Even though they are no longer necessary to my quest, I still head for Savanna and Mobile. They are the most direct route into the swamps. Perhaps I won’t have to fight my way through either of them. Perhaps the lack of living captives has made both cities worthless as anything more than ruins. I will have to wait until I get there to fond out.
I stop just north of the Georgia state line and take out my mother’s rosary. I look at it for the longest time. Religion never gave my mother the absolution she sought. It never really kept her from harm.
In the end, all it did was make her a target. Her rosary ended up being the object that she was hung by while those monsters tortured her. And used her as food. I frown. No need to carry it anymore. Religion is a trap.
I throw the rosary into the river. Fuck man’s gods. None of them saved a single life. Money started too many wars. This one was no different.
Power and notoriety also started wars. Made enemies of best friends. Ignorance added fuel. So did self-importance. And the religion they had made out of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. All had been used as excuses to wage the wars leading up to the final Civil War that led man into these darkened times. All was one big false religion. Empty. Angry. Hate-filled.
I reject them all. Besides. Money, fame, and the rest failed man. they are of no consequence now.
Christ, if he ever existed, had never intended his philosophy to become a religion. So hard. So cold. So impossible to obey, and yet, all were expected to do so.
Those who thought outside the little mental box established by the self-righteous, greedy, hateful leadership of the religion called “Christianity” were persecuted. Hunted. Accused of persecuting the blind followers of the false prophets who claimed to be men of “God”. And now, none of them live. Well, almost none.
All religious leaders were executed early on by the political factions. Politics, alone, was their true god. Not God, Christ, or Allah. Not even Buddha or Chrishna. Or even the thousands of ancient gods who had been secretly worshiped by neo-pantheonites.
But they did worship war, money, hate, and materialism. They only bowed to one master, corporate CEOs. Sad. They destroyed a wonderful, honorable country. But, then, they had destroyed the rest of the world as well. Not to mention the Solar system. Had man spread beyond the Solar System, he would have taken his mental illness with him. AS he would have with the vampires.
Luckily, he had not. Not that he wasn’t close, but he hadn’t had time enough to. The Vampire Nation saw to that. The V.N. had seen to man’s fall. They had removed the threat.
Once Man had been taken from the level of master, vampires lost interest in space. Why travel away from earth when most of mankind was now enslaved? The colonies had been made desolate. Space was now uninhabitable. Or so they think.
I have to laugh. All it would take is one person who still had the knowledge of terraforming and oxygen production to reopen every dead colony to refugees. Then. man might have another chance. But is heaven for the resurrection of man’s control?
It is a good question. If there is a God, he has turned his back on mankind. Man has disappointed him too many times. Now, there is no hope of regaining his respect or attention. Perhaps he has picked some other planet inhabited by some other beings to be his chosen caretakers of the universe.
I no longer care either. God has his own reasons for allowing man to go through this hell. Perhaps it is to teach him how to be humble. Who knows? I don’t. Nor do I really care.
I have disposed of the antiquated symbol of oppression. The cross. the rosary. The memory.
My past is gone. I cannot afford to relive it. Nor can I keep memories that keep me in mourning. Mama will always be near me. I still carry the locket that holds her and papa’s pictures. that will suffice as memories. Memories of a happier time, when they smiled and laughed. Not a time when they suffered and died.
I cross the bridge. I find it surprising that the bridge is still intact. Most bridges were destroyed in the wars. If not then, then they were destroyed by the vampires to prevent the humans from escaping. Not that the ploy worked. Not at first.
I shake it off and head south. With Novoro in tow, I make my way to Savanna. I notice that we have picked up other Partisan vampire battalions. I smile. Once we reach the swamps, I will train them in combat. I will make them feared. I will make them a part of my group.
Novoro hurries to catch up. “Our followers number over a thousand. Apparently, they have given up on the Partisan. No biggie. The Partisan eyed us with suspicion anyway.”
I smile. “When we get to the swamps, I am going to train you. Once you all are trained, I will turn you loose upon the Vampire Nation. With more than one of us running around killing vampires without any group loyalty, they might just become easier to defeat.”
He smiles. “Sounds like a plan to me. After all, who would ever suspect vampires of killing V.N. lords and ladies? Definitely not the V.N. themselves. They aren’t that smart.”
I look at him. “But they are smart enough to attempt to place spies among those they consider enemies. I-we-need to be very careful. Not all are as they seem. I can smell an agent of the V.N. without any problem. And I smell one. I just can’t figure out who it is.”
He looks shocked. “It’s not me, that is all I know.”
I shake my head. “Not you. But someone who has just joined us. Someone who is trying to make us believe that they can be trusted.”