Prompt by @zord189. The title of the post says all the rest ;)
This story focuses on a male hero, his image visible on a billboard above the city streets...
The polar bear hunting party was not the worst of it. The reason for polar bears gathering in hunting parties was worse. New species roam the Arctic, a lot of them apex forms of life themselves, where they came from, at least. In a way, that was also the reason I was here.
Not directly, I believe now. They seem to be casualties of planar chaos as much as we are, although we might feel we're the hosts of some otherworldly invasion. And not be far from the truth. The real truth, though...they are as much affected as we are, randomly, without making any choice of their own to be here. Without causing trouble intentionally.
Most of them suffer the worst of all. In an environment, they are not accustomed to, they perish in a matter of hours, for some tougher specimen it might be days...
But those who remain. They prove to be the toughest of them all. And you do not become an apex form, capable of surviving in an alien environment, by amiably endorsing the right of others to live, crawl on your back, cross your path, take nutrients away from you by just walking away when they could be pounced on, brought down, assimilated.
They hunt to survive, that's what I mean. They hunt polar bears, they hunt humans, they hunt me. I should run away, somewhere further south, somewhere tropical even, where our native cruel microorganisms would pose another lethal barrier for those new Arctic hunters from space. But I can't. Because I'm cold.
Wait, maybe that would leave you with the wrong impression. If you survive to read this. Confused already? Don't worry, I am not intent on failing. If I survive to reach the Source, you will not know of it but you will be ok. If I don't, well...
Saying I am cold I don't mean incapacitated. I mean it as a symptom. A shared symptom. I am cold so others are cold, too. For me, it was what I was all my life. What I have adapted to. Others won't get through it if it lasts much longer.
At some places, where reality walls get thin, where I can see the southern city streets as if through glass facades or as if reflected in such, the unnatural weather has brought life almost to a still. Soon there will be no food left, no way to transport food, not even way to produce food in quantities sufficient for whole villages, let alone the not producing megapolis. Oh, they produce, alright. All kinds of things that won't feed you but that required feeding. We've been feeding them all our lives. All our time.
One never knows what skillset the future will require. I did not produce food, too. But I also did not need anybody else to feed me during expeditions. Hunting and fishing provided for me. What I gave to others... That was mere data. Sharing experience they wouldn't have in a lifetime. I was largely deemed a useless explorer. Wasting budgets. Not providing even entertainment, as some did.
Now, here's all the fun you want. A cold snap from space or from another dimension. An impossible future. Now present. By nobody's fault. By chance. Had we considered how very much we owed to chance, anyway?
Now the only chance we have is for me to get through. If the hunting bears do not smell my sweat. If the aliens are unwary. If...sounds like giving things up to chance.
Not me. I got the skills and brains. Enough to close a door, right? Then...we might have the time to wonder.
Who opened the g********d door!?
Happy reading, writing, happy everything!