68. The Unnatural City, Part III   1 comment

Meanwhile in Space…

Episode 68: The Unnatural City, Part III: Wire Tap

Colonel Graves and Timmy cautiously climbed the stairs to the second floor. The halls were empty and dark. Timmy took out his flashlight and shined it just ahead of them. He led the way to the first office to the left. Since the door was open, Timmy was able to just shine the light into it. Nothing looked out of place.

“What do you think happened here?” Timmy asked. “Do you think that there was an attack of some kind?” He walked inside the office and examined the four desks that occupied the space. Each desk had its own natural order of chaos with manila folders and stacks of documents, but nothing looked too out of the ordinary. He picked up a piece of paper and looked at it in the hopes of gleaning something useful. When there was nothing of interest, he placed it back on the stack he got it from.

“I don’t think so, Lieutenant,” Colonel Graves said, looking further down the hall. “There are no windows broken, nothing looks disheveled. It’s as if everyone just decided to get up and walk away.”

“Most disturbing,” Timmy added. When he saw all there was to see, he rejoined Graves in the hallway. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen something like this in my life. What could make everyone leave at once?”

“Yeah, this is definitely a new experience.”

Timmy continued to lead the way down the hallway. All of the office doors were wide open, making it easier for them to be inspected. All of them lacked the excitement that would have indicated a cause for the disappearing people. When they reached the end of the hallway, they weren’t any closer to explaining the phenomena than when they started. It would have been easier if they had any clue what they were looking for.

“Do you think it’s worth checking all of the other wings of the building?” Timmy asked. “I think it’s going to be more of the same.”

Colonel Graves contemplated skipping out on the other wings, but he wanted to be thorough. He wanted to rule out every possibility that there was something he could have missed.

“No, I think we should keep going,” Colonel Graves said. He motioned for Timmy to follow him into the next wing. The two traversed down the next dark hallway only as far as the second office when they heard something akin to a whip crack. They both stopped and looked at each other as if to ask the other if they heard it. It sounded like it came from the hallway they just came from. Colonel Graves signaled that he wanted to go back. Timmy nodded his agreement and they quietly walked back to the previous hallway.

Timmy held his flashlight in one hand and his laser pistol in the other. Colonel Graves also had his pistol at the ready. They walked toward the end of the hallway where the noise sounded like it came from. As they neared the last few offices, they heard the crack again, this time accompanied with a scream and laser fire. Timmy determined that the sound was coming from an open window in one of the offices.

“Astralyn!” they heard Sundance shout.

Timmy and Colonel Graves didn’t think twice. They immediately ran down the flights of stairs to the lobby. There was no sign of Astralyn or Sundance. They surmised that they were outside. They pushed the doors open and ran outside. There was a large dust cloud floating by, but they couldn’t make out where Sundance and Astralyn had been.

“It did sound like they were outside, right?” Colonel Graves asked. Timmy nodded. “Then where the hell are they?”

“They couldn’t have gone far!” Timmy looked down at the sandy ground and tried to look for footprints. The thick dust cloud made it difficult to distinguish anything. “Captain? Astralyn? Where are you?”

“They were shooting at something,” Graves reminded. “They’re probably hiding from whatever it is they found.”

“Then we should be careful.”

Timmy and Colonel Graves walked close together as they explored the empty, sandy street. They looked high and low for anything that might be waiting to attack them. They didn’t know what to expect.

“Keep your eyes open, Lieutenant,” commanded Graves.

When the dust cloud dissipated, they observed that there were a collection of thick wires and cables lying on the ground. They gingerly stepped over them and continued to keep their eyes trained on the buildings on either side of them. When they were far enough away, the wires began to twitch and jerk. They slithered across the sand towards each other and assembled themselves into one long snakelike configuration. More wires seeped out of the ground beneath the sand and joined the collective. When it got big enough, the giant mass rose up like a cobra preparing to strike.

Timmy and Colonel Graves stopped walking behind they heard something slipping and sliding behind them. They slowly turned around and saw the giant wire snake and immediately opened fire. The tips of the wires sparked with electricity as it made its first attack. It dove for them, sparks dancing. Timmy and Colonel Graves split up and ran in opposite directions. The snake landed where they had just been. It seemed to look at both of them, trying to decide who to go after first. Timmy and Colonel Graves continued to fire ceaselessly.

“Split up!” Colonel Graves commanded. He turned and ran in between the buildings that were nearby.

Timmy took his cue and ran in the opposite direction. He hoped that this would confuse the massive wire beast. He risked a glance to see if it was following him or the colonel. He saw that it was doing both. The head of the wire beast split in half and pursued both of them.

“Great,” Timmy mumbled.

He picked up speed and ran towards the building that looked like a commissary. He could take shelter and possibly hold off the attack from inside. He would have no way of knowing if the colonel was alright until he dealt with his half of the beast. He didn’t have the first idea on how to defeat a massive collection of wires come to life. His laser pistol wasn’t going to cut it. If only had something to cut it with.

Timmy glanced over his shoulder and saw that his half of the snake was no longer pursuing him. He was tempted to stop running, but he sensed that something wasn’t right. He turned around and continued to towards the commissary. Then something grabbed his foot and he tripped. Timmy looked down and saw that several wires had crept up from the ground and wrapped themselves around his foot. More were joining them on his other foot. The snake head slowly slithered over to him as more wires wriggled up and wrapped themselves around Timmy’s arms and throat. No matter how hard he struggled he could not get free. He struggled to reach for his laser pistol. He had dropped it when he fell. It was too far out of his reach. The wires were doing a good job of restraining him.

The snake head hovered over him. Timmy watched as it seemed to be looking him up and down, admiring the work the smaller cables were doing. It seemed like it was enjoying what it was seeing. The ends of the wires sparked with joy. It gave one bright flash and the smaller wires tightened their grip. Timmy shouted out as the wires began to pull him beneath the ground. He made futile attempts to get his laser pistol. The last thing Timmy saw were the sparks rushing at his eyes, blinding him.

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Posted June 9, 2014 by Xanto P. Jones in Flash Fiction

One response to “68. The Unnatural City, Part III

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  1. Oh dear how’s he gonna get out of this one eh!

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