Check back every week for a new instalment of the online exclusive by Richard Cozicar The Ice Racer.
January 23, 2046
In a meeting held among the remaining officers we were left with no choice but to gather our decimated troops and retreat back to help protect the Bakken oil reserves in Northern Dakota. The ever-expanding climate army has over run our positions in Northern Alberta. There are thousands of civilians willing to join them and fight on their side in exchange for heating fuel and food and these extra bodies are reinforcing the climate army’s troops now.
This winter is especially cold and we’ve been hearing rumours for months now about people either freezing to death or dying in fires that they have started in unsafe conditions to heat their shelters.
I honestly can’t say I blame people for choosing the side of the climate prophets. They are the ones controlling most of the remaining fuel reserves in the world now and can at least offer the freezing masses some sort of help. Our united armies are constantly retreating now and the minute amounts of reserves we fight to preserve are by no way enough to help even a fraction of the large masses of people.
January 30, 2046
For the past week now we have had our men load and fuel up our transport vehicles in the dead of night to avoid prying eyes. The plan is to move our convoy of vehicles out before dawn tomorrow morning and try to slip out of this post to travel to North Dakota.
The forecast for tomorrow is calling for severe blizzard conditions, which I hope, will mask our retreat. Most of the climate army’s troops have little if any winter gear so the cold and snow will work in our favour. The big four-wheel drive transports will lead the way, breaking trail through the snowdrifts that cover the roads. There is no spare fuel to be wasted on road clearing.
Sergeant Griffins came to talk to me earlier this evening. He has been away from our camp for the past few days on a scouting mission. He explained that conditions away from our camp are desperate. Small towns are overrun with transients seeking shelter from the cold. Very few towns have any wooden buildings left as the materials have been scavenged for heating and cooking. Several communities are now sending out caravans of men and wagons into the forests to cut trees for burning.
Months ago when I was first sent to this post you couldn’t turn around without bumping into the forest. Now, as far as I can see, only the odd stump sticks up through the accumulating snow. It’s just stumps and paths packed in the snow from the wood gathering caravans as they make their pilgrimages back and forth.
Buildings of brick or steel are mostly what remains as community shelters with large fires burning on the inside resulting in a staggering amount of deaths. This is one of the coldest winters I can remember and there is no fuel or electricity to help the masses make it through. If the cold weather persists the water supply will freeze over bringing only compounding these problems.
February 5, 2046
We have been on the road for almost a week now. The going is slow because we have to stop often and clean the roads by hand. Even the largest, heaviest trucks in our convoy are getting stuck trying to break a trail through the snowdrifts covering the road. Every man is taking turns wielding shovels, myself included.
As the week ends, each and every man is dragging from fatigue caused by clearing the roads and the lack of sleep brought on by the cold. Even we don’t have near enough fuel to continue running the vehicles and providing heat for ourselves. I am having doubts as to whether we will make the long journey to Minot, North Dakota.
February 6, 2046
We have stopped just off the highway near what was once the middle of the Alberta city of Lethbridge, located in Southeastern Alberta, an area that we thought had been deserted for some time.
Once all the wood and paper in the city was burned for fuel there was no reason for any one to remain here. This part of the province had very little in the way of trees to begin with, the small supply disappeared quickly, so the people who lived around here joined the massive exodus west for the mountains.
The Rocky Mountains to the west provided shelter in the way of caves, animals for food and for now an abundance of trees much sought after as fuel for heat.
One thing I’ve noticed on our trek from the north is the vast open spaces. Areas that were not long ago covered in forest lay bare with only the odd tree stump protruding from the ground. The wind is ceaseless now as it blows across miles and miles of barren land.
As we drive I spot farms and small towns lying in ruins, any building materials that weren’t burnable are left in shambles. The lack of fuel has caused ordinary people to resort to any means possible to stay warm and cook the now dwindling food supplies.
February 7, 2046
I am sitting down to write a few words before our camp is broken down and ready to move. It’s a cool morning, the sun is starting to rise, the sky is clear. The day promises to be cold.
Gun shots. Our scouts reported that they had not seen anyone in this area when we stopped last night. I can hear the sentries scrambling, yelling at each other...
I power down my reading page. The mixture of air I’m breathing is making me a little dizzy but overall I feel fine. I grab a couple food pouches and remove my visor. The grumbling in my stomach exceeds my need to be cautious. The food has no taste but it serves its purpose.
Setting my visor back in place I stand up looking for some ice to melt for a drink. I will need to walk farther away from the river of red molten lava that flows through this large cavern. The area around it is free of ice, the ground soft and muddy.
Clambering over mounds of soft earth and boulders I walk away, my back to the heat thrown off by the lava flow. The ground firms up as I put some distance behind me. Walking around a pile of boulders I stop. A noise startles me. Almost sounds like voices. People talking.
I crouch in the darkened shadow of the rock pile and slowly creep around looking for the source of the noise. In the dim light I stare, struggling to peer into the distance darkness. Not far from my hiding spot I can just barely make out the silhouettes of movement.
Check back every week for a new instalment of the online exclusive by Richard Cozicar The Ice Racer.
July 3, 2044
We continued training with some European Union troops. Our allies flew in two days ago and we are all anticipating rigorous drills for the next three weeks in preparation for a possible war against the forces of the climate prophets.
At first the world’s governments had not taken the prophets threats seriously, writing them off as annoying fanatics. The climate armies now have numbers in the millions and are proving to be a dangerous adversary with their coordinated attacks.
The prophets have been recruiting large numbers of volunteers with their continued posting of anti-fossil fuel campaigns that highlight the bombings of strategic world fuel reserves. The terrorist actions by these organized groups are now having a huge affect on the continued harvesting and transportation of necessary supplies. At the rate that the attacks are happening most countries around the world are now struggling to maintain day-to-day operations.
