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The End

Discussion in 'Roleplaying Forum' started by Grossenschwamm, Feb 22, 2013.

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  1. Grossenschwamm

    Grossenschwamm Well-Known Member

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    On the evening of Sunday, October 21st 2012, the countdown to the end of the world began. Two very large comets were anticipated to strike each other as their orbits intersected several astronomical units from earth, and while the catastrophe to occur was calculated as a possible outcome, it was numerically seen as very unlikely.

    Humanity was not prepared for that .5% possibility.

    As the day came, telescopes watching the sky for what events would transpire recorded some quite depressing news about the fate of humanity. Due to interactions with smaller bodies firing through the cosmos, the comets were able to collide in such a way that their combined mass was nearly certain to strike earth in a little over four months.

    The news was met with many reactions - most notable were the suicides. Within the first week of the news being known globally, ~500,000,000 people ended their own lives. The rate of deaths dropped sharply after news of a possible solution was spread, and trickles of "We've nearly done it!" kept being fed to the hungry masses for weeks.

    After two months, however, the news stopped coming. The channels were dead. Most people with some way to access the outside world suddenly had no electricity to use it. Those with faith and an appropriate "end times" tale began justifying their beliefs on the grounds of earth's destruction being almost guaranteed.

    From this point on, four major personality types began to emerge and take prominence on the dying world:

    The Zen, the Hamlet, the Id, and the Dick.

    People were known to jump from one or the other in this pre-apocalyptic world, as their opinions of events changed.

    Though anarchic and solitary by nature, bands of Ids were known to exist, wreaking havoc on all other personality types. Their logic was simple - if the world is doomed, and human history will be erased, why continue acting cordial towards others when they could drop their masks and indulge themselves?

    Dicks weren't solitary by desire, but it was nearly impossible for any one of them to ingratiate themselves onto another. When your whole modus operandi is to tell everyone you meet how dumb they were for not anticipating the destruction of earth in this exact manner, you tend to piss people off.

    Hamlets are the most tragic of those left on earth. They spend all of their time trapped in their past, trying to rewrite history in some way that would allow them to finally be at peace with themselves. This constant "what if this" or that can ultimately drive a Hamlet insane, though some are stubborn enough to hang on even into the present.

    The Zen is at peace. Ready to take what fate hands them, they have no qualms with current events. Those not accepting of earth's demise find themselves generally unsettled by how calm a Zen happens to be.

    It's now February 21st, 2013 (UTC - 5:00). The super-comet, dubbed Thanatos, is supposed to hit earth in exactly 7 days with 98% probability.

    It's accepted now that no major scientific minds are attempting to save humanity. All that's left is for those still alive to live out their last week in the only way they know how.
     
  2. Grossenschwamm

    Grossenschwamm Well-Known Member

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    Why? Why?! WHY?!

    Why didn't I try sooner?!

    Howard has the same nightmare every night. That it's the last day of human history, and everyone blames him for their lack of survival.

    This, his final week, began no differently. He sits nervously in his home, sweating profusely with his right eye twitching, reading all he can about Einstein-Rosen bridges and how they can work, while desperately wishing he'd taken classes so he could truly understand the equations he's reading. Even then, he thinks, I'm pretty damn sure I can't get everything together in time for it to work.

    He'd read profusely about several theories regarding faster than light travel over the past few months. The most intriguing was one regarding the Casimir Effect. Using a pair of charged superconductors, the joined mouths of a wormhole could be kept open via the pair interacting and forming a field of negative energy. However, it could still be so unstable that anything crossing the distance would be ripped apart - and we're also possibly thousands of years away from attempting something like that. Besides, with current propulsion advances, we wouldn't be able to get one opening far enough away within enough time to accomplish anything like surviving a comet.

    Done wracking his brain for the night, he goes out into the cold New England winter to cool his head, so he might be able to relax just enough to have that damn nightmare again.
     
