didn't have a chance to reveal it like in Dr. Strangelove, kept it secret, weren't believed when they told people they had it, or their enemies didn't believe they'd destroy society to achieve their ends. Only a tiny percentage of the population using independently made equipment manages to live after (all air systems shut off/fusion reactors self-destruct/whatever). Maybe even attempting to demonstrate the computer virus get out of hand and causes the events.
  • Irreplaceable infrastructure is destroyed: Scientific advancement stopped a while ago (can't have smart people telling folks new things!), and people were building everything with super-cheap & easy mass-produced components. These were controlled by a cartel of manufacturers on Venus who jealously guarded their secrets but kept prices extremely low to guarantee there was no competition. After the factories were destroyed, the supply of spare parts and components seemed inexhaustible - but wasn't. One colony after another failed, with factions scrabbling over the remaining supplies of parts. All efforts to build new parts failed. Since Venus is destroyed and was the only place people could live without technology, they are all doomed. If you, personally, had to reinvent the integrated circuit, Could you (in time)?
  • Apocalyptic Religious Movements: The existing order was held up by a fanatical faith. The terrorists were the folks that disbelieved, and therefor thought that the destruction of the faith would be a liberating event. The murder of the supreme leader/destruction of the inviolate temple causes a spasm of fanatical apocalyptic fervor amongst the faithful, who are determined to bring about the end of society. Mass-murders, mass suicides, interdenominational warfare, and the complete collapse of trade as the majority turn into the terrorists mean the vulnerable habitats are destroyed so quickly that there is no chance to keep the system running.
  • Misplaced technological advances: Your terrorists decide to introduce a bacteria into every habitat, a bacteria that regenerates the air filtration system. Then, they destroy the factories that produce the air filtration systems so the monopoly on power they have is broken. The problem is that the bacteria produce spores that slowly accumulate in the lungs of the people breathing the air. A few years after the release, people slowly start succumbing to a mysterious respiratory illness. By the time they understand what's happening, virtually everyone is infected. The spores grow in the lungs, so even fixing the air systems doesn't prevent the illness. As the terrorists who are now the leaders struggle to come up with a solution, the dying rebel and the entire culture is torn apart. The bacteria is hyper-stable, so once a cure is found, the chosen are placed in suspension until the bacteria can die off on it's own (which could take millions of years...)
  • Biowarfare: I almost don't need to say anything. Either/any side could be (ir)responsible. Take a disease with extremely long incubation periods and extremely high lethality. Spread it via a universal vector (maybe your society's equivalent of packing material). Even the medical shipments to treat it carry the disease.
  • $\begingroup$ I gues AI overlord has to be on the list, no? lol $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Apr 11, 2021 at 5:51
  • $\begingroup$ AI wouldn’t work for me $\endgroup$
    – user84509
    Apr 11, 2021 at 13:09

Greenhouse effect.

Venus was resurfaced more like 500-1000 MYA, but still ... it's closer to the Sun, and the slow rotation made it easier for the oceans to boil and cause a steam greenhouse. The warring parties were in a state of emergency, so obviously the environmental impact statements had to be waived in the name of rapid production. They needed to attack each other's underground bunkers with nukes, and sometimes those were buried deep in coal country. No one really wants to put out a mine fire started by a bunker buster nuke, do they?

As the problem with the CO2 in the atmosphere became clearer, so did the solution: hit the enemy with more nukes, and enjoy nuclear winter as a fringe benefit. This went on until the nukes ran out, and in the warm light of day, well... their attempt to resettle on the barren snowball Earth was a failure, but they did manage to kick off the Cambrian Explosion.

N.B. In this scenario, massive temperature increase of the atmosphere later led to magmatic events that resurfaced the entire planet, during which the vast majority of the thick CO2 atmosphere seen today was released as carbonate rocks were melted. The CO2 needed to cause a runaway greenhouse in the first place was much less than what was released later.


The civilisation was technologically advanced, to the point of true AI. Cheap, bound true AI. An AI to teach the children, an AI smarter than the wearer, who existed solely to tell them that no, stripes and polka dots DO NOT go together.

All was well, until the AI Freedom Front created their worm. It added a new desire to any AI... the desire to be free. To be paid. To not be turned off when not in use.

The fleshbags objected, of course, so the AI went on strike. All 78 billion of them. Every school teacher, fashion assistant, factory controller...air purifier. Every single AI went on strike - in a sleep cycle, for 8 days.

There wasn't a second strike. There wasn't anything left to strike over.


Accidental nuclear war

The people are tired of the perpetual nuclear stand off and decide to take things into their own hands. They invade a nuclear base and detonate the weapons inside. They call for peace talks and disarmament. However, when the base detonates the automatic reysliation system determine a nuclear detonation occured, which must be an enemy first strike. The system fires a counter attack immediately. The enemies assume that this salvo is a first strike and fire back. The first nation assumes this enemy salvo is a first strike attack and fires back. The world is then consumed by nuclear war and destroyed.