This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
Civilization, the most defining concept ever conceived by mankind, was a shining gemstone, which at its peak, illustrated the greatest display of human intellect and ingenuity. Since the start of its inception, so many eons ago, it had been responsible for the most beautiful creations utilized by its maker. From the pyramids of Giza, to the Great Wall of China, mankind marked the planet with works, that would forever be testaments of its presence, and capabilities. However, much like a scenario from the mind of a tragic playwright, fate would see a self- destruction, that would rival all other extinctions ever brought about on the planet. Objectives; initially created for the purpose of promoting the good of man, would ultimately lead to its demise.
Throughout the duration of human existence, the various cultures of the earth had always engaged in violent battles amongst themselves. Some said it was mainly religion, while others claimed it was humanitarian conflicts. However, despite all these excuses, no war can be fought without the promise of resources. Like greedy children consuming candy on Halloween, many nations acquired thousands of times more than what their country needed. Some children, became fat and powerful, leaving others to the measly scraps.
Resources became very scarce, and those convinced of their supremacy would stop at nothing to control what remained of them at that point. However, in the end, all such egotistical efforts would prove to be futile. Unbeknown to the general population, they would all share a fate, that was as equally devastating as the next.
During the last years of recorded history, the greatest of all wars would come to pass. One that would not only destroy mankind, but the very fragile ecosystem of the earth itself. As predicted by numerous prophets of the past, humanity would once again be responsible for its destruction. This time however; it was one that would take the form of raging fire. The many nations divided, grew so intolerant of each other, that they would even resort to the delivery of instant annihilation, in a package we call nuclear missiles. As we all know the famous saying: “Monkey see, monkey do.” And that was that.
After the smoke cleared, and all was said and done, there was nothing left of the beautiful brainchild that man had once called civilization. Instead, the five-percent of population that did not die from the blasts of sheer hellfire, or fry from radioactive emissions, were left to wonder in a barren wasteland, called earth. An extremely scorched planet, merely shadowing its former self, now simply reduced to hot ash and dust. Those who survived were forced to retreat to smoldering deserts—where the radioactivity was lowest. Most people, inhabited the areas around the region, where civilization had initially begun so many eons ago. Now, in the surrounding fertile crescent, water, food and shelter—replaced
what was currency. Large economy eventually became a thing of the past—a forgotten luxury—that abruptly gave way to other more important necessities. At this time, man had learned instead of fighting for supremacy to fight for its survival.
Eventually, after the passing of hundreds of years, a new sort of civilization emerged from the ashes of what was. One that is adaptive to this new and miserable environment that man had put in place for itself. But, it was in the walls of this new habitation called New Sapien that the key to the forgotten glory of earth was to be found again.
The exact year was unknown, but at least three centuries had passed since the great war. Mikael, a local citizen, found that sleep had evaded him for the fifth time this week. He was of average height and weight for a middle aged man, however, he had a very athletic stature and was somewhat energetic because of it. His long, curly hair was jet black and his eyes were a light, hazel green—two particular favorites of the ladies.
Restless as ever on this night, he rose to his feet from the comforts of his bed and walked over to the window. On the way, he grabbed a history book from the shelf, and then went to sit on a chair located nearby. However, in the process of his pacing, he knocked over one of the other chairs in the way—waking his roommate Joseph in the process. With sudden astonishment, Joseph then reacted with a complete fit of agitation.
“Why!? What are you, a dam machine? Why can’t you sleep like normal people, and why do you feel the need to wake me when you feel like sleepwalking?” he said, very grumpy at the fact.
“Joseph, it’s not that critical. Just turn over and I promise you’ll go back to sleep,” Mikael replied, in a humorous, but nonchalant fashion.
“Not if you keep knocking over everything when you want to go stargazing! What are you reading, anyway?” Joseph asked, wondering what could possibly have his attention at this hour.
“Just this old history book. Besides, what do you care anyway? Aren’t you supposed to be going to sleep?” Mikael said, in a dismissive tone of voice.
“It’s officially impossible!” Joseph cried, as he rose hesitantly from his warm sheets.
“I thought it was doable at first, then the N.S. housing council bunked me with you! And I did not do anything wrong. I’m convinced it’s a past life. I must have done something serious, like blow up an orphanage!”
Mikael giggled to himself at the joke, but was more concerned with the awesome scenery of the night stars. They have always had a soothing, almost hypnotic effect on him, and it was apparent by his constant obsession. After a few
moments of gazing at the picture perfect moment, he opened the history book and began turning through the pages. Suddenly, he landed on a particular page that illustrated the rainforests of what was once Brazil. Automatically, he stopped
turning there to admire the vast lush greenery of the past ages.
