The Warmer's War
Updated: Mar 2, 2019
I signed up to do a writing competition and the rules were simple. I'd be given 48 hours to conjure up a 1000 word flash-fiction story based upon a specific genre, setting and object. This is the first story I submitted and I was ranked 11th out of 35 people. I hope you enjoy.
Genre: Political Satire
Object: A Phone Charger
The Warmer's War
There goes the genny. I knew it was only a matter of time, but I hoped to have had my phone charged more than ten percent. Now, my charger is lying dead and useless on the desk in front of me, more closely resembling the corpses of the seals outside my window than a marvel of technology. Oh well. I should stop messing about and write down the end of the whole mess. Leave some sort of record on the cloud for someone. If anyone’s left, that is.
I was young and single when Antarctica was declared a sovereign state. I took the trip, applied, and was hired on as a terraformer. President Nero promised us hard work, good pay and a great life. All we had to do was make the South Pole habitable. We went to work, and almost immediately a bull of a woman named Genevieve organized and unionized us. That marked the beginning. The first few years were rough, but we managed. We made the region hotter and paid for it with flak from the outside world. People protested in cities, but no one came down to protest to our faces; it was still too cold.
It took years, but we were quicker than we had any right to be. Nero was up for reelection and campaigned on the strengths of our backs. He told us we, the unionized, would never be hungry or poor. He won in a landslide. That’s when the problems started. We’d worked ourselves out of a job, and Nero knew it. He tried to cut positions but thank God for Genevieve. She told Nero, “You can’t axe us. We’re unionized, bitch!” There was a stalemate. Some blood was shed, most was on his side, and we prevailed. We went back to work; most of us pulling our dicks while a few actually worked.
Six percent battery? I gotta type faster. We kept our jobs while the ice receded. The blowback got harsher, but Genevieve upped our pay. “Hardship and Danger allowance,” she called it. Pretty soon we had seventy-five percent of the union doing nothing while the others maintained the gennies that made the ideal climate on this berg. It seemed like the harder the outside pushed, the more Genevieve fought for us.
Some solar panel crew tried cutting into our business. They said they could keep the South Pole habitable while having a lower impact on the environment. Their crew got paid a midnight visit and it didn’t end well for them. It took a while, but they retaliated, and by the time the last penguin disappeared, so did Genevieve. No one knows what happened, but I think they’ll find Jimmy Hoffa before her. That’s when I started building my bunker.
Five years ago our continent became prime real estate. The unionized folk had bought all the land by then. We saw the influx of tourists and started moonlighting in the industry. It was good living for two years. Then, people began overstaying their welcome. Nero, that clever son-of-a-bitch, had the idea for the wall. “Use Your Clout! Keep ‘em Out!” he’d cry from his ivory podium. We had been the first to brave this barren tundra, so we listened. We went to work with a will and walled off the continent in a year. Then, we shut down the commercial airspace for everything but the supplies we needed to survive. It went swimmingly at first because we’d been selling off fresh water allotments in the form of icebergs. We started from the moment we arrived and had all the money; that venture too was unionized.
And so, for a brief time, we were the masters of our domain. Then the shift happened and the world went mad. We were left with one of the few chunks of habitable land on earth. Wars broke out for resources, but we felt untouchable. We were untouchable, for a while. By the time the greatest nation-state tried to invade and take over our land, they’d had massive military defection and their home resembled more a Waterworld wasteland than a proper, functioning society.
Not us, though. We’d been galvanized by Genevieve, and her replacement, Stephen Kindred. He told us we were all kindred spirits and would be united, as long as we continued to pay dues.
Damn. I only have two percent battery left. I have to hurry this up. Long story short, the wall kept the invaders from the sea at bay while our militia held down the airport. It wasn’t long after crushing the second raiding party that we got word that we would either have to surrender or risk being nuked by “the greatest nation on earth.” It was put to a vote, and we gave ‘em the finger. No nukes came, but neither did any food or supplies. Whatever scant wildlife that was left over was eaten, then we turned on each other. It was a civil war of sorts.
Five-hundred thousand people, all fighting to remain on top. Kindred led a band of rugged survivors into the research station, telling them that the union would prevail if we stuck together. It was early December when he made this speech where I now sit, in his mansion directly on the South Pole. The sun, not setting for another four months, had increased in ferocity, and it was now dangerous to spend extended amounts of time outside. Anyway, his flesh was in the mouths of the others before the speech had finished exiting his.
I fled then. I went underground to my bunker and stayed there for weeks. When my food was half depleted, I came topside to find myself the last survivor. I have another four weeks of food, but, I’m a realist. You, whoever is reading this, can curse us for what we’ve done, but I have no regrets. The union gave us a good life, it protected us, and I’d change nothing if I could go ba--