The System’s Era

Chapter 2: The Dawn of Ascension 2

Chapter 01: The Dawn of Ascension

Aurora City, Williams Estate, 24/04/2123, O7:10 A.M.

Inside the kitchen, a young black-haired man was silently having his breakfast as he watched the news on his laptop.

”Good morning, everyone, you are watching Leaf news. Its Ethel Brooks. We begin this hour with enigmatic weather. Last night, Domino city became the first city of the northern continent to be affected by one of the unexplained meteorological anomalies that had been plaguing the world since last week. ”

”As they were heading home, the citizens of Domino city found themselves surrounded by a heavy and mysterious fog. The confusion and poor visibility created by the appearance of said fog led to many accidents, mainly car crashes, happening all around the city. Of those, the deadliest was a massive car pileup that occurred on the X bridge causing dozens of deaths and hundreds of wounded…… ”

”Its the same old news, ” Jay sighed as a scene of a city completely covered by a dense white fog was shown on the screen followed by images of the car pileup the anchor previously spoke of. While the images shown on the screen were gruesome and disturbing, they could hardly raise any waves in Jays heart. He had seen worse things.

It has been almost two weeks since such weather anomalies had been occurring everywhere around the globe. Though unfortunate, at this point everyone was already getting used to it. Also, this fog was neither the worst nor the strangest of the things that had been going around lately.

For example, in a certain city, it rained for a whole day without interruption. In the end, a years worth of rain fell in a single day resulting in a devastating flood that killed hundreds of people and destroyed most of the city.

Meanwhile, another town was seemingly targeted by a divine judgment. As crazy and unscientific as it may sound, that town was hit by thousands of lightning bolts in less than 5 minutes. For 5 short minutes, an eternity for the inhabitants of the unfortunate town, the sky never stopped roaring and the town was constantly covered by bright and blinding flashes.

Then, there are tornadoes popping out at random places, supposed dormant volcanoes suddenly erupting, lakes getting dry overnight, or deserts suddenly turning into snowfields.

And those were merely the things the government was unable to suppress. For example, stories about pets displaying unusually aggressive behaviors, or plants showing abnormal growth still hadn made their way to mainstream media or social media.

Anyway, while some of those oddities weren that odd, courtesy of the worsening global warming, the fact was that they happened one after another, at places they never occurred before, and at times they weren supposed to happen.

At that point, anyone would notice that something was wrong and would start to grow some concerns. The kind of concerns that need answers. However, until now not a single government could give anyone a plausible explanation, much less do anything to ensure anyones safety.

The only statement was bullshit about a solar storm or a nearby star nova interfering with the planets magnetic field. However, Jay didn believe it and he was sure even those who released that statement didn . Anyway, they didn need to as their goal was just to placate the publics worry.

”It isn really their fault. Those things are just too random, ” Jay mumbled. Today it could snow in a desert and the next day an aurora borealis could be seen near the equator. Also, the weather changes were often sudden, fast, and unjustified. Imagine that an instant you are enjoying a picnic on a sunny Sunday and the next instant you are standing under a storm.

Simply put, it was almost impossible to study those phenomena as there lacked a factor that linked them together and they were seemingly driven by a force way beyond humans understanding. And though most may not want to admit it, it was already clear that humanity could do nothing to resist their current predicament. Not with the current technology at least.

The only fortunate thing is that events that completely trump common sense such as the lighting rain or Domino citys fog, were few and far between, Jay thought. If it wasn the case, he was sure people would be unable to continue with their normal lives while hoping that whatever was happening would calm down soon. Anyway, they could do nothing else. And if the world was to really end, most were of the mind to enjoy life as much as possible.

As Jay was having those thoughts, another person entered the kitchen. It was a gorgeous olive-skinned red-headed girl with neck-length curls. She was tall, standing at a height of 171 cm. She wore a sky blue sweater on top of black jeans and white sneakers. And though slightly oversized, her clothes could hardly hide her beautiful and enthralling curves.

”Bonjour, ” the girl said, her beautiful voice waking Jay from his thoughts as she sat beside him.

”Hi Jess, how are you doing? ” he said, turning his head to look at her.

”Hungry!! ” She smiled and snatched the apple he just finished peeling.

”Why did you have to take mine? ” he asked, looking at the apple in his sisters hand and then at the plate full of apples in front of her.

”Munch, munch… Too lazy to peel one by myself, ” she answered, happily munching on the apple.

”Oh! Alright, ” he said. Then, with a swift move, he grabbed the apple she just snatched and put an unpeeled one in her hand.

”Hey, give that back. ” She pouted, her lips pressed together as she glared at him and tried to take the apple back.

”I too, I am too lazy to peel another one, ” he said with a small chuckle.

”Hmph, ” she snorted and took the glass of pineapple juice in front of him. Then, she slowly drank it as she stared straight at him with her big amber eyes.

”You! ” he said, his temple throbbing as he saw her empty the glass. Honestly, he didn know why he was even getting upset now. As far as he remembered, she had always had this mischievous side to her. She was 16 and after all this time spent with her, one would expect that he would get used to this. However, he wasn . Somehow, he would always lose his temper when she started messing with him.

Forget it. Its not bad anyway, he mumbled to himself. ”Have you done what mother asked you to? ” he then asked her.

