"Twilight of Humanity"
The lights flickered in the gloom. The bulb swung idly in a non-existent breeze, casting light over the floor below it. The moving light caused the shadows at the corners of the room to deepen. The light flickered on again, briefly illuminating the room, like a starburst in the confined quarters.
The light bulb flickers again for a few moments, and pops. The bang of the bulb is the last sound that this place will hear for a long, long time.
One hour ago, this was a place full of sound, the busy days melting into the soundless nights. Now, every day and every night would blend into one, nothing changing. Almost as if trapped in time.
One Hour ago…
It was just another day at work. The men and women in this building were at the point of the spear of progress, researchers and scientist, doctors and priests, all working towards one common goal. Advancement. Advancement for the human race. Advancement for their own personal agendas, advancement for their own personal hypothesis. The betterment of humankind was within their grasp, the cusp of all knowledge practically theirs.
And then it happened.
And nothing was ever the same.
The laboratory rung with conversation and mechanical noise. Beeping from machinery provided a background noise, as chatter among colleagues provided the overture for the day. Each studying something else, all united in searching. All testing the very boundaries of human knowledge, questioning the very boundaries of time and space. On this day, however, there was a slightly more frantic note to the general hubbub.
They were not the only laboratory in the world, after all. Others had performed similar feats, even advancing faster than them. Pride, both national and personal, was duly insulted. Researchers were kicked into overdrive, machines stretched to their limits. The dull background chatter was almost entirely drowned by the whirring machinery. Results had to be found.
Ironic, then, that time, the one thing that they needed the most, decided to stop.
War broke out, across the globe.
History was at once made, then torn up and rewritten, only to be torn again. No-one knew who began the war – the only thing anyone knows was that when it eventually stopped, the very surface of the land had been ravaged. The world had been consumed by war, the need for one nation to exercise its superiority over the others.
To the end of superiority, the largest countries relied on their technologies to see them through, churning out advanced sciences such as atom bombs and advanced mechanics. Other countries, who lacked the necessary knowledge, began a systematic campaign against their enemies, sending armies to cover the technological shortfall. These armies clashed again and again, each time cutting thousands, if not millions of their opponents down, like saw blades to wood.
But even blades can be dulled after a while.
In this case, atomic fire dulled the blades. Armies were no longer necessary. The last of the great battles had been fought. Countries were content to sit and stagnate, spending trillions on weapons manufacture and development.
The result? An arms race. The finishing line in this race? Extinction.
Humanity ripped itself apart, leaving great tracts of empty land and twisted ruins in its wake. The blood of billions marked the advent of a new era:
The Age of Survival.
Alone, forlorn and abandoned, the laboratories where the greatest technologies known to man were made, begin to collapse. Machines slowly rust, gathering dust and falling deep into disrepair. Vines twist and grow over the shattered ruins – nature claiming back what was taken from it.
A shattered shell of a world, torn apart by a suicidal race.
This is the story of life in the times after the end of the world.