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APOCALYPSE

apocalypse
 

Life on earth is destroyed by sulphuric gas emissions from subterranean explosions caused by climate change.

Fifty thousand years into the future visitors from another part of the galaxy begin a process of rejuvenation.

Space travel and time travel are possible through the instantaneous transfer of matter and the visitors create a new earth.

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ISBN:   978-1-922229-29-8
Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 263
Genre: Fiction

Cover: Clive Dalkins

Author: John Lambert
Publisher: Zeus Publications
Date Published: 2013
Language: English

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY  

John Lambert was a teacher of history who began writing historical fiction when he retired. He has now ventured into science fiction. 

All his stories show how the past determines the present and influences the future. This process also applies in science fiction. 

John’s writing is essentially about people and their achievements, about the best, and worst, of human behaviour. In his science fiction there are still human beings and their best and worst features are again explored. 

Though science fiction, the story is an almost believable study of human achievement. 

 

By the same author  

A Land of Plenty

Beyond All Seas

Lost and Forgotten

Two Tales of the Mountains

Encounter Hall

Arthur King of the Britons

Risk and Reward

Two Tales of the West

PART ONE: AN END AND A BEGINNING

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

 

The end came unexpectedly.

Though some environmental prophets of doom had been saying for several years that it was entirely possible, no one really paid much attention. Yes, the average daily temperature across the world had increased five percent, eight percent, and then eleven percent in the last three years, but the response was simply to use air conditioners more intensively. After all, winters were quite pleasant, especially as there was no longer any snow.

The last vestiges of the Arctic ice disappeared in 2025. Then, in the summer of 2029-30, the Antarctic ice melted entirely. Sea levels rose by three metres. But the world had become used to evacuating low-lying islands and coastal towns. Wealthy cities had constructed sea walls as early as 2015. All that was necessary was to add more height to them.

An American environmental scientist called Alan Williamson had written an article in 2030 pointing out that rising sea levels could reach a point where water entered cracks in the Earth’s surface and poured down into the vaults of the molten plasma, which were in many places quite close to the Earth’s surface. This would not ‘put out’ the ‘flames’ but would simply cause the water to turn to steam with such pressure that the Earth’s crust would disintegrate. His article was published in several scientific journals and generated many critical refutations from eminent scholars, the general view being that he was unduly alarmist. The world populace remained ignorant. Even if they had known of his article, it is doubtful if any one would have believed him, let alone done anything about it.

Not that there was much that could have been done. The point of no return had been reached as early as 2018. In this year, climate change involving heating of the Earth’s surface had gone beyond levels where winter temperatures could restore the moisture that summer’s heat drained from the Earth in both hemispheres. From then on, the heating of the Earth became of greater magnitude each year. The pollution of Earth’s atmosphere with carbon gases from motor vehicles continued unabated and compounded the problem. The ozone layer hole over Antarctica increased till it covered the entire southern hemisphere. As the Asian nations increased their industrial development, and with it their overall wealth, so the number of motor cars contributing to the pollution of the air around the world multiplied. Coal-fired power stations and industrial plants, although purporting to comply with world standards, continued to spew forth pollution.

Williamson was right. On 2nd January 2031, off the east coast of Hawaii, there was an underwater volcanic explosion measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale. A day later, an explosion of similar scale took place in the Sea of Japan. The two eruptions may well have been unrelated, but the tsunamis they generated reached across the whole Pacific and as far as northern Australia. Water flooded into river estuaries along the coasts of China, Japan, Canada, and most significantly, the west coast of the US. Sea water broke through barriers around cities and flooded into areas never before subject to such inundation. Massive quantities of salt water entered aquifers under the surface and from there drained into the molten core of the Earth. Similar penetration took place along the northern coast of Sumatra. It was here and in the the San Andreas Fault in California that the results were most dramatic.

Almost immediately, seismologists began reporting increased volcanic activity in all the ‘hot spots’ of the Pacific Rim.

It was three days later that the shaking began. Initially it was felt throughout Indonesia, across most of Japan, and in the cities of the American west coast. Then it spread to parts of China, Australia and the eastern sections of Siberia. Once it started, it did not stop. Earthquake-proof buildings withstood the violence, at least initially, but all other buildings collapsed. Each day, for three days, there were reports of more countries where the shaking was destroying buildings, where dam walls were cracking, where services were ruptured, where crevasses were swallowing rivers and people. Water supplies disappeared, communications broke down, bridges collapsed. But this was only the beginning. The shaking spread to Italy and Greece, and then to southern Europe and Russia.

The end came swiftly on 12 January. It was as if every volcano on the Earth exploded at once, including unknown numbers under the oceans. Ash and fumes enveloped the Earth, lava flows destroyed cities. Tsunamis flooded the coasts of every continent, crevasses widened and whole towns were swallowed. The ash and lava ignited fires in forested areas generating even more smoke till the whole Earth was wrapped in a choking, impenetrable blanket. But it was the fumes of poisonous gas which were the major problem for humans and animals. As more and more eruptions occurred, a mixture of carbon and sulphur gases smothered the Earth, depleting the supplies of oxygen to a point where living things could not breathe.

The explosions and eruptions did not abate but rather increased. Molten plasma consumed mountains, creating entirely new shapes for the continents. The high-security bunkers, designed to preserve national leaders and protect them against nuclear attack, were buried under hundreds of metres of molten rock. There was no escape and no place of safety. Oceans disappeared. Plains were turned into mountains; mountains into plains. The Earth became a molten mass.

The destruction and turmoil continued for two weeks before it gradually subsided, and by then the poisonous gas, which now replaced the once oxygen-friendly atmosphere, had obliterated all life.

But a little of the water vapour in the atmosphere remained.

For fifty thousand years the Earth slept. The poison in the atmosphere gradually dissipated. There was rain upon the dry rock. Some fresh water lakes were formed and primitive aquatic life appeared. Rain washed grains of rock into pockets of soil which then supported grasses and plants, but there were no trees, no animals and no humans.

 

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