The sun had started to crawl its way to the horizon as my driver pulled the van into the parking lot. We pulled up in front of some business building; it probably held a dentist office or insurance company inside. The building and parking lot sat on top of a ridge overlooking the city. With my backpack strapped on, I got out of the van with my laptop clutched against my chest with my right arm and my Chihuahua in her bag with my left. The laptop was open just a crack showing the display output of a mechanism. I had managed to get remote access to it though a security hole in the company's firewall. The dog was shaking slightly in her bag, partly due to the cold and partly due to her own instincts. She knew something was up and something was about to happen soon.
The driver got out of the van and walked up to a lady about to head into the building asking her about directions. I turned my attention to the overlook and walked over. Below me spread the city in a giant blob. Nestled in the middle was the company's central processing plant and research and development laboratories. It was the first and largest facility the company had built. Over time families started to build their homes nearby so the commute from the larger cities was not such a strain on family relations. Eventually the company encouraged it to the point of building very nice homes for extremely cheap prices. A happy employee was a better working employee, they thought. Soon the city grew to the point where it was today, a hustling and bustling metropolis of a few hundred thousand people. Their entire lives were focused and dedicated to the company and its projects.
I glanced down at my laptop and saw the read out. The levels were starting to reach critical. In any moment a failure was sure to erupt. Only a few of the company employees knew the possible outcome of this project, which was kept very secret. Even the people working on the project were in the dark. They all had their own small assignments and jobs to do and were prohibited to talk about their work with others. All they knew was that their work was highly specialized and part of a larger whole. How I came to learn of it, I still don't fully understand. But by the time I realized the importance of what I knew, it was too late to do much of anything. I barely had enough time to come to the top of the ridge. But I wanted to see for sure, I wanted to know if what could happen would happen.
A large boom thundered from below followed by a flash of brilliant light from within the facility. Alarms went off before the smoke managed to find its way to the windows. I guess they were right. I preemptively looked up in the sky waiting to see the eventual streaks of fire. Sure enough they appeared, arcing across the sky in brilliant orange leaving behind smoky trails. Smaller booms could be heard as each and every falling object broke the sound barrier leaving a puff of smoke in its trail. And one by one each fiery ball hit the ground. Some even hit within the city, starting fires and destroying buildings. Each object hit with the force of a large bomb. With fires springing up across the city I could see fire fighters in their red engines start pouring out of the fire stations like angry ants defending their colony. It was a useless effort, but they didn't know that. They probably would never know that.
I heard a car pull up behind me and all four doors open. I knew it was a matter of time before the company knew I had left and sent people after me, another useless action. All four men pulled weapons from within their suit jackets and motioned me to the building. The intention was clear to all. One man, though, had a different weapon. A large silver pistol with a blue container nestled within the barrel. I knew it wasn't a normal gun, but I didn't know it exactly did. The company had so many projects it was hard to keep track. As me, the driver, and the unfortunate woman were herded into the building my driver thought he could make a run for it. How he could outrun four men with weapons and get away was beyond my reasoning, but he went for it anyway. By his fourth stride the man with the silver gun had my driver within his sights. He pulled the trigger. There was no sound, no flash, and nothing came out that one could see. But in a moment my driver went completely limp and fell face first into the concrete tearing up the side of his face. Was he dead? I couldn't tell. And the company men weren't about to let me go anywhere but inside the building. Before entering I glanced back once at the facility. The smoke had started to spin around the building picking up dirt and small objects. To anyone who had seen a tornado you would assume it was one, except this area had never had a tornado and there were no clouds in the sky.
Inside the building, which must have been an insurance agency of some kind, I sat down at a desk and waited. I could hear a radio from somewhere in the building playing music. The men were trying to get further instructions from headquarters, but they couldn't get through. They wouldn't, either. Soon there wouldn't be anyone to respond. Suddenly my phone went off, the ringtone very distinct. It was my mother calling me. The news stations must have heard there was some disaster. I asked them if I could answer, saying it was my mother. They let me answer it. My mother asked if everything was all right. I lied to her and said yes, it was just a minor thing. There was nothing to worry about. I never lied to my mother. I did ask her to take my father and brother and go to the airport and get on the nearest plane that went as far away from me as it could. She was about to protest when I told her that I never asked her to do anything for me, but I wanted her to do this one thing. The meaning was clear to her. She started sobbing and wished me farewell. A tear fell from my own eye as I said goodbye. We both knew it would be the last time we ever spoke to one another.
I hung up the phone and looked up and outside the windows. The small whirlwind that started at the facility now looked like a hurricane that had engulfed the entire city. And it was growing. A howl could be heard from the wind and it was only getting louder. By now the wind was picking up larger objects, but they didn't last long in the torrent. They slowly broke up into smaller bits until nothing could be seen. This storm wasn't a normal storm; it broke things apart molecule by molecule and atom by atom. How big it could get was unknown or if it would even diminish. Right now, though, it was growing and growing fast. The windows in the frames started to shudder. Suddenly they shattered, the bits of glass being picked up and consumed by the storm. My dog started fidgeting in her bag wanting to run. I set her down and let her go. It wasn't right of me to try and keep her here if she thought she could escape. She couldn't, though. I set her down and she ran off, to where I didn't see.
By this time the company men were too scared to care what I did. So I walked towards the storm to get a better look. As I got near the wall I saw the body of my driver being picked up and taken, already partially eaten away by the storm. I squinted my eyes as I looked toward the center, partly because of the dust and partly to try and focus on something. My eyes couldn't discern any shapes, but they did pick up on a glow coming from within the storm. The eye of the storm was probably not peaceful like that of a hurricane.
As I continued to squint I started to notice an odd sensation. Like that of a limb tingling after it had fallen asleep, except this was all over my body. The tingling grew into a slight annoying itch, to something unbearably itchy. There was no use in scratching; it wasn't something I could scratch away. The storm started to affect my eyes with my vision becoming cloudy as the atoms slowly but surely started to come apart and drifting away. As I started to break apart quicker, what was left of my ears picked up on a song being played from the radio. The singer of the unknown band wailed out the words "Wake and be fine, you still got time, to wake and be fine" just as my vision failed. The words rang in my head as whiteness engulfed me.