Author: Mistress-K99 PM
The world is different and unknown. The people have changed, the vast portion of the world's population has fallen. A virus morphing the human race over time. A sole man from a different time comes into the new world with pain and confusion. Fitting in may be an issue and falling apart is dangerously possible.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Sci-Fi - Words: 2,124 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 1 - Published: 11-03-12 - id: 3071122
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The world was not as it seemed to be.
Too many things are covered up.
Too many questions left unanswered.
Maybe that's why it fell apart.
Maybe that's why people snapped.
2012 – The world survived. Nothing happened, just like with everything else foretold. That doomsday came...that doomsday went...and there was nothing.
The world celebrated.
2014 – An underground group released information...to everyone. Every single email, every since TV channel, every single newspaper even, got every little detail. Information on what was happening around the planet and where it was happening. And people actually got curious and checked. Everything turned out to be right.
The world fell apart.
2017 – Amidst the anarchy and chaos, a new disease was born. One which brought out the worst in people. Slowly the planet fell victim, people getting infected, infecting others, dying off, fading away.
The planet became one big graveyard.
7.02 billion people lived on planet Earth in 2012.
1 billion, survived the 2017 virus.
A slowly decreasing number.
The virus changed the survivors. No longer could conventional acts harm them as once they had. Their strength was undeniably more than it had ever been. Their speed had increased, their senses better, their minds sharper.
But not everything was good.
No longer would the sun touch at their skin without near instant burning. No longer would they be able to bare children.
Food supplies are dwindling.
The world is dying.
It's people slowly following.
In the years to follow...things will get worse...much much worse...
San Diego, California – September 24th, 2013
He steered his truck through the busy streets, gripping the wheel with tight hands and frowning.
He hated the city.
Why did he ever leave Arizona?
He glanced at the paper sitting in his cup holder and looked out the window at all the tall buildings. Twice in this trip alone he had nearly been run down by a cable car. This job had better be worth all this. He may have hated the city but he didn't really want to go back to Arizona, back to folks, admit he was wrong.
Finally he found the right building but it took a further twenty minutes of circling around for a parking spot.
He should have left his apartment earlier.
His feet carried him into the building and he moved up to the reception desk, placing his hands firmly on the surface and waiting until the young woman on the other side turned away from her sleek expensive computer.
"Can I...help you?" Her eyes drifted over his tense, disheveled appearance with a look that clearly asked what the hell he thought he was doing there.
Under normal circumstances, he would have been snarky. He would have shot back with something that would have left her gaping like a fish out of water.
But these weren't normal circumstances.
He gave his name, said he had an interview. With a semi disbelieving look, the secretary turned her gaze back to her computer, her manicured fingers tapping swiftly over the keyboard.
"I know, Ma'am."
"Mr. Jacobs doesn't appreciate lateness."
"Yes Ma'am, I know, I'm sorry."
"Take the elevator to the tenth floor."
She held out a visitor pass with the tips of her fingers and he snatched it from her, being sure to actually touch her hand as he did. He walked through the gate and to the row of elevators, glancing back once to see the woman applying hand sanitizer to her hands.
The elevator ride gave him time to adjust his appearance, sort himself out. He looked at his reflection in the mirrored wall and decided that the receptionist was just a stuck up bitch. He looked good, he could pass as a person that was meant to be there.
The second receptionist seemed nicer as he stepped out of the elevator and moved into the office space. She at least gave him a sympathetic smile as he came into sight. She gestured him to a closed door and gave him a quick encouragement before returning to her duties.
His fist shook slightly as he knocked on the door.
"Do you know what we do here, son?"
"Not entirely, sir, no."
"Not many do."
So far everyone seemed far more friendly then the front receptionist. Jacobs had momentarily gotten on his case for being late but nodded in understanding when he heard about the parking incident. A thriving tourist city was vastly low on acceptable parking spaces. The initial part of the interview had gone well.
What do you hope to accomplish?
Do you think you're cut out for this place?
How are you at problem solving?
Do you think well on your feet?
Do you panic easily?
Some of the questions had seemed odd to him but he had kept that to himself. He needed a job and he wasn't even arguing how he had even managed to score the attention of Jacobs and the big fancy office building of his work place.
Jacobs led him off the elevator into what seemed to be an underground level. It had required a key to get to and only the one elevator would go there.
"Your brain fascinates me, son. I won't lie."
"Oh...uh...thank you, sir."
"I got my hands on some of your test scores."
"You could do a lot with those brains."
He decided to stay silent at this point. He honestly wasn't sure which test scores Jacobs was commenting on. Over the last few months he had taken so many types of tests and questionnaires that he had lost track of what was what.
Jacobs led him to a room, sat him at a table, lifted a cloth, and told him to do whatever he wished with the dozens of pieces of...he wasn't even sure.
