Tuesday, June 6, 2017

They're not monsters

[This is what think of whenever I hear about a game, movie, or TV episode where some signal or radiation or whatever turns part of the population into mindless killers while protagonists remain immune or resistant.]

I woke up to someone's face in mine, I gave about a 90% likelihood that it was male, but you never could be sure.

It was presumably attached to the hand that was snapping at one side of my vision, darting to the other side, and snapping again.

"Your visual tracking looks good, you hearing me ok?  You understand me?"


"Ok, how do I look?"


"Do I look human?"

I pushed myself into a sitting position and asked, "What kind of a question is that?"

"Ok, so no deformities, grotesqueness, or stuff of nightmares; that's good."

I looked around.  Hospital.  Abandoned.

"What's going on?"

"The human race is killing itself off, more or less."

"Start making sense."

"Hear that weird noise on the intercom?"

Not at first.  I looked around, all of the nearby speakers had been smashed.  But after a few moments I did.  It was, difficult to describe.  It played with your senses like music, but it seemed to have no pattern.  No melody.  As if it were just random noise that drew the improbability drive lottery and managed to be be evocative by sheer chance alone.

Though I couldn't pinpoint what exactly it was evoking.

"What about it?" I asked.

"That is, for lack of a better term, the signal or the transmission.  It started broadcasting about two weeks ago and it broadcasts on everything.  The intercom here, phones, tvs, computers, radios, anything that can make noise or light is putting out its version of the signal.

"And don't bother cutting the power or anything; it doesn't help.  You've got to destroy the damned thing."  My host gave a sigh.  "You try tracking down and destroying everything remotely electronic.  Damned phones alone are--"

"You haven't said what the signal-slash-transmission does."

"If you ask most anyone else, it turns people into violent monsters; it doesn't."  A pause.  "It induces hallucinations.  You and I are on the same frequency, the same wavelength, that's why you can see I'm human and understand me as speaking English.  People on different frequencies . . ."

My host sighed again.  "Humanity is now divided into, I'd say, five to twelve different factions each of which thinks that they're the only people who are immune and everyone else has mutated into grotesque and dangerous abominations."

Skeptical me came to the forefront when I asked, "Really?"

"I'll show you once you get dressed, you're not the only one who has slept through the whole thing so far but I figured it was best not to leave people on different frequencies in the same rooms.  Could lead to unfortunate things if they woke up when I wasn't around."

I was tossed a ball of clothes.

"I think they're your size."  My host started to leave.

"Oh, one other thing about the signal-transmission-thing.  It doesn't just induce the hallucinations, it keeps them synced.  If you see a zombie looking creature instead of a person, that's what I'll see too.  Reduces the chances of any of us noticing inconsistencies and starting to doubt that the monsters are real."

"If you're hallucinating just as much as anyone else," I asked, "what makes you right and everyone else wrong."

"Observation, thought, faith."

"You haven't told me your name and pronouns yet," I said.

"You haven't told me yours," my host said.  "Get dressed, we have an apocalypse to deal with."  Then my the host walked away.

1 comment:

  1. That sounds like a very effective evil plan, I guess.

    OTOH we kind of mostly do it to our own selves pretty often? This is randomized? So you'd get people in ride-or-die factions with people they would normally distrust/hate? So definitely could be someone's misguided utopia...