“.the 0.1.” [short story.dream edition]

What I know… It’s that there had been a cataclysm. A large sort. Nothing like those nuclear wars that people were fearing. Worse. After that dread – there was less than 30% population remaining. Scattered abouts.
But right at the end of that big cataclysm, as it wiped off humans…
A board was created.
There’s 12 or 13 of us. The ones that make sense from this side. There’s others, but we began sorting it from our area, so that’s 12/13 of us that pulled through to take reigns and make things happen.
Our ages range from 12 to 40. All sorts of us. One goal – to make it safe.
There’s the agriculture head, the tech programming and tech mechanic, the one that sorts out the animals, one that manages all the architecture/building, all that’s practical and needed for survival. And there’s two of us – close and long range combat heads.
The long range always stays with the main group. To defend and protect from those who might show up unannounced, as they do.
I, on the other hand, am the one who’s a scout. All that’s further from the main area – that’s my problem. And must admit, it’s crazy. It’s scary.
All of us, as a board, we’ve got our own gang of people that work with us. And those who stay in main area – sort out the construction of the unit that’s able to sail in the sea. A set of towns that float.
Meanwhile I scout for survivors, bringing the ones who managed back. Or…
There’s moments when I find family that’s managing to survive on it’s own. A five-seven people squad, that’s making it. And they don’t wanna go. They’ve sorted it out. Some others made it to create make-shift village of sort, to live.
But, it’s not as easy.
After the cataclysm there began to exist a multitude of things, that are barely explainable, yet it still does not make it less real.
A type of monsters that’s devouring humans, pulling them apart, eating – those monsters are either deformed humans, or animals. Neither is good. If you can manage to kill morphed human, then animal possesses threat – they’ve managed to find how to evolve in that aspect. So it’s not just brute force – it’s speed and agility.
There’s the “ghosts” – the actual remnants of humans that resemble ghosts, as they possess no actual body, yet have the energy capacity to move things, scare other animals from premises and they’re very, and I mean VERY protective of the place they’ve claimed.
Met ghosts during investigation of one of the broken factories. You don’t wanna meet them. The lack of eyes and tongue makes those creatures screech in a pitch that makes blood cold. But then again – they only can use energy. Or so I thought back then. They also evolved. Found a way to get physical. And those overpowered ghosts don’t pull any strength – they always go all out, if you are not simply scared away from where they are.
Oh, I haven’t mentioned it yet, but after a cataclysm, there was a huge development to humans, well, to all who remained.
People began having superpowers. From making arrows out of thin air, that are pure energy, to telepathy communication ranging miles and miles. The ones who are psychokinetic, or can manipulate fire… Energy manipulations are all sorts to all. From helping to build, grow, navigate, see, use…
From the sort that can alter existing objects, to creating them out of thin air.
And there’s some that can use protection. Well, we’re all ending up in combat. The energy shield and weapon mastery, energy weapons of mid range and drive for survival – that’s a team that’s divided to constantly defend the area of making, and those who scout.
The scouting is absolute madness. It’s not the ones fro the steel nerves, or psyche… It’s for those who can retaliate after being thrown in hell so many more times than one can imagine and still get up.
That’s why the team I lead is barely 10 people.
Most are left for the main area.
The 10 of us manage to separate here and there as well, to scout more area simultaneously. But it’s strenuous.

After few great battles even my power was depleted.
Casting shield that’s covering a full city ain’t as easy as it sounds. Sure, it’s energy, sure, you’re protecting… But there’s always a “but”. Now imagine – the shield you’ve cast is like extension of your skin. And all that happens to that shield you can feel on own skin.
From nukes, to bullets, to beasts that are airborne whales, the insects that are 40 storey high, etc… And all that is, as if, piercing your skin.
It hurts. It does. And there was a moment when my skin was bloated and bursting from damage. As if I’d been burned alive… All to regenerate slowly. Yet you don’t forget.

Sometimes, during scoutings, it’s those moments when you too, have that evolution run you. When new powers develop. And it’s quite random, truly.
Ability to see back or forth in time. It comes to all naturally, but sometimes it advances. Like in my case – to be able to interact. Typically you’re a bystander, but then you are a part of it. And the next thing hits – you never know the time frame you’d be stuck in there. Minutes, days, years… And then you’re pulled back at some point, to that exact moment when it first clicked you.
It does mess with mind. It does. You find self saying things about places, when you know that it were… Or is yet to be and you’re now attached to those who you grew close to and each time you rip heart again and again. With an ability to see them, or not see them ever again.
But then again – who said they’d recognise you?

Years. It’s been years and years of going around and killing monsters. And I do not wish to share hat with anyone. It’s why I’m here. And nobody more has to suffer.
That tech kid also knows. He periodically talk to me via telepathy. Smart kid. Although he makes prognosis from my interactions in time back and forth, it’s making me feel like he might use that to gain advantage. But he asks if this mess can be replicated. I am not sure. With interactive part of such travel – there’s few who manage that. And few who manage to stay sane. Even I’m questioned to how I am still capable of making it…

I don’t know. Just the memories of the towns to be and people to live warm heart, or the lovers that were encounters, the schools and the sanctuaries… The hidden places and the open cities that died… I appreciate them. I miss them. But that does not change the fact that with my real body, from which I interact – I’m placed here, on guard duty. So that too – is required.

Sitting on a rock slab, watching sunset, as it seems like standstill of peace – that is what keeps it real. Before I have to go again in combat, trying best not to die.

Photo by : https://copal-sq.tumblr.com/

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