The Plain Beyond

17 08 2015

The summer months are for demons and devils they say. Hot weather and hellish humidity offer stinging previews for the evily inclined. Its hard to disagree, looking back at those days. June was disastrous, July was no better. Hell found its way into every crack and crease of life those first few months. But as they say, it was a sick preamble to the woes to come. 

There wasn’t much left out in the reaches already. War had laid the once bustling orbitals low. The great rings of iron dock and post no longer hugged the planet close at its waist. Now the greatest constructions in the history of that world hung like rusted halos around the necks of long dead angels. The armistice that followed paled in significance to the fallout. Some of that iron plummeted to the surface, smashing cities and townships alike, scarring the earth and killing its people. 

Doomsday became the official religion, cannibalism became kind of vogue, and coveting was the mildest thing you could do to your neighbors’ ass.

The day to day is a real bitch.

As the great doors to the vault swung ponderously outward on their hinges, the event was heralded by the torturous screech of metal that hadn’t been oiled in decades. Light spilled into the cavern beyond bathing a filthy face in gold. 

Shilo stepped beyond the portal doing his best to cover his eyes. At one time he had worn sunglasses on these rare excursions but they had been smashed to pieces on the last trip out. He was much like the rest of his neighbors; thin and frail wearing a dull gray jumpsuit that had belonged to who knows how many people. His hair was the color of dirt and about as clean. His face was smudged with motor oil and sweat, and a sad canvas pack hung from his back. 

Two others joined him. They weren’t much better off. 

Shilo turned to his companions, “Any idea how many?” He tightened the shoulder straps, eyeing the others. They shook their heads, preoccupied with what might be around them. 

Their complex was cut into a single mountain that dominated the surrounding landcapes. The magistrate likened it to a beacon he learned about in a book from a place on the old world; a city built on a hill that attracted people from miles around. He had never seen it. No one had.

It was just a mountain to Shilo. A mountain that hid his home, much like the rest of the complexes spread around the plain. The three began the trek down the low trails that would lead them amongst great boulders, big as houses, before giving way to the rolling fields of grains and tall grass beyond. There were others out there. 

Today they might finally find one. 

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