Except from a Collaborative Story I posted at KingdomTales.net
"No one expected the world to change as suddenly as it did, we were so dependent on modern convenience that we built civilization upon it, at the time no one knew how bad it really was.. if we had only built our society on God instead of science we wouldn't have fallen into chaos.
Governments crumbled, tyrants rose and within a matter of weeks we had become like animals, kill or be killed, shoot first or die first.
If not for the Markus we would have torn ourselves apart.. or so we thought back then.. he offered us a lazy way out of our problems.. gave us someone to follow who required nothing of us that required any real change.. our base instincts were not changed but focused and channeled into state projects.
Exterminating rival militia, taking taxes from those who could not afford to pay them, the strong ruled and the weak suffered endlessly.
The worst was Thomas Sebastien, Markus's fist and chief enforcer, he showed no mercy even to those who he called friends.
Honestly Markus would never have become as powerful as he is without Thomas training the militia to the ravenous killing machine they now have evolved into.
The atrocities, the suffering, the constant warfare, was all Thomas Sebastien's doing even if he had not signed the order himself.
How do I know all this?, It would be better you never knew."
Thomas Sebastien sighed as he finished writing down his thoughts into a journal which he had kept since the day he had died, sure his heart still beat, but inside he felt truly more dead than the hundreds he had sent to their graves.
It has been 15 years since the power just stopped, everyone all over the world suddenly faced a world which was stripped of the very foundation they had made for themselves.
Governments did nothing as Warlords rose and militia carved out new empires from former democratic states, then things got worse.. much worse, the Governments unable or unwilling to fight wars they had no understanding of folded like decks of cards and freedom and democracy become ideals, spoken of only in propaganda filled rants decrying them as the cause of the darkness which now covered the world.
Some tried to stay in the cities, Paris, London, Madrid, Washington, but preserved foods only lasted so long, as supplies dwindled riots over lack of food and supplies destroyed whole cities, looting was everywhere, sickness was widespread and fear controlled the hearts of all.
Now cities are little more than ghost towns as people have moved away from the cities and back to the rural surrounding areas, former residential streets have been plowed under by back breaking labor of slaves and prisoners of war.
Millionaires were paupers, digital wealth erased ,paper money now
only worth its weight as kindling, those who owned farm land were the new power brokers.
Thomas tried to drown his sorrows in the cheap coarsely made spirits served at the plaza tavern, a former apple store with no need for its original use it had become a place where people who were lost become even more so.
"Thomas Sebastien you are under arrest under the orders of the Markus Federation of Eastern States" a gruff voice ordered as the sound of several bowstrings being pulled was heard.
"on what charge?" Thomas asked without even looking up from his drink
"on charges of aiding and abetting enemies of the Federation" the captain replied, an ancient flintlock pistol held firmly in his black leather gloved hands.
"Thanks for letting me know.. now run along while I finish my drink" Thomas scowled as he stared down at the drink before him, a powerless savior of his own making to numb pain which wouldn't subside
"You were not given a choice Thomas" The captain replied with a sigh, he had served with him in the militia for over 10 years and didn't want to kill his former friend.
"you have exhausted my patience and ruined my drink.. under my own authority I sentence you to death" Thomas scowled as he rolled from the seat, arrows passing where he was sat a moment sooner, before springing to his feet and drawing a sword from his belt.
5 minutes later it was all over and 5 men lay dead or dying, Thomas almost envied them, while they were dead or soon to be, he had been dead for what felt like a lifetime.
Sunnybrook Farm was once part the New York suburbs, now home to a dozen families who etched out a simple existence from the ground, content in their simple lives, happier than they had been before the lights went out maybe, for once they had Things and God, yes while those who would call themselves devout said they had God alone, and those slightly more honest would admit God and Things, in reality all of them had Things and God.
Sports,Cars,Movies,Fashion,Games, all ok things in moderation had before become gods to the people, finding out which celeb was having an affair, before your friends so you could be first to spread the news was more important than finding out who was in need in the area and helping to lift a burden from those who already had so little.
People had no money for helping the poor, all the while able to eat out 2-3 times a week and never miss an issue of Hello! or some other celebrity gossip mag.
Now with those distractions stripped away, and without being able to google for answers, ask aunt annie, or ask Oprah what to do finally they had found God was there waiting for them, ever loving, all forgiving, waiting patently for them to turn to him.
The Farm life was not without its struggles, the warring militias taking their toll of taxes and slavery upon the small rural communities.
Slave trading, drugs, and prostitution were big money makers in the new society and the small scattered farming communities provided ample stock for those industries.
It was in this time a copy of a forbidden book found its way into the hands of a certain Keith Sullivan, former fortune 500 company executive and now after the blackout self taught blacksmith.
The book was tattered and soaked with blood and sweat but Keith without hesitation what it was, one had served as a coffee and bedside table decoration in his house and the houses of billions of others world wide.
Why open a Bible and find out what God had to say? when you could sit back with a bag of chips and flick on the tube and let someone else preach at you their own misinterpretation of the Gospel as "Donate Now Operators are waiting" scrolled back and forth in a almost hypnotic manner.
He had two choices, turn the book in to be destroyed or dedicate his life to its message, there was no gray area or in between allowed.
Owning a copy of the bible was one of the top most treasonous crimes in the Federation, alongside owning an American flag or firearm.
it took 3 times Keith walking out from the farm towards the local militia station, 3 times turning back and starring at the book before he finally had the resolves to open the creased pages and read the forbidden text.
Its strange how when life and death were at stake a book causally glanced over as you nodded along politely at a scripture reference which you filtered in the back of your mind to study sometime later, after the Big Game end or the results of American Idol were announced, suddenly took on a much deeper meaning when you knew that what was contained within these pages would either save you or condemn once you had truly absorbed their meaning.
Keith dropped the bible to the ground and rested his forehead on his crossed arms as he sobbed heavily, mankind had brought themselves to this.
With a blueprint for a perfect world in hand for 2000 years since Christ spoke of the Kingdom of God, man had instead created society and god in their own image.
This god loved what they loved and hated who they hated, tolerated those Sins they enjoyed and sent death fire and brimstone on the sins they did not approved of.
He wanted them abundantly prosperous so they could add another Private Jet,Yacht,Mason or Ferrari to their collection while homeless starved on the streets and young woman sold themselves trying to find love they had never known or to pay for drugs which made them its slave.
This society tried to remove God from everyday life and replace it with political correctness, this society gave lip service to Jesus, while ignoring all he said , refusing to follow even his most simple of commandments.
Keith died that day, or rather who he had been that morning before finding that forbidden Gospel had died, now he was the man who had been given a plan, he would find a way to bring light back to the world, and after that maybe the electricity could return also.
Keith wiped sweat from his brow as he plowed the field outside his brother in laws farm, a run in with the militia had left him with a broken leg so the back breaking job of plowing the field fell to Keith.
"Callie can you get me some water please?" He smiled at his 15 year old daughter he looked after some of the young children, showing them how to play cats cradle after a very energetic game of tag that left even 7 year old Billy Wallace panting and wanting a rest.
A few feet over his only David only 14 years old but already solid built from hand work, worked alongside the strapping farm hand Steven who had recently moved into the area, immediately catching Callies eye, causing her to often blush and act uncharacteristically clumsy when around him.
In the distance with his wife and sister sorting fruit into baskets was Kassandra, while David would deny it fiercely as his face flushed red, everyone could see the two youth had deep feelings for one another though neither would admit it openly.