The concept of having “back story” is that little to none of this would be included in the book or screen play. There would just be hints, implications, or assumptions that touch on these topics, giving depth to the cultural setting of the story. Here is some of the back story regarding the impact of the Babel dispersion.

It took about a hundred years, but the technology was finally re-established, and in full production to again make the pre-flood product, beetle lights. These lights mimic the light production of the illuminated insects that use chemicals to produce a cold light in a pale yellow colour, with a touch of green.

The light from this device is intense enough that it is ample for reading, more so than a candle. The appliance itself is a medium-sized box, with a triangle-shaped knob on the side to turn on the light with a clockwise turn, then off again with another clockwise turn. The light comes out the entire bottom and the lower half of one side of the box.

The top of the box has a lid that opens to add fruit scraps. The first stage of the chemicals in the appliance convert the fruit into the chemicals needed for the second stage, that produces the light. The apparatus lasts for several years of daily use, then the chemicals run out and it needs to be reloaded at the production facility.

There were seven production facilities in Shinar. Soon after that, the confusion of languages caused a lot of fighting, during which three of the machines were damaged beyond repair. This did not take much damage, since the knowledge to repair them no longer existed. Between the death of one key technologist, and the creation of new languages, the combined knowledge needed to build, or repair, the machines no longer resided within any one language-tribe. Operating the machines was still possible, as were minor repairs and maintenance.

Of the remaining four machines, three were moved to other regions, and two did not survive the move. The one remaining machine in Shinar failed beyond repair, after about 7 decades, leaving the one in Ur as the only remaining beetle light production facility in the world, at the time of the story.

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