The following is are some of the excerpts translated so far by the docs team from writings found at the archeological site Prof. Grekham is proposing was the location of Goudwyn’s New Sparta, while the Professor is not yet prepared to claim that these writing are in fact the personal thoughts of "The Shepherd" these doccuments nevertheless provide a valuable insight into a time previously thought of as lost.
Prof. Grekham reminds you to treat these documents with all due care, as the faculty is well aware, any suggestion that "The Shepherd" was merely a man is likely to be met with anger and potential violence from the faithful.
I know, strange title to put on my memoirs. My confessions are no feeble hoping for forgiveness or absolution, I long ago decided that I would never seek such things for my actions because the real truth of this new world is that ends justify the means, that the pain and brutality with which I have ruled my people has its purpose.
I write these words for my youngest Thana, my bright shining gentle light, that he might know his father and know that a time is coming when his gentler heart may be what's needed in order to keep what I have held by violence. A lot of pressure for a seven-year-old I know.
I write this for my all my other children and my brutal young Spartan warriors, those children of my heart who I have so conditioned to the use of force and aggression that their minds are like hammers to which every problem appears a nail, so they know what it is we have been actually been building and prepare them for the changes I have planned once I’m gone.
Several pages follow this headed with the title “To Thana I hope you have kept up with your Latin you’re the cryptkey” these pages have not been included within the documents you hold due to our inability to translate these passages. Prof. Grekham insists that translation is next to impossible with our poor understanding of Latin, a language apparently considered dead even before The Fall begin protected by a clear reference to encryption.
Where to start?
What’s actually important for those who follow to know? Do I start at the beginning? Where is the beginning, is there any point in writing about all the problems caused by the righteous faithful. Do I write about nuclear proliferation and patriotic nationalism driving a wedge between the world or peak oil, or the solar flare or climate change and invention called “Lord” breaking his promise with the new great deluge or how the left made the thought police of 1984 a reality.
Does the how even matter, does knowing any of it change anything for my New Spartans, to know that once man had a chance to reach the stars and punch god in the face?
Perhaps the end was the beginning, that blessed tabula rasa. In case you even now have failed to grasp it, Earth was never in trouble it was the people that lived on it and when mankind failed the fall revealed the truth in that old quote “hell is other people”, for many I became that hell.
Before the fall, I was close enough to being a pacifist, I had always viewed violence as first resort of those too weak to command their own emotions, I was fit with a healthy strength but not a giant of a man, and only reasonably bright but next to no practical skills so what changed?
Long before the fall I had my ribs tattooed with the words “The sleeper must awaken", its part of a quote from my favorite author it's not surprising you don't recognize the words considering I had my Spartans burn his books along with everything else that didn’t suit my needs, the full quote read.
Without change something sleeps inside us and seldom awakens, the sleeper must awaken”
The change was massive and the sleeper had awoken, there are no snowflakes in hell, if you or your progeny survived those first five years its guaranteed you have blood on your hands, the meek didn’t inherit the earth they perished along with everything that made them.
Some might say those first months of hunger broke my morality, I say hunger taught me just how far I was prepared to go in order to survive.
Let me teach you about hunger, only the extreme fringe had prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling food and weapons their numbers amounted to almost zero in respect to my home city and I to my misfortune was not one of them.
Supermarkets where emptied, food deliveries had stopped, martial law had failed and the armed forces had turned in on themselves and destroyed their power, even in my small home city of two million it took only a matter of days for riots, looting, and the mass exodus to start.
Humanity in starvation behaves like a plague of locusts in times of over overabundance, in those first days I managed to loot a few places others missed or failed to completely strip a local sports nutrition store netted me as many much as I could carry in protein powder and a stack of vitamins to help stave of basic nutrient deficiency, some simple antibiotics from the little vet store and a very realistic but broken bb gun pistol that couldn't even fire a pellet and a machete that still had a good edged to it from a local pawnbrokers.
I stashed 90% of my haul in an old mining exploitation cave I didn't think anyone knew about, things had gone well for me in our local hills, I had managed to keep hidden from others as they continued their zombie-like march in search of food, until when venturing out for water I came across a starving frightened young woman and her 5-year-old child, she was beaten and bruised, and there was barley enough of her clothing left to cover her modesty, she placed herself between the child and I, her body tense and eyes defiant she flinched as I unbuttoned my shirt but snatched it quickly from the air when I threw it to her.
So into their Shepherd's arms they came, back to that unmarked cave, I refused her offered body that night, I think she felt she had to buy her childs protection but I had never been one to leverage someone elses missery or fear, my first real lesson came some three days later when in the middle of the night they vanished and my stash with them, all that remained in my possession was the broken bb gun and machete that never left my side.
It was two maybe three weeks later, I'm not quite sure, I felt I would never get the taste of roach and worm out of my mouth no matter how many I ate they never satisfied. It was dusk when I smelt it, smoke and roasting meat I had been sticking to my plan avoiding everyone that was still in the area and I was loath to break from that now but that smell moved my legs of their own accord ever closer to its origin.
Hunger makes you stupid, before I knew it I had walked right into the middle of a campsite, no observation, no recon, hell if one of my Spartans behaved as I had his head would decorate the training grounds, intent on his cooking meat the camps sole inhabitant didn’t even turn around until I was right behind him, he just had time to register surprise as he stared down the barrel of my toy gun before my machete bit into his neck.
I remember burning my hands and mouth and as I gorged myself on the meat roasting on the fire, I remember savoring every bite, I remember licking my fingers clean and finally tearing myself away from the meat and the fire to examine the campsite for anything worth taking, and I will never forget that small body slumped at the base of a nearby tree its small right leg roughly hacked off.
Soylent Green is people, I knew then the world was dog eat dog. I wanted to vomit but my body refused to let go of that vital protein, It's was a strange moment feeling simultaneously shattered and reforged in the same moment. I decided in that moment I would do anything to survive, I decided that nothing was off limits to restore order to the chaos and that everyone and everything would be tools to that end.
It should now be clear to the faculty just how dangerous these documents may be the suggestion of The Shepards humanity alone would be enough to cause for caution let alone the suggestion that he resorted to the consumption of human flesh.
Even more dangerous sections such as the "Extermination of the Superstitious" have been translated but for the time being, the Professor insists no copies may leave the vault
Thankyou for taking the time to read my entry into @neoxian's Prodigious and Desolate Post-Apocalyptic Writing contest!