  3. werozzi

    werozzi Member

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    Mack yawned. He had spent all of his afternoon in front of the computer, writing angry "told ya" posts in every forum he knew of.
    He turned down his computer, went to his bed and pulled a torn map from underneath, and as he unfolded it, some papers fell from the inside, he showed just a little interest in them, but then, after taking the map again, he found a pencil-written spot, somewhere in the middle of the desert.
    "Rosswell!"
    Mack gave the map a soft caress, as if it was a pet or a lover, then he folded the map, carefully storing the other documents inside of it, then putting it inside a black backpack.
    Putting some spare clothes, junk food supplies, water and an old BB-gun, Mack closed the backpack and left it beside the door, then he went to sleep, looking forward for the morning, when he would leave in order to preserve mankind ...or at least himself.
     
  4. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    It had been a good day for Jack. Well, another day at any rate. His students were sitting quietly in the park and nobody had killed themselves or each other. Yep, a good day.

    He shared his bowl of lentils with several stray animals and turned in for the night. Well, lay down at any rate. He was making do with just a few hours of rest in the wee hours, not even sleeping but intensively resting his mind and body.

    The other 21 hours of the day were spent helping others, his students, passers by, beggars and thieves. Everyone wanted something, food, comfort, reassurance, hope. Jack knew that what they really wanted was peace, and the best way to achieve it was to learn to ignore what they wanted or didn't want.

    Humans are the beast that cries "I" at the heart of the universe. Well, the universe wins in the end, which is about six days away now.

    Jack smiled in his 'sleep'. It's a funny old world, really.
     
  5. Grossenschwamm

    Grossenschwamm Well-Known Member

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    The day has ended.

    Thanatos is more prominent in the sky, but its gravitational effects on earth can't yet be measured. It will be a few more days before weather patterns and the tides change appreciably.

    It's strange how something so terrible can also appear so beautiful. Perhaps the reason for it is the closure it brings, or maybe it's because people love comets.

    Still, people are becoming restless. It's a natural response to be on edge when your own death is readily anticipated, but the entire planet? The body's trajectory indicates it should strike earth at over 84 degrees. Considering it's moving at 68 kilometers per second, the entire planet is expected to be turned into a churning mass of molten rock. No known organism on earth can survive heat that intense.
     
  6. Grossenschwamm

    Grossenschwamm Well-Known Member

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    Not able to sleep at all, something clicked in Howard's mind. He had heard through the grapevine of a sort of "spiritual leader" helping people cope with the end. Deciding it may be worth it to meet him, and perhaps put his own life into perspective, he put extra gas cans in his car and drove out in the direction of this mysterious Jack.

    What was said of Jack is he's at ease, and extends that feeling to those who follow him. Despite Howard not entirely knowing if he was ready to be "at ease," he steeled his resolve and thought, Even if I'm not ready to accept death, I may as well talk to someone who is.

    Gas is hard to come by, chiefly due to no one being paid to bring it to gas stations anymore. On top of that, since most people don't really care to travel anymore (at least as far as a car might take them), there wasn't too high a demand. Except for that found in the roving Ids, who are a constant threat in urban areas, as well as long stretches of highway.

    The world had fallen into anarchy - at this point, if a person wanted something, they generally took it. So, to keep his car running on his road trip, Howard siphons gas from abandoned vehicles. And sometimes from not so abandoned vehicles. That was the limit of his pilfering, though.

    As dawn breaks on the 22nd, Howard happens upon what looks like a commune. And he was getting cold feet.
     
  7. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    You can always tell who is suffering under the weight of their hopes and fears... their eyes dart around and their muscles twitch, as though their mind is trying to escape their nervous system altogether.

    Jack saw all this and more in the young man who wandered into the park before dawn, but he did not judge. He knew that animals and humans alike are always at the mercy of their instincts and habits, the most powerful of which is survival in the face of immanent destruction.

    Except humans could look twice at themselves, and learn new habits of insight and calm, no matter the circumstances.

    Good morning, friend. Jack's gaze was steady and compassionate. Will you stay and talk awhile?
     
  8. werozzi

    werozzi Member

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    It was eight in the morning, an alarm sounded.
    After waking up, Mack desperately looked for his clock, and not being able to find it, he let the alarm rang away, yet it stopped at the same moment an explosion was heard nearby; somebody had blown the nearby light posts.
    He wore his tennis shoes and put the backpack on his shoulder, then he proceeded to open the door.
    Taking a bottle of juice from the now dysfunctional fridge, he bid goodbye to his mother, exited the 7° floor apartment and boarded the door with a plank and some nails, in the event that a crazed psycho would enter and do THINGS to momma.
    Mack ran down the building's stairs and walked through the courtyard. Then, just across the empty street, he could gaze his neighbor's dog, he who always scared him, yet now, free.
    Recalling all of his suffering under that dog's feed, and hailing anarchic chaos, Mack took a metal tube and went straight towards the dog.
     
