Infernal, a cli-fi story, part #9

in Scholar and Scribe5 months ago (edited)

Welcome to part 9 of my climate fiction story, 'Infernal'. I started writing this story before I discovered the Scholar and Scribe community.
To those new to the story, it's pretty grim to start with but will become an inspirational piece after the scene is set.

You can find earlier chapters if you check back through my blog and soon (once I can work out Markdown a little better) I'll make a post of links that lead to the chapters of this and my other story 'Harbour'.


artwork by @iodacasamia.



We heard, through some of the kids who roam around the area, that a group had survived the night’s lethal mix of heat and humidity by lighting a fire. As unbelievable as their story sounded, they were adamant that it was the truth.

With so many dying around us last night, any positive story was worth investigating so a group decided to travel the distance and check it out. We packed a little water and some mushrooms from the tunnels as a gift.

We are flush with mushrooms and had several pounds to spare. The tunnels have done well this season, the season that used to be cool and wet and was still called, tongue in cheek, of course ‘winter’.

The tunnels were probably the last thing the local government did before its collapse. They had decided that people had the best chance of surviving the lethal heat below the surface and had connected up train tunnels, the basements of office buildings, apartment blocks and department stores with quickly dug tunnels. In some areas this, hasty, construction shielded people in the early days before the ground itself heated up and became only marginally cooler than the atmosphere, then the air stopped circulating of its own accord.

We are taking weapons with us too. The area between us and where the clever survivors are said to be living was one of the few areas where people hadn’t started working together to survive. There are several patches like this where resources and people hadn’t coalesced into networks of survival. The area we are to visit is one such area, so the survivor's story is more than a little curious. These areas are where people still compete and fight for fading control over diminishing resources.

The folks who live in these areas still attack folks who are unfortunate enough to need to pass through. This particular area is a holdover from the Payback. That was a time few people want, or have the energy to revisit. It was a time where folks finally became aware that there wasn’t any hope of fighting the juggernaut of a heating world and collapsing ecosystems that were killing us. Populists arose, as they do in any time of trouble and stirred up the anger of the crowds of overheated, hungry people and led mobs to , seek out and publicly execute people who had been vocal deniers of the climate disaster and the economic change it brought. It was ironic ( and few pointed it out at the time because of the great fear that was around) but the inaction of many of the common folk had done far more damage than the speech of a few vocal attention seekers.

Public punishment was the rule, the more creative and theatrical and the more suffering they inflicted the better. The litany of horrors is horrific - burning, suffocating, being trapped in hot greenhouses, staked out in the Sun, starving, drowning or freezing were all commonplace punishments performed in public and over what remained of the media.

As with all violent, popular uprisings throughout history, unless the victim was a well known public figure, it was unknown if many of the people were actually ‘purveyors of denial’ as they were labelled at the time or were just victims of personal animosities.

Those of us who have survived those times hate to think of them. The fires, the storms and the hunger had kept us busy trying to survive. Each time we thought that it was the worst the world could throw at us. We were wrong on every count.



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The revenge on none believers reminds me of when France was liberated from Nazi occupation. Thankfully they weren't as extreme for the most part, but anyone who didn't resist and was considered to have "fraternised" with the Germans was humiliated and punished.

I got the idea from the French Revolution. It was also inspired by some things I experienced in Vietnam too as well as some ideas that I got while thinking about what could happen if Trump got in again. I hope this part of the story isn't too grim and turn folks off. It is about to start taking its positive path but unlike the other story, Harbour, this story is about growth. Unfortunately, theres' not much !luv around, nor, sadly !pizza