There was the same dusty darkness which filled the skies above, the same smell of chemical impaled the streets, the dust, ashes and smoke was so dense that for years now there has not been any day, only this melancholy remorse. People have forgotten the very essence of sunlight, it was more of a legend now, about which unoccupied people often wondered in their conversations. Whatsoever was left after years of a civilization continuously depleting the planet was now a fading memory. Some books speak of cycles, which prevailed maintaining an equilibrium between all things, what was lost, was regained again, such was the planet as they had a lot of elements then, many of them formed life and resided inside living beings often called by prophets and religious men as ‘souls’. But humans are an extraordinary species and their ability to reason was beyond imagination, they wanted to eat more than they could digest and thus they began to play with these elements, the souls. They dreamed of creating elements and did so, but the power inside these souls were unimaginable and intangible, they tried to harness its powers, its radioactivity inside mortal reactors and failed, tiny atoms split burning with fire, the fire that was trapped in the soul of this lively planet, it melted mountains into water, and curiosity finally killed the cat.
The planet is dying now, only what was left by the ancestors was not enough for everyone to share, they did not think of the future, they had only greed for their own lives, long ago forests were cut down, waters were poisoned by the industries, men slaughtered men for dead things like oil and gold, and now nothing remains. Only a few remain, there is no religion now, no language now, and no hope now. The only thing that did not change was man’s greed. They say thousands of years ago an old biologist said humans were also animals and about animals the ultimate truth was ‘Survival Of The Fittest’. And now a precious blanket of gas which once floated like armor from the unknown space has been dissolved. The only thing that protects the living beings from the long forgotten sunlight which by now was an invisible lethal fire was the ashes which rained day and night even after a century of the incident. But, the truth was simple and forgotten, that one day when all the ashes will fall down, when the rain stops and the sun comes out, that would be the end as all prophecies speak.
The town was still alive; people dwelt there but in lesser numbers than they lived before. The town was long ago called ‘Chicago’ and there were roads laden with vehicles. No one has seen the roads the only thing that they had seen was a river of ashes beneath any anyone who fell in it never came back. The town had survived because it had high towers and long ago some people managed to hide in them at the time of the disaster. Their legacy now follows in these towers. The only ways to travel across these buildings were ropeways. As the ash was getting filled everyday already 62 stories of the dark river has filled and slowly it was scaling the skyscrapers from beneath. Both the sky and the ground below were as dark as a winter night with no stars and only black snow precipitated from the heavens. It was a game of the winds; either the sun comes out first or gradually the brim spills the ashes.
The date and time was not accounted as there was no time as time ceased, there were no days so no months no years now. On the window of the gray building stood Zenthia looking at the rain, the winds gushing through the spaces between the buildings making them invisible in its black cloak. She looked down sometimes trying to trace bits of the ashes to the ground. There was turmoil in her mind, as strong as the storm; she did not know what to do. She was the last one in her tower.
There was a recent epidemic that broke months ago, people started dying, breathing trouble and black cough, someone said the ashes were getting accumulated in the lungs too with each and every breath that they drew just like it was getting accumulated in the grounds. Death was in the air. There were no visitors from the neighboring buildings now for a long time. She was confused, she was afraid but she had a small splinter of courage burning somewhere inside her. She opened the dirt stained window, slowly she perched on the window and sat on it, her legs were shaking as bits of ashes in the air touched them. She closed her wet eyes as water rolled down her cheeks; maybe it was the burning winds or her bursting emotions. The question of her survival, her existence was at question. Why was she born? What is the meaning of this world? Was this the end?
Suddenly a strong force from within her shook her spines, with her eyes closed she fell. As she was falling there was no fear, she was embracing death. Then she realized she was no longer falling through air. She opened her eyes and saw it was dark; she was into the river of ash, her pace of falling slowed down and finally stopped. She was stuck into the deep ashes. A sudden instinct to live overcame her, she tried to scream in fear but the ashes choked her. She tried to move her hands through the thick debris but she failed, adrenaline pumped in her blood as she started to slip further below into the ground. And suddenly she heard it, the siren beeping in her ears, the ashes disappears in crimson red appears ‘GAME OVER’. ‘Oh hell man! Roy this game sucks’. She pulls of the simulation glasses from her eyes and throws them on the table. Roy looks at her and says ‘You should have taken the ropeway to the left, anyways let’s play Starship Troopers Gamma’.