A(nother) Year in Seattle – Week 27 – Recovery

A(nother) Year In Seattle

Sunday – December 28, 2059 – Too many Questions

They want head counts, and specs and schematics… What part of “I was hiding in the walls” don’t they understand?

They still won’t tell me what’s happening… they’re still just…

I am not the enemy!


Monday – December 29, 2059 – No more

No more– please… no more. I got out– I got away but now… the poking the prodding the questioning– it’s too much like… like what was going on inside…

Please… no more.


Tuesday – December 30, 2059 – long road home

For the first time since the nightmare began– I can believe… hope. I am free of it… They’re finally talking to me– not grilling me. I know they need to know what’s going on– but …

It’s hell…

Even thinking about it I freeze up. All those people…

Okay…let’s try this again. I’m out. I’m with my family… I just can’t sleep with the lights out. Every sound– every draft… I’m jumping every time I hear a servo whine– every time I hear something turn off or on…

All those people…


Wednesday – December 31, 2059 – A new beginning

They finally let me see the news today. I think they’ve realized I’ve told them all I can. It was horrible being there– and the newscasts– what they’re finding out is… worse… So much worse than I thought possible.

At least they believe me now.

December 19th– 18:17 – The power went out and the Arcology was closed. Reports of gunshot–

That part I knew.

But then… the automatic defenses kicked in– took out two choppers that were landing on various landing pads.

Before anyone knew what was happening the building was sealed.

No news was getting out– attempts to get in were met with force.

Attempts to get out were met with force.

A military team broke in– through the rail… they were taken out.

No place was safe for long. They knew how to find us, to hunt us– one by one they found the people who’d escaped the first attack.

I was almost caught… I’d almost surrendered myself to the building’s security– trusting it better than I trusted myself

I got the tape out– They wanted me to watch it…. to explain what happened.

If they can’t figure it out by watching…


Thursday – January 1, 2060 – New Year

They had planned on releasing me today– but after last night…

Here I am– so sure I’m going to be fine… and then some bozo decides to set off ‘party poppers’.

Next thing I know– I’m under my bed with two orderlies trying to coax me to come out.

Needless to say, I’m still in the hospital and spent the better part of New Year’s day in a medicated state. Oh, and Trid privileges have been canceled.

I tend to get a little anxious when I see that nothing’s happening– and nothing probably will happen. I don’t know if I can take this.

I want to be home– where I know where everything is– where there aren’t any machines creeping through the hallways… where there aren’t so many people…

All those people… and there’s nothing I could do… nothing I can do…


Friday – January 2, 2060 – From the top

Okay… I’m going to try and get through this– then I’m going to crawl under the bed and have a really good cry…

When I close my eyes, I hear their screams– see their faces… Anybody who tells you they’re fine after something like this is selling you a pack of lies.

And the ‘investigators’ who say they’re with you on this– they’re worse than the horrors inside the Arcology. I lived through the nightmare– I survived… and they’re doing their best to keep the nightmare alive inside me.

Oh yeah… they tell you it’s for the others. To help the people stuck inside– to help them figure out a way to stop it… but… it doesn’t stop. It can’t. As long as we have the machines– we are touched by it.

I was told once that the final days of the Aztec Calendar spoke of man’s machines turning against him– well… the Arcology is a very good example of just how apocalyptic that really is…

The doors were coming down, the lights had gone out… Dwight was in the lead. In crowds its always best to have the biggest medic you’ve got running interference. We were almost to the door and the shields were coming down. We got half way through when the secondaries came in from the side. They caught on the gurney… Dwight was clear… but the patient and I weren’t.

I shoved the gurney out– barely got out of the way before the doors closed. The last thing I saw of the outside world was Dwight’s face… he was stunned– shocked.

I turned. People were screaming– running… and then the gunfire… The sounds changed… Before it was confusion– panic.. Now it was terror and pain. I knew the building enough to know about the ‘safety stations’. I was heading towards one when I saw him.

