1. I
  2. He stood in the centre of his 37th floor apartment gazing out at the Japanese city. Surrounded by a small crowd of faceless bodies, he had no idea why or how he had gotten to be there. What appeared to be a nuclear power plant in the distance was spewing purple lightning into the sky. […]

  3. II
  4. You think you know someone. We had left dinner early, not even lingering long enough to consider dessert. Eve seemed in a particular rush but wouldn’t say why. Maybe it was something she ate. We were headed towards the station when her phone rang. Barely removing it from her inner jacket pocket she glanced at […]

  5. III
  6. A sunlit afternoon, my younger self chasing a familiar yet distant face through the tall grass overlooking the sea. This feels like a memory, but I know that it’s not. I dream so rarely that it’s usually easy to tell when my mind has escaped reality. Right now in this moment I’m about 12. I […]

  7. IV
  8. Their nightly routine was always the same. “Sam, it’s time to go to sleep, lights out…”, “But Mum,” he protested, “I don’t like the darkness, I’m afraid of the monster in the closet”, It was always the same reason, like a recording being played back repetitively for comedic effect. The response of Sam’s mother too […]

  9. V
  10. Upon arrival they sat, impatiently, in the van as the gates to the compound slowly opened. The journey had been slow, in the same way a long afternoon at work is slow, although in reality it had only taken a little over an hour. There was still an uncomfortable feeling lingering within the group, unsure […]

  11. VI
  12. Reaching the corner Miles, the self designated leader, went first. What he found was a whole lot of nothing, he motioned for the rest to follow him. They had no other choice, the elevator had closed and there were no controls to call it back again. Rounding the corner they were greeted by more corridor, […]

  13. VII
  14. As the elevator ground to a halt the doors slid open behind them. It had been so dark when they entered they hadn’t noticed the alternate set of doors. Stepping out into a barely lit corridor the doors swiftly shut behind them, about 20 metres ahead of them a corner that hid an occasional flicker. […]

  15. VIII
  16. The shock wave rippled through their camp site, and several hours earlier than they were anticipating. The plan had always been to be further from the impact site, but communication delays had hindered them before their egress had even begun. By the time they got out they knew they were unlikely to get as much […]

  17. IX
  18. I’d tell you how all this started if I actually knew. All I have are rumours and tall tales. Everything from a bad business deal, to the assassination of some high ranking official. Whatever it was resulted in all communications from the government ceasing, it’s as though they no longer exist. However we know that’s […]

  19. X
  20. Even with this in mind, and knowing they only had about a hundred metres between themselves and relative safety, the next few minutes would not be without obstacles. Thus far they’d been sticking to the side-streets to avoid drawing the attention of the guard posts that had been set up along the main strip. This […]

  21. XI
  22. They landed on April 7, just before dawn. There had been no warning, no hint at all that this was coming. We weren’t prepared, but they were. Coming in from the south-east was the last thing any of us were anticipating. Since then they’ve moved swiftly along the coast as far west as Texas, and […]

  23. XII
  24. Charles, only five-nine, but built like a tree and dressed head-to-toe in black tactical gear. Handguns holstered on each leg, a small knife strapped to one ankle, and two of the biggest machetes I’d ever seen – one hanging over each shoulder. Honestly, given the stories I’d heard, I was expecting more guns, but I […]

  25. XIII
  26. Day 4000. I’m the only one up, everyone else is still tucked away in ‘bed’. It’s my turn to run the system checks. We only have to do this every 500 days, unless word comes through that they’ve found it — if that happens we all get up. Because all our communications are pre-recorded we […]

  27. XIV
  28. When the first pod of whales beached themselves no one really thought much of it. When, two weeks later, a second pod beached themselves several hundred miles south, again, no one thought much of it. That was 8 months ago. Now, not only are the beachings a daily – world-wide – occurrence, they aren’t limited […]

  29. XV
  30. We both know that you know where they are. … Tell me. … Where can I find Zenith?

  31. XVI
  32. Day 86. It’s been a little over 12 weeks since we undocked and were flung into the vast blackness of space, we’ve got 2 weeks left until we enter the suspended state that will allow us to carry out the mission. What’s the mission? Good question. When we left they hadn’t exactly worked that out. […]

  33. XVII
  34. Their living room wall was now mostly string, push-pins and post-it notes. The TV sits unplugged in a corner, all non-essential furniture piled up on the other side of the room. The only concrete piece of information he has to work with is a name. Jasper. Ok, ‘concrete’, is probably overstating it, but that is […]

  35. XVIII
  36. “The green cylinder. On the other side of the room.” There was significant static on the intercom, however, the instruction was crystal clear. “Break it open.” That didn’t seem like the most brilliant idea, especially given the past events at this particular facility. However, this was no mere suggestion, it was a demand.

