Chapter 2: The Discovery

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 118

 

Day 1

 

 

 

"That was such a good movie!"

 

"Agreed!"

 

"Oh please, you only enjoyed it because something blew up every five minutes!" Space told Luis and Hunter.

 

"Well yeah because explosions are awesome!" Hunter retorted.

 

"Not to me! My eardrums are sensitive,” Spencer whined.

 

Andrew and Hunter both rolled their eyes in unison, "shut up Spencer."

 

The eight of us had met after school, deciding to watch a movie to celebrate since we had a half day. So, after being released we piled into Luis' RV like rabid animals craving popcorn and candy and drove off to the theater. By the time it was over, we were satisfied and stuffed full of popcorn and candy.

 

However, the end of the movie struck me hard. It ended with the people of the planet setting off a device that killed everyone, including themselves. When I saw that scene, I thought back to the night before, and what that post had said. And since then, I hadn’t stopped thinking about it.

 

“Was it the truth, or a lie?” I asked myself within my subconsciousness.

 

"You good Ani?"

 

I turned my head, seeing Space walking next to me with a smile. She poked my cheek, trying to get my attention.

 

"Yeah I'm fine. Just tired, thinking about the movie,” I said to her.

 

“You didn’t enjoy it?” she asked.

 

I shook my head, “no no it was good. I liked it… it’s just…”

 

“Awwww are you scared of the itty-bitty dark web article?” Space teased, smirking at my irritated tone.

 

"Yeah a bit," I admitted, "it's just kinda out of nowhere and it sounds so absurd. It's supposedly a reliable source... but I just couldn't ever believe something like that would happen. I mean, the end of the world? And by a nuclear attack? I always thought we'd all go out by a meteor or something."

 

"It's okay," she said as she patted me on the shoulder, "nothing is gonna happen."

 

I nodded before turning to look at Luis, who was walking beside Andrew and Hunter. He wore a dark grey hoodie and a grey flat-billed cap, giving off a sort of gangster look. And while he wasn’t part of any gang, he was part of our school’s underground weed business. From what I’ve heard, he’s basically running it.

 

“Hey Hamster, are we gonna stop for food?” I asked, turning to look at the burly man known as Luis.

 

He shot me a glare, “how long is it gonna take to get it through your thick skull!? My name is Luis, not Hamster! Why do you even call me that!?”

 

Hunter glanced at Luis, scanning him up and down, “do you really want an answer to that?”

 

“Screw you,” Luis told him, crossing his arms.

 

Hunter scoffed, smirking, “you wish.”

 

“Alright Luis,” I said, “what’s the plan? Stop for a quick bite?”

"We can stop at Jerry’s if you want on the way home,” he suggested.

 

Andrew shook his head, "too much popcorn. Let's just sit in the RV and wait a bit before we eat.”

 

We all agreed on that, but as we walked through the parking lot, Maddie stopped and looked back, "oh shoot I almost forgot. My mom texted me a few hours ago and told me to pick up my little sister. She went to the movies with a friend from school and she wanted me to get her and take her home with me."

 

"Seriously? You're bringing a kid along?" Andrew asked, a bit bummed out.

 

"While normally I would not like to indulge in illegal hijinks that are normally inappropriate for a kid like Hunter would, I have to agree with him on that statement," Quinn said to me.

 

Maddie crossed her arms, "you guys Julia's not that bad! Just don’t start smoking anything in front of her!”

 

"Alright go get her, we'll meet up with you out here," Hunter told her. She smiled and nodded, running back over to the theater.

 

Luis pointed ahead, "alright the RV is parked just around the corner. We can sit around there or maybe go grab something to eat."

 

The seven of us walked through the parking lot, eventually finding the RV all the way in the back of the parking lot. Spencer groaned, trudging his feet along the concrete.

 

“Ugh,” he dragged out the word for a moment, “why’d you have to park all the way back here?”

 

“Because puta, I didn’t wanna deal with the police today. Damn racists,” Luis said in an annoyed tone.

 

His RV was special, being much bigger than most RVs. It had a pretty big sunroof on top so you could slip in and out, and a ladder on the side to climb up. Overall it was kinda dirty on the outside, but that was mainly because it's owner never really took the time to wash it or anything.

