[As Read on GIO.]
Previously on R1S3 and SH1N3…
“The end of the world began without resounding explosions or momentous stirring, but instead with a silent sigh as Mother Earth finally gave up her last breath and heaved into death’s blanket of comfortable, unending night. As the hours wore on, and not a single creature stirred upon the face of the Earth, hope slowly faded as well, and with it- humanity’s final gambit was lost. But before we go into extraneous detail and needless wastes of what precious time we have left to us in these perilous days of darkness and cold, let us look back onto what brought about the apocalypse we now know as reality…”
As I mentioned before, this all began eight years after the great industrial failure of ’30. We thought the first apocalypse would be our last, but thankfully, I guess, we were wrong about that- it was only the beginning. Half the world’s population gone in three brief hours- another 1.2 billion dead in the following two years, and that was only the warm up stroke. 4.1 billion folks left on the planet by the year 2040, and things looked pretty stable for a time- or at least, as stable as they could be when martial law was declared in each surviving nation around the world, the gasoline and oil supplies had long since run dry, and the world was literally slow roasting from the enormous hole in the Ozone layer stretching from Japan to Ireland- over 5,972 miles. The oceans had boiled down profusely and were since unsafe to venture in without volcanic-level heat protection suits to shield yourself from the scalding waters. Even battleship grade steel would melt like butter in oil. Those that had died had been the lucky ones, because the sins of the people were coming back to haunt the living- having turned the world to Hell before their eyes.
Kind of ironic that it wasn’t war or famine that brought us down that first time, punching us in the gut and taking us to our knees in one blow. It was the Green Mother herself, sickly though she was, exacting her revenge one by one- life by life. Funny that such a small thing as a non-toxic and non-deadly gases would bring the world to its knees- rising up into the atmosphere and bringing down the former international space station that had once been so majestic in the night skies. There was certainly nothing majestic about the flaming behemoth descending upon the world, all but completely wiping out life in a five hundred mile radius. It wasn’t the impact itself that did the majority of us in- but a combination of the resounding inferno seeping through the spreading ozone tear, the monstrous dust clouds choking out the plant and animal life, and the boiling seas evaporating and condensing in the form of searing rain. That rain was essentially acid rain at its finest- about three times more potent than the best mixture of hydrochloric acid on a good day.
But that’s just the start of things. Not our issues- no, they started a long time before this calamity. This particular holocaust was not so prejudiced as the last, and ignored class, gender, and values altogether- opting instead to bring the once haughty and sinful human race to its feet, running from the echoing death knolls of the planet they called home…
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TODAY AT WORK WAS QUITE DREARY. I AM SORRY THIS LETTER IS ARRIVING SO LATE TO YOU MOST LIKELY, BUT WITH ALL THESE FISCAL CUTBACKS AND BUDGET CUTS AROUND TOWN, IT’S BECOMING HARD TO GET ANY LETTERS OUT, AS I AM SURE YOU TOO KNOW. I JUST CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S ALL GOING TO HELL SO QUICKLY- AND FASTER THAN THEY PREDICTED AS WELL. YOU KNOW, JUST TODAY, I WITNESSED A SIGHT FOR SORE EYES THAT JUST REMINDED ME OF THE GIANT DEPRESSION WE’RE IN- I SAW MY BOSS DRIVE TO WORK FOR THE FINAL TIME, JUST BEFORE THEY IMPOUNDED HER CAR. CRAZY THAT THE PRIUS WAS STILL GETTING THROUGH THINGS, BUT I GUESS WE REALLY SHOULD HAVE LISTENED WHEN THEY SAID IT COULD RATION ITS GAS AND ELECTRICITY WELL. TOO BAD THAT ONLY WORKS WHEN THERE’S GAS AND ELECTRICITY AVAILABLE. SINCE ’31, I THOUGHT THINGS WOULD GET BETTER AS THE SCIENTISTS AROUND HERE FIGURED OUT WAYS TO FIND NEW RESOURCES AND POWER, BUT IT’S STEADILY GOTTEN WORSE INSTEAD, HASN’T IT? WHO WOULD’VE THOUGHT OUR BEST AND BRIGHTEST WOULD FAIL, EVEN THOUGH OTHERS HAD ALREADY? THE MERE NOTION WAS INSANE IN THE OLDEN DAYS, BUT IT TRULY SEEMS LIKE WE CAN’T WIN NOW, AND WE’VE BECOME SO DEPENDENT ON THESE NECESSITIES THAT THE MERE THOUGHT OF WORK IS FOREIGN NOWADAYS. WE ARE LITERALLY STARVING OURSELVES BECAUSE OF OUR LAZINESS AND INEPTITUDE. SUCH A SHAME THIS HUMAN RACE WOULD BE TO JEFFERSON OR EISENHOWER OR ANY OF THE PAST GREAT MEN AND WOMEN OUT THERE. THE WORLD WE LIVE IN TODAY IS ON ITS LAST LEGS, AND I FEAR WE WILL GO LONG BEFORE IT DOES… LEAVING THIS WORLD A COLD, DESOLATE, AND DREARILY DEAD PLACE BECAUSE WE WILL HAVE CHOKED OFF ALL OTHER LIFE IN OUR SELFISH ATTEMPTS AT SURVIVAL AS WELL. WELL, I’M SORRY TO LEAVE YOU ON THIS DREARY, DROLL NOTE, BUT I WAS JUST CHECKING IN TO SEE HOW THINGS WERE GOING OVER IN MANCHESTER. HOPE THIS NOTE FINDS YOU WELL, OR AT LEAST BETTER OFF THAN MOST, IF POSSIBLE.
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L3T M3 KN0W 1F Y0U F1ND 4NY 7YP0S 0R 07H3R 7H1NGS 7H47 Y0U 7H1NK N33D 70 B3 C0RR3C7ED. 7H47 W0U1D B3 MUCH 4PPR3C1473D 1ND33D. 7H4NKS 4G41N GUYS. -JW