I need to write this down, because I forget things sometimes, and I think what I heard today was important. Not to me, the time for me or almost anyone else alive on Earth today to make a difference has passed, but someone, somewhere might be able to make something of this, or at least find it helpful, or something. Once I'm done, I'm going to seal it up in a pipe, coat it in wax, and chuck it into the ravine. Maybe someday someone will read this, and try to put things together. If they're allowed to.
I'd love to start at the beginning, but I'm honestly not sure when the world started to end. Could have been years and years before the final bits, or it could have been all at once. Everything was so grim, what with warmer air, cooler seas, too little gas and too many people, things could have been unraveling for ages before things bubbled up to the public eye. What I and others remember most was when the Disney Magic sank. It was then, I think, that most people started to think that things might be worse than they seemed.
The Disney Magic was a big cruise ship, one of those liner jobs that tools around islands and stuff. One day, the news was all screaming about how it suddenly just went down when it was trying to put in to port. The weird thing about it was how there was no video of it for a long time. Some still pictures of it floating fine, but none of it actually going down. Then, somehow, a tape showed up, and the news started playing it. I have to imagine they didn't review it first.
The ship was puffing along, strong and fast, little boats bobbing around it, looking like every vacation lover's dream, when suddenly it stopped. I mean stopped, just a dead halt like it had just slammed into a mountain. You could see people go lurching forward all over the deck, a bunch of junk fall off the sides, a real mess. It's all still for a few seconds, then suddenly there's this foaming behind the ship. Most people assumed it was the engine trying to fire up again… then the arm came up.
I'm not sure if it actually was an arm, but it was some kind of limb, and it must have been a hundred feet long at least. It reached up along the side of the boat and… just ripped it open, I mean unzipped it like a coat, and you could see all the people inside screaming and running… it was awful. Then you saw something lurch up, a big, spiny shape pushing against that gap, shoving in… then there was an explosion on its back, and the camera whipped up to show a couple of jets whizzing by… then it ended.
I remember just sitting there, stunned, looking at the TV, barely noticing the president coming on to declare a state of emergency. I think it was two or three days later when the TV went under full government control, but it may have been a week, I'm not sure. Internet got clamped later, but soon all you could hear, read or see was “remain calm, everything is under control”. The oddest thing was that life really didn't change much for a while. Bills still came, still had to work, go to school, all that. Just a lot more scared faces, and a lot more weird talk.
Pretty soon we were getting told that whole towns were being evacuated, that there was a plague, or a riot, or a terrorist bomb, or some other nightmare. My brother down south said that they got moved because of a huge wildfire. The weird thing was, he said, that the fire moved oddly… seemed to shoot right for gas or brush, and didn't travel evenly. That after a while, he swore he saw what looked like a twenty foot tall man of fire walking and eating everything. The call got dropped right after he said that. I haven't talked to him since.
So things got worse, little by little. People kept being moved, and there was no real way to communicate with each other anymore that was really reliable, so it was hard to say just how bad things were. Still, word of mouth was still going strong, and it was creepy. Crazy shit, really, stuff about zombies in the north, killing frenzies in the east, a place near the ocean where the ground was alive and eating people, a cult screaming about the second coming and killing people to buy off god… I started pulling more and more away from people, just to get some ignorant peace of mind. Looking back, that probably saved my life.
Finally, one day, I woke up and there was blood on my window. It was outside, and I could hear some insane shit going down outside… screaming, clanking, gunshots, and a smell like burning wires. I hid. I'm not ashamed to admit it, I left my fellow man to rot, and hid inside for almost a full week, long after the noise stopped. After the fifth day, the electricity and gas gave out, along with the running water. When I finally got hard up for supplies, I poked my nose out, and saw that the whole west side of the world was gone.
Now, I don't know for sure if it actually is gone, but there is a cliff that starts thirty feet to the west of my house, and I cannot see the bottom of it. I also can't see the other side of this ravine, so for all intents and purposes, that part of the world is gone for me. The suburb I was in looked like a war zone, blood and broken stuff everywhere, houses carved up… no bodies though, which I still think was weird. I scrounged up some food and stuff from some of the houses, then went back home.
I've been doing that for a while now. I'm not sure how long, really. Might have been years and years, or just a few months, it's hard to say. Sometimes the sun just sticks in one spot for what feels like days… other times these clouds roll in, and you can't see two feet. There's… things around, too. I run at the first noise, but I think they're about man-sized, and they seem to like metal. Other, little things scramble around in the rubble sometimes, so I try and keep clear. One time, a thing that looked like a pill bug the size of a cat crawled out, looked at me, and screamed “STOP!” in perfect English. I hid inside for days.
There are also these big blimp-things that float around sometimes. They have little bug legs on their undersides, and they look kinda like maggots, but with eyes all over. They eat everything when they land, but most of the time they stay high up. One of these had just passed when I found the hurt guy. He was all ripped up, and looked like one of those S.W.A.T. Team guys you see on tv sometimes, but his combat suit thing was all ripped to hell. I dragged him back home, and then we talked.
He said that he had been hunting the blimp-thing, but had gotten attacked. He wouldn't say by what, but he looked like he was on his last legs. I fed him some canned beans and some water, and he seemed to come around a little. Asked me who I was, if I was alright and all that. He seemed kinda shocked when I said he was the first person I'd seen since the west of the world vanished. He told me it wasn't gone, just relocated, but wouldn't say what that meant. I helped heal him up, and kept asking who he was, but he wouldn't say. Finally, he said screw it, that his orders were probably no good anymore anyway, and told me.
He said he worked for a foundation or something, and that they were like a combination jail and research center. He said that he was one of the agents who went around trying to find strange stuff and keep it from hurting people. I said he was doing a hell of a job so far, and he laughed pretty hard. He said something had happened, and that a bunch of these things had gotten loose at the same time, and caused this foundation place to lose control. He said it became a “GH-0 'Dead Greenhouse' scenario”.
I asked him what that meant, and he looked at me for awhile before going on. He said that's what they call a situation where everybody on earth dies, but the earth itself is still ok and can support life. I asked what did that matter if everybody's dead, and he smiled strangely. I asked him if anyone else on earth was still alive, and he said yes, but carefully spread out and contained. After that, I just sorta sat and digested things for a bit, and the man started stretching and checking his cuts. He was starting to pull his boots on when I asked what happens now.
He said that they have to “reboot” things. Said they have the technology to recreate almost anything, and that making people is actually pretty easy. Said that they would clean out and contain things, rebuild the broken cities, and repopulate them. It would take a long, long time, but he said they would eventually get things back to the way they were before. Even said they could recreate memories and stuff. I just sat, kinda stunned, and watched him as he just kept going along, getting dressed like this was all no big deal. I told him he was nuts, that there was no way people could just forget, that this could all be just swept away. He stopped, looked at me, smiled, then said “Why not? It's been done before.”
I don't know if that man was crazy or not, but I think he was sane. As he was leaving, he said something about putting my house underwater. Please, don't let them brush me away. Don't let them hide us. Try and find more, I know there's got to be more people who tried to leave something behind. Don't let the world die in vain. Remember us.