This is the private journal of Samuel Clemens. Yes, that's my real name.
My father was a Mark Twain lover when he named me.
Today’s the day, the day everything changes for all the men trapped in this hell and me. Old Jenkins finally gave all he had to the machine last week, and because of my perceived belief in their cause and constant offers to help, today, I would be the holder of the key.
Just fifteen years ago, it would have been ridiculous to call a forty-year-old man old, but after the "Bump," that all changed. Now any male over thirty was considered old and nearing the end of their usefulness.
The Bump! What a stupid thing to call the event that changed everything. It sounds so trivial, like bumping into a stranger or bumping your knee on a table or the funny thing we called sex when we were young, “bumping uglies.”
No, it shouldn’t be called the Bump; something like the change or the man-killer would be more appropriate.
Yes, I believe "Man-Killer" would be the correct name as seventy percent of the male population died within six months of the event.
Our leaders had seen it coming for over two years but decided not to inform the public, fearing panic and unrest.
They’d lied for over a year before the truth was revealed, telling the world the light in the sky was from a star that had exploded thousands of years before.
The satellite photos released on that day revealed something completely different. The light wasn't from an exploding star but an asteroid, half the size of our moon, on a direct collision course with our planet. They said three different scenarios could play out at impact.
The worst case would be a direct hit which would cause an ELE or extinction-level event.
The second and not much better would be the asteroid glancing off our moon and raining down thousands of large meteors onto our planet, killing millions of people and forever altering our environment and, in turn, our lives.
The third and best-case scenario, if there could be such a thing, was what they called the bump. If we were lucky, the asteroid would glance off our atmosphere and be bumped out into space. But, even in this case, life would change drastically. The energy released by the asteroid would knock every orbiting satellite offline and shut down all communications on the planet.
What they didn’t count on was the bump causing a tear in our atmosphere that would take weeks to repair itself, releasing intense amounts of radiation and causing irreparable harm to any male directly exposed.
For reasons the scientists couldn’t explain, this radiation attacked and changed the part of the male brain that controlled the endocrine system, which includes the testicles, thyroid gland, and adrenal glands.
If they were lucky enough to survive, these men would never be able to produce sperm again. Lucky is a relative term as most of them would rather have died than be subjected to what lay in store for them later. Life as a beast of burden was not something to be thankful for.
The vast majority of the men exposed died within a few months, as no treatment had any effect on the new form of cancer that attacked every organ in their bodies.
Millions of women died from a similar form of cancer, but nowhere near the same percentage as men.
Within a year, the initial thinning of the human herd had stopped, and the human race was on an extinction course. The problem was this new world was not balanced in any way. In any populated area, women now outnumbered men by a ten thousand to one ratio.
Governments fell as mass communication was non-existent, causing chaos in the population. Police and military collapsed as most of them died from the massive exposure they received in the days following the event. Violence rose exponentially, and people started forming in groups, protecting their areas with lethal force.
Over the next few years, in every major city, thousands of people died every day from disease, violence and starvation. Mostly violence, as the lack of food and medicine drove people to do unthinkable things.
Eventually, large bands of mostly women left the cities and set up camps in the mountains and forested areas. In my area of central Canada, they escaped to the northernmost regions. Over several years a network of communities sprang up around the lakes and rivers and formed an alliance of over one hundred thousand souls to build a new world.
They lived together in peace and considered themselves family, but this family was missing an important member. Because of the lack of viable males, the number of children being born was very low. Of the one hundred thousand people, only two thousand were men, and of those men, only six hundred still had the ability to produce sperm.
In two years, just seven hundred children were born, seventy percent of which were female. Something had to be done, or they would never survive as a society. After twenty-six months, a meeting was called to pick a leader and develop a plan to increase the birth rate.
Doctor Carla Lang was chosen as the leader for two reasons; she exuded a strength that was unmatched by the other nominees, and even more importantly, in the old world, she was famous for helping women to conceive. She even had her own television show before everything went to hell.
She was also a little crazy, and now that she controlled all the important decisions, she became drunk with power and slipped farther into her warped view of this new world. She surrounded herself with strong women that held the same beliefs as her; the belief that this new world belonged to women. In their crazed minds, men were needed only to provide sperm and to work for the true chosen ones, the ones that carried the spawn inside them and gave life to the world.
