White light cut across the bleak black night bending an arc of painful remembrance on everything it touched. Jim crowded around a fire started from dug scrapes scavenged from a ground continually stomped upon. Blocks of pavement pointed at angles towards a hopeless heaven. Weeds broke down hard surfaces growing through these remnants of lost civilization.
The heartless powerful would use the word civil to describe their reign of power corrupted by hate. They were the grandchildren of those who had covertly taken control of lives that had once belonged to something grander than the exclusive fulfillment their self-interest.
A passing light once again moved across the littered landscape searing across a scene to horrible to comprehend - each pass revealed a glittering barbed wire barrier reflecting from here to there transient lives dying slowly.
How had he made it to this camp outside this factory? More questions exploded in his overtaxed mind than it could handle. Pain, horrible pain shot across his forehead making it impossible to take in the images, the sounds, all the keys to place and self his senses were providing his wounded brain.
Attempting to hold onto some tangible reality that wouldn't just slip from his hands Jim looked around him for a face not too preoccupied mumbling, spitting, or starring. On the rim of the camp he spied a woman who looked self-possessed - she at least didn't seem lost in any fantasy world.
Slowly getting up from his crotched position he gradually bent his stiff legs and walked in her direction. Carefully stepping between the ground dwellers spaces he moved closer to the edge of this smoky, filthy, stinking camp of a machine society. Thankful that he was still conscious Jim prayed he'd make it to this woman before he found himself in another entirely new scene.
Reaching the woman he looked in her blue eyes. Her eyes swam with compassion not the startled fear of an animal he saw in the others. She smiled ever so faintly at him before she said; "What's your name?"
"Jim Hauser. What's your name?"
Jim hesitated for he didn't want to convey any weakness. Weakness was never to be spilled out like sour milk in a world built upon absolute power. "Mary… What is this place?"
"Jim, this place. Well, you could call it a camp of Leftovers; those including yourself who are damaged goods in a society that values only youth, and sparkling clean ignorance. For now we're lucky that our minds are functioning; all of us in this camp have faulty wiring. Our minds after being sliced, diced, torn, and cut to make the perfect docile worker are scared beyond repair. Evidently, you are a Newbie for your just coming to the realization that you can't tell reality from illusion. Sorry, to let you in on this dirty little secret but you're undoubtedly one of us."
Feeling like a ton of bricks had been dropped upon him he collapsed to the ground. Feeling like worms were crawling on the inside of his skull Jim desperately attempted to stay connected to the here and now. Maybe, the shock of knowing what he tried to bury deep triggered this burnout.
He slipped into unconsciousness, mumbling with dead eyes staring at a dark horizon.
Meanwhile, inside the glistening sharp steel of the gate the masters representatives corrupted the conception of humanity; ripping it with animal desires, cravings, and cruelty. A cruelty that knew no bounds practiced daily by these 'free market' priests bent upon shoving a product through production regardless of cost in lives, limbs, and human spirit - nothing mattered but what they could glean in money like dew licked up with drooling mouths ready to lash out with snapping jaws.
When one of the cheap working serfs that they'd brought in was completely used up, the gate opened and his soiled disheveled body flew through the dirty air gliding across razor posts until its thump was heard in an outside ditch. No longer of use to the masters his decaying body was added to an accumulation of human refuse that sent up a putrid odor attracting vultures from the surrounding area to feed. The vultures seemed to be of a kindred heart to the masters because some had been captured, becoming pets that the masters carried in large cages on their journeys across the camp.
In the early days the masters would over stock their human warehouses filling them to the brim with cheap labor slaves. Equalizing their labor pools in accordance with the proverb of 'globalization' the cheap labor slave would either be consumed in his low cost country or torn from family to work towards a certain death within the labor camps in a developed country. The masters could be heard faithfully chanting every day at noon - "better to have more than necessary in order to use without care".
An exercise of control over each animal resource made for a docile compliant labor slave - they were completely dependent upon their masters. The master's only requirement was a place to deposit their receptacle - their church (camp) of evil that oozed production at a cost of immeasurable human pain. Nothing else mattered to them because theirs was an existence encapsulated in a hole that swallowed them in an excretion of greed - it had made them into deviants living on a gamblers addiction.
Raiders were now moving in a pounding surge beyond the hill to the north - a fight between rival camps could be discerned in the cries of those falling victim to the newly installed razor posts that were erupting from the ground.
No one remained who could buy - those who were not working had long ago been starved of income. Those working were fed and clothed but nothing more.
Those working serfs who'd been used up were disposed of only after their clothing was torn from their bodies - the 'masters' worked them till they died. When disposed in the ditch the remains of these working serfs were nothing more than skeletons with joints bloated into malformed knots.
A replacement was always to be had from the human warehouse - a stinking rusting hollow shell at the back of the camp shrouded in screams and clawing sounds from those who realized their fate. Their own kind would drag them from the building pulling them through the sharp rusty steel door tearing skin that left hunks of blood covered rotting meat that hung freely in the opening.
Awaking from his stupor Jim covered himself with a tarp after seeing the others perform the same instinctual movement. A cloud of poison emissions drifted below the full moon heading in his direction. He breathed slowly under his tarp until it passed. Such was the world he'd been left. The entire planet had become the exclusive dumping ground of the corporate masters. Water flowed with an eerie glow in streams lined with garbage purged from the camps. All the "leftovers" always drank water with trepidation, realizing each drop could mean a contorted painful death. A death that came earlier and earlier - none survived past twenty-five.
The masters continued to practice their economic religion against the relief of a blighted scared planet. No longer considered human beings, all the transformed, the worthless animals, awaited extinction around this shrinking pool of tepid water.
No strength, no dreams, no hope remained, who would tell the tale of a once beautiful past before the tumor of greed spread like wildfire. Trouble was it might already be beyond controlling.