|The world that waits
Author: Fay Heartblood PM
After a huge chain of catastrophes, mankind degenerated into savage, brutal beings that were stuck in an eternal battle against each other. But a group of young rebels banded together to stop the wars and did manage to do so. They called themselves the Imperial Council and now rule over the nation Caelum with an iron fist. Aria Howard is ... SEE WHOLE SUMMARY INSIDE.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Sci-Fi - Words: 2,149 - Published: 07-25-12 - id: 3044776
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After a huge chain of catastrophes, mankind degenerated into savage, brutal beings that were stuck in an eternal battle against each other, using and developing ever more brutal and intelligent ways of warfare. These new weapons were the Fera, half sentient machines which formed a unit with their handlers, the Magisters. Sicarius, humans born in labs with the ability to function as living weapons. But a group of young rebels banded together to stop the wars and did manage to do so. They called themselves the Imperial Council and now rule over the nation Caelum with an iron fist. Aria Howard is a normal university student hell bent on finding out exactly why she can't finish her research on the nation's history. Avis Clock is an uncommon phenomena in Caelum; a thief. All of this will lead to an adventure of epic proportions, because Caelum's history hides more than meets the eye - it hides politics, revenge and war.
What makes people good? What makes people bad?
Those are two questions that I think everyone will ask at least once in their life time. In certain situations, what is ethically correct? Should you always choose the lesser of two evils even if it means someone will suffer for it? I think perhaps that there will never be a clear cut answer for this question, but confronting children, well, teenagers, with problems like these could help mature their reactions towards solving or questioning problems.
Let's say that ''our'' civilization dies out in about 2000 years. Maybe that apocalypse everyone and their grandparents are talking about or a regular blackout. What I mean by blackout is the complete crash of everything technological; from TVs to life support machines, everything. How do you think our society would survive? I think that we are becoming more dependent on technology every day and as such the lack of general intelligence of human kind will suffer. Of course there are the geniuses that appear every generation, but even the highest IQ becomes nothing before an angry lynch mob. Maybe humans will revert to middle age, maybe not. I can only speculate.
My story sprouted from the idea of such a blackout and topics that we see everyday – peace, war, capitalism, communism, democracy, dictatorship. Things that we are bombarded with everyday and don't recognize at first sight anymore. The bullying of one student at school is ''innocent'' until that student responds by killing himself or others. The suspicion of one person is okay until he acts on it, leading from simple things such as a broken friendship up to important things, like the beginning of a new war. In which, of course, both parties are trying to do the best for their countries and trying to bring peace. Yeah right. All of these contradictions are actually downright unnatural if you believe in evolution. How could man go from being simply human to trying to play god with others' lives? Was and is it our right?
All of these questions bother me since I can never really form an opinion. I shall try to find a solution through a fictional situation that perhaps others can also read and try to find their own answers.
Here begins the story of ''simple'' things- questions and answers, battles and wars, technology and humankind.
Man had finally reached its prime. Nothing was impossible for the brains behind every idea that had ever taken root in society. The average life span had been increased by at least 250 years and living healthily steadily increased that number. People were finally happy. They could achieve their dreams with less work than ever imagined. They could maintain their youth until a few years before their deaths. The powerless could become powerful in less than a blink of the eye. No unforgiving sicknesses that ruthlessly took victims.
It was the paradise they had always yearned for.
There was only one problem – the war. ''War?'', most would ask. ''What war are you talking about?'' The war that was going on and being held secret through extreme censoring and manipulation of the information system. The war that was taking more lives than any war before. The war in which genetic engineering and ''brain powered'' have been pulled to the forefront. I have asked myself many times before what these two mean… My contacts have not come back to me…
- Eldest tome in Avarium's archive
Aria tenderly brushed her finger along the line of words in the old tome she had found hidden in the recesses of the archive. Some pages were torn out, others ravaged by time and leaving only fragments of what she was searching for. Dust clung to her fingertips as she maneuvered the tome. The title was almost completely rubbed off and dents had formed where hands usually gripped the large book. ''What a rare find.'', she mused. Silently, she contemplated her find. It was obviously a diary of sorts. But it held crucial information to her research. She hadn't gotten very far since her fight with the librarian of the archives who had told her that she wouldn't and couldn't find any information detailing her native country, Caelum's history. Angrily Aria had turned away while shouting, ''Fine, I'll get another topic!''. Of course she hadn't given up that easily and started searching for any book containing information. Per chance she had stumbled across the tome that may very well be the eldest tome in whole of Caelum.
Glancing around, Aria hurriedly packed the book into the dark backpack she had brought with her. Straining her ears, the woman listened for any footsteps and was relieved to hear nothing except the far-off sound of a book falling. Aria closed the zipper of the bag and swung it up onto her back, stumbling slightly because of the weight. The 'book' would at least help her start her research since she had found nothing else containing the happenings before the Imperial Council was founded. Many believed that everything started then, but she could not possibly think that her grandparents were the first generation to ever exist on Caelum. Aria narrowed her eyes and contemplated the librarian; why would the normally very kind elderly man react so violently to a normal question? Nowadays there were at maximum 20 people in the magnificent underground archives and he was always happy to greet new people.