The bain-ghorrym, my ‘blue man.’ He guided me to one of the access panels. I’d used them when inspecting the medical stations. In the chaos… no one saw… I wanted to help but there were too many… too many people… too many machines… and there was no way of knowing who you could trust.

I trusted the bain-ghorrym. He had never let me down…

After a while there was silence. It was even worse than the screaming… even worse than the terror. Dead silence…

I stayed in the access area as long as I dared. It was cramped… dark… the air was stale… and then I heard the whrring… it was even worse than the silence. It sounded like someone working on a shop project… cutting bits of wood and metal… bone and cloth…

God…

Spider-like robots– drones I’m sure never existed… they were … scrapping parts of the walls… Scavenging equipment…. cutting through the carnage… And then I heard the sobs…. the dead, the dying… the ones being led away…

It was then I knew– I was in hell…

It all started to blur together. I tried writing– to keep myself sane… but something in the head- ware… they felt it? I saw them a moment before they saw me… I managed to slip away– but I will never forget their eyes… cyber eyes… soulless… heartless… empty…

How long was I there? How long did I hide… or try to get out? I don’t know. I saw Bull and Ange… They’d slipped in to get Bull his big story.

I tried to warn them… tried to stop… but Bull… he knew the story of a lifetime when he saw it… and it cost him his…

Ange was filming as Bull pointed to the devastation. The bodies had long been cleared… but their presence can still be felt. I knew they were in trouble– knew they had to get out– but Bull wouldn’t listen. I was almost to cover when they got him… these little… robots… drones… the looked like bees… and their sting… He practically broiled from the inside…

I almost lost it…

I got Ange out… the bain-ghorrym was there to guide us– but he was somehow weaker… I didn’t understand at the time– I still don’t completely.

The children we’d rescued from the sacrifice… when the bain-ghorrym first showed up… there were three or four of them… It had been called by their need… but the danger was still with them– and so it hadn’t left them… It gets fuzzy from there… I was almost captured… I saw two of the children… but… their eyes… again with the eyes.

So many people… so many…


Saturday – January 3, 2060 – Memories

Case brought Bri in to see me again. I can see what this is doing to him– I want out… I want out of here so badly… but so much of it is still inside… it’s like a poison.

Bri had been in that place… we’d taken her there just the week before… I think about how close she’d come to that nightmare…

The bain-ghorrym had turned so faint I could barely see him… It was as if hope was dying and he was dying with it. Whatever, whoever had taken over was using the children… and they were starting to use the bain-ghorrym. No wonder its light faded… it was hope… it was their protector… but they were no longer innocent… they were no longer children… they were part of it… Deus…

I heard that term from the people in the tunnels… they rescued me… I was so numb… I was sleepwalking … so many people… so many…

We were attacked… almost free and they came at us from all over… they called them the ‘Blues.’ That was the color of their eyes. They had guns, and grenades we had… sticks, clubs… a gun… We were losing… I knew that we were dead if we didn’t fight back… dead or far worse, and I knew then– that I would rather die.

It’s amazing what you will do when you reach that point. As one of the Blues turned to gun one of us down, I saw the defibrillator sign. I grabbed the paddles out of the wall and used them on him… it…

I lost it then, as the realization of what I’d lost hit home… But it was over for me… I took the Blue’s gun… there were more coming… we had nothing… and then… we were surrounded… not by Blues and machines, but by Case, and Dwight… and a whole mess of folks from the underground.

Now… its like I’m not really here– or there… I’m still stuck inside…

Case understands– at least I think he does… he says he does, and he seems to know what I need right now, but Bri… She needs me– needs to understand why I’m not with her… why I’m still here…

Sorry honey… you’re mom’s not quite stable right now.


Copyright 2000-2001 M.T. Decker

About mtdecker

Just your average writer- which is to say, I have a full-time job developing and testing software.
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