The Storm

A sci fi short story

The Storm

The storm raged on for a week, months; it was one of the biblical proportions. It looked so beautiful from a distance; he has always had a great love for the power of Mother Nature. But this storm is far from being natural… in fact when a multi-billion dollar corporation is operating a massive weather machine which covers the globe these storms are human-made disasters. He remembers hearing tales of naturally occurring storms, beautiful dark gray clouds, bringing down a light show like nobody had ever seen before or even anticipated. However, those were the storms of his ancestors; those were storms that as of today exist only in myth and legend.

He is the nostalgic sort; he finds that electronics bore him, and he does not connect to the Virtualrium as much as all his friends do. In fact, if he could just lay in bed all day with a paperback book, he would be in Heaven (if there were such a thing). Tonight, however, is the third week of the storm. The water has destroyed much of everything below but since he lives on the 300th floor of a tower which caresses the sky he has no threat of being swept away like the underclass. His father is CEO of Genetafia. Genetifia is massive Corporation which produces most of the planet’s food, drink, clothing, and entertainment. It was the first Mega Corporation after the Corporate Rule Act of 2035 was passed by Congress. This act essentially made it possible for Corporations to absorb by hook or by crook any and every business, it was one giant eminent domain and power only granted to private companies. Several local and state governments were also absorbed as Florida became a subsidiary of Genetafia. So, he is a privileged individual, about as waspy as they come, even though the white man is a minority because of the Racial Purity Act of 2035, the white man automatically was granted the right to have the United States Constitution and all of its protections apply to him. It was a nifty trick made possible by a broken political system that started with the election of Donald Trump in 2016, (thank you Mr. President white men everywhere will be forever thankful).

The rain continues to fall, he can hear the screams for help. A few hours ago some poor sucker was trying to climb the tower to avoid the falling water, he truly feels bad for those below him, but for some reason, he also feels a certain emptiness. His father always warned him not to worry about little trifling things like “politics.” He continues to read the book waiting for the chapter where things are about to get intense; all is as it should be until he heard a pounding on the door. It sounded like a desperate sort of knock, one that signaled danger. He rushes out running towards the door, asking for the individual to identify himself.

“Sir, please open it is about your father.”

He commanded the large metallic door to open. The young man on the other side looks terrified and unable to speak practically.

“Sir your father, the water. There has been an accident.”

The words hit like a ton of bricks, the realization that something has happened to his father hits him quite hard.

“What do you mean? What type of accident?”

The young man could not meet his gaze at all; he was having a hard time looking at him in the eyes.

“Your father was swept away by the rain. I am sorry.”

The shock has left him speechless; this could not be happening, there is no way that the storm, an artificial storm that can be controlled, would ever target his father because this is an outrage! This is murder! He hops to his feet looking for the closest way out of the building; he needs to go to the Center and see what happened to his father; this has to be wrong.

He walks outside, the rain falling viciously below. He could see the river that has been created by the endless rain. This is all a ruse is it not? Why would this Corporation do this to him unless it is outright murder? He started looking for the elevator to take him up towards the clouds and finally taking it all the way up he would have a talk.

He enters the cloud area, looking for a particular man, Seymour Haynes has been Cloud CEO since the very beginning he and his father had served in the War in the past when they were young and reckless. He asks for him and waits to go into his office.

He walks in, and Seymour is sitting behind his desk seemingly deep in thought.

“Mr. Haynes, what happened with my father? Why did you not turn off the weather machine?”

The ferocity of the questions takes him by surprise, and he begins to scuttle away when suddenly he grabs Mr. Haynes by the arm, yanking on it with a ferocity he never thought possible.

“Now Mr. Haynes! You know very well who I am, and who my father is, and I demand immediately that you let me know why, or I’ll have you arrested now!”

His eyes were filled with a rage he never thought possible, he can see the fear in Seymour Haynes' eyes wide as saucers almost pleading.

“Look, I had to do it! They had my wife and kids locked away at the base of the building, they were going to kill them all! “

He breaks down into a mess of flesh and tears, leaving the young man in shock. It is always strange to see a grown man cry, but he makes for a pitiful figure, he can truly sense real agony.

“Mr, Haynes, please calm down, explain this to me… Mr. Haynes?

