The Reluctant Hero
It started out like every other day for me. I woke up, and struggled to get out of bed. The aches and pains of years of inactivity and poorly executed attempts at exercise had taken their toll. Arthritis, lack of cartilage in the joints and being overweight compounded to make living tougher than it should. But still I had to get going. Work had to come, bills had to be paid, and the humdrum crawl of life was to continue. I saw no hope in a good future. There was a bad vibe in my life and I couldn’t shake it.
But I got up anyways, shaved and got dressed. The outfit was silly, turquoise shirt over red pants. But it was a job. Chicken World. What a job. It paid the bills, barely. But in this economy it was better than nothing.
Work this day went as well as can be expected, frustrated angry customers wanting everything discounted or free. I don’t know how any company stays in business. The world has gone to pot. Countries all over the world fight for precious resources across borders. Very few do not fight. Even here in the US, we fight. Fight with countries all over the world trying to secure rights to oil, coal and the most precious, water. But with the economy has collapsed and running on fumes. Politicians argue amongst each other for their states rights and it is only a matter of time before a civil war breaks out. The outlook is bleak. Every country in the world is a ‘third world’ country. Something is bound to happen.
And about a year ago the first leg snapped. India and Pakistan pretty much wiped each other out in a nuclear war. Only about 6 missiles were fired, but millions died and both lands, including parts of Afghanistan are now uninhabitable, because of radiation. Then shortly afterwards the Iranians blockaded the Strait of Hormuz and a shooting match between Western ships and the Iranian Navy. And to fuel the fire even more, Israel launched an attack on the Iranian nuclear power system, crippling the country. Shortly after that Israel was under attack by neighboring Arab countries. They fended off the attacks and their retaliation was intense, leaving the Middle East in chaos. Russia and China started fighting over borders and resources. The world was a mess. South American countries started to invade. Like a plague, war had been initiated all over the world. The news agencies were calling it World War 3. It was. And in the US, all basic terrorists started attacking, and small splinter groups started taking what they needed to survive. The Military was called in and a martial law type existence was issued. After about two months the martial law was taken back, and an unquiet peace. People went back to a tense life, similar to what was but everyone was pensive. Oil prices and food prices went up. After a while people started growing their own produce, even began to raise their own animals in places, just to eat cheaper than buying their food. A police presence was, and is, constantly felt and observation cameras were installed during the martial law.
I, like millions of Americans, began to take public transportation to work since we could no longer afford our vehicles. Observing people you could see the blankness in the lack of life. Hope was beginning to be as rare as oil.
There was one more thing that had people all over the world scratching their heads. Occasionally there were stories and rumors of ‘super’ individuals doing things and taking advantage of the situation. In South Korea, several soldiers crossed the border from North Korea and caused massive damage to military installations before being killed. It took far more weapons than normal to kill them. The story was they were on drugs, but conspiracy theories were that they were genetically altered. Other stories from all over the world trickled in from London, Moscow, Beijing and New York. All were similar, individuals extraordinarily powerful. Some were killed and others escaped.
The questions still linger.