Emperor of One
Origins, File 10
"All great wars had their weapons. Sometimes, it was the weapons that made the war. The last war was no different. After discovering the first forms of Velocity Altering Technology (VAT) the warmongers of the time took no time to make it into a weapon. And thus the the barriers came to be. According to the (natural) laws of physics as first discovered by Newton, every body remains in a state of constant velocity unless acted upon by an external unbalanced force. This simple law of nature indirectly makes bullets kill, explosions hurt and was the foundation for all so called modern weapons before the war. With the advent of barriers the threat of bullets was no more. Guns became nothing more then toys. It was not just guns that became obsolete, explosions relied on shock waves, shock waves relied on speed, velocity and speed went hand in hand, and so the shock wave was nullified by the barriers and explosions became far less effective where barriers were present. They would still burn, but the thunder that made them so deadly was no more. Bombs, feared for decades since their invention, became no more dangerous then fireworks.
Some thought this new technology heralded a new era of piece and prosperity. But the world doesn't work that way. As horrible as the old weapons were, they were part of the old balance, the old stalemate. With them gone, the balance was lost. It didn't take long for men to find new ways to kill themselves for differences.
The technology of peace had several flaws, and they were soon exploited. Radiation, such as electromagnetic radiation, was not bound by the barrier, so any laser weapons would still be as effective as always. Fortunately at that time they were not even pathetically effective. Standard nuclear warheads had the same problem as bombs, their thunder was no more, however they would burn everything anyway so their devastation was still feared and the radiation fallout no less horrible. Even worse, most were converted to neutron bombs, so the fallout behind them would be unbearable even in specialized suits for years.
With most of the high tech approaches failing mankind resorted to more simple solutions. And so the era of blunt weapons come back once more. Soldiers again wore armor, took up swords and went to fight bloody close quarters battles. It wasn't long before technology was brought in and the armor became more sophisticated, the swords more deadly, and the soldiers less human. The artillery went back to the old ways as well. It no longer relied on precise shells and explosives but instead of just hurling ever heavier shells, since the barriers could do nothing against pure mass. The limitations on how effective the barriers were on velocity was always, and still is, proportionate to the objects mass.
And so the war began. It is lost to us when exactly the war started, or who started it. But what we do know is that it was in the name of freedom, and democracy. And thus the flames of the endless hell were brought to consume this world. Men fraught their wars everywhere. For many decades the great war didn't even have anything that could be called sides, nor countries or alliances for that matter. It was all just chaos. Whatever framework to society there was before, was burned to ashes in nuclear fire. Zealots with weapons would rise up, and kill each other for whatever excuse they could find. Death had no honor, death had no purpose, it was all just for the great vain of the world and mankind's arrogance fueled it ever onwards. More death brought even more death with it, and the vicious circle carried on for years.
Inevitably chaos gave way to ordered chaos. Cities rose in the ruins of the old ones, build up on people's fears. For protection great flying fortresses were build to guard against the madness of the world around them. By hovering over cities they were hard to hit by artillery fire, because of gravity pulling projectiles down to earth, and thus battles against them were harsh and long. It is ironic how man takes a few steps forward and several back.
Inevitably cities took over other cities though various means, all rinsed in blood, and in time two major factions emerged. One called itself the Empire and preached order, another called itself the Republic and preached peace; yet both did not have either. In the end the Empire lost, and the world came to settle in a tangible peace, but the mighty Republic payed a heavy price for it's victory and now stands as a mere shell of it's former self.
Even now, 39 years after the war has ended, death still lingers. The war was not kind. Many weapons were used, horrible weapons. And each day new horrors are discovered from the those dark day. One can not even walk outside the cities with out potentially falling prey to madmen or sleeping weapons, or worse. The old ruins and installations scattered all over the world are all potential lairs of horrors.
The majority of the population is living in cities, or ruins of old cities. The life expediency of anyone living outside the cities is not even a year. The rest of the world, the so called outside world, is split into yellow zones and red zones. The administration tries to clean out the old threat but judging by the death toll the efforts seem to be counter productive and more symbolic and political then anything. In ages past people earned for our current state where you can just walk outside 'the village' and fight monsters; the relics of the technologies lost in the war, such as nanotech and and the abominations of bioengineering. They would write about them in fairy tails and create games about them. In these stories heroes would rise up and fight, but in our age heroes seem to be nowhere in sight, and whatever heroic acts have been recorded from the war are more acts of self preservation and desperation. One has to wonder what would our ancestors think of us now if they only knew. What—"
"Ahem! … are you done reading that piece of trivia yet?" said Kou with a bored look and taping his finger on the table.
"Ah. Mr Kurou, my sincerest apologies. It would appear I have had completely forgotten about your existence." said Isolde
"Is that so. Then I'll be going." Kou lifts up and moves towards the entrance.
"No, please wait. Unfortunately, I am obligated to have a talk with you."
"Obligated?" Kou looks at the broken window and the library on the right
Isolde puts the book down and grabs a cup of tea, "Yes, obligated. Would you like some tea?"
Kou ignores her, and just heads to the nearby bookshelf. The top row is littered with archives of the war.
"Ahem. Well, first let me introduce myself—"
Kou quickly interrupts, "(sigh) I know who you are. You're the librarian. I wouldn't have come here if you weren't, so get to the point."
"Actually, while I am the librarian, I am also the student council president; well more like the student council, since there's nobody else besides me."
"I'm afraid you don't completely comprehend the situation. I am responsible for student problems, and problem makers."
"Well, it happens you're caught my interest. I've received some complaints, and require some explanations."
"About me? And you just received complaints now, you know I came here ages ago, you should check your mail more often."
"Unfortunately, these complaints are straight from the city guard." Isolde pours herself more tea. "You may sit down, and talk to me, or you can talk to them. I leave the choice to you Mr. Kurou."
Kou pauses for a moment, but then goes back and sits on the sofa.
"Before we get started, are you sure you don't want some tea. I can have Walter bring you any flavor you wish in no time." said Isolde
"I thought you said you were alone."
"And I am. Walter is a robot servant—of sorts." said Isolde
"Well, time is passing us by, so I'll jump to the point. Several weeks ago, three to be exact, you were called to Sir Rei Katashi's office. Since that day you have not made any other contact outside of class that anyone is aware of. Is this true?"
"Maybe." said Kou
Isolde pauses a moment looking at Kou, she then takes her teacup up again and continues "I know you were asked to follow the girl Mao. I need you to tell me everything that's happened in those three weeks, starting at the beginning."
Kou paused and appeared reluctant.
Isolde starts tapping the phone with her left hand. "Mr Kurou…please."
"(sigh) Very well. Have your butler, robot, whatnot prepare you more tea, …you'll be here for a while."
Word count: 1499
Status: Final Entry
This is part 2. Part 1
was the submission for the previous contest.
Criticism, Critique and Opinions welcome.