Genesis On Friday: metaphor of heaven
July 16, 978, Genesis Empire, Eden country, Alf city.
Work always piles up no matter how hard and fast I try to finish it. Not that I wanted to slack off, but being in a packed place with the smell of gunpowder for twelve hours straight was no fun.
While trying to hold back a sneeze, I assembled the parts of the K-98 sniper rifle on a roller table. The conditions are boring here; everyone with grim faces focused on the most murderous weapons in the country.
"Want to have a sandwich when you get home?" A teenage girl next to me whispered softly.
"You have the rest of the ingredients?" I'm excited to hear that.
"Well..the clergyman gave my mother a lot of needs yesterday." He looked around to make sure.
I nodded in understanding. "Do you think the religious leader likes your mother?"
The teenager glared and hit my head with the butt of the gun. I winced softly and pinched his stomach back.
"Don't make my mind any more confused, Dahlia." He said nervously.
"It's possible, Saria. It's odd that the top people would glance at the slums."
"Well, my mom said they'd ask her about her dream as a paycheck."
"Sounds like a ridiculous excuse." I squeaked until I finally fell silent.
The supervisors came around checking our work with intimidating faces.
"You're slow! You think that weapon can self-assemble?!" The uniformed man spat out a teenage boy. His wrinkled hand slapped the boy's face until he fell. The commotion that gave birth to silence, everyone in the place stopped their activities.
"What are you looking at?! Work!" The man with the mustache shouted at us.
No one wants to fight. Of course it's too risky. I realized that I was in a position like a working slave who had no human values.
The boy stood up, wiping the blood off the edge of his lips. He continued his messy work, but soon realized he was being watched by me. Instantly I panicked, withdrew my gaze and continued assembling.
For a moment I thought that she would report me for being quiet while working, until finally Saria woke me up with a smack of the butt of a gun to the head.
Dusk and black smoke overshadowed the half-collapsed factory. The pile of debris from last night's grenade explosion I decided to become a picnic spot this afternoon. I climbed up then lay down on the rubble looking up at the dark sky far beyond. Not cloudy, just a little puff of smoke from the weapons of war.
Saria came beside me while carrying a food basket. With crusty bread, wilted greens and two slices of sausage I stole yesterday, we made a perfunctory sandwich .
At least it's not as bad as my bargaining ration this morning. After a while I looked at the sky, I realized something.
"Wasn't that guy our classmate back then, huh?" I turned to Saria who was enjoying her sandwich .
"Richard, the illiterate kid in class. Why is that?"
"Geez!" I clapped. "He's the son of a friend of my father's! No wonder I've seen him!"
Saria just nodded, looking disinterested. "Just that?"
"Ah! The Book of Genesis from yesterday can I borrow again?!" I asked enthusiastically.
Saria took out a book with a brown leather cover from the basket, handing it to me who was ecstatic.
"I'm not really interested, you can return it any time."
"I think the contents of this book are very beautiful."
Saria squeaked. "Nonsense. Everything is contradictory. How can you only do good to make the world a better place?!"
"Isn't that what humans should always do?"
"But look at my father! Up ahead, the field of bloodshed that took his life while trying to save a child Magus?!"
I look sorry for Saria's face which is covered in veins. An old grudge that continues to ignite it. A misunderstanding due to the ingrained enmity of our ancestors. His father died while trying to save a child of the Magus nation. His body ended horribly, burns sticking out all over his body.
"The book is a contradiction, on the other hand god told you to do good but on the other hand god told you to kill the Magus. Maybe someone has changed its content."
Saria hugged her own knees, resting her chin on them. Gazing far ahead, his brown irises glazed over.
"Mom's going crazy because of that.." she sobbed, I hugged her body, letting her lean on my shoulder.
"My father sent a letter, next week will be the final attack and make sure the Magus side has nothing left. So happy Saria! We will move from this slum to the western continent!" I smiled widely.
He smiled wryly, hugging my gunpowder -smelling body tightly. "I always wanted to cheer you up, Dahlia." He then let go of her hug.
"Hey you guys! Get down! It's time for the factory to close! You think this is a house of worship!?" The man grumbled down there.
Saria and I went down right in front of him. Before the man could hit, we were already scattered to run away.
The fat man shouted in annoyance, but did not chase us. Of course he prefers to close the factory and relax in his study.
17 July 978
River water is the best thing in my every morning. Even though it was cloudy with dust and gunpowder, at least the cold could beat me to wake up. Bathing naked in the morning is a strange thing that has become my habit. With the murky water of the river, newspapers and hot coffee that I cooked earlier, this made it like a bathtub in my old house.
I didn't have to worry about anyone peeking, because there weren't even any bushes and trees around here, so I could relax without worrying about someone peeking at me.
