Athon Solo ::   
Home  |  Neocron

Terminus Chronos by Athon Solo

February, 17th 2143, 08:00 am
"...The pictures your seeing are stellite images of London, England, which was hit by nuclear attack 2 hours ago. The attack is believed to have been launched by the Chinese using the illegal 'Kerolin' Stealth missiles, banned by the SALT-17 treaty of 2104. Analysts say that 80% of England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland were affected by the immediate blast and the rest will be taken by the fallout. Humanitarian groups are calling on the Federation to launch an aid mission to rescue those not yet affected by the radia..." The reporters voice tailed off as she put her hand to her ear and a look of horror crossed her face. "We are now recieving reports that Berlin, Germany has now also been rocked by a nuclear blast. Federation officials have not yet given any official announc..."

The reporter was cut short by the federation logo and the words "Federation Government Announcement", which were replaced seconds later by the face of President Eva Goreman. "It is with deep regret that I must inform you that the Federation is now at war with China. We expect more nuclear strikes, and as such I have ordered a full counter-attack using Federation Cold-Fusion technology. We advise all citizens to hoard as much tinned food as possible and find an underground structure in which to shelter. We wish you all luck in the coming years and god speed".

The message then started to repeat itself. I headed for the kitchen area and grabbed a storage box and emptied all the food in the cupboards into it. Being in an area of Europe heavily affected by hurrican storms, the house had a storm basement, where I headed and locked myself down.

I switched on the radio, to here Eva Goreman's voice repeating the same message over and over. Three minutes later the radio went silent. I went over and checked the batteries. The radio appeared to be wroking fine. I tried the 'station auto-find' button, but the radio was unable to find any active stations. Something terrible had happened outside.

I decided that whatever it was, I probably wouldn't be able to help right now, and it was best to wait until the radio came back on to find out what had happened.

One month later, the radio still couldn't find any active stations. Over the past weeks I had been clearing a room in the basement where a lot of junk had ended up when I'd moved in. In that room I found an old computer terminal which had once been connected to the underground wire networks. Of course these had been replaced by wireless digital communications long ago. Areas affected by frequent and long lasting weather storms had developed community networks by which the residents could communicate for the duration of the storm, but these networks hadn't been used in years, having been replaced by wireless networks.

I plugged in the terminal to the old wire connection that was still in the corner off the basement. I didn't expect to find anybody else on the network, but it seems that some of the neighbourhood's youth had been using the network as their own private chat room (being a small wired network, it wouldn't be subject to the monitoring that was compulsory on the Internet chat rooms).

*** Logged on as Robert
Sam> Tim, I don't know what to do, my dad went out of the basement 3 days ago and hasn't returned. Mum's a wreck and keeps talking about going out.
Sam> I keep telling her that if it was safe Dady would have come back for us by now and that he's probably gone to get extra help.
Sam> But I think something has happened to him, and he's not coming back.
Tim> I hate to say it, but I think you're right.
Tim> Our dad's too scared to let us out. He's convinced that it's a nuke and that anyone who goes out will die. I think you're doing the right thing keeping your mum in the basement.

Sam would be the 14 year old boy at number 82, but there were two kids called Tim in the neighbourhood. I decided it was time I introduced myself to find out who I was speaking to.

Robert> Hi, I'm Robert from number 42.
Robert> Sam, I guess you live at number 82 right? Tim, where do you live?
Tim> Hi. I live at number 5.
Tim> How did you find us in here? No one ever uses this system anymore.
Sam> 'cept us of course.
Robert> I got bored and started turning out the junk and found the old neighbourhood network terminal.
Robert> Does anyone else in the neighbourhood come here?
Sam> Yeah, James and Tammy do, but their eating right now. They'll be back soon.
Robert> Tim: What make's your dad think it's a nuke?

I knew that Tim's dad was a physics teacher at the local high school, so if anyone in the neighbourhood could figure out what was going on, it was probably him.

Tim> Well, there were the news reports of England being nuked all that morning, and he made some device which detects nukes or something.
Tim> He says that it's very unsafe to go outside right now.
Robert> Tim: Could I speak to your dad please?
Tim> Sure, I'll go get him
Robert> Also, can you kids figure out any way to get messages to other people?
Sam> Our paintball team uses headsets to communicate, but I don't know if the signal will go through basement walls.
Sam> As long as the other kids in the team have their headsets with them and on standby, they should get a message signal.
Robert> Well, we can atleast give it a try. I think we need to get everyone in the neighbourhood working together.
*** Steve has logged on
Steve> Hi, someone wanted to talk to me?
Robert> Hi, it's Robert from number 42.
Robert> Tim said you built a 'nuke detector' and that you said it's not safe to go outside. Could you explain a bit more please?
Steve> Sure. It's not exactly a nuke detector, it detects the radiation that a nuclear reaction creates.
Steve> It's this radiation that makes nuke attacks so deadly. It spreads far from the centre of the attack.
Steve> Fortunately, the attack that affected us was far way. We're just on the edge.
Steve> Judging from the readings I've taken, the area above us should be habitable in about 2 months.
Robert> Thanks. I guess that's good news.
Robert> Steve. We need to get everyone in the neighbourhood informed of this.
Robert> We also need to start making plans for what we're going to do when we can leave.
Robert> Since I'm fairly new to the neighbourhood, I don't know what everyone does.
Robert> Could you make a list of all the people you know and what jobs they do?
Steve> Sure. I'll get right on it.
Steve> Your not hurt at all are you? Janice (my wife) is an A&E nurse at the local hospital.
Robert> No, I'm fine thanks.
Robert> We're going to need to organise ourselves into a structured group, and make plans to find and help other survivors.
Robert> I think I need to go and start making some plans of my own to help the group.
Robert> If we all write down our ideas on how we can work together, and compare them, I think we're most likely to come up with a good solution that way.
Steve> Agreed.
Robert> OK. I think that's all for now. This is a fair bit to digiest and I think I need to go and think on it for a while.
Robert> I'll speak to you later.
Steve> Sure. Tim is always online anyway.
*** Steve has logged off
*** You have logged off

I had a lot to chew through now, so I sat down with pen and pencil to start writing down ideas.