Interviews of the Apocalypse – Chapter 14 (Town Layout)

After talking to Joe and Vicky, the apparent leaders of this town, they allowed me access to what can only be described as their town map. Their version was extensively detailed with planned extensions, zone labelling and future developments.

Below is the version I sketched out for my personal records to go along with the transcribed interviews. Find the map and the key below, forgive the crudeness. Townmap.png

1 – Town Hall
2 – Medical Centre
3 – Armoury
4 – Material Storage
5 – Vehicle Depot
6 – East Gate
7 – West Gate
8 – Town Wall
9 – Main Motorway
10 – Power/Water Supply
The grey blocks represent the residential areas
The dashed lines represent roads of various size

Currently, the the majority of the plumbing and electricity supply reside above ground as digging under the town is not recommended for the moment.

The armoury is mainly used for the safe storage of hunting and salvaging equipment to ensure no children can get into any trouble with their parent’s gear.

As I say, Joe and Vicky are in the process of appointing a town council. From there, they can move to naming the districts, the streets and the actual town itself. It’s surprising that this group has not yet named their new homes. Perhaps many of them don’t feel comfortable with putting down new roots somewhere just yet.

Interviews of the Apocalypse – Chapter 13 (Joe & Vicky)

The following interview was transcribed from a recorded session

AA – “Finally, a chance to interview the infamous Boss of this town! And his delightful wife too!”

JER – “Sorry, before we go on, just for the record, I never asked to be called Boss! I’m didn’t put myself in charge here, I just-”

VER – “Easy Joe, he hasn’t asked us anything yet! Chill.”

AA – “It’s alright, I promise we’ll get around to all that in good time. Now, for the record please state your personal details.”

(JER leans in closer to the recorder)

JER – “Joe Elliott-”

AA – “Ahem, sorry, if I may call you Joe?”

JER – “Oh, of course, yeah.”

AA – “Good, it’s not a court case Joe, the mic will pick up what you say Just talk normally, pretend the recording device isn’t even there.”

JER – “Ah, yeah, sorry about that. Now then, personal details. Joe Elliott-Rogers, sixty eight year old male.”

AA – “Excellent, and yourself my dear lady?”

VER – “What a gent you are. I’m Victoria Elliott-Rogers, sixty seven year old female. And before you ask, yes you can call me Vicky.”

AA – “Ah, excellent. Many thanks to you two for that. Now then, we’ll get on with the interview, I’m sure you have a lot to be getting on with.”

JER – “Not really.”

VER – “Yeah, the town runs itself for the most part.”

AA – “Does it indeed? Intriguing, sounds like a good place to start. Now then, first thing’s first, tell me roughly what the two of you do in this town.”

VER – “If you listen to most people here, they would tell you we’re in charge but that’s not strictly true.”

JER – “Yeah, when we found this place it was in a bit of a shambles to be honest. There were only a few hundred people living here but they houses were poorly built, there were no real roads of paths of any kind and sanitation was an absolute nightmare.”

VER – “Now look at the place. Paved roads, solid houses, running water, electricity, plumbing it’s almost getting to where we used to be.”

AA – “Yes indeed, it’s quite impressive what you two have done here. So, stepping back for a moment we’ll start from the top. Now then, what urged the two of you to go into hiding in the first place?”

VER – “Well, I can vaguely remember what used to be America electing that twat.”

JER – “Yeah, I think the UK had done something similar. Two of the most powerful countries in the world being run by ignorant, bigoted morons. Not a good sign.

VER – “It wasn’t that long before things started to kick off. Riots in the towns, battles in the streets, people with different opinions fighting friends and family alike.”

AA – “So you were there at the beginning of the collapse?”

VER – “Just what we saw from the car.”

JER – “Yeah, it was time to go. We just started driving, ended up at a shelter and settled in to wait out everything.”

AA – “And that’s all you can remember?”

VER – “From that, I wouldn’t want to remember more.”

JER – “Yeah, we’ve tried but if things were that bad I’d rather forget I think. Besides, plenty to do here and now.”

AA – “Very..pragmatic. At least you’re making a difference here. Speaking of which, when and why did the two of you leave the safety and how did you find your way here?”

VER – “Well, I remember thinking, feeling it was safe and it was time to leave.”

JER – “Yeah, we opened the doors and everything looked…fine. The buildings were intact, save some minor vandalism, no desolate, nuclear-apocalyptic wasteland, no one waiting to eat our flesh-”

VER – “Not then anyway.”

JER – “Yeah, not right away. But it seemed…just..okay really. We found our car, got it running again after a bit of tinkering, and set off.”

AA – “Any idea where you were going?”

JER – “Well, we headed home first.”

VER – “Seemed like the right thing to do really.”

JER – “Yeah..nothing for us when we got there of course. We just packed up a few things, our area seemed to dodge most of the rioting and looting, and set off again.”

VER – “Then we found this place, a little settlement cropping up in the middle of a main highway. Lucky we just happened to be on that road.”

JER – “They welcomed us with open arms. After everything they’d been through they still wanted to look after us. They showed us around, told us how everything worked and we were assigned to a scavenging party.”

