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Age of Iron 0001

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Никто толком не знал, когда это началось. Быть может, это взорвались атомные электростанции; сразу несколько, по всей Земле, в один и тот же год. Смертельный вирус, всепожирающая чума поразила весь наш мир. Она пришла и с земли и с воздуха. Кто-то говорил, что это конец света. Мы, земные животные, пострадали первыми, затем птицы в небе, потом рыба в море.

Ожоги. Ожоги пожирали нас изнутри, начиная с органов и выходя через кожу. Кожа гнила и облазила с наших тел, шелушась словно бумага. Мягкие ткани пострадали первыми; наши носы, наши рты, наши глаза.

Даже люди не смогли противостоять напору болезни. Многие из них пострадали; не осталась в стороне ни одна страна, ни один континент. Но, конечно же, люди всегда найдут способ постоять за себя. Американские ученые разработали вакцину, которая защитила бы людей, но как они не старались, нас, животных, они излечить не смогли.

Age Of Iron – Prologue

by Fargonon, Aug 7, 2013, 4:19:27 AM Literature / Characters & Settings / Sci-Fi & Fantasy / Settings

The Earth has forever changed, my friends.

It is no longer the fruitful planet we once knew. Green grasses no longer bend beneath out hooves, paws and claws, only parched brown foliage and dustbowls are left. Parched grasses and pale red skies. Life is no longer joyous, no longer does the sweet South wind fill our lungs with the scent of seawater, and no longer do our limbs reach towards the heavens in the triumph of a new day. No, my friends. All we know is waiting now. We await the next ravage from the sandstorms of the east, we await for them to swallow up the Earth and the few remaining specks of life from this planet. We wait for this sickness to run its course. We wait for the humans to give up their meaningless War.

Humans.

Those long-limbed, hairless ones who babble useless information into our ears, petty words of comfort. They stroke us with their hideous long-fingered paws, thinking that it is soothing. What foolish creatures. Nothing could soothe us now, not even death. Ah, why do I waste my breath? We all have been in contact with humans out whole lives from foalhood, have we not. Born in the confines of a small box-stall, or in one of those hideous Zoos. You, my wild friends, had it easy in your life. You were not forced to wear a saddle, or made to wear a bit and tuck your head into your chest, and dance in the Dressage ring. You didn't have to listen to herds of screaming humans as they sat in their ‘bleachers' and cheered as you flew over a jump just so your human could win a petty ribbon.

Pardon me, friends. I sound spiteful now. Yes, you are correct, Reagan. The humans did feed and shelter us, and shield us from illness. They have even tried to shield us from this one, eh? Of course they failed. This virus that plagues our bodies, and forces us to the confines of metal and rubber armor, and burns out skin. We all bear the scars. And yet, is it not strange how some young foals are born immune? You, Avalon, Morgrim and Fae. You strong younglings. You are all immune. I am glad for you all, however; you never have to bear this pain.

What's this, younglings? You do not know how all of this began? I don't remember, do you, my elder friends? Bah. Hm, what's that, Rayzorblade? Speak up, I am old, and my ears do not chime as they used to. Oh yes, oh yes. You have sparked my memory. Now I remember. The War began after the outbreak of the virus… they say the sickness originated in Asia, after the largest… what do they call it? Ah yes, nuclear plant. The nuclear plant explosion. Animals began to fall ill and die, their skin showing burns and flaking wounds, their mouths and their noses bled, and their insides, well, for lack of a better word, melted. The sickness spread through birds, rats upon the large metal cages that float upon the sea, which humans call boats, and of course, pets.

Entire species, gone. This saddens me.

Ah, but we all know humans, don't we. The fire in their hearts and the stupidity in their heads pushes them to make war against one's brother. That one population, France, started it all, did it not? After this country successfully made a vaccine to halt the virus, it was mass-produced and shipped out. But of course, resources are limited, so the production was slowed, and more vaccine was given to protection facilities instead of house-holds, farms, and zoos. Ah, the human France was the first to be the biggest threat. Their anger and the threat of danger for this American land was enough to send out a few shipments of medicine. But no, that did not satisfy anyone. Of course it didn't, youngling. Humans are never satisfied. The rest is history really, as the virus raged, so did the humans.

What, Fae? Oh, why are we here? Well, filly, we who are clothed in man-made metals and rubber are here because, simply, we cannot be saved, and what better way to use us than in a war? Don't worry, you will not meet the same fate. You will help the human researchers better the vaccine that halts the virus in its tracks. Maybe one day you will help cure it.

But for now, my friends, I am old. The armor clings to my skin and my breath is short. I fear my time is drawing near. Do not cry, Avalon, no. I have lived a good hundred years. You are still young, and foal-like, barely two season cycles have you seen! For now you will live a happier life than any of us have seen. Come, let us sleep, and dream of times past, of the green grass and the blue sky…

What's that, child?

Oh yes, my dear. The sky was most surely blue.

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