Fragility

by

Monad

Prologue: From Ulysses' Point Of View

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It began on a Tuesday. No, wait...It may have been Thursday. Losing track of time in a situation like this was easy. When dealing with constant stress and danger, it was almost too easy to-Wait no. I had lost my train of thought. It would be better to start with what the event which began actually was. I guess it began with the strange signals from space.

A satellite which functioned to record black holes picked up on energy exiting a black hole, which was thought to be impossible, as nothing escapes from a black hole. While the news was incredible to the scientific community, it left more questions than answers. To those who lacked interest in science and preferred to waste away on their phones and fill their lives with superficial distractions, the news wasn't exciting at all. They'd much rather hear about their favorite celebrities.

A famous model with the IQ of an inbred child says she loves cats over dogs, how groundbreaking. Did the Black Hole discovery make the news? You might ask. Well to popular news stations, if they couldn't put a "Gate" at the end it was pretty much worthless. I guess BlackHoleGate wouldn't be as eye-catching as, DoggyGate, which wouldn't surprise me if it actually was real. I personally hated people easily swayed by a reporter on a T.V screen. It was something I was all too familiar with.

I digress. The point is, only the Government, Scientists, Astronomers, People interested in space, and Conspiracy theorists paid attention to the news. With no answers and no real progress on what it was, the discovery faded into the past. What came next was very minute changes in the Earth's Magnetic Field. You can imagine how that went based on the black hole. Two stars suddenly disappear, hundreds of millions of light years away. At the same time, a new celebrity couple thought to hate each other emerged, and the internet went into an uproar over deciding the pet name, ignoring the space anomaly. Of course, these strange events were weeks, months, and even a few years apart, all in different locations of space.

Gravitational anomalies in the middle of the sea, sinking airplanes and boats. Chalked up to the Mystery of the Bermuda Triangle.

I'm sure I sound cynical right now, but the current situation destroyed even the most strong-willed of the self-proclaimed optimists. Which drew me to a question I was asked before all of "this" started. "Do you believe in God?", To which my reply was which one. An intentionally skeptical response, but it failed to elicit a response from the one who asked. So my next answer was "Yes, but not yours." Which was more or less the truth. I did believe in a God. An all power entity which created the universe as an architect would. One with intelligence beyond the fragile understanding of humans.

I expected nothing from this "God" I had believed to be real. If it were true, why would it have a need for emotions and why would it pity humans? I thought it was perfectly fine for a God to give the sort of cold emotional detachment to humans as Corporations did to the people they screwed over. I think humans would waste away before said God appeared. As the human race as a whole operates much like a television remote does. In the aspect of the average person doesn't know what makes it work. Then again, neither do I.

So there in lies my true nature, a cynic with nihilistic ideals that somehow preserved the idea of a higher power. It was truly a contradictory existence. I wasn't always like this- Oh yeah, I was initially speaking about anomalies.

Well, a few strange storms, sudden death of migratory animals, and even more spatial anomalies later, black rain appeared. Now that was something to draw people away from their handhelds for more than a minute. Black Rain, which didn't really soak anyone. Of course, Mass Panic ensued, people accused the Government of harboring aliens to secretly conducting weather experiments, to religious prophecy, and a few other ideas. While the events were laid out plain to see for everyone, people blamed their Governments for misinforming them. Well, by then it was too late. You see during the all these events, one thing remained constant. In a neutral country, a research project was funded by all of the World's major superpowers. Its primary focus was- well I think that should be talked about later. 

I want to focus on what happened a few hours after "it" started.

........................

 

Beep! Beep! Beep!

My digital watch had reminded me of the alarm I set. I zipped up the jacket of my black tracksuit and stood up. Currently, I was inside of a shopping mall. It was filled with the smell of blood which helped to disorient the senses.

Though, when one got used to it, the feeling of nausea faded slightly. I reached into my pocket and retrieved some fishing wire I picked up on the way into the cozy little emergency stairwell that offered me temporary respite. My late father had been a military man, so I must've picked up a few skills right? No. My dad decided not to teach me as he didn't want me following his footsteps. I admit that I didn't plan on fighting for someone else's selfish purpose, so he didn't have to worry, but those skills would've been very useful for right now.

I could only go off of video games and movies as my references, which obviously didn't help much. Though I was briefly in a defense class, the free starter class. I entered out of curiosity, and what they showed was to make a few household items into deadly weapons. Leading to my current deadly equipment wholly consisting of fishing wire.

As I left the confines of the emergency stairwell and stood on a walkway on the second level, I was upset to find the mall was on its backup generator and the lights were a dark red. The sound of hurried footsteps wasn't too far away, but I refrained from investigating. I had no wish to encounter someone with hostile intentions and enter an early grave. I had some confidence in getting away, but I couldn't be 100% sure. As the footsteps came closer, I hid under a nearby bench, the dim red lights would most likely obscure me from view, and it made for the perfect hiding spot.

"Someone! Someone help!"
The owner of the footsteps began screaming for assistance, a move which was very reminiscent of cliche horror films with overused plot devices. I often contemplated whether my own existence was that of a poorly written movie or book, but I'm sure that wasn't the case.

