This year's 50,000 word story that I've been working on (and is no where near complete, sad to say) was one of the most ambitious writing projects I've undertaken, which I've come to call Project Patrician.
In this story, I've been telling the story of a small town, in the ruins of an America ruined by nuclear war in the 1980s, that, from it's founding onwards, parallels the growth and rise of the ancient Roman Republic, from Romulus to Julius Caesar.
|And, most likely, doesn't end much better. Or with a salad.|
Now, I haven't completed the story, but since I don't have much else to post, here is the prologue of my story to share. Enjoy!
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The history of our great town and it’s old Republic goes far back, right to the War, the one that ended the Old World. While few stories of the War have survived to the present for many reasons, such as lack of written works and stories being lost as older generations died away. While we know much of the history before the War thanks to books that survived the great global firestorm in small libraries and homes of those far from the targets, and then then years of neglect, weather and destruction after, it must also be acknowledged that what we have is just a tiny sliver of what there was before the War. While we have history books, school textbooks of science and math, copies of famous works of art, and in some cases the original documents of these great achievements in literature, sciences and art, we can only guess that, at most, maybe only 10% of human knowledge gathered before the end of the Old World has survived. This is, perhaps, a greater destruction than the fabled legend of the burning of the Great Library in long ago Ancient Egypt. This is a sad, but frequent occurrence in the line of work of a historian, that many great stories and facts of heroism and valour have been lost with time.
But what we do know, thanks to a few eye-witness accounts kept and documented, as well as the information gathered from sources from all corners of the Republic, was that the time period right before the War was a Golden Age. Technology was greatly advanced, with devices that allowed people to call someone else hundreds of miles away through cables or through the air, though I’m unsure how other people would not be able to hear them. Everyone with a cable connected to a “grid” had electricity, something that now is only for the richest of people. As we have seen in the ruins of the city called New York, they were able to construct massive, tall buildings that could house thousands of people. There self-driving wagons that could transport families or entire villages worth of people, though almost all examples have long since been scrapped and recycled. There were enormous factories that turned out all sorts of products that anybody could afford, and food and water that was safe, clean, and easy. They even had things called “computers” to store information and create new and wondrous things. Today, only a few of those computers still exist, and all of them, that I know of, have never worked.
At the time, the area that we live in now was known as the United States of America, one of the greatest nations that ever existed. They used a form of government not unlike our own, with elected leaders and representatives that met in Washington, D.C. If you go there today, some archeologists and historians have determined where many ancient monuments and symbols of the old nation existed in that city, though due to the destruction caused in the war, there is little that can be seen there. It was all lead by a man called the President of the United States, where we currently get the title for the leader of our Republic.
There were other nations all around the world that were mentioned in the books and newspapers that have survived from the Old World: England, Canada, France, China, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, India. While we know where they were thanks to Old World globes and maps, we do not know for sure exactly what they were like besides some pictures of monuments and buildings, some people dead for centuries, and some statistics and numbers that we are not one hundred percent sure what they mean. But there was another major superpower that was talked about constantly in old American books, called the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. From what we gathered, they were a despicable, hated nation that enslaved its people, promising them equality but instead giving them nothing but hard work, miserable living conditions and lies and falsehoods dressed up as facts. Their leaders were paranoid, corrupt and power hungry, and the old United States was terrified of them, but also confident that they were superior to them. This paradox of how a powerful nation could be both afraid and superior to another nation still confuses this writer.
But this book does not mean to tell the history of the Old World, or even of the years after the War. There have been many writers and historians before me that have gone into as much detail as they could about it, and it does not seem necessary to cover all those facts once again.
However, that does not mean we can ignore it totally. Had there never been the War, it’s fair to say that the Republic we know now would never have been born. The fact that the world ended 92 years before the founding of the center of the Republic, in the year that in the old times was given as 1985 lead to the destruction of the great cities of the old United States, the Nuclear Winter that lasted until 2035, the deaths of millions of people around the world from disease, radiation, famine and violence, and eventually the birth of new towns.
Now, it’s impossible for us today to understand and appreciate how much everything has changed, how the world was rebuilt by the men of the earliest times after the War and in the early years of the Republic. In fact, almost all of the ruins of the towns and cities of the Old World have been cleared away and rebuilt in the Republic, but in some areas, like in the far south and west, past the boundaries of modern civilization, there are still the ruins of once great cities. If you someday wish to get the full experience of what it was like back in the earliest years before the founding of the Republic and the return of civilization, those are the places to go.
But there are those that were brave or foolish enough to go and take pictures of some of those towns, and some people have even sketched or used cameras to capture what the ruins of cities like old Chicago, New York, Washington, Boston, Lexington, Cincinnati, and many others looked like.
In order to understand where our city, our Republic came from, it’s important to go back to the time before our town was even founded by our great founders, Alex and George.