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ADMIN: Voting for community setting

Below you will find all of the submissions we received for the setting of this community. They will be listed in order received. The only changes I've made are the addition of titles for those untitled pieces so that there would be something to call them in the polls.

The poll is friends only because we'll be the ones actually writing in whatever universe we end up with. Results are viewable to none so your vote will be confidential. For the stories that contain characters the setting is the main thing. Those same characters may not survive or be together in your vision of the world. Voting will be open until Monday, August 6th. So, which universe sounds like the most fun to play in?




2:42
The end of the world took two minutes and forty-two seconds. The world stopped, quite literally. Possibly the universe as well, but now was watching to see if comets stilled in their tracks, or solar flares hung frozen against a backdrop on endless nothing and uncompromising stillness.

For every living thing on earth that two minutes and forty-two seconds lasted forever. Nobody blacked out, no birds dropped from trees, no flurry of souls suddenly fled outward. It all stopped. Those in the process of dying, hung there, waiting between that last breath and the one that would never come after. Those in the middle of sipping their morning coffee could feel the burn in the back of their throats, unable to swallow. Those facing a bullet heading for them could see it, knew it would hit and spent the next one minute and fifteen seconds with the knowledge that they would die. Babies were caught in their mother's wombs, commuters were suddenly aware for the millions of tons of steel and fiberglass crowding in among them. The waves in the sea hung like still life paintings, without knowledge that they were frozen.

Four-point five million people had heart attacks in those two minutes and forty-two seconds, their impending deaths causing a domino effect of accidents and deaths from the semi-truck driver changing lanes to the surgeon slicing into a patients chest.

Two-minutes and forty-two second was just long enough for most people to realize that something had happened, to cast about in experience and knowledge and faith to find a reason for it. To wonder if they were being judged, and if so, worthy or unworthy, to wonder if they'd gone mad or would soon.

But of course the biggest thing affected by the sudden stop was the planet itself. The earth didn't come with anti-lock brakes, there was no easy slide and grind to stillness. So, after two minutes and forty-two seconds had passed, when the next second ticked over and everything started again, the laws of inertia and momentum kicked in.

Continents shifted wholesale, Cities fell and rivers rose against their shores, and the ocean?

If you've ever sloshed water in a bathtub, you can imagine what happened to the oceans. Shorelines disappeared, some forever, islands vanished, creatures not seen for thousands of years suddenly breached the surface and sometimes beached themselves.

Birds rose in panicked flocks of millions, darkening skies all over the planet, herd beasts rushed to safety they could not see, insects flew or scurried or burrowed, en masse.

And the people, well, maybe some of them went mad, maybe some of them were changed, maybe some of them became something they'd never meant to be but always were. Maybe they were judged and found wanting, or maybe they were judged and found worthy: wanting for what and worthy of what only time would tell.

The end of the world was supposed to be the end of the world. No one every mentioned there being a reset button.

And that old adage about how you can only live and die once?

Not so much.

It would take a lot longer than two minutes and forty-two seconds before anyone figured any of it out.



QAF Unspecified Problem
At first Justin didn't pay much attention to the increasingly desperate tone of the news reports. He didn't have a tv and he didn't read the news paper. He mostly caught wind of current events by what he saw on the tv at his favorite pizza place.

But he noticed when his electricity went out. At first he thought it was that he'd forgotten to pay the bill, but the line to the electric company was busy, and when he went out to find something cheap for dinner, he noticed all the power was out.

He found himself a newspaper and read it by flashlight in his apartment.

Then he called Brian.

Brian said, "I'm on my way to get you. We're going to Britin. Everybody else is already there. I bought three generators and had the roof covered with solar panels."

Justin was pretty much speechless with relief.



Nuclear War
They were on the road in the UK when the first nuclear bomb went off. No one knew for sure which country had sent it but the consensus seemed to be Pakistan, and the rumors surrounding that ran from everything between a terrorist organization hijacking a nuclear facility to a plain accident.

The second one was right after that, and then the third and then the fourth. Europe was lucky, having not pissed any nuclear-capable superpowers off lately, but New York had been demolished and D.C. had been hit badly, but they'd been prepared and managed to divert most of the bomb to surrounding areas. Not that that made anything better.

"What do we do now?" said Brendon, when it was clear no flights were going to be leaving for a long time, even if they wanted to go back to the US, back home.

"We wait," said Spencer, holding Jon's hand. All of them looked as blank as Brendon felt. It was too unreal to really process. Even after they'd seen the news coverage.



1000 days
For nearly 1,000 days the earth went crazy. Some said it was God, punishing the wicked and preparing the way for the righteous. Others said it was Gaia, finally waking up.

