Tales Of The Apocalypse: Book II - The Rift
Slip Not Into That Gentle Darkness, For That Way Lies Death
Much has been made of the end of the Mayan calendar. To some it portends the end of civilization as we know it due to some unknown calamity. There are many theories out there; some are way, way out there. We won’t get into those here. Because the Mayans got the date wrong!
December 15, 2012 1:29 AM
The Hedlands Institute for Stellar Studies had a full time staff of three persons; Professor Artimus, PhD., Julie Waylons, college senior and Astronomy major, and Eric von Shiltz, freshman, Astronomy 101. The Professor had the second shift as it fit his teaching schedule best and the other two switched off as their schedules dictated. It just so happened that Eric was working the graveyard shift when the CME was produced by a deeply disturbed sun.
Eric was new at the Institute, having been hired on as a favor to a family friend of the Institute chairman. It was no fault of Eric’s that he did not know what he was observing on the computer screens. He did mark down in the log a notation of the strange readings occurring at that moment. Had he known what he was looking at for what it was, he would have soiled himself and probably would have fainted dead away on the spot.
Looking at the graph that accompanied the readings, he saw a large spike that left the top of the chart and did not return for a bit. Eric was not yet trained to understand what he was seeing. He was witness to the tipping point, where the deaths of 6 billion people began. Having noted the event in the log book, he went back to playing his favorite online game, Farmtown. He would not mention this to anyone until three days after the event.
After informing the professor of what he had noticed, Prof Artimus asked to see the data. Perusing thru the printouts at an increasingly frenzied pace, the Prof. had a mortified look upon his face. As he finished his second pass through to check the data, he sagged back in his chair. Looking at Eric he asked him why he had not told him earlier about the event. Eric replied that it had not seemed that important. The professor looked for a long moment at the young man, his face growing stiff and hard looking. He reached down into his briefcase and pulled out a small .380 auto pistol. “You fool!” he said. “You may have killed us all!” he then shot Eric twice in the chest before turning the gun on himself. 2 hours later Julie found them. While waiting for the police to arrive, she began reading the printout in front of the professor. Two minutes before the police arrived, Julie joined Eric and Artimus in their eternal sleep.
The police were confused as there were no suicide notes or apparent reasons for the deaths, and no one could make heads or tales out of the data on the printouts. By the time they decided to call in an authority on Astronomy, the leading edge of the CME was beginning to wash over the unsuspecting earth.
Just before the electricity died, a massive Aurora Borealis was seen in the skies all over the planet. Then the lights went out. Transformers everywhere exploded and burst into flame. Underground power cables glowed white hot and then melted. Power transmission towers and lines were glowing an eerie blue that grew in intensity until they turned white and toppled to the ground. Huge electrical discharges shot from the clouds to ground, over and over. Tall buildings received huge bolts of this electrical hell and the top floors exploded from the punishment.
The magnetic fields of the earth groaned their dismay at this distantly familiar torture, and shuddered with agony, sending huge tremors to all the fault lines. Crustal plates shifted, some massively. Tremendous earthquakes wracked the land, leveling large swathes of cityscape, destroying dams and opening large crevasses. The Tsunamis generated by the quakes swept away the coastal cities and island nations, leaving only death and destruction behind. 2 billion people perished before the earth quieted once more.
The stunned survivors knew not where to look for leadership. In the places where the massive quakes had not devastated the area, the police led the effort to restore order. After 3 days of no food and backing up sewers, the unhappy survivors rioted. Just in Time delivery of goods, the mantra of fiscally sound business practices was the downfall of the civilized world. Nowhere were there enough supplies available to support the remaining population with out delivery services and the continuation of manufacturing and importation.
Civilization died, and with it the hopes of mankind. The reign of the savage had begun.