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The Last Day [1/?]

 


The Last Day
by Effy
Rated R
Faberry; Brittana
[Warnings: Non-Faberritana character death; language; graphic violence; suggestive situations]
Genre: Romance, Action, Adventure, Horror, Science Fiction

The government is forever overstepping boundaries, scientists are forever pushing ethical limits, politicians are forever sweeping mistakes under the rug. Then came the mistake that they couldn't contain and a few impulsive, power-hungry people were suddenly responsible for changing the world. Civilization collapsed over the course of three days.

-
In theory, the purpose of a governmental body is to speak and make the best decisions on behalf of the people; its people. With that in mind, it seems like common sense that the government, whatever it is, will represent its people, will protect its people, will do exactly what is best for its people and the future of its people. The people, of course, are what is meant to matter to the government; the well-being of the people is supposed to matter. The government is all about the fairest course of action with the best results for the majority of the population. The government is for the equality, protection and organization of the people.

There are several exceptions to this rule, of course. There are exceptions to every rule, even if no one has found them yet. There are the ruling bodies that pass power to friends and through family bloodlines, there are the elected or unelected who come to power and simply refuse to leave, there are the religious who hold the power in a tightly clenched, righteous fist. They are the selfish, the self-important, the arrogant and vain, the power-hungry.

It is the purpose of most government, stable governments, to look out for the people. It is the job of the politicians to do what they were elected to do: selflessly represent for the benefit of the many. The position of a politician was supposed to be a noble office to hold. A respectable office held by the most worthy, respectable candidate.

Those, of course, are the theoretics.

A much simplified collection of theories.

In reality, a governmental body, no matter how it was constructed or where or when it was established, is corrupt. They have the fine threads of corruption climbing through the infrastructure like a web of cracks through a window that has been hit with just enough force. Some of them genuinely want what is best and try their hardest to do what they believed to be right.

It doesn't matter the pure intentions that go into the developmental of politics, the corruption is an inevitable fact. Humans corrupt. Power corrupts. It only makes sense that power coupled with human beings will eventually result in shit situations. Always trying to one up each other, people are just like that. They like to have an advantage over each other, a way to beat others into submission just as passively as aggressively.

Scientific research and discovery, the work of those pursuing knowledge appeared to be innocent enough and, in some ways, it was. It was innocent until a discovery that left people astounded ended up being morphed into the destruction of the atomic bomb. Every technological or scientific advancement would soon be implemented into a force of violence or control; something that could be used against every other country in the world.

There was no big announcement on the day that the big discovery was confirmed. It was not covered by countless television reporters. There were no documentary filmmakers scrabbling tooth and nail to be the first to cover the 'real story.' In fact, only those citizens directly involved had any idea that the government was taking major action and the only governmental figures that were doing the acting were androgynously dressed in serious black military uniforms, black combat boots and thick black helmets with hi-tech visors.

They came in the night, cliché as it was, and left no trace by the next morning. It was only for major cities that they came. Dozens of teams throughout the night to every major city, making sure that every water supply in the United States was tended to. The same night, the rash decision was made to hand it over to other countries as well. It could bring total peace to the world in a short amount of time. Well, they thought it could bring total peace. So, there it went. The formula was accompanied by teams of covert operatives to China, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia, the majority of European countries, New Zealand, the Philippines, Thailand, Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan, South Korea as well as parts of Africa. It would accidentally find its way into almost every fresh water supply in the world.

If anyone had stopped to really think about it, they would have, should have known that it was going to blow up in their faces. An entire planet of living, breathing individuals peaceful? Almost seven billion as a peaceful, controllable population? All working together for a greater, common good? The betterment of all of humanity?

Seriously, what egotistical ass wipe believed that was possible?

It was a remarkable breakthrough, in the handful of preliminary test subjects. The hormonal basis for anger, the scientists said eagerly, was the cause of all societal issues. Anger, acknowledged or repressed, they insisted, was behind all violence ever to have existed. Anger led rape, aggression, kidnapping, murder, torture, assault, hatred, et cetera. They were ecstatic as they pointed out that, if anger was suppressed - hell, if it could be eliminated from the world's population, didn't they have an ethical obligation, a responsibility, to make sure it was done?

