The centuries ebbed and flowed in an icy stream over the blasted plains of Zone 4. A civilisation had thrived and perished in these empty lands, a thousand generations scattered in the poison winds.

The reinforced concrete structure was visible for miles, a featureless slab towering over the surrounding desert, a stark shadow cast over the lifeless, dusty soil.

The last outpost of civilisation.

The final resting place of humanity.

A mile below, in a lead lined vault, bathed in soft ultraviolet, the stasis tubes held their precious cargo, safe from the ravages of time.

The four pioneers rested in a deathly dreamless sleep, waiting for the million year cycle to pass. When the black clouds receded, when the radiation levels dropped, when the smashed fragments of life crawled out of the mud, so too would they emerge, and begin the renaissance.

But for now, the world was silent.

The tomb maintained its lonely vigil across the horizon, illuminated by a solitary red beacon.

Above the entrance, a single word.

PROGRESS

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