The Bright Side.

Peter Smith has just found out he has a month left to live due to a lethal brain tumour.
He has also just found out that in less than a month, the human race will become extinct and that he has been chosen to be one of six humans to survive the approaching apocalypse. And who has saved him? E.I.P.F, the Earth Inhabitant Protection Front, a group of intergalactic environmentalists who want to save just one species.
And so, whilst also keeping his deadly secret from the aliens, Peter embarks on a quest to rally the chosen survivors, whilst avoiding Government Agents, the secret services, Satanists, Velociraptors, and a manic depressive Tyrannosaurus .

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9. Chapter 9

 Consciousness erupted onto Emilia in the form of an agonizing headache. She sat up suddenly grabbing her head and gasping in pain. It always happened, after a particularly vivid premonition it would completely drain her of any feeling from the eyelids down, and then, it would pull back with the force of a ten stone brick. “Ireland!” he exclaimed, “He's in Ireland!”

“Erm. . .”

Slowly, Emilia turned to the source of the nervous sound. Now she remembered, she had been in the middle of a premonition, when some inconsiderate bastard had whacked her round the head. Well, someone was going to pay. Dearly. She turned her coldest gaze onto the speaker, he was small, and hooded. From what she could see from beneath the ridiculous hood, the occupant had a large hooked nose with a pimple occupying most of the flesh, the pointed chin was covered in a fine layer of grey stubble and the lips were quivering nervously, there were about another half a dozen hooded figures behind him, pushing him forward. “All right.” Emilia said viciously, “Which one of you hit me over the head?”

“Erm, that – that would be me.” the pimple said shyly, “Sorry.”

“Why?”

The various hooded figures leaned into one another and murmured hurriedly, finally, the front hood turned back. “You mean,” he said, “You don't know?”

Emilia Crosswood sighed wearily, it was always the same with people. They seemed to think that clairvoyants knew everything, when really it was just a shot in the dark. “No.” she said patiently, “I don't know. Who are you and why did you whack me over the head?”

The pimple hood turned to his companions, receiving a variety of nods and whispers of: “Go on then, tell her!”

“Well,” the Pimple said adjusting his hood reverently, “we are: The Pentagram Society of Evil and Unbidden Thoughts Worshipping The Almighty Prince Of Darkness and Bringer Of Ultimate Destruction, Lord Lucifer, Satan, King Of The Underworld.”

“You're Satanists?”

There was a outburst of angry murmuring, when it eventually died down, the Pimple scratched his nose. “Well, I wouldn't say Satanists, no.”

“Satanists! Ha!” cried one upper middle class female voice, the sort of voice that had school mistress written all over it. “Don't talk to us about Satanists!”

“Why not?” Emilia asked.

“Well, here at The Pentagram Society of Evil and Unbidden Thoughts Worshipping The Almighty Prince Of Darkness and Bringer Of Ultimate Destruction, Lord Lucifer, Satan, King Of The Underworld, we practice the unholy art in order to bring about the coming of the anti-Christ and his one thousand year rule of darkness. Whereas Satanists, they just practice the unholy art in order to have something to do at the weekend.”

“They treat it more like a social club than anything else.” said another voice, equally middle class as the previous two, and said Soldier all over it. “I mean,” said the school mistress, “they're even advertising now! They're in the media and everything, as if it's good to worship Satan!”

“I thought it was good?” said a fourth, much younger voice.

“It is good,” the pimple explained, “but in a bad way.”

“All right!” Emilia said, shouting over the clamour of the Satan worshippers, “But why did you whack me over the head?”

“Well, we heard that you were a soothsayer.” the Pimple explained, “And we wanted to know a few things.”

“How did you know I'm a clairvoyant?” Emilia asked, noting the use of 'Soothsayer' with a venomous efficiency. “We have contacts.” the school mistress said smugly.

“Who?”

“The fiery legions of Hell of course!”

“Of course.” Emilia said lamely.

“And, also,” the pimple continued, “they mentioned, that you may know something, about, a certain, end of the world?” The non-Satanist Satanists leaned forwards expectantly.

“What about it?” Emilia asked.

“Well, we'd just like to know a few things.”

“When will the Anti-Christ rise?” the soldier asked.

