What Have We Done?

The world seemed to have become black and white. Above loomed the Eiffel Tower. Usually magnificent, today it appeared more like a giant lightning rod.

Looking up, a man ran his hands through thick silver hair. "Livvy, I have a bad feeling about this. What if we made things worse... infinitely worse."

His companion shook her head, forcing her gaze to remain anywhere but on the sky. "We had to try, Phil. Otherwise it would be the end of civilization as we know it."

Wringing his hands, Phil looked at the pickup truck sized machine beside them. "Yes, but at least people would have had more time to prepare. From the looks of things, we've just accelerated the process."

Livvy stood tall, her black hair whipping wildly in the rapidly increasing wind. "The numbers are right, it's entirely possible that this has to happen."

Phil edged closer to the now silent machine, still hooked up to the famous landmark. "You think we have to destroy the world to save it? That's crazy, there won't be anyone left."

She looked at him with her dark intense eyes, as one might a young child who just realized that the world isn't a fair place. "Some will survive. We have our underground research lab. I saw to it that it's fully stocked with supplies. A lot of others have similar bunkers."

He placed the machine between himself and Livvy. "Are you saying you knew this might happen? I funded this project because you said it would save lives! What have we done?"

She smiled grimly. "We've saved civilization, Phil. These storms will reset the world's weather patterns. At the same time, they'll purge the excess population. Help me unhook the machine. We need to get it and us back to the lab before the tornadoes start."

She turned, and headed towards a large moving van, which in turn was hauling an enclosed trailer.

Phil reached towards the machine, but instead of disconnecting the cable, he flipped a few switches. "Please let this undo it. It can't be too late, it can't be too late," he whispered over and over.

Livvy pulled up, and got out of the van. She tilted her head. "Why isn't it ready for loading?"

Before she realized what was going on and could react, he tackled her. "I can't let you kill all of those people," he gasped, unused to physical exertion.

She spat in his face. "I already have, you old fool. You didn't reverse it in time. It's just a matter of whether or not we can make it to safety, with the machine. We're going to need it for the next phase of stabilization. It's doubtful that we will be able to obtain the necessary parts to create another one."

He sat on her, and pinned her arms in the lush grass. "The machine stays. Maybe it'll reverse the damage, or at least lessen it. If you cooperate, we can go back to the lab."

Panting, she glared at him. "Fine, but you're making a mistake. It's too late!"

Carefully he let her up, and pointed towards the passenger's side. "Get in, I'll drive."

After she was firmly seated, arms crossed over her chest in defiance, he got in.

Once the van was moving, Livvy casually put on her seatbelt. Then she grabbed the wheel, simultaneously pounding his foot hard on the accelerator with her own.

"What are you doing?" Phil shouted, wildly fighting her iron grip. The van went onto a sidewalk, then through the window of an empty shop.

"I can't take a chance, I have to turn the machine off. This is bigger than either of us." A second later, she was sprinting down the sidewalk.

The now black sky had produced a twister the size of the Empire State Building. Its tip sucked her up, like a speck of dust being pulled into a vacuum cleaner.

"Goodbye Livvy," he whispered, as he backed the van out, miraculously avoiding the largest shards of glass.


Six months later, the world was calm. The storms hadn't been catastrophic, with the exception of the first. Amazingly the machine had worked, at least partially. The arctic recorded a significant increase in the reach of the pack ice, and there were fewer tropical storms.

Describe what you see:
I see the Eiffel Tower, with strange clouds above it.

Describe what you feel:
I feel like the weather is ominous.


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