An order was given that every viable man would have to couple with three different women each day. This plan lasted less than two weeks as the men started refusing to comply. That's when the attempts at rape started and failed. Unlike women, men needed to be aroused and ejaculate to release sperm, so the rape plan was destined to fail.
Doctor Lang grew angrier every day, frustrated with the men’s refusal to mate.
Until the morning, she was called to the cow barn as the milking machine had stopped working. That's when everything changed, and men became less than men.
With the help of a drug designed by Dr: Lang, the men became something to be milked.
A machine was designed to achieve this goal and was in operation in less than a month.
Our sperm was tested once a month, and if the count dropped below a certain level, we were deemed unviable and transferred to the worker's pen. The workers were guarded constantly and punished severely if they refused to work or disobeyed an order from the leader.
The donor group, as they called it, was replenished with new milk suppliers whenever our numbers dropped, by men kidnapped from the city.
The leaders didn't know that several of the women in our compound didn't believe in their views and were horrified by how the men were treated.
Twenty-six of these women formed an alliance dedicated to ending Dr: Lang's reign and freeing the men. Their leader, Lina Su, was in contact with similar groups in several other compounds and had devised an escape plan.
This plan included me. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the reason Lina had developed a friendship with me was for the plan to work; she needed one of the men to help.
She held a master's degree in electrical engineering and, in the old world, had worked as a designer for the largest technology company in the world.
Over the last few months, she’d designed and built a tiny electronic device that could fit into a small heart-shaped locket. The locket was constructed from a material that was non-magnetic and couldn't be picked up by the scanners. It could only be opened with my fingerprint, and my job was, once inside the milking building, to open the locket and place my thumb on the device while holding it close to the main power supply. She said it would shut down all power in our compound and lock the doors to the leader's building and armoury while unlocking every other lock.
We've been on the run for two days now. The device worked exactly as planned, and now our small group of forty-six, twenty-six women and twenty men are running for our lives. Lina estimated we’d have about a four-hour head start before Dr: Lang and her followers would be on our tail. She was right. I spotted their campfire smoke early this morning, and by my estimate, they were gaining on us. We broke camp quickly and started out at a jog, trying to put distance between our hunters and us.
Everybody’s in a great mood today for two reasons. At first light, we spotted the smoke from Carla’s camp on the ridge we’d crossed a day and a half before, and Lina told us where we’re going. At first, we laughed because the place she spoke about was a myth, or at least we thought it was. A place where men and women lived and worked together to build a better future couldn't be real. But Lina convinced us all when she explained how she knew. It was still another three-day trek north, but we set out with a purpose in our step today.
Writing is difficult today. Two fingers on my right hand were broken in the attack. Last night we set up camp in the forest above the valley where our destination was supposed to be. As it was getting dark and we still had a good four hours to go, we decided to rest for the night.
The attack came at daybreak. We were awakened by the sound of gunfire to see Carla and her followers standing amongst us holding automatic weapons, eight of them in total. Carla was standing over Lina, pointing a gun at her head and screaming. She told Lina to stand and then dragged her by the hair into the middle of our group. I tried to get up, but one of Carla's followers slammed the butt of her rifle into my right hand, breaking my fingers.
She hit Lina in the face with the handgun and held her by the hair as she screamed at us, “I want you all to remember this day. I want you to think about this the next time you try to run. Think about what this girl's face looked like after I put a bullet between her eyes."
Carla turned to Lina, but as she pointed the gun, there was a loud crack, and her head exploded before she fell to the ground, dead. We were shocked for a few seconds until we heard several more cracks as all of Carla’s followers fell to the ground around us.
We didn’t know what was happening and cowered together, wondering if we were next. After about a minute a voice came from the forest telling us not to worry, we were safe.
Several people appeared from the forest dressed in camouflage and carrying assault rifles. They blended perfectly into the surroundings and smiled as they approached us.
There were six of them, but what shocked us all was, three were women, and three were men.
The man that seemed to be the leader of their group dropped his gun and ran to Lina. It was the man she told us about, her brother Michael.
This is part one of the story "Milk" part two is linked here.