Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta confusing. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta confusing. Mostrar todas las entradas

miércoles, 28 de septiembre de 2016

Facts of war

   The bombs had suddenly stopped dropping from the sky. There was an awful, eerie silence that occupied everywhere that still stood, which wasn’t much. Most of the city was now ruins, a bunch of unrecognizable rubble where people had lived and tried to have good lives and happy days. But that had ended some time ago, when the war started and things went rapidly downhill for everyone in every corner of the globe. It had happened so fast that no one really knew how to explain it or understand it. It was just chaos in it’s simplest form.

 Before bombs started dropping, people thought it would never come to that. They innocently thought that the war would be fought in empty, far away spaces, where no one would ever get hurt and where countries could argue for long periods of time without really affecting the civilian population. Those who thought that had visibly no idea of what war was really like and how it had destroyed and devastated the world once and again in the past. How cities had been leveled down by fire and force and how the strong ones didn’t really care who they hit and how.

 The morning before the bombs dropped on the city, people were already getting a bit nervous but not nearly as nervous as they should’ve been. They had all heard about the rumors that new airplanes that could fly without being detected could be sent in any moment to attack. But the frontline of the war was so far way that people simply didn’t buy that theory. They claimed that some people were being alarmists in order to get some sort of advantage in the war. They decided to deny any possibility of war coming to them. It was their undoing.

 Most of the people in the city died right then, that morning when the sun was just coming up and then, out of nowhere, the first bomb was dropped in the city. It is strange to say it, but the enemy had the so-called kindness to drop a single bomb on an industrial part of the city first in order for people to be able to run to the nearest shelters or to get safe in any way possible. It was a kind of warning shot. Most people ignored it and that’s why the amount of survivors, on the days following the decimation of the city, was so low.

 The few people that survived did recognize the signs of what had happened and ran to the underground parking lots and places similar to those. There were no shelters because they had chosen not to get ready for a war that was real, even if it was far from their homes. Most survivors had to be dug out from under the rubble because they had been underground by chance. Almost no one had actually run down from their home to protect themselves. They really didn’t believe anything could happen to them, as if they were special in some way.

 But they were not. The city was not treated any differently than any other city before or after that. The enemy had a clear objective and new exactly how to hit a target in order to have maximal damage and be able to withdraw fast if the attacked nation reacted efficiently. This was almost never the case as they always destroyed military bases and other potential points of defense in order to be able to do whatever they wanted. The rules of war were clear to them.

 Exactly two day after the bombing started, the bombers retired and went back home. They had done their job and the ground army was already advancing fast, taking advantage of the new position they had taken. It was a very dared strategy but it had worked perfectly for them. When the army arrived, they helped the survivors out of the rubble and they put them in special camps to be held as prisoners of war. No one was mistreated in any way and that made the whole experience a little bit worse. People couldn’t properly hate them if they were suddenly kind to them.

 Of course, they had been the ones that destroyed their city and probably killed many members of their families and friends. But the treatment in the detention center was not the one of a concentration camp or anything like it. It was exactly as if the hundreds of survivors had been taken to a five-star hotel to be locked down as prisoners. It was a very odd thing to experience and most people had no idea what to feel, what to say to the guards and how to react to anything. However, it was clear who had won and who had lost that battle.

 Many other camps like that one appeared in the region, as the enemy’s army advances through the continent. They had a pretty successful year but then, at the end of it, the expansion stopped. The invaded nations were responding but only with skirmishes and guerrilla warfare. The fact that winter had come was an important factor in them being successful and the enemy deciding that the advance of their troops could hold for a while as they decided a new course of action that would end the war in the favor, once and for all.

 The winter was unusually long and harsh. Snow covered the ruins of many cities and prisoners in camps realized that their situation was harder than they realized. Even though they had a goo reason to feel good about being in a warm place during the violent snowstorms, they realized that they were prisoners because of they weren’t they would be out there, standing in the storm with a weapon, defending their countries and their right to exist. Not all of them thought the same but a general feeling of sadness and confusion could be felt among the prisoners.

