They aren't important anymore, but you still see them sometimes. There aren't as many of them anymore, but you still find them sometimes. They came to us with this war and I doubt either will ever leave us. But they are almost obsolete, as is the war.
You see them sometimes, bleached white all over. They wear white clothes that get dirty during the day but are always clean in the morning. They don't wear shoes because they would get in the way and they tend not to cut their hair, I don't think there is an excuse for that.
They do shave though, I guess, or maybe they just don't grow beards, as I have never seen one who wasn't clean shaven. I learned about them in school, like everyone else did and has and will. Because as long as they exist they will be interesting.
As long as they are not the norm they will be interesting.
But we cannot study them, they won't let us, so they will never be the norm. They will just exist until they decide against it. All that energy they keep means that they do not age, they do not sicken and they do not speak to any of us.
People thought they were just arrogant until someone realised that if they spoke they would unleash it on us. And that is what they are for I guess, to avoid unleashing it on us. Or maybe they are just here to stop it from being unleashed on us.
I can't tell you, no one really could tell you, but no one much cares either. They are like the heroes who walk through a town in the old tales and save the townsfolk from evil and then move on, refusing payment or reward. Except that they don't move on. That in no way negates what they have done for us, it just wears the novelty quite thin.
But there is story to be had here, or a tale of fantasy and mystery or something. This is not just an anthropological study of the Catchers or anything silly like that, that has already been done by now I am sure.
Five days ago it must have been, I was out shopping when I saw one of the Catchers, you don't see them very much anymore during the day and no one goes out at night. Except suicides. But I still saw a Catcher in the morning when I was shopping. He was just sitting on a bench, by himself, because no one will sit with them, just in case.
Contrary to popular belief, no Catcher has ever overloaded, the rumour came from someone's attempt at artificially creating one, which was destroyed by the Catchers. Because they know about what they do and we do not.
He was sitting by himself in his white t-shirt and white pants, white hair tied back with a white hair tie. His skin was white, and so where his eyes. They look blind the Catchers, they have no pupils and so physically should be unable to see, but still they can.
He glanced at me and that is why I remembered him all through the day, they tend not to interact with others but each other. It is mostly because of the way people ostracise them to some extent, but they have always been like that, to the best of my knowledge.
He wasn't there when I can back from my shopping, which I found, at the time, to be strangely surprising. They don't really have anywhere to go. They are all homeless by choice, they do not sleep or eat or anything, so why would they need a house?
Or at least I assume they are homeless by choice.
That night I was outside when it started. Even though so few people go outside at night I was still outside. I panicked when I heard the first impact, all I could do was panic. And in my panic I forgot where I was, and I forgot how to get home.
So I started jogging, in the direction I hoped my house was, and as I jogged there was an impact in the same street as I was in. The streets go all the way along the city, like a giant grid, so the fact that it was in the same street did not mean it was close.
That is why the city is designed so, for something like this.
But despite the impact being quite some distance away is still got me. A tiny stinging pain in my ear alerted me to the fact that a piece of shrapnel had decided that my ear was as good a place as any to make a home.
I reached up to try to get it out but somehow there as too much blood, coming from my ear, for me to be able to find it. Maybe I had just had my ear pierced, unwillingly I should add, and that is not actually as big a deal.
What was a big deal was the whining sound that I could hear coming from above me. Do you know what a whining sound coming from above you in the middle of an air raid is likely to be? Because I certainly do.
I glanced up and found that it was actually alarmingly close to me already and I had only just heard it. All I could think of to do was to hurl myself backwards, as if that would make any kind of actual difference.
But it did make a difference, it meant that I was not pushed aside into the building beside me by the Catcher who arrived at the same moment that I departed the place. He looked at me and I recognised the same man I had seen this morning.
The world slowed down and I saw, in perfect detail, the bomb coming down and the Catcher turning to it and grabbing the nose of the bomb. Which of course reacted by exploding in his hands. There are, to date, five people who have ever been close enough to witness this, but what I saw was different from all the accounts.
It exploded until he was no longer visible, but the explosion did not reach me. None of it reached me, but I was left staring at a small piece of metal that seemed to be hovering right before me. The explosion should have been bright is what I was thinking.
But I remember reading that the first thing they take is the light, because that has the least energy. Then they take the motion, because that is next. Last they take the heat and the fire, because that has the most energy.
The explosion was pulled back, imploding into him, even the shrapnel before me was pulled back into him, which I had not heard of. He glowed with almost blinding light, bleached white all over again, he looked down at me with a puzzled expression on him. But I could not look at him for long and when I looked away he obviously decided something.
He turned away and looked up at the planes overhead.
He took in a great breath of air that seemed to make him expand. He held it for what felt like a long time but was probably less than five seconds. And then, in a sudden motion, he exhaled completely and pointed right at the ground, arms streamlined down his body.
And he exploded, I guess I know why they don't wear shoes now. He exploded from the heels of his feet and the ends of his fingers, and up into the sky he went. I knew that they took down the bombers as well as catching the bombs, but the manner in which they do it is simply and truly amazing.
There is no other description for it.
And I haven't seen him since. But I enjoy the knowledge that I have witnessed something no one still living has. I saw someone catch a bomb, and lets all be honest here, isn't that what life is really all about?
Yes, yes it is.