ONE MORNING I AWOKE FROM MY NIGHT’S SLUMBER

ONE MORNING I AWOKE FROM MY NIGHT’S SLUMBER

Status: Finished

Genre: Fantasy

Houses:

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Fantasy

Houses:

Summary

My eyes opened and the day greeted me with a pounding brain ache that reached into my gut..nearly making me barf…but I managed to fight that off. Then there was this vile stench ushering through the open window of my first floor apartment bedroom followed by a daylight that was an orangish brown in colour.
I got out of bed and staggered to the bathroom. Nothing worked….no lights….no water….no nothing….WT…. I muttered as I peed into the toilet that was only going to flush once…I used the sink instead.
Then I went to the kitchen and checked out the food situation…Everything perishable had perished….gone mouldy or turned completely black. The roast beef leftovers were dried up like jerky but too green to allow myself to eat
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Summary

My eyes opened and the day greeted me with a pounding brain ache that reached into my gut..nearly making me barf…but I managed to fight that off. Then there was this vile stench ushering through the open window of my first floor apartment bedroom followed by a daylight that was an orangish brown in colour.
I got out of bed and staggered to the bathroom. Nothing worked….no lights….no water….no nothing….WT…. I muttered as I peed into the toilet that was only going to flush once…I used the sink instead.
Then I went to the kitchen and checked out the food situation…Everything perishable had perished….gone mouldy or turned completely black. The roast beef leftovers were dried up like jerky but too green to allow myself to eat

Chapter1 (v.1) - All Chapters

Author Chapter Note


ABOUT MY STYLE
Imagine we are in a café’….sitting across from each other sipping on a coffee…cappuccino…tea….whatever….and I am telling you a fanciful story….a fantasy or mystery or sci-fi or a combination of all…
That is how I write…like I am sitting with you…..
There’s minimal punctuation…just pauses here and there.
My style of writing is pre…sixteenth century which is delightfully void of annoying piques and marks that the brain does not need…..I write much in the fashion as to these brief paragraphs…which you probably understood quite without difficulty.
Thanks a million
Donald

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: February 24, 2017

Reads: 165

Comments: 1

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: February 24, 2017

A A A

A A A

1

My eyes opened and the day greeted me with a pounding brain ache that reached into my gut..nearly making me barf…but I managed to fight that off. Then there was this vile stench ushering through the open window of my first floor apartment bedroom followed by a daylight that was an orangish brown in colour.

I got out of bed and staggered to the bathroom. Nothing worked….no lights….no water….no nothing….WT…. I muttered as I peed into the toilet that was only going to flush once…I used the sink instead.

Then I went to the kitchen and checked out the food situation…Everything perishable had perished….gone mouldy or turned completely black. The roast beef leftovers were dried up like jerky but too green to allow myself to eat “OK. Get dressed”…my clothes were pieces of decaying rags. I stood there in the nude looking at myself in the mirror hanging on the door. Sheila had put it there a few months before she died.

I searched the apartment and managed to find a pair of jeans and a hoodie that had been wrapped up in paper…newspaper. Somehow they had survived whatever had happened. A pair of boots mostly leather had survived as well.

Back in the kitchen I found bottles of water…a case of twenty four…Something told me I would need them.

I didn’t panic…not yet….That came later but by then I had good reason to panic. In the mean time I went out to try and find out what the hell was happening…or….had happened….and how I had managed to sleep through it.

Outside I found ruin….the kind you expect to find in ancient Greece or someplace like that. The city that had been bright and alive the night before was a crumbling relic…not a war zone disaster….I had seen them….this was a time worn disaster.

For a long time all I could do was stand there…starring in awe and disbelief…unable to make my legs to move. I must have been frozen in place for twenty minutes before I finally managed to start putting one foot in front of the other.

 

2

Funny how the human brain is manipulated into certain actions. I saw an ant and stomped on it….the only other living thing on earth….but of course a minute later I saw a hole and it was busy.

So there was me….and the ants…then a few feet along I spied a cockroach. “Of course. The damn things could live anywhere ….anyhow….Then I heard a crow….and a starling.

