Take a deep breath; go on, do it. Your lungs burn horribly, don't they. Every second you waste here, it feels as if your skin is melting off. Unfortunately your interaction here will have adverse effects upon your return home. For that, I apologize. You brought this onto yourself upon wanting to find out more about your future. You should have expected it to not be a bright one, not at all. Look up at the sky—I don't care how afraid you are. Holding your breath won't save you; eventually you will acclimate and get used to it, but your lungs will simply incinerate again once you return home. There you go—isn't it beautiful? The clouds swirl like miniature tornadoes, with purples, reds, and blues. Chemicals and toxins sometimes are quite pretty. I would avoid going much farther north or south; those clouds give way to acid rain, which wiped out your variant of our kind so long ago. Well, that and the fact that our species' diet underwent a change. Come along—be careful of the black ash that litters the ground here. What is it, you ask? The volcanic residue from multiple explosions throughout the years, of course. Luckily this location is the only one with an excess of ash, or our skin would give us away to our prey. Paler than the snows of the North, some describe us as... useful against the freezing temperatures of where we live. Ah, you are writing with graphite on that little notebook of yours. Interesting... no one has been able to find such a mineral for some time now. Though who cares, with tech like ours, we have no need of hand-writing out everything anymore.
Now, let me confirm—you contacted us to travel here and learn more about your world in its future, yes? First of all, let me tell you what year it is. 3152, about, say, an eon, century, and a few decades ahead of your time. You do realize how unwise tampering with timelines is, correct? I hope so. Though nothing you bring back to the past will really affect us here, since it had already happened. What's with that look? Oh, forgive me, I should not make assumptions that everyone knows of the big event. It as in the impact. A horrible strike of misfortune came upon your world in year 2116... say. That's about a hundred years from the point in time in which you came from. How odd. Anyways, when two meteors raced toward Earth in that year, there was no preventing the locations it hit. A horrible coincidence at the same time, because it changed the entire workings of Earth as everyone knew it. They hit Bruce and Hanul, covering mostly both sides of the world. What does that mean, you ask? Well, when an impact hit two of some of the largest nuclear power plants on the world, the radiation was spread through the entire planet with ease. The fact that both meteors had very concentrated radiation themselves did not help, of course. Obviously there were mass extinction events through the entire world, most of life itself was wiped out. However... some of us survived. The population of Earth had been about 15 billion humans, luckily that growing exponential curve of population in your time had stopped or we would have wiped ourselves out even before that interesting event, hm? Anyways, the population of humans was reduced to about a billion at the time, spread all over the world. Most of you in the far North and South seemed to survive the initial blast, as well as those located farther away from the plants. Then, well, my species evolved.
This is a lot to take in, I understand. Do keep writing, I bet you could write a novel about it or something that no one will believe upon your arrival home. Here, let me help you take down some important information... look at where I point. We are heading that way, to the bright snow-covered hills that never seem to melt even under intense heat. That might be a result of such thick chemicals combining with it and changing its nature, who knows. We're almost to my hometown now, sorry I had to pick you up by the ashen fields. Ah yes, now you're noticing the buildings themselves. Our material of choice is wood... don't look so surprised. That odd greenish tinge upon all buildings is a result of both radiation and evolution. Doesn't the ground almost feel like stone beneath your feet? That's right—the radiation changed the very nature of the sediment and rock itself. Quite disturbing, if you think about it. Anyways, you would think trees and wood in general would be unreliable here. Luckily we are not the only ones who evolved in such an odd way. All of the trees became tougher, and obtained a quality of being fireproof. To be honest, cutting them down is a pain. But we make do, especially considering we didn't lose all of our knowledge and technology in the great event.
Now I want you to turn your attention to our people in general. Take a good long look. Notice how they are humanoid, and for the most part, walk straight up, like yourself. Our arms are slightly longer, and no longer do we have petty nails. Claws are much more effective when hunting. Look at me please, that's right—every tooth of mine is a canine. You can infer our strict diet, I am sure. Our eyes are much, much bigger—we can see in the dark. An odd mutation is a few new variants of eye color; how it helps us I do not know, but if you look into the crowd over there, you will notice three. A deep, crimson red, a glowing violet, and finally an extremely bright green. No longer do we have any body hair, aside from that of it growing upon the tops of our heads. Keeps us warm during the constant temperature fluctuations that constantly wrack our world. Of course, that could also be a result of sexual selection. Our race has always enjoyed these tufts of hair atop our skull. Also, our clothing is rather thin, despite the bitter and biting cold around this area. We have a high cold tolerance, give credit to our modified skin. Not much thicker than yours, no, but again an amazing mutation that not only provided maximal environmental protection, but caused most of us to become in some shape or form bullet proof.
The technology we've kept is quite advanced, actually. The odd part is, we are a formal and informal race, an advanced yet primal one. You can probably tell by the way I speak, hm? Well, most of us have kept morals, ideals, and intelligence. Actually, evolution has favored those of us with higher IQ. Take a look over there, do you see the glittering lights that flicker every so often upon the buildings? The scenery shifts every so often, just slightly to the right. It seems effortless, doesn't it. You will notice even as we stand here, the town almost crawls as if living off to a specific direction. Why, it is following the sun, of course. While barely any of it makes it through the chemical clouds, the tiny amount does help prevent the entire area from going pitch black. I mean, we can see in the dark to a point. The evolved plant life here, needs just the tiniest hint of sunlight as well. See the roots crawl along right with us as well? The shifting metals of our buildings are not the only things following the sun. This entire landmass does glide over the ocean rather nicely as well. Don't ask how, that technology is too elaborate to explain, and we are running out of time.
Now then, your species branched off into two new ones after the event, as the years went by. Homo carnivora and Homo herbivora. That lead to complications, of course, and you can likely tell the faster and stronger of the species. By eating only meat, our brains have grown, and while we are much smaller in number we are by far the more dangerous. Do we cannibalize? We are civil to our own species, that is, the Homo carnivora. Everything and everyone else is fair game. I suppose in your eyes we could be called cannibals, yes. In a world like this, sometimes you need to do what you can to survive. Now now, don't look so pale—you almost look half as pale as my people. You are safe; I will bring you to the time machine over in the town hall. Maybe you will be able to prevent the inevitable, who knows. I wish you luck... what do you mean, this does not look like a townhall? A slaughterhouse, you say? Why, I don't know of any slaughterhouses that have a time machine... An evil smile, upon me? No, why would I have that? Just showing off my teeth once more so you understand... Hm, why are you now bleeding? Interesting.. your blood is red. Quite different from my own...
YOU ARE READING
The Patchworked Short Story CollectionShort Story
A random assortment of short stories I happened to write, usually over the course of a few hours to a few days. Some of these are edited, and some are not. You be the judge of the ones you like or dislike. Also, if you think one of these can be a no...