To us, the RV was a banged-up clump of sheet metal, tires and an old flat screen television he dragged out of a dumpster, But to him, it was a home. He received it from his father years ago before his family hightailed it to Mexico and left him on its own, and ever since he’s treasured it like his birthright.

 

"So, Hamster, did you clean this place up like I told you?" Space asked as we approached the RV.

 

He nodded before opening the door, "yep! All the trash is... mostly gone."

 

When the door swung open, we all stepped back, Space covering her mouth as all coughed over the strong stench of weed and cigarette smoke. While the floor seemed clean, the air wasn't. The familiar scent of weed lingered within the inside of the RV, and the only one able to stand it besides Luis was Hunter.

 

"Jeez, it's just a little bit of weed, calm your watermelons," Hunter said before he climbed into the RV, Luis following.

 

"It smells horrible in here! Luis before we go home, you're buying an air freshener," Space shouted at him as she climbed in.

 

He groaned and sat down, "it'll go away soon, just leave the door open."

 

One by one we all climbed in, taking our seats in the RV. It was still pretty messy, but it was an improvement from before. He had three seats in the back, each one able to fit maybe three people, and under the seats were small footlockers where you could store things. I was almost sure the footlocker under where I was sitting had either a bag of weed or a firearm. 

 

There was also a small bathroom and a closet where you could store things like food or supplies, which took up the middle section of the RV. In the front were the passenger and driver seats, along with a booth and a small kitchen counter with a sink, the booth able to seat four people. Lying beside the booth was a toolbox, a tackle box, some machetes, and my crossbow I had brought on our last hunting excursion.

 

Luis took up one seat, laying down to keep it for himself. Quinn sat on another seat, Andrew walking past him towards the front. He was on his phone while listening to music and was generally ignoring us all now. Hunter sat down beside Quinn and I took the third seat, Space taking the spot beside me. Usually she sat on the floor to make room for someone else but was now deciding to sit up here next to me. Spencer sat on the floor, due to the lack of seats. He didn't mind though and pulled a small blue game device out of his hoodie he began mindlessly playing.

 

I knelt down, picking up my crossbow and making sure it was in tip top shape. Luis wasn’t the best at keeping things clean and organized, but luckily all the bolts were just where I left them.

 

"Alright so what do you guys wanna watch?" asked Luis as he pulled out the TV remote, "scary movies? Cartel movies? Maybe that one new movie with the hooker and the-"

 

"Put on something appropriate for a kid okay? As much as I'd love to watch a guy get stabbed to death while getting a lap dance, I don't wanna make Maddie upset by having her little sis walk in on a sex scene," Hunter told him.

 

He groaned and pressed one of the buttons on the remote, causing the TV to switch onto a kid’s cartoon. However, almost immediately after the TV switched on, Andrew pulled out a deck of cards.

 

“Anyone wanna bet?” he asked.

 

Hunter and Luis both raised their hands, opening their wallets as Andrew slid a milk crate between the three and placed down an old rag to cover the holes. He passed out the cards to everyone before they began a game of War, and I was left to spectate.

 

A knock came on the side of the door, and we all turned to see Maddie walk up, a young girl behind her. She had long brown hair that ran past her shoulders, pale skin just like her sister, and plain brown eyes. She was staring through the doorway at Hamster, who was trying to stuff a plastic bag in between the seat and the wall. When he saw her he froze, moving his hands away.

 

"Oh sorry, I thought you were a cop," he said. in his Hispanic accent.

 

"Do I look like a racist old lady munching on donuts?" Maddie asked, climbing into the RV and helping Julia up the stairs. She wasn't as young as we thought. She was nervously clasping her hands together, staring down at the ground as she stood next to Maddie.

 

"Guys this is Julia," she said before turning to her, "you've met Spencer, Anikan, and Hunter before I think, but this is Ace, Quinn, Andrew, and Luis."

 

Luis gave her a simple wave, Space waved at her excitedly and gave her a quick "hi", Quinn shook her hand, and Andrew simply ignored her from the other side of the room. 

 

"You're actually being nice to children for once?" I asked Quinn.

 

He glared at me, "I mostly despise children for being annoying and loud. However, while I do not particularly like most children, this one does not seem to be either of those. So she is neutral."