”Yes, I did. I finished yesterday, ” she said as she lightly tapped the bead bracelet on her wrist on the table and a holographic report appeared in front of them.

”I have finished with the inspection. All the facilities are perfectly operational, and our energy reserves should be able to sustain our consumption for half a year at least. It is the same for our food and water reserves, ” she reported as Jay carefully scrolled through the report. ”We also have enough weapons to win WW4, ” she added with a small chuckle.

”Good, ” Jay nodded, satisfied with her report.

”Yup, everything is done. You can check it later. ”

”No, I trust you. Now, we just need to send your report to mother, ” he said as he pinched the hologram and pressed it against his Holobrain.

”When is maman coming back? ”

”Today. Her flight is scheduled for this morning. It should be somewhere around 10 A.M. ”

”Oh, already! Expected her to stay there much longer. ”

”Yes, apparently, New Paris is planning to close their airports. You know, the crazy weather and all. ”

”This mad weather thingy is really messing everything up…. Bro, do you think this is going to turn into an apocalypse? ” she asked the question that was probably on everyones minds.

”Don know, I don remember the Maya predicting anything for this period. Still, anything can happen, and thats why we are getting ready, ” Jay said. He knew that while small, the possibility of an apocalyptic event happening couldn be excluded.

”Umm, itll be cool if it does. I mean it will certainly be fun to experience an apocalypse. ”

”Maybe. Anyway, youll only know if you don die at the very beginning. ”

”Don jinx me, bro. I am not that unlucky, ” Jess said as she elbowed him. While she perfectly understood her brothers point, she didn like the fact that he said it as if she was going to be one of those unlucky enough to die at the very beginning.

”Alright, I am sorry. My lovely sister is the prettiest and luckiest girl on Terra. ”

”Not just girl. Person…. Anyway, I should be going. Good luck with your game, ” she said as she put a croissant in her mouth and grabbed her cars keys.

”Did you take your talkie? ” Jay asked. As the network was often disturbed those days, they had started to take talkies with them to avoid being unable to join each other in case of an emergency.

”Oui. ”

”Alright. Be safe. ”

”Umm…. Oh, Kate told me she will be at your college today. It is supposed to be a surprise but… ”

This girl. Jay sighed as he watched her speed away. I should go too, he thought as he put his laptop away and grabbed his bikes helmet.

I hope nothing unexpected happens, he thought as he started his bike and rode toward his college.

****

Aurora College, Cardano Arena, O1:40 P.M.

The atmosphere in the college baskets arena was bustling. Music, cheers, laughter, and loud chatters filled the place as fans of the local team animatedly discussed and celebrated their teams victory. Such an atmosphere was rare, especially in those days where everyone was worried about the future. However, on this special occasion, everyone let go of their worries and enjoyed themselves.

”Hey Jay, why are you here alone? You should go and celebrate with your friends, ” a gray-haired man said as he walked toward Jay and patted his back.

”Yes coach, I was just catching my breath, ” Jay replied with a polite smile.

”Ok. So, are you not going to consider playing in the pro league, ” the coach asked with a smile.

”I won . ” Jay shook his head. For him, basketball was a hobby at best.

Initially, he only started playing because his father deemed it to be important for his training. You need to learn how it is to be part of a team, he said. At the time, Jay thought he would need to go through another grueling experience. However, in the end, he fell in love with the sport, and it became one of the few or maybe the only good thing the asshole brought into his life.

”This would be my greatest regret as a coach. You could have become one of the greatest, ” the coach said with a bitter smile.

”I know, sorry coach, ” he said as he could somehow understand the coachs feelings.

”Don mind…. ”

”Hey, Jay! Coach, ” a tall and burly black-skinned guy said as he walked toward the coach and Jay. It was Oliver, one of Jays teammates.

”Alright, I will leave you with your friend, ” the coach said with a smile.

”Yes, coach. ” The two answered simultaneously.

”So, Jay, do you have any plans for tonight? The guys are planning to go out and have some fun, ” Oliver said as he put his arm around Jays shoulders.

”I don know yet, ” Jay said as he looked around the stadium as if looking for someone.

”Come on. We wouldn have won without you. You have to come, ” Oliver said with a hopeful look.

However, just as Jay was about to answer, a cold and somehow robotic voice sounded in his mind.

{PLANET U869X192000 HAS MET THE REQUIREMENTS. NOW COMMENCING ASCENSION PROCESS… 10….9….8…}

When he heard the sudden voice, Jay was greatly startled since it didn seem to come from around him but instead directly sounded inside his head.

”Am I so tired that I start hearing things? ” Jay couldn help but ask himself. At first, he thought it was his mind playing a trick on him, but when he looked at Oliver and saw his expression, Jay understood that the matter wasn that simple and he was not the only one that heard the voice.

{….5..}

”You heard it too, right? ” Oliver asked Jay when he saw his cautious expression and how he was warily looking around the now silent stadium.

{….1..}

{….0..}

”Yes… ” was the only thing Jay could tell before he was assaulted by an intense wave of tiredness and almost fainted on the spot. Startled, he tried his best to stay awake. Still, his struggles proved to be useless as all he could do was watch everyone around him collapse before everything went black for him too.

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