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A note from DeimosRobertson

This is the final section of chapter one. The Great Event will divide all of history.


He's finally at the old observatory center, hiding and thinking about his plan to survive.

{This section has footnotes.}

Mercy vs Pity ~ [1.3]

 


 

Forgiveness implies blame. Survival is different. Still evading and moving through his plan, he’s ready for anything. But while he approached the dead and charred astronomy campus the old man succumbed to guarded hope. A sense of possible safety.

They know not what they do. I think they went back down the trail.

The tragedy that became of the Moon Fire-- it had burned many hundreds of homes in the Cheshire neighborhood and way into Upper Greenlaw. Not to mention the downtown business district. It tore through the old museum and up into Schultz Pass. Most of the oldtown area and about half of the city hospital were either destroyed or unusable afterward. Seven ICU patients were left to perish in the flames.

 

It happened so fast. Many died. The fires couldn’t be controlled because of the new water rules and withholdings; the fire trucks couldn't fill back up. Three fire brigades took it upon themselves to go pump out at Lake Mary, but it was too late by then.

The new water rights had been set up regionally, directed by the Global Council of Water Commissioners and their network of contractors. (Officially the Global United National Council of Water Commissioners, or the GUNCWC, or more commonly just the "gunkwick" moved in like invasive vines, integrating with municipal water departments and their infrastructure.) It wasn’t so much an extortion plan, more of a ‘dominate & confiscate’ operation. Their internal documents showed as much.

The Moon Fire had started near the baseball fields, to the west of Kinlani Road. The other two-lane street running from Thorpe Park up to Mars Mountain had created a sort of fire line. The wind had sent the flames north, and then east. Much of the mountain itself was actually spared. But not the historic campus of astronomy buildings and research facilities on that northeastern side. The whole compound was destroyed the first day. Later in the year, the contractors started camping up there–having what sounded like parties at night– mostly on weekends.

Was it wrong for the local council to sanction the attacks on those drunk soldiers, partying at night up on our hill? After they let the fires rage for five days? Which destroyed not just the observatories, but over a third of the city and more beyond?! This is something I could never reconcile. It contradicts our new principles. But I wouldn’t be here today teaching you, telling my part if they hadn’t.

 

 

He finds plenty of cover to navigate carefully up on Mars Mountain.

Remember lesson one.

“Keep moving or die. Only hide if you’re impossible to find. Prepare to run at any time.” Trevor’s voice sounded off in his head. The training hadn’t begun until he was 47. Those sessions feel like a previous life at this point. More like two separate lifetimes, but also like nearly yesterday.

Lesson two; stay low. Choose a strategic path.

To the east, nothing but empty forest. He could maybe last one night if the temps didn’t swing too low. But gunkwicks were known to let their dogs hunt in the night. Without a WRD map it’d be impossible to find a water resource deposit tank out there. Those’re almost impossible to find even with one of the old maps. They’d been set up with the older g.maps platform but without the terrain layer, or the satellite overlay. Why? It made no sense. His mind is drifting yet again, in a moment like this no less. He catches himself.

Stick to the plan. Get down to the tunnels. That’s your only chance.

After he gets his packs from the tunnel, his only practical way to leave town will be the cargo rail transport. It will arrive and leave three days from now on D3.X5.P2. (This would be around March 18th on the old calends.) He could pull this off, no problem.

Getting on that train will be a challenge. A big risk, but once again no other options. And then he remembered... rather, he recalled that he couldn’t remember if this week was the eastbound or westbound freighter.

Damn it! That’s my plan?! Another coin toss?

The train would need to be headed east. If it was the westward line he’d be dead within two days of departure. The Western Regional Trident security forces would catch him at the distribution warehouses, or the drones would find him during the unloading.

However, the eastward line he would give him two options. After going through the regional border he could head south to the Alamex. Or, he could catch one of the older TSLA series autonomous road semi trucks headed north instead. Those were driverless, fast, and pretty easy to hack at charging stations. This route was busy, heading up through Santa Fe and east around the Rockies, through Pueblo and up into Denver. That would eventually take him to the fortified border of Idatopia*, surprisingly (or not) this is actually what they called it after three-and-a-half states chaotically seceded back in 2041.

