Chapter 22:

The Final Yesterday

A Place between There and Now

She coughed multiple times, her voice sounded dry.

“Let’s just go search for water, you can tell me the rest while we walk, that shouldn’t be a problem.”

“I guess to say that I’m ok with that would be an understatement”

We walked down the stairs, they luckily weren’t as broken as the ones inside the warehouse. The grass was still wet, and the air smelled like it just rained which it probably did.

“What you could maybe try is just pulling your jacket along the floor, so it soaks up the water from the grass and then you just turn it around until the water flows out.”

“Even in the year 2039 rainwater should have been unhealthy.”

“It probably is but I don’t think it will kill you.”

“Like I said maybe it was like that in the year 2039 but in 2083 drinking rainwater will definitely kill you.”

“The rain looked surprisingly clear for that.”

“What? Isn’t rain normally black?”

“Oh, then you can maybe help me with that too, why is the rain black?”

“Didn’t you just say the rain looked surprisingly clean?”

“Yes, but there was a city somewhere else, I don’t know exactly in which direction, but I think I would find it again, I just need to find the path I created to get through the forest and walk past to the road”

In that moment I realized that I hadn’t created the path yet, it would only be there nearing the end of the day. What would happen if I died on the path, I would be trapped in the forest with no way to go.

“Could you show me the way? I should be able to take a taxi from there and-”

“It’s completely empty.”

“Do you know what city it was?”

“No clue.”

“Was there any building that stood out to you?”

“There was one building that was different from the rest.”

“So, what was different about it?”

“It wasn’t completely destroyed, unlike the other buildings.”

“The entire city is destroyed?”


“Except that one building?”


“So why don’t we go there?”

“Oh, don’t think you can just chill in that building, you won’t find anything there that would be interesting in any way besides someone that probably really wants to kill you.”

“Was there someone that tried to kill you?”

“Well tried would be the wrong word.”

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“Nothing, though I think you will understand it soon enough.”

“Ok, I guess. So, do you have any direction we could go if we want to find water?”

I looked around and saw a mountain, it was the one from which the river I found on my first day seemingly flowed.

“In that direction would be a river but it would take hours to get there.”

“So, we just walk in another direction in hope of finding a river?”

“In a survival situation that would be an inherently bad idea.”

“Is this a survival situation?”

“Maybe, it could be, for you at least.”

“Why only for me.”

“But if the thirst turns out to be a bigger problem than we thought it should rain in a few hours.”

She looked up to the sky and seemed a bit confused.

“How do you know that it will rain in a few hours and if that’s true shouldn’t we have maybe waited inside?”

“Why wait inside?”

“Cause the black rain is deadly, isn’t that kinda obvious, shouldn’t you have learned that? You should have been in middle school during the year of war so they should have taught you about black rain.”

“I didn’t listen, the war didn’t affect Japan, did it?”

“Well yes but still, did you never travel anywhere else?”

“Nope, but I would be pleased if you could tell me what that black rain is.”

“It’s a mixture of normal rainwater and radioactive ash.”

“Oh, it had to do with nuclear bombs, right?”

“Yeah, after a nuclear bomb hits the ground black rain will fall in the surrounding area for the next few days. Over the last 50 years, we became better and better at killing each other and with that, they found a new way to use nuclear bombs, long-term contamination. If one of these nuclear bombs hits a city it will rain black rain in only the impact zone so the surrounding area isn’t affected but it will rain in the impact zone for upwards of 10 years and the rain is way more deadly, it can kill a fully grown man in just 5 hours if he just walks through it. A man swimming in the water would die in only 20 minutes and a person drinking the water within five.”

“Didn’t you say rain would normally be black in the year 2083?”

“Yeah, that has to do with Day-0.”

“ You already mentioned that earlier, so what happened on Day-0?

“ It was the first and last military operation the NATO conducted after the Year of War and the US actually helped them with this one. Their objective was not only to destroy Africa but to incinerate it.”

“Why exactly?”

“Africa wasn’t under the control of a company or any other sort of system. The problem was that all the small countries that in your day and age were still hundreds of years behind the rest of the world were starting to get industrial. The problem was that if they didn’t stop pumping gas into the atmosphere all attempts of stopping climate change would have been for nothing. Within ten years Africa would have brought the earth to that point scientists always talked about, the point of no return, if we crossed that line, we wouldn’t be able to stop, the planet would just heat up until living here would become impossible. We would have effectively turned the earth into a second Venus. Africa however as I said didn’t have a large political system that could put an end to this. The idea that blossomed inside the heads of the most powerful people at that time might sound ridiculous, but it was the one solution that included the least amount of work for them. It would be hard to justify their decision from an ethical standpoint, but they didn’t have to do that, there was nobody that could take away their powers due to irresponsible decisions. The plan was simple, one continent and 8200 nuclear warheads. They would turn it into dust, and they would do it in the name of nature. They were saving the planet, it was their duty, so everyone just watched. Of Course there were protests, many even, but on that day most just sat there, on their couches and watched the fireworks. It was as beautiful as it was horrific and from an ethical standpoint the worst day in human history.”