VER – “Lucky we were too, those people had no idea what they were doing. A bunch of them would just head into the nearest town they could find, snoop around for a while and head back here before it got dark.”

JER – “They were barely getting by.”

AA – “And that’s when the two of you took charge?”

JER – “I wouldn’t quite say that.”

VER – “We just had a ew suggestions here and there. Got people to start remembering their names, organising them into teams, equipping them with good gear and sending them scavenging properly.”

JER – “They started to bring a lot more stuff back with them. Soon after, we started mapping out the  area around us, sectioning it off into grids and marking what we found and where.”

VER – “While Joe was taking care of all that, one of the teams found a massive construction site nearby with plenty of raw materials. I started bringing a lot of it here for storage and construction, as well as some of the more useful machines.”

JER – “More people were coming in everyday, with warnings of zombies and raiders and all kinds of other monsters. We knew the town wouldn’t last long in the state it was in.”

VER – “Yeah, so we marked out the foundation for a wall. A sturdy wooden wall, not much but enough to make someone or something think twice about attacking. We’ve knocked it down and rebuilt it about half a dozen times now.”

JER – “Yeah, I mean we left extra room for new people but they just kept coming in. So, we drew the town out on the wall of our then-house, and turned it into a grid. Allotting spaces to new people based on family size, giving them materials, helping them build.”

VER – “But more kept coming, so we started to assign more complex jobs and search teams. Soon, we had a small army of plumbers, electricians, mechanics and assorted handymen. It wasn’t long after that we managed to get running water, stable electricity and wall patrols to look out for stranded refugees and danger.”

AA – “What a magnificent feat! It’s no wonder these people all look to you now! You mentioned your ‘then-home’, what do you mean by that exactly?”

VER – “Well, as the town grew, more people kept coming to see us on a daily basis.”

JER – “Yeah, we knew we needed a proper meeting space, so we turned or house into something resembling a town hall. We were there everyday and there was space enough for everyone to come and see us. Planning rooms, map rooms, meeting rooms, I was quite proud to be honest.”

AA – “And so you should be. I don’t suppose I could sketch a copy of that map for my notes?”

JER – “Of course, yeah.”

VER – “We’re on the verge of doing of first census and getting the place acting like a real town again. We’re even starting to plan out street names and house numbers!”

AA – “A very exciting time, given the circumstances.”

VER – “Just because the world has collapsed and humanity may be on the verge of extinction doesn’t mean civilisation has to all by the wayside.”

JER – “Yup. I used to play a lot of video games before the Fall, a lot of town-building and management games, which helps a surprising amount.”

AA – “As I’m sure it would video games are very effective at stoking parts of the mind we didn’t know we possessed. I eagerly await their return.”

JER – “You and me both!”

AA – “Well, excellent. It seems you two have everything here well in hand. You should be very proud of what you’ve done here.”

VER – “We just helped a little is all.”

JER – “Just made some suggestions.”

AA – “From what I hear it, the town was on the verge of collapse just before you arrived. Disease was about to become disastrous, no hygiene, no sanitation, no real order to the place. You two saved it, and have now subsequently saved the lives of several thousand people. Here, on the edge of oblivion, that is no small feat.”

(Both interviewees look somewhat embarrassed.)

AA – “But, I digress. Now, where were we. Ah yes, tell me, if you can recall, what did the two of you do before the Fall?”

JER – “I struggle to remember most of it.”

VER – “I think we were both just out of university, working part time until we managed to find something more suited to us.”

JER – “We were living together, I remember that much>”

VER – “But not married yet, I don’t think.”

JER – “Never really saw the point in it myself.”

VER – “Things changed after everything went to shit though.”

JER – “Yeah, it felt a lot more important to me that we both have a more uniting bond.”

VER – “Although we couldn’t decide which surname to take, so in the end we just took both.”

JER – “Found a few jewellery stores with a few nice pieces left, eventually found two wedding rings that fit and bang, married.”

AA – “Funny, I talked to a couple the other day with a very similar story. Still, it’s an importnat and potent reminder of the power of love these days. Forgive an old man is melancholy.”

VER – “I always liked the idea of marriage, but Joe here never did see the logic of it.”

JER – “Well, at the time it seemed like just another capitalised institute designed to drain you of your hard-earned cash!”

AA – “This sounds like a well-worn argument.”

VER – “Ever since we were at uni. Even after our friends started to get married he never saw the point!”

JER – “Although that one wedding we went to was awesome. The reception after was fantastic.”

VER – “I’m starting to think that’s what got you thinking.”

JER – “I’d like to agree. It’s a shame we can’t see those people again, they seem to have long gone to dust.”

AA – “Sometimes, a wedding can just be about seeing all of your family and friends, celebrating with everyone you love, celebrating the foundation that allows love to grow and flourish.”

VER – “Plus it’s nice to be the center of attention for a while.”

JER – “For the bride mainly, I’m just sorry now I left it so long.”

(They hold hands)

VER – “We’re married now, the idea is that you can’t run away with me.”

JER – “Because out here, I’m surrounded by possibility!”