The mass of pale flesh begins to quiver abruptly going through seizure like movement he begins to foam at the mouth and drops dead. The young man calls for a medic bot for assistance to no avail. Seymour Haynes is dead, and now who will stop the storm? This situation leads to more questions than answers he decides he must search for his father on his own.

The storm continues to rage, as the board of directors for Cloud calls an emergency meeting to discuss succession, but meanwhile, the water levels are still rising as the New CEO will have to make a decision about stopping the storm. But he cannot afford to wait any longer; he needs to find his father or else. Taking the elevator down to the 9th floor he is still well above the raging river, he opens a small floatation raft and lowers himself into the raging water. Once inside the raft, he holds on for dear life as the current begins to sweep away, it is quite a rush, as the raft tosses and turns through the flooded city. It is a nightmare; everything has been destroyed by the storm. Overturned vehicles roll along with him, and now he turns on the small engine so that he can navigate the waters at his will. It has been a long time since he has navigated and he is a bit rusty, but in a few minutes, he once again felt the mastery. The devastation makes him think the inevitable his father has to be dead? But what the hell would that mean? Is he now CEO of Genetafia? Did his father have a plan of succession? The questions are driving him to a brink of madness, suddenly as he rounds a corner something interesting catches his eye. There is a small area which serves as a bank where no water had flooded; it seems to be some "elevated park," and now he realizes it is The Park. When it opened in 2021, The Park was the first of its kind of a playground on stilts it would never get flooded no matter what. The Park is also quite a large park sitting roughly on 150 acres, it has now become an island, and perhaps a beacon of hope? There have to be survivors on here. He disembarked and walked in towards the park. It is eerily quiet as the rain continues to fall (somehow feels like the storm is strengthening?) He walks in hoping to find his father?

“Hello? Dad? Anyone?”

Only the roar of thunder responded to his calls; they need to stop the accursed storm already. He walks in deeper into what seems to be a natural forest but in fact is nothing more than a man created an arrangement of trees. He walks in deeper, the silence of the park is eerie other than the roar of the storm and the rushing water that surrounds him. He looks suddenly into the distance; two figures are standing before him, quietly observing his every move.

“Hey, you over there!”

He shouts, but they break into a run. This forces him to gather up all his energy and begin to run after them calling for them to stop. They seem to be running faster at the moment, but now his old track and field abilities are coming back into play. He begins to gain ground on them it is clear that those who are running have never run competitively as they were getting slower and slower most likely running out of breath just as he was hitting his stride. He stands before them a gentleman he has never seen in his life with a dark, swarthy complexion and long curls who has the look of a madman. The other figure is a well known familiar face.

“Dad?”

He is mystified to see his father in good condition looking rather healthy and unharmed; confusion begins to set in.

“Dad, you’re alive? But they told you had been swept way and.”

He stops realizing that the stranger is looking at him and listening intently.

“Who is this?’

They look at each other each trying to understand the other. As he looks at his figure, he realizes that something about him does not look right. The clothes (which are almost tatters) seem to have an anachronistic look, from the 1950’s. His father interrupts the silence.

“Son, there is no time for an explanation but trust me on this it is necessary.”

As soon as the words were spoken a thunderous roar fills the air, in the distance flames are rising higher and higher and the Heavens open up. The rain stops almost immediately, replaced now by an enormous fire, fire! The city is burning, an explosion… no…

“Dad.. did you just…”

He could not speak anymore falling to his knees in a state of absolute shock he thinks of all the lives taken in a mere moment.

“Dad… what is all this and who is that? And why?”

Before his father could respond the silent stranger with a look of pain in eyes interrupts the silence and speaks.

“My name is Albus Haynes; this storm is all my fault, and I was correcting the greatest error of my life…”

A sense of extreme shock and disbelief took hold of his mind, is this man out of his mind the Albus Haynes? The man who started it all, the man who helped develop the weather machine…

He did not need to finish that thought for now everything is clear…

Without saying another word, Albus Haynes walks away a few yards before he seems to disappear into a beam of light only to vanish forever.

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Alberto Pupo

Born and raised in Miami Florida but currently residing in Frederick Maryland with my wife, three kids, and a monster of a Black Lab. I am an author who has released 6 books two are fiction.

The latest is Time Trigger available on Amazon/

See all posts by Alberto Pupo