XXI

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, “It’s a grid, A1 through P16. 256 screens, but C7 and G13 seem to be off.”

From the entry the source of the feeds wasn’t immediately clear, nor was it obvious who was being monitored. Were these commercial security feeds? Finance? Government?

Moving closer to see that each had a counter increasing rapidly in the top right hand corner. But counting up from what? It wasn’t counting seconds, maybe milliseconds? With no other dates or times visible, the group initially assumed the feeds were live.

That assumption was wrong, well, half wrong. To this point David hadn’t said anything to anyone aside from the brief – forced – introductions when they’d entered the tunnels a few hours earlier.

From towards the back of the group David finally spoke up, slowly gesturing to the screens in the upper right hand corner.

“That… I. I think that’s me…”

  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. XIV
  4. 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 […]

  5. XXXIV
  6. 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 […]

  7. XVI
  8. 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. […]

  9. XI
  10. 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 […]