With our militia at hand, we began patrolling a large city block. My Colleague and I were the commanders of the make-shift army. We set up high-powered electronic perimeters, assigning shifts to militia-members. It was exciting, invigorating. The local police, thoroughly disbanded from the chaos, came to us for help. Indeed, we offered what we could; a safe refuge, and free meals for those willing to carry their share of work. Though I make it seem more grand than it was, it was inspiring to see what had come of just a few days time.
The city block was barely a mile squared, and only a few places within had been left habitable by the rioters and looters. As such, most people were jammed like sardines into a few small homes. But food was abound, and security a given. It had to be, for this was where we were constructed the weapons. While it was true we had ample defenses there was still the matter of the swarming behemoths, demons, and all other manner of concocted apparitions wandering about. They seemed to have sensed the area was off-limits when their first forays against our perimeters were met with their demise. Since our militia had secured the block, the swarms had re-evaluated their strategy.
It is not a stretch to think there might be some capabilities for collective self-preservation in the swarms. It is more of a stretch however, but by no means impossible, to believe these swarms had begun thinking for themselves. Perhaps they had devised a means of inter-communication; their programming was already sophisticated enough to work as a group containing individuals– this was their purpose, after all. A swarm’s behavior dictated many things, but without complex intelligence necessary. What lends doubt to this last point however, is the coordination of the last attempt on our perimeter. The swarms have greater means of intricate processing than the average insect swarm. This, I assume, has allowed the change in their goals. They no longer appear target individuals, but instead, groups. This, among other things, suggests a communication, perhaps even a central leadership.
The attack, though in itself not indefensible, displayed a tactic astonishing to even the simple minded: They came at us from all sides of the block, as if to divide us and overwhelm individual groups. The swarms managed to injure several of the militia’s patrolmen. In the disorder that ensued, a few managed to breach an unguarded section by flying high overhead toward the block where we lay in hiding. There is an immovable contingent of weaponry hidden on either side of the main buildings both at street level and atop the roofs. These few guns are more than enough for our protection, and were invaluable in this skirmish.
We eliminated the breaching swarms with that most spectacular of raining fire that signals their demise. Nonetheless it appeared then, as it does now, that they had collectively learned tactics. They had transformed from masses of picturesque nightmares, bent on murder, to full-blown, intelligent beings ready to sacrifice themselves for whatever cause a machine might have.
Thankfully, since then we’ve neither heard nor seen them. The militia has prepared a scouting party for search and reconnaissance. Speculation suggests they are near a large substation south of our perimeter. If true, it would be advantageous for both sides. While swarms in their individual masses are still vulnerable to electrocution, if banded together in a large enough group they might be invulnerable to our weapons. If such is the case, the power station’s massive electrical-charges would be all the energy we need to patch the weapons into, and eliminate even the most massive of swarms.
Even if we are able to strengthen our weapons, the possibility of high-voltage traps is a real danger. As well, the massive swarms’ power draw from the area might ground our guns, making them useless. It is a heavy burden on all of our shoulders that we might see an unfavorable ending to this fight.
Whether or not the news that returns changes anything is not something any would wish to speculate on. There is no point in riling ourselves up. We must focus on a supply run before we can mount any sort of offensive.
Sometimes I think of that young CEO, whatever his name, to fuel my anger and hatred towards these swarms. There is no way now that the man can ever reclaim any title to a fascist throne. I have to wonder, is hidden away in one of his mansions? Is he cowering in fear, or laughing in the face of his fortune and fame amidst the chaos of his shortsighted ambitions? More importantly, did the man surround himself with these Pods? Was he slaughtered outright like the countless others who’ve died at the hands of their own, deluded dreams?
Our scouts returned with word that the swarm is amassing at the substation. They were able to meet with our caravan from town. Travel is slow from desiccated streets, but our people continue to be well fed. The attack is to be planned. My colleague and I suggest detonating homemade explosives within the substation. Any possible chain reaction they much cause would send surges of electricity through the area, that might be capable disabling the swarms. Afterward, we would inevitably begin mopping up the last of the surviving swarms of nanites. Most we have discussed this with agree.
It is a curious thing to plan attacks on microscopic creations, once so prevalent and revered by our society. Now we must hunt them without mercy, for that is what they’ve shown us. It may be a fatalist assertion, for there is no way for them to show mercy, they’ve no concept of it. It’s possible they’ve no concepts at all, though the concept of domination appears to have emerged within them. It is possible, so sophisticated is their programming, that they were told to learn from our dreams to help make them a better experience and present us the greatest challenge. In the grand scheme, this is humanity’s dream: To triumph as one group over adversaries whom view us as enemies, forgoing regards of our own petty differences we’ve concocted over the eons.
What a strange and terrible platitude to behold, but perhaps it has been the solution all along; for now we do band together as one. We have risen up as a unified group, protected the weakest of us, fought together whilst bypassing the prejudice, bigotry, and indifference that has otherwise been so prevalent. The road ahead is no doubt filled with either victory or tragedy, triumph or terror, hope or hopelessness. In any case, it will be a long road.