“Never.”

“How many armies of Hell will be unleashed to ravage the Earth?” the youngest hood asked.

“None.”

“Will the great Lucifer himself rise from the ground to reward us for our loyal service?” a fifth hood asked eagerly.

“No.”

Again, the hoods formed into a huddle. “She doesn't know much does she?”

“Are you sure this is her?”

“Yes!”

“Make her prove it!”

“Yes, we all want proof!”

The huddle broke away and the leader stepped forward, his pimple bobbing nervously. “Erm,” he said twiddling his robe hem, “we're not entirely convinced you are actually . . . erm . . . a psychic.”

“I mean, what sort of apocalypse doesn't have armies of blood thirsty demons erupting from the ground?” the final hood asked petulantly, and also remarkably familiar.

“This one.” Emilia stated, “Look. The world is going to end in two and a half weeks due to a massive solar flare, which is the closest you're going to get to the inferno of hell, but I do know that six people are being chosen to survive.”

“By Lord Lucifer?” the Pimple asked optimistically.

“No. by aliens.” The hooded figures glanced at one another.

“So, what contribution does Satan make?” the school mistress asked.

“Well as far as I'm aware, none” Emilia said. It was impossible to distinguish the figures facial expressions, but she would have bet her life savings they were looking miserable and pathetic. She sighed, “look,” she said, “I don't know exactly. For all I know it could be Satan who causes the solar flare!”

They seemed to brighten up at this news, good grief. Emilia thought, I'm feeling sorry for Satanists. “How can you not know?” the sixth voice asked, “I thought you were a clairvoyant!”

Emilia sighed once again, with a hint of irritation, “Clairvoyancy doesn't mean I can see the future in front of me like a map!” she exclaimed, “There are hundreds upon hundreds of different options, and what's annoying is that I'm only a part time clairvoyant, I have no idea when my premonitions will occur or what form. I was, in fact, in the middle of a premonition when you hit me over the head.”

“Sorry.” the Pimple murmured.

“Don't apologize Lionel!” The woman snapped, “We're members of The Pentagram Society of Evil and Unbidden Thoughts Worshipping The Almighty Prince Of Darkness and Bringer Of Ultimate Destruction, Lord Lucifer, Satan, King Of The Underworld. We don't say sorry for anything.”

“Sorry Alison.”

“You said something about Ireland.” the soldier pointed out, “Has that got something to do with the premonition?”

“Yes!” Emilia stated, she had nearly forgotten about the vision. “I need to get to Ireland, right now!”

“Why?” Pimple asked.

“Because,” Emilia said, standing up, “The aliens are there choosing their second survivor.”

“Well,” Alison said turning to her fellow hooded figures, “We can't have that.”

“True.” the soldier said, removing a pipe from his robe, “Far too religious in those parts. We'll help you out, don't you worry.”

“Yes!” the youngest hood exclaimed, “You shall have Lucifer's fiery hoof behind you all the way.”

“Steady on!” the sixth voice demanded, familiarity scraped along the back of Emilia's subconscious, but she just couldn't pin down who it was. “We can't just offer the services of Satan to anybody!” the sixth hood exclaimed. “She's not even a member!”

“Oh stop complaining Reginald!”

“Reginald?” Emilia murmured, “Reginald! From the R.B.I.S.I?”

The sixth figure sighed, and pulled his hood down. It was in fact the irritable features of Reginald, who was annoyed at the volume of star discoveries. “Yes.” he grumbled, “It's me.”

“Well, we can make her a member.” Lionel said cautiously.

“We can't make just anybody a member!” Reginald exclaimed.

“There's seven of us Reg.” the soldier said, smoke pumping from his pipe. “We could do with an eighth member.”

“We're a laughing stock.” Alison noted, “The Satanists are gloating! gloating!”

“We'd be able to show them who's better if we had a real life clairvoyant on our side!” the youngest hood pointed out.

“Be quiet Jimmy.” Reginald snapped.

“Let's put it to the vote.” Alison proclaimed, “We are a democracy after all.”

“No we are not!” Reginald snarled, “We are slaves to the great dark lord! We do not vote about things!”

