Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Adventures of Reynard Olfsson (Part 3)

“Hamburg... Bremen... Cologne... Frankfurt... and Strasbourg.”

“What?” I perked my head up, from the steering column. Leif busily leafed through a map chewing on the bit of an old Cigar he found. The tobacco was stale. Even I could tell by the smoke. It wasn't aromatic in the slightest, and tasted like a pungent coal in my mouth. Since entering Danmark we salvaged a small vehicle, good enough for driving a good while. Lief converted it into an open top, with his hands. It was enough to get the smoke out.

“That's our travel plan,” he added, keeping his eyes on the map. “Each city has food, preserves, and some trading.”

“Are any of them modern?”

“No... Lyon. Madrid. That's all before Cagliari.”

“Isn't that something,” I murmured quietly. I always wanted to got there.

In the wastes of the fledgling world there were still places I could go to be “modern.” They were the first to recover after the event. Subsistence farming and fishing communities were the first to recover. The people there still knew how to till the land, make due with what they had. Sadly the developed worlds were far too developed to keep afloat. First there was mass panic, then rioting, then death, and then, finally, silence.

Silence for a hundred years.

“Tell me about your sister,” I said as Lief grew quiet. Sitting calmly in his seat, he lifted his eye and looked over at me. It was hard to tell if he was disturbed by my question. Knowing my luck, my prying was not the first of it's kind. I could tell he was somewhat irritated however.

“She has a vagina, occasionally possesses the wit a stamina to bear offspring...” he said routinely, then looked back into the paper.

“Just making conversation,” I admitted. I didn't feel like prying, though I felt as if it was already too late for that.

I looked up at the pass ahead. It would be another 100 kilometers before we reached Hamburg, according to the rusted remnants of an old sign. They made quite the effort on behalf of the cities to clean up the roads of the dead and the heaps of autos that had long decayed on the autobahn when the cities began to rise again. They called it a stimulus, but the mass graves didn't make me particularly stimulated. After a few hours of only seeing flat ground I had begun to miss Norway. There was always something to look out and see in the window. Here there were cows and sheep, occasionally a goat. By now I had lost count.

“One, two, three...”

“Her name is Mær,” Leif said in still quiet voice. “She isn't technically my sister, but her DNA closely matched mine when I looked at the registry in Cologne. She is probably my descendant. Somewhere long ago my father, her great something of a grandfather, spilled his blood on a slide to make me.”

If she isn't even your real sister, then why are you going to try and find her?”

Leif pushed leaned forwards pushing the map back into the compartment in front of him and sealed it. Then, leaning back into the chair, he laid up his feet out the left hand side of the auto and folded his arms thoughtfully. I nearly thought he hadn't considered it, by the way he looked.

Closure, or togetherness. One of the two,” he said. He let out a long sigh. “Frankly I'm not sure which.”

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