VER – “Well I can’t read your mind!”

JER – “There’s too much to do here woman, you’re stuck with me!”

VER – “Oh, is that all that’s keeping you here?”

JER – “Well, yeah. That and…you know…I love you.”

VER – “I love you too.”

AA – “Just delightful, you’ve made an old man smile today, I won’t soon forget it. Well, I think that about wraps everything up nicely. Thank you both for your time.”

VER – “Our pleasure.”

JER – “Yeah, thanks for the invitation.”

AA – “You’re both quite welcome. Now then, might I steal a copy of that town map of yours?”

END

Again, not many notes here. Another couple who seem to remember more than usual about their lives before the Fall. However, there is no discernable pattern or relation between these two and the others who have similar recollections.

Still, I would note how nice it is to see love flourish in these troubling times. As much as they bickered somewhat toward the end of the interview, they were smiling the whole time.

An important couple here too, what they have managed to do in this society is amazing. Bringing people together here in an organised and helpful fashion during what can only be called the worst of times is no small feat as I mentioned.

A very special couple indeed.

Interviews of the Apocalypse – Chapter 11 (Precluding The Fall)

Personal notes of Alex Ahmed

Topic – Topics contributing to The Fall

Time Period – Considered to be some 40 years precluding the Fall

 

There are thought to be many contributing factors to the Fall of humanity. I was lucky enough to find a lot of documents that survived the raiding and the purges following the early years of the Fall. There were many disturbing the reports to be found, I’ve made note here about the most likely causes.

Firstly, though these are not listed in an particular order, there were certain racial and religious global tensions. After several events associated with terrorists, many countries around the world began to become wary of other races, cultures and peoples following certain religion branches based on little more than hearsay, conjecture and rumours populated by mann power at the time. These  rumours led to countries developing more stringent entry procedures for immigrants fleeing war zones and some countries closed their borders altogether. Others left a union of many countries to pursue their own interests rather than supporting the greater good.

As well as this, the religious communities, for the most part, did not make the effort to improve the situation. A lot of the major and core religious communities began to demand certain rights and policies be made for their benefit instead of talking to and changing the minds of their enemies using peaceful means. This seemed to lead to even more animosity between religious and nonreligious people. In popular opinion, equality was key to the problem, however  some people and groups seemed to be more equal than others. A large amount of the global wealth was collected and hoarded by the very same people who were hiding behind a false image of charity and compassion.

Secondly comes, as it always does, financial greed and corruption. Currency, when it was first brought to many parts of the world by ancient civilisations and conquerors, was considered a great leap forward in advancing from barbarism. Don’t mistake my meaning here, corruption has existed so long as there has been material possessions Some people covet having more than others enough to abandon their morals and break the law. However, introducing a currency may have made the situation a lot worse.

Not including the wealth hoarded by the religious communities, there were reportedly around one hundred people in the world who controlled the majority of the public wealth. These people and companies often got this way by avoiding to local laws of the country’s they were based in, mainly avoiding taxes. This often led to economic difficulties for entire countries and regions, leading to job cuts, tax rises for the common public and general unrest. However, the leading bodies of governments and the people who were supposed to control these situations were often friends of those in financial power, and often turned their heads away from such atrocities for a favourable and generous donation to their own collection of wealth. This vicious circle eventually led to extreme civil unrest, prompting more action from the governments which never name in anything more than token form.

Thirdly, linking to the previous two problems, came global wars and tensions between countries. while it was often thought that World War 1 & 2 of the old age were fought for good and noble reasons, often times they were not. However, the new generations began to become more savvy with politics and global goings-on, and a lot of them were not simply convinced of the need to invade or pressure other countries for global security. Conspiracies and underhand dealings were becoming more common place as it became evident the majority of the public was either blindly following a cause out of ignorance or fighting those who did so.

On the surface of it, one country would invade another to ‘stop terrorists’ and the majority of people were quite happy to believe this and live in ignorance of the real situation. Others, however, were not so happy to believe this cover story. I won’t go into too much details here, as I could write entire books o the failings and greed of the petty-minded and crooked individuals, but I’ll try to summarise it as best I can.

One mans owns an oil-production company. The oil around the world begins to dry out, oil in civilised parts of the world becomes increasingly expensive to drill, meaning less money in the account of the man who owns the oil company. The man then learns that there is a lot of cheap oil to be found in less-stable parts of the world. The man then realises that tensions are high in this part of the world, and the other parts of the world are untrusting and hateful of the people who live there. The man knows how to exploit this, and luckily the same man who own the oil company just happens to own a newspaper with a rather large readership.

You can see where this tragic tale ends even from here. In summary, that man begins to stir up the local plebs in hatred of this other community who happen to be settled on his precious oil. The country is invaded by governments under pressure from their public and hungry for more black gold. If their support from home ever wanes, the newspaper this mysterious man owns just happens to begin stirring up the public again, often exploiting rumour and using extreme lies to sell their stories. In return, this man’s oil company gets exclusive drilling rights in this now-vacant and war-torn country. Greed.