There was a serious problem with their experimental procedures, one that they overlooked in their excitement to get the product out to the world at large. They had stars in their eyes, those scientists. They saw themselves as the elite few who would go down in history for making the biggest difference in the history of mankind. There was also the factor that they were going to be the richest men as well. Greed can make a normally cautious, thoughtful man little more than a careless monster.

Their test group was small and homogenous from a few little communities in North Dakota. Their backgrounds, physical and mental conditions, lifestyles, everything was pretty similar. Still, that one group was multiplied in reports and made to look like hundreds, not dozens. The faster that they got their chemical out, the better. There was an incident that the eggheads glassed over smoothly and dismissed as a small anomaly. The nature of the incident was not released and no one asked, reassured by the spiel of words longer than ten letters and concepts larger than they could ever wrap their heads around. Big words always mean good things, right? Besides, it was a result that was reportedly against astronomical odds; a fluke; an occurrence that may only occur once or twice again.

It was only when all hell broke loose that the government hastily told everyone what they had done and, even then, they never actually acknowledged that Serohestin was a monstrosity that never should have been allowed to exist. Shifty-eyed, nervously fidgeting scientists explained their intentions in a live interview. They were damned on the spot by every reporter in the crowd, given no quarter or justification in which to retreat for security.

Rachel stumbled over her feet, calves aching and shoes losing traction in the thick mud as she ran. She caught herself, hands colliding harshly with the rocks. They stung her skin and nicked her knuckles so that blood welled up like a red tear, smeared by the rain. It didn't matter though and she shoved herself back to her feet even though her endurance was beyond drained.

An athlete she was. She knew some karate and was a classically trained dancer with an extraordinary work ethic for her age and unbroken workout routine every morning and evening. She was in the best shape that she could push herself to be. She was fast and stronger than anyone would guess at first glance at her, but she was only human. At the moment, she was an exhausted human.

'Keep running...' Her instincts urged her on, frantic.

But she was so tired. Her legs trembled violently. Her lungs burned, struggling to keep up with her body's strenuously extended demand for oxygen. Her small body was rebelling against her survival efforts, dramatically indignant about having been worked so continuously for such long hours. Ten hours. She had been in constant motion for ten hours, slept for maybe forty-five minutes and was on the move for twelve hours before that. The cycle had been pretty constant for four days. She was running herself down. She couldn't keep going at the pace that she was.

A loud cackle echoed through the drops of water drumming against the earth and fear ushered her onward again. The problem was that she hadn't yet found a safe haven in which to rest, to eat, to regroup. She hadn't found others like herself. In Lima, she hadn't any friends and the only two people in the world who truly loved and gave a damn about her existence were dead. Her house rested among a whole street of homes that were trashed and abandoned. Her possessions sat in her room, either raided, burned to ash or totally untouched. She wouldn't know. She hadn't seen that neighborhood since she fled. She would never see it again in her life, no matter how short or long that may end up being.

Rachel shifted her canvas bag where it was tightly secured to her back. It was on the small side, weighed several pounds and carried only those objects she deemed essential and precious. At the moment, it felt like a bag of lead but that, she presumed, was only because she had burned through all available energy as her stomach begged to be filled. She had stopped by markets and grocery stores, sure, but they had all been full of them. Those people. The ones who changed; who weren't normal anymore. There was no safe place to find food and she had no way to defend herself. Not yet.

She paused, bouncing on the balls of her feet without sparing a glance behind her. She was too afraid to look back. If she saw their eyes, met one of their gazes, she felt like she would be frozen from terror. There were two clear choices. The road continued north through Napoleon and toward the state line, but there was a problematic section where there was only one way across the Ohio River. It was a single bridge that, for all that she knew, might not even exist anymore. On the other hand, she could change course to go east and begin carving a path to Pennslyvania. The latter would take longer but definitely held definite options while the former was quicker but had only one real option for crossing.

