Monster City

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  • Rating:
  • Published: 13 Jun 2014
  • Updated: 13 Jun 2014
  • Status: Complete
They call you "monster".

A short, abrupt, sci-fi zombie story.


1. Falling

Footsteps echo harshly against the concrete and reverberate through the alley; pained breaths fog up the shiny surfaces, creating irregular misted spots on the metal; lean reflections distort perversely until they become twisted versions of their originals.

Glittering silver eyes flash with unrestrained terror, glancing down each end of the alley discreetly.

Cables entwine together intricately along the walls, forming vaguely vine-like structures that spark with bright electricity. Thick white smoke wafts in tight coils, like a venomous snake preparing to spring on its oblivious prey. It drifts upwards slowly, relaxed as a sailboat bobbing on the waves, obscuring the vision of the upper levels of the lying, superficial company buildings.

The jagged metal point is in sight, yet it is surrounded by people. Only, they aren't people - they are monsters. Eyes squint for better vision, but see no other option than the little black box hidden in the deep jacket pocket. Grab the box hurriedly as you run forward, press the button and they all fall down, limbs jerking like puppets on strings, being pulled and manipulated by the High One. It was like a game of ring-a-rose's, only they wouldn't get back up this time; these monsters hated what was permanent. Show them permanent and leave their bodies behind. The doors slide open smoothly, with a light ring of metal upon metal that was the only detection of entrance.

Soft whirring sounds appear in the air - the surveyors become tangled in white hair, tugging desperately. Little winged boxes, flashing, always flashing, always sending out messages. Pale hands whisk around them, removing the nuisances. Here, in the front room, the footsteps are silent and calculating, although the solid, plasma-padded floor didn't impede any movement. Well, except when trying to avoid the acid-jettison release capsules embedded in the granite flooring. Grace is what is needed. Time to dance.

The glass walls along the right show no sights of joy - crumbling bridges, pulled under by their own weight; lopsided towers, creating shapes that could barely be seen across the dimly-lit sky. Flickering lights, whizzing and buzzing, flying crookedly through the murky city, their senses hindered by the lack of technological radiation. The closest Radaitheora Eadrom Tower was too far away. They were clinging to scraps of energy, floating, struggling.

The destruction of the world was stopped only by the glowing silver walls. A silver dome, shining, stretching to the ends of the city. It touched the earth, stopped the havoc. It contained the chaos; we mustn’t destroy the world, they said. The world was so peaceful, unharmed, they said. Watch as another building is taken, falling in slow motion. It crushes another like dominoes - what happens in one place always affects another. The world has always been that way.

There is a crack in the glass, now - it has begun. They will fall soon. Their fault. They started it. They didn't know the virus destroyed - they only thought it created. Those monsters released it into the world - technology couldn't save the city, it was too contaminated, far too late. Buildings are graves, now, so many people gone, their lives taken so suddenly. They were unsuspecting, innocent. Anger rises at the thought of the unnecessary deaths.

Remove the jagged point - that is the final goal. Tell the secret. They can't hide any longer - the rest of the world must know about the virus. They can fix it. They have to. They're our last chance. They can save us.

Finally, there is a scanner, flowing over a face like a waterfall. You can change your eyes to get through - machines can always be tricked with a little help. All you need is the Marlait Suil, the eye changer. Then, there is a little prick - the needle paralyses you if you are contaminated. Take several uncertain steps forward - slow, heavy steps. Doubt rushes through, but the steps become lighter. Relief.

 Turn a corner, and see the monsters standing stock-still beside a pair of glimmering onyx doors. The monsters are silent and lethal. Pull the box out of your pocket quickly and flick the switch. The switch sends a shock, but it instantly renders you camouflaged. You can walk through the onyx doors easily, with no trouble. They suspect nothing. The corridors beyond seem endless, but there is, at last, a door of dull, gleaming silver.

You click a number on the obvious keypad. Loud noises, everywhere. Hands clench over ears, clutching to rid yourself of the blinding pain; the cacophony leaks through the gaps, thudding - overload of your senses, overload. Scream, louder now, as the electricity strikes. They have heard, and they are coming. You must go. Stumble, hands and ears crimson with your life.

There is a corner. A bright corner, edges meeting sharply. Stop. There is nowhere else to run. Machines pointing, attached - melded - to flesh; they threaten you and tell you to surrender. With their menacing grins, you realize that it is time. Click the button for the last time – three strikes and you’re out. Click for escape.

Waves crash through your structure, buzzing, fizzing. You twitch and the thudding slows rapidly. The bright room spins, and you know the city is doomed. Silver walls cannot protect them forever. Not anymore.

Watch in pain as the triggers move as one, in a synchronized, robotic dance. A lone tear falls, slipping and sliding down your cheek - you are the last of the species, the only one who can save them all. The only one who can return the world to normality, and they want to destroy you for it. They taunt you. Intruder, they call you, monster. In a whisper, you reply that they are the monsters. That they have ruined everything. You close your eyes, count to three, and take one last deep breath. Finally, it will be over.

The sudden pain is like a raging fire, burning through your veins, but as cold as ice, immediately freezing you in your place, standing up, facing your enemies. The poison proceeds to make its way to your heart, where the thudding begins to slow and comes to a stop. The broken, empty shell of you falls into the corner gracefully, limbs folding under one other, dignified even in death.

The monsters look down on you with ice cold stares, with a lack of remorse that would astound their creators. Soon they will remember their hunger, and they will feed on the body of the last human being in this desolate city. They will feast.

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