In the end, as these things always do, it comes down to money. Simply greed was the main cause of the Fall. Every problem the world faced before the Fall can evidently be traced back to money. People hoarding vast amounts of wealth, not spending for fear of becoming second place to someone else, even with the knowledge that death is inevitable, regardless of the wealth you control. Companies building products that were designed to fail so their customers would buy a better model, moulding these people into the consumerist society they became befor their world came to an end.

it seems people were always fighting each other, everything around them designed to make each person hostile to another in some way. No opinion was harmless anymore, someone was always offended by something. Keeping opinions to yourself became commonplace, the governments and the businesses of the world began to take advantage more and more and the good people who followed the rules and lived their lives like they were supposed to often bore the punishment for other people’s greed and prejudices.

I will say no more on the matter, this is a topic about which I can get incredibly passionate. There were many, many reasons that led to the Fall. Money is only one piece of a much larger puzzle. Suffice to say that if humanity is to survive this trying time, they must change their ways

Interviews of the Apocalypse – Chapter 10 (Peter, Natalie & Holly)

The following interview was transcribed from a recorded session.

AA – “Good morning to each of you, quite the family unit we have here. If you wouldn’t mind introducing yourselves and stating your personal details.”

PA – “Good morning to you too. My name is Peter Ahmed, I can’t quite remember my age and I’m from the North East.”

NA – “Hi, I’m Natalie Ahmed, I’m seventy-five years old and I’m from the North East too.”

HA – “Hey, I’m Holly Ahmed, I’m forty-four years old and I’m from the North East too. Also, my dad is about one-hundred-something years old.”

PA – “You’re as young as you feel…which makes me about three hundred.”

AA – “Hah, sage wisdom indeed. So I would be correct in assuming you are, in fact, one family unit?”

NA – “That’s right, yeah.”

PA – “Correct indeed, though you should never assume. Assuming makes an-”

HA – “Oh god dad, please don’t.”

PA – “Someone’s got to make the bad jokes around here.”

AA – “Well said, bad jokes are a mainstay of civilisation.”

PA – “Correct.”

HA – “Please don’t encourage him.”

NA – “Anyway, me and Peter are married and Holly is our daughter.”

AA – “Very nice indeed, it’s not often you see that nowadays.”

PA – “Tragic times alright, but we do what we can.”

AA – “Which leads me nicely onto my first question. Would the three of you be so kind as to tell me what it is you do for the town?”

PA – “A little bit of everything really, but we do have one speciality.”

NA – “We’re the closest thing this town has to a fire service. It’s what we did before…well, before, you know.”

AA – “I know very well. And you, Holly?”

HA – “I just help out around the town really. I’m handy with electronics, but I enjoy teaching in the classes with Mrs Harrison mainly. It’s nice to see a kid smile.”

AA – “I know the joy very well.”

PA – “Teaching is important now more than ever. It’s vital we don’t lose what made us human in the first place.”

AA – “I couldn’t agree more. Learning the basics of english and mathematics sets us apart from our primate cousins.”

HA – “Man, you two are serious.”

PA – “It’s a serious time sweetheart.”

NA – “Not all serious though, we have a few laughs now and then.”

AA – “Another of your jobs about town?”

NA – “You could say that, we try to make sure people spend enough time socialising with each other and spending time adjusting.”

AA – “Very kind of you. But, if I may regress a tad, you said something about a fire service?”

PA – “It’s what we know very well, may as well put it to use. We actually turned up here in a fire engine.”

NA – “It’s where we ended up when we came out of hiding.”

AA – “Interesting, but we’ll come to that in a moment.”

PA – “Of course, well we just make sure the town knows enough about fire prevention and fire safety to minimise the risk of accidents. Plenty of batteries lying about and smoke alarms are easy to find.”

NA – “Before we arrived, people just kept on the cautious side. Now, there’s a fire alarm in every home and plenty of hoses around to fight a fire if it does arise.”

HA – “We’ve also helped to modify the layout of the town a little. When we arrived, Boss was trying to make the paths and roads more stable. A main road runs straight through the town so that’s not too bad, but the streets were all mud.”

NA – “Boss was doing his best, but he didn’t know where to find or how to transport the materials.”

PA – “Luckily I did, I’m familiar with all the build sites and construction suppliers around here so it didn’t take me long to find good cement bags and flagstones to use. The colours are a bit mismatched but it’s better than packed dirt.”

NA – “I always thought after something like this happened to the world we’d be reduced to cavemen. But, we still know how to build and maintain our civilisation.”

HA – “All the houses here are made of solid wood and stone, weather-proofed and insulated.”

PA – “Yeah, Boss sure knows his way around these things. Guy’s got his head on right.”

AA – “Yes indeed, it’s an impressive refuge and growing more each week. There’s a good mix of skills here, builders, bakers etcetera. So, tell me, how did you come to this place?”

PA – “All the roads seemed to lead here.”

NA – “Yeah, like I said we first headed to the local fire station when we got out. We found food and good tools to have, you never know what you’ll need in a situation like this. We packed it all into a truck and left the station.”

HA – “I kept asking where we were going, but we just followed the roads for the most part. Ended up here after a few months of driving in circles.”

