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Wednesday, 4 November 2015

What If! Metropolis Travelogue : Darya , The Plagued City

Hidden away in the depths of the forests is the hidden gem of Darya. Past the rocky canals and muck filled rivers, you turn into what seems to be a standard forest. Towering trees reaching further than you can tell, the odd vine and bird chirping away in the background, lighting the day with their birdsong. It is only when you see the trees reduced to stumps and the odd roaring of gushing water is heard getting closer when you realize that you are not alone. People are here.  Moving towards, the sound gushing water, curious rustling echoes from the bushes as you continue to explore the labyrinth of trees. Nearing the source of the gushing water ,a lone wooden wheel of colossal scale creaked as it turned , lifting multiple tonnes of water up into the trees above , descending up and over a distant wall of matching scale in the background.

Once you enter the city of Darya, the first thing you notice are mounds of rock, littered with tracings of the past, telling the stories of Darya`s once proud civilization. Embracing nature and seeming `Mother Nature`s playground in the time of the Gods. However, despite their once proud status, times had changed and these monuments had long been vandalized, notches had been knocked from the surface and they were covered in a mysterious gruesome green gunge. Strangely enough the toxicity to humans and plant life alike had boost the appearance of fungi, where the pathways and houses were covered almost completely .Not one inch had been left out of this gruesome muck as you continue through the abandoned forest grounds the air thickens to the point it hard to breath and the disgusting stench of oil and petrol fills the air.  As you hurry further trying to clear a path towards any form of fresh air, you can hear the odd wheezing cough and retching coming from the shadows.

The story of this mysterious muck had started several centuries previous. With Darya being a lone city hidden away it was only until recently where their beloved forests had been demolished. Smog filled the air as skyscrapers began to arise from the depths of hell. Chugging deadly smokes from their chimneys and filling the waters with toxic oil. All which Darya lived for. As more pollution filled the air, the more closed off Darya became and those who lived and survived the poisonous air became bitter towards the outside world. Seeing those who caused or were affected by this monstrosity as impurities of the Earth and were banished.

The further you advance through this maze of smog and trees, the heaving coming from nearby residents begins to get louder as a wall entombed within vines of all sorts and those who are unfortunate enough to catch this plague are scratching at the walls begging to be let in. As you continue, careful not to have your own gas mask taken away by the hordes of zombie like beings two guards confront you. Their own masks, created by what you can guess are made nature’s own materials unlike the mechanical beasts used elsewhere. 

At first glance those who guard the outer walls of Darya may seem hostile , treating those who are `outsiders` as if those are to blame for the plague and destruction surrounding their past and people present. Only letting the odd lucky soul inside their sanctuary. Whether you are there on official business or just a visitor, to them, you are all the same. To those who have heard of this once great civilization one may not expect the entrance to such city to be such a ruin. With only planks of wood overlapping and tied by scraps of rope. One you would expect from a post war film. Despite its lack- luster appearance, in the citizens of Darya`s mind, it works, and that is all they care for.

Entering the walls, buildings of varying heights tower over the forest paths, smaller buildings made of what seems to be clay matched with beautifully detailed stained glass windows sat near the border. You can`t help but notice as you progress, that those who seem to be out in the open, adult and child alike are all working. Whether it is building a new greenery or expanding their homes to become more efficient. There was no stop. A constant cycle of work to keep the city flowing. Not because they want to, but, because If they don`t stop the city will fall prey to the sickness prowling at their doors. If they dare stop. The city will no longer exist.  

Moving through the workers, another much more exquisite wall appears, towering above the trees with curved details carved in clay and concrete. Unlike the last, this wall had no warriors protecting those from the innards. Confident that those who work would not dare set foot in the highest ground in the area. Those who were classed as Gods among men. The elders, surviving centuries seeing Darya pass through each passing year , watching as their population decreases and knowing  that despite the cockiness of those who live in the inner circle. They too will be taken by the sickness that spreads.

As you turn to leave, the city of Darya is hindered by its built up reputation from centuries ago. Now a mere corner of its greatness, Darya is a fragile civilization threatened to be destroyed by the pollution engulfing the air around them and the plagued clawing at their door. Ready to burst in at any moment. Despite having such a poor chance of survival the citizens of Darya keep together as if a family , having one goal in common and working together to make sure they can accomplish said goal and bring Darya to the legacy it once had. Despite the odds.

 Some may call Darya the plagued city ,but, when one sees the monstrosity of their sick one can only see that the rest of the world are the ones causing it.

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