A Chance Meeting
A CHANCE MEETING
It is the Year 2136. The population of Planet Earth is at 25 million. Populated countries remaining amount to less than 20. At around Year 2130, Planet Earth started going through an apocalypse what humans called "The Fever". Human bodies go through a fever to eliminate viral and bacterial hosts to ensure its survival, and now humans are the viruses to Planet Earth.
Eruption of volcanoes, earthquakes over 12.0 on the magnitude scale, cyclones, tsunamis and other natural disasters striking nearly every single piece of land populated by humans. The Fever was unable to be explained by science and has been believed by religious individuals to be wrath of God. Majority of the countries bordering the Equator had been wiped out and only a fraction of the northern nations remain.
Land and resources are endangered and nations are divided. Treaties have been torn, alliances broken and wars have been waged in an attempt to scavenge for each nation's own survival. Hope for the peace and survival of humanity is shrinking.
Freshly released out on to the hectic and wrecked streets of Leicester was Jayce Calzoni, 26 years old. Tall, slim and handsome with dark brown hair and emerald green irises. Jailed for scam and fraud at the age of 19, he was separated from all friends and family for 7 years. The Fever struck shortly after the start of his sentence and he was left all alone. He paced around the streets aimlessly, scanning the city that seems so different from what he had remembered. His mobile phone connection had ended and his pockets were empty as a beggar's.
He trod hopelessly down the pathway as civilians scurried around and past him, leaving him more confused than ever. He paused at a news stand and watched on the hologram screen as footage of destruction, disasters and war around the world flashed. Feeling both dumbfounded and lost, he saw an open bar and pushed the door open and strode in, hoping for a miracle.
Soldiers made up the majority of those who filled up the bar, along with a few hopeless men by the bar counter. Jayce pulled up a seat and let out a sigh. Beside him was a man dressed up in business wear yet with his buttons out, shirt untucked, with despair no less than Jayce's, it was crystal that they were all in the same boat. His attention was caught by the familiar sigh from Jayce and he turned to examine his fellow boatman.
"Rough day, mate?"
"Rough life." Jayce lamented. At that point they had made a connection where a mutual understanding for each other's plight was formed. If hope had been the currency of the world, the both of them would have been even poorer than they already were.
"Name's Artemus Wyght. But you can call me Arty." Artemus was an average height man of a larger build than average with jet black hair and brown irises.
An awkward silence ensued for moments before they started exchanging personal questions to deepen their bond. Jayce had a love in high school called Nora Herwitz and were eventually separated after he was jailed and The Fever struck. With a gifted intellect and promising grades, he had a bright future but 'mistakes were made', as he explained.
Artemus 'Arty' Wyght was closing in on 30 years old and thus desperate for a breakthrough with his career but had only lost it in his desperation. As a result his wife of 5 years left him and had taken away huge fractions of his assets as a result of the divorce. Jobs were as rare as resources these days with the war and chaos raging on, it left him in the same sorry state as Jayce.
Arty slowly explained to Jayce in detail of how The Fever started and how Planet Earth had been impacted. First signs were picked up when tectonic plates started cracking in the most unscientific ways and consequently earthquakes and volcanoes soon followed. More and more men had been deployed for war while women are forced to work and support the homes, having an almost definite chance of becoming widows.
"The planet's in a sorry state, mate. You and I, we're men. You know what that means."
Starting around the Year 2120, the men of England were made compulsory to undergo military training, should war ever strike. Alliances and treaties had started weakening nearing the Year 2115, prompting countries to take defensive measures. England's measure was to force all men to serve the army in one way or another at the age of 16 for a whole year, where they would also gain a military specialization.
It was either fate, coincidence or luck, but both Jayce and Arty were trained to be Infiltration Infantry on the battlefield. As prisoners and high income adults were immune to being deployed for war, they were no longer safe. As the number of men to choose from falls, their military days draws near.
A military general relaxing on one of the couches by the side had overheard their conversation. He stood up tall, flattened out his crumpled shirt from sitting down, patted off some dirt and dust before pacing towards them with dense footsteps.
END OF CHAPTER 1