I was told yesterday I had been promoted. I am now the youngest captain in the
Canadian Army at twenty-three years of age. Captain Jeff Ryan. Cool. Has a nice ring to it, but my celebration comes at a bad time as world forces are striving to fight off the determination of the climate prophets and their growing fuel resistance army.
I was notified this morning that my training here in Wainwright will be cut short as I am to report as a Canadian liaison to the American Army at Yakima Training Center in Washington state. Officers from around the world are meeting there to be briefed on plans for the retaking of the fuel reserves that we’ve lost to the enemy.
I hate to leave at this time. Since the rains of June have stopped we’ve experienced nothing but blue skies and sunshine with the temperatures hovering in the high twenties. The rain has turned everything green and the air has a clean, fresh smell to it.
I close my eyes briefly trying to imagine a world where a person walks on grass and can be outside with out a thermal suit and helmet. What would fresh air smell like I wonder or grass under my feet and sunshine on my face.
I am snapped out of my daydream by the chilling bite of the cold. I turned the batteries down in my suit while I was tunneling to save battery power. I forgot to turn it back up.
I stand up and move as much as I can in my small ice cave to warm myself. I’m restless. I came to terms with my situation while I was plowing through the snow earlier but the desolation is hard to deal with. I’ve never been alone before and definitely not outside our compound above ground. I don’t know how to deal with it.
I can feel the heat of the suit starting to ward off the chill. I sit back down, my back against the wall of my ice cave, fighting to keep thoughts of doubt and despair from flooding my mind paralyzing me.
Picking up the reading paper I swipe my gloved hand across it and stop at a page deeper in the diary. Anything to take my mind off the situation I’m facing.
June 10, 2045
The climate prophet’s armies are growing exponentially. The governments around the world are losing the battle. The climate armies are burning and destroying all our sources of fuels at an alarming rate forcing us to retreat on many fronts. The lack of fuel is slowing and in some cases stopping our progress at several strategic locations across the world.
Today the European president recalled a large number of troops back to defend the few large fuel reserves they still had now that the climate armies have invaded the Saudi Conglomerate States decimating their armies and destroying the Middle Eastern oil reserves.
The other side’s strategy appears to be to starve their enemies of all fossil fuels. Not only is this slowing down the armies united against them, but also a worldwide ration has been adopted. Basically the only manufacturing left untouched by the ration is the arms factories.
People by the thousands and soon millions will be without work and shortly without fuel to heat their homes and run their cars.
If the attacks keep up everyone but the people contracted or enlisted in the military will be left to their own means of survival. The army can’t fight off the climate armies and keep peace among all the people being affected by the energy shortage.
October 5, 2045
Everywhere we travel now people are milling around. Jobs are very scarce and the military has stopped hiring, they can no longer accommodate the millions of despondent civilians who are signing up so they can have a way to support their families.
Traveling through the major cities is the worst part. There is no more room for the hordes of people who keep arriving daily. The factories and high-rises are being deserted ever since the power grids were shut down a month ago and the weather is turning cold. Winter is arriving and very few people have a means to heat their homes.
Smoke is seen everywhere now as people scrounge around for materials to burn for heat. Wooden buildings are being stripped of any and all flammable materials and the very citizens who we are sent to protect are turning against us in their desperate search for supplies.
The army has been tasked with protecting the reading material in the major libraries and they are being sent extra men, but with the need for heating materials increasing as the weather cools, the defense of these bastions of written wisdom will surely fall.
Everyday now there are numerous reports of people burning to death by fires that were started to heat homes but got out of control. If there are fire departments that have not been attacked and had their reserves of fuel stolen, they won’t even attempt to venture out to most house fires, the fuel they are allotted needs to lay in wait for more serious responses. What that is… I’m not sure what would qualify.
October 30, 2045
Europe has fallen to the climate armies. The defeat came only weeks after the destruction of the Middle Eastern oil reserves. The massive climate army marched north picking up millions of recruits with promises of heat and food for the upcoming winter. Energy is power these days. If you have it you make the rules for society.
We are told that the siege of the United Kingdom is only days away and the majority of service men in the North American continent are being deployed to the eastern seaboard to build up our defenses against the impending surge from across the ocean. We have not received any oil shipments from abroad for months now and our fuel supplies have dwindled. My unit has been tasked with protecting the last of our oil fields in Alberta and the Dakotas.
So far we have been able to limit the amount of damage. The climate forces are building around here now though and it is a monumental struggle to keep our small reserves from being destroyed or falling into the hands of the enemy.
We can’t expect any help from the South Americans either. They are currently fighting a loosing battle of their own. The last report from the southern hemisphere is that the war has pushed far inland and any fuel reserves are now burning or under the control of the climate prophet’s armies and will soon be destroyed.
I turn the papers power off as my head starts to droop. The long walk today is taking its toll on me as I fight to keep my eyes open. I lean my head back thinking. Why would a world that from my point of view must have been paradise want to destroy everything they had built? This thought is even more depressing than the position I now find my self in.
I drift off into a cold restless sleep. My dreams are torn between a green warm earth and the white freezing world I was born in. Dreams or more like nightmares. At one point I dream that the floor I’m sitting on is cracking and I’m falling.
I wake up, my eyes opening. It’s dark. I can’t see anything. As I turn my head my eyes focus on the glow of my thermal shovel. I must have forgot to turn it off. The floor shifts again. It wasn’t a dream. Suddenly I’m falling.
A new Canadian Author with too many ideas in his head. Surprising even himself with where his stories go.