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The sweat poured over his forehead and into his eyes practically blinding him as he strained to run as fast as his aging frame would carry him. With each stride the muscles in his thighs, hamstrings and calf’s screamed in agony.  With each breath his lungs expanded in excruciating pain as the steady intake of oven-like air intruded the inner sanctums of his body. The strides that carried him far at one time now betrayed him as his mortal enemy, time, depleted the strength and stamina he drew upon in days past.


Tiring, he stopped and sat hidden between the rocky crags of a place few would dare to tread. Though sweat soaked and vision blurred he stared at the light reflected globe whose face simultaneously mocked yet understood. He had been here many times before but this was the first in this lifetime. Pausing to catch his breath and slow his heart rate he could hear the sounds of the distant drones as they crisscrossed a different sector in search of the man that had committed the most heinous of crimes. The humming and whirring of those obscene engines drew closer and then further away as the airborne detectives searched tirelessly for their prey. Knowing they were solar powered, if he remained hidden long enough the assailants would have to return to their base to recharge but others would follow so he would have to execute his unmapped plan carefully. Finally he heard the engines make their exit towards their home base and he started running again hoping the satellites had something more pressing to concentrate on.


It had been previously announced that an action of huge import would take place at a predetermined time. This would hopefully give him a window of opportunity for escape. Gathering knowledge from past lifetimes he was able to avoid detection by skirting among the rocky overhangs, entering shallow caves and crawling through thick underbrush. How it had gotten this crazy and why he was running for his life and freedom ran constantly through his mind.


The world had splintered. Not in the physical sense but in the philosophical, theological, and political realms. Sharp divides accompanied the economic and financial sectors splitting the military complexes in strange and toxic alliances. Wars, raids, turmoil and invasions were the accepted way of life. Sophisticated and rudimentary weaponry were used. Anything to get the upper hand on any number of opponents. No tactic was spared and no strategy left untouched. Rules were eliminated save one. There were no rules. Massive armies formed and individual death knell contests performed. All for naught as all were in constant balance. He tried to make sense of it all but could not. Now he was on the run.


Peace makers appeared before the now self-ordained royal courts only to be executed instantly. Talk of compromise was outlawed and banned. There were no suspects, only accused to be tried while a witness gave testimony for the record before execution took place. A highly efficient system. A judge, no jury, a court recorder who acted as the witness and an executioner. Why waste the government’s money on a trial when we know they’re all guilty. Just execute the known guilty, burn the body, unless there was a use for it, and throw the ashes on the compost heap. Helps the food supply you know.


The insanity got so bad that one of the main sectors, THE APOSTLES OF REPRESSTICLES, were convinced they were being overrun by so called illegal’s they took away citizenship from everyone in their sector so they didn’t have to spend any funds making a distinction between lawful and unlawful people. This way they could apprehend and instantly execute anyone they pleased without having to waste funds on ink for the recorder or fuel for the ovens. The logic was impeccable.


In the other main sector THE DISCIPLES OF RAPEOVERYA had organized and propagandized so efficiently that control over their population was administered by individual numerical identification. Everything was registered and monitored and any deviation from the disciple’s approved norm was met with severe prosecution while the defendant was attached to a painless and slow acting death tube. Iron fists ruled on all sides.


And it came to pass, during the era of the great boredom, followers of RAPEOVERYA decided to take matters into their own hands. After researching the pirated information database they were able to steal, bribe and smuggle the materials to assemble a small nuclear weapon. Taking great care they devised a plan and route to detonate the deadly device in one of the unsuspecting cities ruled by their mortal enemy, THE APOSTLES OF REPRESSTICLES. Painstaking planning was taken and the vehicle of death and destruction went off destroying millions of the enemy. The royal court of THE DISCIPLES OF RAPEOVERYA called out for those who devised and enacted such a plan to present themselves and receive their just reward. Thinking they were heroes, the tiny band appeared before the grand magistrate to receive their due. Immediately, they were taken into custody and executed as they had polluted the environment without a permit and such an offense carries with it the death penalty.


And now he was running for his life. The two sectors that purported to be the bastions of freedom had twisted and turned their philosophies so many times to meet their own needs they had trapped themselves in a never ending cycle of discontent and slavery. Anyone who disagreed with either side was just ignored at first. The next step was ridicule and a process of falsely tearing down the legitimacy of any opinion and then the person of those who disagreed with either the REPRESSTICLES  or the RAPEOVERYA’S. If that didn’t work then a short jail term after a mock trial would surely stop anyone from voicing any discontent. Having failed it was determined a visit to the rehabilitation camps would solve the problem and make the ungrateful reprobates snap to. But no one ever seemed to return from the rehabilitation camps so that premise was dropped for the efficient and effective policy of mock trials, invisible jury and instant execution.


