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Adventure Fiction Science Fiction

Diary preamble.

I never thought of myself as a diary person. My life was simply to dull and mundane to document. That is till the middle of 2023.

This was when I began to try to record the deluge of extraordinary events of that year, and the years that followed. The diary account you have found here was my underwhelming attempt to capture what I saw and what I learnt about the event that would change the course of life on earth.

The Earth completely changed in a day, which took a year.

A change that no living thing could deny. A profound change that would test the resilience of all life on earth.

Humanity in an orgy of hubris declared history over, as if nothing could derail its success. In many ways it had succeeded. No other organism in the evolutionary history of Earth had attained such a profound level of ubiquity. In fact had it been another species, humans would have called it a virus, an unstoppable pest, a catastrophic invasion. Is that what the other sentient life forms of the earth thought?

Our collective "reality check" happened on July 31st 2023.

On that day a meteor skimmed so close to earth that it shed a significant part of of its mass in sympathy to the great gravitational force of the earth. So close was the encounter that a significant part of the Earth's atmosphere was ionized in its wake, but this would go unnoticed this till much later. The most pronounced effect of the unprecedented cosmic event, was what the meteor left behind.

In the months and weeks before the event, Astronomers speculated wildly about the trajectory, composition and even categorization of the celestial body. The entire topic dominated news cycles all around the world. Would it actually hit us or simply come uncomfortably close? If it hits, who will be the unfortunate victims?, as if anyone would realistically survive anyway - (spoiler, some of us sadly did). Being right under the thing as it landed may be the ultimate mercy of an immediate and spectacular end.

Its composition was the most hotly debated subject. Because of the inherent ambiguity of the available tools at hand, speculation rode rough-shot over facts. The most ridiculous prognosis was sadly the most accurate in the end. Most spectrographic observations suggested that the meteor, dubbed X-489112, but most widely known simply as “The Meteor”, was actually made up predominantly of ice. But a wide body of scientists and pseudo-scientists belittled this theory till it became only a subject discussed with any seriousness in hushed tones between the core of what is normally the compact community of professional astronomers.

While its composition was a hotly debated mystery, its size was not. Comet, asteroid, or meteor, the classification of the body was irrelevant, because it was huge! Its diameter was measured not in meters, but in kilometers!

Because of its orientation to earth observations, there was some ambiguity as to accurate mass measurement, that is till it entered our solar system. A close pass by Pluto shocked the world when astronomers announced a revision to their size estimates when they discovered that it was of sufficient mass to affect the orbit of our most distant of planets.

The Day

On the day of the event, an impact or a near miss was still intensely debated. Pundits offered a rash of comments and prognostications like drunks trying to get their last orders in before closing time.

Half the world would witness the nearest miss of a celestial collision in recorded history. The Meteor could be seen streaking across the sky, its fiery tail visible even through cloud cover. The earth literally rumbled as the air in the atmosphere between it and us vibrated violently. Birds fell dead from the sky and nature herself seemed to hold her breath for the inevitable outcome.

A dark purple, blue stain marked its passing so profoundly that those right underneath it were thrown into an eclipse of virtual darkness, the new sky only hinting at the amazing hue of the Meteorˋs tail. 

Rain

And then it started to rain.

A strong steady rain that enveloped those directly in the path of the Meteor, but the dark cloud which everyone took to be a fleeting souvenir of our near miss, spread over the whole world within a short few days.

And the rain came in waves. Steady and strong.

Everyone was so elated that we avoided impact that rain was only considered a mild nuisance. People celebrated despite the inclement weather, because we were alive and the danger had passed.

But the rain persisted.

As days stretched into a week and a sense of calm returned to the world, pundits who had found new fame in the frenzy of speculation on social media platforms, now turned to a new target, the Rain!

When will it stop?

What is causing it?

Is it related to the Meteor?

If the Meteor had caused confusion, debate and speculations, the Rain brought all that back with a new dimension of strangeness. Meteorologists and climate scientists replaced the Astronomers as authorities on whoˋs words the world hung.

