The re-population of the world, and the reseeding had been much more difficult than anticipated. The Earth just wasn’t the cooperative place that it had been before the Doomsday events. Although many species of plants had been stored in the Lifehaven seed banks a lot of them didn’t thrive in the new situation, and others because there were no limitations exploded, and became like weeds. Strangely they often disappeared the next year, and were replaced with something else in overabundance. The weather had also been highly variable, and unpredictable, and since no one knew what to expect it became difficult to know what to plant. Planting a complex of seeds in one field seemed to work out well sometimes, but not others, and no one knew why. It was always too much of some necessity, and too little of some other necessity. There were very few people around to figure out the problems even though there was a huge storage of information still available from data banks. It seemed that most of the information was inapplicable because the situation was so very different from the earlier times. Another strange thing was that although people were alert, and eager to learn they didn’t seem to be as smart, and informed as people were reported to be before the Event. Apparently the massive mixing of people, and constant bombardment with stimuli had resulted in the previous people being able to think more broadly. Now for any given person there was a lot of work, but it tended to be very repetitive, and not intellectually stimulating.
The individuals we have been following after Doomsday are all dead now. The first one died in the blast when he was vaporized into a radioactive cloud. He was almost totally settled out after one hundred years, and was still visible only as part of the sedimentary lines which were now overlain with a hundred years of accumulated new dust. For him it had been an instantaneous death, and as they say, he never knew what hit him. —
The second person, from the suburb, is now totally buried in the muck, and soil which collected in his basement fallout shelter. He and his family are whole skeletons huddled together for eternity with their diary in a glass jar waiting to be read at some remote time by some remote being. Their passing had been very stressful without a moment of happiness after the events of Doomsday, just a few weeks of suffering, struggle, and hopelessness followed by oblivion. —
The third person, the one who lived on the edge of a remote farming town managed to struggle on for almost a year watching all that was dear to him slowly succumb to various stresses which were just too much to be coped with. There had been times when hope had returned, and things looked like they might get better, but then something nasty would occur, and the hopelessness returned. But, there had been occasional moments of merriment, and good times, so perhaps it had been worth the struggle. He was buried by his few surviving friends, and like those who had recently gone before him the gravestone was labeled not only with his birth, and death dates, but also with the number of days which he had survived Doomsday. —
The fourth person, south of the equator, lived on for several years but it wasn’t anywhere near what his life expectancy appeared to be the day before Doomsday. It had been a constant struggle with all sorts of problems, the worst of which had been the diseases. Fortunately there was always someone around when he was sick to pull him through, and he had reciprocated several times. Mostly this consisted of bringing in some food, and offering a little supportive care, and encouragement. Everyone had been angry, and resentful toward the people who had brought them this disaster, but eventually that mellowed into bereavement for all that had been squandered.
Within the limitations that were imposed upon this person he felt he had lived a full, and meaningful life; it was just shorter than he had expected it to be. —
The fifth person spent many years in the Lifehaven, and eventually died there, and was buried in the small cemetery nearby. He had gone out for several years to help with the reconstruction, but had returned in his old age to teach the younger people, and set an example for them. He fathered, and helped raise quite a few children at the Lifehaven, because after the Events the community had decided to maximize the number of children for several years. This was because these Lifehaven people had been chosen in the first place as particularly healthy specimens from all over the world to form a new supply of healthy people when the others had been killed, and even those outsiders who survived had been subjected to radiation, and would not be expected to be perfectly healthy genetically. He was one of the luckiest people to have ever lived because he was among those few who were able to do the most for humanity. Because of his efforts humanity has been given a second chance. —
After a hundred years the Earth was definitely on the mend, and although things were still very chaotic in many ways the people, and the other living things had found niches for themselves where they were able to thrive some of the time, and survive all of the time. The people were once again filled with hope of a glorious new future, and the worst was clearly behind them. They knew what they had to do and were eager to do it, and they resolved to do whatever was necessary to never repeat the horrible mistakes of their predecessors.