Hello, this is Ryan's friend Tara and I'm co-writing this story with him. However because he's been so tied up lately I wrote this chapter completely by myself. Anyway, because it's the first chapter just bear with me and I would appreciate feedback very much. I know that I'm not very good at writing, I've never really done it before, but hopefully working with Ryan will help me improve. Thank you. And apparently a friend of Ez came up with Shaun's name so…thank you to them?

- - - - - -

He said I'm gonna buy a gun and start a war

If you can tell me something worth fighting for

Oh I'm gonna buy this place is what I said

Blame it upon a rush of blood to the head

- - - - - -

Shaun shifted his legs, the vinyl searing hot and disgustingly sticky. "I just don't see why I have to go."

Marcella held back the sigh, tapping her fingernails along the window. It was grimy and covered with what she thought might be food. "I hate buses." She said vaguely, attempting to ignore the one-sided conversation.

"Well why do I have to go?" Shaun demanded as though she'd actually answered him.

Giving in, Marcella twirled her long dark hair around her fingers. "Because he's your stepbrother?"

"Exactly! He's my step brother!" Shaun huffed and the bus turned sharply, almost catapulting him into her. "We're not even really related. I don't see why I have to go to his stupid party. Mum shouldn't be forcing me! I'm 17, you know. I'm almost an adult."

Marcella bent down to scratch her ankle, grimacing as the bus veered left again. "Oh, like your mum wouldn't force you. He's her precious Ashton darling snugglehugglelovemunchkin."

Shaun snorted and crossed his arms. "I hate him." He muttered resentfully but Marcella did not miss the pink blush that crawled up his neck.

"Of course you do." She smirked, her fingernails returning to the window.

- - -

The house was silhouetted against the evening sky and to Shaun it looked like a prison more than a home. Balloons bobbed along the fence, up the stairs and Shaun found himself scowling. Ashton was turning 19, not 9. But then again this was his mother's doing, and his mother couldn't do anything without adding a balloon or two. Or two hundred.

"Wish she paid this much attention to her own son." He muttered as they passed through the gate and Marcella hushed him.

"I thought it was being held at the convention centre."

"They're going there tonight for dinner." Shaun shoved a balloon out of the way with a particularly vicious jab as they went around the side. The backyard, fairly large for that suburb, was crammed. There had to be at least 100 people just in the yard alone and Shaun didn't even want to guess how many were inside the house.

'Typical,' he thought sourly, 'he has a birthday and the whole friggin' world shows up.'

Music was blaring out of somewhere, some stupid hip-hop crap Shaun could bet his life that he hated. He scanned the crowd for his mother or, as a last resort, his stepfather. It wasn't that he didn't get on with the man, he did, but he would probably already be half drunk by now and therefore only useful if Shaun wanted a detailed account of the 60s.

He didn't even recognize most of the people; he supposed most were from the university. Ashton had his heart set on becoming a marine biologist, something Shaun could not understand. Who would want to study fish? Shaun himself still had no idea what he wanted to do when school was over. He wasn't great at anything in particular. Not anything you could build a career out of, anyway.

"I'm gonna grab a drink." Marcella moved off, as at ease with a bunch of strangers as she was at home by herself. Shaun envied that. He all but grimaced at the bent old lady hobbling toward him. His grandmother shared his animosity for Ashton, but only because she was dead against her daughter remarrying after Shaun's father died. If he had been anyone else but her grandson she would've fallen to her arthritic knees like the rest of them.

However, she didn't stop with him. "Your mother is looking for you." She passed on as she shuffled past, the wine glass shaking in her frail hand. Shaun vaguely wondered if wine could give old ladies heart attacks, if she even had a heart. He pushed into the crowd, elbows out, searching for his mother. He stopped though when Ashton's familiar voice reached his ears. He turned around to find the older boy surrounded by a group of bikini-clad girls who were hanging on his every word. He seemed to be talking about cars and Shaun snorted distastefully as one of the girls tittered and all but draped herself over him. Inside, he felt a smirk. The girl didn't have a chance.

"Here." Marcella handed him a beer. "Stop glaring. You're going to burn a hole through her."

