𝙒𝙝𝙚𝙣 𝙢𝙞𝙡𝙡𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙨 𝙧𝙖𝙞𝙙 𝘼𝙧𝙚𝙖 51 𝙞𝙣 𝙨𝙚𝙖𝙧𝙘𝙝 𝙤𝙛 𝙖𝙣𝙨𝙬𝙚𝙧𝙨, 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙮 𝙙𝙞𝙨𝙘𝙤𝙫𝙚𝙧 𝙨𝙤𝙢𝙚𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙛𝙖𝙧 𝙬𝙤𝙧𝙨𝙚!
Dressed in a suit, an ensemble stitched with the fabric of mediocrity and obedience, John Namath stared into the dark void behind the curtain. The curtain, a thin barrier between truth and illusion. The crowd’s cheers, a haunting echo from the other side, were a symphony of anticipation and collective madness.
“Ladies, and gentleman!” boomed a voice, as synthetic and rehearsed as government propaganda. “John Namath!”
With a breath imbued with the defiance of a thousand black sheep, John sauntered through the curtain’s veil. Hundreds of eyes greeted him, wielding signs crafted in rebellion. They read like a twisted mantra: We Want The Truth, Aliens Exist, The Government Can’t Lie Anymore, In John Namath We Trust.
John smiled, a weaponized gesture, and approached the podium as the mob settled into a restless silence.
“For years now,” he began, his voice dripping with the poison of satire, “our benevolent puppeteers have shielded your innocent eyes from the horrors of Area 51. But today, dear sleepwalkers, the veil lifts!”
Cheers. Applause. The thirst for knowledge as infectious as a computer virus.
“In my hand are scraps of reality I’ve pilfered from Area 51. I offer them to you, ready for a cage or a coffin, to provide you the truth.”
They clapped, their hands robotic, their faces masks.
His words were cut short, replaced by the sharp retort of a gunshot. John’s head burst open, his brains painting a macabre portrait of freedom on the stage floor. Panic swept the crowd like a tidal wave of disillusionment. Bodies collided, screams melded, and chaos reigned.
A few brave souls leaped onto the stage, reaching for the papers soaked in John’s blood. But security, the ever-faithful hounds, pushed them away.
John’s corpse, a martyr to curiosity, lay with a smile frozen in time, the truth as dead and cold as he.
“All across this great land of confusion and shadows, riots have broken out,” intoned the news reporter, her words a dance of manipulation.
Footage of buildings ablaze, looting, and masked individuals battling police painted a surreal backdrop.
“In the wake of John Namath’s sacrifice, questions linger like ghosts: who silenced him, what veils our government, and what fantastical horrors dwell in Area 51? In a world where reality is a kaleidoscope, we may never know.”
And in countless living rooms, citizens sat, their eyes wide, their minds teetering on the edge of revelation and madness, forever changed yet eternally shackled.
“It’s been 3 months of shadow play since the tragic comedy that was John Namath’s murder,” the anchor reported, her voice a mixture of rehearsed gravitas and hollow cheeriness. “We’re now on the precipice of a grand social experiment, or as the armchair generals and internet philosophers have dubbed it, Raid on Area 51. This Saturday, nearly a million souls, brimming with righteous fury and naïve courage, plan to storm the walls of our government’s Pandora’s Box.”
Her eyes, windows to a soul well-acquainted with the absurdity of it all, flicked to the prompter.
“Officials have stated, with a bureaucratic flourish, that Area 51 personnel are authorized to shoot at shadows and illusions, which they will do this Saturday. Homeland Secretary Patricia Armstrong had this to contribute to our ongoing human farce.”
The camera cut to the secretary, her stern face etched with the lines of power and paranoia.
“Listen up all you avatars of the digital age, you crusaders of comment sections,” she declared, her voice dripping with condescension. “We have enough ammunition to erase a fictional nation. If you, my dear Quixotes, dare assault our fortress of secrets this Saturday, you will become footnotes in a tragicomic tale.”
The anchor’s face returned, painted with feigned concern. “Let’s hear from some of our protagonists who have enlisted in this crusade.”
The camera panned to a group of young people, faces lit with the zeal of a science fiction fantasy brought to life.
“So why do you wish to gamble your existence to unlock Area 51?” a reporter queried, his voice betraying a hint of skepticism.
“John Namath became a martyr for a truth that may or may not exist,” one youth replied, eyes ablaze with revolutionary fervor. “We’re honoring his ghost by charging at windmills. If the government won’t lift the curtain, we’ll tear it down, even if it means dancing with death.”
The sincerity of their beliefs clashed with the absurdity of the situation, creating a surreal painting of human endeavor and folly.
“Back to you, Karen,” the reporter stated, his voice tinged with the irony of a world that had lost its grip on reality.
As Wes imbibed his coffee, the liquid of mundane reality, his friend Kyle, a figure of rebellion and youthful exuberance, rushed up to him like a messenger from an alternate universe.
“Yo Wes, guess what?!” Kyle shrieked, his voice a blend of excitement and existential angst.
“What, dude?” Wes asked, his voice tinted with the irony of daily life. “You almost launched my coffee into the fourth dimension.”
Kyle grinned, a symbol of naïveté and unfettered enthusiasm. He unfolded a paper, an artifact from a world that shouldn’t exist, bearing the mark: CONGRATULATIONS.
“Congratulations Kyle Nelson,” Wes read, his voice faltering at the absurdity. “Your contribution and sacrifice will be deeply rewarded, as if rewards could ever fill the void. Because of you, the lies of an oppressive government will end, or so the story goes. Prepare yourself, young Sisyphus, for this Saturday you are part of the raid on Area 51.”
Wes stared at the paper, his mind grappling with reality’s cruel jest.
“Are you serious?” he asked, his words dripping with existential dread.
“Yeah, awesome right!” Kyle retorted, his eyes ablaze with a freedom that may or may not exist.
“Hell no!” Wes proclaimed. “You’re embarking on a fool’s errand. What universe are you living in?”
“Dude, come on. This is our generation’s call to arms, our battle against the phantom menace. Who doesn’t want to know what lurks in Area 51?” Kyle insisted, his voice a mixture of passion and delusion.
“That doesn’t mean you have to hurl yourself into the abyss. This isn’t worth your life,” Wes argued, the voice of reason lost in a world gone mad.
Kyle’s smile crumbled, a castle of dreams collapsing.
“Maybe to you it isn’t, but to me and millions of shadows, it is. Every generation had its battle. Now it’s our turn to tilt at windmills.”
“They have machine guns, dude,” Wes whispered, the horror of reality creeping in. “It’s going to be a massacre.”
