Note: The views expressed in this story are not, nor have they ever been, the views of it's author. The author means no offense to those who do believe and hopes he has presented your views respectfully.
Note: Apparently the story is dangerously close to The Long Dark. I swear I hadn't heard of the game before I wrote this and have had the idea floating around in my head since long before it came out.
The simplest explanation is usually the best one. Everybody wants the world to be more interesting, like there's some big crazy conspiracy going on and everything is very convoluted and... Interesting. There's no big conspiracy, the world is as it is. There's nothing going on behind the scenes.
There's nothing magical about this existence... Aliens don't walk among us, nobody can see the future, the stars don't dictate your personality.
I can see why people believe what they believe, though, it's just that it's a little pathetic. I mean I want the world to be magical and interesting too but the fact is it just isn't.
I wake up in the bare branches of a defoliated tree dangling from a parachute. I look around. It's overcast. I look up, take off the parachute and fall to the ground. Scratch the back of my head. I... Can't remember. What happened? Where am I? Why am I here? I start walking.
Wait... Who... Am I? I can't remember a thing. I must have hit my head.
It's so cold. All the trees have lost their leaves. There's a light dusting of snow on a very frozen ground. I must be very far north. I walk through the gradually thinning forest until I eventually come across a house. I go in and look around. It feels dusty and grey in here. I see a big bag of cat food torn open leaning out of the cupboard. I look around and see a beautiful black cat. Me and the cat exchange looks.
I walk down a gravel road until I come to what seems to be an abandoned village. It feels very eerie... There's a certain energy. An overwhelming energy. It seems like something very terrible happened here. I walk through the village until I find a grocery store. I walk into the store. It smells like mostly everything has gone bad.
I'm walking through the isles, putting non-perishables into a grocery bag. I hear a noise and slowly and silently begin walking towards it. I feel a soldier's instinct. It seems I must be a soldier, by the way I feel right now. I come to the end of the isle and slowly peek around the corner. At the same time a gruff looking homeless man is peeking around the corner holding a crowbar. I see the man and jump back and reach for my gun. I have a gun. Interesting. I guess I'm definitely a soldier.
The two of us are sitting across from eachother around his fire in the grocery store. "What happened here?" I asked. The homeless man just stares at the fire. "I said what happened here?" The homeless man just stares at the fire. "Hm... Where am I?" The homeless man just stares at the fire.
We're walking through a residential area. We both suddenly plummet down a hole.
It appears the homeless man is dead. I take a flashlight out of my jacket. Seems I was prepared for anything. I aim it across the pit and turn it on. Yes, the homeless man is dead.
I'm eating a raw can of soup... It has been a couple of days and the homeless man is starting to rot. I hear a man yell "Hello!" I yell "Hello!?" "I'll G-Get a rope!" "Thank you!" I stare at the homeless man's body. A rope falls down. I start scaling toward the top. When I get to the top there's nobody there. I see a house and walk towards it.
Inside the house, well decorated, beige walls, a man with dark hair and a pencil mustache is sitting and staring. He says "H-Hello! I saw your f-footprints in the s-snow. You should watch where you s-step! That was to be the new well!" "You left it unfinished?" "I don't want to finish it! G-Grunt labour is not for me!" "How do you get your water?" "I have b-bottled water I took some bottled water. There was n-nobody there so I just took it." "Hm. What happened here?" "I don't know!" "You don't know?" "I... I come home from vacation and everybody's gone. G-Gone! Nobody here! N-Nobody's left! It feels so... Weird. I'm r-rather s-sensitive to these things and I f-feel like the energy has a c-certain... d-dark magic to it." "I see... Do you have a backpack I could use?" "Certainly."
Dark magic...? I don't know about that. Guy seemed a little loony. I mean it's eerie but I'm sure there's an explanation. A reasonable, non-magical explanation. But on the other hand I do see how it feels like black magic. I feel a certain energy myself.
I explore the town for awhile... No clue as to what happened. I start another fire, I cook some soup... You know, this place is so creepy even I'm starting to think it could be some kind of dark magic. The next morning I keep exploring and come across a school. Naturally, I check out the interior.
I walk in and immediately notice a smell and cover my nose. I walk toward the gymnasium and there are several partially decomposed bodies inside.
I walk down the hallway until I eventually come across an open door. I walk in and turn the light on. On the desk there's a video camera and several tapes.
I walk around the school until I find the audio-visual room. I wheel the television back to the room with the tapes and put the first tape in.
"You are being lied to. You are an indebted slave. Slave to the government, the oil companies, and ultimately to the evil reptilian extra terrestrials that are feeding off your energy and growing ever stronger until the day they decide to enslave us all. We can stop killing the planet, we can make electric cars, it's easy. You're being lied to, it's easy to make an electric car that can go even faster than one that runs on gas. We can increase the energy of our planet and starve the reptiles of their precious negative energy."
Paranoid and rambling... Evil reptilians?
"The meat companies are evil. By eating meat you are supporting animal torture. We need to stop killing the planet. We need to live in harmony with nature. Use solar and wind energy. Hunt free range animals. Legalize all of this planet's beautiful treasures."
Fair enough, I guess...
"We need somebody who's willing to step up and take drastic action. Somebody who can take over this whole operation and start doing things sensibly. We are the future. We are the light. We must take drastic action. We are doing it for you. This planet is dying. We need action."
...Okay then, next tape...
"Everything is in place. They have our demands." "We're gonna pull this." "Yes we are." "Soon we will have enough to fund our operation." In the tape, a man walks into the room "We've just received word they're sending in an agent to negotiate." "No! We said send no one! We said drop the money and send no one! We said we'd kill the hostages! I mean, I'm sure none of us actually want to kill the hostages but that's what we said we'd do and we need them to take us seriously." "Well he's been sent." "Kill the hostages! We have no choice!"
I guess I must be the agent...
"Soon the government will crumble! Our mission is not over!" "Our propaganda has been sent to the local media. Our voice will be heard." "Our voice will be heard..." "Let's get out of this town. This town was just the beginning."
"Just the beginning..."