Prologue: The Thinning
A virus passed from vermin consumed by the poor killed even the rich. The plague knew no class, no occupation, no age. Bodies thrown into mass graves owned no personal markers. Those in charge at the moment decisions were made were soon dead leaving piles of rotting corpses along the roadside waiting for highway workers to pick them up. Soon nobody remained to drive the heavy equipment.
A new Dark Ages struck the human species at the direst time possible.
Climate Change reached the tipping point, and then some, activating non-cyclical weather loops never predicted by any computer models. A two degree increase in temperature released massive amounts of Methane from artic permafrost and under-sea deposits. The chemistry of planet Earth change overnight in geological time. Mankind fought just to feed the masses, now his major job was to care for the dead. Industry shut down, social services were abandoned, hospitals ran with nurses doing the jobs of Doctors who had passed. Paychecks no longer mattered. Surviving and helping those in need filled the hours of most. Others died.
Those who chose seclusion and fended for themselves did well. The rich or government officials who hid in bunkers came out expecting business as usual. Their world and their leverage had been turned upside down. Those that fought the virus absent of germ-free shelters, enacted their revenge. The cards were cut long ago and finally the money meant nothing. A man’s word and how he kept it was how status was measured now.
The military stopped fighting and used the equipment and their skills to preserve life instead of destroying it fighting for some resource. The only resource lacking in this new world would be labor. There were not enough people left to run civilization as it was built to operate. We had made life too complicated to live if it all broke down. We quit teaching the basic survival skills needed to live.
Joysticks and keyboards make poor hoes.
One woman recognized an opportunity to give mankind a second chance. She knew Y, but she didn’t know how she was going to do it.