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. III
  4. 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 […]

  5. VII
  6. 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. […]

  7. XII
  8. 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 […]

  9. XXVII
  10. 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 […]