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Projects > Story-of-the-Day > erectus

January 19th, 2017

I'm on scout duty today. I scan the horizon, but see no evidence that the Wild are anywhere around. I share my thoughts with the rest of the clan, who continue on with their tasks knowing everything is safe.

As I sit high up on the tree, I think to my friend, "Hey, how is foraging going?"

Lore is out collecting roots approximately two miles away. He responds, "Great, no Wild today?"

"Nope, all clear."

I start climbing down from my post. It's been hours and I need to stretch. The attacks have been more frequent recently. So if it's sunny out there's always one of us on the lookout.

The neighboring clan contacted us this morning, reporting an attack by a small group of armed Wild. This must have been on Lore's mind as he thought to me, "Do you really think the talk about the Wild creating metal weapons is real?"

I jump the last part of the way down the tree, and take long steps to help stretch. "They are savages. I don't see how they can possibly sit still long enough to figure out how to make weapons. They can't even communicate with each other. How could they work together?"

Lore continues, "I've heard that the grunting sounds they make are a form of communication."

I walk towards the stream to get a drink of water. "It's hard to imagine passing thoughts out loud like that. It would take a lot of different sounds to-"

Reli, a child in our clan, interrupts, "I've heard that the Wild came from one of us mating with an orangutan. So they can still think like us, but have to talk like an ape."

I respond back, "Reli! It is not polite to listen to other people's conversation! You should be paying attention in class now."

Reli responded, "I am... I just got bored. Fine, I'll leave you guys alone."

"Do it again and I will tell your teacher." I kneel down to take a drink and hear the crack of a branch behind me. I spin around but see nothing. I should get back up to my post. I think to Lore as I walk back, "Where do you really think the Wild come from?"

"We have been here for many generations and our history has no mention of the Wild. They look so much like us that they must have come from us somehow, but I don't know how."

As I think about the origin of the Wild, a glint of light flashes my eyes several times from a nearby bush. As I go to investigate, I'm grabbed from behind. I hear the grunts of the Wild as I feel a sharp blade of metal pushing against my neck. I reach out to my whole clan, "The Wild-"

The soldier put away his knife and yells out, "Got him! You think this one was the scout!"

Holding a crudely fashioned mirror, the leader gestures up to a tall tree, "Yeah, we tracked him coming down from up there. He might have warned his group though. We need to get into position."

The soldier inspected the mouth and head of the scout, "I don't see how they do that." The squad hid again, ready to ambush anybody who would come to help.

They had no idea, but 70,000 years later the descendents of the Wild would find the scout's body, or as they would call it, "Homo erectus".