Shaun humphed but averted his eyes from the blonde. Marcella shook her head and took him away before he could get another Ashton-focused whine out. They were promptly attacked by Shaun's towering mother, Ingrid, who seemed more disappointed than pleased that Shaun was there.

"You finally decided to show up." She pushed a thick part of hair, the same thick brunette hair as Shaun's, off her narrow face and took a long mouthful of whatever was in her glass. Her dark eyes sparked when she noticed Marcella. "Hello Marcy dear. Are you coming tonight?"

Marcella shrugged, not missing the look that flitted across her best friend's face. "Might as well. Someone's gotta keep Shaun out of trouble."

"Good, good, oh god I have to go sort out Perry. He's gotten into an argument again." The moment she was out of earshot, off to rescue Shaun's stepfather, Marcella growled.

"I'm going to kill her if she calls me that again."

"You say that every time." Shaun scowled as Blonde Skank's nasally laugh rang through the air. "I'm going to kill her."

- - -

Shaun's head lolled listlessly, the pounding music just a dull roar from where he was. He had retreated to the other side of the house, the bit where the pool area met the garden shed opposite to t he house. Marcella, after her third West Coast, had decided dancing was in order and left him to sulk. His own bottle lay on its side beside him, empty.

He sighed dully, bored and lonely.

"Underage drinking? Naughty, naughty boy."

Shaun turned to find Ashton standing over him, playful smirk as present as always. He faced the other way, determined to not let the other boy get to him. For once. "Fuck off."

"Polite, as always." He rolled his eyes and pushed himself off the pool fence. He was a full head taller than Shaun, tanned and well-built from his never-ending sport dedications. His hair was a much lighter shade than Shaun's and his eyes green. It was little wonder so many girls fawned over him.

Shaun stood up with a scowl. Couldn't Ashton leave him alone for one day?

"I didn't think you were going to come."

"I didn't have a choice." He replied testily, making sure Ashton knew he didn't come just for him. He tried to move past, go back to Marcella, but Ashton wouldn't budge.

"Get out of my way." He growled warningly, though he was perfectly aware Ashton would win hands down if it ever came to a fight.

Ashton's smirk did not fade in the slightest. "But you only just got here."

"And now I'm leaving, so move." He threw out his hands to shove him but Ashton caught them and pulled him closer, his thumbs massaging idle circles on the back of his hands.

"You're no fun." He whispered and Shaun flushed heatedly, the too-familiar tingle running through him. He yanked his hands back, glaring angrily.

"Not here."

Ashton pouted and touched Shaun's face but Shaun swatted his hand away with a snarl. "Aw, why not?"

"Because, you idiot, we're at a party! Do you want to get caught!?"

Ashton's eyes gleamed wickedly. "Maybe." In a speedy second his arms wound around his stepbrother and crushed them together. Shaun immediately started struggling fiercely, trying to ignore how his every movement caused them to rub against each other.

"C'mon, let me go you idiot, we can't –" But his words were cut off by Ashton's mouth and he melted against him, opening his mouth up to the demanding tongue. He gasped as his fingers roved over Ashton's arms, seeking the familiar curves. Sometimes he had no idea why he always protested so much.

Suddenly, the ground beneath them gave a violent shake and they stumbled back, breaking apart as the shaking stopped as quickly as it had become.

"What the hell was that!?" Shaun glanced around frantically but Ashton only shrugged it off.

"Minor earthquake. Nothin' life threatening." And he swept the younger boy up in his arms again, catching his mouth in another searing kiss.

"I fucking hate you, y'know." Shaun moaned as Ashton assaulted his neck with rapid kisses.

"I can live with that." Ashton pressed him against the garden shed walls, hands creeping up his shirt.

The ground gave another rapid jolt, twice as strong as before and sending them crashing into the ground. Somewhere, someone screamed.

"What the fuck!?" Shane cried his eyes wide with fear.

Ashton lifted his head. "V-Volcano."

"This is Australia!"

"So? We still have volcanoes!" Ashton snapped, helping him up. He honestly didn't know if Australia had volcanoes or not, but he did know that there were none anywhere near the town.

The music had stopped, everyone was yelling angrily.

