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I remember how it all started. The beginning of the end. I lived on Titan Station, a sprawling metropolis built onto the last fragment of Saturn’s moon, Titan. Population: A lot. I knew something was wrong with that place. Tiedemann was doing something in the government sector with the Unitologists.
I need to go back to the beginning. Back to when it all began. To when the end started.
This is how my world ended.
This is how it began.
Titan Station, August 16, 2510. I woke up for school, like I always did. My mom prepared breakfast, blueberry pancakes and bacon. I loved bacon…
Anyway. Back to the point. The first week of school was over. I already missed Summer Vacation; all the fun, free time, and countless hours hanging out with my best friends. So much fun, so little time.
“Do you have your required reading clip for me to sign? It’s worth ten points, and I don’t want you getting off to a bad start,” my mom said. I swallowed a mouthful of pancake and held up a finger. I reached down into my backpack and pulled out the wrinkled blue slip of paper. I handed it to my mom. I found it stupid; I was a senior in high school and my mom still looked over my stuff to make sure I did it right. If I got it wrong, my own fault, right?
My mom handed the slip back to me. I took it back and crammed it into a dark corner of my backpack. I finished my breakfast and walked out to my car. My mom blew me a kiss and a wish of good luck. I shrugged off both. My dad was already at work, but I was already imagining him scolding me for not responding to my mother’s goodbyes.
As I drove to school, I passed row after row of Unitology signs. Bunch of religious nut-jobs if you ask me. These “Unitologists” believe that some alien force created us, and that we can all achieve “Heaven” through believing and death. Once again, a bunch of nut-jobs.
Newsreels flickered on in the main square of The Sprawl, the common name for Titan Station. Homicides, everything was about recent homicides today in the news. Brutal pictures flashed on, pictures of people beaten and stabbed and shot. I turned my head away from the sights. It was too early in the morning to deal with all of this.
I drove on to school. I found my usual parking spot and pulled in. I walked into school and was almost immediately joined by Kyle, my friend. “Yo, Jacob! You seen all these stories? About all these murders, and how, out of fifteen deaths, they’ve only arrested three people?” I shook my head. “Dang, man? Where’ve you been? It’s been all over the news.” “I kind of guessed that.”
The school day went on as usual. Going from class to class like a zombie, not thinking or, for that matter, caring. Bumping into random people in the hallway. Enjoying the twenty-minute break in the schedule that was lunch.
Today was different, though. The Unitologists were going off about the end of the world, more so than usual. Brief news updates on my phone said that the government sector and the mines had been closed off. More homicides.
Somehow, during the course of the day, I found myself walking next to Lauren. The only person in the entire school that didn’t hate me, next to Kyle. We talked for a while as we walked. It wasn’t so much a friendly walk and talk. It was like we were in alternate dimensions, conversing through a barrier.
“So… when’s your birthday?” Lauren asked, trying hard to start a conversation. “May 12. I turned seventeen this year. How ‘bout you,” I replied, trying to keep the talk going. “April, and I turned sixteen this year.” I tried to think of something to say. I gave up after thirty seconds. I didn’t bother asking Lauren the day, I just walked on next to her.
We came to Lauren’s class. “Well, ‘bye,” she said, giving me a hug, which I returned. I wished I had something to say to her, but it felt like my brain had melted. It always did that around Lauren.
I went into math and sat next to Kyle. Our teacher began his rather boring lesson on calculus. Kyle and I played tic-tac-toe the whole time, occasionally looking up in order to look like we where listening.
Class ended. “What is that, seven classes that I’ve won,” I bragged to Kyle .He looked over his shoulder to make sure the teacher wasn’t looking, and then gave me the finger. I lightly punched him in the shoulder.
After the school day ended. I headed over to Kyle’s house for a quick video game competition. As Kyle and I chased and mowed each other down in the first-person-shooter that we were playing, Kyle dropped the bomb: “What’s going on with you and Lauren?”
I frantically tried to think of a logical response. Kyle was good at sorting out lies; it had to be good. ‘W-We’re just friends,” I spat out. Immediately after I said it, I slapped my face. The look on Kyle’s face told me everything. “You so like her,” he howled. I threw my controller at him. The perfect throw smashed him in the temple. “Ow, man! What the hell?” he yelled. “Sorry, man, but you were asking for it,” I said. In the video game, Kyle can up behind me and stabbed my over and over again in the back. “And you were asking for that,” he said with a laugh. I smacked my forehead.
