The world was supposed to end on December 21st, so early that morning they closed down Vegas (just in case).
And despite what you might be thinking, it wasn't the shutting down of Sin City that caused it; by then, most people had already made up their minds. And besides, they'd already seen all of the other major cities shut down before it finally happened to Vegas. By then, cities (and therefore, governments) didn't mean much to anyone--a vague memory of better times, naive times I guess you'd say.
This may sound odd, but I think it was just the weird look of the sky in the west that day that really got the ball rolling. It looked like the sky itself was sick. As a result, people just kind of gave up: everyone had the same thought at the same moment, This is the end. Time to move on to the next reality.
By then, of course, the neural network was pretty well established (not to the degree it is now, but most people were at least aware of other minds), so everyone who was left got the gist of the universal "we are at the prophesied end-time" message.
What I heard (felt?) that day was that the shift had begun out on the west coast. The message indicated that people were walking into the ocean to be immediately overcome by the fumes (there was a rumor going around the net that it was one of the easier ways to go). From there, it supposedly began to spread east. Even if people didn't have a convenient ocean to walk into, they managed it however they could. Hanging themselves was popular--if they could find a scrap of rope. Cutting their wrists was more personal, if not as traditional. If they could find a piece of broken glass, that is. By then finding glass was a lot harder than you might think. As a matter of fact, on that very day, I was walking the Las Vegas strip (I'd made it in before the authorities put up the barricades) because I'd heard it was a good place to find broken glass. Some said the early comers hadn't as yet scooped up all of the Vegas glitter, so you could still find a stray piece if you had enough remaining strength to lift up the debris and look under. Turns out, that rumor was also false.
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