01 Feb EMERGENCY ALERT Part 7
Guys, this is the last one. For some of you, this is good news. For me it is, too.
A lot has happened since the last update, which I admittedly ended quite abruptly. To make things easier, I’ll pick up from where I left off.
Sloan’s walky-talky continued to crackle after she slumped over on the ground, but no more words came through. I took out my phone and called Jim.
“Sean! Hey, what happened?”
“I just killed two of them, man, and one of them’s out cold,” I said shakily.
“Fuck, what did you do that for?”
“I didn’t have a choice!” I said. “They jumped me, man–but that’s not why I called. Tell Liz that Whitfield’s on the way.”
“Just tell her! And how’s Kowalski doing?”
“Alright, considering he’s tied up.”
“Okay,” I said. “Stay put. I’m going to see if I can find McClellan.”
I hung up the phone and put it in my pocket, strafing around the house, my eyes scanning for any sign of McClellan.
“Sloan?!” someone called from somewhere to my left. Must be McClellan.
I remained silent and looked around for the source of his voice.
“I estimate that we will be there within fifteen minutes,” Whitfield said curtly through Sloan’s radio. “Over.”
“Fuck…” I muttered.
“Sloan!” McClellan repeated. “You alright?”
I sprinted across backyard and crouched behind a bird fountain.
I could hear his voice getting closer. Finally, I could see him nervously inching closer to me. I stood up to move, and his eyes locked onto mine. He drew his pistol and fired.
The bullet whirred by my shoulder and I ran, cocking the shotgun and firing it in McClellan’s direction. I missed, and he came running at me. I cocked the gun again and fired, but only a few balls of birdshot landed in his left arm.
“Fuck!” he cried, clutching his arm. “Stop running, you fucker!”
“Get out of here!” I said. “I know what you’re trying to do here!”
“Oh yeah? And what will you do about it? Kill me? Kill fuckin’ Whitfield? Good luck with that one, pal! What did you do to Sloan?!”
“She’s unconscious,” I said, “but alive, at least until you put down the fucking gun!”
“You’re one to talk,” he said. “Drop it!”
I lower my gun, and he lowered his. “You’re treading on thin ice, prick,” he said. “If you don’t stop, you’re going to have to face Whitfield in the flesh. And you’ll find he isn’t as understanding as me. Now where are Maloney and Schmidt? Kowalski.”
“Big guys?” I asked. “Dead. Kowalski, too. I’m sorry, they drew on me.”
“Fuck,” McClellan said, raising his gun again. “How do I know you’re telling the truth?”
“I know where 013 is…but I won’t tell you, because I know what’s going on in that place. I read the transcript of the first couple of days 013 was in there.”
“The fuck did you get that?” he asked.
“It got put on that bullshit emergency alert message. If I had to guess, she put it there to discredit you guys.”
“Whatever you read, you have to believe me–013 is dangerous. Okay?”
“Well, it’s not like you aren’t.”
“Look, kid, put your gun down. I won’t hurt you, but you need to let me know where 013 is.”
“I’m not dropping my gun,” I said. “But she’s in there.” I pointed to my dead neighbor’s house.
“For real?” he asked. “You’re not playing me?”
“No,” I said. “I’m being honest.”
“Okay,” he said.
He turned around to enter the house. “Okay. I’m trusting you here.”
I nodded. “Be careful, man.”
“I know what I’m doing.”
While his back was turned, I quietly started backing away.
“You know what?” McClellan asked. “I’m not gonna turn my back on a guy with a gun in his hands, so why don’t you put that shit down, huh?”
“Okay, okay,” I said, dropping the shotgun.
“Thank you,” McClellan said in exasperation, turning around again as I continued to back up. “Now you stay put so I don’t have to do something rash.”
“Yeah,” I said, continuing to back up.
“You hear that?” he asked, turning around.
“Hmm?” I asked.
“A car,” he said.
I listened for the noise in question, and I found it–tires on gravel.
I turned around and saw a car pulling into a driveway three houses down from my house.
“That’s probably Whitfield,” McClellan said. “I advise you to act on your best behavior, kid, ‘else you’re gonna have a bad time.”
“McClellan!” said a man in the passenger’s seat of the car as he opened his door. “Who’s the kid?”
“Civilian,” McClellan said. “Killed the others, except Sloan.”
“Oh, fuck–Christ, McClellan, you’re not cuffing him?”
“What’s going on here?” Whitfield asked, exiting the vehicle. I studied Jones and Whitfield. Whitfield was tall, with long, grey hair and a slightly wrinkled face. Jones was tall as well, but with short-cropped hair and a strong jaw.
“He’s saying this kid killed the others, boss!”
“Listen,” McClellan said, “he says 013’s hiding over there.” He pointed to the house I had tipped him off on.
Whitfield closed his eyes, focusing, it seemed, on something. “No,” he said.
“What?” Jones asked.
“You lying?” McClellan asked me.
