For over ten years, the world has lived under the specter of the ‘Gas Mask Men’ (GMM). Human-like entities clad in plain olive green military uniform and vintage gas masks that seem to be melted onto their heads. These mysterious beings are appear and disappear instantaneously and out of thin air. Accounts from witnesses and survivors state that they would be staring into an empty space when, before they have even registered any change, a Gas Mask Man will suddenly be occupying that very space.
The locations and timing of Gas Mask Men appearances and disappearances occur seemingly at random, not following any immediately obvious pattern . The Gas Mask Men have been spotted in a wide range of geographical locations and at all times of day and night. There a very few locations on Earth that have not been blighted by the appearance of a Gas Mask Man. Gas Mask Men appearances have been recorded on public transport, nature spots, office spaces, shops and even private homes.
A Gas Man Man appearance is commonly referred to as a ‘GM2 Event’.
GM2 events often have deadly consequences. This occurs when members of the public looks a Gas Mask Man in their black eye visors on the mask. If a person views their reflection in the black visor for more than a few seconds, they fall victim to internal emulsion. This is a horrifyingly painful process where the victims internal organs are eaten away from the inside out. Although death from internal emulsion can occur up to twenty minutes after initial exposure, it is an extremely agonising and disturbing death.
Some victims have been known to take up to fifteen minutes to finally die from the effects of internal emulsion. During this entire duration, the victims are observed to full experience the sensation of their internal organs being eaten alive.
The Gas Mask Men have been responsible for a recorded two million deaths worldwide since the first recorded GM2 event. The economic damage of GM2 events has been estimated at c.$800bn. There has been widespread disruption to global logistics, supply chains, working environments, labour force participation and investments which have now been diverted to countering GM2 events.
The social impact of the Gas Mask Men has been catastrophic. With an increasing percentage of the world population either refusing to leave their homes or drastically reducing the time they spend outside home and social contact. This has coincided with a marked increase in rates of mental health disorders and suicide. These social impacts have been further exacerbated by rising unemployment as employers scale up their use of AI and automation to increase resilience to GM2 events.
Researchers and scientists have not yet been able to confirm the origins of the Gas Mask Men or the causes of GM2 events. Their motivations, purpose and thought patterns remain a mystery. This lack of concrete data is largely due to the sheer difficulty in capturing a Gas Mask Man before the disappear.
Naturally, the Gas Mask Men have had serious policy implications for governments and public bodies who allocate resources to mitigate the impacts of GM2 events. Examples of measures and strategies implemented by governments include:
- Surveillance and heat map systems to monitor and map GM2 events across the globe
- The ‘GM2 Shield’ app that members of the public can download to give emergency warnings of upcoming GM2 events in their vicinity
- Specialist goggles that have been demonstrated to reduce the likelihood of GM2-related death by c.60%
- A campaign of PSAs and public announcement systems to educate society on the dangers of the Gas Mask Men and how to keep themselves safe
- Mandatory GM2 safety response training in schools and workplaces
- Emergency contact systems for individuals who have spotted Has Mask Men
Whilst individual nations have established their own organisations and structures to counter the threat of Gas Mask Men, several global organisations have been set up to coordinate efforts between nations. These include:
- The Global Existential Threat Agency (GETA)
- The UN GM2 Coordination Agency (UNGCA)
- The World Unidentified and Catastrophic Risk Organisation (WUCRO)
The Gas Mask Men have, without a doubt, altered the human race for generations to come. As much time, money and effort has been sacrificed to save humanity from this threat, it has become increasingly clear that humanity may have to learn to live with the Gas Mask Men rather than rid themselves of their presence.