Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Engines Run down

"You can hear them all day and night trudging to the lights. Somewhere over there they hope to find food, shows,medicine, to be cool in summer, to be warm in winter, to have lights that hold back the night. People stop and make camp but the line never stops moving. Some drop along the way, no one ever seems to bury the bodies. The bodies don't lay there long enough to rot. The line keeps moving toward the lights, I might join them."

We found the old metropolitan library, it's doors have been sealed longer then anyone could guess. There was a basement door that had been paved over. If we hadn't found that I don't know if we could have found the old stacks without having to risk lowering ourselves down elevator shafts. That's what they are now stacks, simply stacks of rotting paper. So much lost. I don't even know if the stuff is safe to burn.

My grandfather tells me in the time of his grandfather all the chambers in the arcology were filled with entire families. They all lived in large numbers, shoulder to shoulder. Sometimes two or three families to a single flat. Sounds like a stupid lie to me, I can't imagine how they could have fed everyone from the rooftop gardens.

There was a car moving down 5541st street. It was noisier then I ever imagined they would be. There were kids from one of the families down the street chasing after the thing, it could barely outpace them. There was this cloud of smoke billowing out of it. Clem claims one of the passengers , this big guy in a blue uniform and a crazy helmet with a gun who was sitting on the roof on a bundle of goods, smiled at him and waved as they passed. The car just went straight down the street (well as straight as it could) with these kids following it out of the neighborhood.

Each year there are less lights in the big towers across the bay. You hardly ever see any sailboats these days. I suppose someone should go and see what's going on over there. I don't much feel like climbing down 30 or 40 stories and get my feet wet.

There are screams in the night and they aren't all people. The big animals are back, some say they made them down there and they come crawling up out of the ground for fresh meat. They should have had the brains and not made them that way.

- a few brief accounts from the future, when the Engines Run Down.

Just a few ideas that hit me and I wondered about what a campaign setting could be like in a post-apocalypse setting that never actually had an apocalypse just a winding down , no bang and not many wimpers.


  1. Sounds exciting.
    --Will you please keep us posted?

  2. The Unpocalypse :)

    In his book Beyond Civilization (website here) Daniel Quinn speculates about civilization disappearing because people get tired of it, put down their tools, turn out the lights, and just walk away.