“OK….there is lots of life left….. Just one of me…..so it seems” And it went like that all day….and the next and the next after that….I found more canned food and bottled water….which was good…..sort of….I talked out loudjust to hear something besides birds and insects…

Every night I returned to my apartment….until I had explored all the square blocks I could get to in a day. As still alone….well….no other humans…..I had seen two dear….a cow….and two dogs….fighting over something dead…..I got nervous when they looked my way and licked their lips….I immediately started looking for a gun or something….In the ruins of a sports store I found a cross bow and bolts….all in functioning order…..the once upon a time when I was a soldier thought gave me a little confidence and strength…..Still an unreleased panic played around in my gut….but still hadn’t forced itself to the surface…..but it would…..hopefully at the right time and giving me good energy and a little courage…….panic fear and anger can work that way.

The next day I packed for an over nighter….heading up town….out to the north ridings of the city….Oh yah….What city….The big smoke…..where else….not that it matters…..the big smoke was nothing more than a big pile of rubbish and dust….Funny…..I hadn’t even seen any human remains…aka skeletons. By the look of everything else there was unlikely to be any flesh and blood….maybe the human race had turned to dust….except me….and that made me panic….just for a minute….. “WHY ME!”

Fortunately things changed…I turned out that others had survived but that had its good fortune limits. Most of my co-survivors had reverted to carnivorous cannibals. At least they would eat their dead…as I witnessed but I had not seen them actual kill for the human flesh.

They could talk….and it was some twisted dialect of English but I really had to work at figuring out what they were saying….Non the less….after a few weeks I got it….and from that I got a mythological sense of what had happened to civilization….but to keep a long story short….a great invisible beast slaughtered all but a few of the old ones….It was when I struck up a fire with a lighter that I became a mythical god…..and a leader in a war against other tribes….and I was sickened that mankind had not changed one iota….We were Organized barbarians in my day….now we were the same only our tribes were smaller and fought with sticks stones and teeth…..

I did not want to believe it ….that the human being could not advance to anything remotely resembling peaceful enlightenment…..but….it got worse….

I left the freaks to their war slipping away one night and running as far as I could as long as I could away from the warring tribes….I had managed to get away without actually ever killing anyone which left my conscience clear.

 

3

The one thing that played on my mind was that I had taught one of the warring tribes to construct bows and arrows….which would give them the advantage. I had told them that when they conquered their enemy they should set aside the weapons and find peace. I did not hold much hope that that was going to happen….Not because it wasn’t possible in theory but because I was learning fast that the nature of mankind was basically barbaric…..Still….I held a little hope that the leader of the tribe that had elevated me to a deity would follow my wishes.

I found my way out of the city…or the crumbling remains of the city I should say…into a vast…somewhat over grown expanse of rural farmland….I say somewhat because I found there another group of people ….no less protective of their tribe but a little less inclined to engage in open war. These Agrotecks…as they called themselves attended their crop fields while fending off raiders from the Urbs….which turned out to be the warring tribes I had just left behind.Fortunate the bow technology would make little difference. These people had bow and cross bows…. and slingshots powerful enough to shoot stones the size of apples.

This farm land had a vast variety of vegetable crops and orchards….milking cows…chickens and sheep….but I soon learned they did not slaughter the beasts. They believed fish was the flesh of man’s need for meat….In fact….killing a land animal was absolutely forbidden….

I remained among the Agrotecks for some weeks. Working alongside them and enjoying their hospitality…and….helped fight off the raiders from the Urbs,… most of whom tried to slip in un-noticed rather than fight. I noted that the Agros sometimes turned a blind eye to the raiders so long as they didn’t harm the crops or any Aggies…as they sometimes called themselves.

At harvest time these pleasant folk busied themselves with making winter preserves and drying fish. I joined in the tasks and labours and enjoyed the incredible harvest festival. To my surprise and distaste…I discovered that the Aggies bound up much of their food supply in sacks and loaded them into carts….dozens of them. Cattle were hitched to the carts and the long train wound away to the north. No one would answer me when asked why they did this and suggested strongly that I let it be….so I did….for the time being.

When all was done and the Aggies were settling into winter mode I packed up to continue on my journey…to where…or for what reason….I had no idea….I just sensed that I had to move on….that there was something I needed to find….which I would never do by staying put. I was also very curious as to where that cart train of food was headed so once I was out of the sight of my hosts I picked up the trail of the train….now three days ahead of me….hoping it didn’t rain and wash out the path…..I am not by any means a tracker…..