But now he was left alone.
Left alone with the pieces and several tools.
"This is what you came up with?"
"Is...is that a good thing?"
"Oh yes, it's very good. There's something I want you to see."
He was nervous again, had been getting so over the last hour as he worked to build...something...anything with what he had. Truthfully, he didn't even know what he had made but it seemed to impress Jacobs and who was he to argue at that? Anything that got him the job, right?
So he once more followed his prospective boss down a long well lit hallway.
Once more, a key was used at a door.
And then a keypad with numbers at a second door.
And then they were standing in a room that looked three times larger then the office building's lobby area.
He was stunned.
Dozens of large, intimidating machines loomed over them as he followed Jacobs further in silence.
"Now...we're going to get to your job."
"Yes...your job...is to assist...with this."
And there it was, probably the biggest machine in this room. The inner workings would have likely held a man twice his size with room left over even with all the wires and pieces inside.
It reminded him of one of those doomsday devices the villains made in cartoons.
"Oh don't worry...it's not meant to be as dangerous as it probably appears to be."
That did little to assure him as he gazed skeptically at the imposing metallic wonder. So much for assuming this job would get him a nice office with a view. He suddenly felt silly wearing a suit. He was basically be asked to be a mechanic.
No wonder the first receptionist had been so snooty.
"What do you say?"
"That is to say..."
"Not to put any pressure on you, but I need to know today."
"Oh...that...I...umm...yes, I'll...do this."
"Fantastic, Mara at the front will give you everything you need."
San Diego, California – October 15th, 2013
His first pay check had been far more than he expected. There was enough to cover every single one of his bills, hire someone to paint his apartment, buy a new television set, cell phone, and even a new better bed, plus send some to his parents and still have some left over.
Hell, he could have moved into a fully furnished penthouse and still had money left over.
Working on the weird doomsday machine had it's perks.
He wasn't entirely sure what it was meant to do but the other people on the project had told him if his scanner showed green then everything was working as it should.
Life had been good in the last three weeks.
The only problem, something was nagging at his mind about this machine. He had been told that it was good, that it was helpful, but something about it's looming figure just didn't seem right. He had yet to be involved in any major talks on the machine and that just made him wonder more.
The day came finally when they would test it.
It was a day he had waited for and feared for almost the entire time he had been working there. He was anxious to see just what it did and something in him was thrilled that he had been privy to get to see this testing day and be part of it.
"We're ready sir."
"Fantastic, keep everything recorded, I want to see the results when I get back."
"As you wish sir."
Jacobs wouldn't be involved, he was away on some trip. There were cameras set up from almost every angle. The machine was even more imposing as the center of so much attention.
He looked at his scanner, at all the green lights, and felt good.
This would work.
This would be an incredible thing.
"And in five...four...three...two..."
A switch was flipped, a button pushed, a lever moved.
And one little green light turned red.
He paused, wondering, worrying.
A second light went red as the machine continued to power up and hum.
"Whatever it is, it can wait."
"I don't think..."
One by one, with rapidly increasing speed, every light turned red. The scanner almost glowed with the deadly red glares.
The machine started to rock, making an whining type of noise. Loud thuds echoed out across the large room and bolts knocked themselves loose.
"SHUT IT OFF! SHUT IT ALL OFF!"
The engineer by the controls made the move.
The controls made the first move, exploding on contact.
At random succession, small explosions erupted over the machine. Purple bursts flashing out, heat waving over the surrounding people, other machines getting hit in waves and becoming distorted. The center of the machine started to collapse in on itself.
The last thing he saw was the chuck of metal flying at his head in the last big explosion.
His eyes blinked as heat beat down on his face. He sat up quickly, wincing at a pain jabbing under his ribs. Looking over himself, he saw scratches, bruises, gashes, but nothing too serious, thankfully.
Looking around, he felt the blood drain from his face.
All around him...was sand...and boulders...and chucks of metal, most likely from the machine, but none of this looked the basement room he had spent the last three weeks in.
In the distance he could just make out the silhouette of buildings.
Had the explosion thrown them this far?
No, there was no smoke, there would have been smoke in that case.
He looked around again, this time taking in the bodes.
His colleagues surrounded him, their bodies lying out in grotesque manners, some with metal stuck in them, some with limbs missing.
One looking the most unscathed moved.
He got to their side in a second.
"Hey...HEY! Come on, it's alright, come on."
"No, no, you're alright."
"You...need...must find...those around."
The engineer held out a cracked phone. The screen was a little distorted but he could make it out.
The machine was supposed to be some sort of time machine.
Only, it was supposed to bring things back, not send people forward.
The engineer faded within the hour, being talked to and held.
In the end, he was on his own, walking for the buildings, hoping for something...anything.
Hoping for that way home or at least a chance of survival.