A new short story, in which some inhabitants of the Wasteland try to explain how the world has came to its current situation.
Stories around the campfire
The fire crackled slowly, knowing its time will eventually come, trying to taste every second. The sky was crystal clear and even the Milky Way could be seen crossing it like a great scar. Four elder men were sitting around the campfire, enjoying the heat it provided in that chilly night. It was a night of tales, and they were the ones responsible for them to be heard.
– Dudes, I am going to tell you what my father told me, and his own father told him, and every father before me to what my familiy can remember – the one talking was a seasoned man, with several scars and the look of him who has seen a lot of things and is no longer afraid of anything –. The world has not always been like this. You only have to look at the remains of the old cities to know that – everyone nod –. Everything was green before, and water ran through the soil like veins in our arms. Food was no problem and kids could play everywhere without fear of being skinned by some loony bloke. And watching over it all were the great chiefs, the Plotics, who made it work and made sure that no one needed anything. But a small group of men were not happy with that and wanted more for themselves, no matter the cost, and they were the Brankers. They managed to poison the mind of the Plotics one bit at a time, drop by drop of their evil venom, but they always wanted more and started to take it away from people to get it. Then the wars started: those who had nothing wanted what the others had, and those who had something wanted more. But their weapons were not like ours, they were powerful and were able to waste entire cities with giant mushrooms, and thus they destroyed each other. At the end Plotics and Brankers decided they were better than the rest and built cities in the sky for themselves. There they live now, watching us, like gods of the mountains.
Another man raised a hand and shook his head.
– Nonsense, that is eyewash – he said –. I will tell you the truth.
His eyes spouted confidence tainted with a measure of fanaticism. He seemed to be the kind of guy whom other people could be ready to die for.
– In times past, us men lived with the automatons. Those were the creations of the Great Machine Spirit, to help us, to guide us through the world. They gave us power, helped us with the heaviest duties and even could transport us up to the skies. But for some people this was not enough, they wanted to build their own automatons and they started to steal the Earth’s black blood to make them work. But, alas, the Great Machine Spirit is almighty and got angry with men. He unleashed His fury over the cities and cast us off to the Wasteland. Here we must atone for our sins forsaking all technology. And then, when he considers that we have been redeemed for our past transgressions, the automatons will come back and they will help us to rebuild our cities, where we will be able to live once again as we did in the past.
A third man, or something very similar to one, as he had three arms and his skin was covered with some kind of scales, started talking. His tongue was pointy and his voice strange.
– No, that is not, not the truth, it is not. Back in the days men ruled over a great kingdom, yes they did, but a time came when they were not able to grow further – he had a puff off the pipe he was smoking tobacco with and resumed his story –. And then we started to show up. We were different, the next step in their evolution, yes, yes, yes, the next step. We revealed to the world slowly at first, because some of us tried to help mankind with our powers but others tried to use them for their own evil, evil plans. But we always were different. Men envied us, feared us, yes feared, and then attacked us. Different, different, different. There were great wars. Mankind had the numbers and powerful weapons, but we were the chosen people and could use our gifts. They knew they could not defeat us, yes that they knew, so they locked themselves down underground, fearful of our powers. They left the world for us, a new world for a new, beautiful, new race. But some of their offspring still live on the surface and they, like their fathers and grandfathers, fear us and hate us. Thus we still have to fight for what is ours, oh, yes, ours alone.
The last man smiled while looking at the other three. He had a high top hat, bizarre goggles and funky clothes.
– Gentlemen, please, you are utterly blind to reality – he spoke with a pompous and ornate accent –. There are still cities in this world where the people who casted us away to the Wasteland yet lives. There they have apparatus that surpass anything your brains could possibly imagine. They are well protected and no living being can get close to them. But at certain points they dispose of the things they no longer want, and I have seen their iron vigilant warriors with my very own eyes. They certainly know we are here, but we are nothing but the vilest of insects for them. The reason is of no importance; the only thing that matters for us now is that this is the world we have to live in.