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A Rotting Eden
300 years after the Apocalypse came and went, the survivors join wandering gangs called Tribes in a bid for survival in a world without nations. This is the story of one man's struggle in one of the last remaining cities on Earth.
Full Bellies
Nobody went underground.

        That was pretty much an unspoken rule in Golgotha. You stay out of the subways, out of the sewers as much as possible. The only socially acceptable time to disappear beneath the cracked concrete and dusty roads was when the air horns blared that the bombs were coming. And even then, you hoped not to stay down there very long. Because for all of the famine, for all of the food shortages that persisted in Golgotha, there were those who lived in the sewers who always seemed to have full bellies. And it sure as hell wasn't because they were hiding the Garden of Eden down there.

        They were known simply as the Cannibals. Breaking perhaps the last taboo in all of civilized human culture, Cannibals made no qualms of hunting---and eating---other humans. In fact, their entire diet was based around it. Unlike most other people living in Golgotha who consumed what edible vegetation was available, the Cannibals were primarily carnivores. Many had filed their teeth to sharp points in order to better be able to rip and tear at flesh. Some slashed the corners of their mouths in order to allow them to open wider, a key tool to being able to eat as much as you can quickly as possible. Many had eaten away their own lips and sometimes a few digits in times of starvation. They took advantage of times when those living above ground sought shelter from bombings or the bitter chill of winter deep in the subways. With over twenty five miles of underground tunnels threading through the city, the Cannibals had plenty of space they considered their personal turf. And when you combine such a vast area with the state of near complete darkness they lived in, the Cannibals definitely had the upper hand of anyone foolish enough to step too deep into the darkness.

        Their origins were probably only slightly less a miserable story than their present state. The Cannibals are descendants of the "mole people" that lived in Golgotha's underground and abandoned subway tunnels for generations before the Apocalypse. People who had long been accustomed to living in low light and sustaining on track rabbits---the much more appetizing name given to large sewer rats that made their homes in the subway tunnels. Making the transition from rat meat to human flesh seemed to be both reasonable and easy, especially when the supply of canned goods began to dwindle. Despite their apparent savagery, they still retained their old means of self-governance, with strict hierarchies that would be adhered to at a deadly cost. Very rarely, temporary peace treaties and a redrawing of borders could be negotiated with the Cannibals, dangerous agreements most often made by the Hardhats Tribes to a mutual benefit. The Hardhats would get large expanses of railroad tracks working again, the Cannibals agreeing to not prey on them. In exchange, there would usually be a train that would be repaired, providing rooms, air conditioning in the summer, and heat in the winter that they could use for housing. In many ways, they operated as an autonomous state within Golgotha. None of the other tribes dared to attack them, put pressure on them into joining ranks, or infringed on their territories. They were a sovereign nation, free from outside influence and control, and the only thing they feared was the slim probability that there would be no people left to eat someday.

&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Suffice to say, no one much liked dealing with the Cannibals. Theirs was a cautionary tale come true: the breakdown of society gave birth to savages who would sooner eat you alive than work towards a common goal. They are the boogiemen of your childhood. They are monsters hiding in the dark. And you'd do well to remember that.

Bleeding Apocalypse
Community Member
Bleeding Apocalypse
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