After the cleansing the once great cities of the "Undesirables" about five years ago "The Rulers" erected massive walls around these enclaves of privilege. Unmanned armed Predators flew day and night over the city borders seeking out any illegal crossing of "Undesirables"; if spotted they were immediately vaporized.
No questions, concerns, or ethical issues were ever raised when any innocent working serf was killed because this society was devoid of unauthorized questions, concern for others, and bothersome ethics. The hallmark of a long extinguished humanity was replaced with an entirely new mark of unfathomable evil.
Those who lived behind their walls of lust, excess, decadence, greed, and extravagance viewed all others as inferior. These were blood cities paid for by the millions in bondage and the hundreds of thousands left for dying with withered brains that had been thoughtlessly fried like fresh green tomatoes.
The elite who lived within the cities were the privileged caste that comprised political hacks of the police state, executives of the business gulags, old moneyed speculators, and the supreme holders of the business faith. All these leaches enjoyed lives of opulence without any concern for tomorrow or the future. They were the princes of their realm of suffocating greed.
Fretting over the latest fashion, which party to attend, if they should serve T-Bone or Rib eye steak at a banquet, which had the most desirable female working serf, and who among their simple minded lot would aspire to the title of "Vilest Persecutor of Slaves".
This special 'honor' was only given once a year to a member of the business class; the most esteemed class within the elite caste. Past recipients of this prestigious award had been Mitchell Farlon the preeminent lord of Microlax Software Industries, Gregory Norax the undisputed ruler over an empire that comprised construction & farm machinery, and Franklin Loudon the cranky agricultural king.
All these 'great' men personified the vilest bigotry towards the "Undesirables". But what separated them from their fellow enslavers was that they enjoyed pushing their slaves to the limit of their endurance. By "Jellifying" the brains of more working slaves over a shorter period of time they'd become heroes in this lopsided world. They were the models of superiority exerted strenuously towards the destruction of those they hated the most, those who held up their society sinking ever so slowly into the quicksand of obscurity.
The cities that these controllers lived within hadn't changed in years; they were the calcified remains of the last pre-ultra-capitalist democracy. No progress had been made in this stagnant gulag business state. Ideas, spirit, and dreams were crushed under an absolute religious fervor for stale worn-out truths. Truths that were preached by zealots one and all who knew that to ensure their place in the pecking order they'd have to fervently flash their fundamentalist zeal for all to see. There was no middle ground, only the sacred undisputed belief in an ultra-capitalist creed that enshrined a few special persons in crystal cathedrals while the masses clamored outside to capture fleeting cogent thoughts before facing a certain vegetative death.
On this night within the largest of these concrete tombs the sky was dark with rolling black clouds flashing silver white lightning. Illuminating these quite spires under the trembling heavens this lost civilization exposed itself in momentary bursts. Submerged in deterioration the city dwellers consumed ever closer to the bone until it became necessary to start leaching the calcium from the bones themselves. The grandeur of what was had been worn down to a tattered and torn façade carelessly hoisted by those with no care for tomorrow.
Scraping along in patterns on the pavement tiny three wheeled cubes traveled between the spires with their headlights piercing the darkness. Always looking for ways to cut costs the elite inhabitants of these past glory had shut down the power to their cities. With their actions rooted in darkness and their thoughts conforming to evil this had been a natural progression - this nighttime cave dweller mentality. Light only reminded them of how ugly they'd become, such a contrast from those who had built these cities. But light and mirrors could be avoided.
The warriors that forged the bridge from the past to the future were distant memories. Those among the powerful dreaded any comparisons between their pudgy little bodies, soft sleepy minds and the giants of mankind that had been the creative force behind all that they copied or abused. It was a comfort to the elite that all these forces of positive change had vanished along with their dreams and aspirations.
Gradually the rainstorm left the city streets moving out towards the countryside. Gliding over the sentry towers it carefully crossed into the desolate prison of the "Undesirables". Releasing its full fury on the defenseless souls huddled underneath trees, beat up tarps, and cardboard roofs nature remaining aloof in the struggle of mankind against humankind soaked the defenseless. Water drops plopped rhythmically into puddles laced with a chemical sheen. Rivulets carved small grooves in land without grass or weeds.
Trees reached out with limbs rotting from fungus brought on by a climate that had been pushed beyond the breaking point - carbon emissions had turned most of the planet into a greenhouse without any hope of new growth.
Bugs crawled freely, like moving carpets they caressed patches of soil in a positively futile attempt to rustle up something to eat. Most of the plants, along with the more animated organisms were extinct. This environmental sludge was a waste product of conducting business for profit alone - the weak elite minds controlling the world just couldn't comprehend cause and effect.
Waking up very slowly, Jim willed is mind to consciousness. Opening his eyes crusted together by a slimy film he blinked furiously to clear his vision. What he saw just enforced his lethargy - dark clouds, a bleak landscape, and tent after tent interspersed with other hovels lying carelessly on a dead land. Not knowing whether he was truly conscious or experiencing another well-formed deliriousness Jim closed his eyes to concentrate on feeling what his body felt.
Cold and wet were the overwhelming feelings that shot back up the battered nervous system to his burned out brain trying to make sense out of scattered disconnected thoughts.
Once again, Jim was at a loss in understanding how he had ended up in this new place with all these other dregs of a society incapable of the barest compassion. What had he been doing over the past few hours, days, or even years that were blank spaces in a chopped up memory? Why was the back of his head sore and swollen and why did his head feel like it was in a vise?
Every one of Jim's questions sparked sharp spasms of pain deep within his skull. Clearly, something was seriously wrong with him but with no hospitals, clinics, or doctors left on this side of hell he would just have to suffer quietly until it either turned him into a mumbling idiot or killed him. Those and other similar unpleasant choices were all that remained for those who existed simply to fill the pockets of income leaches.