Waiting for the Barbarians.
July 9, 2022
Most evenings they skim low on the skyline … overtop of malls, corporate headquarters’, public monuments, highways.
Soft targets. Sometimes they strike, exploding on impact…kamikaze style… other times they just swoop and dive… sending us scattering… toying with our minds. They come in the early morning too. We’re always on edge.
These small portable DIY drones turned the tables in the War on Terror for good. We should’ve seen it coming … only a matter of time. Stupid of us to think they wouldn’t hack it some how… subvert it. Cheap to make. Easy to build. Easy to smuggle. Fuckin’ brilliant. They come like a shadow out of the corner of your eye. You turn your head quickly but you miss it. Its moved. You jerk your head in the other direction. You think you see it again. Nothing there. Then suddenly it’s on top of you. Buzzing like a large fly.
For a few years we were able to shoot most of them down, but then they started coming in so low and in such numbers that nothing could intercept them. Now most of the government buildings in Washington are empty. Same in Paris, London, Ottawa, Tel Aviv.
We tried electronic domes to keep them out. But then the terrorists started building them inside the perimeter … bypassing the scramble field. Now they appear randomly every day. They usually choose Friday for coordinated attacks … learning our defense systems… how we organize. They’ll switch that up any day now. Terror Tuesdays or something like that.
It’s like Coetzee’s Waiting for the Barbarians… When I read it in school I thought it was just a gripping metaphor for a mythic confrontation. But now I get it … the civilizational war is already lost .… the barbarians are out there massing at the gate and there is nothing left for us to do but wait, scared shitless, for the final assault.
Eventually we’ll open the front door for them … only a few disheveled crazies left. That Coetzee! People have already started praying for the barbarians to get on with it. But they know exactly what they’re doing … they’re making us pay a psychic price for everything we did …