The surface is bright! The artificial sunlight underground prepared me for nothing! I was able to find shade, but now I blink and see bright discs. This is obnoxious. And dangerous.
On the plus side, zombies talk all the time and loudly. I haven’t heard many, I assume this is due to the salvage teams clearing away the majority of nearby zombies. The ones I have heard are regular chatterboxes with the decibel level of a vacuum cleaner. I don’t know if they are calling others to help in some sort of location practice or what, but the surface sure is loud. It sounds like the moo of a cow mixed with the yelp of a kid who stubbed his toe while a parakeet squawks. Imagine all of that at once and there’s a zombie sound for you.
I’m hiding out in what was once a gas station. Underground we don’t have gas powered cars anymore, for obvious reasons like poisoning ourselves and not having space for refineries (but mostly the poison), but we do have electric grids that push small cars and giant trucks alike. Like bumper cars of old! And now come to think of it. The clown in my community developed a circus attraction with bumper cars. I’ve never visited I do not like that clown.
In this gas station, I have found dozens of food wrappers, a cash register, a magazine full of pencil line cartoons with captions that make no sense at all. Good stuff really. I get why it hasn’t been salvaged. I’m waiting for nightfall right now. Maybe an “I can’t see them, they can’t see me” approach will get me to a better location.
So while I sit here and stare at relics of a world that was, I can’t help but think about who I’m talking to. I’m alone right now. I didn’t tell anyone I was going to schedule a lift repair and then skee-daddle my way to the top world with nothing more than a backpack full of canned beans, a tent, and a hatchet. I left behind Rhino, Badger, and Kachna without even telling them to make sure I was punched out for the day.
I’m talking to those that will come after we actually retake the surface. Zombies can’t last forever, right? I’m talking to the people that come after my people, people that will read this a first-hand history book. People that need to know what it was like. People that need to know of the work required by so many to create a world after the first one got all kinds of messed up.
But that’s the broader story. You’ll pick that up. I should tell my story during this. I can certainly give you a full break down of my own story. I know it because I’m here. In a gas station at almost dusk now, trying to understand why “Hi, I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” is a punchline. What even was LinkedIn? Admittedly, my story doesn’t always go in a traditional direction.
Why did I leave the community? I said earlier that it was to see if the surface could be reclaimed if we took a different approach. That’s not a whole truth. I left the community for a different very human reason. Humanity will always look over the horizon (or dirt mound as is essentially my case) and say, “cool. Let’s do something about that.”
I knew one of the salvagers that went top side but never came back. He was special. He was the first person that ever looked at me and saw something more than I was. I’m up here to find him, bring him back, and, time permitting, save the rest of the planet.
To be continued…
Thanks for reading!