Grunt, Chapter 11: The Blasovich Theory

From the journal of amateur astronomer Ariana Blasovich, found in a hermetically sealed canister in a remote desert area of Cochise County, Arizona. Dates are listed according to the NEW (Near Extinction Worldwide) calendar, shown as either BNEW (Before Near Extinction) or ANEW (After Near Extinction).

7 BNEW

There are a few of us left, astronomers around the globe communicating almost exclusively via shortwave radio. Our numbers continue to dwindle but the scientist in me finds it almost impossible to care about that. Batteries are a thing of the past. Wayne works the hand crank while we both listen or on rare occasion I share my findings after the girls have gone night-night. Their world has changed hardly at all so far since we have always home schooled them and meat for the table is brought home by my husband’s expertise with bow and arrow. Javelinas and deer seem more plentiful than ever. I suppose that might be due to the population crash; we haven’t sensed another hunter (other than the coyotes) in months.

Thank heavens for the greenhouse and most of all for our own well (350 frightening feet deep here). The generators are holding up and Wayne has so far found it a simple enough task to procure fuel for them although it still feels like thievery to me despite the previous owners having left this vale of tears.

And so to my theory:

THE SOLAR FLARE COMETH.

Oh how they scoff! Even now when humanity teeters on the very brink of extinction, so many of the remaining dedicated scientists shout their disbelief. Politely of course. But you can hear the scoffing. Yesterday’s clearly visible solar superstorm (measurable with the proper instruments which I do have, thanks to my beloved’s golden Midas touch for money over the years)…you are mistaken, they shout! Your measurements are off! The storm is not that big! You cannot possibly know its trajectory! You are an amateur (and by God a woman!)! I sense they are more upset by my gender than by my lack of so called professional credentials!

I am not wrong. The blackface virus has spared our little family so far but no one on Earth will be able to hide from the solar EMP when it hits tomorrow. I am grateful that my husband does not argue about this. We will listen to the shortwave tonight but if I am correct (and I am correct though I would rather not be) there will be no more radio after tomorrow. Will the Faraday cages Wayne has built for the vehicle and flashlight batteries protect them sufficiently? I hope so. He thinks so or is trying to reassure me. The radio may still work since we are hand cranking now just like pulling the starter ropes on the generators. If those go out we will not be able to pump water and will die with or without Capriosi vilify spreading its horrible cloak of darkness over our faces. I worry too about the pump itself failing but he says it should last for years yet as long as the water in the aquifer does not drop its level too far. I’m not exactly sure that’s encouraging but I’m trying to see the bright side. (Get it? Bright side? Solar flare?)

God is laughing. Not at my pathetic joke but at us, we bipedal humans who thought ourselves rulers of the planet. The virus was not enough. The earthquakes were not enough. The eruption of Mount Rainier was not enough. Now we get hit dead center by the largest solar flare ever recorded (even I am the only one who’s recorded it accurately). A year from now if we live will we be the last family on Earth? No. I am not arrogant enough to think that. There must be people better prepared for this than we are, or luckier. But if we are the last, should I suggest to my husband that we change our names to Adam and Eve? At least we have only girls so there will be no Cain in our family.

I shouldn’t have written that. It reminded me of sugar cane and we are out of sugar.

I beg any reader (if there is any) to think kindly of me. My thinking does not normally meander like this. I blame it on the lack of sleep and the matter of humanity’s voice rapidly going silent.