When the currency wars began in earnest, our children were still quite young. Tyler, our oldest by 20 or 21 seasons, had not yet even grown his first whisker. I know he will have some memories of the waves of decimation that inundated the world, but the other two won’t. Even Tyler will only have vague recollections, out of context, and centered around partial and incomplete truths. In the end, it is important for me to record these truths as I know them, so they will understand the beginning, and learn of the successes and failures of our people, both before the Currency Wars, and after.
We have now survived ten or eleven winters since the first attacks began here. Scott is now reaching later adolescence and Mae is still just a girl yet. They have now reached an age to learn of these things, and my work has achieved an equilibrium, allowing me a moment here and there to inscribe these annals.
Much of what follows will recount tales and and topics that we ourselves have experienced and survived. The issues remembered hovered over hearth fire and dinner table. And while I put this pen to page for the sake of my own children, I know these words run the risk of being read by others.
To those who might inspect my recounting, please know that I remain fully aware that these perceptions and retellings may differ in slight or great part from how you, your parent or even your grandparents told the tale, and will tell it again. Certainly, much herein will be familiar to you. The Currency Wars impacted all of us. We were all casualties, from the highest skyscraper to the barren deserts, destroyed for the treasures many layers of rock and sand kept secreted away from consumer greed as long as it could. The deserts are now toxic mud pits, and many mountaintops have been blown from their bases. Ghost cities now haunt the landscapes with their hollowed skeletons. But here, a clean snow falls softly in the timbers, and a warm fire joins our conversations with crackles and pops. With warm, home brewed cider in hand, these conversations telling the tales again entertain our evenings.
On occasion, a neighbor will join us to recount those days and to discuss our next hunt, or some city business. That city, our city, is a rather large one. No one keeps an exact census anymore, but I believe about five or six thousand call Bootjack home. Bootjack sits in what used to be the northernmost part of Michigan, a region in what was called the United States of America. Now we just refer to the region as the Upper Peninsula. The other communities in the Yoopee take days of travel to reach, and those often have fewer than one thousand living there. The population density is low, but the people are much closer. As it should have always been.
I look back now upon those frightening years, at the global tensions that precipitated the Currency Wars, and I am eternally grateful that the Wars happened. I reflect fondly that we have made it here, and that finally a peace unknown to western cultures beforehand now guides us, surrounds us, embodies us – and we embody it.
Perhaps, perchance, just maybe I’m wrong, but I’d like to believe that when a child is born, its parent or parents want to ensure the best possible circumstances for that child. A person, though, only exerts so much pressure and influence on the surrounding environment. Anyone that believes they can control that environment is either deluding themselves or acting in a way that ultimately led us to the Currency Wars.
We knew the Wars were imminent. We knew for decades. Some tried to stop them, to awaken the masses to the impending horrors, imploring them to stop trying to control everything, to just be good to the planet, and to each other. In their failures, our failures, you might ask, why would anyone want to bring a child into a world in which unseen powers controlled actions, thoughts, beliefs, and forced compliance and conformity? Well, the answer is simple, and maybe just maybe I’m wrong. The answer lies in the ancient fact, the most basic fact, the fact at the beginning of everything, the most fundamental thing, the most essential purpose and reason for anything to be: to survive.
From the homeless to the CEO, from the pharaohs to the presidents, survival of the individual, of the society, of the culture, of the way of life is the natural drive for all of existence. While the means and methods vary, the actions aim towards the same result. The difference between those actions is what so desperately needed reevaluation to stop the Currency Wars before they started.
By the time Mae was born, we already knew that we the people had lost all actual influence on the course of things. We agonized over the knowledge that we were, by bringing another child into this world, placing her in danger. But like the great fierce grizzly, we knew our resolve would intensify our instincts, and we would survive.
Now here again I might be wrong, you might disagree, and perhaps may deem me arrogant for stating as much, but as stewards of culture and society, our resolve to protect its survival through the Currency Wars intensified as well. And it was precisely that our resolve to be stewards of society and culture flowed so strongly, with such gait and force, that we knew beyond all doubt of reason that all of culture had to be destroyed and society annihilated through a devastation through which only a few would survive.
That few was to be us, the determined.
Through the pages that follow, my dear children, I want to share with you the lessons we learned both before and after the Currency Wars. I want you to see where humanity went wrong, to recognize the point at which humanity ended, and why it had to be rewarded with a sentence of death.
For you… my dear Tyler, Scott, and Mae….culture, society and a reborn humanity are the only inheritance that your mother and I can leave you. We can only afford to bestow upon you a convalescing planet, a burgeoning culture, and a loosely connected society. I tell you this story that you will not tarnish this bequest of untold value and continue what your mother and I have taught you. You must remain stewards of that which we have salvaged, of what your ancestors squandered. To do so, you must share this inheritance with others, with your cohort, your successors, and theirs. To hoard your legacy is to commit the errors that brought us to the Currency Wars the last time. Honor these meager gifts of ours, and share them with everyone that survives.
For anyone else that might find these pages, take of them what you can, what you will. Your agreement, your concurrence, these things are not necessary. These pages stand alone, a truth of mine, a dishonor to none. Find fault here, or in your own memory, or find none at all. Should you mine anything of value from these parting words, please do with them what I have requested of my own children, and share them widely. Share them, and watch the values take root, the society grow, and bear the fruits of culture.
Now I must pause, and stoke the the fire. The snow is falling outside in Yoopee, and I must keep it cozy for your mother and myself. These are the nights that we tell the tales. These are the nights we remember. These are the nights that we smile, as if on permanent vacation, warm in the frozen surrounding silence. These are the nights that we hibernate. These are the winters we have yearned for, the winters we have earned.
Let me now stoke the fires in the stove, and pour myself another mug of liquid flames. Allow me a moment to drift among my mind, and gather my thoughts. We now have time. We now have the whole world. Do not begrudge me this moment.
In this moment, we shall begin again.