Could he get in? Getting caught would be slightly worse than being extorted and interrogated by the Wyo militia gangs. Unless they have a newer MWC** device to check out his story. Either way that’s another coin toss.

But none of this matters if he can’t get down from up here on the hill without being shot and scanned.

It’s time to act.

He came out from behind a large pine tree and onto the small campus of astronomy buildings. Keeping to the edge of the central quad area for cover, he never knew three telescope houses were still standing, somewhat standing anyway.

His ketosis was coming on strong. Walking with intention and awareness, he knows the pang inside will pass in a few minutes. It’s wave three of a nineteen hour fasting ration. Everyone had to do these daily fasts all but one day a week***.

Keep moving. Keep watching.

Intent and aware, he stopped again. Looking for footsteps with his enhanced cochlea, the drizzle feels soft and content. He is creeping around old concrete and basalt walls, broken skeletons of the old structures, small caves and rubble from the torched buildings. An ominous colorful sky is clearing above.

He jogged to his next point on light feet, eyes wide head swiveling, looking out for his hunters. These contractors looked like professionals, so they wouldn’t be talking to communicate. Obviously hand signals only, or if they’re implanted with NueroLink.

Lesson three; shield with structures. Hide with shadows.

The sky cleared out to the west as the drizzle picked up. He was crossing an open clearing between the building. That magical moment came right then. Have you ever seen it? When late afternoon sun shines golden amber all over you, but it’s still raining. The tiny droplets hit your skin and spark, like bursting little stars.

Phases of mind come in waves. The nootropic supplements enabled intense moments of perception and time dilation. With certain concoctions you could actually control it sometimes. In the best of experiences, these moments would feel like time manipulation.

Suddenly, the feeling of a digitized lowness, a slow sound… whoomvfv-v-v-v!

A tiny stop-motion explosion on the rock wall grew large with his awareness. It happened only centimeters from his elbow. He felt it more than anything—he saw the feeling. It was a synesthetic reaction. Visceral.

Then he heard the pop of a rifle. He ducked and squat-walked around the closest corner.

They found me. This is it.

The old man thought about sitting down. Right here. This was it. Something inside took over. He ran. Over the rubble and crumbled bricks, he dodged. But he’d been seen. No hiding now.

Stumbling and tripping under suspended walls and over mounds of debris, the man turned another corner. And there it was. She barely made a sound, just snarled with rage in her eyes. That mean dog was hungry, thinking to attack but without a command.

Two seconds of stillness. He thought about slowly reaching, then remembered his old 9mm was buried in his pack down in the tunnel. Hopefully.

No. That doesn't matter now. The crack rang out again. Another round echoed, “pop!”

Only the sound this time. Shit marksmanship like usual from those assholes.

Then he sees the crunch of a sound wave bouncing off the wall across from him. Three steps coming from behind.

Just as he completes the observation, in his peripheral a black sleeve grabs around his right arm. The other arm wrapped his neck in a choke hold. They stumbled back and away from the beastly K9. A violent struggle ensued.

Where’s the other one?

The dog started barking with frantic anger. It nipped hard at the two tangled men, rolling along the base of a crumbling half wall.

Why didn’t this one shoot him from behind? This will always be impossible to determine. Perhaps he wasn’t warranted?

The second hunter came up within nine seconds. Pistol drawn, rifle strapped around his back. He shot twice.

How did he miss?

“Don’t shoot me brother!” The one struggling on the ground with the old man screamed in anger. “Wo jinliang bu. I’m trying not to!” the other yelled back, adjusting and shuffling for better aim.

Another shot rang out. Nothing? Was it even a second later? A blunt yet sharp and slicing sensation. It wasn’t pain, though. Warmth.

Then it was.

Pain.

“Ahhhh. No! Fuck you gunkwicks!” He belted out feeling the blood pour inside his shirt. It was discomforting like wet bathing trunks, repulsive like soiled garments between your legs.

Imminent demise can give a human superpower strength. He punched up, then kicked with two legs while pushing himself away. Smothered in chaos, he pulled himself up fast. The men didn’t attack or rebound as he expected.

