O’er the Ramparts We Watched

Dear Planet Earth,

It’s the Fourth of July, in case you didn’t know. I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t. None of us felt free today, no matter how many mole people we killed or how many pieces of American society we tried to pick up.

We got drunk — wasted, really — and listened to classic rock and roll. The kitchen staff took the unflavored tofu we’ve been living off of lately and molded it into the shapes of hamburgers and hot dogs. When the sun set, we blew up some cars and Cash4Gold billboards while mumbling the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

It was the Fourth of July in the sense that the date was the fourth of July. We had nothing to celebrate. We had no independence. We had no inspiring speeches from Bill Pullman about how today was truly the day to honor that original fight for freedom on this hallowed land.

And then some random girl kissed me. She pulled me into a woody area and shoved her tongue into my mouth. It happened so quickly I didn’t get a chance to see what she looked like or wonder if it was a good idea. She abruptly stopped after about a minute, giggled, and said, “Thanks.”

I watched her saunter back to the unfestive festivities, her blurry figure silhouetted by a bonfire fueled by Justin Bieber CDs. I instantly became aware of the dopey smile on my face. More than that, I realized I was happy and I was free, even if only for today. I won’t know what fights may come tomorrow, but I do know that if my happiness and freedom is on the line, I will fight.

God fucking bless America.

Mole Season

Dear Planet Earth,

We found a couple mole people wandering around a serene stretch of wood defiantly calling itself Seola Park. They were just walking, like two humans on a casual stroll. They clutched their large rifles as though they were carrying something as harmless as groceries. A bright sun, clear sky, and song of sparrows framed the scene.

Private Karter, now Corporal Karter, gave me the binoculars to get a closer look. The glowing red eyes from their masks, at one time a menacing image that implied something demonic, now looked ridiculous — almost comical — from our safe vantage point 200 yards away.

“Be vewy, vewy quiet,” he said behind the lens of an M24 sniper rifle. “I’m hunting mole men. Heh heh heh heh heh.”

I was supposed to be Karter’s spotter, but I have my suspicions that he knew even less than I did about what that meant.

He fired, and the resounding noise forced me to bury my head in my arms. I readjusted myself in time to see one of the mole men down for the count as his comrade darted his head erratically in all directions. Karter opened and closed the barrel, and an empty cartridge landed in the grass beside us. He fired again. I was able to withstand the piercing sound this time and see the lone invader fly a few feet before landing in a puddle of red.

A morbid silence filled the air within seconds. Karter stood up, stretched out his arms and legs, and smiled like he just heard a clever Chuck Norris joke.

“That calls for a beer.”

Good News/Bad News

Dear Planet Earth,

There’s conflicting news coming out of the Twitterverse today. For one thing, I’m apparently not the first person to coin the term “Twitterverse.”

But onto the real stuff. Humans in Austin, Texas raided a slave labor camp and even took out a couple drill snakes in the process. They freed over a hundred people, bringing up their resistance to about 350 strong. I contacted one of the raiders who told me that they plan to carry out even more assaults against the mole people in the coming weeks. They’re putting up defenses around their city just as we are here in New Seattle. Good luck to all of you in Austin.

The people of Blackfoot, Idaho were much less lucky. There was a resistance group there made up entirely of civilians who had been holding their own since October. They were attacked in the middle of the night on all sides. The mole men didn’t bother taking prisoners. They shot and killed dozens of men, women, and children. There were only two survivors of the tragic massacre. They’ll hopefully be safe within the borders of New Seattle in a few days. We’re excited to meet you, Maggie and Emily.

Hash

Dear Planet Earth,

The troops are getting restless. General Talpa told me so this morning.

“The troops are getting restless.”

The new propaganda posters around the city are starting to make everyone a little tense. People are accusing one another of stealing their stuff, of being sleeper agents for the mole men. To top it all off, the general is getting hounded everyday to cede the decision making process over to an elected body.

He leaned closer to me over the picnic table and laughed, telling me he almost missed the good ol’ days — meaning two weeks ago — when our enemies were really enemies, when the only thing we had to worry about was surviving to the next day.

I understand the feeling. Despite the constant bombardments of helplessness and sorrow, there was a sense of excitement battling the mole people on a daily basis, a feeling of unrivaled accomplishment in taking down a foe that, by all accounts, should have had no trouble squashing me like a bug.

“I’d take that battlefield, Scott. I’d take that battlefield any day over this, this. . . ,” he crinkled his forehead to think of the word, “politics.”

The sun had fully risen at this point, illuminating the mess hall and marking a fulfilling conclusion to our conversation. I offered him some of my hash browns as we watched the peaceful chaos engulf New Seattle on all sides.

1,000 Words

Dear Planet Earth,

Let’s talk about the picture. Everyone else here is. Private McCarthy and I found it on the side of a pizza joint downtown. Some others are talking about seeing similar graffiti on a Dumpster and a garage door.

It’s your typical tyrannical propaganda poster, or so says Dr. Eimer. An image resembling a mole man gas mask is framed by the phrases “OBEDIENCE IS LIFE” and “DISOBEDIENCE IS DEATH.” This is the same mantra that ended their last message plastered across cyberspace.

We’re looking at this with muted concern, holding back fears of a counterattack or spies within our ranks (the two saboteurs’ execution is still fresh in our minds). If we were worried about anything, it would be the fact that the graffiti was remarkably clean in an area that was definitely a part of the fighting when we retook Seattle. Someone had to put it up recently, or so logic would tell us. But the one consolation we can all count on is the fact that logic died long ago.

Humanity or Tyranny

Dear Planet Earth,

We’re expanding our borders. We’re fortifying and refortifying, putting up defenses in the remains of overturned school buses, dusty coffee houses, and scorched dog parks. We’re spray painting messages on cars at the edge of the city that read “BRING IT ON” and “HUMANITY OR TYRANNY.” We’re calling this ever-growing enclave of liberty New Seattle.

There’s talk of making a flag or a new form of currency. Some people want to have an election to counter the military’s possibly overbearing influence.

Again, I feel like I’m a part of something bigger than myself. I’m more than just a 21st century teenager with more luck than skill. I’m more than just a dystopic survivor who can count his victories on one hand. I — like the hundreds of other dedicated individuals working beside me — am a human, one of the most durable and resilient creatures to ever walk this planet.

Mole people, bring it on.