“The Allies didn’t have a million Don Quixotes storming the beach,” Kyle countered, his grasp on history as tenuous as his grip on reality.
“Did you fail history?” Wes sighed, his voice a lament for lost sanity.
They went outside the shop where their philosophical debate was interrupted by a collision with an oracle, a hobo who smelled of truths too terrible to bear.
“You must stop the raid!” he uttered, his eyes windows to an apocalyptic vision. “It will be the end of all of us!”
“We got a problem?” Kyle challenged, his bravado a mask for fear.
The hobo’s last prophecy echoed as a car, a harbinger of fate, struck him down. His body flew, a discarded puppet of destiny.
“Damn!” both boys shouted, their voices harmonizing with the tragicomedy of existence.
The hobo’s body crumpled to the ground, a grotesque puppet severed from its strings, a tragic farce played out on the cold asphalt stage. Wes and Kyle, two boys cast in roles they never auditioned for, stared at the lifeless form, reality’s grim punchline.
As the sirens wailed, a mournful requiem for a man reduced to a cautionary tale, Wes’s eyes were drawn inexorably to the corpse. It was as if he looked into a mirror reflecting not just his face but his soul.
“You alright?” Kyle asked, his voice a blend of concern and existential indifference.
“This brings back memories,” Wes muttered, a ghost from his past rattling its chains. “About Heath?”
Wes nodded, and Kyle’s pat on the back was both a comfort and a cold reminder of the human condition’s absurdity.
“It’s all good, man. Just a reminder that we’re still trapped in this cosmic comedy,” Kyle assured, a philosopher in disguise.
Later that night, Wes sat behind the computer, a portal to a world where identity is fluid, and reality is negotiable. He uploaded a video, a digital manifesto, titled Why the raid on Area 51 is stupid. A battle cry for sanity in an insane world.
The comments poured in, a chorus of digital voices, some singing praises, others hurling insults:
- Are you autistic?
- Lmfao, get a clue, asshole.
- Jokes on you, Mr. Pointless Degree.
- You sound like a bitch.
Wes shook his head, a Sisyphus resigned to his fate. “Did you even watch it?” he asked the void, knowing no answer would come.
Then a whisper from the digital wilderness, a username FriendlyGhost316:
- Finally, someone who gets it. -FG316
A message, a breadcrumb on the trail to the truth:
- It’s a conspiracy within a conspiracy. -FG316
- Honestly, you lost me there, dude.
- Don’t quit now. I see the truth. I can explain it all to you in person. -FG316
A proposition. A meeting at a coffee shop, the modern agora. Wes consulted his friend and accomplice, Kyle, the voice of reckless wisdom.
“You should meet with him, bro,” Kyle urged.
“Why, he could be a crazed killer,” Wes countered, the paranoia of the age creeping in.
“It’s public. Besides, it would be interesting for the channel,” Kyle argued, his individualism a match for Wes’s caution.
“Fuck it,” Wes agreed, a cosmic shrug in the face of the unknown.
I’m down, he typed, committing to the dance of shadows and illusions, where reality was negotiable, identity was fluid, and truth was a punchline in a cosmic joke.
“You can’t be serious?” Wes addressed FriendlyGhost316, his tone a blend of incredulity and irritation.
They sat in the café, a public yet private battlefield, where every conversation was a skirmish in the grand war of truth and lies. FG316, a middle-aged, worn-down warrior with untrimmed hair and dark circles around his eyes, looked like a human testimony to the side effects of knowing too much.
“I am,” FG316 repeated, his voice an anthem of sincerity.
“You want me to believe you worked at Area 51 as an IT. Someone with as much security clearance as a janitor yet you were able to secretly record conversations about the raid?” Wes fired back, the voice of skepticism in a world gone mad.
“I know how it sounds, but yes.” FG316’s eyes, those tired wells of knowledge, held Wes’s gaze.
Wes stared back, his face an unreadable mask.
“Fuck this,” he said, and rose to leave. It was a dance he didn’t want to partake in, a truth too slippery to grasp.
“Wait!” FG316’s voice was a desperate plea, a cry in the wilderness.
Wes sat back down, a reluctant player in a game he didn’t understand.
“What?” Wes’s voice was laced with frustration and curiosity, a cocktail that had led many a man astray.
“These people are everywhere – law enforcement and the media. I can’t trust anyone,” FG316 whispered, the ghost of paranoia haunting his words. “An unknown is the only safe bet, which is why I’m giving you this.”
He stuck his hand under the table. Wes looked under, and the sight of a flash drive sent a shiver down his spine. It was a key, perhaps to a Pandora’s Box he was not sure he wanted to open.
“It’s everything you need to know about the raid. I don’t know much about what’s inside Area 51, but I know something about the raid. I guess that was one of their lesser secure secrets.”
“But why me?” Wes’s voice was a storm of confusion and fear.
“Because after seeing your post last night, I realized you’re the best option.”
“For what?” Wes stammered, his mind racing to catch up with the plot.
“To save everyone. This will be the last time you see me. My guess, if they can’t kill me, they’ll frame me and have me on the run either way.”
FG316 got up and left, a man running from shadows, leaving Wes stunned as he inspected the plain flash drive. It was a door to another world, a leap into the abyss of knowledge, a burden he never asked for, but one that was now his to bear.
As Wes munched on his dinner in the sanctuary of his living room, the harsh glow of the television played a symphony of ordinary madness. Next to him, the flash drive, an object of curiosity and terror, had been given its rightful place in the trash can. Or so he thought.
“Authorities have said this man is responsible for the murder of five people at his house and is on the run. His name is Thomas Gallagher,” the news reporter cheerfully announced, as if selling toothpaste.
Wes’s fork clattered to his plate, his appetite lost in disbelief. The suspect on the TV screen was FG316, a man he’d met in a café just hours before. Life’s little surprises never ceased. With trembling hands, Wes retrieved the flash drive from the trash bin, as if pulling Excalibur from the stone, and made his way to his room. The video on the flash drive was dated six months ago, an electronic relic of the strange.
There was Thomas, panting in a bathroom stall, like a prophet caught between revelations.
“Listen: Thomas Gallagher has something to say. If his face is on your screen, dear viewer, then congratulations or condolences, because you’ve been selected for something rather peculiar,” he said, his voice a conspiratorial whisper, as though sharing a secret joke with the universe.
“See these electrons and pixels forming my face? I’ve made a discovery, friends and neighbors. A discovery as surprising as a cat playing a fiddle, as unlikely as a fish riding a bicycle. Top brass, military folks, secretive men in secretive rooms, they’re planning a charade. A raid on Area 51, of all places! A raid on their very own mysterious base.”