  9. Grossenschwamm

    Grossenschwamm Well-Known Member

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    There appeared to be a peak to what anxiety people were feeling as the end agonizingly approached. It seemed a plateau had been reached, and what emotions had initially felt overwhelming began to be replaced by a feeling of normalcy, though it was indeed still terrifying.

    Thanatos was now more prominent in the sky, a gigantic, radiant ball of ice and rock that was far prettier than it should have a right to be. It now appeared as bright as Venus, and only grew brighter with time.

    The 22nd seemed to pass in an instant, as Howard and Jack spoke - though on Howard's end, it began quite reluctantly.

    It was a conversation long overdue, for the singular reason that Howard had sequestered himself in his house ever since the power companies stopped supplying energy about two months prior. He had simply forgotten how much of a relief it can be to actually speak with someone, rather than mechanically exchanging pleasantries while trying to get as far from your neighbors as possible.

    Howard kept attempting to talk about one idea he had come up with during his weeks of poring over every physics publication he could find, but when the opportunity would arise he would lose confidence in himself and say something else. Besides, Jack was someone ready for the end. And he was guiding a community of people attempting the same mindset themselves - what use would he have with such an idea? And how would it change the feelings of those following him?

    Howard mulled over this constantly on the dawn of the 23rd. He had finally fallen asleep some time after 8 PM, and oddly enough he didn't have the nightmare where the entire world yelled at him for not saving the planet. He had a different one, about Catwoman attempting to break into his house to eat his guinea pig.

    Howard found Jack somewhat later, and decided to speak with him again, regarding what he thought of people perhaps surviving armageddon.

    Hey, Jack. I know you're working to help the people here accept what's coming...and I might learn to accept it myself. But what do you think of a slight possibility that people might survive this? What if some way was found to get us away from this doomed planet?
     
  10. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    Well, firstly, I'm only teaching myself to accept reality and my brothers and sisters are each teaching themselves. This is not because I am indifferent, but because it is clear to me that the suffering around us is not due to immanent death, that is always a part of life, but to the reaction to our fear.

    There are many groups and cults nowadays which are welcoming the end of life, to satisfy their grudges or insecurities, or the political ambitions of their leaders, but we are not like that. We are simply practising the art of detached attention to the here and now. To lessen the pain and lighten the load before the end.

    I grieve for the loss of life, my instinct is to fight for survival, of course. I hope for the one point eight per cent chance of the comet missing us, and if I knew of an action which could spare lives, I would take it.

    If you have an idea which might save lives, it is your duty to pursue it, as it would be my duty to help you. Please, share it. I only ask one thing, that you do not disturb my fellow students in their training with false hope, this place is set aside for objective introspection.

    If your idea is sound and the hope is real, however slight, on the other hand, everyone here will peruse the task with utmost concentration and objectivity, for that is what we have been trained!

    What is your idea?
     
  11. werozzi

    werozzi Member

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    The day was cold, the streets empty, and, as the clock gave the 11.00 a dog's corpse fell over the pavement, followed by the metallic bounce of a pipe.
    Mack, the dick, left the bloodied street behind and walked, seemingly all day, crossing row after row of abandoned buildings, witnessing riots, people going berserk because of the chaos.
    As the sun painted orange the sky, Mark was just walking the city's suburbs, away now from all of the chaotic population, seeking shelter for the night, and most important, a way of having himself transported to the spot marked on his map, to the place where mankind, or at least him, would be saved from a certain doom. But he wasn't going to go there on foot, no sir.
    As his mind revolved around possible solutions, one of them came right in front of him; standing there, inside of a half-opened garage, stood a tricycle, one of a very big size, able to carry his fat body to the desert.
    Mack ran into the garage door, and using all of his strength, he managed to close it, then installed a bedroll on the ground and laid down.
    He closed his eyes.
     
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