"At the worst of times, mankind is at its weakest. When the moment comes that we are truly tested, we buckle, like reeds in an unseasonable storm. But, like a reed, our seeds will scatter to the winds, and come to rest somewhere new. And, in time, they will grow again. And, though that new stem will not know where it came from, will not know the pain and the suffering of the reed that bore its origins, it will live on, and stretch for the heavens once more."
(Translated from Japanese)
Aki Takahashi, Prime Minister of Japan
Speaking on the Easter Accords, at the UN General Assembly, NY, 2057 AD
Extract taken from the Easter Accords:
A period of no longer than two hundred years may elapse following 'Day X', the yet unknown date of the death of the last living human, exclusionary of the 'Caretaker Initiative', before new insemination of stored reproductive matter may occur under the supervision of the above-mentioned caretakers. Mechanical fail-safes will be put in place to ensure the continuation of the human race in the event of catastrophic failure of the 'Caretaker Initiative'.
Every effort to preserve all societal provisions until the latest possible moment will be made under the 'New Easter Accords', hereby signed and agreed to under the supervision of the United Nations, Friday, April 20th, 2057. However, it is recognised that with declining population figures, this will become increasingly difficult, and all nations, therefore, agree to put in place provisions to combat this effect, which will hereafter be known as 'Wind Down'.
During this period, wherein the Wind Down is in effect, all nations agree to safely remove and destroy all carbon-based modes of industry, transport, energy production, and otherwise, in an effort to stem the repetition of our climate-abuse.
All nations agree that, despite the clear moral issues involved with complete global
sterilisation, it is both a necessary evil and good, performed solely for the benefit of the earth; and the globalised measures, instructions, and apparatus provided here today will be used in accordance with this agreement, and under no circumstances will be utilised outside its confines, pertaining to the Geneva Conventions, 1922, 1949, 2035.
All nations hereby agree that everything witnessed, read, and signed here today will remain confidential, and may only be disclosed to 'Essential Parties & Agents', defined in Subsection 9, in pertinence with this confidentiality clause, until Stage 1 of the Easter Accords has been placed into full effect and has been confirmed as successful. Thereafter, a synchronised announcement will be made in order to minimise public outcry and retaliation.
This is a world in which the global population has be sterilised by the collective governments, in an effort to halt the effects of climate change.
There was no vote, no indication that it was happening. All we were given was the reveal that we are now all sterile. This will be the last generation of the human race for centuries. Over the next century or so, we will wind down to nothing and the population will be decreased by 99.99% in an effort to save the earth for future generations. Human genetic matter has been preserved, and is being looked after by designated Caretakers, those responsible for the continuation of the human race, assigned to protect the laboratories where the rebirth of the human race will occur, and to preserve the knowledge of both our greatest achievements, and more horrifying mistakes.
All that we ask is that for this volume, you set your story during the Wind Down. It can be any genre, and set anywhere, and utilising any of the elements above. Your society may react in a different way to others after the announcement, There could be rioting and destruction. There could be rebellion. There could be war. Or, there could be quiet acceptance. Reverence. Acts of kindness and wonder occuring among the last fizzling embers of what we know to be humanity.
If this happened, what would you do? What do you think would happen? If you're looking for inspiration, then we think that's a good place to start.