His eyes sparkled with madness or brilliance or perhaps a bit of both.
“What’s the reason? Could be a heist, hidden under the noise and clamor of a fake invasion. Could be a ruse to unleash some scientific marvel, some death-ray or flying contraption. Who knows? Who can say?”
He flourished papers at the screen, a magician showing off his final trick. “TOP SECRET,” they screamed, like carnival barkers at a sideshow. One even had the title “Area 51 Raid,” decorated with the CIA insignia, as American and enigmatic as apple pie and the Mona Lisa’s smile.
“Believe it or don’t,” he said with a wink. “The universe is full of surprises, isn’t it?”
A main door creaked open, its sound echoing like a warning.
“I have to go,” Thomas whispered, his eyes wide and haunted.
He shoved the papers down his pants and walked out, his phone still recording as if possessed by the desire to tell the truth. When he emerged from the stall, the phone’s lens captured the feet of a mysterious man.
“What the hell are you doing?” the man demanded, the voice of authority or curiosity.
“Nothing,” Thomas replied, the voice of innocence or guilt.
“Are you talking to yourself again?”
“I swear you’re a weirdo.”
Thomas placed the phone on the sink, revealing the other man’s full body. The face that stared back at Wes was one that stopped time and made reality take a sharp turn into the surreal.
“Oh my god,” Wes gasped. “Heath!”
So Kyle and Wes found themselves in the bedroom, watching a video that had the power to knock their socks off or, at the very least, ruffle their hair. Kyle’s eyes widened, Wes’s jaw dropped. A family reunion of sorts was unfolding before them, though not the sort you’d find over Thanksgiving turkey.
“My stars, Wes, that’s your brother!” Kyle exclaimed as if he’d discovered a new star or a more colorful metaphor.
”I’m as baffled as a cat in a dog show,” Wes replied, scratching his head as if it were a lottery ticket. “Why would he hide the fact that he’s still among the living?”
“Area 51, of all places!” Kyle was brimming with admiration now, eyes sparkling with the enthusiasm typically reserved for rock concerts or new flavors of ice cream. “I thought he was as aimless as a leaf in the wind, but look at him now, an honest-to-God hero!”
Wes’s glare could have frozen a pot of boiling water, and Kyle’s tone changed faster than a politician’s promise. “Sorry,” he mumbled, all sheepish grins and shuffled feet.
“Mother mustn’t know, not yet,” Wes responded, his voice as serious as a funeral dirge.
“I’m going to join the raid,” Wes announced, standing tall and proud like a flag on the Fourth of July.
“That’s the spirit!” Kyle cheered, slapping Wes’s back in a manner typically reserved for winning touchdowns.
But Wes’s eyes were distant, looking at something beyond the excitement and adventure. “This isn’t about lasers or little green men. This is about my brother, about finding out why he left, why he vanished like a sock in the dryer.”
“Whatever rows your boat,” Kyle said, embracing Wes like a long-lost friend. “Welcome to the fight, the grand adventure, the circus of life.”
In a stretch of desert, so barren it might as well have been another planet, humanity decided to have a picnic. News vans, cameras, food stands, and the bizarre tapestry of human existence unfurled itself like a dream from the mind of a feverish science fiction writer.
A news reporter, with a face as determined as destiny itself, stood amidst the chaos, narrating the surreality as though it were the most natural thing in the world. Behind her were thousands of souls, each with dreams as varied as stars in the night sky.
Some were prophets of new religions, heralding an age where humanity would join hands, or perhaps tentacles, with aliens to create the next chapter in the cosmic dance. Others were treasure hunters, eyeing the spoils of extraterrestrial technology as if it were El Dorado.
Others still were looking for friendship in the most unlikely places, like poets searching for rhyme in a world gone mad. And some, well, their goals were as base and as human as any earthly desire.
“I stand at the threshold of the unknown,” the reporter declared, her voice carrying the weight of history and the thrill of adventure. “Area 51, that enigmatic fortress of secrets, looms in the distance. And here, a sea of expectant faces waits for William Cesar, the leader of this dance macabre.”
With the camera’s unblinking eye, she approached a group of rugged individuals, armed with rifles and dressed in shirts adorned with the American flag. Their hats spoke a creed as cryptic as any oracle: Get Them Aliens Out.
“Alien hunters, they call you,” she said, her voice a blend of curiosity and incredulity. “What dreams drive you to this desolate place? What hopes and fears have brought you to this crossroads of the real and the unreal?”
A man with a beer belly and the conviction of a modern-day crusader took a stand.
“We’ll send those aliens packing, back to their Martian hovels or Venusian condos or wherever they came from,” he roared, his words dripping with irony he was unaware of. “Lord knows we can’t have illegal extraterrestrials in this fine country. Why, they’re feasting on our tax dollars like it’s an all-you-can-eat cosmic buffet. That ends today. Murica!” A chorus of bullets sang the national anthem.
The reporter countered,
“Don’t you know that the government’s money troubles are like the plot of a bad sci-fi novel? Our coffers are overflowing with fictional currency, only wasted by politicians in selfish endeavors.”
The man’s mind short-circuited, a system error in the brain, a hiccup in his logic circuits.
“I don’t care!” he sputtered, like a robot designed for patriotism. “Guns over aliens! Murica!”
More bullets, more cheers. The reporter, unflappable in her search for the human condition, moved on to the next chapter of this societal farce. A group of young idealists wore shirts that might as well have been banners for a futuristic revolution: Free the Aliens.
“They’re innocent,” a teen spoke, voice quivering with conviction. “They’re here to live, to thrive. They should be citizens, not prisoners. No one is illegal.”
An ‘alien hunter,’ raise an eyebrow, challenged,
“Would you live with one, huh? You don’t know what they’re capable of. They might even suck your brains out.”
The reporter, playing both narrator and character, added a sober note,
“Perhaps they’re imprisoned for a reason.”
A whirlwind of accusations, angry retorts, and cries for justice followed.
“Racists get beat!”
“No one is illegal!”
“You’d let one mess with your family in the name of progressiveness!”
The words became a cacophony, a reflection of a world gone mad, or perhaps, just being itself.
A young woman flashed the camera, a stoner announced his intentions to procure alien weaponry, another dreamed of extraterrestrial beauties with anatomical oddities.
They laughed, they fought, they made noise, they lived.
“Back to you, Karen,” the reporter concluded, her voice weary from the carnival of humanity.
