Our world was not ravaged by flesh eating zombies; nor was it blasted away by angry extra-terrestrial beings. Armageddon did not envelope Earth in an awesome wave of angels and demons.
No. What had happened to life as we knew it was us. We destroyed our home; us- the lazy, the arrogant, the selfish… We were the reason Mother Nature turned her back on us. We were the reason why Earth turned around and bit us in the ass.
Covid-19 was only the beginning.
According to records, we bounced back pretty quickly; we (for the most part) followed the rules. We socially distanced ourselves, we wore the damned masks, and we quarantined ourselves. We did the things. At least that’s what all the survivors will forever rant about.
Covid-19 happened over 50 years ago; Covid-19 had about as much clout as a 19 year old virgin boy in a room full of senior college girls.
The names of the multiple viruses that encroached upon society are not important nor what you need to know. What you need to know is that the world did not disappear and that the human race was not defeated. What is important is his story, and how it intertwines with mine. Because up until just a moment ago, life as we knew it had an entirely different ending…
A moment ago society was perfectly accepting of the fact that their lives were nothing more than blips on a nonexistent radar.
But that was the world a few moments ago - it had all been fine- we were making it- but when you removed the alcoholic induced rose colored glasses, that’s when real life slapped you in the face.
What was once (Pre-Pandemic Age) a normal life was now something that not even the most creative sci-fi nerd could ever envision let alone put into words. What was once a world full of life and culture suddenly became a surface where disease, famine, and despair cultivated and spread. We, as a planet, were nothing more than a petri dish.
Life out in space suddenly became the ultimate desire- suits were only worn outside the comfort zone. Here, down on Earth, the very “air” that we breathed was determined to be hazardous. Just a few moments outside and the full trainwreck of symptoms that would eventually lead to a very painful death.
So everyone was required to wear a suit.
They protected the people.
They weakened the people.
A moment ago it was August 8th, 2068 and Julian Graywood was way beyond the point of being cut off at his favorite dive in the Village.
(And if you have to ask, you should be ashamed of yourself- there’s still only one Village that ‘Village’ refers to- down in the nitty gritty NYC- even in spite of the damned pandemic bullshit.)
“You look like shit,” a gritty velvetine voice responded to Julian’s raised empty glass. Looking up, he appreciated the sultry gypsy in front of him; her dark features only emphasized the icy frost in her sharp blue eyes. She was all of the soft curves with hidden sharp edges.
She wasn’t who he had expected. He pulled back with an annoyed, drunken sneer and a furrowed brow; “Where is Liam?”
His elbow then slipped off the edge of the bar, but he tried to play it off as though he were jumping to scratch an incredibly irksome itch. He missed the gypsy’s exaggerated eye roll; no one else did.
He missed that, too.
“You need to leave.”
“Excuse me?” How dare she?!
He attempted to stand up abruptly, but no matter what year it is, no one is above alcohol. So he stumbled.
It was beyond him how her grip was the one to catch him and hold him steady.
“You need to leave now,” the soft tiber of her voice suddenly had a harder, more strict tone that left no room for argument.
The world was becoming more clear; he could register the homemade hazmat suits and the ripples of coughs and hacks that echoed like bullet shots in his ears.The dust that swirled around in a kaleidoscope fashion nearly choked his senses; yet he was now sober and his sight was honest.
Alcohol is society’s favorite pair of rose colored glasses; there is nothing that alcohol can’t make acceptable. Within the past several decades since Covid-19, alcohol had become more accessible than air.
Air, on the other hand, was the hottest commodity; the very atmosphere was infected- there was no escape. Only to cover up. And cover up the world did; everyone had their own personal hazmat suit. There was no way around it; you had to wear it or you would die.
Because you were supposed to be here.
This was a different voice. It was my voice.
The words echoed in his ears as he pushed his way away from the gypsy and her intoxicating warnings; the voice was stronger.
My voice IS stronger… My reasons are better. Listen to me.
His vision became painful; it hurt to see. It hurt to understand. The pollution was slowly becoming thicker and he couldn’t breathe. But it wasn’t the poisoned air. He was wearing his suit.
It was the truth.
The world had not held up its bargain with human kind; it was supposed to endure our punishment without complaint or failure.
That was the truth…
We were a generation in need of the future, but our arrogance had thrown us back to a time where intelligence was necessary and unfortunately nonexistant.
You were supposed to be here. You were supposed to die. But you didn’t. And now you are meant to meet me.
And now the truth finally starts to come out…
Over fifty years ago I was born without an immune system; during a time when society still needed to exist despite the introduction of the beginning of our end. Over fifty years ago people still believed in a future.
My parents still believed in a future- they never stopped believing MY future. So they built me one; a future, that is.
They built me a future by building me an immune system. And not just any immune system… They built me an impenetrable one.
And now, almost fifty years later, I’m finally waking up… Not only to discover that I am the only one in existence WITH an immune system, but I am waking up to meet HIM.
And even though a moment ago he was supposed to have died, Julian Graywood woke up in a wet, dirty corner that will eventually be recognized as the alleyway of his favorite dive bar. His head hurt and his body ached as though he had slept out in the rain.
And eventually the smoke and the haze of his nightmares might dissipate and he will hopefully remember what is actually important and what he needs to know; that he is now important and that in order to save society and our civilization he needs our paths to intertwine. Because somehow, some way, he now has the other piece of my heart- my locket - the key to the answers that everyone is looking for.