Around is barren and vast. The scions of the last storm now parched of that stuff that spurned them abated, distant and silent, as upon the horizon the future appears odd. Abandoned houses litter the chaos, organised and layered. The chaos lines the city since rendered to it, albeit unwillingly.
Indeed, this day is no different to any of the other days since the cataclysm. Since the scores, and then centuries, and finally thousands and thousands of citizens in mass took to the south, each willed by their own strength, by their own disposition. Each willed by survival whose only client was the one willing to pay. Those unwilling often disappeared. Often died.
In the days that preceded the disaster, the grid had become overcharged. This was easily the growing problem since Vanium became the prime source of energy. A quick recounting of the explosion of this resource traces it's rising popularity to the Internet. In times just before its grand traction Vanium, touted online as the newest of discoveries, rose in value when it became clear that it's exploitation could be guaranteed by its own autoregenerative and restorative capacity. Early days allowed for harbourers of this precious stone - a metal - to hoard as much of it as possible, driving the price up once monopoly had been established in each district. African cities regorged of such people, as that is where the Vanium was discovered - in Gaoua in Burkina Faso on the border with Côte d'Ivoire. The West African sahel wrapped around the preponderance region such as a shawl, veiling the arid zone in a renewed rentability and wealth much shielded from the outside. It was in this ambiguity that the aforementioned had been able to operate, shoring up as much of the Vanium as possible. And, despite efforts to clone the stone, Western attempts had been met with frustration and proved futile as the properties tended to be cloned with depreciating efficiency, the clones themselves often being unclonable. Futile had such missions been, and many companies had resorted to buying from the sahelian capitalists who sold the stones at hefty prices to Western lobbyists who staved off military US and European invasion of the region for the time-being. This relied varyingly on the satisfaction of every individual lobbyist whose support hinged upon the respective cupidity of each in the matter.
And as time passed, money flowed into that region. And there was talk of the proceeds being used to finance terrorism in the Sahel and in Maghreb. And there was even talk of cartel interest in the lucrative trade. And the stones that had been traded to the West were registered by the Stock Exchange as soon as they landed in America or in Spain or in France or in the United Kingdom. Once optioned, the internet was abuzz with overnight millenaires and millionaires, mostly kids who had invested into the stock and won big. As a rumour, the stock had been worth little, and managed to maintain meagre worth until a war had erupted in West Africa between the masters of Vanium in the Sahel and a coalition of cartel and terrorist aggression had found itself routed decisively and smashed. For whatever reason, a half-hearted attempt by the Americans and French by way of a UN invasion backed by them failed equally, this latest debacle giving credence to the existence of such a product as Vanium, as well as its uses. Around the world people now believed its existence.
To understand the stone exactly was not immediately possible, but it's energy was boundless, and new towns and villages had sprung up within West Africa on the basis of technology now powered by this metal, unassailable and indefatigable.
Astride the cold and deserted debris that swept London's desolate town, Sciró's face gave no token of rememberance of the times when first he had involved himself with Vanium. Indeed, that piece of luck had caught him eager and prepared, for his own time had been tough before it...