Rows of soldiers were positioned in an odd symmetry as the colonel, a man whose face was etched with years of distrust in reality itself, moved deliberately to the front of the line. He paced back and forth, eyes flashing with that ineffable fusion of insight and madness, examining the men as though they were simulacra or characters in some deranged play.
“Today, my fine Earthlings,” he began, his voice tinged with irony, “is a day where the pearly gates will be subjected to the unsightly scourge of a queue! The wheel of natural selection, that ruthless mechanism by which the Universe humors itself, is about to spin, for there are legions of misguided souls who fancy a futile assault on this fortress. They hunger to unravel the secrets ensconced behind these walls, secrets older than the fake memories we all harbor. What awaits them?” He paused, an unnerving grin spreading across his face. “Lead. Pure, cold lead.”
He continued, now with a hard-edge pragmatism,
“I wouldn’t care if your very mother were the trespasser, the one who nurtured you in this overpopulated anthill of a world. You will do your duty. You’ll put her down, soldier, without remorse, and send the bill for the funeral to good old Uncle Sam. Let that sink into the depths of your mechanical hearts. Do you comprehend the gravity of your task?”
“Sir, yes sir!” the soldiers intoned, voices resonating with an eerie unity.
“Very well,” he said, satisfaction and despair warring in his eyes. “Move out to your positions. And may whatever gods you fancy have mercy on your simulated souls.”
Hours metamorphosed into a mockery of time as the sun, an indifferent cosmic observer, lingered in the sky. The crowd, a bewildering mass of contradictions and delusions, had swelled to an unmanageable level, a heaving sea of humanity stretching across the plain like some absurd painting of a dystopian future.
In the very nucleus of this strangely uniform army were Wes and Kyle, two men cut from a cloth so different it might have been woven by some extraterrestrial tailor. Kyle, adorned with red face paint and an army uniform, quivered with anticipation, his identity temporarily lost in the surreal spectacle. Wes, defiantly clad in his usual attire, wore a look of confusion that might well have adorned the face of a man who had just been told his entire life was a fabrication.
“What exactly are we awaiting?” Wes whispered, his voice a blend of anxiety and curiosity.
“The glorious leader of the event, William Cesar, to grace us with his presence,” Kyle said, his voice trembling.”Oh, this is about to be something, alright!”
As if summoned by Kyle’s words, a car pulled up, and out stepped a middle-aged man, William himself. His presence resonated like a shockwave through the crowd, as though reality itself had shifted.
The helicopter camera crew, providing the chorus to this theater of the absurd, announced,
“It’s him, William Cesar.” A name that seemed real and unreal.
William approached the podium, silencing the crowd with a gesture, and then bellowed,
“Are you ready?”
The crowd roared, a cacophony of misplaced enthusiasm.
“Fuck a speech. Let’s get on with this shit,” William declared. “Draw your swords!”
Wes’s mind reeled as swords were unsheathed all around him, the clangor an assault on his senses. Kyle, too, had a sword. Panic clawed at Wes’s throat.
“What the fuck?” he stammered.
“We’re embracing the past, my friend. Swords are legal in this mad world, guns are not,” Kyle said, a twisted smile on his face.
“You got a letter in the mail when you signed up, remember?” Kyle revealed, the words tumbling into the void of Wes’s confusion.
Memories collided and reality wobbled. Wes had never officially signed up. Next to them, a Herculean figure chugged an energy drink and smashed the can against his head, blood mixing with intoxication.
“Let’s fucking go!” he howled.
“To victory!” William screamed, leading the charge.
But then, in a moment of pure irony, William stopped, tossed his sword, and smirked.
“Fucking idiots,” he laughed, reveling in his own cleverness. “Have fun getting killed!”
His triumph was short-lived. When he turned around, his eyes shot open. The crowd, a mindless, trampling force of nature, knocked him down.
“Stop! Help me, please!” he wheezed, blood bubbling on his lips.
But the crowd, lost in a frenzied dance of violence and paradox, ignored him, trampling him to a gory death.
At the fortress of lunacy, a symphony of soldiers perched atop their concrete altar, each cradling an instrument of death known to the layman as assault rifles. Around them, mechanical turrets turned and waited, feeling, perhaps, a little left out.
“Brothers and sisters of the absurd,” stammered one young man, just barely out of boyhood, his eyes wide and uncomprehending. “We stand here on the precipice of annihilating our fellow earthlings.”
They looked at one another, the weight of what they were about to do sinking in like a stone in mud, a stone thrown by a child who didn’t yet understand what stones or mud or throwing were. A laugh, then another laugh. Laughter to hide the tears that weren’t there but should have been.
“You think I care?” another soldier mocked, the irony lost on no one, especially not him. “Let us catch some bodies, as if we were fishermen of souls.”
“It’s about to be No Russian in this place! Or No American, if you prefer. Labels are so pesky, aren’t they?” The laughter continued.
“Wait! Hold! Cease!” cried one. The earth beneath them, a living thing in its own right, shuddered. “Do you hear that? Do you feel that?” he asked, though he knew they did.
Through the binoculars, a flood of humanity rushed towards them, swords in hands, fire in eyes, madness in hearts.
“Oh excrement!” he screamed, not because it was appropriate, but because it seemed to fit. “Sound the alarm! They’ve arrived!”
“It’s time,” said another, his voice barely a whisper, “bitch.”
Meanwhile, in the great round room of power, the president watched, a small frown playing on his lips. In another place, men in suits, those fine purveyors of vice and greed, gambled and smoked, cheering for death as if it were a sport.
“We’re about to win big tonight!” one roared, as if victory meant anything at all.
And in a house not unlike your own, dear reader, a boy named Jimmy ran to join his family. They watched, together, the macabre spectacle, their faces glowing with anticipation.
“Hurry, Jimmy, it’s starting!” his mother called, love and excitement mingling in her voice. A mother’s love, a nation’s folly, and a world gone mad.
The boy jumped on the couch, and the family watched, united by a bond stronger than understanding and weaker than wisdom, enthralled by the unfolding drama of humanity’s ceaseless dance with death.
Within the dimly lit bowels of the base, human beings with titles and ranks, but mostly with fears and hopes, gathered around a flickering screen. They watched the ghostly dance of death on an aerial feed, images glowing with the ethereal beauty of infrared.
“Not yet,” breathed a young techie, his eyes fixed on the dance, his fingers caressing a pen like a lover’s touch. His face was wet with the dew of effort or perhaps fear; even he wasn’t sure which. “Almost there, almost human.”
“Get them,” muttered the colonel, his voice a croak, his heart a stone. “Get those bastards.”
The dots, those symbolic representations of souls, inched closer to the concrete monster that was the base. The dance continued, the music reaching a crescendo.