The first sign was the dramatic increase in category 5 hurricanes and super typhoons hitting coasts all over the world, bringing with them the attendant flooding. Meanwhile, massive wildfires ravaged much of America while record heat waves caused death tolls in the hundreds in Europe. The Midwest suffered crippling drought, and the agricorps stepped up the crop rotation in an effort to make a profit from what arable land was left. This in turn gave rise to dramatic dust storms. F4 and F5 tornadoes struck the ground with unheard of frequency.

A harsh summer gave rise to an equally harsh fall with massive flooding, an increase in windstorms and early snow while winter brought deadly blizzards and record snowfall.

And then Japan’s Mt. Fuji erupted, sparking a chain reaction along the Ring of Fire. Volcanoes both active and those previously believed to be extinct erupted within days of each other spilling tons of ash into the atmosphere which triggered a nuclear winter. The eruptions were accompanied by catastrophic earthquakes as old faults awakened to new life. Some of the earthquakes in turn touched off tsunamis that rivaled the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.

Nearly a quarter of the world’s population, 1.5 billion people, starved to death.

Eighteen months after the first Category 5 hurricane hit the shore, every nation on earth was bankrupt. A year after that the nation-state was dead and all the old maps were useless.



Post Nuclear Attack Universe
Universe: Similar to Jericho where numerous major US cities - including DC - have been simultaneously destroyed by nuclear bombs (one assumes by terrorists)

Ficlet Fandoms: Jericho, Numb3rs, Supernatural, Heroes, Criminal Minds, The Unit

Post Nuclear Attack Universe Ficlet

Hawkins pulled out his map and added another red pushpin, this time to Portland. The red dots scattered across the country, marking the cities lost to nuclear devastation.

Yet Jericho remained. They could destroy the nation's capitols, but not its people.

-

"Okay so they got San Diego," Charlie said, pacing frantically. "Depending on weather conditions, wind directions and tidal flows it's possible LA wasn't affected by fallout."

Don got off the radio and stood near the open door of the SUV watching Charlie wring his hands.

"Charlie..."

"Tell me they didn't get LA," Charlie pleaded. "Tell me..."

"Buddy..." Don shook his head sadly. "I'm sorry..."

-

"Okay, so I traded for a few bags of rock salt - which we're going to have to use wisely, it's getting harder to find... What?" Dean took in Sam's solemn expression and gestured to the paper in his hand. "Is that the list?"

"Yeah," Sam said, obviously holding his emotions in check. "There's a lot of them: DC as you'd expect, but New York is still there." He paused for a moment, looking down at the list crumpled in his hand.

"What?"

"Dean, one of the cities is Lawrence, Kansas."

-

"Peter, it's not safe!"

"Don't you get it, Nathan? We're not supposed to be hiding from the chaos in a Hyde Park mansion!" Peter gestured to the palatial family estate in Upstate New York from the road where he stood beside his open car door. "We have powers! We should be out there helping people!"

"I'm a Congressman now, Peter! I have responsibilities!"

"There is no Congress! DC is gone!" Peter yelled. "But you can fly and I'm impervious to radiation. That's all that matters now."

"Please don't go," Nathan said, as Peter got in his car.

"I have to. Claire is out there. I need to be out there." He started the car. "You need to be out there too..."

-

"We can't stay on the plane forever," Morgan groused, pacing the small jet's walkway angrily.

"We're safe here and until we get orders..." Hotch started to say before Morgan interrupted him.

"What orders? Quantico is gone man! DC is gone! We're on our own here!"

"The government has disaster plans for terrorist attacks. We just need to wait until they reestablish communications," Hotch said calmly.

"If they were able to, wouldn't they have done it by now?" Morgan exclaimed.

"I think I'm getting claustrophobic," Reid muttered, more to himself than anything.

"We are still sworn officers of the law!" Hotch stated, facing off against Morgan. "And until I say otherwise we don't waste our precious fuel flying anywhere."

-

"I think it's time we face some hard facts." Jonas looked into the faces of his men and saw the worry and strain there. "There's not going to be an extraction."

"So we're stuck in this god forsaken hellhole forever?" Mack asked wearily.

"No." Jonas stood up a little straighter. "It means that if we want to get home, we're the ones who need to make it happen."

Mack nodded in agreement with rest of the team.

"Then let's get started."

~



15 Words
They had failed. Hellmouths all over the world were opening. Nothing could stop that now.



Hell on Earth
It took decades to unearth and gather together the necessary materials -- A forbidden spell. A short sword crafted centuries ago, the hilt encrusted with blood-red rubies, the edge of the silver blade as sharp as the day it was forged. A drop of precious blood spilt on a 3000 year old stone tablet covered with ancient runes. -- but only a matter of moments to bring forth Armageddon.

