In which the last swashbuckling adventurer crashes his solar dirigible into the rainforest, and must battle the Yanamomo for his life.
Peering through the burning rainforest, he knew his trillions of billions of dollars were all gone. That trillions of other things purchased with other trillions had all been reduced to smoldering ash. The solar dirigible had crashed. Helium was not flammable, but without it a massive craft cannot remain aloft and so must crash. Into the South American rainforest. Antarctica was the original destination. Plenty of water. Few mutants. But the craft had only made it as far inland as southern Venezuela before plummeting into the canopy. Now he had nothing left but a balloon filled with the last fresh water, another balloon with the last heroin, his two swords; Branson and Musashi, and his phone, which was dead. His eyes already felt itchy and his skin clammy.
The Yanamomo knew nothing of the recent apocalypse. Their lives had been only mildly affected by the previous 30 centuries, and would have made it through the 21st if not for those pesky anthropologists. Then miners. Then drug lords. Then lizardpeople. Then robots. And most recently, neo-neo-nazis. The Yanamomo hated neo-neo-nazis so much, that they refused to capitalize their names in their lavish writing systems captured on government cell-phones. The Yanamomo are a territorial people so when they saw the dirigible crash, it was in their nature to attack. There were most probably Gods on the craft or at least some machine spirits. Quality smack. They would collect these things, and powder them, and blow it up their noses. It really beat gardening. Within seconds the jungle was abuzz with tweets and texts.
He heard the tweets and saw the texts animating the forest floor with eerie light. He didn’t want to die in this jungle. In this way, so failed and bloodied. There were empires yet to rule on this broken planet. Still piles of rubble to gather among and hunt. Still enough survivors and like-minded mutants willing to build the better mouse pad. Keep working towards a second-generation escape plan. It shouldn’t just be the ultra-rich who were allowed to escape. He would rise from this jungle. None would stand in his way. He swallowed the smack with the last of the water and drew his swords, resplendent with the jungle sweat of war.
“Have at you gentle tribespeople! Stand not amazed by my superawesomeness! Send me your best warriors!” he shouted.
The Yanamomo immediately began taking pictures with their phones and sending it among their intrawebs. Trans-Oral Aural projections with digital totems and WikiGod searches for what this strange warrior savage meant with his screaming and brandishing? Auto-translate epic fail. Who uses swords in this day and age? When everyone and their brother cousins have three laser guns lying around not even charging? That is to say in the sun. Which is crazy, because that’s all that it takes to keep a laser gun going. But tactically spears are really just as easy and effective, when it comes to killing a chupacabra or two for dinner. The vanguard fluffed their Quetzo feathers, shook spears, and prepared to kill the interloper and then go through his guts looking for cybernetics.
He would have none of their shenanigans. The first wave of warriors lost a dozen fingers trying to get a spear into him. The spears were not made for longevity, and soon enough the Yanamomo began throwing knives, sling stones, and hatchets. He dodged the missile weapons in delicate spins. The Yanamomo had to admit he had skills as a sword warrior. Another finger flew into the air, and the aged veteran cursed and clung to the stub. Someone reaches for their shotgun, and someone calls the local drug lord.
He is getting so tired of fighting. What was the function of fighting these fabulously dressed people? Why was he compelled to interrupt their lives with his whirling blades? There was no reason. Reason took the millennia off for good behavior, and humanity was left to stab and hammer one another for kicks on a Saturday night. Crashed on a Saturday night, dead by Sunday morning. There were so many Yanamomo, and they were using guns. The guns hurt him. He was mostly bulletproof but being bulletproof doesn’t mean being immune to bullets in the same way that a watch that claims to be waterproof is only rated to get wet, not be submerged. Certainly not submerged to the bottom of the ocean. Certainly we can’t make a waterproof watch or phone, not even here, in the most advanced and destroyed age of doomed humanity. Because the cell phone people will outlive the cockroaches by a generation.
He knew that he was doomed, and the heroin balloon burst. Within he felt the exploding warmth of AAA medical grade heroin erupting from the very core of his spiritual being, even as he resorted to taking whole hands in response to machine pistols being fired at his face. He knew that it did not matter. That his mortal hands, turned against his brother and sister, were only playing a dying tune in strings of blood. That his battle was with himself, and with that sudden realization he threw his swords into the dirt and resolved to die.
It was just then that Quetzoquaddle, the resplendent and awesome feathered serpent god, tore open the night sky, rearing a golden mane of feathers before spitting hot venom onto the Yanamomo, who screamed with pain and died terribly. God alarms began going off everywhere, and the Yanamomo went to ground with terror and delight.
He stood then, and saluted the God in his usual fashion, and with that, it spoke to the man in no uncertain terms:
“Lo I am Quetzoquaddle, co-creator of the cosmos and eternal dragon to the timeless ages. Bend before my might, and offer supplicant praises or be swallowed whole, only to roil eternally digested in my distorted bowels.”
At this the man laughed.
“Supergross, Q! I can’t believe you melted those poor dudes.”
And they ate delicious pizza sandwich forever.