Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Chapter 1

”My name is Regulus. It is the end of things and times as I'd always known. The blue sky no longer exists. Instead a maze of mushrooming rumbling clouds that trail a smelly gassy odor and leave the nostrils red and burning. Debris rises and falls into the thin threads of a thirsty dry landscape, churning dirt then lifting it again to sweep across the next barren space, and so on. Nothing grows in this soil.

Nothing remains of any value. For hundreds of years the United States of America had functioned as a republic. Elections were had, votes cast, and politicians put in place to run the country. However, the people lowered their criteria for their representatives, and accept immorality as a commonality of office. They redefined crime with softer words, released terrorists from jails, infiltrated the courts with lawyers who used trickery and deception. Eventually, all media was corrupt and the political parties became masters of lies and propaganda.

Change the definition of words, add some tears and emotion to the big fat lie, and the people will accept it. And they did. Greedy politicians used the tools of class envy and racial preferences to divide us. As long as there the thriving industry of class envy, they held an office of wealth and power from which they spoon fed propaganda to a constituency of drones and special interest groups.

The drones had something to gain from keeping the greedy in power, and that is the financial support off the backs of taxpayers. They did not have to work a lick so long as taxes were collected and wealth re-distributed. The drones existed on social programs, free food, rent and medical care and when that was not enough demanded automobiles, cell phones and televisions. The theme was that they were poor and the workers were cruel if they did not share their wages. Financial markets reeled like a drunken sailor. They spent and spent until the free markets collapsed. Entrepreneurs were consumed by punishing taxes.

When the currency went worthless, we could no longer import petroleum to heat our homes and moving vehicles and machinery became artifacts and we could no longer turn the large turbines which powered the dams for electricity. The environmentalists of our age had successfully perpetuated a hoax which received national acceptance.

They claimed that mankind controlled the earth's temperature by polluting the atmosphere with petroleum and punished us by accessing a green tax. Individual use of energy was measured by meters placed in our homes which turned off our lights and cooking stoves after reaching certain levels until we could no longer afford to be warm. They built dams which diverted water into streams and rivers to protect endangered species of fishes and other animals but instead caused drought. The smallest fish were preserved while humans were denied water rights to their land.

As fields went dry and the soil eroded, agriculture came to a standstill. If you had anything to eat, the drones would send their mobs to wrest it from you. Their power was too strong to break and no one would prevent them from killing and starving all opposition. They used their little bombs until the population left the cities and hid in obscure places.

The politicians would not tolerate individual freedom. We were subjected to frequent investigations and persecutions; workers quit their jobs and ran away to avoid from further oppression. Mobs of dissatisfied welfare recipients demanded more, and when they did not get it, broke into stores and took what they wanted.

You see, it began as a war of words and ideas won by politicians who made oppressive laws and then enforced them by marshalling the forces against us. There was no freedom of speech and life was not worth a nickel. The greedy ones exacted burdensome taxes, spent and then printed money until it had no value. Then they soldiered people into war machines to destroy all who voiced opposition. They detonated human beings with remote device so as they on the street until no one dared show their face. The result was that all of the population went into hiding. ....”

Ultimately the nuclear bombs wasted mountains, valleys, lakes and all that mankind had ever invented or built. We roamed aimlessless across the plains, dragging our scorched feet into the desert sands. Streams of orange and purple lights whipped and popped across the sky. Some said that it was the residue of matter which cannot die while others thought that it was caused by the residual energy of the bombs with no where else to explode. But I wondered if it were caused by the menacing hatred of human flesh.

The day came that we gave up our home in the city. My parents stood shivering over a few smoldering coals in the basement furnace. It was no longer safe to remain in the house. My older sibling had since left to fend for themselves. We each carried a load into the nuclear desert with the colored lights popping all around us. The journey was northward to an old gold town once called Dahlonega. The hills sourrounding it were bone, but a old gold canyon braced with plank boards would provide an underground shelter. My parents, deeply saddened and feeling guilty over having lost lost all, guiltily lived out their final days. I carried them above ground for burial. The landscape of bombed cities were visible. I sat weeping over the graves. There was nothing left but hot cinders under my feet. I could no longer hide from the radiation of the bomgs nor the predator beasts.

A strong fiery wind of cinders blew across my face and singed my skin. A pack of ravished wolves ran towards me, digging a cloud of dust with their claws into the cindered earth and devoured the skeletons of dead animals.  I watched, hoping they would leave a pierce of meat on one of the bones.

