“Good afternoon Athens! This is Effie Andino with Athens Local News, coming to you live from the mountains of Birza, near one of former Greece’s most popular parks, Dimosio Dasos Rapentosas.” She paused to let viewers process that in their mental maps. “Behind me, we have about one hundred unknown people, who reports say landed in Greece just this morning, grouping around what seems to be a grassy hill.” Effie stretched a confident hand towards the anomaly, keeping her front towards the camera. “As you can see, they are tearing away at the overgrowth. Though this may look like a war on the environment, there looks like what may be a building, yes, a building under all that lush greenery. Where did these people come from? How do they know each other? What are they trying to uncover? More information will be available soon. This is Effie Andino with Athens Local News.” Flashing a crisp smile, she waited for her cameraman to give her the okay to make their next move.
“Holy crap, I cannot believe this is happening!” Effie gave a small jump to channel her excitement than began to look around at her surroundings. She saw police lights in the distance, knowing that there wouldn’t be many officers, since there was hardly anyone left in the country. The number had dwindled down to under two million over the course of twenty-two years. A major pandemic had hit the world, taking many lives and leading to the worst recession the world had collectively endured. By 2030, it was evident that the previously tourist-reliant economy had no way of recovering in a world where everyone was terrified of the thought of being (even temporarily) in a new ecosystem. The concept of pride in one’s country was pushed aside for survivals’ sake for the majority.
Effie had done her best to stay positive growing up in such harsh conditions, always hoping that one day Greece would be reborn. Since her birth during said pandemic, she had become a beacon of hope for her family. They stayed in country the past few years because they believed in her, not her dream. Watching the world leaders give up on their citizens so easily to ensure their own capital was disheartening, to say the least.
The few police officers hopped out of their patrol cars, hands resting on their guns. They were becoming as trigger-happy as the American officers an ocean away. Effie approached the three officers with her crisp smile and opened a calm dialogue.
“Good afternoon officers, what have your reports been lookin’ like?
The clean-cut officer with 'Major' in front of his name was the one to answer as Effie tried to recall the chain of command in Greece, “Nothing too drastic, Liuetenant General wanted up to make sure this doesn’t get out of hand. Keep civilians calm. Y'know the drill.” The other two officers rolled their eyes and began to make their way towards the crowd.
Effie nodded with understanding. “Are there any other reports of gatherings? I would’ve thought there would be more of you.”
“Actually,” The officer sighed while following his subordinates, “Almost every mountain has a group of landscapers cleaning up. Any that doesn’t, has some of these random tourists heading over as we speak.”
Effie couldn’t hide her shock, “Even on Skiros and Crete?”
The officer nodded. Her eyes lit up, she couldn’t believe how quickly this was happening; at the same time, imagining how quickly this could go awry. Effie cut him off, deadening his advance towards the newcomers. “No matter what happens, please do not hurt these people. Please make sure all the other officers listen before they act. I honestly don’t think they are ill-willed. This could be a historical event... happening right before our eyes.”
“Yeah, yeah, move aside please.” He spoke into his walkie, “Do not take action against non-hostiles. Keep citizens away from subjects. Confirm threat and report back before moving in.”
Effie followed to soak up all the information she could. The shiny bits she had seen from under the hill on the drive over were being revealed as gold, creating intricate, ancient designs against the most pristine, white marble; something out of a history book. The thought of more of these buildings being unveiled all over the country sent chills up and down her spine. Miles off in the distance on Mount Pentelicus, Effie spotted the bright, white top of another building. Tears were welling in her eyes, hoping her family was watching any news station.
It’s finally happening.