 

"Hi," she said quietly before sitting on the floor beside Maddie, staring at the ground and tracing out the lines on the shag carpet.

 

“Alright if I’m gonna have a kid in here, they better not spill anything. This RV is my pride and joy, and I don’t wanna have to replace the carpet because some gremlin spilt grape juice,” Luis told Maddie.

 

“Look Luis, if you like your RV so much, why don’t you just bang her already?” Hunter suggested.

 

Before Luis could shout back a comeback, Spencer smirked, “I mean, who says he hasn’t? I’d bet a fifty he’s stuck his dick in the tailpipe!”

 

While the two cackled in laughter, Luis continuing to stare them down, Maddie glared at the two, “there’s a kid here, watch your mouths!”

 

“Calm down Maddie it’s just a few swears,” Spencer said, calming down a bit.

 

“Sorry Madds,” Hunter said to Maddie before looking towards the girl, “sup lil muffinsack. How was your movie?”


“H-Hi. It was really good,” the girl replied before retreating behind Maddie.

 

All of a sudden, our phones beeped. I picked mine up to see a notification from the news app appear on my screen. A breaking news report of some sort.

 

Maddie held up her hand, “Hamster turn on the news please.”

 

"Stop calling me that!" he said to her before switching channels.

 

The news flashed on, conveniently showing the beginning of a news report. The man on the screen was talking in a serious tone about a topic which was displayed on the top right of the screen. At first, I was wondering why she wanted to watch it, but when I read over the caption, I was intrigued.

 

"Reports show that the sudden outbreak of mutated humans has seemingly grown, and four percent of the entire United States of America has seemingly fallen victim to this virus. The source of it is unknown, and scientists are working to find a cure, but if anyone begins showing suspicious behavior, please beware. More details and information to come on this breaking story later tonight, so tune in then."

 

I had heard about this a few weeks prior, after a video was released online and went viral for a few days before dying down.

 

 

I sat in class, bored out of my mind, when suddenly a finger tapped my shoulder. I turned around to see a fellow classmate standing behind me, an alerted look on his face.

 

“Yo man you gotta see this! There’s some crazy shooting going down over the bridge!” Ricardo told me.

 

I stood up, marching across the room to where several other classmates were crowded around a chromebook. I peeked past them to see a video on loop of a body on the ground. He was surrounded by police officers.

 

One of the officers approached the body, and I gasped in shock as the corpse began to shift. It began to spaz, almost as if it was having a seizure, and then it rose up. The man pounced on the officer, tearing into his neck with what seemed to be fangs.

“What the hell?”

 

“This is just a prank right?”

 

“Ah that’s just a cheap vine. Skip!”

 

I stepped away from the desk, both confused and worried. What was going on?

 

 

"That's just a bunch of propaganda. Probably some new strain of the flu or something," Hunter commented.

 

"Possibly... I could head to work tomorrow and ask some of my colleagues if they know anything about this," Quinn said, "a few of them have friends who work on the CDC so it's not out of the question they'd know something about this."

 

Spencer then snickered, holding up his phone “it’s barely been a few months, and there’s already memes about it!”

 

A picture of a disfigured and blood covered man sat on the screen, captioned with the line, “me on Monday going to work with a hangover.”

 

"Enough with the bad news. You guys wanna go grab a few cheeseburgers?" Luis asked.

 

I nodded, the others agreed. Luis got up and walked up to the front of the RV, passing Andrew whose gaze never left his phone. He got into the driver's seat and started up the RV, driving out of the parking space and out of the lot.

 

"So Julia, what grade are you in?" Space asked the young girl sitting beside Maddie.

 

"I'm in seventh grade," she said nervously, her voice soft and quiet.

 

"Really? Halfway through middle school right?" she asked with a smile.

 

"Mhm," she answered with a nod. She certainly was a lady of few words.

 

We drove the RV down and road and I stared out the window, admiring the city as we passed by. Our town was kinda small, but unique in a way. It was set up on an artificial piece of land across from the mainland of California. Our only connection were two bridges, the North Bridge and East Bridge.

 

However, I enjoyed the small town feel. Unlike my friend Lydia, who lived in New York City, our town was a minimalist. One high school, middle school, and elementary school, a small handful of neighborhoods, and not even a mayor. It was, in my opinion, pretty peaceful.

