Chapter 1

Where am I? What is this? Why is the world black? Why am I... Ouch? Ow!

What is this pain? My body... I-I can feel my entire body moving at its own will. It's like my body is trying to escape this pain, but I have no say…

Is this a simulation? Virtual reality? A test? This can't be real... It CAN'T be! HELP!

HELP!

My voice… Where is it? I can't open my mouth, I can't do anything! How much longer do I have to endure this pain? Just end... Kill me, please... I want to die... I-

With hope that it would all be over; the girl opened her eyes and took in her surroundings. A large crater, rubble and fire surrounding the hole, with the girl sat right in the middle.

Destruction all around her, she stood up, clenching her feet and gathering soil between her toes. She looked down and saw her bare flesh, an unfamiliar sight.

So many questions were going around her head. Where was she, where was everyone else, what caused the destruction around her? However, only one question managed to escape her lips, possibly the most important.

"Who am I?"


I was only 8 when the 'Spawners' appeared. These creatures, simply started appearing all around the world, firstly appearing in the States. Before we knew what they were, they took the human race by surprise. Thousands, even millions of humans were killed within the first week.

Half of the planet was made in accessible, but once we found a way to kill them, it slowed down our extermination... A little bit. Now that the human population is down to the millions, that's where we are present day.

It's been 16 days since I last saw a Spawner. They're still appearing all over the country, I've just failed to see one. It may seem odd, but I'm probably the only person on the planet who's upset about that.

I know they're dangerous, I've felt the impact they leave in their wake... Despite that, I find myself sitting in class with my friends, thinking about humanities number one enemy. Besides that, I live a pretty normal life.

The school bell rang and the class was dismissed. Lunch time was like any other; acquiring food from canteen or getting out their own, sitting at one of the three usually available tables, and eating. Dave only had a small collection of close friends, those he could properly depend on, whilst their friends and friends of theirs would fill up the rest of the table.

Out of the ten people at the table, he'd regularly only speak to the same three. His closest friends.

Harry was the newbie of the group, even though we've known him for around 4 years now. He was about as generic as a I was, except he was blessed with freckles on his face, rather than a permanent pair of glasses as I. Wade's the groups literal blond, slightly taller than the rest of us after shooting up over the last summer holidays. He was quite smart, really slim.

Then there's Amy, the love of my life. I've known Amy for so long I can barely remember, except I can because other than the creatures terrorising our race, she's all I think about. Having known her for so long, I managed to friend zone myself pretty successfully, especially after the time I TRIED asking her out...

"Would you like to be my girlfriend?" My young naïve self-asked.

"Are you serious? You're like my brother!"

"Pfft, of course I'm kidding," I laughed it off. "As if I'd ever date a girl anyway!"

... I'm also confident she's thought I'm gay since that day anyway. Well played 10-year-old me.

Amy had long straight black hair, smooth as silk, with equally soft pale skin. She wasn't the bustiest of girls in their school, but she worked it into benefit something else... Amy was a black belt in karate and had recently taken up kick boxing, she was the schools top martial artist, winning them trophies at every event she attended.

One of the other faces at the table made a joke aimed towards across the table, gaining laughs from everyone, including Dave. Seeing as she was sat right next to him, and it had become a regular thing between the two, she decided to target him, and delivered what seemed like a light punch at his arm.

Dave chuckled briefly after the hit, flinching away and trying to shrug off the pain like it was nothing.

She's pretty strong... okay, very strong.

Dave himself was as average as they came, but in his group, he stood out the most. He was the shortest in the group, with an average bowl haircut, chocolate brown hair. He was skinny, puny, and then his glasses just gave him the ultimate nerd look. His skin had previously been paler than Amy's, but over the summer holiday he actually caught a bit of a tan. Not from being 'active' through the holiday, unless 'Spawner sighting' counted.