The seriousness of the new threat captured everybody's frayed nerves by surprise when oceanographers joined in by announcing that they were observing abnormal rises in sea levels which could only be attributed to the Rain.

Then disturbing reports started appearing. Nobody really knowing if this is more crazy speculations or prognostications, or facts. First low lying islands in the south pacific vanished, then cities and coastal population were displaced further and further upward. Then came the first anguished catastrophe: an entire island population suddenly engulfed in just a few days as king tides conspired to drown several 10ˋs of thousands of inhabitants. No one came to help, and none survived. Their fate was to be repeated on ever larger scales in the weeks and months that followed. Conflicts broke out as land vanished under the waves, but none could overshadow the death and destruction the water was causing. Biblical analogies flourished. Humanity was being punished was the common rant. But the preachers could offer no respite, only an illusion of spiritual salvation.

Soon the death toll became too overwhelming to comprehend. Numbers became estimates, and then became percentages.

Then the news became patchy. The internet, the hive mind of humanity was shutting down. Europe lost Holland and Denmark and large swaths of Germany. French and Germans swarmed the borderlands of Switzerland and Austria desperately seeking higher ground. The later, soon followed by the former imposed border controls where the borders were still above the new and encroaching water level. Here in Norway, we felt a false relative security as our tiny population found enough higher ground as our fjords swamped our largest of cities.

Many took to any ship or boat they could find. Many were overcrowded and sank easily, but few anticipated, nor planned for the hostility and desperation they would meet at each landfall.

Asia suffered massively, its huge coastal populations simply not able to keep ahead of the encroaching sea. Those who could, found dry ground in the high deserts and the Himalayas.

It was chaos.

So my life went from boring, nothing much happening here, to, a life and death struggle against a malign atmosphere that has turned against us, and the unpredictable and desperate reaction of the survivors around us. Everyone wants to live, but like this? I fear the erratic and dangerous interactions with strangers stems from a conflict between our genetic instinct for self preservation and our intelligent minds telling us that life is not worth living like this.

So whoever finds this diary, may they learn what life was like in wake of what we euphemistically now call the ROCK.

20231109

I was meaning to start a diary weeks ago, but it simply did not work. I feel stupid to write this line as my first sentence of my first entry. It strangely captures my life though. I have always denied what I saw and felt till its impacts were too late to avoid. Starting to dig my car out of snow 2 hours after I should have been already at work. Trying to negotiate a cheap drink an hour after happy hour ended. A week late to send my fathers birthday card. Every year!

I think I will miss my own funeral.

So it has taken 100 days of procrastination to sart this diary. How do I know its been 100 days, its because I started drawing a line on my arm for every day since the the meteor changed everything. Shit my first marker was for 6 days because I was too late to start even this stupid tattoo calendar.

At least now the calendar is marked on the wall of our hut.

I am exhausted and cold.

We have had almost no electrical power over the last few weeks and the last news I heard from the outside world was 50 days ago. For 7 weeks we have been alone.

We are taking shelter in a cluster of mountain huts here. Foraging for food but there is never enough and we live in a constant state of hunger and exhaustion.

We have some...

...drone of raindrops. Our constant companion. At times loud, the pounding would make hearing each other speak impossible. At others, a gentle but persistent drizzle which would still soak your clothes within a hour.

But this morning it was silent. Completely silent.

We rushed to the door to check and were dismayed to see it snowing. Yes winter was upon us, turning our rain to snow. Norway is no stranger to snow but...

___

Epilogue:

The year is 431PR

The transcript you have read here is a direct translation from old Latin based english. The text comes from a book found together with a collecion of artifacts at a remote acheological site located aproximately 2500km from Swanutna (located just north of the ancient city of Genoa) where it is believed the old survivors of the Norsk civilisations may have survived for some time.

The dig continues on site with a high focus on finding the rest of this diary. From it we hope to learn more about the dark century which followed the ROCK.

If you are interested in helping, we welcome all donations to this address. [3BoEQEpHKMHJnLFSc791JiTwvn9wL4Svef]

February 10, 2021 10:27

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