"It's just an earthquake." Ashton repeated firmly but the worried look on Shaun's face didn't go away. As if he believed anything Ashton said.

"Relax, kid." Ashton coaxed, drawing him close enough to kiss him again. Shaun shoved the earthquake to the back of his mind and kissed him back, clutching his shoulders hungrily.

"Oh my god."

They instantly snapped apart and spun around to Ingrid's horrified face. She held the glass loosely, wrist limp.

"Mum, I can explain!" Shaun darted after her, his mind in a state of panic. She knew now, she knew and soon the whole party would know and why didn't he tell Ashton to keep his hands to himself?!

"Explain?!" she whirled around in a rage. "Explain!? Oh no, you don't have to explain anything!"

"Mum, please," Ashton caught up with them his usually calm face twisted. "Just listen –"

"Oh fuck you!" Ingrid screeched and everyone had frozen, silent, and were watching eagerly. "I accept you into my life, I call you my son only to find you're molesting my beautiful –"

"Molesting?!" Ashton barked with fury. "He's the one who came to me!"

"Oh so now it's my fault!?" Shaun snarled, hands fisted. This was not supposed to happen, nobody was supposed to know, especially not their parents. It was all so wrong, so not-supposed to happen and he wished the world would explode, swallow him whole, anything to stop what was going to happen. They'd kick one of them out – Ashton. He was over 18 and had a job, yes, they'd kick him out. And Shaun would be alone.

He could see Marcella in the front row of the spectators and her eyes were soft with sympathy. Perry emerged right beside her, drunken face wrought with confusion.

"Ingrid, baby, what the devil is goin' on?"

Ingrid's grip on her glass had strengthened considerably; it looked like it was going to shatter in her hand and she hissed through clenched teeth. "Why don't you ask them? They were kissing. Kissing!" She shouted the last word and a collective gasp rose from the crowd, followed by excited murmurs. Shaun opened and shut his mouth helplessly, the humiliation almost too much to bear. Why did he even come?! Beside him, Ashton's face was equally red and lost.

Perry, in his state, took a moment to work it out. Then his mouth fell open in shock. "What –"

The ground suddenly lurched violently and everybody fell into each other, letting out surprised cries.

"What the fucking hell is going on!?" somebody yelled as the crowed stumbled hopelessly, the earth shaking violently and a few girls screamed.

"Earthquake!" Someone, multiple, people yelled and where was the roar coming from? It sounded like a million planes taking off right there in their backyard.

"M-Mum!" Shaun cried, trying to reach her.

"B-Baby –" Ingrid lost grip on her lass and it shattered against the ground. She threw herself at Perry with a scream as the world seemed to tilt completely and the last thing Shaun saw was Marcella's wide, terrified eyes before Ashton grabbed his arms and they fell to the ground.

- - -

It felt like somebody had slammed a sledgehammer through his head.

He tried to open his eyes but if felt like they were on fire and he winced. Oh god, it felt like his throat was on fire too.

He parted his lips with a pained moan; they were dry and cracked as though he'd been lying on the beach in the sun for the past few hours.

'Where…' the muddled thought trailed off into nothing, lost somewhere in his pounding head.

Dimly, he realized he needed to movie. With effort, he cracked his eyes open and was instantly flooded with harsh white light. He quickly shut them again, his head spinning. What happened?

He had to get up.

He rolled over, grimacing at the stiffness of his body. Why did it hurt so much?

On his hands and knees he stared dully at the ground, wetting his lips carefully with his tongue and hissing at the sting.

Slowly, vaguely, he began to realize the ground wasn't right. It was brown and bone dry, covered with rough pebble. There had been grass before. Before, before…

Oh god, the earthquake.

In one furious rush everything flashed back. Shopping with Marcella, the party, Ashton, his mum catching them, the earthquake…

Oh god, mum.

He sat up just as a violent cough ripped up his throat and he threw his arm over his mouth, doubling over as it exploded out of his mouth. He sat there frozen in pain, gasping and wheezing desperately trying to get his breath back. His throat hurt so much. He gazed down at his arm stupidly, taking almost a full minute to recognize the crimson splatter. Blood, he realized, but his mind could mot seem to come up with anything else on the matter.