As their lunch time continued, Wade highlighted certain students as they entered the canteen. The kids who had entered, Jordan Rhodes and Brooke Price, were apart of the Elites. The highly trained military force who were assembled in order fight 'Earths foreign foes'.

Though they were only apart of Charlie team, the 4th ranking in the Elite forces, and they attended school like any normal student, it was still a sight to behold. To walk and eat amongst people who were fighting for not only their country, but their world, was a true honour. Something Wade was very fond of.

Whenever they'd enter the canteen, with their normal trays of food, and their duffle bags accompanying them, Wade's face would light up. It was almost like a cartoon, the way you'd be able to picture him with sparkling eyes, as he'd turn silent and eye them up across the way.

Wade wants to join the Elites... Fighting, risking your life for others. Its heroic as a thought, but silly to pursue, if you ask me.

At the end of an average day in school, Dave's home was first up on their retreat. He bid his farewell to his friends, and walked through the front garden gate.

Upon entry, he wiped his feet and took his shoes off, kicking them to the shoe shelf where they landed almost aligned with the rest. He entered the kitchen on the right where he was greeted by his father.

Dinner had been prepared, just that second brought to the table where the two sat opposite each other and ate away. They had the usual father-son conversation. How was school, learn anything today, how are the self-defence classes going?

Only good thing about self-defence class is that the boy and girl groups aren't mixed. Really wouldn't fancy being flipped on my ass by Amy every day. Or would I?...

They carried on their usual conversation with the same topics, almost recited like a script, when his did it again...

"Honey, could you pass me th-"

He stopped in his track, agape with eyes wide open, as he let out a large wind of air and rested his head into his palm.

"S-sorry... David, could you pass me the salt, please?"

"It's fine Dad, here."

It's been 9, close to 10 years now, since my mother 'passed away'. It always pains me to see that my Dad is still so bad with it all... Addressing her at times when she would usually be there, whether it be whilst cooking or asking for something at the dinner table. He really loved my mum, me too...


The next day, Dave continued to pack his diary and take it to school. Something he had stopped temporarily after not seeing any Spawners for a while. Day 17.

He and his friends decided to hang out after school that day, heading to the park they'd always attend. Whilst casually hanging out, relaxing with Amy and David lying on the grass, with Wade and Harry on the swing behind, Wade presented a challenge.

"C'mon David," he said, jumping off the swing directly beside them. "Let's have a spar. See whether you've been paying attention in class."

"Do we have to?" He asked, lazily sitting up from the cushiony long grass.

"YES! C'mon!"

He displeasingly stood up, subtly glancing towards Amy, noticing as she sat up clearly intrigued.

Just imagine the look on her face if I won. Her eyes would light up, she'd congratulate me and probably give me a friendly nudge on the shoulder. That's what I want...

He prepared himself into a fighting stance opposite Wade, with his weak fist in front and his strongest behind. Just as they were taught. Wade did the same.

There was no way he was going to deliver the first blow, so he waited for Wade to make his move. Surely enough, he shuffled forward a little before lunging his first punch, of which David managed to avoid successfully.

Amy noticed his dodge, and filled him with too much confidence. After avoiding another, he cockily went in for his own attack, completely disregarding his own defences which he immediately regretted.

Before his first punch even got near Wade, he moved completely out the way and delivered a semi-hard blow to his chest, which was completely unguarded. As he tried to regain himself, Wade gave him no time before coming at him from the left, hitting his back before moving back again. He was untouchable.

Before he knew it, Wade came in for a third attack, sweeping Dave off his feet from the left. As he was mid-fall, Wade managed to grab hold of his left arm and wrap it around behind his back, holding him in a tight lock as he was forced onto his knees. As he tried to resist, Wade kept the aggression and forced him to lie down with his foot against his back, pinning him down until Amy interfered.

"C'mon Wade, that's enough!" She shouted, wrapping his arm behind him in a similar fashion until he removed himself.

