In the year 2026, no one believed that the government could nearly annihilate the entire American population. After the drones bombed every major city, the people fled, attempting to find
shelter in the countryside and small towns across the nation, thinking we were attacked from without our borders. As the countless hordes fled, they were met by seemingly infinite advances of
droids, proving that the invasion was internal.
The less populated areas were secure, for a while, but eventually, even the small towns fell victim to this barbarous vindictiveness.
The government had manufactured countless numbers of humanoid soldiers, spending trillions of dollars to do so, finding them more capable of sustainable warfare than the American people. As
everyone knows, people die. They fall prey to disease and injury. With a dwindling population and many small insurgencies occurring, it was deemed the best remedy to all the military
ills facing the country.
The droids could each be manufactured for the same cost as would be paid over the lifetime of an ordinary career soldier but were much more efficient and required less maintenance. The ratio
of cost to effectiveness was far greater than that of even many of the best trained and most elite combatants and required only programming and no training, making all but military strategists
obsolete. The best features of the droids were their endurance and being impervious to most forms of attack. No bullet could pierce them. Even most forms of explosives caused them
little damage. Short of missiles or nuclear weapons, little could cause them much harm.
The American government began deploying these human-like elite forces throughout the world, very quickly winning battle after battle and war after war, quelling even the slightest internal
rebellions or perceived external threats. The United States established, by force, an economic empire the likes of which no one had ever dreamed, labeling it the rightful realization of a
never fully achieved manifest destiny.
Within less than four years, by the year 2025, the United States had viciously attacked every other nation it considered an enemy or potential enemy, devastating world populations until very few
countries were recognizable anymore by their former standards. All other nations that survived in more than a primitive, unorganized state, answered to the United States, accepting any and
all terms dictated to them, in essence, creating slaves of once sovereign entities.
With no more external threats and a completely devastated world economy, the government had no idea how to function. Its military and economic leaders had no concrete ideas of how to solve
the problem of functionality. Some, including many of the citizens, suggested once and for all fixing the nation's internal disruptions, ending homelessness, hunger, crime, disease, etc.
They were met head on with counter arguments that such things would cost too much money, to which it was said that perhaps, the money system should be ended or at least so strongly amended as
to make fixing social problems completely feasible. With few other economies to deal and a decreased population, it seemed that until a new economic system could be emplaced, deflation would
occur and allow such remedies to be enacted.
The upper echelons of government, however, bent on maintaining the status quo as much as possible, deemed this contendable and greatly ill-advised. Out of this turmoil within the government,
some advocating doing exactly as the public wanted and many sticking to their greed, factions arose that crippled Washington. Only a handful of commanders remained qualified enough to
strategize and command the droids. Dissatisfied with leadership, 4 Star General Marcus Fisher used his army of 200,000 droids to march on the White House and declare himself President.
He was quickly supported by most of the officers under him and soon, by 2 other generals, each commanding more than 100,000 droids.
There were, however, many other commanding officers in the field, both within the United States and throughout the rest of the world. Droid armies were left in place in many other countries,
both countries still organized enough to govern themselves and many that had been reduced to poverty and anarchy. Many of the officers in the field used the military junta of General Fisher
to establish themselves as ungoverned warlords.
Numerous new governments within the United States formed, each ruled by a General declaring himself President or King. All but 1 were sooner or later defeated by Fisher, who possessed the
only droid factories not destroyed by the warfare. The only holdout came from the western one-third of the United States, where General Anthony Wayne Canaddy had established The Democratic
Republic of America, attempting to maintain rule and order as much as it existed before so much had changed.
Canaddy successfully built new droid factories, finding new resources to build and increase his army. Canaddy declared that he wished not to use humans in his war, not because he believed
them so obsolete, but because he wanted to spare as many lives as possible and believed that Fisher's droids would cause too much devastation. This was not to mention that droid manufacturing
became the primary source of occupation throughout The Democratic Republic of America.
Canaddy's and Fisher's armies met time and again on the field of battle. Each had advantages over the other, ultimately leading to stalemate in each encounter. Fisher, finding that
resources were waning in his nation, could scarcely afford to create new armies or replenish the old ones. He had to rely on minimal infusion of new droids, simply repairing those he already had
after every encounter. Fisher, however, still possessed many drones, jets, and missiles, all of which wreaked havoc on Canaddy's armies. Canaddy, however, had so many more resources
than Fisher and had even managed to improve the droid technology enough to make his droids more efficient, quicker, even more impenetrable. Canaddy afforded to field armies that always
outnumbered Fisher's at least 3 to 2.
Fisher, realizing that he could not defeat Canaddy, turned his attentions to his own state and his own people, becoming more ruthless and vindictive with each passing month, depressed at his
inability to reunite the nation and establish a full military state. For his inefficiency, the people suffered unspeakable atrocity. Fisher's economic advisers still had little or no
lucrative suggestions for fixing the stagnant economy, leaving the President to attempt a solution on his own. All advisers whose ideas held no perceived feasibility were publicly executed,
along with any other civic leaders who Fisher deemed inadequate and any citizens found speaking out against the government.
Fisher's only ideas were confiscation of resources and virtual enslavement of the population. The President believed that real estate could be redeveloped and sold to the highest bidders,
even those from other surviving nations. He devised plantation style agriculture programs, slave mining, and work camp manufacturing. All resisters would be shot on sight, and all who
were physically unable to perform such tasks would be sent away as servants, cooks, women to be sold or used for sexual services, etc. while many of the blind, limbless, or mentally inferiors were
rounded up for mass public execution to not only prove Fisher's power and the inadvisability of resistance but to save on the expense of feeding and maintaining such seemingly useless people.
Fisher sent his droid armies into the cities to root out any survivors, forcing these into enslavement, while securing any and all areas of the cities for demolition and redevelopment. On one
such raid, one of the more populated neighborhoods of one of the cities had made preparations for just such an occasion. Word had spread, by way of the few who had managed to escape, of the
raids, their purposes, and their methods. Those that had not fled the city now huddled in basements, attics, sewers, etc., sometimes numbering in the hundreds in the larger places and even
between 1 and 2 dozen in the smaller.
Already surviving without electricity, running water, and very little food, these people had held out, seldom seeing the droids or drones since the first attacks, living off of expired food from
stores, mice, rats, and even family pets.
One such group had built a secret apartment in the interconnected basement of some of the city's oldest buildings. They sent scavengers and scouts out daily to rescue any food or other
supplies and to look for signs of impending attack. On July 4, 2026, no such survivors were sent out of hiding. Raids on other parts of the city had been widespread the day before.
Enough food had been gathered to last the group of 20 for nearly a week.
It was strongly hoped, as mothers clung to their weeping children, that Fisher's army would pass by the settlement, perhaps not detecting the presence of human life. The group felt well
concealed, especially since the area where the apartment existed was difficult to find or reach, blockaded by heavy debris and trash, kept in the back-most section of the basement, with no visible
light anywhere to be found. Within the apartment, there was a stockpile of candles, enough to provide light for a considerable amount of time. The engineers of the apartment, however,
had been able to erect a sturdy, hard-to-be-seen wall that allowed no line of vision through anything but a covered slit.
No sounds, other than the occasional whimper of a small child, escaped, and none could be heard by those within. It seemed that the attack had not begun. The anticipation haunted the
victims beyond the wall. At last, the faint sounds of an explosion were heard. Soon, there was another and another. All at once, the walls and ceiling of the fortified apartment
shook. It was only a matter of time until all might be lost. For those inside, it signaled the approach of death.
© Copyright 2016 Jason Wallace. All rights reserved.