 

4

It took me five days to catch up to the cart train and that was only because they had come to a stop and had formed a huge circle…All the sacks of food….the cattle…..some sheep and chickens were piled or corralled  within the circle of carts.

I decided not to interfere….but to set camp and watch what was going on. I didn’t have to wait long…..only a few hours….

It was mid-afternoon when I first saw the speck on the horizon….a speck that grew into a line then a line that transformed into large wagons hauled by jeep like vehicles and finally the caravan of wagons and jeeps rolled into the circle of carts and the cart people quickly filled the large wagons as the passed and rolled out another opening in the cart circle then slowly vanished back into the horizon.

I did not wait for this process to be completed….I was beginning to understand the order of things in this strange dimension of human existence I had awakened into.

Staying out of a direct line of sight and keeping the wagon and jeep people as a dark line on the horizon I followed this new version of civilization….I was to their west and they were moving north…. “It seems all roads point north.” Slipped through my thoughts….wondering just how far this trek would take me and what I would find. I had to wait four days and three night to learn the answer and what I found astonished me.

The cavalcade moved on faster than I could keep up on foot so before long they had vanished into the horizon but it left an easy trail to follow and by night….when I rested I could have a fire for warmth. The further north I travelled the cooler the night air grew and I noticed the leaves on the trees were beginning to fade to a lighter shade of green. “Late…Late summer.” I determined.

The days were still warm and the sky was clear though there was a bank of billowing dark clouds bordering the eastern horizon but seemed to be keeping their distance….and I hoped whatever they were carting would hold off until I had come to the terminus of this leg of my journey.

I would like to be able to tell you I went the entire way in secret….I mean undetected, but that is not what happened.

I t did happen that on the third night as I was camping a squad of soldiers came suddenly upon me and demanded to know why I was following them. One of the men had a triple chevron stitched to the sleeves of his camouflaged jacket. He spoke a strange version of English. I sorted out the words and replied with a version of what I was doing there…I say version because I really did not know myself how or why as was there.

The Sergeant listened carefully….and with patience….which told me his intent was not purposely to harm me. As I told my story….a story as believable as possible the other three soldiers inspected my camp…but not invade my private belongings. And when I finished the Sergeant smiled and said. “Well you are certainly not an Agroteck. They could never come up with a story like that….and you are not Neanderbeast…they would never dare venture this far north….and it is obvious you are not a Burbite or you would not be camping out here in the elements.” As I said earlier he spoke in a strange dialect of English and I had to sift through the words and sentences to understand.

Finally….getting it….I replied….”I am from very far away and trying to find my way home….Tha’s all….I mean no one any harm.”

The Sergeant nodded…smiled and motioned me to come with him and his soldiers. I snuffed out my fire, grabbed my pack and obeyed. I was soon sitting in the back of a jeep and we were racing toward a bright light. As we drew nearer I realized the bright light was coming within an enormous dome covering tier after pyramidal tier of buildings at the top of which was a tower that looked to be made of onyx.

As we entered the city I became aware that there was an under city and that the over city was built on huge….no massive steel columns.

 

5

The clouds came and darkened the sky. Just as we entered the undercity the rain came….a burning rain…a cold burning rain. “The Sergeant glanced over his shoulder …first at the rain…then at me….You would have burned to death in the fire rain…..It only comes once a year but it is deadly and destroys nearly everything it touches.”

“Thanks for coming to save me.” I replied…The Sergeant smiled and nodded. “Now you will soon meet the General Of Undertown…..Undertown…not undercity as I have called it earlier.

“Is this a military town?” I asked still looking over my shoulder at the rain…sizzling as it hit the ground. I had never taken the concept of acid rain as seriously as I did at that moment and realized I could well have warped somehow into the future and what I was witnessing was the fate of humanity…..Trying to figure out how this happened….I mean…how I landed in the future had become unimportant….at least not as important as it was when I first arrived. I was simply just too fascinated by the experience to care about the hows…growing more excited about what I would discover next.