The morning wind blows all over my body, making me rush to put on clothes. A tattered black T-shirt over a tattered brown jacket, patched blue jeans and black shoes that were nearly ripped out. I put my long white hair in a ponytail, mirrored to correct my bangs then grabbed my empty bag and ran towards the main road a hundred yards from my tent.
A truck carrying weapons materials passed slowly. I jumped up and grabbed the carrier door, climbing up to get inside. This is how I commute from the factory, free transport.
I walked down the pile of crates to reach the window that would see through to the wheelhouse.
"Yeah, beef burger." A plate of burgers appeared across the window. Realizing the driver was focused on the road, I took the opportunity to open the window. It's a great ability that I've been hiding; steal.
"Thanks for the breakfast." And I climbed the crate ignoring the driver's hysterical screams.
"I bet I put the burger in there!"
"You may have eaten it, fat. Forget it!"
"How could I ignore it! This happens almost every day!"
I tried not to laugh, the two fat and skinny officers arguing stupid things. The mustache – the skinny one looks embarrassed by the story of the fat morning burger.
"Your father is home today?" Someone whispered next to me.
I turned and found yesterday's teenage boy. "Ah, Richard.. of course not. What's with that?"
"My father sent a letter yesterday, the enemy is surrounded. This afternoon it is possible that my father's army will attack."
"Can you read?" I was actually surprised by that.
"You didn't listen to me, but most of all I want to say that your father was hurt last night."
I immediately listened, ignoring the officers who were pacing looking for prey. "How is he?"
"It's getting better, he can even go to war again."
I'm relieved about that, I pat him on the shoulder and smile widely. "Thank you, Richard."
He seemed like he was blushing. "Your eyes..beautiful.."
He immediately turned his head. "Sorry, forget it."
I was stunned until I finally returned to the work in front of me. I have no opinion on that.
Good news, all workers starting today are ' freed' . Like cattle being let loose, everyone burst out in cheers. I just stood looking up at the sky. There is no longer thick smoke that soars high, the sound of artillery pounding is also no longer heard, I never thought this day would come so quickly.
"Want to try riding a tank?"
The man with the army green address stood in front of me. He smiled even though his unkempt brown sideburns were in the way, his right hand was bandaged with a blood wound that had not yet dried, his bangs of brown hair were almost as long as his eyebrows.
Look at the man who hasn't been home in six months, he's been a mess since the last time he left. There was even a large stitch on his cheek.
"Are there no scissors to tidy up the forest?" I laughed as I pointed at my own face.
He laughed, stroking my head gently. "Even scissors are rarer than bullets, boy."
"That's a bad joke, dad." I didn't laugh at that
"Good afternoon Uncle Leonhart." Saria greeted behind me, Richard also followed beside her.
"Long time no see you guys! How is your mother, Saria?" My father rubbed the heads of the two teenagers.
"Well, at least he can join today's parade without causing any trouble." Saria chuckled.
"You knew about that?" I guess Saria doesn't know yet.
"Richard is my neighbor," Richard nodded slightly.
"So the three of you know each other? It's great of you Saria to get this cave kid to want to get acquainted." My father gripped the top of my head gently. I just sighed in annoyance, an embarrassing family joke.
"I'm not an ancient person, father!" I lightly hit his arm.
Everyone laughed, except for Richard who was surprised. "Can we go straight to the main road? My father is waiting for you there."
Thank you Richard, you are the second best man after my father. At least I'm not the subject of my dad's ugly jokes anymore.
"Sorry dad rarely sends letters." We walked over the ruins of the building.
"I understand that. The most important thing is that dad can be here is the best answer." I chuckled. Haru and longing are integrated in my heart.
"Sorry for not wishing you your birthday. You look more mature." The brown iris stemmed the longing.
I smiled a little. Not blushing, but I realized that stealing isn't a sign of maturity.
"After this, what do you want dad?" I stared at her brilliant brown irises.
He smiled warmly. "Father will probably retire, become an ordinary worker who builds our new residence later..."
A bright hope awaits, after going through this road full of obstacles, finally this hand will be able to reach it.
But somehow, a little, a little bit of me wants to look back. Seeing the pile of corpses that became our foothold.
"Was it Dahlia's decision?" My father asked.
"Eh? What do you mean?" I tilted my head.
"Was it your decision to come with Dad?" We stopped for a moment to stare at each other.
"What are you talking about, of course I'm coming!" I smiled broadly, but that didn't change his flat expression.
" Live for yourself, live for your choice mes-"
"Even though we can't choose who we are born into, we can decide who we are." I cut short his advice.
Dad and I stared at each other, hanging an awkward atmosphere between us.
"I understand about it, father always taught me about it, so don't worry about me anymore."
"You don't understand Dahlia...we are slaves of this world, therefore live for yourself, live for your own decisions."