Exhausted already he glanced around at his surroundings. It was all wrong. The houses. What happened to the houses?

They were gone. His house was gone. The blocks, the grass, the pool and shed and all of it was completely gone. He was sitting on a barren block of dead rocky soil he didn't know. Where were the houses? Where was everybody?

"M-Mum?" He could manage no more than a whisper and he stood up slowly, wobbling unsteadily on his bare feet.


He was wearing shoes before.

He turned, desperation and terror sneaking into his croaky whisper. "Ash? M-Marcella? D-Dad?" He froze up as another furious cough exploded, the force knocking him to his knees. More blood sprayed the soil.

He squeezed his eyes shut, trying to block out the pain coursing through him, and his mind raced. Where was everyone? He was completely alone. They couldn't be…they couldn't be dead. That was completely insane and illogical. Where did the houses go?! The dirt seemed to stretch on forever. There wasn't even a road anymore. Just bare dirt.

But it was impossible. A whole town didn't just disappear into thin air. And its occupants…it had to be a joke. A sick, twisted joke.

He had no choice. He stood up again, his legs weak and unstable. He had to find somebody.


- - -

"Hey," Sebastian hissed shaking his foot, "get the fuck off!"

It was no use; the scorpion remained firmly attached to his boot with its tail raised threateningly. Sebastian quickly gave in. "Fine. But I'm warning you if you move any higher I'll have to squish you."

He seriously doubted it would matter if it did go higher. The suit was designed to protect him from bullets so a scorpion didn't seem like much competition. Still, he hated anything with more than four legs.

He held the gun tighter, holding his breath and pressing his back hard against the rotting wall, forcing back the shudder at the maggots that scattered over his shoulders. It was either touch maggots or get eaten alive.

The heavy, lumbering footsteps got louder; it was getting closer and he threw a quick glance at the sky. It was going to rain.

'Wonderful,' he thought sarcastically, 'fucking boots take hours to dry.'

He tensed when he heard the very human scream.

He immediately leapt out from behind the wall and stopped. The thing was towering over a boy, in his teens and definitely civilian, teeth bared. Sebastian pulled the trigger and blinked when nothing happened.

"What the shit!?" He glanced down at the gun, scowled and threw it aside, dodging out of the way just as the thing lunged for him. He threw a hurried glance over his shoulder at the boy. He had fainted, curled up over the rubble.


He dodged the thing again and pulled the knife from his boot, spinning around to see the thing had stopped. It watched him hungrily, panting. Strings of saliva hung from its jagged teeth, swaying with the breeze. It might, to a blind person, have been mistaken for being a human being. It was taller though, its limbs thinner and its greasy skin an off yellow color. It was bald, its nose flat and slit like a snake, its eyes black and without pupils. It could've been male or female – Sebastian had long given up on telling the difference.

It didn't take long to rest. Its long clawed hands swiped at him and he barely ducked in time, noting the scorpion had disappeared. He didn't blame it. He didn't really want to be there either.

He stumbled back and the thing raised its arm. Sebastian's eyes widened; getting a bone through his gut was so not what he had in mind for that day and he ducked, leaping under it and thrusting the knife upward with a desperate cry. It tore through the skin, right through its neck and in a split second dark red blood rained down over.

It fell back, dead.

"That is disgusting!" He shuddered violently, wiping his face frantically. He was lucky and he knew it. He had gotten a slow, stupid one. If it had been one of the faster ones he wouldn't have stood a chance.

He sighed as he suddenly remembered the boy. He marched over to him and knelt down, checking him for injuries. There didn't seem to be any but he'd have to go through quarantine and the medical ward anyway.

"Fucking civilians." He muttered, pushing the bloody hair off his forehead.

- - -

Shaun moaned.

His throat was still on fire.

His eyes opened slowly, nausea rushing over him as soft white light enveloped him.

He moaned again.

"About time you woke up."

His eyes snapped open and he stared at Sebastian in alarm, sitting on a wooden chair at the wall.

"Wh…wh…" Where was he? What happened to the dirt?

Memories flooded back and he froze; that, that thing. It had been like something out of a horror movie.

