Re: Ascension – A Community Development

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Adrian Wight
Dowtown Hong Kong, the Higami-Bosch Building

I scratched my elbow as the elevator rocketed forward. It had been itchy ever since I got that weird vaccine after Beijing. Apparently, some disease had been found in mainland China and another vaccine was in order. It was yet another to add to my hefty supply. About a dozen or so vaccines were already swirling through my blood and one more didn’t mean much of a difference. But this vaccine seemed different. The doctor looked shadier than usual and the syringe was weirdly square-shaped. That and the elbow injection point made the thing even weirder. The whole ordeal didn’t take that long, so I had forgotten about it, that is until this square mark on my arm wouldn’t stop itching.

Ding, the elevator opens up on the tenth floor, having been only seconds since I entered the elevator. Higami-Bosch always got the best of the best. As I got out, I saw Takagi and did the standard salutations. Hello, how are the kids and all that jazz. I went to my office, checked with my secretary, and then I went to my 9:30 meeting, a standard get-together of the higherups to see how business was. Thankfully, business was good. Profits had finally risen for the first month since the recession and that means I’m good. My ass isn’t on the line and that means I get another year here in Hong Kong. First I was in London, then I was sent to Chicago, and finally I was here, assistant VP of production, Hong Kong. It felt good for hard work to pay off.

I walked into the meeting room, a dozen of my colleagues around me, and I gazed out of the window. It was a clear day, with puffy clouds dancing on the azure sky. Finally, the meeting started. Business reports were passed around and profit margins and costs filled the air. Half of us began to doze off. While this was necessary, it didn’t mean that it was the most thrilling of meetings. It would soon become one they’d never forget.

Then a roar began to engulf us. It started off as a dull hum and then it got louder and louder until it was the only thing left to hear. The room began to shake and then it all exploded. Glass flew everywhere as the things in the sky descended down upon the city. I was thrust upon the ground as the glass landed on top of me. A ring pervaded my ears as I lifted myself up, my body aching. I was on my feet when I saw what was outside the window. It nearly put me back down again. A triangular airship was floating outside of the window. It was something out of a science fiction flick. A horrible, horrible, flick. I gulped, whatever the hell was going on, it scared the shit of me. My senses regained themselves and I saw my colleagues also on the ground.

“Takagi, Whitmore, anyone get up! We need to get out of here before it goes completely to shit.” I shout to anyone who will listen. They seem to groggily agree and we make our way out of the room. The whole floor was in chaos. People were screaming, papers were flying, and everything was in disarray. We made our way through this chaos and since the elevators were being clogged by my coworkers, so we made our way down ten flight of stairs. The fear made me forget that I was going down ten flights. I don’t think it bothered anyone else either. Finally, we burst out of the stairwell and into the lobby. Out of the Frying Pan and into the fire.

The lobby, normally so clean, was charred and broken glass blanketed the floor. A man, or what I think was a man, stood, no, towered in the lobby. It was massively tall, its arms mechanically sleek and he was armored to the teeth. Its hand was gripping a massive gun which glowed orange. The orange glow illuminated its face, utterly human amongst the mountain of technology. A grin adorned the face, the wickedness seeping through his orange-white teeth. It raised its rifle and orange bursts flew out of it. The people they hit slumped down afterwards, looking like burned swiss cheese. We ran, as orange flew by us and everything went to hell. Explosions rocked our sides as I saw my friends go down, blood flying every which way. I ran out of the now open window and onto the street, which was even worse than the lobby.

Fires were everywhere, people screamed and ran as they were being gunned down by more soldiers. I didn’t think about them or anyone else, I just needed to get somewhere safe. The soldiers fired every which way, their orange lasers killing everyone they touched. I ran and thought of home. Home, a place where I could be safe. Then I disappeared. I was suddenly in my apartment, twenty blocks away. I stumbled, my head whirring. My stomach was doing the tango and my head was hammering a nail. I stumbled forward a step, and I tasted blood coming from my nose. My legs turned to jelly and the ground said hello.