"Damn Dave, you were off to a good start there!" He commented. "You completely dropped your defence during your first attack though."

"Why even bother sparring with me?" He asked. "It's like beating a dead horse..."

"Don't be like that," Amy said, assisting him brush off the dirt on his clothes. "He practices this stuff like a religion, besides it's not something you're pursuing anyway."

"It's so frustrating, I understand the concept and the studying side of it all. But putting it into action just seems impossible."

"You'll get it," Amy smiled. "Maybe I could give you private lessons after school sometime, if you REALLY want to learn?"

"Ahhh," Dave struggled to make words, unknowingly blushing. "Sure, I'd really appreciate it!"

"Great!" She replied, giving him a friendly knuckle to his arm. "We'll start tomorrow, okay?"

Seems I got that nudge after all...

"So Wade, when are you thinking about enrolling with the Elites?" Harry asked, starting a new topic.

"I don't know, we're nearly into the summer break, so I think once that starts I'll enrol," he replied. "I know you can still attend school, but I doubt I could balance both my A levels and those first couple months of training, y'know?"

"Fair enough. What about you Dave?"

"Huh? Me?" He asked.

"Aren't you going to join, what with your HIGH fascination with the Spawners?"

"I've always said, I never want to join and that isn't going to change."

"What's keeping you off the line? Someone you'll miss?" Wade asked, shortly accompanied with a brief nudge.

"Don't be stupid," he replied, quickly returning to his tomato defence. "I just don't want to die, I'd rather stick to my hobbies."

"Ah well, as long as you're fit for the role like me, you don't have to worry about dying or anything!"

So full of himself, after managing to get a six-pack all he talks about is joining the Elites. Like that's on the top of their 'requirements list', not that they really one. A war so bad, children as young as 14 can join, as long as they willingly enrol themselves, with permission from parents.


After their friendly brawl and several conversation topics later, they left the park and we're on their way home. Having gone the park straight from school, their parents were all expecting them home soon, whilst also abiding by the national curfew.

With Amy's home in sight, their casual walk was all of a sudden interrupted when a large eruption could be felt on the ground. Once the quake was over, and everyone was stood still, a large explosion could be heard as several screams soon followed. Amy and Harry began to freak out at the realisation, but Dave's heart skipped a beat for a whole other reason.

A Spawner... So close by, and still in action! 17 days since my last spotting, is my dry streak finally over?

While Amy tried to grab hold of David's hand, it had already dived into his bag in order to retrieve his diary. She tried to encourage all her friends to follow into her house, seeing as it was so close, but as she made the suggestion, Dave had already started making his way towards the commotion.

"David!" She shouted, trying to catch up to him, whilst having to avoid being knocked around by the fleeing citizens. "C'mon, just leave this one! It's too dangerous!"

"I can't, I have to do this!" He replied, having stopped briefly.

"You're supposed to run away from danger, not towards it!" She continued to shout.

"I'll be fine! You know me, I'm too safe," he gave his final response, accompanied with a small grin before he turned away from her.

"David..."

He had arrived at the site. Keeping a safe distance from the on going destruction, he tried climbing up onto higher ground, in order to get a better view of the creature. And there it was.

"This Spawner is one of the bulkier ones. Approximately 18 feet tall, it has a large fleshly-coloured body with thick arms and legs. It's pretty slow in overall movement, but it's causing plenty of property damage, which tends to be all that these types tend to do. I call these ones, Trolls! Unoriginal, but I'm an artist and Spawner enthusiast, not an author."

As he finished entering his thoughts into his diary, all whilst looking up to keep his eyes on the 'Troll', he noticed Elite Humvees pulling up not far from him, where the soldiers hopped out and sprung into action.

Equipped with machine guns, rifles, pistols, swords and spears, all specially designed to fight against the Spawners, they surrounded the beast and got to work. Judging from the lack of proper skill, he imagined they were rank D or C Elites at a push. Over time, he got some sort of understanding to their ranks, but often forgot as his interest wasn't towards the soldiers, but the things they were fighting.

