This is a story about a near-future dystopia. In that future, society has collapsed. This tale presents a vignette of the resulting order of things.
This StoryBook is also a simple example, or a demo if you will, of an easy to use template for an online or HTML web based sort of a comicbook or illustrated novel. The content can be plain text, like this page, or an animation without or with text, or just an image with or without a caption. Or it can be a combination of both text and images as seen on some of the following pages.
The Synthetic Reality Comic Book Builder is designed to create or make comics like this one from user supplied content.
After the great collapse had left society in disorder, large numbers of the survivors were interred in what were euphemistcally called "Enclaves". After the collapse no one used the term "refugee camp" anymore. People frequently left the questionable safety of the enclaves in an erstwhile yet almost invariably futile quest for some nebulous concept they called "freedom".
But the old world continued in spin...
And finally an armed government and a few private armies substituted for the former rule of law. The plutocratic oligarchy which kept these forces "on retainer" assumed an interest in limiting the success of those who had left the enclaves. No one used the word "escaped", it was always "left". It almost made it seem as though the "resident population" was free to depart at any time.
For those bearing arms it was less a situation of feeling like paid mercenaries than it was a situation of simple survival. You were either part of ComCore or you were a hostile. And being a hostile generally meant a reduced life expectancy. If there was a choice it was straight up which way to choose.
It had been a quiet shift for the crew of Hornet, and it was just a few minutes before mess call when the comm set beeped and Hornet responded.
The almost omniscient eye of Dragonfly had detected hostiles within the span of Hornet's "area of responsibility", and Hornet quickly responded within protocol to report the results of their drone assisted forward scan. Mess call would have to wait, but not for any longer than necessary.
Terms like "hostiles" and "area of responsibility" and "execute procedure" made the whole thing somewhat technical and impersonal. It allowed for a calmer and closer focus on the task at hand when that task wasn't rudely expressed as "killing people".
In the way that had ever been the manner of such paladins, everything was done in a measured way according to the ritual of protocol.
The pop of the compressed gas that blew the little missile out of its launch tube before ignition followed by the short "fwoosssshhh" of the rocket before it was quickly gone in a trail of exhaust smoke punctuated Hornet's terse announcement to Dragonfly.
The gods of the robot factories that fabricated the little missiles had become ever more talented at their manufacturing craft, and so it was that Hornet was virtually always successful in executing a procedure and thus preventing a group of hostiles from reaching the promised land.
It was a good time to break for chow, a fitting reward for a successful run. Tomorrow Hornet would participate in a verification check for their just completed procedure.
The next morning broke clear and calm and Hornet was soon aloft above last night's target site. For reasons that were held close and secret, ComCore insisted that all such target sites be "sanitized". Hornet would provide aerial security for the grunts and joeboys that would do that. From up here, except for the residual fires, it all looked calm and peaceful as the joeboys slowly moved in from 4 o'clock.