Sector 7 – Tamiku (Formerly Bologna, Italy)
Tuesday August 7th, 2192
Oblivion. A word that once used to mean an absence of, often something destroyed. Now? Oblivion is a name whispered in fear, lest anyone should hear it spoken. Oblivion lived up to their name, spelling destruction every night. Their un-super soldiers robbing me of another night’s sleep, terrorising a world drenched in darkness.
It was late, around 3am; maybe just before. I could feel my heart pumping furiously in my chest as beads of sweat dripped down my forehead. Cautiously, I peered down the dark, forlorn alleyway and towards the glum shop on the corner. I knew they’d be hit, they always were. Every shop this close to the city centre that wasn’t a part of Oblivion always ended up either joining them or leaving within weeks. I’d been watching them for a while now, waiting for the inevitable black hover-bikes to rumble down the street. They always hit the struggling businesses around 2-3am every night.
As I was getting ready to leave for the night, I heard the quiet thunder of hoverbikes approaching. I counted four engines. Creeping down from the balcony directly above them, I slid to the ground, landing in near silence. I edged forward, sneaking a glance from behind the column; watching as the black clothed men walked towards the shop front with blasters raised. Two of them fired at the glass doors, shattering them instantly. The remaining men ran past the first pair and dashed into the shop. That was when my surveillance ended.
I spun a baton out of my belt, swiftly hurling it at one of the figures by the door. Before the other could react, I slid to the ground and knocked his feet out from underneath him. With half the men down, I grabbed my other baton. Running towards the remaining goons, I quickly retrieved my thrown weapon. Engaging them before they could fire, my right baton slammed into a man’s hand and his blaster dropped with a howl of pain. In one rapid movement I spun, kicked the other in the calf and brought my two batons around towards their heads with force, knocking them out.
The two on the ground at the entrance had their guns up and aimed at me, leaving me no time to react. I hit the ground behind the counter as they opened fire. After dropping my batons, I picked up a blaster that was nearby. Waiting a moment, I emerged out of cover and fired a steady stream at both of them, killing one and disarming the other. Despite the blaster still having charge, I leapt over the counter to engage the last one in close quarters.
“Hey.” I said with a smile as he pulled out a laser knife. “Don’t you remember me from school?”
His knife launched out at me, stopping short and barely missing the ill-fitting hoodie I was using as a disguise. “Sorry?”
I didn’t actually know him from school, but I’d thrown him off enough that I had a split second where he was confused. Perfect distraction technique. It created the opening I needed to strike his wrist, sending the laser knife to the ground. Time for the epic finish. Launching myself into the air, I spun my left foot around and rammed the back of it into his head. I hit the ground in a pose worthy of any quality ninja, one foot outstretched and the other bent as my palm balanced me in my close-to-the-ground moment.
After standing up, I picked up the blue laser knife and pocketed it. They were all knocked out and I’d done my job; saved another family from Oblivion’s iron fist. Looking back on my handiwork, I allowed myself a short moment for a sly grin and a chuckle. Sliding my batons into my belt, I picked up a fallen gun, pulling the power core out and pocketing it before throwing the gun aside. I had my own customized blaster, but I could use some spare power cores. They were essentially self-charging batteries, the saving grace in clean, unlimited energy.
Grabbing the second gun, I was about to do the same when I heard a groan. As I turned back to look, I saw one of the men lean up onto his side, blaster pointed my way. Stumbling, I crashed to the ground as blaster fire echoed around me. A final shot rang out and then there was silence. Pain tore through me and everything faded to black.
“Mum!” I called as I walked towards the kitchen.
Lunch had already passed a while ago, so I was starving. My feet gently pattered down the hallway and into the lounge room. Unusually, she was lying on the couch asleep. I tiptoed over and pulled on her shoulder so she’d be facing me. Her body sagged as she rolled off the couch and onto the cream coloured rug honouring the floor. She gave me a blank stare that I’d never seen before.
Feeling guilty, I mumble. “I’m sorry mummy.”
A few seconds pass and everything slowed down as I looked at her. I dropped my stuffed giraffe that I carried around everywhere. Covering her chest was a dark red splotch and her once white shirt was stained forever.
Squatting down, I shook her, “Wake up mummy!” In the moment, I started to realise that something was wrong.
Not knowing what else to do, I wrapped my arms around her neck and gave her a hug; that always woke her up. Pulling away, her lack of response continued to worry me. Her eyes were haunting, staring straight at me with a lifeless gaze that I’d never be able to forget. Looking down, I noticed the red stuff was on my shirt. As I tried to rub it off it only covered my hands. Not understanding what was going on, I began to cry as Dad walked into the room, a grim look on his face.
“Dad! Something’s wrong with mum! She’s not waking up and she’s got…red stuff all over her!”
“I know Anton.” He said sullenly.
Pleading with him, I said, “Dad you have to do something.”
“I already did.” He whispered as he walked away, his face cast in an eerie light.
“Dad!” I yelled out after him, not wanting to leave mum alone. Eventually I ran to him, the tears clouding my vision.
“Dad!” I shouted desperately.
As I caught up to him, I grabbed his arm, which he shook off immediately. His steely eyes fixated on me as he tried to wipe the small patch of red off his otherwise pristine suit jacket.
After what felt like an eternity in that moment, he finally spoke. “Go take care of your mum for me.”
Lifting the glorified suitcase, he slowly proceeded out of the door, unsmiling as if he had just been to a funeral. I didn’t realise that he had.
I stood, unsure of what was going on. “Dad?” I called out after him. He didn’t turn back; walking to his car like a zombie. He drove away without ever once looking back at his five-year-old son whose innocence he’d just stolen.
To continue reading 2192: Nerves, check out Chapter 2 here!
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