 

I looked down at my phone while we drove, seeing several text notifications from none other than Lydia. I smiled at the sight of her picture beside the message and opened the phone to answer.

 

Lydia: How was the movie?

 

You: Pretty good, why?

 

Lydia: Just wondering if you were still thinking about that thing from last night.

 

You: A little.

 

Lydia: Are you okay?

 

You: Yep! Everything’s good!

 

Lydia: Alrighty, well if you’re free tonight you wanna hop on and play something? Knights of Dragonia?

 

You: Sure, I’ll be looking forward to it!
 

Lydia: ttyl! <3

 

I sat there smiling for a few seconds, my eyes focused on the small digital heart before I set the phone down, unaware that our call would never take place. I then looked towards Space, who was messing around on the navigation app. She was charting a course of some sort, checking the time it would take to get between here and what seemed to be Chicago.

 

“What’s going on in Chicago?” I asked, “some school tournament or something?”

 

Space looked up at me nervously, “oh um, I was thinking about taking a trip out of town to um… visit someone.”

 

I could tell she didn’t want to say any more, so I didn’t push the issue. I picked my phone back up, staring at the screen as I debated whether or not to invite Addison, my other online friend, to the call Lydia and I would be having tonight. On one hand, we hadn’t called in a few days, but on the other, it would be nice to have some alone time with her.

 

Several minutes later the RV pulled up a fast food restaurant, driving around the side up to the radio on the side next to the menu. One by one we ordered our food, Luis going last.

 

“Yo man I want two number nines, a number nine large, a number six with extra dip, a number 7, two number 45’s, one with cheese, and a-”

 

“Luis keep the references to a minimum,” Space scolded with a glare.

 

We then pulled up to the next window, where we all gave a few dollars to pay. Maddie slapped Spencer on the back of the head, distracting him from his game so he could play. He reached into his hoodie, pulling out a few dollars and tossing them at Luis.

 

"There seems to be something peculiar going on," Quinn commented, keeping me from zoning out. Hunter and I stood up, glancing out the window Quinn was staring at. Down the street there were several police cars sitting in the road, their flashing lights illuminating the night sky.

 

"Stay here," Hunter told everyone before hopping out of the RV. I was curious about the situation as well, so I followed, and both Space and Quinn did as well. We stopped in front of the fast food joint, joining another small crowd of customers who had come outside to see the commotion.

 

A man was standing in the center of the road, several cops surrounding him with their weapons drawn. I pushed past the other people and made it to the edge of the sidewalk, crouching down as I neared one of the parked police cars. I peeked over the top, eyeing the man closely.

 

"Put it down!" One of the cops shouted at him.

 

The man shouted back in a foreign language I couldn't understand. A hand grabbed my shoulder and I jumped, thinking I had gotten caught. I stopped and looked back, seeing Hunter and the others crouching down behind me. 

 

"Are you crazy!? Let's go before we get caught!" he shouted at me in a hushed tone.

 

I shook his arm away, "not yet! Space do you know what he's saying?"

 

"Nope," she said with a shake of her head, "Quinn?"

 

"Affirmative. He's speaking in Russian it seems... let me think..."

 

The man stepped back, shouting something else as he held his hands high in the air. But he didn't seem to be surrendering. If he was, the police would have taken him down. But they were surrounding him, not daring to move more than an inch. Why didn't they just cuff him?

 

“Why?” I asked myself within my mind as my heart began to beat faster and faster, as if it was preparing itself for the danger that was yet to come, “if he was surrendering, and he didn’t have a hostage, then why didn’t they arrest him already?”

 

As the man shouted at the cops, Quinn's eyes widened. He suddenly whispered, "it seems he has a bomb."

 

"What!?"

 

And suddenly, it happened. One of the police officers opened his mouth to speak, taking a step forward to the foreign man's left. The man noticed, let out a scream, and suddenly, a flash of light. I stared into the explosion, feeling the full force of a large explosion as it shook the street. The road was torn apart, the cars blown backwards by the force of the explosion.

 

The last thing I saw before blacking out was that police officer. One moment he was there, and the next he was torn apart by the blast.


Submitted: August 10, 2020

© Copyright 2022 AnikanDarkness. All rights reserved.

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