I finally reach the hill. I look out onto the horizon. Nothing but farmland for miles. That was a common sight in Nebraska, but I always loved it. Something about the simplicity just seemed so calming to me, ever since I was a little kid. I’ve always come here whenever I felt like I just had to get away from it all, and today was no different. Usually given the circumstances I would be with my family, but that’s not possible anymore. Once they got news of what was coming, they each took their lives. My mother, my father, my older brother, their all gone now. Each of them took a bullet to the head with my dad’s revolver. I was supposed to go next. I was supposed to join them. But instead, I came here. I don’t know why, but I want to see what’s about to happen for myself. If the news is right, the missiles should be touching down in about 30 minutes, give or take. That means I have about 30 minutes to sit hear and take in this view one last time before it all goes up in flames right before my eyes. As I sit down to try and get comfortable, I hear a voice come from behind me.
“Do you mind if I join you?”
I turn around and see a young woman about my age standing over me.
“No, its fine.”
She sits down beside me. Perplexed as to why someone would join a total stranger during the world’s final hour, I decide to ask her a few questions.
“Why are you here?”
“I don’t want to be alone”
“Where is your family?”
“Are you afraid?”
I pause for a moment to think of what else I might want to ask her, but I am interrupted by her before I get a chance to continue.
“It’s a shame isn’t it? All of humanity has to die, and for what? So we could maintain our use of machines.”
Confused, I ask her to elaborate.
“What do you mean?”
“Isn’t it obvious. The reason where about to die is because our desire to push technology to it’s limit, it’s breaking point, until it comes back to bite us. We were never meant as a society to become this advanced, and now look what’s happening.”
It is clear just from talking to this woman that she is some sort of luddite. I don’t exactly agree with her view on the current situation, so I decide to offer my own take.
“You can’t seriously be blaming advanced technology on the end of the world. I’m pretty sure human beings did this too themselves.”
“And how do you think human beings managed to do this to themselves. Using advanced weaponry, specifically the ICBMs. I don’t think we would be able to destroy ourselves if we were still using spears as weapons.”
“Who do you think created ICBMs? Human beings. These weapons of mass destruction didn’t just appear out of thin air, and neither did any other piece of technology. We crafted all of these things with our bare hangs, and I really think there was no other path we could have taken. You say that we could have avoided this by simply not creating these pieces of technology, but that’s not possible. Human beings and technology are inseparable. One can’t exist without the other. It may be the reason why civilization is about to cease to exist, but it’s also the reason why civilization exists in the first place. Its in human beings nature to create, to push boundaries, even to the point where we end up destroying ourselves. So don’t you see, technology isn’t the downfall of man, man is the downfall of man.”
Before the young woman can respond, a blinding light suddenly lights up the land. I can’t see for a few moments, but I can hear the girl gasping in horror. When I regain my vision, I can see the mushroom cloud towering over the countless farms spread across the land. I can’t speak. I can hardly move. All I can manage to do is move my hand over and grab the young woman by her own hand. She responds by tightening her grip as we both look on.