Hammersmith. Chapter 5.

‘In 2137 December 23 at 13:45 the Incident happened.

The clarity of the history of the events is lost even to historians like me. ‘

Bela drank another cup of sweet chai. The stuff was addictive. They had rebuilt the ancient recipe from the ruins of a library. The incident had taken so much. Now we all tried to work together with each other, as everyone knows what will happen if we don’t. Most only have to drive a few kilometers to find out.

‘I have researched the incident events now for 10 years and am still no closer to an exact cause. It’s almost as if those years all of humanity lost its senses. Nuclear war often trumps itself as thesis of those who are uneducated in the analysis of the ruins of major Asian cities such as Deli, Mumbai, and Islamabad. No radioactive isotopes that would indicate such an event are present. The only traces from the older wars. It also doesn’t explain why major 21st and 22nd Century military bases have mostly been left unscathed, if completely abandoned counts as unscathed. The archaeology is also baffling to those whom have undertaken the time and money to research it. Bodies are buried evenly in traditional manners in some cities yet were left to rot in others. One suggests an organized governmental cleanup, the other a natural or man made disaster. Evidence points both ways, often in the same ruin or city. There are other places only kilometers from a site that are left unscathed. Yet no one seems to have a generational knowledge of the exact events. Some talk of a war. Others of climate change. A few with religious folktales of confusing origins. ‘

Bela signed. Her thesis had continued to get her nowhere. This was her absolutely last attempt. She couldn’t remember the first attempt anymore. The fact it was now year 13, that was what was calling to her to quit. Go spend time at home, or in the jungle regrowth of Mumbai. Where the Tigers stay majestic in the morning sun before hunting the monkeys and the rodents whose lives in the ruined city was to good ever to give it back to the scattered remains of humanity. We didn’t really need the space these days anymore. With birth control a major policy of the world governing councils people could only have children with a license. Not that Bela cared. Children were never on her mind.

‘It’s clear that the Incident as it is now known was a muti-classic event which occurred over a short time period of a few years. It is also clear that it caused the deaths of some 5 billion people in its totality.’

Then again maybe this is futile? I’m lost in a sea of papers from libraries around the world. The research people from all the branches now all know me on sight. Most have attempted to help, some even tried unsuccessfully to get a romantic engagement. Why do I care so much about this?

“Burning the midnight candle at both ends again?”
Bela almost jumped out of her skin.
“Bloody hell Mario. Don’t do that.”
“Hey! Call me M. Sweet cheeks” Mario came in for a hug.
“Don’t. We’ve discussed this. Ok?” Bela shouted at the advancing Mario.
“Awe. I’m sad now.” Mario took up a perch on the desk next to her and combed his hair with his hands. Then in his ill fitting suit said. “I’m just happy to help you with your work, you know? A quick compliment wouldn’t go astray.”
“I haven’t asked you to help this late. So you can go home if your going to take that attitude. ” Bela paused. “You know your the most useful research assistant I’ve had in years, but you are so god dammed annoying.”
“Oh I have found another lead. One that I think you might like.”
Bela sat staring at him, he was very hansom but had utterly the worst personality.  Mario was a horrible womanizer and serial heart breaker. Bela had no interest in anything but the company of other humans. She had never understood the reason to reproduce or form any sort of romantic engagement with anyone. Asexuality had suited her fine for some time now. However she had agreed to dinners as talking with other people was still a need. Enjoying the aesthetics of the human form had been something she found utterly enjoyable. Mario wasn’t a bad example when you dealt with his fashion sense and his horrible personality flaws.
Bela wondered why she was thinking of this whist she looked at Marios new lead.
“This is a pirate book. It just lists the Pirates clans and how they formed before the incident. It’s woefully inaccurate and pretty useless to my research these days. Though the pirates had something to do with the incident….” She trailed off.
“Did you notice the name of the clan that marked this one?” Mario twirled his hair in delight. He loved knowing things someone else doesn’t and then revealing how they missed it. It was raver perverse.
“Well it’s the…”
It said clear as day.

Libro de tribu malleis

Belas head quickly translated. “Book of the … Hammer clan?” She looked at Mario who had the smuggest look on his face she had ever seen. “I’ve never heard of this clan… It’s a dead clan?”
Mario shrugged. “Hammersmith, I think, no, I have no idea.”
Bela thought for a second then said “Where?”
Mario look at her on that way that a tiger might at its prey. “It was sent to me in the mail from a contact. I was researching the Pirates again. I think they are pretty fascinating. The fanatical nature of the Red Clan and the contrast with the Black Clan who are deeply atheist. I was wondering why the discrepancy between them and when that had occurred. What’s caused clans choose to live in so many different places? I mean clearly they all came out of whatever organized crime syndicates existed in the early 22nd Century. They got into space somehow after or before the incident. How? How are they able to use their resources so effectively against the Sol Space Force? What is it that keeps the clans together, and also apart? So many questions seem tied into our research.”
Bela simply nodded. Becoming a expert in the incident meant becoming a expert in the Pirate Clans as well it often seemed.
“You got this on the black market?”
“Oh hell no! This was from a fellow researcher. She was quite a agreeable. Had little totem things on her bedstead.”
Mario loves to boast about his ability to win over a girl. Though it made Bela glad to know it wasn’t from some seedy black market place.
“I really am not sure about this. You stole it?”
“I call it payment for services rendered.”
Bela felt a little bile come up.
“You’re more horrible than I thought. But I suppose I should be somewhat thankful. Just return it to her when you have made me a copy ok?”
“Of course I have already done that. This is our copy.”
Ah so hes not as stupid as I thought, Bela thought. Thank the gods for that.
“Good. Now go home. I’ve clearly got some reading to do.”
Bela looked at the clock. It was only 10 o’clock she could read a book this small in a hour and be home in time for the last bats to come home at ear out of her hand. It would be a good evening for her. She hope Marios latest victim was ok though. He didn’t really realize what a sociopath he was. Not like me. I know how horrible I am.

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