The UMA: Benedicts Rising

I don't really write at all, but I figured I'd give it a try. I started this idea in my head a while ago (while I was bored at work) of a not so distant dystopian future. This is just a short initial introduction to a few characters and the world they live in.

I have an idea of where I'd like it to go. I want to include chapters chronicling how the US transformed into this different world, maybe in the form of flashbacks through some of the main characters ancestors. And even though the whole idea is still in its infancy, I think it'd be neat to have a sort of series. Tell side stories, introduce new characters, maybe explore other countries and areas of the world in this future. I hope to put the "historical" stuff in writing soon, so people can grasp how and why things happened.

Like I said, I'm new to writing fiction, but just putting this little bit on paper has been pretty enjoyable. I just want to get some feedback on the idea, the characters, etc.

I hope you enjoy!

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3. Chapter 3

Kelley awoke to the sound of her phone, laying flat on her bed, staring at her ceiling fan. Confused, she answered her phone. Rudy. Why didn’t she check the number?

 

“Kelley, it’s Rudy, we need you to come in today, there has been some activity in your region,” Rudy demanded.

 

“It’s Saturday?” Kelley said, not sure it she meant it as a question or a statement. Was it Saturday?

    

“Yes, I know, but the boss says something suspicious has happened in your region. This could be your chance to get your numbers up,” replied Rudy.

    

Still trying to piece together the last however many hours of her life, Kelley responds with little enthusiasm, “Alright, I’ll be there in an hour.”

 

Click.

 

What happened last night? I remember seeing Dr. Jack and taking that new medicine.

 

She showered, grabbed the new pills off of her bathroom sink, swallowed one, and remembered to avoid her other pills. For being so confused about her previous evening, her mind felt incredibly clear. In fact, her whole body felt great. Skipping her morning pills didn’t even seem like a big deal anymore. Maybe Dr. Jack was on to something with this prescription, she thought. Even the cold weather on the walk to the train felt good, almost invigorating.

 

Then came the train ride. She found herself loathing everybody around her. No, not loathing...pitying. These poor people, she thought. Why are they so miserable looking? Like a bunch of pets, she thought. They reminded her of the dogs that lived in the children’s home with her. Walking from their beds to the food bowl, outside to do their business, back to their beds. But wasn’t she just like them?

 

No, she reasoned. She isn’t like them because she is thinking like this. She’s always thought like this in some way, thought selfishly. This fact upset her. She had been so confident in the new medicine, until now. She would take the pills and probably be the same selfish person in 10 days, or even more selfish at this rate. While somewhat disheartening, she still felt better than ever.

 

Rudy was waiting for her at the office. He had been filled in by the boss and briefed Kelley.

 

“Another Shield was cruising through your zone and noticed some activity near one of the Threats you eliminated yesterday,” Rudy explained. “Maybe the Midwest Benedicts are gearing up like their Western brethren. Who knows. Anyway, boss wants you in the sky around that strike, it’s near a decent sized town. Kelley, this could be great for you. If something big does start in your region, you could be at the top with me.”

 

In her current state, Kelley processed the information and walked away from Rudy, not a single word spoken. This could be her big chance, she thought. Why am I not ecstatic? She sat at her workstation, logged into a drone, and headed towards the coordinates of her last elimination yesterday, just west of the river.

 

While she waited for the high flying machine to reach its destination, she began thinking about her night again. She left the doctor…threw away her Erosta, but went back for it...hopped on the train...took the new pills...got to her building…the elevator wasn’t there…

 

BEEP BEEP BEEP. She was almost to her destination.

 

She took control of the drone and flew the last few miles towards the site. She saw the river, the thick woods to the west, and, up ahead, the charred piece of land where the missile struck. She thought she actually saw the body of the Benedict in the middle of the dark circle, but that couldn’t be. Normally, there is almost nothing left.  Just south of the strike zone, the camera recognized a human, marking the location with a light red square. He wasn’t moving. He must not be paying attention to the sky since it’s Saturday, she figured. She passed over him in case there were more of them in the area. After flying a mile radius around the target, she found no one else.

 

She flew directly to the located Benedict and hovered almost three miles above his head. Does he still not see me? she wondered.  Any other day, she’d strike and move on, trying to get her numbers up. But today, maybe it was her strange sense of clarity she was feeling or the new pills or the fact that she was in the office on a Saturday, she just looked at him. Curious, she zoomed the camera in. The computer automatically focused the camera on the coordinates she’d entered, where the strike had been. There was a body...with half a head, long hair, and a gown. She was close enough to see everything. Her white nightgown flowing out under her heavy fur jacket. The splatter of blood and brain to the right of the body. And the pistol next to her left hand.

 

“A woman,” Kelley whispered. “She killed herself?”

 

She remembered the man. She moved the camera slowly to the south. He had seen her. It seemed like he was staring directly into the camera a mile above his head. Through the camera into Kelley’s eyes. It terrified her. And saddened her.

 

The man walked towards the woman’s body, never taking his eyes off of Kelley in the sky. She watched as he knelt down, gently picked up the corpse, carried her to a small wooden boat on the river bank and placed her in it. He folded her arms across her chest and kissed her bloody forehead. Then he pushed the vessel into the powerful river.

 

He turned and looked back up. Kelley was glued to the screen. She knew she should strike, but she couldn’t, not after the scene she just witnessed. It made the Benedicts seem real. Like her. Not like her peers. Not like Rudy. Or the dogs on the train, numb to the world.

 

They had always just been specks on the map, annihilated by the push of a button. But today, in her amazingly clear mind, they were humans. Like her.

    

“Kelley!” a voice shouted from a few feet behind her. “What was it!?”

    

She leaned forward on the joystick, launching the drone away from the man, and pressed the strike button, hoping to Heaven the missile lock-on had released from the target. The missile fired downward and struck in forest. 

 

“Just some Benedict lingering by the strike zone,” she replied, trying to sound calm. “Just got him.” With a few quick keystrokes, she forced the computer to mark the spot on the map making it appear like an elimination. There she was lying again. These pills definitely don't work, she thought, in fact they're making it worse. 

 

“Nicely done. A coconspirator. They’re the ones to get. He could have been dangerous. Nothing gets a coconspirator more riled up than coming across a strike zone. Out west, there are always at least one or two around every strike zone within a few hours.”

 

“Yeah...he seemed aggressive,” Kelley replied quietly.

 

“Keep an eye out for another hour or so, then you can go,” Rudy said.

 

She was so enthralled with the events that just unfolded and her new coconspirator, she didn’t even realize that Rudy seemed to be presiding over her today. When he was gone, she quickly shifted the camera back towards the man, making sure he was still there and alive. He was. He was still looking at her. He seemed confused. She wondered if he knew how confused she was, as well.

    

They both stayed there. The man below looking up, Kelley in the sky looking down. Every so often she’d lower the drone, until she was no more than fifty feet above him. She could see his breath in the cold winter air. For a second, she thought she saw a tear run down the side of his face. After that, he nodded to Kelley and turned away. She followed suit, returned to travelling altitude, and headed home.

    

Later that evening Kelley laid in her bed, tears streaming down her face, thinking of that poor, suicidal woman, and the man she had seen, whom she knew had seen her.

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