They used to call it fanatic nonsense and propaganda. They used to shake their heads in resignation and turn their backs on the thousands of warnings; on the earth that crumbled underneath our feet, on the birds that flew from their nests and never returned, and on our own greed that corrupted us. We were children of the stars, and we bathed ourselves in the glory of intelligence and ambition that nature had offered us. Nobody ever stopped to ask why we were given this prestigious position in the universe; as the dominant race on our own fertile planet.
Now I am writing to you in an attempt to explain the process that lead to this devastation. I am not trying to make you understand, neither am I asking you to forgive us. What we have left for you is a desert of misery and despair, and I know what we have done is without consolation. Somehow, I believe it is in our nature, a constant ambition which drives us forward to reach new heights. The only problem is that we are mortal, and therefore impatient.
In my home city, there was a saying that went: “Life is energy, and energy is life.” We were the metropolitan of nuclear energy production, and our city was crowded with beautiful suburbs and wealthy people who always smiled. People from these districts never had a flaw, because the energy from quantum physics and split atoms had provided them with the ability to stay perfect. Radiation ran through their veins, applied by milky cream and strawberry pills made by materials such as E361, E429 and Chlorosymfabric, which nobody knew what were, and nobody dared to investigate.
My father used to work as an administrative advisor on the nuclear plantation that lies just outside our city, the plantation that provided us with our precious energy. I was a rebellious teenager with fiery red hair and a tattoo of a panther on my left shoulder, and I opposed everything the city stood for. Hundreds of times, I marched the city with signs and banners demanding that they shut down the factory forever. My dad used to frown at me over the dinner table and say:
“Without that energy, we would be living in cottages with only kerosene lamps and blankets to keep us warm.” I laughed at him and answered:
“If an accident happens on that factory, we won’t even have that.”
I spent most of my time indoors, communicating with other environment enthusiasts over the internet. I can only imagine how they use me as an example in their campaigns now, waving banners with my name in large letters saying:
“This happens if we continue!” … I guess it is a small comfort.
What I regret most, however, is not having appreciated what I fought so intensely for. Before the accident happened, I never gave myself time to appreciate clean air free of smog and infections. I suppose I never really believed that an accident would happen. Now, when I once in a while go outside of our bunker, I realize how much I miss to see green grass and breathe fresh air that is not filtered through a gas mask. I am going to add a photo of a field somewhere in Ireland with this letter, so that you can see how beautiful nature is capable of being.
We are about fifty people in this bunker, and depression is hanging like a cloud around us. The perfectness has worn off, and displeased, tired faces are all that is left. Some of the most prestigious families still cling onto their cash and stocks, claiming that it is worth something, that it gives them some sort of benefit. They tried to bribe a family to get one extra can of beans yesterday, but it did not work. Most of us know that money is worthless. That is, we know now.
I hope my sister teaches you how to read at an early stage. There are so many books out there which will open new worlds to you, all of them containing different mindsets and new ideas. Maybe this letter will help you in your education. If I ever see you, I am going to introduce you to music. You will not want to miss out on Slipknot and Metallica. Meanwhile, I know that my sister will take good care of you, despite the circumstances you are born into.
I am going leave the bunker tomorrow. Our wired fence is scraped and reduced by the radioactive wind that blows in from the west, where the nuclear plantation lies broken and wrecked, so we need to leave as soon as possible. If the fence is torn down, who knows which horrible mutants might find their way into our dark bunker. Me and two others are going on an expedition in an attempt to find someone, or something, that can be of any help. It is madness, some of the people around here say, but I guess that is just humans. Children of the stars with a constant ambition that drives us forward. Maybe this time we are doing it out of hope, rather than greed.
I hope I will get the chance to see you, nephew or niece. I was feeling my sister’s tummy yesterday, and suddenly you stretched you leg out in a firm kick. Seems like you are a strong one. Perhaps you even are strong enough to forgive us.