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Children of the Ash: an ISOT short story

Mark Poe

The majestic cock
Writing Champ
Cross posting from AH.com...
____________________

Nobody:
Not a damn soul:


Me: Hey kids, wanna see a sci-fi Holocaust isekai/ISOT?

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Children of the Ash​

The first thing that they all saw was the sunlight, a clear bright day. Then as their vision cleared, the sight of trees, grass, flowers, all sorts of wonders that nature had to offer. All of that pales in comparison to what followed: each other.

It couldn’t be, they were all dead, at least when the doors of the gas chambers closed, or the sound of shots and the impact of the bullets, or the countless other ways that they were dispatched by the knights of the crooked cross. It wasn’t all just those do were gone the same day, families reunited once again after being torn asunder and then snuffed out at places such as Auschwitz, Dachau, Kulmhof, and countless more over the six inhabited continents of Earth over a period of decades.

As tens of millions of people once again given life rejoiced in their unexpected new lease on life of themselves and their loved ones, they begin to ask the obvious questions: Where are they? Why are they here, in these renewed bodies? Is this paradise? Reward? But what have they done to deserve such?

Some of those questions would be answered within hours, others will never be answered so long as existence itself exists.

…………….​

They soon found out that it was not paradise, nor the afterlife, as the physical needs of the human bodies assets themselves on the crowds scattered all over that fair world. Soon those same tens of millions were facing the same problems of fulfilling those very human needs, with the realization that they only have the clothes on their backs (and for many, those who died in the gas chambers, not even that).

In the weeks, months, years, even decades that followed were a time of pain and suffering, as the seemingly paradise world became a cruel mockery of such. Civilization had to be built again, with bare hands as there was nothing else. Millions died a second time, and for a time the survivors envy the dead. Many once again cursed at God, the devil, and countless other supernatural entities, even at each other, for many they had little in common save their faith and shared suffering in their prior lives. Those were not enough, not in the absence of a human threat, and only the forces of nature itself against them.

But humans were tough, and even with nothing some survived, and lived, and over the centuries their descendants thrived and prospered, but the second era of suffering has left its deep scars. The tribes of the new children of Israel were many, as were their cultures, governments, and economies. Many had forsaken their faith, seeing God merely playing them for playthings and trinkets, and it’s hard to say that they were wrong about that.

Along with the loss of lives came the loss of knowledge and of culture. In the times of the desperate struggle for survival, such inner humanity was an unaffordable luxury. The inevitable loss of such made it no less tragic.

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For over a thousand years they lived, died, loved, fought, discovered, invented, cherished, all the things that humans do naturally for good or ill. Civilization once again bloomed, as were development, and within centuries the pristine lands were replaced by the telltale features of human habitation, and more unsavory riffraffs that always seems to always tag along.

It was a rich world, but no world was, or will ever be, rich enough to sate the nature of man. Inevitably conflicts came and went, and generations only remembered the inhumanity of his fellow man. Earth quickly became a distant memory, then a lost legend. Eden is here and now, although more like the land of Nod given the perpetual violence and strife on it. Once again the children of Adam were disappointing, even on a different planet.

But no troubles last forever, for God is merciful, even when said mercy seemed cruel to those receiving it indeed. Peace, or what passed for peace, had begun to reassert itself more often, although sharp conflicts, for resources, for faith, or even merely the egos of delusional tyrants, continue right up the centuries.

Even as they fought for the resources of their fair planet, many had begun to seek upwards, towards the now familiar stars.

Then one day, the long forgotten nightmare returned.

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It was the automated telescopes who first saw it, the two kilometer long object, scarred with the signs of an interstellar journey of great distances, the paint almost gone from long term exposure to hard radiation and who knows what else in the depth of deep space. However one symbol could still be clearly seen…

The knights of the crooked cross had found them at last.

The response was swift as it was deadly, the arsenals of weapons, which up till now had been pointed at each other, were hurriedly pointed outward, not that it mattered much, since most of them couldn’t have reached low orbit, never mind a million kilometer past the planet (to the sci-fi fans, yes I know that max distance isn’t an actual thing in space warfare, just think of it as a shorthand way of saying “max distances of actually having a chance of hitting anything”).


TBH this model only took less than an hour, because I sure as hell wasn’t gonna spend too much time and effort on it… and don't ask why I have a swastika model lying around.

All too soon the hated ship parked itself in orbit, and commenced a nuclear bombardment, killing millions. The casual act of mass murder was followed by the ship disgorging its contents and occupants.

History was not to be repeated again, however, and soon war of unspeakable brutality broke out. No more, not a step back, they will not go quietly into the night. Not that any of them knew it. History was a luxury that neither side could afford, either by cruelty of circumstances or deliberate policies…

In the end, despite having the ultimate high ground, the people from the stars never had a chance. After years of bitter fighting the peoples and nations of Neo Eden finally dispatched the last of the hated foe, almost too easily but no one at the time thought anything amiss. As the radioactive dust begins to settle it was clear what must be done: they have to go to the stars, and find Terra. Only then will they have closure, one way or the other.

The resulting trek towards the stars wasn’t an international effort, not by a long shot. The Republic of Judea took the lead by virtue of being one of the few countries to avoid significant nuclear bombardment in the war. Even so, the effort took decades, and decades more to assemble a fleet. There was a bit of international protest, although no one else was really in a position to do anything worthwhile about it. Nothing was sacred, and everything was permitted. Even the seemingly impossible fruit of faster than light was snatched, pilfered from the wreckage of the invador’s space battleship still floating in orbit.


Despite the lower tech look of these ships, these models are far more “expensive” than the Nazi space battleship. Never really had a story attached to them and damn if I was gonna let them go to waste…

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The quest for Terra was in retrospect a microcosm of Neo Eden history, of initial high hopes, quickly dashed by the cruel realities of the universe, and a long subsequent struggle to claw their way back to a semblance of what they once were. As the stragglers, running on fumes and patched with the cannibalized parts of their less lucky members, finally made their way to Sol, they found…

… a planet of a graveyard, the final and lasting monument of the Thousand Year Reich. Gone were the greens and blues of nature, replaced by endless fields of grey and black. The fields of factories lying listless, their smokestacks staring emptily into the smog filled skies. There was no sound of life, not a bird, not even a mouse.

All successes must end, and it was no different for the Reich that lasted over a thousand years. Their very success produced the excesses which in the end finally choked them.

Then the men and women of the fleet realized, the ship that intruded on their planet was not the vanguard of an invasion force, but rather the last grasp of a dying despot.

There was no celebrations, no cries of joy. It seemed all meaningless, their long journey, only to be denied their final confrontation. Not only that, but there was no closure either, no answers to be found among the graveyards and lifeless metropolis. Revenge, was it ever in their grasp? Was it even something they wanted? Only the silence of the dead answered.

They begin again. The time for war is over, now is the time for healing.
 
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Alias

Bean Daddy
Moderator
So is this an ISOT to an established fictional universe?
 

Mark Poe

The majestic cock
Writing Champ
So is this an ISOT to an established fictional universe?
Nope, literally something I typed out in about 4 hours after jokingly suggested a holocaust ISOT at various forums, having a hunch that no one else will write such a story before I do.

However the ship models in the second pic are ready made, there's just no story/setting/whatever attached to them.
 
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