The Real Criminals
You are not yet old enough to understand anything; you have yet to speak your first words and haven’t even attempted to stand up. Yet here I sit, writing you this letter explaining everything that has happened to me and to our family. I don’t expect you to read this until well after I have passed from this world, and I hope that this does not change the way you think of me as a man. What you do with the information that I am about to tell you is up to you and you may share it with the world should you wish to. I will not begrudge you anything.
Let’s start at the beginning, our family’s rise from the ashes of hell. Many years ago, before I was born, before my grandfather’s grandfather was even an idea in the head of his mother, there was a war. This war was between the so-called “superpowers of the world.” The countries' names have long since been forgotten but what they did to our planet will stay with us for the rest of time. This war was unlike any war that had been waged on the planet for this war was fought with weapons of mass destruction, weapons made to destroy large swathes of land with the press of a button. This war brought the end to all forms of politics in the world. It nearly brought our species to the brink of extinction, but we endured it, and the winter of ash that followed. Now fast forward to forty years ago, I am but a little boy playing in the wastelands, looking through
products of an age long since past when I come across something; a cabin buried under the rubble but undisturbed. Of course as a little boy I was curious and went to investigate. I opened the door and what I found inside would lead me to this day. It would encourage me to become the man I am today.
Inside the cabin was a massive amount of weapons that hadn’t been seen since the lost age, as well as books on criminals of that world, the infamous “politicians.” These criminals subjugated the regular people and forced them to pay “taxes” in order to live in their world, to get half the privileges that they enjoyed. I was a little boy and could do nothing at this time, but I spent the majority of every day there in that cabin, studying, learning about the old world and all the tricks they used to gain power and reputation. Eventually I realized that someone else would stumble upon this cove and so, when I turned sixteen I left my family and moved everything from the cabin to a safer location, which I then called home. I kept in touch with everyone I knew from my life and slowly began converting the stronger individuals into my minions. They did what I asked
when I asked them to and did not question it. Soon enough I had a group large enough to engage my plan into action. I explained to them what was going to happen. We were going to set up an area for people to live in, an area free of bandits and protected with weapons far stronger than the bandits could ever hope to find. There was a catch however. The people who wanted to live under our protection had to give us stuff, whatever they could manage that would be useful. At first it was small things every month or so, but eventually we ran into a problem.
About seven months after the operation began we had a population that had grown too large for us to protect. I had to delve into the city to find young men and women who would be brave enough to join the protection force. People jumped at the opportunity, not realizing that doing so left their family weakened and more in my control than ever. As the population rose, so did the taxes. We claimed it was for the good of everyone, that these items would go to good uses and that it would eventually benefit us all. All of these were lies that I had read in those books as a child. In reality I was pocketing half of all the taxes, making my family more well off than everyone else’s.
No one suspected anything, and while this system has worked for a while, we have long since run out of ammunition for the weapons we found and have been keeping bandits away with only the threat of use. I have only ever wanted to keep my family safe and well off. That was the only reason I kept up the pretense all these years. My son, some day you will grow up and see it all for what it really is and it will be your choice. You can tell them the truth that I was nothing but a liar, exploiting them for their goods, or you can continue the lie and try to keep the people safe. I am sorry to place this burden on you, but my time is coming soon and I wanted you to know the truth of it all.
I love you with all my heart
Your father, Alan Abel