It all started in the year of 2050; what we now call The Great Slide.
The population of the earth had breached ten billion. That is when the environment tipped over the edge: the CO-2 levels reached an historic high; ocean levels rose by two feet; the ozone layer all but disappeared; oceans acidified; the air became barely breathable; temperature rose to extreme high norms and the sun became deadly. What resulted was a mass extermination which killed off most of the primitive third world populations and practically all animal life – the rats survived – and humans that were left became nocturnal – most living underground.
The surface of the earth is now a fearful place. The sun is deadly and daytime temps reach well above one hundred degrees, the humidity is always high and there are constant violent storms.
The Slide was strange: Christians claimed it was the Apocalypse, and identified a God figure they proclaimed as savior. The Christians became militant and Christian militias roamed the streets killing and torturing and looting in the name of the new Jesus. Finally after a decade the government had to put them down.
I don’t believe in the Apocalypse or Gods; but a strange thing did happen at the beginning of the Slide: the dead came back to life. They were reanimated, but only the fresh dead walked. The recently deceased arose from the morgues and from shallow graves. They staggered around in a grotesque semblance of living persons. They weren’t dangerous except as disease carriers, but the noises they made as they tried to speak were unbearable. It was quickly discovered that the best way to exterminate them was with fire; and most were burned within the first few weeks.
However, it is still eerie to walk through a cemetery, because your steps result in a cacophony of moans and shrieks from beneath the ground, from the corpse locked in caskets, entombed in concrete crypts and buried six feet below the earth. The newly dead no longer walk but are cremated as a precaution – otherwise the rats would dig them up and eat them.
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