“Now!” the techie exploded, his voice breaking. He pressed the button like a man killing a mosquito, knowing it had to be done but hating himself for it.
Outside, in the real world where blood flows red and fire burns hot, the horde charged, still acres away, their hearts beating with anger, fear, or maybe love.
“Fucking voodoo magic!” someone yelled, though no one would remember who. Was it even a real voice, or just the sound of the universe laughing?
The earth, old and tired of human folly, gave way, a tremendous ball of fire bursting forth, like a dragon awakened from a deep slumber. Explosions, fire, chaos. The very elements of existence turned against themselves.
“Holy shit!” cried a soldier, on top of the base, his voice a mix of awe and terror, both equally sincere.
The earth consumed the people, those little dots on a screen. Screams filled the air, not just there but everywhere, for what is a scream but a human soul trying to escape? Back in the computer room, many dots vanished. They had names once, but names are so forgettable, aren’t they?
“How many?” the colonel asked, his voice colder now.
“Almost 100 thousand souls sent into the abyss,” the techie replied, his voice barely above a whisper. “And the numbers are climbing, like a mountain of despair.”
“Not enough!” the colonel roared, his voice filled with something that might have been anger or might have been sadness, but was mostly emptiness. “I want more dammit!”
Outside, in the great theater of human folly, bombs sang their deadly serenade. They danced and twirled, embraced flesh and bone, and then cast them away like unwanted lovers. Body parts took flight, like birds unsure of where to go. Screams filled the air, a symphony of pain and despair, conducted by an unseen maestro of madness.
Corpses and blood, those steadfast companions of war, covered the ground. Wes and Kyle, two specks of humanity in a sea of inhumanity, paused to survey the chaos around them, untouched and yet profoundly scarred.
“There has to be another way in,” Wes uttered, his voice a mere whisper, his soul a question mark.
“This is the only way!” Kyle replied, his voice a hammer, his soul an exclamation point. “We have to keep pushing!”
The horde, once a united mass, was now a scattering of human fragments, people being torn apart by bombs and fate in a pattern as irregular as life itself. They pushed forward because to stop was to die, and to die was to admit defeat.
“Those were all the bombs we had,” the techie announced, his voice as flat and emotionless as the screen before him.
“Over 500 thousand,” came the cold, statistical report.
The room erupted in a cheer, a celebration of numbers, of death, of victory. The colonel’s face cracked into a smile, not of joy but of satisfaction, as if a long-awaited meal had finally been served.
“Good! Now leave the rest of them to the bullets,” he remarked, his voice devoid of any trace of humanity.
Outside, the soldiers took aim, their fingers caressing the triggers like a forbidden love.
“Rain fire!” one yelled, a command or perhaps a plea to some god of war.
They let loose, their bullets tearing into flesh, rending, destroying, loving. Wes and Kyle ran, the world around them a nightmare of fire and blood. People were torn asunder, some aflame, others missing limbs but still moving, still alive, still human. One man calmly picked up his arm, an act so ordinary and yet so profoundly absurd.
“Keep pushing!” Kyle screamed, his voice lost in the chaos.
The soldiers cheered, their faces twisted into masks of joy and terror.
“This is better than Iran!” one laughed, his voice carrying the weight of a history written in blood and fire.
And so the dance went on, a waltz of death and despair, a tango of love and hate, a dance as old as humanity and as cruel as time itself. Wes and Kyle pushed on
In the midst of the chaos and destruction, the rushers, those human beings driven by some unseen force, kept moving forward. Bullets sang their deadly songs, but the rushers danced to a different tune. They were close now, so close to the wall that separated them from whatever it was they sought.
“Keep shooting!” cried a soldier, his voice cracking, his soul trembling.
The raiders, those wild-eyed seekers of something more, banged on the wall, a relentless beat, a desperate rhythm. They fell, their bodies dropping like the notes of a melancholy symphony, their lives ending but their purpose living on. With the corpses piling up, forming a morbid mountain of flesh and bone, the rushers climbed. They used the bodies as ladders, a grotesque but necessary step on the path to wherever they were going. The more bodies fell, the higher the rushers climbed, a macabre ballet of death and determination.
One brave soul made it over the wall, only to be torn asunder by a machine gun, her upper body reduced to nothingness. Yet the rushers continued, their numbers increasing, their purpose unwavering. A sword swung, a head fell, a soldier died. The rushers stormed the turrets, their lives ending but their quest continuing. They were mowed down, but their relentless pursuit, that human fire that burns within us all, overwhelmed the defenses. Soldiers were grabbed, thrown, discarded like old toys. The rushers took control, even turning the turrets on their former masters, killing each other in the process. Such is the nature of war, or love, or life. With no more soldiers to stop them, the rushers raced to a great steel door, 15 feet of cold, unfeeling metal.
“Holy shit, they’re at the door,” stammered a techie, his voice a whisper, his soul a question.
“It’ll hold,” the colonel said, but his voice betrayed doubt, and his soul ached with fear.
“I don’t know, sir. It’s over 100 thousand people,” came the reply, a voice filled with the weight of numbers, of lives, of humanity.
The colonel gulped. Outside, the people banged against the door, their fists, their heads, their swords pounding a relentless beat. They attacked the door like madmen, like lovers, like human beings driven by something more than reason.
“Ram it!” someone yelled, a command or a plea or both.
They rammed the door, their bodies moving as one, their souls united in purpose. They pushed, they pulled, they danced. The door dented, the metal giving way to flesh, to blood, to human will. Inside, the soldiers and the colonel waited, their rifles at the ready, their hearts pounding, their souls trembling. Tanks rolled up, the very machines of war joining the dance.
“Give these keyboard warriors everything you got!” the colonel ordered, his voice a roar, his soul a storm.
A soldier crossed himself, a gesture as old as faith, as profound as doubt.
“Oh fuck,” he quivered, a single word, a single thought, a single truth.
And so it went. The door gave way with a terrible crash, like the world itself coming undone, and the rushers poured in like a torrent of human flesh and human desire. The soldiers and tanks responded as only they could, with fire and steel and death. The base became a symphony of bloodshed, a dance of violence that twirled and swayed to the rhythm of bullets and swords. Rushers fell, their bodies torn apart by gunfire, while soldiers met their end on the sharp edge of ancient weapons. Some rushers, driven by some unfathomable need, attacked the tanks themselves, climbing them, entering them, becoming one with the very machines of war. Blood erupted from the steel behemoths, and limbs, torn from the bodies of soldiers, were tossed aside like the discarded notes of a dark and twisted song. Scientists, those seekers of knowledge, those explorers of the unknown, ran and fell, cut down by the rushers in a savage dance of death. One scientist stumbled and fell, his body betraying him, his mind unable to comprehend the horror before him.
