President Robins took less than thirty seconds to decide following the first reports coming in of the mass deaths, perhaps spurred along by Admiral Tyland slumping over lifelessly in his seat ten seconds before in a meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “Hydra chain protocol now in effect immediately. Send out the reconstitution signal. Now!”
Across the nation people’s phones began ringing insistently and their emails began exploding, relentlessly requesting they report into the Reconstitution Registry. Those that hadn’t reported in within the next ten minutes would be assumed to have died and orders would be handed down from the registry re-ordering the command structure of every military branch, every major public organization, and even most significant private ones that had anything to do with health, food, water, transportation or other potentially life-saving industries. Traffic lights all turned to a blinking red, trains slowed to a halt, auto-pilots engaged to keep planes in the air, at least for a while.
Sunlight city wasn’t something anyone could plan for. A major city’s worth of people and infrastructure gone in an instant along with two of the most strategically significant water ways in their nation. It’d been crippling in a way that could never have been anticipated or prepared for.
But this, this they’d known might happen. Maybe not yet, maybe not on whatever scale was going on now. But the rate at which people were receiving, and consequently the absolute number of which were rejecting, gifts was increasing. People dropping dead even if in the prime of health was a concern they’d understood and, having absolutely no idea of the cause, Robins had wondered when first coming into office what would happen if it suddenly accelerated. What if there was an event with the same sort of natural disaster level impact as a major hurricane or blizzard? What would be necessary?
It had taken over a year of congressional gymnastics to get the required legislation passed and almost two more years to actually implement the plan. There had been consistent and vehement resistance from anti-government nuts. Fortunately, most people of any importance in the required industries were sympathetic to not having their businesses collapse into completely disorganized messes and, with Robins expert coaxing, got with the program.
This system wouldn’t be perfect and the collateral damage would be incredible. But whatever small semblance of order the Consolidated States might maintain after an event like this would be a result of her efforts to prepare them. Robins took a deep breath and exhaled solely, then began sending orders to everyone she knew for sure was alive, waiting to see what the new command structures would be.