  37. XIX
  38. “I know what you said, but this is not over. We need you back at the bunker. Now.” Upon entering, Oliver immediately sees an imposing – unknown – figure standing at the centre console. “Where is she?!”, bow drawn, and aimed. “Felicity is fine, she doesn’t even know you’re here. Nor do the others.“ “How […]

  39. XX
  40. Beyond the flickering a red, softly pulsating, light. Below the light a door. Even from this distance it looked heavy, and very locked, but it was still a door. Above the door an understated sign. [J.A.S.P.E.R]

  41. XXI
  42. Before them stood a wall of screens with a single command console located off to the left hand side of the room. They appeared to be displaying surveillance feeds. The video quality was grainy and monochrome, this room had been here for years. A hundred windows into a hundred different worlds. “254,” Miles bluntly observed, […]

  43. XXII
  44. EMBARGOED – DO NOT PUBLISH For release 30 January, NOON INFINITE HORIZONS MISSION PARAMETERS UPDATE Command operations centre, Tx – A target system, LS25-8/6, containing viable destination planets has been confirmed. The system was initially detected 6 weeks ago during the systematic re-evaluation of existing data by the recently upgraded ‘Planetoid Identification Network’. The news […]

  45. XXIII
  46. There is no sound, almost pure nothingness, just a mild ringing in my ears. It has always been there, or at least I think it has, assuming it is there at all and not just a figment of my imagination. Maybe what I believe is a ringing is actually what silence sounds like. Maybe I’m […]

  47. XXIV
  48. The last thing I remember was leaving work on Friday afternoon and catching the bus home, just like I do everyday. I don’t, however, remember the actual bus ride itself. It’s worth mentioning that this alone isn’t particularly odd, I quite often arrive at my destination without any recollection of the 40 minute journey I’d […]

  49. XXV
  50. I haven’t moved since my eyes opened, still in a state of uncertainty due to the surrounding darkness. Scared to move for fear of injury or falling or stepping on something. That’s reasonable, right? No one likes stepping on cockroaches in the night or walking into door frames. Can’t stay here forever though. Especially since […]

  51. XXVI
  52. Right, well whatever I was lying on before, I’m not lying on it now. I suspect that if I could see anything that I would have noticed everything fading to black when I sat up. Well, at least I now know that there is a floor. Quick glance across at the clock, it’s now 11:38, […]

  53. XXVII
  54. Shuffling slowly towards the clock, the floor is smooth, consistent. Vinyl tiles maybe? Confirms one thing, I’m not at home – nothing but carpet and cold, hard tiles there. Oh how I wish I could feel my carpet underneath me right now. The clock is sitting atop what feels like a small wooden chest of […]

  55. XXVIII
  56. Why of all the dark rooms in existence am I in this one, why couldn’t it be your typical dark room with a sliver of light peaking out from beneath a door. For all I know this room doesn’t even have a door. Craziness of course, it must have a door, right? How else would […]

  57. XXIX
  58. Eyes still aren’t adjusting. Odd or not, I can’t decide. 11:43. That was a long five minutes. Wait, what was that? A door? Different to the noise earlier. Closer. Or am I imagining things. I need to find a way out. Reaching a corner, I at least know that the wall doesn’t extend forever, still […]

  59. XXX
  60. Files. Guess that shouldn’t have surprised me as much as it did. Feels like half a dozen or so, but not much good to me, the light from the clock is not even remotely sufficient enough to read anything. I toss them aside and try the top drawer. Nothing, it’s definitely locked. Odd, every filing […]

  61. XXXI
  62. I’m back to the table that I had awoken on an hour ago, it’s right next to the immovable filing cabinet. My eyes seem to be slowly coming to grips with the light levels, I can’t make out any defined shapes, just patches of dark and patches of not-quite-as-dark. Using the table to pull myself […]

  63. XXXII
  64. Obviously the logical part of my brain thinks that theory is bollocks, but the rest of the brain is running with it. I’m ok with that. I’d rather be calm than hideously scared. I sit up on top of the table, leaning against the walls in the corner of the room, just gazing straight ahead, […]

  65. XXXIII
  66. My gaze dips every so often towards the clock, which I have now sat down in front of me. It’s amazing how much slower time moves when you’re actively watching it. Despite only waking up a bit over an hour ago I’m feeling tired, but not a physical tiredness, it’s all mental. A million questions […]

  67. XXXIV
  68. Brief dreams of other places, other faces. The where and when I’d rather be. The things I’d be doing and how I’d be doing them. Routine, constants, the avoidance of change that I see no personal benefit in. The chasing of happiness and the fear of failure that prevents me. I’m asleep, but conscious that […]