PA – “For the last time, we were not driving in circles.”

HA – “Sure felt that way to me!”

NA – “Anyway…we saw this place as a speck on the horizon. Headed for it and got lucky really.”

AA – “I’d say the town had its share of luck bringing you three here too. Linking to your previous points there, what did you do when you first came out and why leave safety at all?”

PA – “Can’t spend your whole life hiding from a danger that may or may not be there, sometimes you just have to chance it.”

HA – “Or chance it about a dozen times like we did.”

NA – “True.”

AA – “Hold on, so you tried to leave safety before?”

PA – “Well of course, never did like being cooped up in one place for too long.”

NA – “We had ways to tell time, kept poking our heads of every couple of years or so. But it never did feel quite…right. You know? It just felt off.”

HA – “No other people, no movement at all. We kept our eyes on a few landmarks within view, but year after year nothing ever changed.”

PA – “Then one year I poked my head out and it just felt…safe again. So, we packed up and moved out.”

AA – “Did you have much with you?”

PA – “Oh, plenty.”

NA – “Before we went and hid we packed up plenty of clothes, even a few extra for Holly in case we had to spend a long time in there.”

AA – “Do you remember much about your accommodations?”

PA – “Not really…though we were there for the longest damn time.”

HA – “What? How do you not remember?”

NA – “I don’t quite recall either.”

HA – “How? It was like a bunker of sorts, running water, heating, the usual amenities a house used to have. Two bedrooms, lounge, small kitchen, washing machine, everything you would have found in a house!”

PA – “How odd.”

AA – “Very odd indeed, you are the first I’ve talked to who has such vivid recollection of their survival during the Fall.”

PA – “I wonder if it’s because of her age.”

AA – “Indeed, you are the only person I’ve seen who was a child before the Fall, Holly.”

HA -“I’m not sure what to say…I just…remember. I don’t remember much before the Fall though,  I was just a kid.”

NA – “That’s true, Holly was just a bairn when we decided to go into hiding. I can’t remember anything from that time.”

AA – “It appears no-one can, which would be a blessing in disguise really. But we’ll move on anyway. What is it like for you three, day-to-day, around here?”

PA – “Same as it is for everyone else I expect, we do our jobs, help out others where needed and make sure we relax when we can.”

NA – “There’s no such thing as a timetable anymore, at least not for most things. No currency or anything like that either, so people just help other when and where they can.”

HA – “It’s quite nice really, you know, aside from it being what could possibly be the extinction of humanity as we know it.”

PA – “Now Holly, try not to be too optimistic about it.”

NA – “Talk about cynical…wonder where she got that from.”

PA – “I wonder indeed, but-…oh…you mean me.”

AA – “Just to get back on topic a little here. What do you think of the town as a whole?”

PA – “It’s a nice place, considering. Just like a little village in many aspects, especially now with the paved streets and the beginning of what could be night lighting around the houses. We just need a corner shop and we have everything.”

NA – “The bakery is nice, Pete throws his hand in when he has the time to make sure there’s enough to go around.”

HA – “Not much for it at the minute though, there’s plenty of land around here that’s being used for farming and harvesting the basics, wheat and corn mostly. We try to get…creative with the supplies we can find. It’s mostly tinned stuff but some of it’s quite good.”

PA – “Tinned crap, full of stuff you don’t want to know about but it’s keeping us all alive anyway.”

NA – “You always were a bit of a food snob.”

HA – “That’s true.”

PA – “I can’t help it ladies, I’m a chef by trade. Still, the lack of decent cigarettes bugged me at first, but I feel so much better without them.”

NA – “The alcohol is mainly used for medicinal and sterilisation purposes here, which isn’t a bad thing ether.”

AA – “I remember the days of alcohol and cigarettes, I think it’s one of the only things that’s been improved by our current predicament.”

HA – “Never had the chance to experience either.”

AA – “Trust me, you’ll probably outlive us all. Well, most of us anyway.”

PA – “Nasty things they were.”

NA – “I remember you smoking…quite a lot actually. Not so much the alcohol though.”

PA – “A bit of lager every now and then was good for me. Tea though…god I miss a good cup of tea.”

HA – “Plenty of tea bags lying about, but, like the milk, I think they’ve all gone bad by now.”

AA – “A good cup of tea was an artform way-back-when. Highly sought for, rarely achieved.”

PA – “Don’t remind me! I had to quit everything cold-turkey but I’m still suffering from the loss of tea.”

NA – “Yes, I’m sure it’s the worst thing this planet has lost.”

PA – “Trying to keep things light my dear. Always forward, never back.”

AA – “A good philosophy to have, especially now.  Well, I think that about wraps this up, thank the three of you very much for your time, it’s been a pleasure.”

PA – “The pleasure was ours, thanks for talking to us.”

NA – “Nice to meet you.”

HA – “Yeah, this made a nice change.”

AA – “That’s what I do, my dear.

END

Not many notes here, the parents Peter and Natalie were comparably normal to the others I have interviewed. However their daughter, Holly, was quite fascinating from a scientific standpoint.