“And until the dark lord rises from the bowels of Hell, Lionel is our chairman, and we elected him, that makes us a democracy. And I say we vote. Got a problem with that? No? Good. Right, everyone in favour of enlisting Emilia Crosswood into The Pentagram Society of Evil and Unbidden Thoughts Worshipping The Almighty Prince Of Darkness and Bringer Of Ultimate Destruction, Lord Lucifer, Satan, King Of The Underworld.” a general show of hands, decreed that favour was leaning towards Emilia's enrolment. She however, wasn't paying attention, she was glaring at her watch, fervently hoping it was wrong.

Damn! She thought, thanks to these idiots it's already happened. The second survivor's been chosen and I'm stuck on Earth, and now about to become a Satanist! She ground her teeth together in fury, when she finally managed to meet this Peter Smith. She was going to give such a large piece of her mind, he'd choke.

 

To say the Small Room was big enough for four people would be a lie. To say three people could fit in there comfortably would be another lie, to say two people could hold a nice conversation in there whilst lounging relaxing in deck chairs would be a bigger lie than the Givoksica conspiracy (don't ask), saying that one person would like being in there for large periods of time would be pushing the boundaries of believability to its limits. Martha Kelly had the ego of six, and stood in the small room staring at the Yellow book in contempt. Kurt, Lars and Peter stood in the doorway nervously, they had been in the woman's presence for three quarters of an hour, and already felt like Gazelle in the eye sight of a hungry Lioness. “Is that it?” she asked sourly, “That's how I was chosen?”

“No,” Kurt explained, “That's how Peter here was chosen.”

Martha glared at Peter as if he was a cockroach. After the first seven minutes of their meeting, Kelly had classed him as weak, pathetic, up to something, not to be trusted, ugly, lecherous, a brute, oppressive and above all, a man. “Huh.” she said, then turned back to the book. Mark suddenly appeared in the doorway, nodding away. He stared at Martha, then turned to Kurt. “Is that her?” he asked.

“Yes.” the Collopian said.

“Excellent!” Mark exclaimed, “Finally, someone here who the nodding dog can nod at in appreciation.”

“At least Peter's polite.” Lars murmured.

“He's a heretic.” Mark stated factually. “His manners are nonsensical.”

“Says you.”

“Yes. Says me!”

“Oh go shove your head up a Quoznikl's bum.” Kurt spat. It had been a long day and he had had to explain things to Kelly. It didn't help that she demanded on getting answers, like why didn't the Collopians step in to stop the persecution of women during the suffragette era. The simple answer is: The Collopians weren't bothered. The world wasn't about to end, so they're job was to merely watch and observe. This hadn't softened Martha's attitude. A sudden, cruel, human thought entered Kurt's mind. “Why don't you go talk to her?” he suggested, “Explain all about how foolish the Nodding Dog is.”

Mark nodded in rage, “Foolish? Ha! I'll show you! I'll explain it to her and she'll completely agree, that'll show you! Damned Yellow worshipper” he barged past the trio and squeezed into the Small Room, he nodded excitedly at Martha, who stared at him in disgust. “Yes?” She asked.

“I am Markxcyhpwogncials the third, you may call me Mark, I represent the order of The Nodding Dog, it was he who ensured that you survive.”

“The nodding Dog?”

“That's right.” Mark nodded. “Come with me and I'll explain everything.” he rested a hand on Martha's shoulder and directed her from the room and down the corridor. “I don't know who I should feel sorry for.” Peter mused.

“Never mind.” Lars said brightly, “Let us choose the next survivor.”

“But we've only just got Martha!” Peter exclaimed.

“Yes,” Kurt said, “but we have only two weeks and three days until the world is destroyed, we must acquire the right survivors and educate them in the necessities of survival before it is too late.”

He then approached the book. “You will observe the choosing of a survivor!” he proclaimed.

“We observe.” Lars said.

Kurt once again grasped the pages of the book, and started flicking them through his fingers. “Stop!” Lars barked.

With his eyes closed, Kurt raised his hand, and let it fall onto the page. He opened his eyes again and stared at where his finger had landed. “oh.” he said.

“Who is it?” Lars asked.

The Collopian looked up, for the first time since Peter had met him, Kurt actually looked worried. “Perhaps we should deal with this one alone” he suggested.

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