“But why did they nuke it, couldn’t they have used the land?”

“They feared that the small countries could launch a counterattack if they noticed that their neighbour was being bombed so they needed to be quick. Within 4 hours everything was over. The representatives each gave different estimations of the amounts of human losses, but all of them were somewhere between 100 and 500 million though population data for the countries of Africa showed that it was way closer to 2 billion.”

“But where did they even get the bombs? If Russia didn’t help with the operation the US should have been pretty much the only country involved that owned a significant number of nuclear bombs. But they are nowhere near 8200.”

“This was in the year 2072, you can’t really draw a connection to the number of bombs that existed in the year 2039.”

“But even then 8200 bombs are in no way enough to erase the entirety of Africa.”

“That is one thing you are right about. They changed something about the bombs. They modified the code of the plutonium to shorten enrichment time and make it more capable of being turned into a weapon, that is also how they achieved the ten years of nuclear rain after the detonation of one of their modified warheads. These new bombs were called C-0 which is also why the event was called Day-0. This gave code manipulation another day in the spotlight but not for the better. The reputation of programmers sank every day, and they were more like the modern Nazis than the heroes that would lead us to our future. The dream of solving our problems via code manipulation was dead. But that didn’t mean that the companies would stop.”

“That however doesn’t explain why it rains black rain in Japan, does it?”

“I think you can already guess why it’s raining black rain everywhere on the planet. With that many nuclear warheads, they caused a nuclear winter. In the event of a single bomb landing on a city, the wind circulation and something they called the Styx-effect would keep the radioactive material near the impact zone. If however, a second bomb landed right next to the first the impact would simply cause a shockwave that nocked the nuclear material of the first explosion out of its circulation zone. It would then be swept away by the wind all over the planet. So, their plan to prevent a nuclear winter by only using these bombs failed because they didn’t know themselves how they worked. If you calculate in the deaths of the people that died due to the black rain and the temperatures everywhere across the globe you would get close to 6 billion. If by that day not nearly every job on the market had already been automated, that would have been the end of society.”

“So, on only one day we basically killed I guess around half of the world’s population?”

“You overestimate the population growth, at that time around 10 billion people were alive, so it was around 60% of the population.”

“But you are saying that nothing changed?”

“No, but it didn’t change the economy, our world can function as long as you have a few mechanics and programmers to keep it running. There were definitely programmers among the lost 60% and we definitely lost a lot of data, but our world didn’t end on that day, maybe it should have, maybe if just 10% of the rich people died, they would have learned their lesson, but no, we lost a lot of things, but we could go on and as long as that was possible, the rich didn’t care, their lifes didn’t change.”

“But what about the working class?”

“As I said there were close to no workers anymore, but I know what you mean, you want to know what happened to the normal and poor. While the rich tried to get their stuff together the poor rotted in the streets, and everyone that didn’t have a place to stay either died of radiation or froze to death. The people that did have homes needed isolation from the radioactive snow which cost to much for most. In the following years cancer rates exploded, they first doubled, then tippled and that was only in the first months. The cancer rate now sits around 18 times higher than it did before. That was only one problem though, Close to all farmland was destroyed and 99% of all crops were radiated and not eatable any longer. We luckily already produced most of our food chemically so this only hit the rich that now couldn’t eat their premium real food anymore. But the temperatures themselves proved to be a problem. In the first few years, heating wasn’t a problem but after a while, we started noticing that we were running out of fuel. They were able to fix this by changing the </16023-chemical_energy=[000.000.158]/> of coal and selling it in masses to the public, they also finally understand the Cluster Rule or to be more specific </00001-cluster[021357681450643][true/false]/>. It basically defines what an object is, if it’s true it combines the code of stuff if it’s fasel it splits it. This means that a human despite being made of thousands of small elements has one shared cluster of code.”

“Isn’t that strange, they find so many solutions to problems by changing the code all the time, but Gazation still just doesn’t know how, I mean there must be hundreds of programmers that know how to and Gazation is just too stupid to get good programmers or pay the others enough to speak.”

“Gazation would never pay a programmer to tell them the truth, this would put that programmer under huge risks because if he were to be caught, they would kill him for sure.”

“Sure, that sounds like the stuff companies worry about, the wellbeing of the enemy’s staff”

“That’s because Gazation isn’t like other companies, it’s only interested in the well-being of its citizens.”

“So, you are trying to tell me that everyone is bad except Gazation?”

“Yes, that’s pretty much what I’m trying to say.”

“And you are saying that you could be killed for watching Attack on Titan.”

“I don’t know if you would be killed for that, I think around 10 years imprisonment sounds more accurate”

“Just to summarize you are saying that in their eyes a realistic penalty for watching fucking Attack on Titan is 10 years imprisonment, and they are supposed to be the good guys?”