Sebastian turned his head to the nurse standing politely beside him and nodded. She picked the syringe, filled with some yellowish liquid, off the small table and Shaun's eyes widened with fear.

"This might sting a bit." The nurse warned gently, and Shaun winced as she slid the needle into his forearm.

"Thanks." Without getting up Sebastian dragged his chair closer to the bed and the nurse gave Shaun a sympathetic smile before leaving the room with the empty syringe.

Shaun's mind began to swim hazily, as though he'd been hung upside down and spun around for a few hours. Everything seemed so blurred .

"What…what was that?" His tongue felt heavy and almost numb. He struggled to keep his drowsy vision on the other boy; he couldn't have been much older than Shaun himself, in his 20s, with light brown hair and dark blue eyes. He quirked a grin.

"Don't remember its name exactly, it's some long motherfucker, but it's basically a truth serum. It's standard procedure, sorry. My name is Sebastian, I'm a captain in the ESF, and you are in the ESF infirmary."

The words were completely unfamiliar to Shaun. 'ESF?' He raked his brain for the slightest clue but upturned nothing. "ESF?" He repeated, frustrated at his own lack of knowledge. Captain? The IV machine let out a low beep and Sebastian leant across to press a few buttons.

"Yeah. You totally freaked out; I had no choice but to bring you here. What the fuck were you doin' there anyway? Everybody knows QA12 is out of bounds to civilians. You're lucky you're still in one piece."

Civilians? QA12? His head spun dizzily and he struggled to take a breath, desperately trying to sort out his tangled thoughts. "W-what?" It was the only thing he could think to say and Sebastian nodded.

"As soon as we're sure you're okay you can go back to the Plants."


He swallowed, his throat still achingly dry, becoming impatient with the strange answers. "What…what are you talking about? What plants? Where's…what happened after the earthquake? Where's my family?"

Sebastian shrugged his shoulders, though a look of confusion flitted across his face. "What earthquake? Look, your family's probably back at the Plants looking for you. Don't worry."

"What Plants? What's the ESF? Where's Ashton? What the hell was that thing back there?" His mind swum with questions and his exhausted mouth struggled to keep up. "Is this some sort of joke? Coz it's not fucking funny."

Sebastian cocked his head to the side. "How hard did you hit your head? Look kid, your family and this 'Ashton' guy are probably fine. I bet they're still at the Plants, which is where you should've been."

"I don't know what the hell you're talking about!" Shaun snapped desperately, sick of this already. If this was a joke, if this was Ashton's idea of a joke, he was going to kill him. "What happened!?"

Sebastian whimpered and slumped back in the chair. Of all the people to be stuck with a crazy person, it had to be him. "I'm the one who should be asking questions. What were you doing in QA12?" The possibility that the boy was an enemy was still there, but he was beginning to seriously doubt it. He couldn't have been lying, he was certain of that much. That truth serum was some pretty potent shit. So either he really did lose his memory or he was just insane.

"What the fuck is QA12!?" Shaun's voice rose a little too high and cracked, he gasped as sharp hot pain tore down his throat.

Sebastian leant forward again, heaving a sigh. "Yeah, I wouldn't yell too much. You have a severe throat inflammation. The antibiotics will help, but in the meantime keep your voice down."

Shaun drew in a shallow breath, the pain slowly ebbing. Once he was sure his throat wasn't going to explode he spoke again. "This isn't funny."

He was going to kill Ashton for this.

"What…" he wet his lips with his tongue and his vision blurred again for a second. "What was that thing? The earth-earthquake...what h-happened?"

Sebastian frowned at the helpless look in the younger boy's eyes, the fear creeping into his face. It was obvious the boy really had no bloody idea of anything. But the nurse had said he hadn't suffered a concussion. "Okay. We'll work backwards, alright? What's the last thing you remember?"

Shaun shut his eyes, his memories coming in patchy and hazed. "The party."

"What party?" Sebastian asked patiently, inwardly groaning at the hungry growl of his stomach.

"Ashton's birthday. He's my stepbrother." Shaun opened his eyes again, giving the needle in his arm a quick glance. His stomach spun. He hated needles. "There…there was the earthquake..." He didn't mention the kissing, or his mother walking in on it. He grimaced; she had been so angry. He needed to find her, explain everything and beg for forgiveness. He needed to find both, all, of them. Especially Marcella - she would know what to do.