I don't understand what Dad said, I can only keep silent while looking at his figure who looks so sad and fragile. His head was turned to the sky, as if he saw something.
"Live for yourself in this cruel world."
It's the first time I've seen an Infantry tank in sight. The armor looks thick and strong even though the marks of bullet and grenade attacks are imprinted here and there. The barrel was barely four meters, though I knew it wasn't enough to break through the magic of the earthen walls of the Magus.
"I've got some sodas for you guys! So hurry up!" A man in the uniform of my father emerged from the cockpit, he was wearing a hat with a three-winged badge. His face looked much older than my father's, judging by the wrinkles around his warm eyes. It was Charles' commander, Richard's father.
We all climbed up into the cockpit of the tank. It's wider than I thought, of course because it's an Infantry type tank. Richard looked admiring the intricate panels of the steering wheel while Saria still looked in disbelief as she climbed into the thing she had always looked up to at the back of the factory.
"Sit wherever you like, or if you want to stand, please!" Commander Charles called out kindly.
"This is amazing! Is it true that this tank can absorb the effects of explosions!?" Saria asked enthusiastically.
“Of course! Even a tank assault rifle cannon, even if it's an Infantry type! ” The commander chuckled, then steered the tank to a walk.
Slabs of steel spun through the ground, the six meter tall tank sped down the highway. The wind blows my white hair, I glance at Saria who is grinning happily even though her mouth is stuffed with brown hair.
"Why is he this late?" I whispered in Richard's ear
"Dahlia knows that she really wants to be a mechanic?" The short black haired teenager actually asked back.
I frowned, Richard exhaled. "Saria got excited when I told my dad was coming home."
Something hard landed on the top of my head, until I realized it was the soda bottle my father had given me. We take it and drink it together, it always tastes great.
"Commander doesn't drink? Let me replace it." My father offered.
The man in the hat shook his head slowly. "My ration has been exhausted earlier."
"Unfortunately the commander forbids drinking wine , even though it has been six months."
I lightly kicked my father's knee, he chuckled softly. "Just a little, Dahlia."
"Come on, I'm sure the enemy has given up. They don't even dare to come out."
Laughter overshadowed the day, this really felt different from the previous days. As the tank descended the hill, I saw something amazing.
In the sky, a giant hot air balloon with red blue stripes floats a flag with a golden apple on a green background. Garbage hauling trucks were magicd to transport the parade with makeshift decorations, even plastic snack wrappers as decorations. A city with dense buildings, becomes a backdrop for this festivities.
An impromptu wooden gate marked 'independence day' was held in high esteem by the people. And when I looked to my left, dozens of tanks of various types were lined up in an empty field. This is truly an insane amount of troops to end the war.
"You see that, Dahlia?" My father pointed to the row of tanks. "That is our hope, with that armored vehicle we will find a new place to live. Not here, in a place where we are taken advantage of by people who are too rich." My father rubbed the top of my head.
"Well, even if it's just scraps, anyway. At least the barrel didn't explode while firing." Commander Charles squeaked.
"This is the day of our independence from those greedy people!" Saria exclaimed.
I smiled, getting carried away. We are not that stupid to be manipulated by the politicians, we know who the real enemy is.
The crowd split as the tank entered the city. The balconies and rooftops of high-rise buildings filled with cheering people, the sidewalks filled with crowds marching in the direction of the tanks. With chants and chants of prayer, people flocked to the city center.
And when the tank was right near the city fountain, the crowd immediately fell silent, as if they knew they wanted to hear something.
Commander Charles jumped up behind the tank. "Victory is in our hands!"
Everything was noisy again, then silence again. "O my friends, young and old, male and female, this historic day will be our first step towards freedom!"
"With the last ammunition, we the troops will break through their fortresses! Pave the way to the development of our country! Be proud people of Eden!"
This is the loudest sound I've ever heard. Everyone was screaming, shouting, laughing mixed to incoherent. Even so, the same spirit blazed in my heart.
"Uncle has a present for you!" My father shouted in our ears.
"What's that!" I shouted back.
My father handed me a small, lightly splattered pouch. "Use this money for all you can eat!"
I laughed happily, Saria even hugged me and muttered thank you.
"You kids get down! We'll be heading to the base soon to attack." Commander Charles tapped my shoulder.
We obeyed, turned around, but my father held my hand. "Eat until you're full, Dahlia!" My father smiled warmly, I laughed and kissed his hand.
"I'll eat until I'm satisfied!"
The gallant tank was back on its feet, but was now walking backwards towards the 'park'. The crowd resumed chanting and prayers, while others began to disperse to hunt for food to celebrate this important day.
Alf City was the outskirt city in Eden country, so development here was perfunctory. The city is only fifty kilometers wide with twenty thousand inhabitants. The only thing that looks decent here are the houses of worship belonging to the rich people.
No matter how bad I describe this city, I still love it with all my heart. Familiar faces and narrow streets mapped in my memory.
"I want to buy a bakery now." Saria laughed evilly.
"Not enough money, idiot." I elbowed him in the stomach.
So many choices that I'm confused. Finally we bought a lot of food to try one by one. While Saria and I filled our stomachs, Richard was engrossed in filling our minds with the books he bought.
"Books can't be eaten, Richard." Saria squeaked.
"Everyone knows it's Saria." Richard replied lazily.
"I mean, try joining us."
Richard smiled a little. "IM not hungry."
Me and Saria were really full, decided to sit on the park bench, staring in disbelief at the crowd.
"Saria, what are you going to do after this?" I asked the origin.
"School and become a mechanic. Then go explore this world." Saria answered without hesitation.
"Where are you going?" Richard left his book, joining our conversation.
"Babylon! A mechanical fanatic will never miss the world's technology center!" Saria replied enthusiastically.
"Dahlia?" Richard turned to me.
"Hmm..maybe to the southern continent? I don't know for sure but I want to visit the tropics. You alone, Richard?"
Richard smiled a little. "I want to visit all of them, all over the world."
Our conversation spread to all topics, laughing along with the fantasies that were on display. It was fun, but had to stop when something fell hard behind us. Soon we searched, and found a man in a white coat with black hair in a bowed ponytail. The man looked confused, like his scattered papers.
"You're all right!" I rushed over to collect the scattered papers.
"Have you seen Captain Leonhart?!" The man immediately shouted.
Gasping for air, he jumps up to catch my shoulder, scrutinizing his emerald irises that stares at me intently.
"He went on the tank earlier, to the base." Richard replied nervously.
I don't know who this man in white coat is, looks like he's from the military. After Richard spoke, he immediately snorted, grabbed the paper from my hand and turned his way through the crowd.
Saria exclaimed in admiration, then ran after the man. Richard and I reflexively chased the boy. "Where are you going Saria?"
"I want to ask that man something! He is Professor Alphonso, the author of the famous mechanics book that I read a lot! He is my idol!" Saria is beaming.
Richard and I sighed, then complied with Saria's wish. We followed until we arrived at the impromptu wooden gate.
"Oh my god!! Save them!" Alphonso sat limply, in frustration he grabbed his black hair and scattered the paper he had been holding.
"Why Professor Alphonso?" Saria immediately approached.
Richard and I grabbed the paper. A sketch of a tank with formulas I don't understand clearly written.
"Magic? What do you mean?" Richard made me gape.
"Those armor plates, those tank bodies store huge energy from absorbing magic attacks on the battlefield." The professor said quietly.
"So? What's with all this?" I don't understand more.
"Those tanks would become suicide bombers if they were hit with other magic."
My heart suddenly squeezed, my breath stopped with a pitiful look at the empty hill in front. That hope instantly penetrated, lost in reality. My hands trembled, panic flowed, my teeth chattered violently. Cold, like ice needles piercing my spine.
"You guys get out of here quickly! Get cover!"
"Why didn't you report this on the radio broadcast?!" Richard asked frantically.
"The broadcast tower in the enemy's plow, all the information the commander said is wrong, we have been framed by the Magus."
The situation turned upside down, panic engulfed me in the atmosphere of joy.
"I will fly to deliver a message." Richard tore in tension, leading us to stare at him madly.
"I swear! You're not allowed to use your god's blessing!" Alphonso shook his head firmly
"It's too late Richard..." Saria said resignedly.
I saw what Saria saw, a line of Zeppelin planes flying through the sky, flying towards the hill the troops were aiming for. My silence was swallowed by the darkness of the zeppelin 's shadow . I know this country has no Zeppelin planes at all, and that means the empire has thrown its hands in the battle.
Bomb carpet strategy, will flatten everything to ashes.
"Father!! Back!! Dad!!" I screamed hysterically, my heart crawling up my throat.
My feet ran after the plane's shadow, until someone's hand dragged me to a stop. I rebelled, my mind was frantic, tears mixed with snot and spit. I'm such a mess.
"Dahlia! Calm yourself!!" Richard held my hands and feet, gripping them tightly.
"Richard! We have to fly! We have to tell them!" I stared at his jet black irises.
Full of tears and despair, those irises are hollow looking at me. Richard sat limply, nearly falling to the ground. The professor took us both in his arms, rubbing our heads gently.
"We will seek refuge."
Thank you for taking the time to read up here, as an amateur in writing I thank you very much. Typos and semicolon errors are rampant, but I hope it will be my bridge to friendship in the world of writing.
This story will be present every Friday of every week although it is not sure what time. I guarantee there will be surprises in every chapter that awaits. Although this is not the perfect writing of the story that Dahlia brought, it is worth waiting for.
And welcome to see you next week