Chapter 1 – Survival
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It was deep into the night when the final attack came. The inky backdrop of the night gave a sort of ethereal feeling. A foreboding sense of detachment, which was ironic considering that we would likely be dead soon.

There were those among us who found the nighttime deeply alluring, especially so since it would be the last night we would ever see.

Silence reigned for the next five minutes, everything becoming so serene, so peaceful, that I had the false sense of actual peace.

I feared nothing more than silence, it meant you had time to do something else other than survive.

I was somewhat comforted when the screaming voices of humans were heard, the slaughter had begun.

Everyone had long since become deaf to the cries and pleadings of others.

Yet, I could still recognize the iron-like scent of dried blood even if it had been soaked into the soil for years and years.

You can't really go nose-blind to scents such as blood when your survival depended on it.

The sun would rise in a few hours, the red and perpetual sight brought comfort to some. It didn't change the fact that we would die here but still provided comfort that light brought.

At least that's what we believed as the last survivors of humanity.

I found it ironic that we still called the rising of the sun 'dawn'.

The world has not seen a true 'dawn' in many years. Only dim, red skies full of pollutants that make you sick to your stomach whenever you look up.

Not long ago, I thought that unchecked industrial processes would kill our planet Earth. I am not beyond admitting I was wrong, since it was rumored that science ended the world instead.

The skies weren't always red. People say the early escapers from the planet crashed into a barrier that created red clouds from their vaporized blood.

Once upon of time, I could point to a spot and tell you which famous person died there, but the names had long since faded from my mind.

Everyone's mind had been fragmented to the point of forgetting their own names.

The people that tried to escape the planet were the engineers, researchers, the smartest of the smartest, and brightest of the brightest.

When they died, humanity was set back by at least a decade – a decade we desperately needed.

Maybe If I was rich, I would have also tried to leave the planet – sending myself to an early grave.

Maybe one of those blood clouds above would have been my own.

I still look up at the skies, or what was left of it, sometimes wondering where it all went wrong.

Was it before or after all the meteorites?

Yesterday, I scoured the most recent battlefield. I saw the dead bodies of old comrades, the fear of their final moments still plastered on their faces like a never-ending nightmare.

The battlefield had a trend in the early days of the apocalypse.

The magnanimous and unselfish people were at the front, they also died first.

The second layer of the battlefield consisted of families who couldn't abandon someone, so they died second.

The third layer consisted of selfish bastards that had already lost everything, these ones were just looking for a worthy death.

Then there was my spot – away from it all.

As I walked by the corpses of old comrades, I closed their eyes one by one while rummaging for whatever scraps I could find on their bodies.

I didn't feel any sympathy – I didn't feel anything period.

Sympathy had died out with the first half of the population. I am just glad to be alive in this hellish world where even birds no longer dare to shit.

The final attack was incoming but nobody could pinpoint the exact time, so here we camped, resting until our inevitable demise.

In this era, living one-second longer was a blessing nobody dares neglect.

Why worry about what would happen the next second when you know that humanity had already fallen?

This was the harsh reality, there were no heroes remaining – those fuckers were amongst the first to die.

Now we only have survivors and useless wastes. I am proud to say that I am a survivor down to the truest meaning of the word.

It was a fact that a large group of survivors would always attract either the Abominations that walk aimlessly in the Apocalypse, but nobody had the strength to care anymore.

Everyone had the same thought 'Does it matter if I die today or tomorrow?'.

I just didn't want to die alone in the wilderness.

Dying with a lover in your arms had become the most ideal way to go.

It had been 15 years since the survival of the fittest became the norm, where betrayal was not only to be expected but also anticipated.

Always assume the worse in any scenario, that way you'll survive as long as I have.

I recalled the number of times I was betrayed. Sadly, it's too many times to count.

I also had to dirty my hands a few times. Often times we do things because we don't have any other choice.

Some people say 'You always have a choice!' but those people had an immature mindset. Even before the apocalypse, sometimes you just had to pick the lesser of two evils.

I had many lovers over the years. There was nothing better to do in the apocalypse than make connections – sexual and otherwise.

In the end, only I survived - some died, some left, some cheated, some sold, some I killed, but most of them committed suicide.

I still have nightmares about those I couldn't save.

It makes me feel like a part of me still has the legendary "Humanity" the religious fanatics talk about every day.

Still, I never judged anyone because even I would preach about a better life after every battle, knowing well it was a lie.

It was the apocalypse, everyone did something they would later regret.

My biggest regret stemmed from my ever-increasing will to live.

I wanted to die so badly. I wanted to fight and have a hero's death like many before me.

As humans we don't fear death, we only fear a meaningless death. Dying meaninglessly scared the shit out of me.

Can you imagine the difficulty of dying without accomplishing anything, not even being remembered?

I don't want to go down in the annals of history, but I want to mean something to someone somewhere.

After all, sometimes a good death is its own reward. A death I was so wrongly deprived of due to my pseudo-ability [Ever Survivor].

Sometimes, if I think really hard, I can still remember the life I lived before all the killing began.

"Wake up!" I would say in a rough, grumpy tone.

"Five more minutes," she groaned in response, unwilling to get up and greet the morning air.

But even as I try with all my might, I can't remember who 'she' was.

I knew I had a sister once, and I loved her a lot...

Maybe a bit too much...

However, I have been fighting for so long that sometimes it feels like my entire life has been a bid to survive.

I remember graduating from the University of New York in 2037 with a graduate degree in Quantum Mechanics and Synthetic Genomics.

I think I was really smart, I had a girlfriend and everything, but I can't remember specific details.

Those days, I would fantasize about an apocalypse showing up to rid me of the repetitive task I called a job.

Dedicate all your time to working for someone else, never having the time or money to do anything for yourself. I use to think that my life was hell – well, right now, I long for those meaningless days.

Besides those vague memories, my earliest memories were of someone special to me being eaten by Tree Mongers.

Eaten by what you ask? I asked that question the first time I left the tree coverings.

The answer came through a painful lesson – humans had begun to eat humans. Well, they were Tree Mongers really; they had become mind-crazed shells of their former selves.

Tree Mongers were just really fast and strong zombies that specialized in climbing trees.

The cause of The Tree Mongers was later coined as "The Hellzine Virus", an infectious virus that would concentrate at the base of the skull in 're-animated humans'.

All the Tree Mongers did was follow their base instincts, which were to mate and eat. The Tree Mongers were just the beginning challenge.

It was insignificant compared to the true cause of the Apocalypse.

You could say that the entire world was thrown into disarray all at once.

First were the colorful meteorites that enthralled the population into looking up instead of down.

Then, while mankind was enthralled with the void of space above, vegetation growth increased exponentially leading to the emergence of special trees that towered over our tallest of buildings.

Nature had expanded beyond humanity's control in a single day. That was when everything went to shit, and that was just the beginning of what was to come.

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