“No,” I said, “I swear.”
“Yes, you are,” Whitfield said, opening his eyes and pointing to my house. “I can sense her from this distance, and she is in there.”
“Well,” I said, “I thought she was in the other one.”
“McClellan!” came a voice from in the distance. “Jones! Whitfield!”
Sloan, I thought. Fuck.
Jones ran off toward Sloan’s cries, and Whitfield and McClellan turned to face me. “So,” McClellan said, “this kid says he knows about MEW.”
“Does he?” Whitfield asked. “Well, something will have to be done, won’t it…? Give me his gun.”
“Uh…sir, are you certain?” McClellan asked.
“Yes, McClellan, now give me his gun. We don’t have all day. The sweepers will be here soon to wipe out the town. The copies will be placed shortly thereafter. Now give me that gun.”
“Sir, he may be of some assistance. You know, with the cloning.”
“He knows too much to live,” Whitfield said as my heart pounded in my chest. “Pick it up and give it to me.”
McClellan swallowed hard and bent over to pick up the gun. He grasped it in his hands and stood up straight again. “Fine then.”
With a “crash,” my living room window exploded across the street, bursting into a million tiny fragments and sending long, jagged blades of glass soaring through the air.
One sliced through McClellan’s neck, bringing him to his knees and then to his stomach as blood spurted from the cut. Another lodged itself firmly in Whitfield’s back.
“Well,” Whitfield said as McClellan writhed on the ground. “That’s unfortunate.” I bent down, pried my gun from McClellan’s hands, trying to ignore his gurgling, and aimed it at Whitfield. I pulled the trigger. And birdshot erupted into his body.
“You insufferable child!” he cried, turning to face my house as he pulled the glass out of his back. “Escaping the lab will be the last thing you ever did. And you…” he turned to me. “Why don’t you give me that gun?”
The bullet holes in his body were beginning to cover themselves. I fired again, and this time his face met lead. Skin gone, giving way to bone and muscles. “Give me that gun, you fuck!”
With a flick of his wrist, he beckoned the gun towards him, and it left my hands for his. “Now, boy, you will meet your literal maker.”
He cocked the gun and prepare to fire.
013 ran out of my open doorway before the door hit the wall and reached out for a telephone pole–it uprooted itself and went flying at Whitfield. It cracked over his head and fell onto the ground in two pieces. He moved the barrel of the gun away from me and fired at 013.
Liz fell to the pavement in tatters.
“Fuck!” I shouted. “You asshole!”
“What?” he asked. “Did you really think you were going to win? You, along with…let me guess…your brother and a runaway freak? Please. We have more power than you could ever dream of, and you owe everything you have, ironically, to us. We are responsible for your creation. Every single one of you. All using the same original entity as a base. Even I owe everything to the immeasurable 000.”
I reached for my kitchen knife and found it in my pocket. I grasped it in a reverse grip and ran blindly forward.
“Don’t you understand?” he asked, pushing my onto the ground with his mind. “This story has no happy ending.” He took my knife and threw it over his shoulder, blood still pouring from the holes in his head. “I could kill you know…but I want you to see what I mean. You’ll see the sweepers come through. You’ll see how they erase this town completely. It will be as though it never existed. And then, a week or so later, the clones will take over, and nobody will know the difference.”
I tried to sit up, but he kicked me in the chest and sent me onto my back. “Goodbye, Sean [withheld]. You will not be missed. Jones! Get Sloan, and let’s get out of here! The deed is done.”
I stood up only when their car was leaving the block. I limped towards my house, stepping over Liz’s lifeless body and knocking on the basement door. “Jim! Get the dogs. We need to leave.”
People were starting to leave their homes when we left. I advised them to evacuate. Many of them did. The others, as of me writing this, are probably mostly dead or imprisoned.
We’ve been on the road since we left. We managed to get into the next state, so far. We took the dogs and our necessary items, as well as a few small luxuries and stuff. We’re both totally messed up from what happened, and we haven’t mentioned Liz once since leaving. There won’t be any more updates after this.
This is the last one.
Thank all of you for staying with me through this. I know it fell apart towards the end, but it is what it is.
I don’t know what comes next for us, but it won’t be easy.
The alert was finally taken off my phone. for a while, that is.
While sitting in a Wendy’s parking lot and waiting for Jim to get back, I received another alert. This one was different, to say the least.
EMERGENCY ALERT I am informally issuing an emergency alert for the following counties: [withheld]. Citizens should be wary of all “government officials.” The town will be “swept” for survivors with clear memories of recent events. Nobody is safe here. I advise you all the leave as soon as you can. Do not talk to any police officers if their uniforms are marked “MEW.” They are NOT police officers! Effective indefinitely. Do not go to [withheld] County. It is not safe there.
I wish you all good lives, and bid you adieu. For as long as you remember this, assume I’m alive.
UPDATE: Guys, I just got out to use the bathroom. When I got back, there was a full box of Thin Mints in the back seat.