The End of the Age of Humanity

In late 2017 tensions rose between India and China. Eventually the People’s Republic of China decided to invade India mainly through Arunachal Pradesh but also partially through Kashmir. On Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, Chinese forces moved into India. Diphu, Long Yap, Tunga, and Bum La passes were quickly overwhelmed by Chinese forces. Indian forces tried to hold a line at the Brahmaputra river and were successful at first, but Chinese troops were able to sneak around them at Khonsa by going through Burmese territory. The Brahmaputra Line quickly collapsed and the Indians retreated to the state of West Bengal. About three-fourths of the Chinese South Invasion Force pressured the Indians there while the last fourth mopped up resistance in Mizoram and Tripura.

Meanwhile the Chinese were having a more difficult time on the Northern Front. They had secured vital mountain passes and border towns, but glaciers and mountains limited their progress. Pakistan, seeing their chance to retake Kashmir, declared war on India and immediately sent tanks and soldiers across the border.

Internationally, outrage against China grew. The US and the EU alike declared sanctions on China. The stock markets dropped, rare earth prices rose, and new websites had a field day. China backed communist coups in Nepal and Bhutan so they could use those countries as springboards to India.

Meanwhile China gathered its forces for an assault on the West Bengal line. This was widely successful and soon Chinese forces besieged the city of Patna. In the north, Pakistani forces grabbed the Kashmiri capital of Srinagar and Chinese forces moved south. They were met with fierce resistance outside of Sonipat, very close to the Indian capital of New Delhi.

China moved in aircraft to captured cities. They began day-and-night bombing raids of Delhi and New Delhi to weaken Indian resistance. Soon the PLA was within artillery range of Delhi and started targeting it as well. After Chinese forces surrounded the small Delhi-New Delhi pocket, the Indian commander in charge of the troops there was forced to surrender. With the loss of their  capital, India was in outrage.

India quickly moved to nuke China. The Chinese anti-missile defense shield has been previously thought to be able to destroy about 75% of nukes, but this was proven wrong. 60 out of 80 Indian nukes hit Chinese military installations and cities. China was infuriated. They launched 90% of their nuclear arsenal at Indian cities that had not been secured by Chinese forces. One of those nukes hit the Pakistani-occupied Kashmiri city of Srinagar. The Pakistanis fired their nukes at China. China fired the remainder of its nukes at Pakistan. As the massive radiation cloud surged east, North Korea, beleaguered by massive amounts of radioactive fallout, blamed the war on Western Influences and nuked Seoul, Pusan and Guam. The United States barraged North Korea with non-nuclear missiles but did not use nukes.

Most of the fallout traveled through the jet current of the northern hemisphere, but some was carried by a tropical storm to Australia. As the sky blackened and massive ships of refugees from Asia steamed towards California, everyone panicked. Air travel was shut down. Global trade came to a halt. Astronauts were recalled. Famine spread. Cancer and asthma rates skyrocketed. By the end of 2018, over two billion were dead.  

Eventually the ash came to settle on the earth, mostly on the West Coast of North America. The immense weight added resulted in tectonic events. First there was an earthquake in Los Angeles. Then one in Peru. Rumbles and tremors wracked the Americas. Then, unexpectedly, the geological pressure caused Yellowstone to blow. Massive amounts of ash soared through the air, causing the US and Canadian governments to collapse within days. Other super-volcanoes exploded soon afterwards, and the world entered the Month-Long night. By the end of the Month, most cities were destroyed, the death toll had reached nearly 95% and ashfall had caused the oceans to rise and swallow coastline. A few pockets of survivors held on, though. The Swiss had retreated to their bunkers, and the Pope had gone with them. The Argentines and Chileans on Tierra del Fuego had almost a 50% survival rate. Lastly, the natives of the Andaman islands survived yet another great disaster.

Humanity’s reign as supreme rulers of Earth was over. Next came the age of the slime molds.

After the nuclear cloud and the volcanoes laid waste to the earth, most life was dead. Forests stood black. Large animals became corpses, often buried or burnt. Aquatic life was killed by chemicals released from the ash. Birds fell from the skies in droves. Entire meadows and prairies, plains and savannas, grasslands and farmland were buried under feet of often hot ash. Most plants died, all the whales and elephants and horses did. The only cows left were those that the Swiss took with them.

At first life was receding. However, like always, some organisms found a niche. As the ash hardened, lichens and moss spread across the great grey plains. Fungi and slime molds lived amongst the forests and cities, decomposing trees and human flesh indiscriminately. Mayflies, newly liberated from the chemicals of cities, flew around in giant swarms. Some very resilient snails lived in the numerous ponds that formed after each rainstorm, eating blue-green algae. Microbial life was diverse as ever.

The slime molds were intelligent, however. Their cells seemed able to converse and decide to move around, or as was more likely, grow towards food.



"Pretzel" slime mold