Eun Mi suppressed a yawn as she walked along, silently wishing she was still in bed. The Great Leader (the second Great Leader, which was strange considering the old one seemed sure he'd live forever) was generous enough to provide schooling. She only wished he would provide it at a more reasonable hour of the day. Perhaps noon? Enough time for a young woman (not girl, no matter what her mother said) to get beauty sleep.
At least breakfast had been good. Rice and soup and kimchi. Nothing worse than going to school hungry. She just hoped she hadn't eaten too much. Her mother's cooking was good, but her father would insist that no one wanted a glutton around the house. He may have smiled when he said it, but it was still worrying.
"How's it coming, Joe?" Beth sipped her coffee as she leaned over the partition, watching the movement on the big screen. Their offices may have been just one room, but the small metal partitions between each section helped make it feel more orderly…if a little more crowded.
"Fine, just wish R-445 would stop acting up all the damn time. We had to bug the Russians for weeks to get patched in, and now the fucking thing just goes down every twenty minutes."
"According to them, when we bought the feed, we bought the maintenance. I'm pretty sure they just wanted it off their hands." She smirked at her employee's frustration. She'd told him they didn't need the old Russian satellite, but he'd insisted on absolute coverage.
"Well I hope it drops and hits whatever asshole built it." Joe snorted, his glasses glinting in the light of the monitors. "At least K-332 is fine now."
"What, Pyongyang let you tap in? That's odd of them." The North Koreans were infamously secret, and that even applied to their weather satellites. They'd tried for weeks to get something above the 38th parallel, but in the end, given it up as a bad job. Thelmann System's stated goal of having a total coverage weather prediction system would have to do without North Korea for now.
"Well, if you must know Mrs. Thelmann…" He grinned up at his boss. "They didn't. I hacked in. They're using absolutely ancient systems over there."
Beth was more than a little appalled. "Joe! Christ, do you want some sort of international incident?!" Sure, she knew Joe was obsessive about the project, that's why she had him in on it. But electronic espionage was the kind of deep shit that could get every other country they had eyes in pulling out as fast as possible.
"Aww, c'mon-" Joe's wheedling tone, usually amusing, was suddenly grating on her nerves.
"No. Switch it over and disconnect now. We're going to have to scrub that data and hope they don't realize we're in." She growled, rubbing her forehead. "And start seriously thinking about how you're going to apologize for this shit."
Joe switched over the screen, sulking quietly… Before his voice came back suddenly dry. "Hey, boss."
"What the hell is it now-"
"Look at this." Glancing up, mouth open to rebuke him, Beth's tongue stilled. Over the Korean Peninsula, a massive swirl of air pressure had just developed. Enough to make even the harshest of hurricanes and typhoons seem like a breeze.
"What in God's name-"
Eun Mi's reverie about her near constantly shifting weight was interrupted by the wind. Sweeping around her as she walked down the road, magnified by the buildings, it tore at her clothes and yanked at her body. She felt herself dragged a few inches just by the force. Shrieking in surprise, she struggled into a nearby alleyway, looking up. The clouds above were a swirling, angry mass.
What was happening? In all her life in the city, she had never seen such weather- She heard screams and yelling ahead, as another gust of wind ripped along. The wind was a piercing wail through the buildings as it built in force, and she clung to the side of the alleyway, afraid of being blown away by the gale.
"God, what the fuck is going on- Why the fuck hasn't someone called the UN?! We need to make sure they've got rescue teams moving in as soon as it clears!" Beth was frantically trying to contact the South Korean government. Meanwhile, the apocalyptic storm was behaving erratically, hovering above the country, as if readying to strike.
"I can't figure out where the hell it came from! None of our data for the last few weeks showed anything like this-"
"Keep looking! Storms don't just show up out of nowhere-…oh shit." Beth felt her phone drop from nerveless fingers as the massive storm paused…and then settled down over the country.
Eun Mi's hands were going numb from strain, gripping the concrete edge of the building she was huddled near so hard that her fingers bled. Tears were streaming down her cheeks and being whipped off into the air as the wind increased, howling and roaring like some mighty beast. The few other pedestrians she could see were yelling and screaming. One man attempted to dash across the street and was lifted off by the wind.
And then, the aching pressure in her hand faded, as the building she was gripping simply seemed to turn see-through, and then vanish. The wind picked up Eun Mi, and she could see the other buildings fading away as well. The ground beneath her was turning immaterial as well, vanishing from sight. Her scream of shock was short lived. The sudden loss of mass as millions of tons created such a vacuum that she, and the other citizens of Pyongyang, were suddenly and harshly yanked towards the ground. Eun Mi was killed near instantly by the shift, her neck snapping under the pressure of the change in velocity.
"…day five of the rescue effort, and more bodies are being recovered from the ocean. Initial estimates put the death toll in the million range, with increases occurring constantly. The UN released a statement about the recent North Korean Incident, claiming that they believed it was 'an act of nature'. The recent leak of classified documents from the Japanese Diet pointing towards a theft from what is referred to as 'The Foundation' suggests a different story…"