“Military…no….we in Undertown are the hunter gatherers for Overtown…Our Scholars call it an amiable symbiotic alliance. We provide food for Overtown and they provide our home and life’s conveniences as well as shelter from the fire rains and winter.”

I noticed that my host/escort had not introduced himself. I thought about an exchange of names but decided to leave things exactly the way they were progressing. When we stopped I got out of the jeep and. Two other men in military costumes came and guided me away to a dome shaped enclosure with a sign that read….Head-Quarters and Processing Facilities. It was there that I met the General or rather…General…that being his name and position in the community.

General smiled when he saw me. “So you are the Vagabond I have been hearing about these last few months.” It was a comment that surprised me and it showed on my face.

General’s smile got wider. “Oh don’t be alarmed. We have many scouts and hunters out there that keep me apprized to what is going on in the wide world.”

“ Am I a captive? Are you going to interrogate me? If so I am willing to explain….”

“Nothing of the sort. Who you are and where you come from is your own business. I simply wanted to meet you…one so brave as to risk the fire rain.”

“Risk it. Until n ow I did not know it even existed. You have…how ever inadvertently…saved my skin….literally and for that I am much obliged.”

“You are welcome Vagabond.” General replied over a cheerful laugh. “I considered correcting him about my name but decided it was pointless. If he thought of me as the Vagabond…a Vagabond as my name what difference would correcting him be.

“Does this mean I am free to explore Undertown?” I inquired.

“You may go wherever you wish…but first please stay and have a meal with me.”

I did not argue…mostly to be polite but also….I was hungry….

“After all…it is harvest time and a time to be thankful for our good fortune.”

“Thanksgiving.” I pondered aloud…getting a better sense of what time of year it was.

“That would be an excellent name for it.” General cheered and clapped his hands.

 

6

I watched for a short time while the crops and animals were taken into the processing facilities then with Generals grace I went to explore undertown…..

Fascinated is the best word that comes to mind to describe my impression of Undertown.

I learned that the population was 1000…exactly and that number was carefully maintained. It did not include children and new borns. The thousand were adults… all of whom worked as hunter gatherers or in the processing plant….except General who was the town Co-Ordinator.

There were no police…lawyers…businesses…or anything that met with my own worlds standard of civilization.

Undertown itself was intriguing. There was the Processing facility at the edge of town where the outside…natural light filtered in. But the residential area…where everyone lived was completely under Overtown. The roof was dome shaped and a brilliant yellow light tracked across the dome offering a sunrise, daylight hiours and sunset….much like the natural world. Equal…or almost so…was the event of night. The difference there was the moon was always full and tracked in exactly the same channel as the sun and for exactly the same amount of time….12 hours each. In the day the sky dome was blue and by night it was black with tiny glimmering lights simulating stars.

The adults worked for 8 of the daylight hours. Each person took a turn in the nursery and attending the various levels of children. I cannot say what the time allotments were or if everyone participated. Newborns of course were fed by the mothers.

My exploration of Undertown continued for three nights and two days. I suppose I could have delved futher into the workings of it but I really did not wish to know too much. Too much knowledge can be…damaging. I liked the impression I got from my sojourn and left it at that. So on the morning of the third day I ventured up…without meeting even a hint of resistance…to Overtown.

I made my farewells to General and a few others that I had come in contact with. I have to admit that no one seemed the least bit interested where I came from and what I was doing there. All along the way I was looked upon as a curious factor in the scheme of things but not out of place…save my Dietyship encountered in the beginning.

At mid-morning General himself secorted me to one of the elevators rising to Overtown…It was not one of the elevators used to transport supplies from the processing facility.

General clipped a button like badge on my coat sleeve. It had a mark on it that meant nothing to me but as he said. “This is my mark…it will give you clear passage anywhere you wish to go in Overtown….except of course those places marked no access or that are private quarters.

I entered the elevator and the door hissed shut with a slight sense of finality…but that was just me…my own paranoia tickling the back of my mind.….as you will see.

 

7

The elevator ride lasted 30 seconds. Most of my innards bounce off my lower extremities the jellied back into place. A small g-force factor from the abrupt and quick ascent.

When the door opened I found myself stepping out in to a wide circular plaza with a column directly in the middle. I sepped out into cool…obviously conditioned air.

