Episode 1 Scene 7
After the initial onslaught, mankind battled the War Clans to a draw. The death toll was still stupendous, but it was now more equally spread. Current-day humanity called on their inner beasts, and they were just as happy as the War Clans to go on a massacre. Civilization, as most knew, was only ever a convenient pretense.
The War Clans, too, had grown more aware. Their grunt tactics of taking everything head-on had evolved into guerrilla-based warfare. Competition was wonderful for forcing adaptations in killing strategies.
Then things changed again.
The first change was obvious. Communities started disappearing. It wasn’t just people that disappeared. It was everything they had with them: transportation, homes, weapons, you name it, it went. There was nothing left behind.
The first time this happened, people thought the War Clans had found a new weapon, something that completely eradicated any trace of a target community. But this didn’t make sense. The War Clans were after tech. Tech to take back to their own era to protect themselves from attacks in the past. They didn’t want to wipe everything out.
The question was, where did this ability come from? We certainly didn’t develop it. So who the hell could make whole groups vanish?
At the same time that current-day communities started to vanish, attacks from the Clans ceased. They didn’t just slowly disappear; they completely dried up. One day there were rampaging hordes of Vikings or Mongols or Huns knocking down your door, and the next day there was nothing. It didn’t make sense. Whole communities were disappearing, but they weren’t being attacked—not in the conventional sense.
Not long after the second change occurred, attacks resumed. Outlying communities were the first victims. These groups, while small, were impressively defended. That’s how they survived. Most relied on a natural barrier—a river, a cliff, a valley—as an initial form of protection, and then they armed themselves to the teeth.
They’d been successful against the Clans because they’d used these natural barriers to channel their opponents’ superior numbers into a relatively small area. It was then just a matter of applying overwhelming firepower and waiting for the body count to stack up. After that, the Clans left them alone.
But then these groups started getting hit again. No one knew who was causing the damage. Attacks occurred in the full light of day or in the dead of night. Some community members reported seeing a pale fast-moving vehicle—only one—and then something would be destroyed.
Sometimes buildings would blow up; sometimes they’d burn. On other occasions, they’d just vibrate and shake until they imploded. These attackers became known as Scythers. They’d sweep in, slice away at the edge of a community, and then vanish.
What they wanted was anybody’s guess. It wasn’t tech. They had tech all over us at that stage. And it wasn’t resources—they never took anything. So what the hell did they want?