Lifting her gaze, violet eyes inspected the huge ceiling of the archives. One could not really distinguish between whether it really was the pitch black color it appeared to be or whether the ceiling was set so high, all you could see was shadows. Only single large chandelier-like lights hung spaced every 20 meters, they themselves branching out like vines for at least 10 meters. He always did call them vines. The Vines were a shining gold, a testament to the librarian's love of the archives. They were a seemingly bright ray of hope in the blackness of the high ceiling, bright sun burst in dark night.
Aria stalked between the high columns of golden stands, on each around a 100 books waiting to be opened. For what is a book if none know what is beneath the cover? Does it is even exist if its mysteries were never solved? She clutched the straps of her backpack tighter. She knew how important books were to the librarian, so why did he try to hide this book? Why was this different? A certain thing he had said popped into Aria thoughts.
''You won't search anymore, if you know what's good for you…''
It had been said more as an afterthought, but Aria wasn't quite sure what he meant by it. Why would it be a problem? The echoes of footsteps snapped her out of musings as said librarian appeared behind a corner in the maze which was the archive. ''Did you find anything?'' A suspicious and hopeful gleam appeared in his eyes. ''Nope, nothing.'', Aria spoke slowly, trying to hide her uneasiness. The elderly man tilted his head to the side and nodded in relief and hopelessness at the same time. ''Pity though.'', he grumbled, ''I would have loved some data…'' He turned on his heels and headed towards his office in the archive. ''Do follow.'', he said and raised his hand shortly. Falling into a brisk trot, Aria followed him up to his large oak desk. The desk gleamed in the light of one of the Vines that hung above and looked as though it would have been better suited to the Imperial Office. ''Sir'', Aria started hesitatingly, ''why did you react so seriously?''
The old librarian turned from his position over the elevator controls to her and watched her with serious gray eyes. ''Miss Howard… there are some things that are meant to not be overheard. I'm quite sure you understand the value of books and don't rely on the system to find your information, yes?'' Violet eyes narrowed in confusion. ''I think I understand. But what was the problem then?'' Sighing in exasperation, he grabbed a book from his desk and handed it to her. ''Your curiosity might be sated through this book. But your answers may not be visible at first glance.'' With that, the man motioned towards the path which led to the main elevator. ''I will prepare everything for you. But please go now. The archive closes in 15 minutes and you are mixing up my routine.'' The harsh words pushed Aria into motion, taking the book and hurrying down the path. What just happened? Never had the librarian acted so bizarre and it completely threw Aria off.
The elevator was an obsidian monolith that stood out from the surrounding, the golden light falling unto tiny fractioned stone fragments that each threw the light in a different direction. As such, it gleamed in a strange way that made it both very foreboding but welcoming. On the ground floor a certain part completely absorbed the light, leaving behind a black space. As Aria tried to fit her mind around what just happened, she inspected the obsidian tower. Her image was fractured into so many pieces that it seemed as though a disfigured monster stood before her. Her dirty blonde hair fell into bob around her face and covered a part of her eyes, obstructing her view. Annoyed, Aria pushed the bangs back again. Her reflection copied the movement and it seemed almost animalistic in appearance. What is going on? First he almost throws me out because of what I'm researching and now this? She glanced down at the book and frowned at the cover. It was a simple book about psychology. It may have been special to some but Aria had taken it as a subject in university and had the necessary clearance to read up the topic.
She remembered class mates badgering her for certain texts or books that they didn't have the clearance for. Either their rating was too low or they had gotten into trouble somehow. Aria also remembered one class mate who had given in and gotten the other the texts. It had worked out for almost a year, a year in which more people found reasons to have nothing to do with her. But towards the end, some of them started disappearing to another city or taking a job instead of studying. The climax came when the original perpetrator completely vanished. The teachers only warned the class once again to not 'share' their clearance with others because they weren't capable of handling the information. I'm still not sure what happened to Ann-
The sudden sound of grating stone pulled her back to her situation. Slowly the black space turned into two sliding doors which revealed the golden interior. The black and gold interwove into the pattern of all kinds of birds. Aria stepped into the room and sighed, putting the librarian's words behind her. She knew she had the old tome and that would hopefully be enough for her to finish her research. But paranoia settled in Aria and as she watched the doors slide close again, she inspected the pattern again. It always had been one of her favorite things to do on her way down and up, trying to figure out which birds were hidden in the pattern. Tracing the patterns with her hand, Aria's eyes widened in realization and shock. She'd always thought that they were there to symbolize the freedom people had in their era and the words 'Liberty, Justice and Unity' did not contradict that belief. But her eyes and hands had found something new. Maybe it's just me or what the librarian said.
Each bird was chained. Each bird was caged.