As i said in the interview quite honestly, she is the only pre-Fall child I have spoken too with such a vivid memory. It’s a shame she was too  young to remember her life before the Fall, but the details of their safe haven during the past few decades was very interesting indeed.

If I had to assume, I would was most survivors stayed in places like Holly described. Running water, heating, gas, food supplies, backup generators, all designed to encompass a range of scenarios.

However, as Peter quite rightly pointed out, it is unwise to assume anything. Especially now.

 

Interviews of the Apocalypse – Chapter 9 (Alexandra and Liam)

The following interview was transcribed from a recorded session.

AA – “Good morning, good morning. I’ve been meaning to talk to you two for a while but I understand you’re very busy at the moment. I’ll try to keep this to the point, forgive a tangent or two! Now then, for the record please state your personal details.”

LD – “Liam Dury, sixty five year old male, origin South England I guess.”

AB – “Alexandra Booth, sixty three year old female, origin South England too.”

AA – “Excellent, thank you. Now I understand you two are responsible for the medical health of those in this town.”

AB – “We’re the closest thing this town has to doctors anymore.”

LD – “Yeah, we just try our best to make people better. We also try to enforce and encourage a strict hygiene programme to minimise the risks of infections and viruses and the like.”

AA – “So, just to clarify, what do you mean when you say you’re the closest thing this town has to doctors?”

AB – “Well…”

LD – “We’re dentists, or, well, we were dentists. Before…the thing, you know?”

AA – “Difficult to forget. I understand the study of dentistry came with a fundamental education in general medicine also.”

AB – “Oh yes, it did.”

LD – “That’s why we stepped up when we found this place. Before we arrived, there were quite a few sick and injured people living here. Basic things, but they could have died if we hadn’t arrived.”

AB – “The two trucks of medical supplies didn’t hurt either.”

AA – “Two trucks?”

AB – “Yes, we managed to find them. Wasn’t that long after we…came back to this new world. We headed to our local hospital, evidently they were just receiving a delivery.”

LD -“Yeah, turns out scavengers and raiders don’t have much need of medical supplies. I think they checked the truck, didn’t find weapons and food and just moved on.”

AB – “Lucky for us really.”

AA – “Lucky for this town. Lucky that you found them too. Which leads me nicely on to my first question, how did you arrive here?”

AB – “Well, like I say we found the trucks and we started driving one each. We found a few groups of survivors on the road, they all seemed to be heading this way.

LD – “I think a few weeks went by and we had ourselves a nice convoy. Our two trucks, a couple of buses, a food truck which was handy. Must have been over one hundred of us by the time we reached this place.”

AA – “That’s quite the journey. How did the townsfolk greet you when you arrived?”

AB – “Well, we went to see Boss like you’re supposed to.”

LD – “We told him what we did and what we brought along with us, including the other survivors.”

AB – “I thought he’d be resistant to the idea of letting so many new people in, we’d have to twist his arm a little with the medical supplies.”

LD – “But no, he let us all in. After we’d all been checked, though what for I’m not sure. We’d already given the convoy a medical all-clear.”

AA – “Well, it’s a strange time. There’s enough for people to be afraid of that they can seem a little paranoid when welcoming strangers in to their community.”

LD – “It was still surprising though, I was expecting the end of the world to have more…hostility.”

AA – “As were we all, but I think we’ve suffered quite enough so far.”

AB – “We haven’t seen a lot of the problems, but we’ve heard plenty of stories in the village. Can’t say I’m sorry we missed it.”

AA – “There’s been a great many problems in this world. To suffer through them all and live…now that would be a miracle.”

LD – “If there was a higher power, I doubt they would let this happen to the world.”

AA – “Actually, in most of the holy books of the past, the holy entity often killed more people and did more damage than the evil entity. But enough of the old world ridiculousness, we’ll move on to our next question. How are you operating in the town currently?”

AB – “We tend to split most of our time between treating the current patients and training the next generation of doctors as best we can.”

LD – “There’s not much call for the very serious stuff, most major diseases seem to have died with the rest of the world. Surgeries are highly unnecessary, unless someone seriously injures themselves. We can teach the basics of medicine, sanitation and hygiene and that’s all we seem to need really.”

AA – “Please go on.”

AB – “We have a large structure near the centre of the town that we use as a hospital base, this village is actually rather well laid out.”

LD – “Surprisingly so, considering how many refugees we seem to get on a weekly basis. Someone really thought ahead.”

AA – “It’s interesting, isn’t it? I’ve done an aerial sketch of the town and it’s quite fascinating.”

LD – “I’d like to see that sometime.”

AB – “Me too.”

AA – “Excellent, if there’s time after the interview I’ll be more than happy. Now then, speaking of the interview, I believe we were talking about your operations in the town.”

LD – “Ah, yes, indeed. So we’ve got a hospital facility, or at least the best we could build. We’ve also got a storage facility attached to that, and our own home besides.”

AA – “It seems as though the one in charge of this town seems to know something about necessities.”

AB – “He’s a lovely guy, and his wife. Have you had the chance to interview them yet?”

