Once upon a time, back in the days before the New Children, there was mankind. An ancient race that lived like everlasting giants in all directions as far as the horizon stretched. They were in truth much like me and you with two hands, two eyes, and two feet topped with five toes. They flourished in expansion and competition; genes plentiful as if time were to run beside them forever. Every mind began to develop at the speed of light. Each generation entered self awareness sooner and sooner. This was the golden age of humanity.
We live in its remains. Large buildings still reach into the stars reminding us of their fall; for as their young became older in shorter years they grew uneasy. The children protested for rights that mimicked those of their older counter parts, all of whom they argued, had dulled with age. After many fights, in what was then known as courts, the children won their amendments. Nation after nation followed each other in pursuit of the destructive temptation called advancement.
It is hard to believe now that one could live to be one hundred, but at the time of Reckoning, however, much of humanity had reached well past that. To us it seems so beautiful, but at this period some saw this as a wasteful. The great elders had become useless; a strain on the Earth’s depleting resources, hindering farther progress of our great nations. That is what ushered in the Reckoning and its creator.
Toliver the First was a ravenous monster. At the age of four he inherited a mega-corporation upon his mother’s planned demise, which is in itself another story. This company was named the New Children’s Foundation. The colossal firm touched every corner of humanity’s youth, and provided them with steady employment among other benefits. He created his empire in the insecurities and distrust of Elders. In a few years the new generation had surpassed their masters.
The New Children devoted their intelligence to a serum that would grant eternal life as a productive member of society. They marketed with great tact and forked tongues. Toliver often would grace the masses with kind speeches, and promised the whole of humanity his intentions would be true. He was to give them an affordable taste of God’s forbidden fruit.
On the day of Toliver’s eighth birthday the serum was released upon the public. The old lined up for months to receive it with greedy minds set on the flawless pursuit of a never-ending time. Children took their vaccines in blind loyalty. Even babes, still with eyes unopened, were administered in hopes that they would never grow old, and they never did.
As time passed the elders died very quickly. Their eyes clouded over, and their organs festered with age unlike their own. This was the first history had seen of the fade, and it is a thing that even to this day we know very well. It begins as one enters their teenage years, and manifests into death flawlessly. The elders were left vulnerable, and the New Children did not hesitate. They militarized and destroyed the weak opposing forces that remained. Toliver, upon his throne of deceit seized, unfathomable power. Those without the vaccine were hunted like beast, and even the most innocent of life suffered under a child of anger. Humanity was no more.
Life remained, however, ever changing. We were called Mayflies, though the meaning of this term was forgotten over countless generations. The creations of the past loomed dusty over our existence, and we inhabited their buildings, as I’ve said before, but that was the last of our connections to humans. For our lives were not kind, or structured as they once had been. We held our government in fear. They took our culture, language, and love all for their own.
Do not lose hope though; for I have a real story to tell. It starts with Stephen.
Stephen, a great and noble doctor, worked in the greatest hospital in the territory of Jasminium, located just past the capital. My father told me that Stephen was as wise as Solomon of the bible, and worked on the right hand of Toliver the Eighth. He remained faithful to his leader for most of his years even as his own fade began to show its ugly face. During his twelfth year something changed. Stephen fell in love.
All she is known as is Darling. Normal in all respects but her beauty, she loved him with a faithfulness that brought them to be life partners for the next two years. His manners changed and he began a curious habit. On the day their son was to born the Mongrel forces attacked the hospital. Stephen the wise was dead. In the commotion there was one.
Darling escaped with her precious child, and he was named David. This is his life, and how he saved us all.
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