The pandemic appeared as if from nowhere, riding the winds of winter. It destroyed everything that tried to stand in its way, just like the plagues of old.
They tried to stop it, quarantining cities, regions, then whole countries. Martial law was imposed, all travel banned. The search for a vaccine failed, and then it was too late. Political control paused then collapsed, civilization disappeared over night. Winter gave way to Spring, the pandemic disappeared as quickly as it had come, but the damage had been done.
As the pandemic died, the wars between those remaining started; for the control of land, resources in which to build a new future, and most of all for the control of the survivors. People stopped listening, intent only on their personal survival. The strong, ruthless and those prepared to do anything survived.
Out of this chaos new powers arose and grabbed control, as if pre-prepared. Committed to command, they offered a hope and stability that no one else could. Centred on the few remaining cities, ports and geographically important centres, they took control of everything and everyone, people became a resource to fight for. Using their own security forces they imposed their control, will, and ideas.
The new powers established work centres, where food was offered free to those who worked, as long as you filled your quota. This became the new way, the new world, the way to control. No work meant you were not entitled to food in this new order. Even the dead had their use as fertilizer in the fields, helping to grow food for the living.
These new powers flourished. They soon started to squabble and fight amongst themselves, using their security resources to fight for more resources, land, and humans to work the farms. The wars finally stopped with the treaty of Berlin, as the wars were affecting business and profits. Soon the number of survivors was not enough, even after working 18 hour days. Special breeding camps were set up by each corporation to build the future work force, to increase the number of workers.
Marriage, the family, the individual, were abolished, along with religion. Everything started from zero. Soon, the only ones not under complete control of the corporations were a few survivors in the wastelands. They survived by fighting off marauding gangs and the interference of the corporations, trying to stay hidden. The corporations bided their time, building up their power base. A larger workforce was needed. First the breeding houses were voluntary, but soon every female between 12 and 25 had to work for them; marriage, religion, freedom, were abolished, as was every other self right, until the new future was born.
For the top executives and families that ran the corporations, nothing changed. They lived just like before the pandemic but now, were free of press and politcal control, for they and they alone were the new order. Greed drove them on, greed for more people to work, greed for more profit and greed for more control. They looked towards the wilderness, and the 'lost people' who survived there, for they had to be rescued, saved, and brought back into the new world.
A decree went out from every corporation to all those who survived in the wasteland. They had thirty days to surrender and move to a corporation-run area. After that period, it was legal for them to be hunted, forcibly removed from the wilderness or just wiped out, as they had become a danger to themselves and had to be saved, by reintroducing them to an ordered society! All their possessions would be confiscated to the corporation, so as to compensate the corporation for their rescue. Families would be split up. Any person not able to work on the farms or in the breeding programmes would be neutralised as a waste of resources, in the name of the corporation and the new order.
It is now 46 days since the decree.
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