“If you’re reading this I can only assume you’re the After. I don’t know what year it is, but I’m writing this in 2021. It’s easy to see how we got to this point but then hindsight makes fools out of all of us, at times. I’m with Before 1337. We haven’t heard from the other outposts for three days. We don’t know if they are dead, or if the jamming devices have cut off communication. We must assume they have been taken out. We are well hidden and can stay where we are for at least one more day. After that, it will be too risky to remain. We are almost out of food. There are fourteen of us left, six men, five women and three children. We are all soldiers, even the children, there is no other choice, everyone has to fight. It’s quiet here. We can’t hear the bombing. or the gunfire, but that won’t last.
We should have realized that our governments were the terrorists, they talked about so often. They turned against the people of the world. We had been killing the planet for decades. We had been killing ourselves as well. Our food was toxic and so was our lifestyle but things fell apart int 2016 when the haves took over the lives of the have-nots. When hatred and alienation among people became more pronounced.
It started with the children. Across the globe governments sent armed men into schools to kill them. Then they went door to door to kill those who not in school. Some hid, and because of that, they remained alive. Blood ran through the streets as the leaders of the world sat in lavishly appointed rooms, eating and discussing what would come next. They thought by doing murdering the children, we would be too distraught to fight back. The opposite was true. The horror of what was done brought people together. Political agendas disappeared and people began to band together, in order to fight back. The governments sent in police and the military to remove agitators. No one was safe on the street. Everyone was monitored day and night. Cameras were everywhere, every word spoken was overheard by the delicate, long range microphones set up on every street.
Money was no longer any good. Chips/credits had replaced cash and while some traded and accepted cash, the government came down hard on those who did. They knew every purchase we made and every thing we brought in. We were naked and had no privacy in any area of our lives. The Constitution was burned in front of the White House and the president danced around the flames. It was the same across the globe. Life, as we knew it, had ended.
This will be brief. We had to move during the night. Platoons of government annihilators were getting too close. They never stop roaming the earth. They never ever stop. No one is allowed to live free. All must be turned or killed. We live a life of constant upheaval. It has come to this…
I don’t know why I’m writing this. What’s the point? Who will ever read it? If someone finds it, what will it mean to a person who has never known what the earth was once like? Sara fell and I’m concerned about her wound. We have no proper medicine. We boil water and press hot wet rags against her leg, trying to kill the bacteria. Sara was a nurse. She takes care of all of us. One of the men has knowledge of plants and their uses, which has been a great benefit, as well. But, without antibiotics, we are severely limited in what we can accomplish. The governments rage across the earth, killing and burning. They are destroying all life as we have known it. And for what?
Sara has a fever. Her leg is red and swollen. It’s tender to the touch. Calvin just put a different mixture of plants on her stitches but we are all worried. She sleeps most of the time and we have to move. The air raids have increased and the smell of burning trees and grasses clogs the air.
We buried Sara.
What good are our weapons against men encased from head to toe in military riot gear? Still we run and fight when we must. We picked up two more men yesterday. They are the only two left from their Before group. Twenty-four of them have been killed. They were happy to join us. One is a scientist, the other an artist.
We’re loosing track of the days. We said we wouldn’t do that but it’s difficult not to. We were forced to leave too many books behind when we left yesterday. The government goons were too close to be weighed down by them. All of the books have been burned. History is being rewritten and all traces of what actually was, is being erased. Older people have been murdered so their memories and truths, would be buried. We’re fortunate to have the scientist with us. He can read the stars and do some incredible things. We all miss Sara, she was our heart. It’s difficult without her. James, who is seventeen years old, doesn’t know why we don’t just give up. He doesn’t see how this will end well. I don’t know how to tell him that giving up is not an option. We have to keep fighting. We must, even if I’m not sure why. Dying means they win. But they are winning. Scorched Earth is taking on a new meaning. The smoke never goes away.
James is missing. He’s been quiet for days. We should have known something was wrong. Joslin (also seventeen), said he told her that what we were doing was living. He told her the constant moving, hiding and fear was just too much to take, with no end in sight. She said she wanted to tell us but he made her promise not to. We must assume he has been captured or that he’s dead.
The tattoos were laced with tracking devices. In 2018 everyone was forced to wear one. When we ran we had to cut the ink out of our arms. We are scarred in more ways than one.
James has returned. He said there are caves by the water’s edge. They flood when the tide comes in but if we go deep enough we may be able to stay there for a few days. He said there’s nothing to eat. The government has burned everything. It was bad enough when the bees died and there was little, if any food, but they are making sure that those of us who fled, will not be able to find anything at all. We are happy to see him. He was scanned and checked, to make sure he wasn’t carrying a tracker, so we could be sure that he hadn’t been caught and tagged, used, so they could find us.
Sara is watching James constantly. Trying to cheer him, trying to keep him calm and accepting. We have moved into a cave. James was right. We have gone deep. We netted a few fish, but they are deformed and sickly. We cooked them anyway. We are starving.
We have been in the cave for three days and nights, I think. Time gets away from us. We are no longer hungry. We have passed that stage. We are out of everything and there’s no where to go. I don’t know if we are the only Before group left. I hope not.
They found the caves. They have poured oil into the water and set it on fire. We have just enough bullets left so that there is one for each of us. We will not be found alive. Never that.
The rest are dead. The last bullet is mine. To you who may be reading this, I never thought evil would win.