"An earthquake?" Sebastian repeated doubtfully. "There hasn't been in earthquake in QA12 for years. And if there was one in the Plants we would definitely know about it."

Shaun chose to ignore that for the time being, seeing how he still had no idea what QA12 or the Plants were. He would get to that in a minute. "I…I think I was knocked out. Yeah, I must've been." His brow furrowed and he wondered if anyone had been injured. Killed . "I woke up…I woke up and…what happened to everything? It's all gone . All the h-houses…what was that thing? " It can't have been human, can't have been, but it had to be because nothing like that existed. Nothing that terrifying.

"What date was this?" Sebastian ignored the questions for a moment, becoming confused himself. The boy was obviously mixed up somewhere. "The party?"

"Um…" He took a moment just to remember it. "The 15th."



Sebastian raised his eyebrows. "What was the year?"

"2006." Shaun answered slowly, not liking the look on Sebastian's face. Why was he asking him what year it was? Surely he knew himself.

Sebastian's face was completely blank. "Are you serious?"

Slightly annoyed, Shaun nodded. The action caused his head to spin even more and he shifted his arm, the one with the needle, carefully.

Sebastian stared at him for a moment. Finally, he released an amused whistle. "You have definitely hit your head, kid."

"Stop calling me that." Shaun snapped more at how puzzling his answers were. "What do you mean? What's the date now?"

"It's the 27th of September." A brief pause. "2098."

"Th-that isn't funny." Shaun whispered. None of it was funny. But this? This was low.

Sebastian grunted. "No kidding." He turned his head. "Oi! Nurse!"

"Where is everyone?" Shaun demanded again, feeling twice as strange as before. Twice as sure that this was all some sick joke. It was impossible , there was absolutely no way it could be true. He couldn't just wake up 92 years later. No, it was definitely a joke and Sebastian was lying.

But…what was that thing?

'Computer.' He thought firmly. 'They did it on a computer somehow.' Or a puppet. Technology was so advanced there were a million explanations.

It was all some twisted game and he wanted out.

"Sir?" The nurse paused in the doorway, holding a tray. Sebastian beckoned her over and whispered something in her ear, Shaun watching suspiciously.

"Right away sir." She nodded, put her tray down and hurried out.

"What the hell is going on?" Shaun felt sick. "Where is my family? Where's Marcella? What the fuck happened, how did you get that thing before, and who the fucking hell are you?"

"I told you," Sebastian stated calmly, "my name is Sebastian. I'm a soldier with the ESF."

"Liar." Shaun wanted to scream at him but his throat wouldn't allow it. He had to make do with a venomous glare. "Tell the truth. I don't want to hear about this stupid ESF bullshit, and don't you fucking dare give me another fake date. I want the truth."

"Or you'll what?" Sebastian folded his arms and settled back into the chair. "Glare me to death? Please. And don't even think about trying anything. I'm a soldier; I'm very good at hand-to-hand combat." He had to sigh at the horrified look in Shaun's face. "Look...I don't know what's going on here. I think you've done one fucker of a job on your head or something. But you've got to calm down so we can do this rationally."

'Rationally!?' He wanted to scream. None of it was rational!

"Alright genius," he sneered, "if it's really 2098 how am I still alive? And what happened to everything?"

Sebastian leant back and looked at him doubtfully. He sighed again and raked a hand through his hair. "I honestly don't know how to tell you this...I'm not great with shit like this. I guess I'll start from, well, the start. So the last date you remember is May 15 2006? I'll tell you what happened on May 15 2006." He took a deep breath and Shaun narrowed his eyes, impatient and anticipating. But he did not expect what came out of Sebastian's mouth next.

"We were invaded."

Shaun frowned. "Australia?" Was it terrorists?

Sebastian's face softened along with his voice. "The whole world. Australia doesn't even exist anymore."

The words hammered through Shaun's brain, repeated over and over and it was ridiculous , of course Australia existed. How does the whole bloody world get invaded? It wasn't possible. He felt so sick.

