The falling rocks entombed his family, community, and all he knew. His ears were deafened by the colossal crashes and his eyes by the humungous dust clouds. He couldn't hear anything or see anything, and he felt as if he was coughing up blood, trying to free his throat from those all-encompassing streams and plumes of rocks and dirt, hellbent on suffocating him. He watched his home fall into a giant heap of dust, crushed under his own weight. He looked up towards the cloudy, grey skies, and saw a swarm of tiny, grey dots under the cloud cover. He needed to rescue his family. He stood to sprint towards them, only to see the first of the burning, red flames to fall from the sky.
He awoke. The sun had not arisen. He laid awake, blanket thrown aside, for the rest of the night.
The morning, his forth day at the facility, the newly named Jasper had learned over breakfast from under the glaring, wrathful eyes of Doctor Johnstone, occurred just like
Doctor Johnstone had woken up as she did every morning at 5:00 with her "roommate's" legs wrapped around her torso like she was some spider monkey. Although the bedroom technically had two beds, only one bed was ever used, with the other delegated to act as the table to throw the problems that the couple didn't want to solve. Currently, it was piled with unfolded clothes from the laundry yesterday.Doctor Johnstone looked over to that pile and sighed out loudly. "I'll do it Lisa," her roommate answered softly into her neck, her warm breath caressing her skin with those heavenly words. Lisa Johnstone hated folding clothes."Thanks Alice," she sighed out, bringing her arms up around Alice in a hug, leaning down to kiss her short, wavy, blonde hair.Lisa untangled herself from Alice, making sure to wrap the warm covers over her, watching her snuggle in for a some more sleep, and made her way to the bathroom to take her daily, twenty minute long, hot shower, thankfu
Fire had run through the forest, alighting every bush, shrub, and tree, and creating giant, black plumes of smoke, chocking everything. It fell from the sky, from the clouds like rain, and Red_Two knew, peeled to the shattered cliff edge, that he could not go back. His legs shook and his entire body shivered, too weak to move against the burning stones fell from the community. He was sweating and crying and the dust in his eyes just wouldn't leave him alone. He tried to move away from the cliff edge, crawl at least to the cool of the river, but his body wouldn't listen to him. Hot bile rose from his stomach and Red_Two vomited off to the side.He lay face down on the floor, eyes glued to the upwards, gazing up at the floating city.He just wanted to close his eyes and see that everything was going to be alright. He wanted to wake up from his hellscape dream.He woke up.He woke up again.And again.And again.His name wa
"My name's Alice, and today we're leaving Emmet to sleep off his two all-nighters. We're gonna have breakfast in the kitchen. Then you can go to your daily physio with the one and only Doctor Lisa Johnstone!"The blonde woman held Jasper up as if he were nothing, not even shaking sweating as he was propped up on her shoulder. He could feel the muscle his legs and found himself sweating.She carried him from the medical wing into the heart of the facility. Jasper had only known the route from his bed to Emmet's office, quite literally down the corridor. Jasper was carried through one long corridor, tilting his head, side to side to spy down the long halls and through the windows of the doors he could see.The facility had grey halls, but the halls and ceilings were at least white. The corridor ceilings had lights to illuminate wherever the sun's rays missed, flooding in from the windows at each turn. Jasper saw workroom tables with laptops behind them. They were
Rehab consisted of practising walking and simple exercises and stretched under Doctor Johnstone's watchful eyes, with her strict hands correcting any imperfections with his posture as he moved through his motions. When he was finished for the day, Jasper didn't know what he was supposed to be doing now. Doctor Johnstone was writing up her reports and would be completing whatever research or work she would be doing.Alice would be doing whatever work she was doing and Emmet was asleep on his bed.He could search for his time machine and microchip, but he had no idea where it was, and it was highly likely that he was being watched at all time. He wasn't being trusted yet, and as a stranger who showed up one day who was massively injured.And now three people possibly knew that he didn't know what a mini trident was.Jasper had two viable options: could either make his way back to the common room or his own recovery room where Emmet was. If he went back to t
Jasper had been in the common room for an hour and desperately needed paper and a pen. He thought about breaking into Emmet's office, but the lock conundrum arose again. He had no idea what he was supposed to. There was nothing to do but think and panic.There was nothing to do but look through the giant glass window towards the sea, sitting on a stool, keeping his back stiff. He couldn't sit on the beanbags as it would be bad for his back and Doctor Johnstone would correct him silently, doing her job and without comment, like a blank interface existing to mask the efficient, cold, unjudging code running on the machinery behind the back panel.She was so much like Sýnnefa, only she actually spoke, and didn't hide her face behind technology. She was still following programming. Everybody followed programming. It was natural.But what programming did he follow? A man who had followed Gryaz blindly then put sunglasses on to combat the harsh, grey glares of S
The sand was dry and dusty, too slippery to grip by itself with his shrivelled, wet hands alone, but the grains had become more solid, and rough enough on his bruised, freezing skin to help him grip onto a large, gnarling, tree root. All he could miserably do was hold on, too weak to do more than keep his head above water and breathe. His arms burned and his stomach wailed. He wanted to cry but found that no tears were coming. He tried to make a sound, but nothing but a pathetic cracking noise emerged from his throat.Was it worth pulling himself to shore? Was it worth doing any of this? If he just let go, he would reunite everybody from Gryaz after he made the journey back in the afterlife, when his soul was severed from his useless, beaten body, strong, and ready to trek back to the gorge.And if he just let go, he wouldn't be in this river anymore, freezing cold and burning at the same time, the sensations mixing, overlapping and swirling in his chest, making him si
Doctor Johnstone found Jasper and Emmet curled around each other, that morning. She looked down at them and stared, before quietly leaving.Emmet slowly opened his eyes at the clicking of the doors. He felt warm and surrounded by infinite softness. A warm breath tickled the hairs at the back of neck periodically, every now and then.He craned his head up and saw a tanned hand, loosely wrapped around his own pale one and held to a warm chest.It was Jasper.He was instantly awake, face flushing hot as the memories of the previous night flooded back to him. Doctor Johnstone had evicted him from Jasper's room to let him sleep in his own bed. He had woken up, when lightening flashed outside, and had immediately fled back to Jasper's room, coerced him into bed, and held his hand all night.He gulped and went to gently extract himself and get breakfast, planning explanations in his mind to excuse away his actions and pretend that it hadn't happened. A ha
With all his work finally caught up on, Emmet was free to follow his regular schedule. Jasper, after his morning physiotherapy session joined him after lunch for his lab shift.Emmet wore his white lab coat, white goggles, white mask, and white gloves, all non-disposable to be washed and reused. Jasper didn't wear any of it, just simply perching on his seat in the corner of the room, back straight against the wall. His eyes were narrowed and honed in on the movements of Emmet's hands.The screen behind him lit up with the slides that Emmet placed under the electron microscope. The prepared samples from the day prior showed the buckminsterfullerenes with the antigens placed inside them. The poison had been picked, and the final review of the separate mechanisms and construction of each moving part was due by next week. After, the assembly and the assembly review, testing would formally begin.Emmet was not informed who, but he suspected any prisoners of war and p