U.T.O.P.I.A. (Short Story)

A flood. The first instant was chaos.
The news, received with no less than a few hours to react, was their last step in a
contingency plan, allowing ours to even begin.


As suddenly as the rush began, it halted. Next: the placid air of locked doors and
paranoia. But in the mountains, unmistakable crackles of domestic humans, once habituated to
the shore, now struggling with nature.
When it happened, they tried to put us into camps, but we sacked their stores and took
refuge for ourselves. Those who went underground shouted orders from below, but it was every
man, and organization, for themselves. The attack on the pipeline going down into the
Appalachians was the only time we ever heard of the Old U.S. Military showing their faces up
top. Children of the next generation would tell fireside tales of the subterranean monsters they
might have become.
Some of us formed forts and built up armories. Some of us formed villages and went back
to the land. The Hoover Dam allowed Vegas to maintain some of its inherited order, but ever
more violent. Denver remained civil and somewhat preserved. That which upheld the structure
of power was destroyed, so citizens stood for themselves. We banned together, and did, as we
pleased.
We lost at least 80% of our population in the flood, between its direct effects, the bursts
of violence and starvation. When the tide ebbed, enough survivors had a common desire for
collaboration, and eventually government. In the West it began with town hall meetings. Then,
individuals from different towns sought each other out. Within seven years there became new
statewide congresses. Fourteen years later we heard of the first attempt at a New U.S. Congress,
which we too sent a few people to attend. There was no rebuilding of the executive branch. For
all we knew, it still existed miles below the Earth’s surface. Civil and judicial powers were left to
towns and counties, or rather, new configurations of towns and counties.
If other nations were doing the same, they didn’t show it by making contact with us- for
more than twenty years. Volunteers to scout the reasons for that were easy to be found. Those
with this knowledge implored us to act. They strongly held that a unified military had to be
formed, and we all desired an agreement between states. Thus, the United Territories Of
Post-Inundation America (UTOPIA) was formed.

 

(Written 2014)