I'm not entirely happy with the idea for my world, but once it got into my head it tickled me and I couldn't get it out. So here we are, in a very strange new world.
It was dark. The broken buildings clawed at the night sky, blotting out stars, but no longer the power and strength they had once been. There was no one to look after the physical any more. No one had the strength, of arm or mind, to put back together the fallen pieces. The city had devolved from the metropolis it had once been. There was once a time when the inhabitants could work together, could use the best of both of their strengths to ensure that everything prospered. They had been rich in technology and military. They had been clever; strong.
Now the race had devolved; or perhaps evolved so much that it could no longer work together cohesively. Man had turned against woman and woman against man. Neither could see why the other would be useful any more, and yet they both still lived in this city, separated by what they were. The women concealed themselves high in the broken buildings, while the men scurried in the shadows, barely remembering how to take care of themselves, fighting anything and everything that they could. It was all a battle to them; a show of strength. There was nothing if they could not be on top, if they could not beat other men in a show of strength, then they had nothing left. Sometimes they even challenged females to battle to assert themselves, though there was little point in doing so. Women never fought them. They backed off, allowing the men to take whatever they wanted, allowing them to get away with anything.
While men had lost how to feel compassion and think things through, women had lost all strength. They could do nothing in a world where one needed to have someone to build houses, where they needed protection. Now they were easily picked off by disease and silly little things, like a fall on the road.
Nothing could protect this race, dying out while they did not work in cooperation. Nothing was done, nothing was developed. Without cooperation there was no procreation and slowly but surely they were dying off.
“Don’t move, Lynn.” The two women stood very still, watching the man as he stumbled towards them, making inarticulate words. Even language was dying off. All it did though was make him into a more terrifying creature, a more pitiful creature. The women fought not to tremble, clutching their bags close. They could not fight, must not fight. Even if they had been strong enough to hold off the man, they would not have fought him. They couldn’t bear the thought of hurting anyone else. Such was their weakness.
The man grunted again, raising a threatening fist and gesturing at the bag Lynn was carrying. He was challenging her, hoping that she would rise to it so that he could fight her, but she would not. The women always just gave the men what they wanted. The men would not fight when they were given what they wanted, when a woman showed them enough subservience, though many suspected they still would have quite liked to fight.
Lynn held her bag tighter to her chest. It held precious items in, as well as all of her money. The man’s face twisted further and she quickly loosened her grip on the bag. There was nothing more important than preserving her and her sister’s life. Nothing. She did not want anyone to get hurt. Slowly the bag was held up before her, not wanting to get too close to the pitiful creature. He seemed disappointed. No fight. No challenge.
All the same he snatched the bag off her, staggering away as he ripped it up, trying to find what was inside. There would be nothing that he could use, but that wasn’t the point. The point was that the women had given up against him, a stronger being.
Lynn looked at her sister fearfully, then back to the man. He wasn’t coming back towards them, his back turned as he rooted through the contents of her bag, ripping up everything. Tears filled her eyes and her sister gripped her arm tightly, pulling her gently along the road, trying not to make any more noise that would draw the man back to them.
“Hush. We’ll just have to stop carrying bags around for them to try and take.”