You agree to install the system update. You also agree to a bunch of other pop-ups. Terms and conditions? Sure. Clear space? Fine. Join the Apple Marauders? Whatever.

The status bar crawls slowly and agonizingly. It takes 40 minutes, but amazingly, the phone finishes updating with a little battery to spare. A friendly screen encourages you to try a new app called Humanity Locator. “Use your iPhone’s GPS to find alive humans in your neighborhood.” Your nearest “people cluster” is just outside the city, a few hours by foot!

It’s night when you arrive at the trash campfire in the middle of the freeway. You’re greeted by a handsome young man in raggedy clothes and a soot covered face. He welcomes you to Outpost Zero. The man goes over the rules. Share your food. Don’t be a jerk. No self-promotion. Then you get to talking and it turns out you’re both from Brecksville, near Cleveland! He was in town during The Great Uh-Oh. Maybe he knows what happened to your family.

You open your phone to show him photos…and they’ve all been deleted to make room for the system update. Nooooo! As your phone dies so, too, does your love of Apple products.


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