"Help me!"
The voice sounded oddly familiar. It sounded like my former boss who owned a store in this now destitute shopping mall.

"Auh-Auh-Auhk!"
A monstrous sound responded to his screams, and soon a clicking noise was heard.

"Oh God help me!"
My former boss placed himself behind a vending machine across from me, which was a very terrible spot in my opinion. Behind him was a handrail and to his sides was nothing but open space. Indeed a terrible place to be.

Click. Click. Click.

It sounded similar to high heels if high heels were made of bone instead of whatever they usually were made of.

"Oh God...no, no, no."
My former boss clutched his sweaty face as he shook. It was the exact opposite of the appearance he showed me a few hours ago as he smugly fired me after finding out about a scandal which-

"Auh-Auh-Auhk!"
The clicking stopped as whatever was moving toward my former's bosses location had ceased its actions.

"Ulysses!"
My former boss appeared to have seen me as he spoke in something between a whisper in a shout. I wanted to berate him for being an idiot, but panic makes people do strange things.

In response to him, I put my finger over my lips to shush him, but it seemed he couldn't see well under the dim red light.

"Ulysses!"
My former boss called me again, but I had no reason to respond. Maybe if I played dead, he would give up.

Shlunk!

A fleshy piercing sound immediately sent me on edge. As I looked over closely, I could see my ex-boss lifted in the air with a sharp curved spike sticking through his chest. I almost panic and make a noise, I was unprepared to see something that visceral.

"Ugh...Ugh..."
Blood poured from the mouth of my former boss as he quickly lost his life.

Thump!

He was dropped onto the ground and spasmed a few times before he becoming motionless.

"shit."
I cursed in a small whisper. I was beginning to shake in my panic and couldn't calm down. I tried to steady my breathing as the murderer of my former boss crouched down and started gorging on his flesh. I hated my former boss, I even wish he would die, but I preferred him to die slowly of a fatal disease not in front of my eyes. My hands shook as I looked at the silhouette of what could only be described as a monstrosity.

It had a round head, elongated limbs that looked similar to medieval pikes, and an overall thin physique.

Splish! Glish! Crunch!

The sounds it made while eating served as no comfort. It was downright gruesome. I felt nothing but fear, my palms grew sweaty, and I felt nauseous.

"Auh-Auhk."
The creature turned its head upwards, while its jaw opened and closed. Could it smell me? If it could, then I was already dead. I looked at the handrail and thought of making a run for it. Maybe I could jump over it and hope for the best. We were only on the second floor of the mall, it had to be a 30-foot drop give or take. The creature went back to eating but in a slightly more cautious manner.

I would have to be a complete fool to not notice its behavior change. I had no other options, but to run for the handrail and jump over it. Before a scandal more or less ruined my life I ran obstacle courses, would I consider myself a free runner? No. I couldn't do the graceful flips and maneuvers, but I could get around pretty quickly. I could run straight ahead, use the creature as a springboard and jump down while hoping for the best.

Then what would I do if I was injured and the creature followed me down? It would all be pointless. I unfurled the fishing wire and began to wrap it around both my hands. If I could get it over the handrail with me, it might fall over and die, if not I would die.

After my breathing finally calmed down, I slowly crawled from under the bench. While maintaining my crouched position, I moved closer to the creature who continued to eat.

"Auhk-Auh!"
It turned it's head upwards. At this distance, I could see it lacked eyes.

Now!

I stood up and ran forward with the fishing wire ready.

"Auh-Auhk!"
The creature quickly reacted to my footsteps and began to stand up, but I was already there. I wrapped the fishing wire around its neck twice and then crossed my arms while jumping over the handrail. I shouted as I fell.
"Aaaaah!"
"Auhk!"
The creature screamed as it was pulled by my momentum, its limbs were covered in fresh blood with made it hard for it to use to stop itself.

Crack!

A loud snapping sound filled my ears, I looked up to see the creatures stretched neck hanging over the handrail. Its body was arranged in a way that prevented it from falling over with me.

"Ha!"
I gave one satisfied laugh as the fishing wire painfully dug into my skin. The adrenaline rushed through my head and numbed the pain slightly as I hung in the air with elation. Who wouldn't be? I was alive, and my almost-murderer was dead.

Suddenly, the tension in the fishing wire began dispersing which woke me up from my brief moment of celebration. I was shocked to see the creature fading away like ash.

"Shit."
I could guess what would happen next.

"Shit. Shit.Shit."

Whiiish!

The creature disappeared and I-
"Shiiiiit!"

Thump!

I landed on the hard floor located on the first level of the mall and hit my head. As I began to fall unconscious, I could see a black mist taking shape in front of me.

 

.......................................

 

*a/n: Still don't have everything planned out for this novel, I'll be doing planning and writing in my spare time, but right now I'm focused on finishing The Void Wolf. Some details are still subject to change which is why I didn't elaborate on the character's appearance or any would be major details.

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Monad

Bio: I'm writing a bunch of stories until I die and, hopefully, I'll have improved before then.

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