The scenery is smudged water-color. A red, orange and gray that bounces off the tops of the towers that touch the sky almost as far as you can see. Debris continuously falls from broken windows all-around. Desks, paper, office equipment—Daily Manhattan life spilling into the streets of the dead. One hundred guns flash in the distance and the growling overcomes the screaming and the pulsing beat of mortar shots.
Bullets pass by faster than I can even think, or judge for that matter, and then a shredded piece of cloth flutters off my shoulder and the red hits me in the face.
Out of body, I can almost watch myself turning around with that soulless egg white gaze in my eyes, lost in the black top catacomb drenched in two-tone shadows.
And then I blink.
A dry and cracked-skin hand shakes my shoulder, “…two days out from running out of water, food even, we need a plan.”
“What?” The words passing through my lips don’t even feel coherent, or anchored in reality.
“You sufferin’ some kind of head trauma?” His face comes out of the shadows and into the pale yellow light in the room that’s all covered in brick and dirt. He’s got hair all wet and brown with these beady eyes that sit atop a crooked nose and dry as hell looking lips. Yellow teeth clenching, he shoots me daggers and he says with a venom in his voice, “If we spend another hour debating this bullshit, this compound is going to be out of options and we won’t have enough time to solve it. On top of that, if we suffer one more goddamn attack from those fuckin’ assholes, we’re done, Morgan.”
I look down at myself, wearing some kind of t-shirt with a symbol on it I’ve never seen before, or something I can’t recall. And at the same time, I find a familiar feeling about it, but making sense of that now might be pointless. My hair drapes down into my lap, wearing jeans torn and ragged every couple of inches across my legs, and a gun sits solitary on the desk beside me.
A Colt 1911.
Now there’s definitely something familiar about that…
“Morgan!” He shakes my body again, “Are you fuckin’ listening to me?”
“Yeah.” But I don’t really know what he’s talking about, or where I even am. “We’re running out of supplies? So we get more, right?”
“That’s the problem I’ve been explaining to you here this whole time, goddammit!” He shouts at me, spit hitting my forehead. “For miles and miles all around, there’s not a fuckin’ thing left! We need to figure something else out!”
“Who is we, again?” I ask.
“Oh my god, you kidding me right now?” He lets go and steps back, “We’re the Pax, the goddamn team, the people who were supposed to stop the complete extinction of humanity. You remember that, right? You remember the movement you started?!”
I don’t know, but in the back of my head I feel like, for some reason, I really should.
“Of course, yeah. Yeah I remember. I’m just screwing with you…”
“George!” He blurts out.
“I know your name.” Brushing him off.
“Right.” Swiping a pack of smokes from the other side of the room, “You mind if I have one of these?”
Not even sure if or why I smoke, “Sure, suit yourself.” Pondering for a second what I should even do, or tell him, ’cause I sure as hell don’t remember being a leader, or a movement creator, or any of these new revelations. I don’t even know really how I got here, or who I am.
That’s all I know.