Sebastian gave him no time to ask questions or point out how stupid the story was. "That area you were in? QA12? That used to be New York City. It's now a barren wasteland, as I'm sure you figured out. We, the ESF base, are in what used to be Russia. Russia, the UK, North America and South Africa are the only parts of the world that are safe. The rest...well, trust me, you don't want to go there."

Shaun closed his eyes, struggled to breathe and reopened them. It was still completely ridiculous, of course. "What's the ESF?"

"Earth Special Forces." Sebastian explained, running another hand through his hair again irritably. He had to wash it yet again, for the third time that day alone. "It was formed in 2011. We're like a universal army. Basically it's our job to kick the bad guys' asses and make sure the good guys stay safe. Hell, we are the good guys." He added with a cocky grin in a poor attempt to lighten the mood. Shaun however did not return the gesture. His face remained impassive, his eyes angry and confused.

"Great. Okay." He said sarcastically, moving his arm again. The IV was becoming uncomfortable, but his headache was disappearing. Slowly. "If half the world's 'unsafe' where's everyone living? And what, pray tell, were we 'invaded' by?"

"Well...that's the thing." Sebastian grimaced. "We don't know exactly. They're...we don't know what they are. They came from, and I realize that this is going to sound bloody stupid, but they came from space. We think so, anyway. They sure as hell didn't pop outta the ground. That thing you saw before, in QA12? That was one of them. Deadly fuckers. On May 15 2006 they attacked and, well, we've been fighting them ever since."

"Oh, of course." Shaun nodded dramatically. "So basically you're telling me that half the world is unsafe because on May 15 2006 War of the Worlds decided to drop by. I see ."

Sebastian frowned. "What's War of the Worlds? Look, never mind about that. The point is, yes, on May 15 2006 earth experienced the first invasion and we've been at war ever since. Since 2006 there have been 7 invasions. As for where everybody's living..." He took on a sympathetic look and said, as kindly as one possibly could in that situation, "...To be honest there aren't many of us left. Out of the billions that once populated this planet only 10, 000 civilians are left. That's not including the ESF or HRO."

"10, 000." Shaun repeated skeptically. That was less than his home town. It sure as hell didn't make Sebastian's story any more convincing, as imaginative as it was.

Sebastian nodded. "They live in what we call the Plants, not too far from here. It's surrounded by mountains and we keep it pretty secure to make sure nothing gets in."

Shaun let out a low whistle. "You're kidding, right?"

Sebastian bit his lip, dark blue eyes glancing to the floor. "I wish I was." He replied quietly. "Then I wouldn't have to see the shit I see every day."

"You're insane." Shaun whispered, truly horrified. How could there be people like that in the world? People who would make up such a cruel and outrageous story. "You're completely insane."

"I could say the same thing about you." Sebastian said snippily. "Considering I'm not the one claiming to be from 92 years ago."

"Where's Ashton? I know he's behind this."

"I don't know any fucking Ashton. I can check the Plants for you if you like but I doubt I'll find much."

Shaun snorted. "Plants, yeah, right."

"That's it," Sebastian shook his head and stood up, "I'm sick of this. Look, it's 2098. I don't know where the fuck you come from and I have no idea what happened to you. I think you've got some serious mental problems. But here's the deal. You're staying in this bed until we can work out what your problem is. I'm getting our psychologist to come see you. I don't know who Ashton is, I don't know your family and I don't know anything. I'm really sorry for whatever's happened to you, but until you decide to come back to earth I'm not dealing with you."

He stomped out, beyond irritated.

Shaun opened his mouth helplessly, but it was too late. Sebastian had gone. And now he was stuck there, with no clue of what was going on. Marcella would've known what to do.


Was she really gone? What about his mother, Perry and Ashton? Were they really…

No, he told himself, they're fine. This is all some fucked-up joke and I'm going to get to the bottom of it.

He closed his eyes and grimaced as the IV machine let out another drawling beep.

- - - - - -

And yes, the 'thing' does have a proper name. So um...I know it could've been way better but I'm trying to improve. I promise the story will get better. And yeah, there is more slashiness. I would really like it if you could review. Thank you.