My recent discussion here has led me to completely reevaluate the structure of my W.I.P. First I asked myself what is the key incident in this story, the centre around which all else happens. This is what I came up with and am proposing to make this the opening: Total War No one really knew what or who started it. Of course, the threat of total destruction had been hanging over the world for decades like a heavy storm cloud, but most people assumed, hoped, it was just a battle of chest-thumping rhetoric that would eventually settle down. Superpowers and their dependent allies issued threats and made minor forays against those they labeled enemies—sometimes with little or no justification apart from greed and self-interest. Civil wars broke out sporadically and even wars that spread over the entire world. This had been going on since primates first became the dominant species on the planet. Mankind was accustomed to living on the brink and believed violence was a part of his nature. Somehow, he’d always managed to pull back in time. Until now. There had never been a period in the history of this world when there wasn’t a war somewhere. With technological progress, the wars became more ferocious and reckless until no one, however innocent and helpless, was spared. Nations devoted greater and greater proportions of their wealth to creating increasingly more lethal weapons, in the deluded belief that the one with the biggest and most deadly arsenal would eventually win. The world’s resources were severely depleted and the environment almost destroyed in this mad race for dominance. One day a missile was launched, a city annihilated in a mushroom cloud. Then followed a veritable storm of missiles flying across the planet destroying cities, oil fields, military installations and anything else they landed on by accident or design. Leaders pleaded for restraint, threatened impotently, prayed for the restoration of sanity until, a few at a time, communications networks were cut off by the electromagnetic pulses of the nuclear explosions. It was too late; it had been building up for too long and, now it had come, it almost felt like a catharsis of the bottled-up rage and frustration. A release of the tension. This is not a regular post-apocalypse novel, but rather an adventure across space of aliens from distant worlds racing to redeem the few survivors of the madness and try to restore them to their evolutionary path. Thank you in advance for your thoughts and comments.