To satisfy the rational and enlightened mind, I shall not claim that the aliens who visited Earth in 2083 deliberately wrecked our civilization. The Gifts they gave us seemed almost miraculous, and fixed so many problems, problems that were poisoning our world. All they asked in return was to catalog our world's DNA in case it held medical or other advantages they could use or trade at other worlds.
The problem was, the Gifts of the Tourists were perfect examples of Clarke's Law – any sufficiently developed technology is indistinguishable from magic. Though we thought of them as game-changing technology, the Gifts were magic as far as we were concerned.
The thing about magic is, you need magicians to maintain it. And that was the whole problem. We were too far behind, and they left us with no tech support. After they left their Gifts began to fail, wrecking the systems we had incorporated them into. Civilization fell, and nations splintered into kingdoms and city-states. Things got bad, and could only improve by one of two ways. We could struggle back up the technological mountain by recreating the earlier technology, and say goodbye to the failing magic.
Or some of us could learn to be wizards.
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