The Shadow Wars
The following material appeared in APA:NESFA in the early 70’s. It isn’t really a story, just the thought of a scenario in which a story could be set. Perhaps some day I will write the story.
The Shadow WarsThe shadow people exist only in shadows and fade away with the light. From the beginning there was war between the shadow people and the humans. Af first things went well for the shadow people. Their natural advantages were great. The country side fell to large scale guerilla actions – the farms were easy prey for the shadow people.
Even then there were many isolated holdouts. The humans could prepare during the day. They could protect themselves with light. But the shadow people had their advantages too. Darkness was their friend. When the humans were at their weakest the Lords of Night were in their element. The protection of light was artificial – its failure meant an instant change from security to danger.
The Cities of LightThe easy answert to the shadow people was light. Because of the strain on its resources due to the continuing war Humanity was forced to draw in on itself. Eventually most of the world’s population withdrew to the cities. Agriculture was managed by great Agricultural Stations that were run as great central mechanized projects. Because of their susceptibility to destruction these stations had to be ceaselessly patrolled; many small wars were fought in defense of a city’s food supply. Later the cities shifted almost exclusively to hydroponics and to the sea where their food supplies were less vulnerable.
Power was another weak point. External power supplies were a point of weakness that were regularly attacked. Eventually, however, the cities shifted to nuclear fusion plants contained within the cities.
Eventually the cities became practically invulnerable. They also became static. Safe in their encapsulated towers of light, humanity avoided the great countryside that it had abandoned.
Hugh CameronMany legends grew up about Cameron, but the facts seem clear enough. He was a half-breed and the first such known. One legend has it that his mother was in home that was being attacked and that she managd to convince the riaders that there were better things than killing. Another, less likely, legend has it that there was a desperate and hopeless love affair.
Whatever the case he was born among humans and it was among humans that he fought. Perhaps he was haunted by being half human – certainly he became on the most able fighters against the Shadow Lords in the expeditionary forces. He was not, as some legends claim, a great leader. He was a fighter uniquely fitted by inheritance to fight against his chosen foe. Among his fellows he was admired and somewhat fear. But his exploits were individual and not as a leader of troops. In any case the nature of the war was such that military action was on a small scale.
Perhaps, as legends suggests, his ardor was based on a need to prove his humaness. And perhaps he did finally try to seek out his father’s people and make his peace with them. And perhaps they did kill him for a turncoat. But it is more likely that he died a soldier’s death, and that when he was found face down in a field with a knife in his back it was simply an accident of battle. He lived, he fought, he died. The shadow people gave him life and they gave him death. In doing so they also gave him immortality.
The Fall of ChicagoOne by one the cities fell. Invulnerable in towers of light from attack without, they failed from within. Some died from disease, plagues caused by chance mutations. Some died by population decline, a failure of spirit. Detroit still stands, empty streets still lit by the fires of hydrogen fusion, waiting for human footsteps that never fall. Tokyo died when an earthquake destroyed her central power plant. Chicago died in defense of its life.
Chicago was well protected. Not only was there a central power plant, there also was a backup system for each district. However the time came when the central power plant did fail. Chicago was not worried. Although the district plants could not light the city perfectly, the lighting was very good. There were shadows, though, and they were taken advantage of.
Credit must be given to the Shadow Lords – they were alert. When they had their chance they chose their weapons well. They could not have cracked Chicago by ordinary means – it was too well lit. They chose a weapon, fatal to them but fatal to the city as well – fire.
With their entry they started fires, numerous fires. It was a kamikazi weapon, for it destroyed its creator instantly (although they faded with light, a too rapid increase in light was fatal – they did not fade, but died instead.) The fires destroyed great sections of Chicago. Eventually they were brought under control, but the objective of destroying most of the secondary power stations had been achieved. In the end enough of the city was destroyed so that the city itself could not survive. With the city opened up each nigh war fought in the ruins – valiant, hard fought war, but a hopeless war. In the end, only a deserted shambles of the once great City of Light.
This page was last updated March 1, 2005.