Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Time Capsule

It took them several weeks, but they finally did it. The team of scientists, perhaps the last team of scientists on earth, unearthed the capsule from 20 meters below the hard desert floor. A steel cylinder, shiny once, caked with sand now. It looked like a giant, filthy suppository. But the sight made the scientists very happy. Understandable, considering the energy expended to dig it out. A painstaking excavation yielding nothing but pain for day after day. Reasonable hypothesis: We’re risking our lives to dig a giant hole in the desert. But the capsule was there. The ancient paper map had been accurate, if unclear. Reasonable hypothesis: We have it now. Our years of search have ended. The time capsule is ours at last! Their fingers bled, but they didn’t notice. The scientists cheered—until the arrows silenced them. They didn’t even have time to dust the damn thing off.
A band of ugly-looking white guys looked down over the edge of the big, square hole. Laughing, joking, really proud of themselves for shooting a bunch of starving old scientists in the back. (Time capsule? We know about it too. Thanks for digging it up, weaklings!) They had a good laugh, then started walking down the ramp.
These characters called themselves, “The Hard Men of Pure Blood.” In our time, we call them “assholes.” They dressed in a motley of grey fabric and ancient military crap, all stitched up with swastikas, skulls and SS emblems. Their idea of Nazi uniforms.
They studied the capsule. Big metal thing, crud-caked, pretty much nothing to see here, but the High Man said it was important, so they roared approval. Then had their cringing, castrated slaves put it on the cart that the scientists had helpfully provided and roll it up the ramp. Ordinarily, they’d desecrate the scientists’ bodies, but time was really a factor.
Later that night, the High Man would speak. (Actually, kind of a short guy. The dude in the incredibly rare genuine Nazi helmet.) He stood on a rock above a crackling fire. The Slightly Less High Men were gathered in a circle in front of the fire—Ah! My uniform’s on fire!—just a little too damn close. Was this a bereckoned insult? Does he scorn our purity of blood? The Low Slobs got the cheap seats; Women in the sex hole; Slaves in the place of torment, etc. Such is the natural order.
Mr. Nazi Helmet had memorized his speech, of course. Reading was for slaves.
Silence, making 'em sweat. Big tense moment. Crowd on the edge of their rocks.
The High Man cleared his throat and hollered. The Hard Men shouted back at him. A call-and-response ensued in that charming, pseudo-Germanic gibberish the Hard Men of Pure Blood were famous for.
“Speak I now of past and pain. All here know of firefeeding. Suchlike us made world of willing. Hail to Hard Men, dead yet living!”
“Hail to Hard Men, dead yet living!”
“Hard Men waste the world of weakness. Hail our Fathers!”
“Hail our Fathers!”
“World of weakness, Fathers hated. Menlikewomen, softweak all. Power also Fathers knew! Wield of kenning Fathers held. Pastways weak yet pastmind strong! Such hardlightkenning shone near all Godhidcunningdarkclefts, even “uncleftbeholding of firststuffs,” as writ, even also force to fly rock through air, carve rune to mindghost (or thinkthing spark to capture ken), even writing deep to lifeseedrune to formchange beasts, plants, even mankin, as willing was. Burning weak would burn such kenning. Fathers knew! Yet fire freed they, and kenning hid in suchlike wielding. “Time Capsule” called, where secrets hid—but now our hands do hold!"
He does that Nazi salute thing. Never gets old, huh?
Hail to Fathers! Hail to Hard Men!”
Hail to Fathers! Hail to Hard Men!
OK, OK, sorry about the Nordic word salad. In case you’re lost, the alpha male in the feldgrau garb is saying the "Fathers" (the macho jerks who used to run the world) started a nuclear war to wipe out the weak sisters. They figured that, despite the devastation, a few incredibly strong warriors—their "Children”— would survive and breed. Based on that assumption, these so-called "Fathers" put the secrets of their technology in various time capsules, buried the capsules for their "Children" to find, and then proceeded to burn up the world. There's also a lame explanation why some weaklings survived and a shitload of repetition. Let's just skip to the end of this wretched exercise.
“Fathers freed the fire cleansing. Fire fed on hard men willing. For we, their Children, Fathers died!”
“For we their Children, Fathers died!”
“Kneel we now to Fathers’ fury! Gift to Children shall be opened. Open now the gift of kenning. Hail our Fathers! Hail say all!”
“Hail say all!”
OK, OK. Now that the speech was out of the way, The High Man proceeded to open the time capsule. (Such honor was not for slaves!) Or began the process. A slave had showed him a diagram. Something called a “wrench.” Righty-tighty, lefty-loosey. Thus the slave had spoken before his death. Now it was time. The High Man got to work.
There were bright red letters …
Once you got the dust off, it was plain to see. If you could read.
Bolt by bolt, the High Man cranked. And cranked.
This was going to take a long time.

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