“No please!” he cried, his voice a plea, his soul laid bare.
The rusher snickered, a sound as cold as steel, and severed the scientist’s head from his body. Just like that. And so it went.
“Fall back!” screamed a soldier, his voice a cry of desperation, his soul aching with fear.
Some retreated, but others stayed, caught in the dance, unable to stop.
“Keep fighting you fucking cowards!” roared the colonel, his voice a command, his soul on fire.
He fought and killed, a master of violence, a conductor of death. But the rushers came closer, and the colonel found himself backed into a corner, his gun empty, his time run out. A sword found his gut, and he fell to his knees, his lifeblood spilling from his mouth, his soul searching for answers. He looked up, and saw his attacker’s smile.
“You must be in charge with all those stars. Where are the aliens?” the raider asked, his voice a taunt, his soul a mystery.
The colonel spat blood, and his face twisted with disgust.
“Fuck you,” he said, and his head was taken, and his life was ended. And so it went.
Wes and Kyle arrived inside the base, the butchery before them, the horror around them. Wes trembled, his soul shaken, his mind unable to fathom the madness. Kyle, though, was enthralled, his soul dancing to the dark rhythm.
“We have to find Heath,” Wes mentioned, his voice a whisper, his soul a question.
“And how do you suppose we do that?” Kyle mocked, his voice a challenge, his soul a dare. “The best way to do that is to kill everyone and then find him.”
“This is crazy, I can’t do this,” Wes trembled, his voice a cry, his soul breaking.
Kyle picked up a sword, a tool of death, a weapon of destruction, and handed it to Wes.
“See, it is simple, you just stab,” he said, his voice cold, his soul dark.
Wes shook, the sword in his hand, his body trembling, his soul laid bare.
“No, no,” he whimpered, his voice a child’s, his soul lost. “This is too much.”
So there they were, two boys caught in the whirlpool of history and violence, staring down the barrel of a mad world, playing at soldiers and warriors and heroes.
“Eat shit you fucking commie!” a soldier screamed, his voice a sharp note in the chaos, his soul on fire.
He ran, and Wes swung, and the soldier’s life was ended in a swift slice of steel. Wes looked at the dead soldier, the youth of him, the innocence stolen from him, and something inside Wes broke and then mended again in a strange and terrifying shape. For the first time, he knew what it was to kill, and the knowing of it was a heavy thing, a profound thing, a thing that changed him.
“I killed someone!” Wes cried, his voice a shock, his soul a wound. “Kyle, I don’t-.”
He turned, and there was Kyle, his friend, his comrade, his fellow traveler on this dark and winding road, stabbing and killing and reveling in the madness.
“Wait!” the fallen soldier cried.
But Kyle was beyond hearing, beyond mercy, beyond anything but the pure and savage joy of the kill as he impaled the soldier. .
“This shit is better than Call of Duty!” Kyle cheered, his voice a terrible laughter, his soul a dark carnival. “Come on! You don’t want to die a virgin, do ya!?”
Wes stared at the blood on his hands, the evidence of his own transformation, the mark of his own humanity lost and found again in a different shape. He breathed deep, and he closed his eyes, and he traveled back in time to the innocence of childhood, to the warmth of friendship, to the love of his brother. When he opened his eyes again, he was changed, hardened, forged anew in the fires of war. He wiped the blood on his face, a warrior’s mark, a soldier’s badge.
“Let’s go!” he declared, his voice a battle cry, his soul a weapon.
They marched on, Wes and Kyle and the raiders, a tide of flesh and steel and purpose, unstoppable in their relentless pursuit. Soldiers tried to hold them back, but the rushers were many, and they were driven, and they were overwhelming. So it was, in this strange and terrible theater of war, that the raiders found themselves in a place of marvel and mystery, a science fiction brought to life, a dream twisted into nightmare.
“Damn!” someone cheered, his voice a joyous bark, his soul alight with the thrill of discovery. “This some Halo type shit!”
And there they were, these children of technology, these warriors of the future, playing with toys that were not toys, wielding weapons that were not meant for human hands. Blue energy blasts erupted from strange and alien guns, tearing apart walls, ripping through reality, reshaping the world in an instant.
“Holy shit!” one yelled, his voice a shock, his soul a wild thing, unrestrained and unbound.
They found machines, too, machines that floated and flew and danced in the air like something out of a fairy tale, something out of a dream. A man jumped onto a bike and it rose into the air, defying gravity, defying reason, defying everything that was known and understood.
“Y’all see this shit?!” he yelled, his voice a triumphant shout, his soul a reckless joy.
But the machine was not his to command, and he crashed, and he exploded, and he was gone, and the raiders moved on, driven by something greater, something deeper, something that could not be stopped or denied. Kyle and Wes, those boys caught in the storm, those soldiers forged in the fires of madness, found advanced pistols and fired at soldiers, moving ever forward, ever onward, ever closer to the heart of the darkness. And there, in a corner, quaking and trembling and broken, was a scientist, a man who knew too much, a man who had seen too much. A raider grabbed him, his hands rough, his voice hard.
“Where the fuck are the aliens!? Don’t lie, we know you have them!” the raider demanded, his voice a command, his soul a force.
The scientist pointed, his hand shaking, his voice a whisper.
“You don’t want to go in there,” he quivered, his voice a warning, his soul a plea. “They’re locked up for a reason.”
And then, with a blast from the advanced gun, the scientist’s head was gone, turned to goo, turned to nothing, erased from existence.
“Hey everybody, we’re about to see some fucking aliens!” someone yelled, his voice a celebration, his soul a party.
And the raiders cheered and moved on, driven by curiosity, driven by madness, driven by something that could not be named or understood or controlled. They followed the guy down the corridor. So it was that the big metal doors opened, and there was a room, and in the room were pods, and in the pods were aliens, and the world was strange, and the world was terrible, and the world was something that could not be understood or explained.
“Hundreds of them,” a voice whispered, and the room was full of awe and wonder and horror.
The aliens were there, floating in water, tubes in their mouths, a vision from a nightmare, a dream turned real. And someone pressed a button, and the pods opened, and the water flooded, and the aliens woke, and everyone stared, and everything was changed forever.
A man, a believer, a dreamer, approached one of the aliens. He wore a shirt that said “Free The Aliens,” and his soul was full of hope and love and something pure and beautiful.
“You’re free,” he told the alien, his voice a gentle caress, his soul a wide-open door.