Another laugh and the sound of a scream, closer now, made her start again without a clear direction. Anywhere but where she was would be better. The downside to all paths in her current place in Ohio was the fact that tree cover was almost nonexistent along the roads. There were wide, brown and gold open spaces. Whenever she was able, she just threw herself into the tallest grass at the highest vantage point that she could immediately find and stayed still, praying that none of them would stumble upon her. Luck had been on her side, but she had a feeling that it was running out. Maybe, just maybe, Rachel Berry was exceptional enough to outrun failing luck; fate.

She didn't know how long she was fleeing before, suddenly, she was very aware of cold, wet ground under her knees. She blinked, darkness creeping in at the edges of her vision. The panic rushed in her ears. It roared, louder than anything else that she could hear. It was louder than even the approaching sounds of imminent death. Adrenaline wasn't enough to sustain her anymore. It was a sickening realization as she tried and failed repeatedly to get back up off of the ground. Her legs were just not going to work. They couldn't anymore. The roaring suddenly stopped and footsteps came closer and closer along with the screaming.

God, she was going to die. She was going to die without a fight and without the means to end it mercifully herself. She was going to die, bloodied, dirty and hopeless in the dirt on some road in Ohio. It would be brutal, drawn out and horrifically painful. She had seen what they did to people. She had seen so many bodies. She had escaped Lima miles and miles ago, but she was still going to manage to die a Lima Loser. There were no headlines, no emotional connections, certainly no Broadway. Broadway was useless now. She curled in on herself, squeezing her eyes shut and tucking her head under her arms. She was going to be alone; a nobody who would be missed by absolutely no one.

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
motylik
Aug. 5th, 2011 04:03 pm (UTC)
Wow. Powerful beginning. I hope you continue soon because you have me hooked! :)
asutex
Aug. 9th, 2011 02:56 am (UTC)
I've been having dreams about this story, to be honest. So, I will definitely continue!
apison
Aug. 5th, 2011 06:53 pm (UTC)
Very interesting beginning! I definitely would keep reading. I love stories that deal with "end of the world" scenarios so I can't wait to see where you go with it - especially with these characters!
asutex
Aug. 9th, 2011 02:57 am (UTC)
I love "end of the world" fics as well. Most of them have to do with zombies and, I have to say, I love a good zombie story. Girls with guns. Let's all face it: it's hot.
rosebella5903
Aug. 5th, 2011 08:16 pm (UTC)
Like them up above I will say the same. Very interesting indeed.
asutex
Aug. 9th, 2011 02:58 am (UTC)
Thank you! I love your avatar, just as a little tangent. I'm not a Twilight fan, but the only thing I do like about it is Alice because she's just that cool.
katiepult
Aug. 5th, 2011 09:08 pm (UTC)
I really like how you started and look forward to more. I've found myself trying to find good ApocaFic (ooh. new word? do I get credit? lol) but there's little out there and most of it hasn't been finished.

I'm just curious but how much do you have written? :P
asutex
Aug. 9th, 2011 03:06 am (UTC)
I'll have my rainbow lawyer ducks get right on copyrighting that word for you. Well, having now posted the second chapter, I've been diligently writing the next (I think it's going to be a five-chapter story with a sequel to further explore this apocalyptic world of theirs, but I'm still deciding). Thus far it's been "write as I go" but I have a solid plan already in place for each chapter. I am definitely going to finish this story because, as I said above, I've been having dreams about it. Very detailed, interactive dreams. It's fantastic.

Thank you, I'm glad you like it so far!
ayden07
Aug. 6th, 2011 04:29 am (UTC)
WOW!! THIS IS GOING TO BE AWESOME! I CAN FEEL IT ALREADY! RUN RACHEL RUN!! CANT WAIT TO READ MORE! =)
asutex
Aug. 9th, 2011 03:07 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! I hope you like what I do with the story!
synergyfox
Aug. 22nd, 2011 04:38 pm (UTC)
Whoa. Totally just stumbled upon this in my sleepless stupor and my gods what a stumble it is. I am certainly looking forward to more and of course the Faberry, Brittana goodness in store through this experience.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )