Prologue: The Aftermath
As the morning light streamed in, shining in my eyes, I groaned and rolled out of the sad excuse of a bed that I had. As per my normal routine, I took a pen and drew another mark on a sheet of paper, almost filled with marks of the same nature. At the end of every week, I would add another mark, counting the time.
Time. Even that was hard to keep track of nowadays, with all the technology gone. Even the clocks had been taken, and my watch had been no exception. I had gone from living in a nice flat to having to build this cottage from scratch, with some help, of course. The walls were made from coarse wood, and the windows simply holes carved in the wall with a sad excuse of a shelter over them to keep out the rain. My bed was a simple wooden affair, with an old mattress. Not even a spring mattress, but one stuffed with cotton... Off to the other side was a small wooden dining table, and a chair, with a fireplace and makeshift stove next to it. The floor was packed dirt, which didn't get too wet when it rained.
Nothing much had survived the war, especially since they lost. I had been in the army at the time, and watched as our camps and bases were picked apart witrhin the first hours of the sirens going off. We didn't even have time to mobilise. They just swooped in and razed everything. Everything. Even the superpowers of the world were brought down in short order... The lucky ones ran, regrouping only much later as the resistance, of which I was now a part. I had been a combat engineer at the time, a career soldier, though it made little difference now...
Fat lot of good we could do, though, since we had no equipment, nothing. All we could do was to wait.
Even the world had been altered, for the enemy had magic. Powerful magic. Powerful enough to move all the continents into one huge land mass. Of course, that only came later. First, they went round the world, and razed everything. Nothing was spared, be it the smallest cottage to the largest skyscrapter. All obliterated and completely wiped from the face of the planet. Our technology was confiscated and locked up in vast storehouses that were heavily guarded.
However, one thing remained. Train stations, the underground ones. Most were destroyed when the continents were mashed, but some survived, and the resistance set up shop in what was left. A short cycle from my home lay the entrance to the Dhoby Ghaut station, formerly a major intersection between three lines in the Singaporean rail system, it was now our stronghold, for it had withstood the land movement, and we even had limited power down there, thanks to some diesel generators that we had found in the store rooms...
One of the only reasons why I was still alive and walking around, despite the systematic purges to rid the world of former military personnel was the clerks at the now nonexistant Singapore Ministry of Defence, also known as Mindef. As much as we resented them for having cushy jobs, they stepped up and saved the lives of all the army personnel, be it combatant or clerk... Upon hearing about the surrender, they wiped the drives of any and every military computer, remotely or manually, erasing name lists, intelligence and with it all, any easy way to get at us.
I also had in a small box, my phone and a solar panel for charging. When they had come, they of course took the obvious things like my telivision, desktop computer and laptop. When asked for my phone, I gave my old one. It was also a smartphone, and they actually believed me... The solar panels I claimed to be decorations, which they, being unfamiliar with tecnology, believed.
But then again, it was also useless when the cell towers came down... Now, I only used it to play some soft music when I was in the mood to remember the old times, when a smartcard could allow me to go anywhere on the small island nation, how a few keystrokes on my laptop or phone would bring up the answer to a question, and on top of it all, how I could maintain my network of friends with just a phone. Now, I was robbed of mobility, convenience and entertainment. Those I could live without. What I resented the most, was the cutting of my contacts. Yet, I couldn't do much about it. I had no weapons, and no means... All I could do was to carry on with life.
Then again, life wasn't much. I would cycle, yes cycle, because they at least left us with bicycles, to town to barter for goods, then go to work if I could get any, then go home for dinner. It was not wise to stay out at night. Rumour was that people would disappear, hunted for sport by the enemy; the Dragons.
They had made a big show of power, and continued to do so, rubbing it into our faces that we were a defeated people...
Yet, some took on riders for some strange reason. Some said that it was fated, others said that it was just to placate us, to use the human to communicate, to spread propoganda.
Either way, it wasn't my problem. I just kept my head down and carried on, occasionally meeting with the resistance, biding our time...
I missed my family, who were taken by the war, my friends, of which few remained, and the old world and the old ways. I yearned to once again see my loved ones, to make a call, to send a text, to step on a concrete floor, to complain about the government even. Yet, it was all out of reach now.
It is indeed that you never know what you have till you lose it....and we lost it all....
Yet, people still yearned to be free, it could be felt in the streets, the simmering anger, hatred even. There had previously been a community built around dragons, people who liked the creatures. Of course, that was long before they come in and destroyed everything... Even I had been a part of that group, but now.... Now I would be more than happy to put a bullet through one of their scaly heads.
Not that a bullet could do much anyway. They were huge creatures, and the standard 5.56mm NATO rounds pinged off, barely denting their scales. Only the 7.62mm rounds could cause wounds, and even those gave very shallow penetration. Not that it mattered anyway. My unit was brought down within ten minutes. The people in the armoury got off maybe two shots before the whole building was crushed, sending us running, and killing the poor souls...
It was murder, and those lizards would pay.