At six I left Kyle’s house. I drove on for around twenty minutes until my gaslight came one. I pulled over at the nearest gas station and fueled up my car. I saw a vending machine around ten feet from my car. I shrugged.
I walked over and bought a soda. Twisting the cap, I took a long swig. It was always hot this time of year on The Sprawl.
I heard the sound of a car window break. I turned. Someone had broken into my car and was fumbling around inside. “Hey,” I yelled, running over to my car. The man took off with my wallet and phone. I looked over to an attendant. “Watch my car, please,” I said, already running after the thief.
I chased the man, leaping over curbs and dodging people. “Bring me back my frickin’ stuff,” I cried. If the man heard me, he didn’t show it. I shook my head. This could take a while.
The man ran into an alley. I followed him, my eyes adjusting to the sudden change of light. The man looked briefly at me before continuing to run. I chased him for around another ten yards before I got a cramp in my gut. I paused against a wall, holding my sides. The man was long gone, my wallet and phone with him. I gasped for breath. “I though I was in shape,” I gasped.
I heard a blood-curdling scream. I looked up. The scream continued, mixing in with pleas for mercy. I heard a wet splat and the noise ended. I slowly walked around the corner.
I saw a hand sticking out of an alley, my stuff clutched in its grip. I slowly reached down and pried open the fingers. I took my stuff back.
I almost peed my pants in fear when the hand was dragged into the darkness. I saw a still body lying in the shadows. I gagged. Blood stained the ground where it had been dragged.
I heard a tearing sound from in front of me. I turned on my phone and powered up the flashlight app. I shone the light into the alley.
Another person was their, their head hidden by the body. I gasped and dropped my wallet. The head peeked up, and I screamed.
Its head was humanoid, yet bloody, just like it’s body. It swallowed a mouthful of what looked like intestine. Scythe-like appendages grew out of its wrists, both bloody. The light shone down upon the thief, whose open chest cavity I could now see. I gagged and ran backwards.
The creature leapt onto my back with a scream. I felt my face slam into the cold concrete. Stars flashed in front of my eyes. I felt the back of my shirt tear open. I felt a faint pain, but I ignored it. I flipped over and punched the thing in the face. I began stomping on it, yelling out curses. Finally, the thing fell limp. I stomped onto its head one last time, causing the skull to implode, splattering brain matter onto my shoe.
I walked out of the alley in a daze. I looked around. More of these creatures were in the street, tearing through people and cars like they were tissue paper. Unitologists preaching on the corner screamed as two of these creatures tore into their bodies.
I saw more variants of these monsters crawling through the streets, ranging from four legged creatures to horrific babies, three tentacles growing out of their deformed back and a mouthful of razor sharp teeth in their little, mutated infant mouths. These ones latched onto their victims with their teeth and then went to work with their tentacles.
I wretched, throwing up my lunch onto a nearby car. I security guard ran up and fired his assault rifle at a creature. Full twenty-five rounds were pumped into that thing. It didn’t even slow down. It just flinched and ran at the officer and swung its blades at him, tearing off the poor man’s head. I ran over and grabbed the gun. I didn’t have time to aim, I just fired. The recoil and my own fear sent my bullets off to the side. The bullets tore off the limbs of the monstrous creature. It screamed and fell to the ground, dead. I fired a shot into its head, just to make sure.
I smiled with this new revelation. They could be beaten; they just had to lose one or two limbs before they died. I ran through the streets, occasionally shooting one of the things. Things, I thought, A new name will be needed for these things. Now is not the time, I thought, forcing the name thought out of my mind.
“Mom and Dad,’ I whispered. I ran to my car. The attendant was already dead, cut in two. I quickly hopped into my car and drive home, running over a few Demons (that’s what I had started to call them) on my way, just for good measure.
I arrived at my house. Bursting open the door, I ran inside, calling for my family. Nothing, no response at all. I frantically tore through the house, screaming now. I checked the basement. There, in the corner, were two prone forms. I gagged and ran our of my house. I collapsed against my car, sobbing. They were dead. My whole family, dead, slaughtered by some unknown species of creature.
I don’t know how long I sat there. It seemed like days, but it could have only been two hours, at a max. I was dimly aware of a car pulling up to the house. Kyle and Lauren jumped out. “Jacob, we’ve got to go. Theses things are-,” Kyle said, stopping short. The realization dawned upon him. He didn’t say another word. I wiped my eyes and stood, hefting my gun. “Let’s go,” I whispered.
“Where’d you get-,” Lauren began. “The officer didn’t need it,” I snapped. Lauren had a hurt look on her face.