“Hey! Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to live six hundred years ago? Man!! How did people not appreciate this? To have existed in such serenity. It must have been like a dream!” Mikael’s intentions were noble; however, Joe was still a bit irritated.
“Speaking of dreams, I remember having an awesome one, until you decided to go kicking over chairs! I hear there’s this new thing where people shut their bodies down for five hours so they can focus. Why don’t you try it? I hear it’s the thing these days, especially when you have to work all day—in coalmines!!” cried Joseph, who still seemed to be trying to get an important message across.
“Alright, alright! The dust storms died down for the week; I’ll go outside for a walk! snapped Mikael, who eventually gave in to the spirit of consideration.
“Good, why don’t you try running away. I hear Europe is great this time of year!” Joe said joking with him in a passive aggressive manner.
“Ha, ha! Funny, fine I’m going outside,” as he said these words, he got up from his chair and started throwing on appropriate outdoor clothes and boots.
“Great! Sleep at last, wow!” Joseph let out a big sigh of relief and turned over to finish his slumber.
The dust storms of earth at this time brought enough dirt to cover a small city in one sweep and had done so in the past. New Sapien was built at the
base of a mountain completely surrounded by a glass dome to protect from
a catastrophe from reoccurring. Going outside the dome during warning hours was complete madness. Without an equipped vehicle built to handle such a burden, any traveler would surely perish in the wake of a dust storm. Mikael, however, did not seem to be bothered by the fact that the following morning, they may find him under a fifteen-foot sand dune.
He finally went for his coat located just in the closet and his binoculars from the drawer. On the way out of the door, he reached onto the table to grab the keys to the vehicle. However, in the midst of doing so, he suddenly changed his mind. It was a gorgeous night this night and the fresh air was soothing to him. With slight hesitation at first, he finally decided to chance a late hike.
After descending fourteen stories from his bunker to the main floor, he walked outside his sector and headed toward the dome entrance. Several long minutes later, he eventually wandered beyond the limits of the safety zone of the city—navigating in the direction of the coalmines. He took this path daily and it was a familiar track to follow this night. After about an hour of walking through the light of the full moon to guide him, he finally settled down in a particular spot he liked.
Suddenly, he totally remembered he had brought the night vision binoculars with him. With much enthusiasm, he reached into his coat to catch a glimpse around. Normally, there was nothing to be seen at this time, but this night, his intuition was telling him that this time might be different for some reason.
Following a few moments of scanning the area, Mikael was almost ready to go back to the bunker. However, while adjusting the focus to zoom in on a particular spot, he suddenly noticed something in the moonlight. In the distance, there was a gigantic rock formation that had never really caught his eye before. While he further adjusted the focus, he saw what appeared to be an entrance to a cave on one side. Mikael’s mind instantly started racing with questions. This was not only a cave that he had never seen before, but it was also scripted at the top with what appeared to be strange symbolic writing.
While glancing at this new spectacle, Mikael could not believe that he had passed this exact spot many times on his way to the mines and had never took notice of this particular site. As curiosity started to get the best of him, he continued to drift ever closer towards his newly found discovery. However, with his attention occupied, he almost forgot to keep track of the time. All of a sudden, he began to feel the wind gain pressure instantly reminding him of the chance he decided to take. After he came to full realization, he immediately turned direction back to N.S., deciding the best thing to do at that point was head in for shelter. On the way home, he couldn’t help but wonder out loud to himself,
“What the hell is that? In nine years of working out here, this thing has
never crossed my attention. Now that I think of it, I’ve never heard anyone even talk about a cave in between N.S. and the mines. That wind … feels like it could be a little more than a summer breeze though,” he shivered a little, noting that the
gusts were at an alarming strength.
The next morning, Mikael overslept his time as usual. Joseph, however, was already awake and readying himself for the work day. Sensing an opportune moment of revenge for last night’s disturbance, he did not rouse Mikael until the last moment. The instant that Joseph had almost finished preparing for work, he then sprung his surprise on him.
“Oh now he wants to sleep! It’s funny how that works. See, when the moon is out, that’s when you’re supposed to be doing all of this. The sun is out now. See!” Joseph yelled, snickering to himself while opening the blinds.
Mikael abruptly awoke to this gesture off guard and dazed. With a sudden jolt, he sprung to his consciousness with drool still running down his lip.
“Hungh? What? What time s it now?” Mikael asked in an astonished manner, still not fully recovered from his slumber.
“It’s time to wake your behind up!” Joseph replied with great haste in his voice. While he tied his shoes and did the last finishing preparations for the start of the job, he glanced back at Mikael who was just now sitting up from his bed.
