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The northern edge of the Ruins.

The northern edge of the Ruins.

When my wife and I went to Paris, we went to an archeological display under the main square of Notre Dame cathedral.  Notre Dame is already almost 700 years old.  The stuff underneath it is even older, going back to the Roman Empire.

It was humbling being there, standing in rooms that had been built by people that had died close to 2000 years ago.  We don’t have this stuff at home.  Everyone that lived here in those days built out of perishable things.  Charles C. Mann talks about the technology of the Americas as being one of textiles and tension; Mesoamericans built with rope where Europeans built with stone.

It just makes for very few ruins and fortifications to dig about in here.  I wish Canada had a great wall or something, maybe up around Thunder Bay.  (Though I’m not sure what the natives would have been keeping out, exactly.  Polar bear raiders?  Penguin conquistadors?)  A castle would be nice, other than that fake one in Toronto.  Most of the “old” forts around here saw little if any action, other than the fake battles put on by University students in the summer.

I guess I just long for some kind history that we just don’t have.  The kind of history that’s made in stone.

The next day was bleak and gray.  Low clouds blocked out the sun.  Emily could feel the rain that was coming; it filled her mouth with a coppery, electric taste.  She moved quickly and silently from one hiding spot to the next, following the dark ones at enough distance that she felt safe, but never wanting to lose sight of them.  She did not trust her ability to follow signs of their passing in the dirt, even those left by such a large group.

But it was getting harder to follow them.  They must have been reaching the edge of the Ruins, because the buildings had been thinning out.  There were more shrubs, and even small stands of spindly trees, but the land was becoming more open and more rolling.  Emily found herself crossing greater and greater stretches of open space in an attempt to keep up with the moving tribe and not be seen.

What if it turns to fields? she asked herself, after clearing a distance of several hundred feet.  What if I can’t find places to hide anymore?  What do I do then?

Emily forced the thought from her mind.  She knew that she could ill afford to start worrying about things like that.  There were too many things already to concern her without adding more possibilities.

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