I will be posting a story a day for a good while. These short-stories and shorts will likely be apart of the next collection in the Worked Stiff Series, Worked Stiff: Short-Stories to Tell Your Boss. This one should be entertaining as it is based on a Donald Rumsfeld speech. Your feedback is always appreciated.
As We Know
As we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We know they take the samples down into the caves. We know they store human tissue and combine it with the material to add to their collection. We know they take our dead without burial. We know they catalogue as many of us as they can when they are up here. The Podvals’ tactics may include a brushed shoulder or a fine and unnoticed prick from a cloaked passerby on the train. We know this happens. We know they use us. We know they are different; different in that they think they are somehow better than us. They believe they are a perfect form that will take over this retched, decaying world someday. The Podvals have shown us this with their coded propaganda and soft whispers. Their messages have been on display. They want us to be sure that we do know just what they are up to.
We also know that there are known unknowns; that is to say, we know there are some aspects of this daunting puzzle that we do not know. How did this eerie situation begin? Of course, we know why our hustle and bustle society is in ruins, why our cities have crumbled. Seventeen years of apocalyptic war and leadership that is now dead and gone takes the blame. What we don’t know is who they are and what they want from us up here, the still living, barely breathing. We must recognize that one day soon, they might capture one of us, perhaps a living child instead of a dead one. The Podvals might just steal them away to the debts, to their experiments. We must recognize that we do not know this answer. Are they even human?
Some have speculated that the Podvals are subterranean creatures from another planet. They are here to gather information and collect samples for a supreme takeover, an invasion made possible by our weakness. We know that we can’t find them. We have tried and tried with our technology left and the best men. Just to catch one Podval in these crude acts would help us to know what we do not. We have failed. We are ever watching with our lazy digital eyes on street corners, on platforms and in front of our own encampments. But when we try and pinpoint where they are going or for what purpose, we fail. It is somehow by design, their design. They have made it so that we cannot know, yet we know that we are missing key insight. Why? If they were so smart and cunning, they could just keep it from us altogether. There would be no reports, no sightings, and no victims. This is not the case. We know that we don’t understand their motives.
But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don’t know that we don’t know. These are the trickiest because there is no telling what will come next. There is plenty of speculation and hearsay which is what keeps the people of this once great kingdom sleepless at night. We are not sure what will happen tomorrow or if the unknown throng of them will take over. Planning a strategy for something so mysterious is useless. All we will be able to do is react to that which has not happened yet. We are sheep waiting for the ground under our feet to either lift us to the heavens or cave into the burning depths of hell. This is not even true. There is no truth to this because what we have not seen, have not prepared for, have not thought in our most horrific dreams, could still come to fruition before our eyes at any moment. We are not desensitized, we are the opposite and must remain that way, vigil. We must attack first, must not falter.
I will go down into these depths but I will not go alone. I could say that I must go alone out of bravery and concern for you all here. I could say that I will slay any man or woman who should try and follow me on my journey of truth. I could say that your children and their ailments of this God forsaken world need you to stay here and protect them. These would all be blatant lies. I believe that here-now-if we don’t come together and face our enemy, the Podvals will begin to take lonely survivors, take them from their tents or the market, and we may never know until it is too late. If they take ten, twenty, a hundred-over time we don’t know how that will affect our survival. We don’t know how many are left on this planet, how many of us there still are and what is to become our fate. I will not leave our existence in the hands of the Podval, I will leave it to you, my brothers and sisters before me. If we are to unlock the mysteries of the depths of hell, we must go together with our spears and our shields and never look back. Until we have found what we are looking for and have conquered that which is not known we can never sleep. Follow me now!