The gate between this world and the next swung open with nary a sound, and released all manner of nightmare upon the world. Portals opened across the continents, in the places where the beliefs had been, and still were, the strongest, where the most blood had been spilled in their names. Peru, Romania, the bayous of Louisiana, the Caribbean islands, the deepest wilds of Africa, and from there the nightmares spread.

While some surrender to the seemingly inevitable, screaming in agony as their lifeblood nourishes the darkness, others fight the nightmares, refusing to submit. And still others search for a way to close the gate. Hidden in the mists of time, and protected by the Guardian, lies the Key that, when wielded by one who has been Chosen, will close the gates forever.

Or hold them open for eternity. For even the nightmares have their own Chosen.



Yellowstone Supervolcano
For five years the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory noted the increase in uplift as the magma beneath the surface of Yellowstone rose. Small lava flows escaped from the resultant faults and fractures. Stress on the earth’s surface caused earthquakes to occur. The magma chamber became unstable, causing bigger earthquakes. As the magma moved closer to the surface, expanding gas caused a violent explosion, rupturing the crust and sending sheets of magma rising up 50km, sending debris into the air. The magma chamber collapsed to form a large caldera. The Alert Level went from Normal to Warning, and the Aviation Color Code from Green to Red, in the space of a few months.

When the Yellowstone supervolcano erupted, everything within 150 miles was leveled by a 800 degree blast of heat and 200 mph winds. Pyroclastic flows covered the entire region and killed tens of thousands of people in the surrounding areas of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. Ash was carried through the atmosphere and deposited over vast areas of the United States to devastating affect. The Great Plains, the bread basket of North America, was buried under several feet of ash and the harvest vanished overnight. Animals and people choked to death on the ash, and many species faced extinction. Volcanic gases in the atmosphere drastically affected the global climate and knocked out the growing season on a global basis and basic economic activity was negatively impacted.

No matter that it had been in the news for five years, and spoken of by those who preached the end of the world for many years before that, in a single night, everything had changed.



Less Than
The so called Spanish Flu actually started in middle America. Its rapid spread was due in large part to the massing and dispersing of soldiers fighting the first World War.

This flu was more deadly than most. It struck not only those at the extreme ends of the age spectrum, but the healthy middle as well. And it killed them in record numbers.

After 18 months the flu burned itself out. By that time the death toll was estimated to be between 50 and 100 million.

Nearly a century later it happened again. The incubation period lasted days. Seemingly healthy people boarded planes and traveled to all corners of the globe. They went to malls, and movies, and attended crowded sporting events. By the time anyone realized what was happening it was already too late.

The first symptoms were nearly indistinguishable from the common cold. Coughing, sneezing, maybe a sore throat. But the progression was rapid. There would dangerously high fevers, chills, vomiting, diarrhea and debilitating weakness.

Thirty-six hours later fully 2/3 of the victims would be dead. Of those who survived only 1/4 would recover to something approaching normal. But the rest became something else. Something less than human.



Impact
Based on "Scientists Ponder Saving Planet from Earth-Bound Comet" by William J. Broad which originally appeared in the New York Times November 1992.

--

They had two opportunities to stop the comet before it collided with earth. Some would later say that they didn't try hard enough, didn't take the threat seriously enough. After all, if the comet were going hit it would have to happen within a 3-4 minute window and the odds of it traveling all that way and then managing to hit in that small a time frame, the odds were, well, astronomical.

So they did their calculations, because that is what one does. And even though their first attempt to deflect the comet called for a 100 million tons of high explosives, they passed it off with some story about space debris exploding and most people bought it. Sure, some people figured it out, but even with the rapid spread of information made possible by the Internet, few people took them serious. The truth sounded like someone had spent too much time watching Armageddon or Deep Impact and really needed a life. So roughly four years before impact there was a flash in the sky and it was in the news for a while and there was some tension as rumors spread that the US was trying to militarize space. But eventually it all faded into the background.

There was some debate in the highest levels of government about when to tell people. What to tell people.

The second attempt would take place only 15 days before the comet was due to impact the earth and it would call for billions of tons of high explosives.

If the second attempt failed, life on earth as it was presently known would cease to exist.

Poll #1031129 Setting

The main setting for this community should be based upon:

2:42
1(8.3%)
QAF Unspecified Problem
0(0.0%)
Nuclear War
0(0.0%)
1,000 Days
1(8.3%)
Post Nuclear Attack Universe
3(25.0%)
15 Words
1(8.3%)
Hell on Earth
3(25.0%)
Yellowstone Supervolcano
0(0.0%)
Less Than
3(25.0%)
Impact
0(0.0%)

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End is Nigh by ayrdaomei
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