And the alien reached out, and the man smiled, and the world was good, and the world was right. And then the alien ripped the man’s arm off, and the world was not good, and the world was not right, and everything was changed forever. Blood and screams and horror, and the aliens were awake, and the aliens were angry, and the raiders were running and fighting and dying, and the world was chaos, and the world was madness. And in the midst of it all, a green female alien, strange and wonderful, wandered away. She was a mystery, she was a fantasy, she was something from a movie, something from a dream.
“Damn, you is fine!” someone cheered, and the boys were excited, and the boys were alive, and the boys were young and foolish and doomed.
The alien smiled, her face an exercise in unfamiliar geometry. She began to disrobe. It was a slow, curious act that might have been art or horror or both. The young men responded with enthusiasm, their minds full of images and sensations that did not include the possibility of death.
When the shirt came off, something unthinkable occurred. Her chest opened like the mouth of some ancient and incomprehensible god. Teeth were revealed, the sort of teeth found in nightmares and bad poetry.
“What the fuck?!” one of them managed to say before a tongue, long and sinful, shot out and cut him in two.
He fell apart like a poorly made doll, his insides revealing that he was, in fact, made of ordinary human stuff. The screams of the others were just noise, filling the space where understanding had once been. The tongue wrapped them up, brought them to the alien’s maw, and ended them. Then the alien changed shape, becoming one of those she had slain.
“Shit man boi,” the alien giggled, mimicking a voice, playing a game, being something it was not.
The alien went on its merry way, like a traveler inspecting a new hotel. Around the bend, in a corridor manufactured by some money-hungry contractor, the alien hunters were pursuing their violent hobbies. With human weapons that spat fire and metal, they hunted little gray aliens, who were making what could only be described as a gentlemanly retreat.
“Oh, how marvelous!” sang the leader, a patriotic anthem to himself, as he reduced the creatures to cosmic dust.
Some of the small aliens, wiser in the ways of hide-and-seek, took shelter behind what appeared to be a desk, probably manufactured on Earth.
“Reveal yourselves, you tiny cosmic wonders!” he roared, an emperor in his own mind.
He spotted one and with a triumphant laugh, transformed it into a cripple. The gray alien, its legs now a memory, crawled like an old man late for supper, its green blood an abstract painting on the cold floor. The leader approached, and their eyes met, black meeting whatever color humans have.
“You thought to relieve me of my burdensome tax dollars?” he queried with a twisted smile. “Welcome to the land of the free, you extraterrestrial delinquent!”
The crunch of an alien skull had a curious sound, like an apple underfoot. The brain matter was less poetic.
“To the abyss with these cosmic intruders!” he screamed into the void.
They stood together, he and his hunters, popping aliens as if they were champagne bottles on New Year’s Eve. Cheers and jeers mingled with madness.
“Return to your red desert!” he barked at no one in particular.
A young accomplice, perhaps his offspring, skipped by an open doorway to darkness, yelling, “Father, behold my victory!”
“Bravo, my boy!” came the response.
But then, the universe has a way of interrupting our dances. The son’s dance was cut short by a sound like thunder. His eyes widened, his jaw sagged, and his bladder, that unreliable organ, betrayed him. Before him stood a colossus, a creature of strength and terror.
“Shit,” he whispered.
The alien administered a brisk slap to the son’s face, and with an astonishing ease that spoke to the difference in gravities from his world and ours, snapped the boy’s neck. The body made a colorful splatter on the wall, like a poorly thought-out expressionist painting.
“No!” the leader said, but he might as well have been whistling Vivaldi’s Four Seasons for all the good it did.
One of the alien hunters, brave and full of rage, tried to put bullets into the big alien. They bounced back as though the alien were made of rubber. He was a cosmic clown.
“You made my sister a widow, you celestial deviant!” he yelled. “That was my brother!”
The alien lifted him with legs that worked like arms, and arms that worked like gods.
“Jimmy!” the leader cried, as if the universe cared.
Then the alien did something that caused the family to look at each other, trying to understand if what they saw was real. He ripped Billy apart, discarded the remains, and ambled off with the casual gait of someone leaving a mediocre dinner party.
“Hey space monkey!” the father yelled. That made the alien turn around, the two of them glaring like characters in an old Western.
n the end, it was the leader, face to face with the alien behemoth, staring each other down, his words as empty as the universe itself.
“You travel all this way,” said the father, “from who knows where, and you’re still a space monkey!”
And the alien seemed almost to understand, puffing himself like a baffled professor.
“That’s right,” said the father. “All that fancy technology, and you’re just a space monkey!”
Bullets were useless, bouncing off the alien. Men were knocked aside. The leader’s words became less coherent, something about hard-earned dollars and living off the backs of hardworking Americans. A joke without a punchline.
“You think to steal my sweat and blood?” he raged, shooting without aim or reason. “You think you can live off the work of honest men?”
The alien was now bearing down on the leader, who found himself running out of words, time, and luck.
“You think you can take our jobs!? We’ll welcome to Earth, you slimly motherfu-.”
But the universe does not debate. The alien’s boot, big and cold as a meteorite, descended, and the leader gasped in shock as his words were lost in a crunch that said more than words ever could. The leader’s life was over, squashed beneath an uncaring extraterrestrial force.
The alien, an interstellar tourist in a land gone mad, wiped his boot and spat at the absurdity of it all. Then he went on his way, leaving behind a world that had learned nothing.
Far away from the mere suggestion of common sense, Wes, a weary human of this planet, looked around with eyes as vacant as the moon’s dark side. Kyle, a compatriot in the tragic comedy of their existence, had continued to fight, engaging in the most ancient of human follies. They agreed to meet in the front if both were lucky, or unlucky enough, to survive.
Wes opened a door, performing the universal ritual of curiosity. And there it was: a spectacle as absurd as humanity itself. A man wearing only a hat that bellowed its allegiance to earthly nonsense—FUCK THE ALIENS, MURICA—was engaged in an act of indescribable intimacy with a male alien. They looked at Wes, two creatures caught in a cosmic dance. “This isn’t what it looks like,” the man quivered, as if anything ever is what it looks like. Wes, a pilgrim of the absurd, shut the door. What is normal in a world gone mad?
A girl, wearing her naive philosophy across her chest—Free The Aliens—was being pursued by an alien. “Oh my god, why did I ever think freeing them was a good idea!?” she yelled, her voice a symphony of disillusionment. A naked man, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, ran past Wes. “I came here for snacks, but I ended up being the snack!” he cried, a metaphor of existence if there ever was one. A flying saucer, that whimsical product of the universe’s sense of humor, zoomed through the base. Inside, a man and an alien, both high on the irony of existence, smoked weed, their eyes redder than the devil’s backside. The cockpit was a carnival of smoke.
