Chapter 8: Smith
I'm finding myself at a lack for words. I never was very eloquent, Natasha and Nick seem to be better at expressing themselves through language than I am. I've seen them both scribbling away in their journals I know that their accounts of what we just experienced will be much more vivid and impressive than any recollection I choose to document. However I also know that they will get caught up in the drama and forget to recount some of the more important events that have happened even more recently.
The radios are still broadcasting, though most of it is music that has been left on a loop at the stations. However a few clever individuals have hijacks the waves and been sending out cries for help every so often. It's all most nightfall now. We're nearing the border of Switzerland. We drove all day, it's almost midnight now. Hell, it might even be past midnight. I don't have a watch, or a phone. I'm pretty sure I remember us all getting rid of phones a while ago, but then I think I've seen Matthias using one since then.
I don't know what our plan is now. I don't think I really understood it to begin with though. Here is what my understanding is though, currently. Project H is something that Rousseau International, the previous employer of Matthias and Natasha, is creating at the whim of its leader, Midas. Project H is meant to destroy all life on the planet, because Midas believes humans to be evil and feels that for the betterment of the universe they must be elminated.
I don't believe that, for a couple of reasons. One, it's incredibly stupid. Someone as evil as Midas, someone so… cruel, would bask in the corruption of mankind. I've seen his monstrosity first hand. I've been scarred by that beast, and I know that a man like that has no concept of right or wrong. No concept of good or evil. His only goal is his own advancement. Two, if they truly had a device that could kill all of mankind, why would the armies of Rosseau International, armies amassed supposedly from the disgruntled middle classes of the world, be invading the first world countries of our planet? Furthermore, how could they? Where would they even get the resources?
These questions aren't just poking holes in the logic of Project H, but in the existence of Rousseau International itself. It is impossible for such a company to exist. These things that I have seen are impossible. I'm more willing to believe in the ancient beasts that have slept within the Earth since time began than the immense power of this shadowy megacorporation.
But I suppose I have no choice but to believe, to reject this reaity would be to admit my own insanity. To admit that I am seeing something that is unreal. We are supposed to destroy Project H, but I don't know how we'd do it. We have few weapons, and the weapons we do have are supposedly controlled by our enemies. They could shut off our guns at any instant. I suppose then we could steal the guns of our assailants, but then they would merely shutdown those aswell.
That isn't even my real concern, however. My true question is this: what would destroying Project H achieve? This is the Shattered Earth. I've seen the Sahara swallowed into an abyss. Our world is ending, the fissure is widening and the two halves of the world will seperated. One will drift off into the icy cold of space and freeze while other boils in the center of the sun. We will be dead long before that happens however, I've been watching my brothers and sisters take their own lives from the last sunrise to tonight's twilight, and even now in the dead of the night I see hungering souls striding like wraithes towards the sea.
Perhaps I'm more articulate than I thought.
This hunger that consumes them, I feel it inside myself aswell. It's as though I can smell paradise from across the ocean and I wish to turn and run towards it, but for some reason I cannot fathom I struggle onwards, towards the hopeless, incomprehensible, unachieveable goal that we've been fighting for this entire time. I think, that maybe, the force that drags me onward, is revenge. Only its taste can be sweeter than paradise, and if it is indeed revenge that I strive for, I will gladly forgo paradise for a mere wiff.
We are the only four left, we are what remains of humanity. The rest are drowning themselves seeking paradise. Here I am, condemning others for walking blindly towards their death, and yet what is it that I do? I am not convinced that we are the ones who see clearly, infact I cannot tell you the last time that I've felt that I have seen the world infront of me unobscured.
This is to know one's own death. This is what it must feel like for the prisoner as he awakes on the morning of his execution, or for the soldier as he is ordered out of his trench. The end is here, undeniably. There is time before it comes, however brief, enough time for us to pretend that there is some shred of hope that we may survive, but in the back of our head, in the area at the base of the skull, where it meets the spine, we know we will die this day. Soon the sun will dawn on my last day. It does not matter what we achieve tonight, even if we surmount the insurmountable odds and destroy Project H, even if Midas is slain, the world has cracked. We will die.
The prisoner and the soldier feel the same dread at the end. The king is greeted by the same chill as the beggar. Death holds all men equal.