One Picture, One Story
Today seems a little brighter than it has been. We must have a favourable wind blowing away the smog. I took a reading of the air quality, hoping that we could venture out of the lab, but the levels were not satisfactory. We pulled the blinds up to enjoy the dim sunlight as it periodically broke through the thick, toxic air.
It has now been exactly 5 years since the mass extinctions and almost total destruction of our human race. We have communication with 10 other communities like ourselves, all of which share the same poisonous conditions outside of their outpost. Every year on this day we have a moment of silence to recognize the collapse of the world’s environment following years of economic success the world over. The world had never seen such prosperity and as such people did not want to listen to the alarmist, me included. The air seemed fine and no cute species were disappearing so we kept on doing what we were doing. Suddenly air quality dropped quickly to dangerous levels and animals began to die off and people were developing increasingly severe respiratory diseases and soon began dying off as well. The world plunged into chaos. It is a sobering day indeed.
Darkness again. With development disappearing you’d think that these billowing clouds would begin to dissipate, but Bruce tells me that the lack of rain and the constant electrical storms would most likely be causing millions of forest and grass fires and the unmanned oil wells have probably been burning non-stop as well. By his calculations it will be centuries before the outside world would be inhabitable again. Bruce depresses me, I sometimes fantasize about punching him as hard as I can in the throat.
I haven’t written in a few days as there has been nothing to report. It is difficult to not be short with the others when we are stuck in this place with no real outlets. We had a purifier go down this morning and I thought Bruce and Shawna were going to fight to the death! It was mildly entertaining, but none of us have been in the mood for laughter lately. It doesn’t help that Bruce keeps spouting out his projections and they are never in our favour. When I ask him about not reminding us so often he simply smiles and says “If you would have listened 10 years ago.” I could strangle that bastard.
It has all gone wrong. Shawna and Bruce got into it this morning and Shawna stabbed him straight through the heart. It was awful. Well, it should have been awful. None of us felt a thing as we watched him die. No sadness, no terror, no happiness, nothing. This was something that I hadn’t accounted for when we piled into this semi-underground bunker. It seems we have lost a lot of our humanness from the monotony and close quarters. It’s an interesting development and needs further investigation.
We cut up his remains and stuck them in the garbage chute. Something in me seemed to remember that at one time this would have been offensive, but at this moment it seems perfectly normal. Shawna doesn’t feel any remorse. She doesn’t feel anything at all. To her it was something that happened and was now in the past. It was no longer part of the reality so no longer needed to be processed. This was very interesting as she came in with Bruce all those years ago as an animal expert and probably the most passionate person on the team. We used to joke that she would have a funeral if someone swatted a mosquito, but now she continues on as if Bruce had never even been here. It is interesting.
Jim disappeared over night. We searched the outpost from top to bottom and there was no sign of him. Sherry and Andrea are searching through the computer logs right now to see if we can find out what happened. They tell me it could take hours, so I have sat down to write. We interact differently now. There is a coldness, almost robotic in nature, that fills this place. The emotions that once ruled our lives have disappeared and every moment is analysed and stored as if to a computer. I cut myself yesterday by accident and instead of the usual reaction of cleaning it and making sure it was mended quickly, I watched it bleed. I counted the drops as they fell to the floor (43) and I stuck a pen in the cut to open it further so I could see what was inside. I put clear tape over it so I could watch as it attempted to heal. I felt no pain. None. It was like watching those experiments I used to perform on animals back when life was good and money was readily available. I jotted notes down as I watched how my body reacted and I felt nothing. I think I might see how the others will react to the same type of wounds.
I guess the others don’t share my curiosity about wound healing. I don’t understand. We found Jim. He walked out the back door and succumbed almost immediately to the toxic air. His body was about 3 feet from the door. I don’t know what got into him, but no use worrying about that. My cut is still bleeding and is showing no signs of healing. I got some blood on my finger and licked it off and it tasted like heaven. I think I’ll do this more often.
I am the only one left. I was curious as to what the others’ blood would taste like, but they didn’t want to comply so I tied them up in separate rooms, fitted them with water bottles and fed them regularly. In return for this wonderful living arrangement I would cut them and taste their blood. They never fought nor complained; they just sat and drank their water and occasionally sniffed the air. It was all so wonderful until the first one died. I must have cut a little too deep and his blood drained quickly. Luckily I had some buckets handy and I didn’t lose much down the drain. I went to throw him out when I thought of the possibility of meat, so I strung him up in the cold room. Eventually I would run out and needed to slaughter another to keep me going. I have consumed all of them now, but have found that my own flesh is even more tasty. I think I’m close to a way to regenerate my flesh and if I’m successful I should be able to survive indefinitely. I hope it works soon, the meat from my cheeks was so incredibly juicy and I hope to have more.