We loaded up into the car. We drove as far as we could, which was around a mile, before roadblocks stopped us. We hopped out and ran. “You know, there’s a website out there, called Remember the Ishimura, and they say these things are called Necromorphs, or something like that. It said that they’re attracted to this thing, the Marker, you know, like what the Unitologists are crazy about,” Kyle gasped. “Necromorphs,” I muttered. It even sounded deadly.
A Necromorph leapt at us from behind a car. I quickly snapped my gun up and shot off its legs, the creature flopping to the floor. It crawled towards us, bleeding out. I shot off its arms, and then stomped it’s head. You can never be too sure, right?
“Why the limbs? I mean, at least shoot it in the chest,” Kyle said. “That’s how the last owner of this gun got killed,” I retorted. Kyle didn’t reply.
I saw a movement out of the corner of my eye. “Get down, “ I yelled. Kyle turned around, idiot that he was. ‘What,” he asked. One of the baby Necromorphs lunged, shrieking. It latched onto Kyle’s throat with its fangs. Dark blood oozed out of the wound. The tentacles reared up and slammed into Kyle’s head, decapitating him. I yelled and shot the Necromorph so many times that it pretty much exploded.
Kyle’s limp body collapsed to the ground, dead. I stood there, staring at his limp corpse. “Come one, Jacob. We need to go,” Lauren said urgently. I brushed her off. After another five minutes, Lauren and I set off.
After killing another seven Necromorphs, we ran into an abandoned apartment complex. We barricaded the door and the windows. For a long time we just sat there, in silence, as the dying screams of people outside mixed with the ever-growing roar of the Necromorph horde. I held the gun in my lap.
I had a daydream. I was lifting the gun to Lauren’s temple. “Better me than them,” I was saying. I pulled the trigger. After, I put the gun under my chin and fired, the pulling the trigger just as a Necromorph burst into the room.
I shook myself. It would do me no good to think about that. Lauren was staring straight ahead, eyes fixated at a spot on the wall. I inhaled deeply. The world was ending outside, and I was at a loss for words. I tried to think of something to boost Lauren’s spirits, but came up empty.
“So much death,” Lauren whispered. I nodded; it was all I could think of. “Everything we all knew, everyone we loved. Gone. Just like that,” she said. I nodded again. ‘The Unitologists said that the end was coming. They were right,” she continued. I didn’t’ respond. “It’s amazing; these creatures, these Necromorphs, all they do is kill. That’s their sole purpose for existence. Death,” Lauren said, a tear running down her cheek. I put my arm around her.
“It’ll be alright,” I said, “we’ll make it out of this alive.” I hope, I thought. “I’m scared,” Lauren said, looking up at me. “So am I,” I replied softly. I held her close to me, trying to block out the sounds of death.
I pulled Lauren to her feet. “We need supplies,’ I simply said. She nodded. “I’ll head out and gather what I can,” I said. A worried look flashed across Lauren’s face. “I’ll bring this,” I said, holding up my rifle. Lauren ran up and viciously hugged me. After a moment she let go. I said my goodbye and began to head out the fire escape. “Jacob,” Lauren called. “What,” I said, panic growing in my mind. A dozen things popped into my mind, mostly Necromorphs.
. Lauren tucked her head out the fire escape and motioned for me to come back inside. I did as I was told.
Lauren threw her arms around my neck kissed me. I was surprised at first, but after a second, I found myself returning the kiss. We parted, a smile on our faces, I told her I would be right back. I leapt down the fire escape, moving quietly through the streets of The Sprawl.
I found a convince store. Loading up a trash bag with food and water, I mad my way back to the apartment as fats as I could. My mind was still spinning a little from the kiss. I poked my head over the ledge to the apartment and gasped.
A Necromorph was tearing onto Lauren’s dead body. Blood stained its blades. It raised its head and roared. Immediately, a bat like creature flew into the room. It went over to Lauren’s still body and shoved a proboscis into her forehead, splattering brain and skull. A second later, Lauren began to twist and shake, he limbs twisting. She roared, her mouth growing rows of razor sharp teeth.
Lauren was a Necromorph.
I dropped the bag and ran. I ran as far as I could, dodging Necromorph after Necromorph.
That’s how I got here, in the electronics store, making this recorded message. That’s how it all happened. I don’t know how much longer I can hold out here. I also don’t know how all of this began. I was just an innocent civilian, caught up in some horrific invasion.
I’m also certain I won’t live to find out how this ends.
All of my friends, gone. All of my family, gone. My whole world, gone. If you’re watching this, then you probably know more than I do.
I have to stop. I hear something.