The Oracle Paths

Chapter 1 The Day everything changed

idly.

Artificial intelligence and bioengineering had made huge advances. Nano-cybernetics was also on the right track. Earth had managed to create its first colony on Mars more than 40 years ago. 3D printing was perfected, even allowing organs to be duplicated or recreated using donor cells as ink. And yes, medicine had also developed a lot.

Fortunately for the people of Earth… We could still feel the ravages of the fake Third World War everywhere. Even 25 years later.

After 2070, geopolitical tensions escalated. The Earth had more than 10 billion inhabitants and access to drinking water was no longer guaranteed. Global warming accelerated the melting of sea ice, leading to the disappearance under water of many well-known coastal cities and a group of oceanic islands.

Rich countries such as the United States or China adapted easily, making the necessary investments to protect key coastal cities such as New York or Shanghai. Poorer states have had to relocate part of their population inland, suffering a net loss of territory.

Oil, water, precious metals or gemstones: as the world continued to drain fossil energies, their market value continued to skyrocket. Naturally, conflicts became more and more frequent.

In 2084, the Third World War was about to break out.

On May 14 of that same year, a terrible war did indeed break out, but it was far from what it should have been. Even today, the mystery had not yet been completely solved.

To sum it up in one sentence: Every major city was annihilated in a single day. Moscow, Tokyo, Paris, Washington, London; the names of every capital city one could think of had been erased from the face of the Earth. No explanation was given. No adventurous war reporter crossed the military cordon that cut off civilian access to these areas.

Indeed, many people had testified to seeing dazzling nuclear mushrooms blooming in most of these cities.However, many incongruities had quickly manifested themselves through millions of strange testimonies.

No government could completely silence the voice of its people.

The first anomaly was that all contact – whether by telephone or the Internet – had been cut off a few days before the nuclear missiles were fired. Some family members, friends and lovers who made a phone call to people living or working in these big cities had simply heard a loud static noise before hanging up without being able to intervene.

After communications were lost, no one came back. Even these days, the governments had not yet given a satisfying justification to the victims relatives. Add to this the weird evidences via photos or phone videos of psychedelic rainbow light coming from these places, or the few pictures of uncanny airships.

People didnt need more to speculate and go with a theory of their own.

The terrorist or Third World War theories were, in fact, the less popular. The dominant one was the alien invasion. Not on account of the rare peculiar ship pictures or government silence, but because an Earth Government saw the light of day soon after.

If you once had in your life any interest in history or politic, you then probably know that even if there was a clear loser from either side, negotiations should have taken a long time. Months if not years before agreeing for a consensus. Especially in the theoretical case of a Third World War in which many countries would be involved.

However, it happened. The Earth Government or United Earth Government. Created in barely four days, every religion and power speaking out from the same voice.

Understandably, this new Earth Government couldnt give no response at all either. They chose a rarely seen solution in politic: temporize. Two years after the False Third World War, as it was called now, the stabilized government made an announcement to pacify the mobs. It was rebroadcasted so many times that Jake could recite it by heart, in spite of his young age back then.

”Earth citizens,

”What happened on the 14th May is so unprecedented that it cant be resumed in a few words. Regrettably, we cant tell you the truth of what happened right now. We are investigating at the present time, and the bit that we know is so tremendous that most people wouldnt be ready for this.

”In the years to come, the way we live will change, but you will put up with this. You will adapt effortlessly compared to what is to come. The day of no return will be two decades in the future. In about twenty years from now, something will happen on a very particular day. Even we cant say when it will happen exactly, we could be off from a few months to several years.

”But it will happen. Then our lives will not ever be the same ”

It was twenty-two years ago. They were two years off.

Jake, that was now brushing his teeth, didnt know that this morning when he woke up, his life would take a turn he could never have imagined. The day everything changed.

The 16th August 2106.

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