Not a soul….and there were several looked at all surprised to see me or concerned at the way I was dressed. Those within a reasonable distance nodded in greeting then went on their way. I nodded back and set off to explore the plaza…going first to the column for as I drew nearer I saw there were several panels that seemed to be maps of Overtown….and indeed they were. It was only after I stood there studying the maps for some time that anyone approached me.

“This maps can be a little confusing to Newbies. The woman said in a friendly tone. I will be happy to be your escort until you have comfortably oriented.” She offered.

I could not come up with one good reason to decline….besides….she was beautiful and well…scantily dressed as opposed to others who were fully clothed. This phenomenon became quite reasonably understandable after our initial tour of the main plaza.

I choose not to go into detail on this matter. Suffice to say it turned out my escort was somewhat more than a guide and our association was considerably more intimate than hand shaking acquaintances. I think you get the drift. She was however an excellent guide.

There were five levels to the pyramidal dome of Overtown. There first was as I have alluded to…a plaza with shops of all kind, though I cannot say there was any commerce involved. People merely went in, picked out what they wanted then took it to a robotic clerk who scanned it. Then they moved on.

There were eateries, observation portals, swimming pools, a theatre…which we attended and to my surprise it was a Shakespearian theatre…not exactly my favourite form of entertainment but considering the circumstances I was duly impressed.

The second third and fourth levels of Overtown were residential. Of that I saw only what we passed and Inya’s quarters…a three room apartment with all that was required to live. No one took meals in their quarters….always at the eateries.

 

The fifth or dome level floor was an arboretum in the most modern sense of the facility. There was also an exit to a heliport…which I will explain in due time…..

My stay in Overtown lasted two days and one night…which was the allotment for visitors…at least calculated in hours. When my time was up Inya began escorting me back to the elevator to undertown. I said. “I wish to go forward…not back….Tell me about the helicopter.”

“The Helicopters travel between here and Eastcity and here and Westcity. I could take you there and you could take the next flight…East or West.”

“Is there anything different between the two?”

“No..both have elevators to Stratosa.” Inya pointed up.

“A city in the Stratosphere. “ I said in awe.”

Inya nodded.

“Eastcity will do as well as Westcity…I chose.

 

 

 

 

 

8

I learned later there were several Overtowns spread across the globe…all of which had elevators to Stratosa. Not that that mattered much and….well….let me continue my tale in proper order.

Eastcity looked much the same as Midcity…in fact it looked exactly the same…even the people looked the same save for skin colour variances. I did not remain long but it did occir to me to wonder why Midcity did not have an elevator to Stratosa. Nor did that thought remain a concern for more than a moment.

Within ten minutes of my arrival I found myself in the line-up for the elevator to Stratosa. Other people in the line seemed not to be completely aware…meaning….their eyes seemed glazed over and they stared….at nothing…nor did they respond to my greetings. This as you might guess inserted a strong sense of foreboding into my psyche…Still….curiosity urged me on and I waited my turn for the elevator ride with five co-passengers.

The quivering of the elevator tether was barely perceptible. I could feel the g-force trying to pull my innards down to my feet, but it lasted only a minute….then we all stood there silent…waiting.

The terminus as I understood it was 5000 kilometers beyond the geostationary orbit level. I could only guess how fast we were ascending and how long it would take to reach the terminus or counter-weight which was an expanded version of the International space station.

Hour after hour passed. I was beginning to understand the Mesmer effect on the other passengers. In their state they were oblivious to time, hunger, thirst and boredom….all of which I was experiencing. Fortunately I could divert two of these…hunger and thirst and temporarily the boredom. There was nothing I could do about time…but wait.

48 hours. I managed to sleep some of them away but I was more than ready to get off the damn elevator when it finally stopped and the door opened. I was the first one off…which might not have been the best choice but it was too late to change my mind once I was out….in the wide open space of a holding room lined with rows and rows of beds….half of which were occupied.