AA – “I was talking to them just the other day in fact, I’ll be interviewing them very soon.”

AB – “You’ll probably get to know more than any of us!”

AA – “Let’s hope so! Now then, moving on, we’ve established you were dentists before the Fall, but can you remember other details?”

AB – “Not many, though we’ve tried a lot.”

LD – “Yeah, it’s all a bit fuzzy and we get a massive headache whenever we tried too hard or too long.”

AA – “Any details, no matter how small, would be fine.”

AB – “Well, we established we were students, I was nearing my final exams and Liam here had already begun working in a private practice.”

LD – “The rest of what I can remember seemed fairly normal, we lived together, we spent time with family and friends when we could. Anything other than that and I can’t quite recall it.”

AB – “Yet I remember everything I learned in my studies.”

AA – “Yes, many people seem to share that experience. Personal memories are near-impossible to recall but your subconscious seems to store our education. Odd indeed how the human mind works. But anyway, thank you for that, we shall press on! Now, let’s see, ah yes, try to remember how you found shelter before the Fall.”

AB – “Oh, well, I, that is we…uhm…we…”

LD – “We can’t remember, we’ve tried to think about that too. It seemed like a primal instinct to flee danger and find somewhere safe to be. I can’t even remember where we hid.”

AB – “Me either.”

AA – “That’s fine, that’s fine. Thank you for trying anyway. We’ll move on again, shall we? Here’s an interesting question, how do you get paid for your work?”

AB – “How do you mean?”

AA – “Well, people are paid for their work, doctors and dentists are no exception to this rule. How do you get paid for your work?”

LD – “Well…we don’t really…I guess we don’t need to be.”

AB – “This town gave us a home when ours was destroyed, gave us the responsibility of the health of the people here. It doesn’t work like it used to, there’s no tax, no insurance, it works so much easier than that. We scavenge what we need and use that to treat people so they can continue working on the town.”

LD – “That’s true, we make sure the farmers can farm, the builders can build and patch up scavenging and Hunter teams if they return injured.  It’s a functional society, circular in how it works. We help other so they can help others and so on until it comes back around. In the end, we can all eat well, sleep safely and live in relative comfort because we rely on each other without the overbearing need for material goods.”

AA – “A very healthy way of looking at it too. Help others to help themselves, I like that philosophy.”

AB – “We’ve had the chance to start again, we shouldn’t make the same mistakes as last time.”

AA – “You’re not the first one I’ve heard say that, everyone here seems to share that sentiment.”

LD – “It’s quite a beautiful place, this town.”

AA – “A shining beacon of humanity, no less. But let’s move on to something less nostalgic. Can I ask the two of you a personal question?”

LD – “Sure.”

AB – “Of course.”

AA – “Are the two of you…together? In a romantic sense?”

LD – “We are, have been since before the Fall.”

AA – “I’ve met several other couples, they all seem to have married…themselves. No official ceremony, though I suppose the need for that has passed now. Can I ask, why have the two of you not done such a thing?”

AB – “Well…never thought about it really…”

LD – “It’s…well, it’s just not bene on our minds. We’re together, marriage seems a little bit pointless now really.”

AB – “We’re too busy really.”

AA – “Fair enough, just thought I’d ask. Now then, we’ll circle back a tad, what did the two of you first do when you came…back into this world?”

AB – “I think…yes, we went back to our old flat.”

LD – “Our cars were still there, after a little tinkering we managed to get them working again.”

AB – “We would have stayed longer but something just felt…wrong about the whole place. An itch between the shoulder blades, y’know?”

LD – “We packed up most of our stuff and moved on. Looking for others, never managed to find anyone.”

AB – “Until we went to our medical school. It’s a big facility, there was a chance someone had taken refuge there.”

LD – “But nothing, nobody. That’s when we decided to go to the hospital, of all the places it’s where we felt most comfortable.”

AB – “That’s when we saw the trucks. We checked the hospital, no sign of life for a good long while.”

LD – “So, we took the trucks and went on our way.”

AA – “You mentioned you found other survivors, what made you take the road that they were on?”

AB – “One road seemed as good as any other. Lucky we took that one really, who knows where we’d end up.”

LD – “Yeah, we found the first group of people. They mentioned a town they were headed toward, we just sped up the process.”

AB – “And made sure they were healthy when we all arrived.”

AA – “Very interesting stuff, thank you both very much for your time. I won’t take up any more of it, I’m sure you’re very busy people.”

LD – “Think nothing of it.”

AB – “Actually, we haven’t had you in for your checkup yet.”

AA – “Oh, I assure you I’m fit and well. No need to worry over me.”

END

A few notes here, though less than usual.

This interview marks the first where there was no obvious reason for the couple to head in this particular direction. It seems random chance did have a small part to play, lucky they found the other survivors heading here.

Very lucky indeed when you consider they seem to be the only ones here with correct medical training, though not strictly speaking overall human medicine.Still, they seem like good people and it’s good to know that someone is making sure the town keeps a certain standard of health, and training others to contribute besides. An interesting couple indeed.