The one with the knife was ready to pounce. But his eyes flashed over to his distracted comrade with the rifle. His head cocked over in that direction.

“HEY! LOOK!” The immobilized one yelled with disgusting projection. The pistol at his side, his shoulders slumped with sudden hopelessness. This startled the old man. The incongruity cut straight through the intensity.

The loudest thing I’ve ever heard from human lungs.

Everything stopped and time paused. The other soldier turned and stood tall. He looked up, as if defying the frozen moment. Calmness overridden by fear. The dog whimpered an inaudible phrase. The old man could taste her sad sound. He could smell her cowering away.

Steven E. Robertson’s account of the event is retold to this day. His description of our ungodly experience is renowned.

I looked back and up in that moment. The same direction as the two men attempting my murder. Up and over to the west. They were paralyzed. Entranced. The one who stabbed me dropped his gaze, and we made eye contact. Despair and disgust were sculpting his face. It was horrifically beautiful, the most incomprehensible thing I’d ever seen. An awe-inspired view, hideous and terrifying. The most incredible kaleidoscopic painting of intense radiating waves and animated colors. Oranges, yellows and purples, mixing with a pulsing redness spiraling inward, but also outward. It compressed, and then expanded in a rush. A severe intestinal crushing and stringy feeling of disembowelment followed. The atmosphere shook and squeezed the earth with violence, a jolting sensation like the deepest vibration you could imagine. It was the initial radial wave hitting. My insides were melting from the pressure.

This was the ninth day of the fourth week in the second period of year 2063. The ides of March according to the ancient calends.

The day our sun explodes.

 

[END TRANSMISSION OF NFT FILE no. <1.1:1.3/03.15.063/D9X4P2> AS TOLD BY DEIMOS WOODHOUSE-ROBERTSON, SURVIVOR no. 3517, GRANDSON OF STEVEN ROBERTSON, VIA HOLOSCRIBE IN YEAR 2127.]

 

 

{This completes chapter one. Footnotes below.}


 

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A note from DeimosRobertson

Footnotes:

* Idatopia includes roughly all of former Idaho, Montana, and about half of Wyoming. Take the old map of WY and draw a diagonal line from the southwest corner to the northeast. That area is disputed by the Wyo militia. The last secession was that of Texas–which eventually became called ‘The Alamex’—which occurred the following month in September, 2041. The Alamex is roughly the bottom two thirds of Texas below Interstate Route 20, plus a good chunk of Coahuila Mexico.   


** MetaWeb Capture Device. Technically a MWCDX.3.0  This machine is the only way to see what is “online” (an outdated term) anonymously without being tracked or located. ​​It captures an instantaneous “image” of the interweb and metaverse by using quantum mirroring compression technology to give you static access to a momentary version of the heavily monitored and controlled infoweb.


*** That one day a week wasn’t really a ‘feast day,’ but everyone got two full meals and that’s what it was called. You naturally became close friends with those who had the same weekly feast day as you. For his schedule this was only ‘day two’ on the new weekly cycles. The weekly fasting is difficult sometimes. It’s still hard for him to get used to with the new dating system, although it’s been years now. His feast day was just two days prior, D8 of the new weekly calendar. And by the end of the nine-day rotation you didn’t even feel these nineteen-hour fasts. They adopted the new solar system with 9-day weeks in 2057. Six years ago. It was mostly to throw off their gunkwick enemies. It screwed up the gunkwick intel if they retrieved a faulty encryption on a recycled comm token. The diet rations are such: wake at 6am, allow for 7 nuts anytime after 7am along with a teaspoon of olive oil, 8 oz of water, and the standard multiV, plus the 9mL of Solidrosol solution used to dissolve the nootropic powder cocktail. 1.5L of water for the day and this will last you until 6pm when you get to eat a fair-portioned dinner. Some people save their morning nuts for mid-day snacking. A piece of chocolate no later than 10pm. Thus repeats the 19 hour fasting cycle prior to sleep.


About the author

DeimosRobertson

  • Flagstaff, Arizona

Bio: I am a professional luthier... I build custom guitars. I'm an amateur writer who had something come up, brought on by a dream that had to be written. I need to share this.

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