The Troll didn't seem to take much notice of them for the longest time, continuing to focus on the nearby buildings that were still standing, but once all inside it's little circle were levelled, it turned on them.

It took its first swing. Seeing as it was the first against the soldiers, it caught them by surprise and managed to sweep two soldiers off their feet. At first, from David's angle, he could only hear their screams upon impact, but they were insight once they had hit against the half broken wall. Injured against the wall, they tried to stand back up in time but couldn't manage, where they were swiftly splattered against the wall by its second blow.

Blood, guts, and limbs, a long with a flattened torso, were all that remained of the two. Completely unidentifiable, despite seeing them only a moment ago. As the other soldiers got a little frantic in response, a new truck pulled up directly on site, besides the creature, as only four men hopped out.

As the new arrivals departed, they immediately sprung into action, taking different positions whilst two of them with close-quarter weapons pursued the creature. A man stood far back, firing with a high-powered semi-auto rifle, while another fired a shotgun from a closer distance, tactically manoeuvring around. The other two, one with a spear and the other a sword and handgun were heading up close, stabbing and slashing, backed-up with a rain of gunfire.

It didn't take much longer before it was slowed beyond control. With enough holes to trigger someone's Trypophobia, the creature had been reduced to crawling around, in desperate effort to fight, but was shortly after mounted by the sword wielder, and was finally pierced through the head, delivering the final blow.

The skill those guys brought in minutes of arriving, they're higher ranked for sure. Maybe even rank A... wait, that means...

After the brief realisation, David started searching around for the rifle wielding A rank Elite, but couldn't find him. That could surely only mean one thing...

"David!" A sudden familiar voice belted his name, from not far behind him.

Busted...

The man shouting his name, recently returning from combat, with the rifle mounted on his back was David's father, Ben Griffin. Suited up in his Elite uniform; black cargo pants with grey kneepads, grey steel toed boots, a black long-sleeved under shirt with a black bulletproof chest piece on top of that. Over the two was a long sleeved grey jacket with 'Elites' on the back and grey elbow pads. On his right breast was his team, with his rank on his right arm and a white coloured band on his left. Grey fingerless gloves and a grey cap, along with medals sowed on his left breast. This was all pretty standard for Elite soldiers, the white band identified him as being a rank A.

Oh yeah, my Dad's a top-ranking officer for the Elite soldiers...

"We're going home," he strongly stated.

He followed his father down the structure, past the riddled Spawner and got into the Humvee. He apologised to the other members of his squad, but they were fine with it. It was a regular occurrence for Ben to be hauling his son back home from a Spawner site, the whole squad was acquainted with him by now.

Greg Maser, Daniel Levy, I think the last one's James? No Jack, definitely Jack. Maybe the Elites should invest in some name tags or something rather than the bands and shit...

It wasn't very long before they arrived at home, and Daniel said he'd write up the report for him and tell the director about his absence. He thanked him, before they both departed and head into their home.

Once inside, Dave head straight up the stairs, but his father stopped him. They had quite the argument, which was mostly one sided in Ben's favour. There wasn't a whole to defend himself about when his father had all the good points about his safety and wellbeing.

Afterwards, Dave went up into his room and tried with all his might to avoid slamming the door. He went over to his desk, which had a window directly behind it. This was his regular 'Spawner siting spot', where he'd watch what was going on around the city, where they were attacking, and if they were close enough he'd tend to sneak out and 'investigate'.

Why did I have to have such a dangerous hobby? Why can't I be left alone to spy on my Spawners all I like? Trolls, Steeds, Ghouls... I really need new names, sounds like something out of Dungeons & Dragons! I just want to find a new Spawner, a new type, something that'll surprise me!

That's all I want... Something new... Something exciting! Something life changing!

Sigh.

I need to write down my thoughts...