In the year of 2036, the world economy was in shambles due to inconsistencies within governments worldwide. What was supposed to be a reformed United Nations with human wellness at the forefront turned into a pissing contest between countries with over-funded military factions and nuclear weapons.
So nothing really changed.
By 2042, the beautiful country of Greece had declined to an almost third-world state. Eighty percent of the country's population left to the surrounding countries in fear of famine and poverty. Currently, some of the remaining citizens still go to work while others leaned into the new national emergency. Greece’s government, not unlike many others, had been using band aid fixes to prolong the inevitable economic crash. Most of the workforce had vacated to other countries for guaranteed pay, or at least government assistance. Not even the once-renowned tourist industry could keep up with the amount of hemorrhaged money.
If asked how that fateful day started, one of the citizens in the more rural area of Greece would say it was sunny, just another day. The airports across Greece told a different story. The few workers left to check passports and perform security measures were completely blindsided by the hundreds coming through when the scheduled planes came in. They had seen the numbers for the day, but actually seeing it was too insane to believe. All over Greece, there were waves of people from all walks of life filing in and patiently waiting to be processed through the airport. The sounds of passport pages and enthusiastic chatter brought life to the until then empty buildings. Workers texted and posted about this weird event, unsure of what brought this plethora of people to a borderline rundown country. They all had minimal luggage like they were either here for a week or here to build something new. Speculation began to spread like wildfire on the internet as photos were passed around and the few news stations left were so overwhelmed with where to go first. Within an hour of the new arrivals, there were bunches beginning to head away from the airport and others staying behind. They seemed to be drawn to the mountains, as if they were visiting home after years of living somewhere.
After the news stations got their cameras live, they pursued the newcomers with the adrenaline of a young journalist with their first lead. For one of those reporters, this was their first major story. She had been impatiently waiting for her breakout story, and she was on route to being the initial live newscast of this extraordinary even. Her news van pulled up in a remote area a bit a ways from Athens. Looking towards the mountains, she spotted clusters gathered by what looked like an overgrown hill, then caught a glimpse of something shiny among the weeds. In the distance there were more people coming to join either the newcomers or the onlookers.
“What the hell is this?” she mumbled as she closed her door, walking towards the newcomers. She shook off her nerves and passed her microphone back in forth in her hands.
“Ready to go live?” the young reporter turned back to her cameraman. He nodded, signaling that they were set to broadcast.
“Let’s go then.”
The cameraman gave her three fingers, two fingers, one—
“Good afternoon Athens! This is Effie Andino, coming to you li-“
Effie whipped around quickly after hearing rustling at an abnormal level. To her surprise, the new owners were grabbing handfuls of vines and leaves. They were removing overgrowth that was assumed to be part of the landscape, revealing beautiful marble that gleamed in the sunlight. Effie smiled to herself and turned back to the camera.
Time to shine.