These were his thoughts as he found another shallow cave to rest in off to his left. But there was no cover between here and there to hide his progress. So he backtracked. He remembered there was a set of overhangs protruding over both sides of the valley about a mile back. Yes there was a part of this crossing that would be exposed to possible drone and satellite detection but he had little choice. Upon reaching the location he waited as the sound of the drones was ever present north of him as the sunrise had taken place and the cloak of darkness was gone. He listened as the drones headed further north to complete their preprogrammed sector sweep. When he felt they were far enough away the only thing he could hope was that the satellite feeds were not focused on this part of the sector. As he walked closer to the outer reaches of the overhang above him he estimated there was roughly 400 yards of unprotected area he would have to traverse. Nearing the edge of the overhang he noticed the wind was picking up and looking skyward the billowing white clouds were shifting eastward and being replaced by ever darkening skies. He decided to wait to see if this increase of blackening skies could be used as some type of cover.


The wind continued to increase to storm level causing more threatening skies to develop. What started as a few drops suddenly burst into a deluge of rain and straight line winds. Not knowing how long this would last he decided it was now or never and he broke into a pace as fast as his legs could carry him. Halfway through the corridor the ground turned to mud. Slipping and sliding, he eventually lost his footing and plunged headfirst into what was now slimy muck. Sliding an untold distance he regained his balance and thoroughly mud soaked he dove onto the ground underneath the opposite overhang. Resting, the rain continued to pour down erasing any trace that a human had traversed the open area. He laughed from stress release as he could only watch and wait before continuing his journey southbound. The rain finally let up and the sun broke through. This brought warmth to his being but also renewed the humming of the drones as they restarted their search for the wanted criminal.


“Wanted criminal”, he thought. His crime was to point out the complete and utter absurdity which spilled over to insanity of the apostles and disciples. He had been overheard talking to his dog about the insanity that abound. One thing led to another and the next thing he knew he was at the top of the most hated list by both factions. Questioning authority had long since been meted out by the HOLY ORDER OF THE ILLUSTRIOUS INQUISITION, otherwise known as (HOTII). And now he was branded. A malcontent, a renegade, a revolutionary, mentally ill and in need of adjustment which he knew meant execution. He was labeled with the most heinous crime against humanity. He was a “DREAMER”.


So he ran. Man and dog. But his dog traveled on the wrong patch of land which exploded leaving no trace of his best friend. He was nor truly alone and the last of his kind. Shelter meant peace and shelter he sought.


He picked his brain as what to do next. Rising up from the seat on the flat rocks he started walking south again but now under the opposite overhang. As he neared the end of his protection a midsized river which had broken through the rock walls centuries ago had swollen from the recent rains. Grabbing a handful of reeds to use as breathing tubes he entered the river and submerged himself under the surface making sure his pack was still with him. Breathing through the reeds proved a difficult task but by shifting his body positions he was able to ride the current underwater only occasionally having to break through the surface to collect his bearings.


Eventually he rode the current to the location of the cave. Swimming towards the shore he noticed dark swollen clouds had reappeared and the deluge began anew. Taking advantage of this diversion he scrambled up the face of the rock wall and safely entered the cave. Taking his time to dry out he opened his pack to see what could be salvaged. Food, matches, compass, knife all were intact the rest had been water soaked and rendered useless. He found some dry moss and twigs inside the cave and started a fire. Using the rain as a cloak from the satellites he gathered wood from outside in hopes of drying and burning. Fire sufficiently burning and smoke being filtered through crevices in the cave’s ceiling he felt he could rest at peace. Sleep overcame him and he collapsed into a deep slumber.


When he awoke the fire was out and he ate what was in the pack. Rested, warm and satisfied he sat at the mouth of the cave and waited. Four days passed and all his provisions were long gone but he still sat at the mouth of the cave. Four more days passed and still he waited. Surviving on what little water he had left weakness set in and vision started to blur. When he had ingested the last of the contents in his water sack he broke into a chant. A chant sung with the knowledge he was free to witness it.


Off in the distance he could see the mushroom cloud rise high into the air. From his vantage point he was able to witness the incoming missile, the impact and the detonation as certain death rose from the thousands of instruments of victory had been launched. Before the shock wave hit he finished his chant and then like the rest of humanity was no more.


Thousands of years passed before they exited from the caves simultaneously across the globe. They had sensed the insanity of the humans and began preparing for this day long ago. Now was the time. Scouts went out and returned giving the all clear signal. When this was given each member instinctive knew what to do. They found adequate shelter, food and water sources. The factions began to find and study what was left behind and what could be utilized or adapted for their use. Working and communicating they started to build a civilization of their own. They had survived the final holocaust as predicted by so many before the great strangulation had begun. The survivors were a hearty sort with the ability to adapt to any climate and environment.


On a prearranged signal a communiqué was released worldwide through their antenna transmissions. A new day had arrived and the world was theirs free of traps, gasses and other instruments of death. The time was finally theirs and they rejoiced their preparation and survival. The roaches had outlasted the humans.


The NEW WORLD ORDER had arrived.


Ric Wells



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