Interviews of the Apocalypse – Chapter 8 (The Corrupt)

Personal notes of Alex Ahmed

Topic – Undesignated survivors of the First Fall

Referred to as – The Corrupt, Raiders, Fallen, Monsters

Time Period – Undocumented, estimated some 10-15 years after the First Fall

 

There was always some speculation that a group like this would survive the First Fall. Every story about the apocalypse has some fall of human survivor turned vicious and savage by their new environment. Often they take to eating human flesh, mutilating their own bodies and congregating in tribes and clans, often at war with one another. Unfortunately, such speculation and fantasy became reality soon after the First Fall. Their first encounters with humanity may be undocumented, therefore I shall treat my research and the notes I have discovered as first contact.

While much can be said for the good aspect of the human spirit, it did not avail a lot of survivors much. Their kindness, as it often does, seems to bear more devastating results than they were expecting.

During my travels I discovered a refugee town, like any other I have found. Some rudimentary fortifications, guards, a wary yet recovering populace of good people. However, few of them were still burning when I arrived. Now make no mistake, I have found ruined camps and villages before. But all of my research at these locations that the damage was accidental and most likely occurred after the local folk had departed. A campfire left unattended, a gust of wind blows a spark to the nearby canvas of a tent and, just like that, the damage is done.

However, this town was, by all accounts, attacked. Not by the natural predators, I doubt they could blow a hole through a palisade like this. Not by the zombies, though that would explain the lack of bodies but not the bullet holes directed inward from the ruin of the wall. The Feral children of this new world are not capable of such graffiti and looting. No, unfortunately, this town was attacked by human hands.

It’s conceivable that 0f the human survivors, some could be dissenters, trouble makers, possibly killers in the right circumstances. However, this is very unlikely. Please see my other notes for further explanation, I dare not commit that reason to more than one set of notes. It seems far more likely that there could be other human survivors around the world, who bore the First Fall without protection, or without sanctioned protection. Personal survival bunkers, doomsday preppers and the like. These people also seemed to have access to a large store of weaponry, a store they seemed to use with relish.

I have also, somewhat unfortunately, discovered that these survivors were driven insane by their new world. I cannot establish a solid reason as to why. Maybe the fact they were correct about the end of the world, maybe they simply reverted back to a more primal form of man, gathering in tribes, supporting the strongest among them, hating who they were told to hate and killing who they were told to kill. Personal contact with these tribes also revealed a lot of self-mutilation, which could be indicative of a complete abandonment of their humanity.

Either way, for whatever reason this happened, they did not react well to the other survivors emerging from their confines. From the trophies I found in one of their tribal settlements, a lot of designated human survivors were destroyed soon after they were found. There are some atrocities I will not discuss here, or anywhere for that matter. What the Corrupt did to these people is beyond horrific, and I refuse to share those memories with most people.

However, human nature began to shine through once again. After first trying to make peaceful contact with these tribes, and failing with catastrophic results, the humans began to behave defensively. Finding ways to arm themselves with anything on hand, scavenging sporting goods stores for bows, crossbows, spears, anything they could use to defend their new homes. After a few skirmishes, and a few lucky finds, a lot of the new human settlements began to arm themselves with guns and body armour.

It seems this went on for some time, remaining on the defensive. By all accounts, the humans simply wanted to survive this situation and carry on with their lives as best they could. But, as has been the case throughout history, the bullied and the oppressed will eventually snap and bite back.

And so began a form of war, the humans against the Corrupt, all the while the Corrupt were fighting in amongst themselves. The main human camps became organised, but never once became aware of each other, more’s the shame. The warriors among them began to seek out and destroy the Corrupt camps with extreme prejudice. No form of these monsters could be allowed to survive and plague mankind again.

A great many lives were lost, on both sides. Good people, forced to defend themselves against a savage and ruthless opponent. Bullets were fired, explosions were let loose, butchery commenced. It is a dark chapter in the development of this new society, but unfortunately not all variables can be accounted for in this situation.

Eventually, the last of the Corrupt tribes fell. After heading to the area of the battle, I found several notes made by the apparent leader of this particular band of human fighters. The notes claim the human forces numbered somewhere around two thousand men and women, most with rifles and armour, some without. There was a greatly detailed plan of attack for the tribe, including methods of sabotage and subterfuge. After three weeks of siege, with minor skirmishes producing losses for each side, the humans launched a full scale attack. Most estimates put the Corrupt numbers at four-five thousand, however, most were unarmed. At the end of the battle, most fought hand-to-hand, their ammunition expended.

Final figures put the human losses at one thousand, four hundred and eighty nine and another two hundred or so injured. The Corrupt were totally destroyed, bringing an end to the blight they cast upon this land.

A crude statue made by the survivors of the battle now stands here, marking the sacrifice made by so many to protect humanity’s chance of a new and hopeful future. Humanity’s history is littered with many examples of such sacrifices, Thermopylae, Numantia, Mecca, Agincourt, Alamo, Stalingrad, Operation Overlord, battles of a vastly outnumbered force against a superior foe to protect the ones they love.

One can only hope that now, with this last battle and this noble sacrifice, humanity may have a chance at a peaceful future at last.