That is how I took up with a lion. Laboi was a thin boney skeleton of a creature with a dirty mane and coat singed to the skin. Too weary to engage in territorial fights with other animals, he preserved his strength by sleeping during day and killing at night. I arose the next morning at day break to search the bone pilings left by the wolves and while doing so noticed a lion dragging a deer carcus. He dropped it in front of me and tore open the flesh. I ventured near him to steal a portion of the meat. His large skelton heaved and growled. The regal beauty of his kingly heirachy was gone and nothing was left save the shaggy outline of a hairless beast. So he allowed me to share the kill. It was as simple as that. We were survivors.

"Tis just you and I now, Laboi," I whispered. He appeared to understand me. At least I thought that he did. His sad watery eyes blinked. Does the lamb sit down with the lion? I wondered. Is this the age of peaceful co-existence between man and beast. If it is, then what a price we paid for it. I racked my brain to recall the predictions of this pnenomina. What of mankind? Slow the idea of a promised peace and reward for the righteous drifted into my thoughts. Armageddon! Is this it? The bombs devastated the land; destroyed the world, but would I be taken into another world, a paradise?

So I waited for someone to come and take me there, while dragging my feet behind Laboi, staring hopefully into the dark night and squinting to keep flying debris from my eyeballs. Suddenly, ladders began falling from the sky and people were running to grab onto the rungs. Then the ladders swung to and fro and the climbers disappeared. I surmised that they were taken somewhere, into the paradise of my thoughts. I began running towards one, but it was like a rainbow after a summer shower, promising a pot of gold when there was none. The chase for the weird sky ladders was but a dream. Still, I imagined that someone would also come for me.

Late one afternoon as I awoke from a fitful nap, my eyes were hynothized by the prisms of colored light. A ladder fell loosely near to me and I ran furiously towards it. When I reached the rungs, there was a man struggling in the ropes, swinging himself loose. He fell from the ladder and his hands commenced a fastidious dusting of a long black coat which fell into folded pleaats around his legs, a procedure which lasted for an inordinately long period of time. He was an imposing figure, neatly groomed and washed. He had a thick head of gray and white strands of hair which fell in loose curls around his neck. His eyes were filled with wisdom and reflected various hues as he studied my face.

"Don't you people do anything right?" He complained while his fingers still sought to rid his clothing of the slightest speck of dust. "Do you not know that atomic dust penetrates the cloth in such a way that it is always visible>"

"I apologize, sir, but I did not explode the bomb. You can see that my own clothing is singed and ragged from its effects."

My words agitated him. "What did you expect? What a mess you hath made of things!"

"You continue to blame me. I tell you that I did not explode the bomgs!"

"Yes, yes, I know," he continued in a great agitation. "You hide yourself rather than fight. Twas the same in my day, except that some of us were willing to die for the sake of freedom."

"You say that you once lived here. Who are you?"

"You may call me Apollogoram."

"Are you the one who is to take me to a better world?"

"Sir, your arrogance supersedes logic!"

"But I have seen others like yourself descend from the swinging ladders and take people away."

"Where were they taken?"

"I Well I do not know but supposed that they were going to a heaven of sorts. This world has ended."

Allegoram shook his head. "Not quite true, my fellow. You surmise that this is Armagedden?"

"Yes, yes, that is it."

Appogoram squared his shoulders and loomed his fastitious presence over me. He seemed very tall and commanding. His forehead was one crooked line of crunched wrinkles. He had thin lips and large hollowed eyes which blinked rapidly as he remembered his own past. The review seemed to consujme him with both painful and joyful memories. He was momentarily spellbound by his mood. An abrasive wind caught in his gray curly beard sprinkling cinders in his eyes. He rubbed his eyes and emptied sand from his shoes. I dared not break the silence. "Tis not over," he said.

"Please tell me what you mean?"

"As we breathe these gasy fumes there is still a chance. Everyone is not dead. It is not too late."

"You are saying that I should stay and rebuild?"

Appogoram sighed. "I once had a home here, and children, many, many children. They offended me with their greed and deception. But they lived on, and their children also. You, like them, want to be rescued, yes, rescued even from facing yourself. To you, this burned land and dry sinkhole is the final stage of life. If I were to choose someone to take away from here, it would not be you!"

