I wasn an Innocent Bystander (Chapter 6: I hate the library)
Well, for starters, let me apologise for the previous post. I've honestly not been feeling too terribly well lately, and the whole sequence of the past week hasn't helped my immune system. I finally managed to get in to work today by hitching a ride with a car that was headed in that general direction. Not that you all would care, but I had quite an interesting conversation during the forty mile drive. As it turns out, the guy driving was a former LDM operative who had turned rogue and started passing information along to the enemy, namely the Zombie Hobo Army. So, being the curious soul I am, I asked him a few questions.
First and foremost, I wanted to know why, exactly, the LDM and ZHA were at war. To that question, I recieved an eplanation that was rather long.
"Well, they are at war for the same reason any war is started. Somebody disagreed with someone else. Now, I know that oversimplifies things a bit, but that is the essence of what happened. And it really didn't start with jut two people, either. It was an argument held by many thousands of people all across the country. One that ripped friendships apart, split families, and started the longest-standing war in history, as well as being the only war wherein the armies have no care for nationalism or racism or patriotism.You see, originally, they all got along. And I'm not talking just about the Zeds and the Pups. Hell no. There were tons more kinds of itinerant Supernaturals. But we'll get to that in a little bit. Now, way back when, it was common for the rootless traveller to sleep out for the night in some sort of shantytown, built and maintained by other wanderers. It was a major source of news, gossip, food, and companionship, and the towns frequently sponsored large gatherings of travelers, in order to promote the wonderful lifestyle. Naturally, when you get a big enough group of people together, you'll find that the attendees are from very different walks of life. You would not be hard-pressed to find big city lawyers sharing dinner with itinerant laborers, or to see a young man rubbing elbows with a former politician. It wasn't hard to find people you never thought would live as they do.
Especially those that you thought never existed. Like the Zombie Hobos. And the Lycanthrope Drifters. Then, you had the kind that have gone either into hiding, or were wiped out in the War. The Chupacabra Floaters were one such group. Originally from Mexico, they migrated here to the States to find better jobs, in order to support their families back home. The Nomadic Golems were another, allegedly created by a Rabbi descended from the Wandering Jew. They're the ones who helped set up and break down Shantytowns, since they were tireless and needed no food. There were others, of course, but they didn't play much of a role until later.
Anyway, as with all sorts of large gatherings, there were the occasional... malcontents, we'll call them. These malcontents would heckle people's choices of transportation, attempting to incite violence, but the Rootless are patient folk, and not prone to fighting. I mean, sure, there was a little violence used to quiet down the malcontents, but beyond that, the Rootless were a kind and gentle folk. Notice how I said the Rootless were good people so many times? It's because it was true. Still is, for the most part, but the news is full of reports about the dangers of the Rootless. But that's a different story. I was talking about how the assemblies were always peacable.
One day, though, that changed. It was the usual kind of gathering, with hundreds of the Rootless surrounding a giant bofire, roasting marshmallows, swapping stories, and teaching the new chums how to survive, when something happened. One of the newbies got around to the subject of transportation. Specifically, which one was better, and why. The kindly hobo who had been teaching him immediately answered that trains were better, since they let you see the country so much faster than any other means. A drifter caught wind of this answer, and immediately busted in.
"Nonono" he said, "cars are MUCH better. You get to meet all sorts of people."
A vagabond heard the drifter from across the bonfire, and shouted "I say stowing away in a Dirigible is best, 'cause it lets you look down on the people who look down on you!"
This sparked a three-way debate, not helped by the fact that the participants had to shout to be understood. Other people started listening, and adding their own thoughts to the fray. The arguments became louder and louder, making everybody more stubborn about conceding, and making intelligent discourse nigh impossible.
That's when the first punch was thrown.
Admittedly, it didn't connect, but that act of aggresion sparked the oil-soaked powderkeg that had once been a friendly discussion. Pretty soon, everybody was fighting for their chosen method of transportation. Problem was, nobody really had any identifying characteristics regarding how they traveled. So, a lot of people were hurt or killed by their comrades. It's a crying shame, too, for reasons too numerous to list. The other big important event that happened that night was the revelation of the Supernaturals. I think it was the Lycanthropes who revealed themselves first, by changing into their infamous Wolfman form. Started slaughtering the Rootless left and right. Bad times.
Of course, as soon as the bodies started piling up, the Zombies made their presence known. Followed quickly by the Vampires, the Mummies, the Chupacabre, and finally, as the shantytown itself started to fall, the Golems appeared. As soon as the hulking clay forms of the Golems arrived on the scene, all fighting stopped. Nobody wanted to mess with the living statues, and rightly so. To attempt fighting a Golem would be sure suicide, and everybody knew it. So, rather than stay and fight, everybody who had legs able to take them somewhere bolted. Heck, even the legless Zombies started dragging themselves away. Nobody messes with a Golem.
But the fight didn't end at that encampment. Gods above and below, how I wish it had. But, it didn't. The survivors of the various Supernatural Rootless began spreading tales about the treachery of the other species, and how their own way was the right one. Soon, small bands of creatures began to form, ostensibly to protect themselves from the villainous members of other species, but in reality small raiding parties to stir up fear and hatred in others. Those small groups coordinated with other groups of their own kind, and soon, vast military groups were formed.
I know how I said that the fight wasn't based on racism earlier, and how I'm now talking about 'their own kind' and 'other species', but the War truly wasn't about race. More often than not, though, each of the species that were called the Supernaturals tended to prefer their own form of transportation.