Prologue

After more than five century's after the Great War the systems detected that the world was now back to normal, but it needed to send out The Scout to ensure that mankind was still alive and prospering.

The computers knew that there was life, the automated systems had captured and interrogated several groups that came too close to the island, so the language used was known and placed in the education units.

They also knew that the flora and fauna had established itself again, although on the island they had planted stocks of wheat and corn, repopulating the island from the stored DNA and RNA of animals. Although the fish didn't seem to survive too long in the sea as the evolved predators were grateful of the new food source.

The underwater bots were able to capture several of the new species of fish and after analysing the genetic makeup they had created a fish that thrived on the predators but was intelligent enough to keep the stocks within manageable levels.

The air was analysed and the radiation levels were back to normal ... in fact the systems worked out that the levels hadn't been as high outside the island as expected; it seems that the enemy had focused its powers against the island itself rather than the mainland bases.

The systems did a check on the staff ... none - except for the one, The Scout, who was held in cryogenic stasis. The base personnel consisted completely of robots, or androids, which were so evolved that they were nearly sentient, as their programming allowed for extrapolation and independent working. It was they who captured some travellers and implanted the knowledge of the Scout, but obscuring it within a rhyme; they also gave those travellers knowledge of tools and their uses, thus creating a sub-culture of technical people.

Papers on desks started to flutter as the air started to circulate and then the filters on the ducts reported more bacteria and dust than expected was being deposited, the androids were despatched and found that when the base went into lockdown several people were still inside, of course when the air went bad these soon died, but the bodies hadn't been removed.

The remains were soon cleared out and placed away from the base. The bacteria were checked and found to be useful so they were isolated and held in phials in the medical section.


Once the air was deemed safe the medical android in the cryogenic section started the procedure to revive the Scout, the android noticed that there was a discrepancy in the information given about The Scout and the person in cryo-sleep, but this was put down to natural causes when the body was frozen.

As the body was re-animated these differences were more pronounced, it was almost as if the person within the chamber was not The Scout. The android made a note on the computer system and carried on.

The occupant of the chamber slept on unaware of what the future would bring, and how much trouble would be coming his way.


The main computers in the planning office were in conference.

"We need to know more that the current inhabitants can tell us, they seem to have a fear of the collectors that we use." This one's intelligence was taken from Doctor William Hansaad, who was an expert on human development.

"What can you expect? We've made the island a place to be scared of, our robot-collectors have to spread deeper into the world than we programmed into them. We should have changed the parameters of the searching." This was the computer that held the mind of Sharon Watson, who was the Prime Minister at the time of the troubles.

"We should have nuked the lot of them, and saved ourselves the problem altogether." Field Marshall Angus R. Roberts spoke up; he was a worry to the other two as the Field Marshall was only imprinted while the man was unconscious, and so he wasn't actually prepared for this. (And the other two computers privately thought he was twisted in some way)

"You know why we couldn't; the command codes were removed from all computer banks and kept securely locked where only the Prime Minister could find them." Hansaad said.

"And that was after my memory was copied into this system, so I don't know what she did with them after she took them." Watson spoke up.

"We should find the body and make it talk!" Roberts said quietly, "So we're going to rely on that dammed scout to search out the area and try to find out what's happening outside in the real world?"

"We have to, Jenkins was trained in infiltration and covert surveillance, he's the type of person who can make himself invisible and sneak in and out of secure places. He was chosen as perfect for this and so given the title of The Scout." Hansaad said proudly as an image of Intelligence Agent Jenkins was electronically sent to the other three.

"Yeah, yeah. So he's going to work for us now, a bunch of wire and tubing. He's not going to decide 'sod the lot of you' and go on his way?" Roberts snarled thinking on how to ensure that this wouldn't happen.

"Enough! It was decided that we would follow the plan. Voted 2 to 1 for, that is the reason why there are three of us in charge of the base, only a majority decision would be allowed. You know that! Now let's see how The Scout is getting on.


They tuned into the cryo-chamber and 'watched' as the tube opened showing the face of The Scout.

"Who the hell is that?" Roberts shouted out

"This is The Scout, Leader 3. who else would it be?" The android in charge calmly said and continued to revive the occupant.

"We've scanned the file for The Scout and that's not him ... find out who this imposter is, NOW!" Roberts directed and all three systems began scanning the out-of-date personnel files before Hansaad spoke up.

"That is Private Peter Jones; assigned as cleaner to level 2 ... how he managed to get into the cryo-tube on level 1 is not recorded."

Roberts gave an electronic splutter. "So if that is the person in the tube, just where is our Scout?" He asked.

Hansaad hesitated before answering, "Err ... missing? But that doesn't matter; Jenkins is long dead now, so this ... man is our Scout now."

"A private, a mere cleaner ... is now our scout? We're doomed." Roberts said sounding that, if he had them, his head would be in his hands shaking.


Extract from Songs of bygone times

A Stranger from the East will come,

He will be like us but not from us,

He will bear the Sacred Mark upon his person,

He will lead us to our destination.

From his hands he will bring Light

From his words will action bring,

In his sight the old will be shown,

In his breath will life be redeemed.

He will bring knowledge to help,

He will bring knowledge to heal,

He will bring knowledge to teach,

He will bring knowledge to Kill.

A Stranger from the East will come,

He will be like us but not from us,

He will use the sacred words as if norm,

We will follow him until the ends of the world.

From his mouth he will teach,

From his hands he will show,

From his arms he will hold,

From his feet he will sow.

He will bring knowledge to help.

He will bring knowledge to heal.

He will bring knowledge to teach.

He will bring knowledge to Kill.

A Stranger from the East will come,

He will be like us but not from us,

He will know the ancient forms,

He will restore the world.

(Song of the Stranger – original format as decoded by Tech systems Alpha Two One Beta Seven computer)

It may be noted that this song has been in existence for several hundred years, and is thought to originate from before the great cataclysm, there is no real evidence for this and has been mainly forgotten except by the religion of the Tech. Who this supposed Stranger is? We will never know. It is well known that the lands to the East are devoid of life and many expeditions have been sent, only a few have returned to tell of strange lights and diverse alarms that have stopped them. Of the remaining teams ... nothing has been heard of.

I have investigated this song for any possible account and cannot find any basis for it and so I would suggest that it would be better consigned to the memory cores as just a little ditty not worth any more study.

(Cleric Cecil of the Crown's Court – Special investigator for archaic knowledge - Report to the High Lord Frederick of the Western States of Euro)


From the Journal of Father Faith - head of the church at Vior.

It has been some time since the arrival and departure of Sir Jones of Portsmouth, his involvement in this church and that which we have protected for so long is still unknown, but I am assured that he will return.

Although we have examined the records for his homeland we can find nothing apart from a reference taken from before the flood, so must be deemed improbable, would such a place have existed? Since all we know of the area is the collection of Islands known collectively as Anglesland.

I sometimes wonder just where he came from and why he was allowed where we have never been in this place of worship? I suppose we shall never know

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Story tagged with:
Science Fiction / Post Apocalypse / Military /