No one approached me at first. Then I was approached by two spherical metal, mechanical devices that hoovered two meters above the floor and had one appendage extended in which they held a rod that very much resembled a cattle prod. When one of them approached and activated its weapon I moved quickly out of the way…spun around and grabbed the prod and immediately turned it on my aggressor. The shot collapsed its energy and it dropped with a thudding clank to the metal floor panels. Then I turned on the second orb and did the same. But my escape was short lived because within seconds an all too familiar wail split the silent air of the plaza…an alarm siren…..somethings never change and I knew I was in for a time of it…none of it good….… was my guess.

And I was right…thirty seconds after the siren sounded a dozen soldiers armed with some kind of weapon charged into the room….soldiers not quite human…more like…..yes…you guessed it….cyborgs.

 

9

So…How do you fight Cyborgs with two hands and a crossbow….Well….the answer is…you don’t…..You run your sorry ass off as fast as you can and hope you find a way to get away from them….Which I didn’t. I got zapped in mind stride and plowed face first into the metal plate floor…and every muscle in my body was in a spasmodic flux….then….as one might guess…I passed out.

When I came too I found myself in a room….that is four walls a floor and a ceiling…no window and seemingly no door….which was accurate.A minute or so after I woke I felt my atoms vibrating then I was in another room standing before a  panel of five people….male or female or other….I could not tell….

The first words out of my mouth were….dare I say….no…but…messaging short hand will get my point across…WTF.

They all began talking at once…mostly in Garbble but I managed to pick out a few words like…processing…not acceptable behaviour…others will pay the price..

One of them smiled…or should I say grinned….showing two rows of beautiful white teeth….sharpened to fine points…..I’d seen pictures like that before and the reality sunk into my brain with near devastating results….I am sure you are catching the drift so I will move on.

“All things lead to this space station and it is not a good destination.” My thoughts came vocalized.

“You are given a good life. Why do you resent paying the price?

“Because idiot. I am not….”  I began to reply but decided it was a useless gesture. Instead I acted…out maneuvering and smarting the cyborgs….grabbing their shock guns and turning on the members of the panel….I shot them and the cyborgs….then I went berserk and started shooting up the station….taking out anything that looked like it might help disable the damn thing….successfully I might add but not so much so as to kill all us cattle.

There were 40 head of human flesh…too many to squeeze on the elevator…especially fot the two day trip to the surface. I was pondering how to get us all back home….alive and failing miserably.

Quite abruptly something went bang….flash….rumble….and ….crunch….and all the human fodder snapped out of their Mezmer state…in a panic I might add and it took several minutes to get just one of them to grasp the situation. But I finally managed to get a young woman thinking straight. She in turn started on the others while I went off to search the station for another means of departure…which proved less difficult than one might think….I found a shuttle craft tethered to the station…more than big enough to re assign as an escape pod.

I found my way back to Lanya who had managed to get her co-fodders under control and together we got our sorry butts to the shuttle….alas….as it nearly always happens….a snag got in the way…Our sharp toothed hosts had the same idea and a dozen cyborgs to back them up.

Much to my surprise the human cattle charged their captors in a rage and a battle royal exploded…It’s amazing what the combination of anger and fear can accomplish.

 

10

I don’t know how it came about but the cyborgs…though intent on subduing the rebels suddenly halted in their tracks and stood as motionless as metal statues….which as you can guess was good for us escapees since the sharp tooths knew nothing about fighting save from trying to eat us raw…human on the hoof.

Two fell….they were heroes…no one got out without some kind of wound….many were severe. Personally my arms were raked to the bone in places and a small chunk was ripped from my ass. It was a long time before I could sit down…..comfortably.

In the end 38 of us got safely aboard the shuttle craft but I am sure by now you have figured out the flaw in our method of escape……lol

The green button blinked on and off. I pushed it until it became a solid light then stepped back and crossed my fingers….3 hours later we were on the ground……

Did you figure out the flaw?

Did you figure out how we got around it?

It’s too simple and convenient not to get it.

Anyway….once on the surface we disembarked and started a trek hoping to find somewhere that resembled civilization…or if you wish….a place of organized barbarism.

I never did because once all was said and done the world changed…back to normal….I was back in my wheel chair starring out a picture window at a winter covered garden…and…..not at all pleased because some jerk was trying to shove food in my mouth….I ate any way just to get rid of my oppressor…then I closed my eyes and……..

 

 


© Copyright 2017 Donald Harry Roberts. All rights reserved.

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