"Why? Why?" I asked desperately. "How is it that I offend you, sir, never having seen you before?"

"Because of this," he answered with an emphatic sweep of his hands.

"I swear that I did not ..."

"You survived, that is all that you did."

"But is that not what is prudent, to remain alive? I am but a young man by all accounts. What else can I do?"

"To answer your first question I would say that your response is that given by all of mankind when he is in trouble. To the second question, I would remind you that you missed your opportunity to preserve freedom when you hid with your family instead of going forth into battle, even in a losing cause."

"I beg you sir, do not be further agitated. I am confused, afraid and a fever of loneliness has overtaken me and drained my spirits. Please stay awhile and argue your complaints with me. I am desprate for human companship, even that of chiding and disapproval. I would welcome even the most disagreeable arguments. You do not have to take me with you, but please tarry with me awhile."

"All right then, I will rest here on this rock awhile and share the kill of your beast."

I dusted off the rock with my own ragged coat until he consented to seat himself. He allowed his long thin legs to dangle over the jagged edges of the rock so that his feet did not touch the ground. After while, he fell asleep.

Appollogram tarried for many days without objection to Laboi's disgusting routine of dragging his kill into our camp. Eventually his mood changed to oone of patience and instructive wisdom. His words refreshed my spirits and I was content to stop arguing and listen. He was well versed in the history of mankind and the rise and fall of many civilizations. He spoke as though he had an intimate relationship with each person who'd lived and had shared their joys and sorrows. Appollogrom was a human link to past history.His ageless knowledge was so complete that it reached into the spirit world of those who once lived and seemed to continue across dominions of planets. He related the destruction of great cities such as Nineveh and Babel, rulers and tyrants, peacemakers and warriors, of strength and weakness and about the mysterious circumstances which seem to weave together the threads of the human mind. He opened the hidden past before me as a blanket spread upon the ground. As he spoke more questions developed iinside my head and were answered in the same flickering moment until finally the last parts of the puzzle were pressed together and I understood. I was not alone. But I was not satisfied either. I
realized that I could not go with Appollogrom.

"Those who left the earth must have been prepared to do so," I lamented.

"Some of them, perhaps. It is not important that you have that knowledge. You must discover your own answers and the ky which openes the gate to a better world."

"Is it possible for me to find the key in this devastation?"

"Yes, all good things are possible."

"where is it?"

"I cannot answer except to tell you that it is a key of hope borne of destruction. For you it will be difficult to stay the course, given your past choices. Such a challenge might be beyond your sense of judgment and capacity?"

"I will do anything to stop feeling alone and useless, to find a better world."

"All right then, but you must do exactly as I say and not waste any part of your journey with protest and self-pity."

"I agree."

"You will travel back in time and find an who possesses this key. The journey will remove you into another dimension, first one thousand years, then two thousand years, and so on. For each time period you must find a likely ancestor."

"How will I recognize this ancestor?"

"It will be most difficult, perhaps even now you are having doubts and thoughts of quitting."

"I assure you sir, that I will am not a quitter."

"Then you must be attentative to the deails of your task, else the finfer points will slip through your fingers. Will you remember?"

"Yes, I promise."

Then cast your eyes upward and look keenly through the midst. Do you see the stars?"

The mushroom clouds scrolled back and opened a panorama of white blinking stars, a clear night. "Yes! Yes!"

"Do you see the milky way of planets and stars orbiting a hydroen sun?"


"That is the earth one thousand years past. And beyond tghat is a visual of two thousand years ago and so on back to the beginning of this universe. Even though your earth dwells in present time, both its past and present are visible to persons like myself who once called it home."

"I knew it! I knew that your home was somewhere in the stars? Else, why the ladder falling from the sky."

"Well, that sort of explains it. Know this, that today will become a past which is forever visible. Mankind foolishly supposes that his deeds are hidden when they are a virtual reality."

"You saw me hide from the bombes?"

Appologam nodded.

"How will I travel to that cluster? To my planet's past?"

"The way is open. All that you need to do is to stare keenly into the milky way until you see a narrow path, then walk towards it."

Appollogoram seemed to disappear as I observed the mikly way. "Wait! Do not go yet! I have a million questions!" I shouted into a hollow night, the emotions of my voice echoing and reverberating in the space bedhind him. "How ill I know where to go?"

An answer came from a fall distance. "You will know."

No comments:

Post a Comment