Three years ago, human births stopped.
It took awhile for the world to notice. When we did, concern quickly turned to sadness, then despair.
Attempts were made to deduce the cause. When they failed, we tried to work around the problem.
Artificial insemination techniques failed. After time, the world seemed to quietly accept its fate. Of course there was civil unrest, some rioting, but humans are adaptive after all.
Six months ago, everything changed. Things seemed to turn around. In days, thousands of women were reporting positive pregnancy tests.
Overwhelming joy turned to confusion, then panic, when we realized it wasn't just sexually active women.
Millions, then hundreds of millions of women of child-bearing age started showing pregnancy symptoms.
Tests to figure out what was happening fueled our fear. Blood tests made no sense. Sonograms wouldn't show pictures. Attempted abortions causes sudden, violent deaths.
Reports varied, involving terms like 'explosive', 'catastrophic', 'psychotic violence'.
Attempting to quell terror, it was decided that a live, televised, cesarean section would be performed on a volunteer.
In human history, this broadcast had the largest number of worldwide viewers.
The operation started routinely. Minutes into the procedure, when the doctor made the incision into the uterus, chaos erupted.
Something dark sprang from that poor woman, lunging at the doctors. The camera crew lost composure; the scene becoming jerky, disjointed. We saw shadows, heard screams.
Finally the feed was shut off.
As we stared at static, I looked at my wife. Her eyes betrayed her fear. I opened my mouth to speak, but she gasped, hands dropping to her swollen belly.
She looked up, teary-eyed.
"Oh God....I felt it kick."