Link to part one
-Custer! Look at this! Markinson was staring at his phone.
Custer looked up from his pile of notes. -Shouldn’t you be working?
-There’s been a terrorist attack, here in town. He’d got Custer’s attention. -And if this isn’t an acid, I’m no chemist.
Custer got up from his chair, walked over to he college. They zoomed in on the dead bodies in the photo.
-It looks like some kind of formic acid, Custer said. -Only stronger. A lot stronger.
He went over and turned on the radio. They were talking live from the scene…
They are coming at him, thousands of them. Nigel shoots them down in high numbers, but they keep attacking. He’s outnumbered. Outgunned.
He turned half around in his chair, stretched out to grab the coke can on the table. Something moved in the corner of his eyes. He looked over at the ant colony glass beholder. There were ants climbing up on it, on the outside of the walls.
At first he thought some of his own ants had escaped, but soon he saw they weren’t the same species. He wondered were they had come from… (more)
There was a great carpet dwelling above the world. Inside it. Around it. It was conscious, yet not intelligent. Awake, but it did not think. One, a spectre of selves, everywhere and nowhere. No one knew how it worked, not even itself. It was pure observation. It knew, but did not calculate. It felt, but did not care. It was existence. Reality. Nothing more. Nothing less.
The old man sat by the window, looking out on the valley he’d lived in all his life. He knew everything about that valley. Every little rock, every old tree stump. He loved the valley. It was the best place on Earth for him…
He hid in the bushes. They were after him. They always were.
They carried guns, the three men. He knew they hated him. He had been living out in the woods all his life, and all they ever wanted was to kill him.
He had learned. Learned to hide, learned when to run.
Do you think the monster’s around? Ron said…
They had been walking for weeks, if a such word made any sense anymore. The old horse was tired. Every day they had to carry more of the equipment themselves.
To the south there was nothing. The last people they had met…
The sun was going down, painting the sky in a thousand colours reflected in the beautiful landscape below. In the city streetlights were coming on, one by one as the shadow of the hills slowly crept through the quarters. They could see the fields where they played as children, the mountains. The ocean. The vast sea stretching out, seemingly with no end. She had always dreamt of the ocean, the unknown beyond the waves.
Maybe some day he would take her.
They had been sitting there for a long time now, just staring into eternity. Feeling the silence. Breathing. Existing.