Posted by davidludwig
Aug 31 2011

JC – Eden

Jedd Crane followed his father nimbly down the steps of the overgrown ruin. This was the best preserved ruin they’d found in the wilds, and both of them were excited to think what might lie inside.

“Laser defenses!” Jedd’s father was practically beaming as he flipped the telescopic attachment for his glasses into position. “Mirror, there!” He traced back a coordinate for Jedd from the sentry-eye he had spotted.

Nodding, Jedd released a small circular mirror from his left gauntlet. He felt a sense of relief from his tired body as he shifted the weight of his pack and crouched down to slide the mirror to the location his father had indicated. No one really knew what had happened ten years ago. Sure, a lot of people had theories—those crazed Prophets claimed it was an act of divine judgment, that the new Eden was in fact Hell and any humans still present had been left behind. The mirror reached its location and a thin beam of red light shot from the well disguised sentry-eye before reflecting straight back. The laser turned blue as the system efficiently disabled itself.

“You hear that, my boy!?” Jedd’s father clapped his hands and rubbed them together excitedly.

There was the quiet hum of power that had been their first good omen regarding this ruin… But not hearing any change or new sound Jedd shook his head in response to his father’s query. “No, father.”

“Exactly!” Jedd’s father’s mustache was all aquiver from his excitement. “Whole system was disabled there! Not a short in it, anywhere! We’d have heard it from this deep.”

Jedd smiled as he followed his father into the next room. This could be it! This could be what they’d been looking for all these years! A repository of the technology lost in the Reclamation, a chance to return things to the way they were supposed to be! Jedd’s father had amazing stories about power grids that crossed countries, instantaneous communication from one corner of the globe to another, things that had existed in Jedd’s time but he had no real memory of. Jedd’s father was an archaeologist with the Conservationist Corp—a position that had become extremely important since the Reclamation. Jedd remembered stories about how his father and mother had been farmers before, and how his father used to love to invent things or touch up his farm equipment to perform better… It had been the farmlands and areas with lower populations that had been lost in the Reclamation.

Jedd’s father had taken him to the doctor in the city on the day it happened. Really all he remembered was the big wall of leafy green plants where their farm used to be… And his father burying his face in his hands and crying right in the middle of the road. Jedd never saw his mother again.

Suddenly the whole ruin shifted! Even as Jedd was looking around for the source of the disturbance, his father shoved him back into the previous room, seconds before a steel wall slammed down separating them. Red lights were flashing now and the hum of power seemed to crackle at a much greater level than before.

“Father!” Jedd slammed his palms against the steel separating him from his father, “What happened? Did we miss a control panel?”

There was a bit of a pause, but then Jedd heard his father over the ominously growing rumble. “Yes, but we won’t be able to get to it now. Jedd, my boy, you have to get back out to the left hand wall where we came in. There’ll be an access panel there. You’ll have to override the system from outside.”

“Yes, I understand!” Jedd was already running back up the stairs as he yelled back over his shoulder, “Hang on, Father! I’ll have you out in no time!”

The ruin collapsed in on itself in some self-destruct mechanism even as Jedd was running out. Though he searched for hours, there had never been any access panel on the outside. Jedd never saw his father again.



3 Responses

  1. Sarah says:

    Wow… that’s sad…

    • davidludwig says:

      Thanks for all your comments! As things unfold you’ll find each Wednesday piece is coming from one of the worlds inhabited by the girls when they’re awake. Needless to say, not all is right in their worlds.

  2. Marsh' says:

    It’s really a touching story. Even though I don’t even know Jedd’s father’s name, I feel like I know him better than people that may know his name in that world after reading this. Very interesting feeling.

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