 When the winter ended, people assumed the enemy would resume expansion and the war would be over in months. But that didn’t happen. Pockets of resistance had appeared during the summer and they turned stronger once the weather got better. No matter their big guns and strategies, the enemy’s army couldn’t taken them all down as they wanted to. They had to be smart about it and realized that their plan for expansion had problems from the beginning, as they had never thought people could resist them.

 That entire year, the Resistance movement, which spanned several countries with different languages and cultures, was able to have some small victories over the enemy. They robbed some weapons or transports; they temporally blocked their advance or just annoyed them when trying to do anything. It was a very tense year and it was the turning point for everything or at least for most things. Prisoners were still in the camps and the destroyed cities remained on the ground. That hadn’t and wouldn’t change in a long while.

 The following winter, the enemy decided the offensive was taking too long so they did something that no one expected them to do: they reached out to the Resistance and proposed they negotiate a deal to end the war. Of course, the people that had been massacred and persecuted were not very keen on accepting anything that came from the invader. Most people called the move a trap and felt that it was a new strategy by their enemy to exterminate any opposition to their plans for the whole world. They didn’t trust them at all, they couldn’t.

 However, they finally sent a group to discuss what the ideas were for the ending of the conflict. The war had lasted for too long and it was worth the shot to at least know what they could potentially do to end the fighting. The group that met with the enemy was very nervous about everything but the others tended to tend as if they were allies. They gave them a great dinner and told them that they wouldn’t return any of the occupied lands but tht they could liberate some territory for people to leave in what could be called the Free Cities.

Those cities would have access to sea and rivers, would controlled by Resistance but an Occupation Board would oversee anything to do with the cities and their development. They would basically be free but with a few limitations. The group went back to the rest of the rebels with the proposal and, it had to be said, they discussed thoroughly for many days. It was very hard to discuss what was right or what was wrong because any measure is good to end death. But at what cost should that be done? The decision didn’t make everyone happy, that’s for sure.

martes, 17 de mayo de 2016

Weird woods

   The majestic tree, various meters tall, fell to the ground causing a tremor. Only animals realized what had happened, as there were no people in the vicinity. The tree had fallen because it was rotten from the inside and couldn’t hold any longer. It started breaking from the roots up and finally, one very clear morning, it fell causing various birds to fly away scared. The movement on the ground caused by the tree was felt everywhere in the woods and the animals knew exactly what had happened.

 In time, the tree got covered in moss and, when time came for people to arrive to the region, they couldn’t conclude how much time it had passed since that tree had fallen. The explorers loved that forest because it was relatively easier to go through than any jungle in the other end of the world or maybe a very far away forest, locate in the middle of many mountains or something like that.

 The explorers discovered some new flowers and plants and also new bugs, which wasn’t something difficult in such conditions. The place was very humid and animals were all over the place, even among a think haze that covered the entire forest. The team of explorers installed a small camp in a clearing and decided to stay there for more time than anticipated because the forest showed promise and they wanted to bring back lots of new data. It would help them tremendously at work.

 The following day to them arriving, the haze had grown thicker and the trees seemed to be much more numerous, they seemed to be everywhere. Not that the forest didn’t have lots of trees but it just seemed like many more had grown overnight. The leader of the team decided to do maps of the area in order to be able to explore it more efficiently. He spent the whole day doing drawings of the area around their camp.

 During the night, it was difficult to see anything and not even flashlights seemed to penetrate the darkness of the forest. Strangely, it was a very quiet place after dark and that made them a little bit uneasy. It wasn’t very common to find a forest where no bugs or small mammals made sounds or cries of any type. It made their nights even more alone, more filled with tension and insecurities.

 They were already planning to go back to the city, even if they had decided days ago to stay a full month in the forest. The plans had not changed but it was good to talk about what they were going to do afterwards. They were only five people but they all felt a little strange in that place, in that situation. The forest had something about it that they couldn’t explain and it didn’t really made them feel good. That night, it was difficult for them to sleep.