“Oh crap! Hey, don’t leave yet, let me get ready! I’m up! I’m up! I promise,” Mikael pleaded desperately, knowing full well that he couldn’t afford to be late for work again.
“See, what you need in your life is something called prioritization, and I’m not going to be late cause you can’t put it together.
But, since you are three and zero at the pool tournament, you have exactly ten minutes until I take the terrain vehicle and leave with you in it or not!”
Mikael heeded these words, and just as Joseph finished speaking them, he immediately jumped to his feet. He clumsily stumbled over the table while dashing to the bathroom to remove his night clothes. In a flash, he washed under his armpits and other unmentionables, rinsing frantically after this hurried ordeal. He somehow managed to perform the acrobatic feat of putting on his shirt while squirting toothpaste on his toothbrush, and within moments, he quickly brushed his teeth. He then, speedily filled his mouth with water from the tap to rinse before dashing to the closet to retrieve his work overalls.
While he was in the process of putting on his boots, Joseph swiftly made for the door. Looking at his watch closely, with his eyes glued to the very seconds, he counted down the time Mikael had left aloud.
“Five, four, three, two, one, and I’ve left the building!” Joseph yelled, ready to close the door behind him. However, Mikael somehow managed to reach out and stop it just inches before it shut.
“HA!!! I got it done in nine minutes! How do you feel? I’m right dressed
clean and ready to move! Let’s go!” Mikael spoke in a boisterous tone, but silently, he was relieved that he actually got prepared in such a short period of time.
The terrain vehicle they drove was actually a modified version of an army class Hummer protected by a layer of carbon fiber. On the drive over to
work, the two conversed about miscellaneous things such as women, recreation, work, and other masculine small talk.
“Yo, Mike, did you see Renée last night? She was gorgeous! You two need to work that whole thing out, man, you two were beautiful together!”
“Can we talk about something else other that my ex- girlfriend? Gosh, if you like her so much, why don’t you ask her out?”
This was clearly a sensitive issue for Mikael, however, for the sake of justice, Joe pressed the topic to get even for last night’s minor disturbance.
“You would let me do that, without being mad? I couldn’t though; she’s friends with Tina, and I put enough time into that long term project.”
“Well, since she is of no interest to me or you, could we not talk about her!?” Mikael responded, trying his best not to think about what happened. It’s obvious he still had feelings for his ex, but his pride wouldn’t let him face the issue head on.
Joe finally decided to ease up a bit. “Alright, alright! We won’t talk about beautiful women, since that’s so boring and all.”
As Mikael looked out of the window, he noticed something very strange. Shocked at this latest development, he reacted without realizing. Joseph was unaware of his discovery.
“Where is it!?” Mikael said, unable to relocate the gargantuan cave he saw the night before.
At this point, he was openly disappointed at the fact that he couldn’t share his findings personally. However, he did not take into account the can of worms he had opened in the process.
“Where is what?” replied Joe, curious as to what he had to say.
“This is the place where I saw it! I know I’m not delusional, or at least I don’t think I am.” Mikael had to pause for a moment and assess the possibility that maybe it was all just in his mind.
“Where is what!?” Joe was starting to get a little frustrated at his lack of
Acknowledgement and grew more and more anxious to hear what had him so worked up.
“There was this cave that I have never seen that was right here last night. It had all these weird engravings at the top and …” Joe interrupted at this point with an astounded look on his face
“Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! This is where you go? Out here?! Man, we will get you some help. Not only do you go on suicide missions, but you see things when you get there. Yup, I’m calling the Medical center as soon as we get back.” Joe’s response was humorous, but he really was worried about Mikael’s well-being
“Oh, shut up!” Mikael snapped back, completely embarrassed at this entire circumstance. However, on that day, he was determined to prove to Joe that he was not crazy.
“You know what you need? You need a woman! You got way too much
time on your hands, and you need something to occupy all of this energy, man. We’re going to work on that as soon as you get off today.” Joe said, offering a sort of solution to his problems.ere…
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JWalker: I loved this story from start to finish! It flows at a really nice pace and the story world feels so real. The fight sequences are a treat especially when Isanfyre is training to become a warrior. I found the names really cool and thankfully easy to pronounce. Personally I have always struggled w...
Tiffany Thomson: This story is not something I would normally pick up and read but I'm so glad I did, I wasn't able to put it down and my husband was yelling at me at 3am to put it down and go to bed (just waited for him to doze back off before picking it back up) I really hope Natalie brings out another book eit...
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Usagi Kita: This story is emotional from beginning to end. You get to watch the characters struggle and grow, maturing in different ways so that they come to be the people they are meant to be. Inea is insanely adorable, and his antics made me laugh more than once, and Kaedon is perfect for him in so many wa...
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