Next to Chrome City, is where the Hollai the flightless people live. For centuries they have been at constant war with the winged beasts sitting above their homeland. Feathers, micro scales, metal and blood fill the valley of the many battles they fight. The order of the Hollai people is a constitutional commune officiated by the traveling rectors and notaries from Chrome City. The President is elected by all members, from the ages of six to two hundred and fifty. Only one person has ever lived that long, and the Panther Chief meditated that had to be the age limit.
Mr. Ryan R. is the emissary from Chrome City and Ledia Young is an anthropologist from Fortress Briton. Most of what is described here is from their notes, dairies, and various interviews. The Hollai people are hardly simple and enjoy more luxuries than the people from Chrome City or Fortress Briton. Since they are constantly battling the winged beasts, communication is very uncommon. It is very uncommon for anybody outside of Hollai to even care about what goes on in the valley, let alone to listen to any their stories, ballads or songs. The Hollai are not known to really to interact with people outside of the valley. They trade for corns and bottles with Chrome City but besides that they do not communicate willingly with the world.
The question of the winged beasts is interesting. About sixty years ago, one of the Hollai scouts found a laboratory run by The Miller and Ford Foundation. Oddly enough this lab was created to find cures for diseases that have yet to exist, but for the potentiality of existing. One of the members started to create the winged beasts. His journal reads:
After many weeks of waiting for my project, I decided to manipulate genetic material to see how responsive our laboratory’s new discoveries are . I call it genetic poetry. Our lab leader is cutting up all sorts of things, from human experimentation to testing new and exciting chemicals on himself and others scientist working in the lab. From his ‘progress’ I was able to synthesize various basic proteins to create animals from pure scratch. I decided on the mammalian class.
At first using various Carnivora order proteins (mostly from the Feliforma and Procyonidae) I was able to create a lump of life, a little formless lump pulsating and gyrating. It sustained itself for about week. Then, it occurred to me that I could create anything I so pleased. I created homologous feather using fur traits. This fur ‘foliage’ can be manipulated in any color that is possible. The wings are similar to bats but no bat DNA was used. These traits were products experiments by extending the webbing between the paws to make a wing like structure. The scales are simply cutis that is extraordinary thick. Various breading between the animals made them extraordinary muscular.
The intelligence of these creatures is far different from human intelligence. While trying to adapt the genetic code, without using primate DNA, I created a unique intelligence that is purely animalistic and predatory. After a few tests, I made sure the claws were large and elongated the face to be more beak like in structure (but with many, many teeth.) I have yet to name this magnificent beast. I am sure it will last longer than anything ‘naturally’ occurring. I am quite proud of my accomplishments.
The scientist in question succumbed to bullets in the torso. The lab was raided by police officers from the Global Concerns Department of some organization. The scientists were frenzied and were shot when resisting. However, they kept their logs, including the footage of the raid. The Hollai took notes on the creature and download all the documents. “After realizing that the winged beasts were not random creatures a certain respect was given,” President Kiva remarked, “We used to hate them, but now we realize they were bred to be what they are.” Asked if they plan to make the species extinct she responded, “I doubt that is possible. Right now it is survival of our people and the prevention of their spread outside of the valley. If it was not for us, the beasts would destroy Chrome City in days; except, of course, for the underground people.”
The winged beasts’ diet is everything. It eats, foliage, people, birds, snakes and even alligators. One Hollai member saw one swoop into the ocean and grab a great white shark. They live in the valley, but since they depopulated the area the have tended to hunt outside on returning blood covered and a full stomach. The winged beasts seem to take battle with the Hollai people seriously. Their animal brain understands the conflict somewhat. The Hollai have no weapons design to hurt people but only implements specifically designed to take down the beast. The bang-bang stick is a large tube that fires several six-centimeter pellets. It was designed by a farmer name Samantha from the plains. “It is a stupid name but the girl designed it when she was ten so it stuck,” The Chief of Staff said. The marines from Baja copied the designed when they arrived and used it to great effect.
The society of the Hollai people are mostly constructed by books left from a community college library. One historian explains it. “Yeah, pretty much everything is made up from other cultures. Our ‘religion’ is basically Quakerism without the god. I mean how can you believe in god after the winged beasts right? Then our constitution is basically Iroquois Confederacy. We used to have a leopard chief, but then one researcher realized that leopards were part of the winged beasts’ DNA. So we named the position Panther Chief. Our Chief’s of staff is Prussian. Our Presidency is French. Basically we appropriated all sorts of things to survive. It works alright.”
Their computer technology is better than any existing in Chrome City. They use various gadgets and one thinking machine. The thinking machine is a type b made by a garage technician about three hundred years ago. The model was made from a kit, but had many modifications to its basic design. The Hollai mostly write in paper and pen, for some reason, and their education starts early.
There really is not an ethnic group of the Hollai people. Various migrants who want to fight the beasts and have nowhere to go come to valley. “In fact most of our heroes come from the Mexican Marines. They tire of training and have really nothing to do.” Other people come from Chrome City hoping for some fresh air and to avoid the plagues of city life. “I was homeless, despite, working and I just up and left,” said an older gentleman. This area was once California City but it is not the true origins of the Hollai people. “Basically thousands of people were pushed away by the beasts from San Diego, which was a dying city then, but now we just roam what was once a non-existent city,” the historian said, “It is pretty odd and silly but that is history.”
Outside of winged beast meat they are vegetarians. When asked why the eat their enemies, “First they eat us when they can, and secondly there is no meat outside of them here,” the Agricultural Minister says. As they migrate in caravans the plant potatoes in the fields. They buy super hardy wheat, oats, soy, and maize from chrome city. They plant agave plants on the margins. They have a lot of tomato plants and berries as well. “For some reason the beasts hate tomatoes. So we eat a lot of tomatoes. They love grapes and whine,” the Agricultural Minster remarks.
In fact, the spirits may be a way to tame the beasts. “We have to find some way of co-existing with these creatures,” President Kiva said. It is various experiments to calm or to train the ‘animal’ that have actually been somewhat of a goal of the Chief of Staff. “This is not some dumb American thing, we are not going to fight an unwinnable and ongoing war,” He remarks. “There has to be some sort of end to this ordeal.”
”With enough beer and wine anything becomes amendable,” says the Panther Chief, “Even the winged beasts.”