This is the 116th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.
Tyrant’s Cause, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 26th March 2013
Word count: 664
The third age of mankind wasn’t born in space, like the old Sci Fi shows tell it, no, the third age of mankind was born on Earth.
It was born out of world war three. It wasn’t as bad as was feared, only twenty seven nukes got to their targets. The great and bountiful array of missile defence systems, some of which the public knew others top secret, prevented most of them going beyond the upper atmosphere.
What caused the war, who were the major players didn’t really matter. All those nukes going off high in orbit, they altered the world as we knew it. See, in the end the radiation shortened our lives, the electromagnetic pulses wiped out much of our tools and knowledge.
The third age of mankind existed in a kind of perpetual countdown. The remaining population was reducing by five percent in average every three years. That number could only go up as cancer rates soared.
Even as the countdown bit, life wasn’t pretty. Only the hardiest of crops and animals survived, plants and animals that hadn’t previously been a regular feature of the human food chain were now prominent. Money meant nothing, and all those cushty jobs in the cities less still.