Interviews of the Apocalypse – Chapter 6 (Hunters)

Personal notes of Alex Ahmed

Topic – Human hunters of wild predators

Referred to as – The Wild

Time Period – Ongoing

A long-standing, and usually noble, profession brought back to life through urgency.

I do not refer to the hunters of old, simply foraging for food, providing for their families, their household, their liege lord. Nor do I count the hunters of our recent lost civilisation, hunting for sport, a most deplorable act, or hunting to provide a feast. Now, I refer to the new-era hunters, born of necessity, hard men and women, hunting to survive, and to ensure the survival of their fellow humans.

During the previous time of humanity, it is often noted that animals were not treated at their best. I’m not talking about domesticated animals, once proud beast bred and engineered to be the perfect housepet. No, I’m talking about real, wild animals.

Rich men, mounted on horseback, in a party of twenty or more, accompanied by bloodhounds, hunting one, simple, small, defenceless fox through the woods. Useless, ignoble men who wanted to prove they were worth something by murdering an animal small enough to fit in their overpriced jackets. It was banned for a while, but of course, they ensured it was made legal again.

Greedy men, destroying the wildlands to make more room for unnecessary housing and shopping complexes. If you know anything of the old world, I may sound a little cliche now, but that does not mean I do not speak the truth. Entire populations of animals were decimated, their homes destroyed and their hides hewn as trophies, all in the name of greed.

But, I digress. Needless to say, a lot of animal breeds suffered at the hands of humans. However, in the decades following the First Fall, these breeds were allowed to re-populate unmolested by man. Their homes grew once again, overcoming the foundations laid by human hands and reclaiming lost lands. Forests grew again, jungles began to spread, the Earth began, a little, to cool again. Breeds of wild animal, thought extinct or on the verge of extinction began to re-emerge.

But then, unfortunately, they also began to evolve as nature, once again, began her natural course. There has always been a circle of life, predators will hunt prey, prey will evolve to survive, predators will evolve to overcome those evolutions and so on, the circle continues. Left to their own devices now, these creatures evolved exponentially.

Some of you may disagree with me and, alas, I can offer no explanation of this phenomenon. It can be concluded that, perhaps, these animals, at least the common prey, feared the coming of man once again. This could have led to their mutations coming quicker and more frequent. We can also deduce that, because of this, the predators began to evolve more aggressively as well. I do not know, unfortunately I can only speculate.

And so, it came that the common wolf grew larger in size; with sharper teeth and even sharper claws, bigger muscles, more responsive senses. Birds of prey, mighty hawks and eagles flocked to this new, prey-rich land. They too evolved, becoming larger to accommodate longer wingspans, mightier talons, stronger limbs to carry away their prizes. It was the same for many animal breeds.

Even prey, though still naturally prone to flight as opposed to fight, became deadlier. Larger horns, tougher hooves, stronger kicks. The more curious of these breeds managed to find themselves in derelict human towns and cities as mother nature began to assert control once again. Fresh grass, new flowers, bountiful trees began to dot the landscape, climbing on, over and through tall buildings and lamp posts. There were not natural predators here, not any longer. A perfect place for a new, wild family to thrive.

Then, of course, they would draw the predators as the prey often did. Many towns and cities simply became a new part of the wild, occupied by predator, prey and nature alike. However, when the humans re-emerged, eager on reclaiming what they had lost, these two new worlds clashed.

You can imagine how it went at first, how many unwary humans were killed by larger predators looking for a meal. Many of these wild animals had quite forgotten humanity, and why to be afraid of them. When the first of the new human communities began to form, they finally realised they would need a more comprehensive plan before venturing in to the town once again. They began to fall back into old habits, making plans, forming teams, finding professions, becoming organised. Most of these Hunter teams managed to gear up, but in sensible ways.

The majority of these new age Hunters found themselves preferring the bow over the rifle. It was silent, deadly accurate and lighter to carry. They would move ahead of the main group of scavengers, clearing areas and marking them before the other teams would arrive in order to ensure their work was unimpeded. They also began placing traps, humane things of their own design, made to instantly kill an animal as opposed to simply trapping and maiming.

It is important to understand that these humans were born of necessity, not malice or hatred. In this new world, there can be no room for prejudice, hatred or injustice. These people had a job to do, simply to protect their fellow humans. They cleared out the areas necessary, occasionally hunting a wild animal for food, and moved on. No revenge, no individual hunters, no hatred, no intolerance. These people hunted in professional, and highly deadly, teams. Never taking risks, never endangering the rest of the group.

Unfortunately, as a result, they often became a little distant and separated from the rest of the group. Once again, the true light of humanity began to shine through however, and they were never excluded from the main community.

In light of all this, the end of all things, the First Fall, whatever you choose to call it. It still fascinates me that humanity has finally discovered in itself, their true natures. Not malevolent, or evil in any way. Survivalists, but kind-hearted survivalists, never placing any individual’s worth above their own. That is the true nature of humanity.

Who would have though the end of the world would be so…beautiful.

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