Chapter 0:

Prologue

The Warm World, My Cold World


Hundreds,perhaps even thousands of years ago, the world had undergone another ice age. Present historians have speculated that many super volcanoes and hundred others have all erupted at the same time. With the eruptions alone, humanity was reduced by almost half. From the time they had bid farewell to the blue sky, the time when the last patch of sky had been covered by dark clouds, up to when ash had stopped falling, about a third of the planet’s population had been wiped out. Toxic fumes, lahar flow, and even the simple darkness has caused many deaths. As global temperatures plummeted, many unprepared people have died due to hypothermia. Only a few were able to survive and escape.

Decades had passed yet there is still no visible sign of the clouds disappearing any time soon. Although it had brightened by a bit, the dark mounds of ash people tread on made it seem like the abyss still. Shelters and sanctuaries had been built en masse in that span of time, housing a few hundred thousand at most. With communications to other countries essentially non-existent, it was assumed that people living in the shelters were the only living people left on the planet. Even pious followers and fanatics alike have run rampant, spreading word that people need to repent. But all that have died after realising it’s just false hope.

Centuries had gone in a blink of an eye and there were sightings of a bright patch of clouds. Other areas had already seen the blue sky once more. As the natural light from the sun illuminated the land scape, it looked like hell had frozen over on the surface. Giant lakes and even parts of the sea had been frozen, things that looked like trees had now become large spires and ice sculptures, and even the ancient cities had become flat land. Only the top of the tallest skyscrapers could be seen. Now, more modern shelters are designed to be taller with multiple entrances on different floors just to have access to the surface in case they get buried underneath snow.

Centuries being locked up in a cage called a shelter not only brought the people despair and anxiety, but also brought the brains of humanities together in concentrated spots. Advancement in engineering, architecture, medicine, agriculture, and many more disciples have been observed in shelters that have been built. Although each shelter is special, and one does not even know where the other shelter is, they only assumed that the advancements they have achieved could have also been attained by other places, if they had survived.

Although places had already seen the sunlight after centuries with its absence, that does not mean other areas have seen it to. Those that have witnessed the sightings and those that still live under the blizzard hell are far and few in between. It’s still relatively dark, but shadows of objects could now be seen from a distance.

At the present day, there are less than half a billion people remaining on the planet. Species of animals that have been saved and survived could even be less than a million. If anything, it would be the bacteria growing and mutating from all the events that had happened being more of interest.

In Avurgaevs, the name given to the shelter, or rather to this facility, multiple researches had been conducted. From what had just been seen like simulating a world what was once a common sight in the past, drug production and experimentation, and even discovering new forms of life from bacteria has evolved overtime to something darker such as controlled genetic mutations from enhanced drugs and concentrated radiation, mind altering and manipulation devices, and body reconstruction. Even with shady experiments, the residents, the test subjects, have all thought that it was normal. As they were led to believe that they were the only humans left, them being experimented on might lead to them being able to go out of the shelter without even needing any thick clothing.


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The blizzard in the northern mountain rages on, hurling snow and pelting hail at great speeds onto two people. They hiked the mountain, pushing through the front and faced the blizzard head on. Their feet crunch on the snow, making crumpling noises with each step. Even with all the noise coming from the blizzard, they couldn’t hear their own footsteps let alone their voices. But to the boy, the girl’s voice reverberated loudly throughout the his’s ears. He was solely focused on the girl’s singing amidst the chaotic scenery.

She sang so softly that it was impossible to hear anything but the turbulent winds. But he heard it. He can hear it. Was he hallucinating? Or did it mean he was near the end?

I need… to reach… the walled city…

The boy thought to himself. He clasped the hand of the girl and continued their march, pulling her though the thick snow. They had nothing on them besides their two-piece, shirts and shorts scrubs and their determination and tenacity to reach the walled city.


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With each step, trivial has the journey become yet heavier the burden grows, and the light that which one seeks is enigmatic and grows and clears till the eyes shut and reflects naught but one’s life on his soul.

~Krisostos Kirjeiyn


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