Back to the Primitive

The world’s natural resources were dwindling fast.  Vast forests were cleared for timber.  Entire mountains were leveled for various minerals including coal and even gold.  Holes were drilled miles below ground on nearly every continent to drain all the 

oil from the Earth.

The essence removed, fueled the wars of the eastern world, and the vanity of the west.  Blood of the “Righteous” was “Justified” by the cause of “Freedom.”  It was all lies.  American’s were duped into believing in a “War on Terror.” 

A massive electromagnetic pulse, or EMP wiped out the power on the whole planet on a sunny May morning in the year 2010.  There were no flying cars, no interplanetary travel, and no contact with intelligent life other than us.  We, as the human race, still couldn’t learn to deal with diversity or our quest for power.

Panic swept the world as millions died.  Governments crumbled.  Armies split into marauding factions, hell bent in attaining power to control parts of the world themselves.  Cities became battlegrounds for survival.  No longer was anyone safe.  Every person was a target; a target that could potentially ensure the survival of the guerillas.

Only safe at night, people slowly moved into rural areas to protect themselves and their children from the block wars of their former homes.  Colonies began to form.

As the shift into frontier life gradually became normal daily life, the rural people took it upon themselves to teach the children.  The children learned about the evils of men, and what could be done to prevent it from happening again.  What the elders didn’t realize, was how long the resources would last in the cities.  As it turned out, they didn’t last long.

During the spring following the blackout, the radical pirates of the cities emerged from the mist of the woods one dawn.  The pirates struck a nearby settlement killing nearly everyone, for food and ammo.  Only one survivor had made it out.

With his bloody face, and ragged clothes, the bearded man was breathing hard as he ran away from the terror.  He collapsed near the center of the village.  The man uttered a single phrase.

“They’re coming from the East.”

His heart gave out.

We began to organize to fight.  I put men up on various positions around the walls facing North, East, And South.  I had about sixty men worth of volunteer infantry divided and placed in two spots on the Eastern end of the settlement.  My mistake was to not scout, for I only instructed two men to scan the West from the wall.  They came from the West.

The pirates mustn’t have known that our settlement was even here.  They walked right past us.  Seconds later they came about, and set up a firing line about one hundred yards from the western palisade wall.

I shuddered not really knowing if I had the strategic commanding abilities to defend from battle hardened men such as these.  Replacing half the infantry to the western half, keeping them out of sight.  I gathered twenty riflemen from the eastern half of the village, and placed them on the wall.  I instructed all to hold, and await instruction from me or one of my captains.

As I waited for the attack, I began to think of negotiating our surrender.  If they were to siege us, it would take only a day or two to destroy our walls.  With the walls down, we would all surely die.  So now I though of how to win the fight.  There were only about thirty pirates on the line standing patiently.  

What are they waiting for? I thought to myself.  Why not attack?

The sun was just above the Eastern horizon.  I realized I made a rather large error.  One that could kill us all.  They’re only here to keep us from running!  The attack will be from the East.  I told my best captain to stay on the wall with fourteen riflemen, and I told the rest to come with me.

Women and children huddled in the center of the village inside a hall we used for town meetings.  Their eyes looked upon me with hope and sadness.  All we had strived to achieve was about to be decimated.

Dozens of shots rang out in front of me as I ran to the East.  Screams penetrated the morning stillness.  I reach the wall and was horrified.  I sent a runner back to the Western wall, telling him to instruct the captain on our current situation, and to eliminate the firing line, so we could evacuate the women and children.

The forest was full of enemies, as many as a thousand.  The pirates stopped about one hundred yards from the wall.  A man with a torch took a single step forward, and ran along the entire front line, lighting arrows the whole way.  The arrows raised, and I ordered my men to fire at the archers only if they knew they could hit them.  

Seven men took up spots on the wall with semi-auto 30.06 rifles as the arrows began to fly.  The wall was no a concern, because they will get through sooner or later.  The men started picking everyone out.  Two of my captains and myself began to pick off the leaders.  My runner made it back in time to tell me that the threat to the West was neutralized, but I would’ve known anyway.  

The massive force to the East split into three groups.  The groups encircled the camp, and marched continuously around the settlement at a distance of about ninety yards.

I ordered everyone to cease firing.  The battle had lasted only ten minutes.  They were going to make us use all of our ammunition shooting at moving targets at that range.  We had no large weapons, and our wall was burning quite well now.  All we had to fight with were rifles and some handguns.  One resident in the village had a friendly surprise.  Dynamite!

We cut half of the fifty sticks in half, leaving us fifty half-sticks.  The half-sticks were attached to arrows and launched at the enemy.  With six seconds of fuse, the effect was perfect.  The arrow was notched, drawn, lit, then fired.  By the time they stuck in a pirate’s body, it was to late.  Each arrow removed several men from the fight.

After several hours, they were forced to regroup.  Dusk approached.  The marching stopped and they sunk into the safety of the trees to reorganize.

I gathered two other men and began to scout under the cover of darkness.  We found an escape route to the northwest.  Before returning to the settlement, we infiltrated some of their ranks.  We searched for their weapons cache.  Very little dynamite was needed to destroy the caches, but before we lit the fuse, we needed a little info.

A conversation between two of the pirates made us quite nervous.  The pirates talked of reinforcements arriving by the end of tomorrow.  Also the talk of attacking in an hour made me realize I needed to stay behind.

I sent back the two who’d came with me to evacuate the settlement.  

“The women and children must go first.  Make sure they carry as much as they can handle for a five mile journey.”  I requested.

As the men began to follow, I ordered two men to give them a five minute head start before burning the town.

The settlement grew a little brighter, and I knew that was my cue.  A minute after I could see the flames, the pirates started to scurry around confused.  I lit the fuse and snuck away to catch up with the men I directed to wait about a mile from the compound.

Though only a small amount of explosive was used, the explosion itself knocked me off my feet.

I recovered quickly, jumping up and running off.  I looked for about half an hour before I caught up to them.

The people were all massed together in a tight group, looking scared witless.  I rested five minutes, then we moved out.

The band of displaced settlers traveled westward for months.  Some would head their own way, or join a fighting force in various settlements along the road.  We would also pick up stragglers along the way.  The mob of exiles built a settlement at the base of the rockies. 

Although we now had to fend off raiders and thieves once in a while, we began to love the new Earth.  The lifestyle was very fulfilling in the sense that we all became stronger, smarter, and healthier.  Finding food was probably the hardest chore of the day, and everyone loved to participate in one way or another.

Those settlers tried to understand the events that had preceded their plight.  Man's reckless quest to control all things with their misguided God complex, proved to be the beginning of the new stone age.  All involved learned many things about humanity, the most important thing: learning the blackout came just in time to save us from destroying our world completely.

killer210   killer210 wrote
on 6/8/2009 11:27:55 AM
thanks for the Ideas

bbaker   bbaker wrote
on 6/7/2009 8:44:04 PM
what you seem to have here is more of an outline of a novel or a trilogy of novellas. I would suggest that you start a story from the point of view of a survivor after the EM pulse has already taken place...someone getting used to the frontier life. Have them recount on how they miss the luxuries that they used to have, etc.... just an idea.

Short Story
writing killer210
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Under construction. I would like some input on this story. It feels like I'm missing a few pieces. Let me know.
A Word from the Writer
P.S. It's is a narrative.