 The next day, it was as if the volume had been raised again. However, when they decided to use the maps their leader had done to explore the forest, they realized they were useless. The trees were not where the map said they were and now there were also big boulders covered in moss a little bit everywhere and they covered large paths inside the forest, making it very difficult to walk around and explore. Something was very wrong with that place but they couldn’t really say what.

 Ignoring the problem with the maps, they decided the best thing was to tie a red rope around their waists and tie the other end to another person who stayed in the camp. As they were five, that limited the number of people going to explore to two at a time. It was efficient at all because other two had to stay there, sitting, making sure the rope worked in order for their partners to come back.

 The fifth person would normally go around the camping site, without walking away, and check the place they had decided to settle in. As it was a natural clearing, it was very strange to see one and there must have been reasons for that. So it fell on the responsibility of one person to investigate why that space was a clearing and what type of bugs and plants grew there. That second day was very productive in that sense. Yet, it wasn’t much of a secret that they all wanted to go back home.

 But the job comes first and they needed to finish what they had started. That second night, they wrote down everything they had seen. The absence of sound in the night also became a thing inside the large tent were they did everything. They started to talk less and less, only writing and making very soft sounds. They hadn’t realized it until the moment they left the forest some days later.

 The third day, the forest again changed its configuration or that’s what it seemed. The most frequent bugs had also changed from one day to the other. The first day there were common worms and then the second there were blue caterpillars. On the third, there were large groups of butterflies that would for large groups on trees and on top large bushes that weren’t there before.

 Humidity was another thing that changed every single died. The third time was the one their knees and elbows hurt the most. It was almost as if they had transported to an actual jungle except for the fact that the weather was not that hot. It was just how humid it was and how tired everyone felt after working for so many hours in those conditions.

 The fourth day the most frequent bug they could find was beetles. And they were not only black but also green and blue and several other amazing colors. Some of them the ability to fly and it was frankly very scary to see them do that. The bushes had grown in number and several boulders that had cut off paths had disappeared or so it seemed. Everything was different each time and it was very challenging to get used to all that. But no one complained because that was their job.

 The fourth night, they shared a nice meal but didn’t say a word at all. They just had been compelled to share a moment with each other but they respected the forest so much they didn’t want to speak and then ruin the whole harmony that was going on. Also, they really didn’t feel as they could actually talk in a normal register. It fell difficult to talk, to scream even. Many of them secretly tried but it was as if nature had taken hold of their vocal chord for the moment and it wouldn’t let them go.

 Late that night, there was absolute silence until a single sound disturbed the whole moment: something had fallen very nearby, making the ground shake severely. Every member of the group woke up instantly and they all headed outside to check everything out with their flashlights. But it was useless. The haze was thick as always and nothing could be really seen beyond it. So the all went back inside but would barely sleep.

 The fifth day was their last. They were planning in walking to the edge of the forest until it was close to nightfall and then just walk to the place were they had entered the forest. Their cars were there as well as the people that took care of the national park were the forest was located. It was very far from the clearing they had chosen to stay in but if they started early, they could reach it easily by dawn.

 They looked for the fallen tree, the one they had heard the night before, but they never found it. Everything in the forest was calm and no tree appeared to have fallen. Humidity was not the same as the other days. It was almost exactly the opposite. The wind that blew through the tall trees was very dry, making their skins feel strange. They walked without stopping all day, not even for food. They hadn’t discussed it but no one was going to stay behind doing any more exploring. They had to leave.

 The walk lasted for several hours and they begun to be very worried about being able to come out of there. The park’s entrance was nowhere near them, the forest had shifted again. They walked to different directions for hours until, with the last lights of the day, they found what seemed like another clearing. Had they come back to the same spot again? No. There was a license plate in the ground. And beneath it, metal on the ground.