The year was 2202. Kroboski stretched his arm back. A steel hook reflected the dwindling but scorching copper sun. Kroboski snapped the hook forward. Three Long Darts spun along the surface of the hook and catapulted one-after-another toward a wooden barricade. Two of the four-inch shafts drove into the wood up to their hilts. The third dart caught an innocent Dart Boy to the left of his eye.
“Kroboski. Kroboski!” The huge, crumbling arena erupted. with the National Hero’s name. The brainless hero’s name was Kroboski. I’m not saying he won some award for being brainless. I’m just saying the year 2202 was brainless enough with out having a National Hero named Kroboski. National Long Dart Champion. Ninety-nine percent of the hundred thousand fans who filled every seat in the giant, run-down Long Dart Stadium didn’t know his first name; they just called him “Kroboski”, but his name was Gregory Kroboski.
He was like a Neanderthal Polack who survived from some other century .He reminded most of us why we had to jump-start the human race for the seventh time—or so they said. But they said a lot of things that would someday prove to be untrue. Or so I thought. I wasn’t the guy to challenge them. I noticed too many disappearances of my peers who challenged the Matriarch and her teachings. But Kroboski was all the things the Matriarchal society, which I was unfortunate enough to be born into, pounded into our bowed heads. His kind was the reason society imploded the last time around. The history books were kind of fuzzy on what happened, how it happened, and why it happened, but history was very clear men caused the fall. They took all the money, ate all the food, raped all the women, beat all the children, and killed all the righteous men.
I, like everyone else was taught that all men were brutes. We only thought of ourselves. So men had no time to think of the welfare of society. Only women could rule.
Only women could be mothers: to children, to society, and to their husbands. From the time I was fourteen, I knew I was bigger and stronger than any woman and most men. I knew I could slam anybodies silly head against the Foundation’s Liberty Wall if I so desired. But the FOL were always around. The Followers Of the Leader kept all of we brutes inline.
The women taught and led and ruled. So why did they allow a violent game like Long Darts? And why allow a throwback like Kroboski, Gregory Kroboski, to be champion for the past ten years? In Old-times, men beat each other to death in an octagon, but at least they didn’t use four-inch steel spikes.
The arena crowd puked up his name again, “Kroboski.” But my attention went quickly from my internal rant to the exquisite, dark-haired girl sitting next to me. She was tiny and delicious. There I was thinking like a brute. . . . again. If there were truly a God, he would let time stop and let me have her right there on the splintered stadium-seats. But there was no God. Just more hype from the women. The woman, beside me, was a real beauty. She turned to me as though she could read my nasty thoughts which included having her for lunch.
“Demitri will win,” she said casually.
“You’re nuts,” I blurted out, “Kroboski hasn’t lost a match in ten years.” Then I used an illegal swear word. Only four letters but four letters that seamed to offend every woman even the Free Girls and the wild women from North City. By the look on her beautiful face, I could tell she didn’t expect a mere male to contradict her in public. Or use an illegal swear word. But I liked that swear word. It was just designed to offend everyone.
The women thought that if they made certain words illegal it would make men less violent. As if not calling a guy a name as you were about to gut him with a double-edged knife would make you thrust less deeply. Technically, the word had always been illegal.
Every society had outlawed it. At least for the last three hundred years. But it still rolled off the tongues of most men, all Free Girls, and some women from North City.