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"Inevitable Dawn" - continued

          I have just returned from retrieving whatever supplies I could find from the neighborhood, and the descriptions that I gave earlier from the window were mere shadows of the complete destruction that has taken place. For miles, in every direction, not a single structure stands. Not a building, nor a house, nor even a streetlight. In addition, there are no trees nor any signs of vegetation anywhere. The chemicals must have destroyed all of the plant life in the city. The fires have burned out, apparently because there is nothing left to burn. Ironically, and somewhat strangely, our house is the only one for at least a five mile radius that was neither burned, bombed, or leveled by the strikes. As I looked up toward the sun outside, the massive sphere was surrounded by a blue glow unlike anything imaginable. A thought flashed through my mind right then: "This is it...the end of the world is here."

          Richard has died. Rebecca and I were unable to stop the bleeding and he has died. The most recent radio reports estimate over one hundred-fifty million dead in the United States, and over ninety-five million dead in Europe. All of the major cities in the U.S., New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and Miami, have all been destroyed. Chances of survivors are at below half-a-percent. All American military bases have been bombed as well. The United States government reports that all air and ninety-five percent of ground units have been debilitated, eliminating any plans of defense. All technological weapons have been terminated, as well as most telecommunications systems. Every remaining government agency is now dependent upon ham radios and Morse code. Medical treatment will not be provided due to risks of exposure to biological and chemical radiation. The glorious empire of the United States of America has finally fallen, but not now, not like this, not this soon. I cannot force myself to believe what has happened.

          Today, on the eighth day since the first bombings, we were awoken by the unmistakable wail of sirens and the screeching of missiles in the distance. I wondered what could possibly be left to destroy of Miami, but my thoughts were quickly interrupted by another loud squeal. Rebecca and I clutched each other tightly as the strikes passed, and once the wailing stopped, we both collapsed onto the floor crying. Our son was dead, our nation was destroyed, and our own lives were slipping away. I could already begin to feel the effects of my brief excursion outdoors for food and water. My eyes began to droop, and my skin felt as if it were burning, but at a very cool temperature. Rebecca was suffering from dehydration, despite my sacrificing my shares of water. The thought crossed my mind again: "This truly is the end."

          I was greeted the next morning by the cold dead body of my wife. She had passed through the final stages of dehydration during the night, and was lying in a pile of vomit and blood. Now my wife was dead, and the odor of decay emitted by my son reminded me of all that I had lost. I turned on the radio to hear the final broadcast of the announcer: "We have now determined that any miraculous survivors of the recent bombings will have only faith to depend on, for we have decided to go off the air. May this dark hour end in prosperity, and may God save us all...." The transmission went dead. The familiar lull of radio static traversed the sound waves and reminded me once again of my loneliness. With all of the food and water supplies gone, nothing remained for me except to wait for starvation or dehydration. A slow, painful death awaited me, "and for what?" I thought. "What is it that the United States thought was worth endangering its people for?" Remembering the television images of the Kosovo crisis just two weeks before, I recalled the justification used by President Clinton. It was an act of humanitarianism. But this act of humanitarianism cost the world the deadliest destruction in its history. To save a few, we lost them all.

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