We have followed you
Rodolfo Martínez

We have followed you, traveller. You don’t know and maybe you will die without knowing, happy in your ignorance, holding the price you stole from us, unaware of what you have unshackled upon your world. Maybe we even want it that way; it’s possible revenge will be sweeter then. Or maybe not. It doesn’t matter. We have time, all the time we want, and we don’t have to decide anything right now.

We have followed you, traveller. We have followed you to this world of disconcerting shapes and hurting voices, of fear of darkness and arrogance regarding the light you have created to banish night. But you’re wrong, night cannot be banished, merely postponed, and sooner or later we will prove that to you and your entire world. Sooner or later all of you will remember why are you afraid of darkness, why you jump at the slightest noise, why the shapes created by the shadows make you recall what you really are: prey, cattle. You have created a world full of light, smoke and shining machines, you have built a lie and upon it you have erected your civilization. But the lie won’t last; it will fall sooner or later taking all of you with it.

We have followed you, traveller. To this world with a moon where nights are too clear and days seem eternal.

We have followed you, traveller. Drunk with your success you have not even suspected you were not alone; but we’ve come with you, we slipped into the shadows and looked for shelter underground. We’ll build our own world here. Yes, here, while you strive on the surface to erect your lies higher and higher, more and more complex, more and more frail, we will thrive, create the truth and wait for its moment. Because we are a patient people, traveller, something you didn’t realise during your short visit. We are patient and we can wait as long as it takes here in the shadows, in the endless tunnels you use to drain your trash and to throw it to a sea that is beginning to grow tired of you. We can wait as long as it takes, yes, clothed by the cosy darkness of these tunnels that seem made to shelter us and be our home. Yes, go on building your lie, create taller buildings, shiner machines, more complex structures. Go on enjoying your ingenuity, your strength, your will and your ambition. Go on, convinced that nothing can defeat you and there’s no problem your skills cannot fix. And while you do, while you live in a dream cradled by the artificial light created to banish your night fears, we shall live here, thriving and building, scheming and planning, waiting for the right moment. We are just beneath your feet, undermining the basements of your lie bit by bit while you make it higher and more complex.

We have followed you, traveller. And you don’t know. Your ignorance is just one factor of our revenge, maybe the better one or at least the most satisfactory. You don’t know. You’ll travel again and again, going forward or backwards, and you won’t have the slightest idea you have unshackled us and released us upon your world. Yes, you, no one else.

We have followed you, traveller. Just a few of us. Enough of us.

We have followed you, traveller. And we have let you go while we learnt the shapes of this new world, though we detested it form the moment we set our eyes on it. This world where prey think they are the hunters, where everything is twisted, everything is too shiny and stinks of complacency. This world where one type of cattle has tamed another type and used it for company and food, for working and travelling. From our shelter in the tunnels we hear the hoofs on the streets, the squeak of the wheels on the paving stone, the sharp kiss of the whip in the flesh, the fear and the hate and the awe and the worship and the contempt those prey you have tamed feel for you. A world upside down, we tell each other, a world of light and arrogance that won’t last. A world of machines also, and that gives us some comfort. Just some. Because what kind of world is this where cattle tames cattle, where cattle create, have ideas, build machines and believe they are the masters?

We have followed you, traveller. We have followed you and we have thrived. And we have watched your people. And while they increased their numbers, so did we. Here, down in the darkness, our numbers have grown as swiftly as our needs.

We have followed you, traveller. Some of us wish we hadn’t. They wish we had never abandoned our home for this upside down world which is an offense to everything good and right. Yes, they wish we had never followed you, because then we would not be forced to do things our people have never done before; we wouldn’t have to destroy our own brood when, fascinated by your luminous lie, begin to talk about going out, blending in with you, learning from you and, in time, living in peace with you. No, never! We aren’t here to bend our knees to cattle too clever for their own good, we aren’t here to be compliant. We’ve come to await your destruction, to push you into it if necessary, to build our world upon the ashes of yours. And we’ll do whatever it takes, we’ll even kill those of our children that are dazzled by the glamour of your ingenuity and desire a coexistence that goes against our natural impulse. Does the hunter coexist with the prey, the consumer with their food, the victim with his butcher? Above anything else, the way you have twisted the world to that end proves how wicked you are.

We have followed you, traveller. In silence, in darkness.

We have followed you, traveller. We’ll wait while the lie you call civilization keeps on growing, higher and more complex and more frail. More beautiful? Some of us think so. But, if that’s true, if the abominable structure where you live has any kind of beauty it can only be a sick and decadent beauty that will soon fade forever.

We have followed you, traveller. Yes, we have followed you and we’ll wait for the right moment. We’ll build our world on the ashes of yours. We’ll use the withered remains of your ingenuity and your arrogance to fertilise our creation. And one day you will return from your travels, you will return to the place you call home and you’ll find us here. And in that exact moment you will understand who is responsible. That you, in your vain effort to fight us, have created our world.

We have followed you, traveller. And here we’ll stand, waiting for you. We, the Morlocks.

English version by Rodolfo Martínez, assisted by Ian Whates.