Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Invasion

Sam Stout checked out his assault weapon carefully before flinging it over his shoulder. He also made sure his pistol was in his concealed holster in case he needed a back-up. He pinned his clan badge on his beret and prepared to go out. The USAPs were coming, and something had to be done about it.

No one knew precisely where the USAPs, United Society of Amalgamated People, (a loose translation of their own name for themselves) came from. The Travelers said they seemed to come from somewhere in the vicinity of Old Europe, but it was not clear where. But you had to be careful about believing the Travelers. Normal people did not travel much; it was too dangerous. Travelers made it a lifestyle by being well-armed and not carrying much of anything else worth stealing.

He stepped outside and made sure all the alarms and locks were in place. He did not want anyone trying to get to his family while he was gone.

It was ironic, Sam thought, that theirs was once the mightiest nation on earth. They had possessed weapons so powerful that no one dared invade them. Sam wondered where those weapons were now. But the stronger the nation grew, the more powerful the government became. Legend said you could not even build a house or start a business without wading through tons of red tape. Finally, all the common-sense people revolted and started a society based on the idea of the less government, the better. Some local rulers tried to keep some order, but it pretty much failed. Once the clans got started, they helped. It made a difference if people knew that if they attacked you, they faced a vendetta by the whole clan. But there was a period when life was very dangerous, though it was better now.     

Sam walked warily past the barbed wire fence that marked the boundary of the Fox clan. They lived up to the reputation of their namesake from sneakiness. Now would not be a good time to fall into one of their traps. But Sam passed without incident.

For a while they had been safe from invasion. Maybe others remembered the old, powerful weapons. Maybe they just had their own problems. But now the USAPs had come. And they were everything the locals detested. They were rigid, disciplined, unquestioning followers of their leaders. They had not been observed to show any traits of individuality. And they seemed bent on expanding their territory and integrating everyone into their structure. Rumors had it that in those areas that had already been captured, you faced an ultimatum: fit into the USAP's system or die.

Sam approached the old meetinghouse that had become the gathering place for the clans. He saw people streaming in from every direction. They sported the badges of different clans and seemed to be mingling together randomly, ignoring all the protocols for a meeting of the clans. As they entered the meetinghouse they saw Tom Riley from the Eagle clan standing in the front.

"We all know the situation," began Tom. "We face the danger of being run down and then gobbled up by the USAP machine. Individual and clan efforts to stop them have proved ineffectual. To successfully oppose them we need to organize, perhaps even find the old weapons. Therefore, as distasteful as we may find it, we need to put our feelings aside and bite the bullet. We need to form a government."

They all looked around in horror, realizing that he was right.   

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