“I got my little alien homie! We out!” the pothead cheered, escaping one absurdity for another.
The saucer performed its cosmic joke, blasting a ray at the ceiling and flying into the sky, a metaphor for all those who seek to escape the world but carry it with them.
Wes, a lone traveler on the road of existence, kept looking around. But what he found was nothing, nothing but bodies of humans and aliens that surrounded him, a grim mosaic of the universe’s cruel art. And he understood, as all must, that in the great cosmic joke, we are but punchlines.
“Wes!” a voice cried out, piercing the galactic madness that surrounded them.
He turned, his mouth dropping in disbelief as though disbelief still had a place in this mad parade. There, a specter from his past, stood Heath.
“Heath,” Wes stammered, the name a relic of a simpler time. “How did-“
“Now’s not the time,” Heath interrupted, his words as rapid as the spinning world. “Time is running out, a thing it tends to do, and you must listen. I faked my death, so I could work on a project full time. The government, that behemoth of broken promises, killed John Namath and created the raid. They wanted the raid to happen, so they can give the dead bodies to the aliens we’ve been working with in exchange for more of their technology.”
“Working with?” Wes’s voice cracked like an old record. “Look around you, the aliens hate us, and who can blame them? They were locked in cages.”
“We lied to them,” Heath said, his voice a sad melody. “Told them that their fellow comrades were helping us. In reality, we kept them in cells to experiment on them. We bit off more than we could chew, a thing we humans are wont to do.”
A thunderous boom erupted from the sky, a drumbeat of doom, and the ground shook with cosmic laughter.
“What is that?” Wes asked, his voice a whisper in the chaos.
Heath took out a tablet, a modern oracle, and checked on it. He showed Wes the camera feed from the skies above, a display of numerous ships, all hovering like the Sword of Damocles.
“The freed aliens must’ve contacted their friends and told them what goes down here,” Heath sighed. “And now they’re pissed. It seems we’ve written a check our morality can’t cash. We had no idea the raid would be successful. We underestimated the power of stupidity.”
“So you guys screwed us, is that it?” Wes interrogated, his voice rising. “Got too greedy, betrayed your own race and the aliens, and now we’re all going to die in the cosmic joke?”
“No we’re not,” Heath informed him, a faint glimmer of hope in a dark universe.
He took out a futuristic watch, a symbol of mankind’s futile attempt to control time.
“What is this?” Wes asked, his eyes wide with the wonder of a child looking at the stars.
“It’s the project I had been working on,” Heath replied, his voice heavy with the weight of humanity’s folly and dreams.
Heath pressed a button, and like a magician pulling reality from his hat, a holographic projection of Earth popped up, surrounded by numbers in a cosmic dance. The year showed up, a digital proclamation of existence. Heath pressed another button, and a different year emerged from the ether.
“It’s time travel, Wes,” Heath announced, his voice imbued with the weariness of playing god. “I’m going back in time to stop John from dying to prevent all of this madness. Once I’m done, everything will be back to normal.” He paused. “Or as normal as things ever get.”
“Will you visit us then?” Wes asked, his voice clinging to the hope of something more human.
Wes smiled, and they embraced, two beings connected by a shred of something pure in a world gone awry. Heath’s smile vanished like a sunset.
“Look out!” he screamed, a siren call in the universe’s dark storm.
With a shove born of brotherly love, he pushed Wes out of the way. An alien, that tragic figure of misunderstanding, blasted Heath in the chest with his ray gun. Wes grabbed a gun, that timeless instrument of human folly, from the floor and shot the alien dead before another shot rang through the cosmic silence.
“Heath!” Wes cried, his voice a wound.
He rushed to his brother’s body, smoke rising from the gaping hole that had torn through his chest cavity, revealing the raw truth of mortality. Wes cried, tears as ancient as human sorrow, holding onto his brother’s hand.
“No, why!” he wept, his voice a question without an answer.
As he wept, his eyes, those windows to the soul, gazed at the watch. He grabbed it, the instrument of humanity’s audacious dance with time, and pressed a button. A portal opened up, a door to the unknown. He looked back at his brother’s corpse, a testament to the cruel joke of existence. The halls echoed with screams and gunfire, a symphony of chaos. A faint smile touched his face, a glimmer of something defiant.
“I’m going to make it better,” Wes whispered, his voice a promise to the universe.
He stepped into the portal, that gateway to the unknown, and vanished, leaving behind a world that was, perhaps, not quite ready to be understood.
Wes took the wild leap through the portal, landing himself backstage, hidden behind a nondescript curtain. On the other side of that fabric barrier was the sound of humanity, a crowd, their murmurs and laughs echoing in a way that told you something big was about to happen. A man in a suit, as crisp and orderly as a military general’s uniform, stood with his back to Wes, speaking to the thin air,
“This is it, John. The moment we’ve all been dancing around like crazed ants in the sun.”
“John Namath?” Wes called out, as casual as a request for the time of day.
John turned, his face pulling tight like a rubber band.
“How did you get in here?” he asked, a stammer in his voice like a record skipping.
“I don’t have time to explain, but if you march out there, you’re marching to your own funeral parade,” Wes said, his voice flat and matter-of-fact.
John chuckled, a dry sound that broke the air like a twig.
“Another conspiracy? Get outta here before I summon the gatekeepers of this place.”
“I’m from the future!” Wes yelled, his voice tinged with that peculiar desperation reserved for men who’ve seen too much. “If you really wore the Area 51 badge, you might remember a peculiar fellow by the name of Heath Dexter. Time travel was his party trick.”
John’s face froze, his eyes widening, then narrowing, a shock expression giving way to a blank look that said more than words.
“That’s it; I’m calling the guardians of this realm,” he asserted.
Wes’s only reply was a coarse,
“Fuck it.” He pressed on his watch and vanished with the kind of casual defiance that only a man unstuck in time could muster.
When Wes reappeared, he threw an old rusted rifle at John’s feet. A relic of a bygone era, a weapon that had seen death and had been held by hands long turned to dust.
“I got that off a dead soldier in World War 1. You believe me now?” Wes asked, his voice dripping with that timeless fatigue that comes from knowing too much and being able to do too little about it.
John’s mouth gaped like the entrance to some forbidden cave, his whole body trembling as though plugged into the very current of the universe.
“Impossible,” he said, but the word hung in the air like a poorly tailored suit.
“You better believe it because time’s a wastin’,” Wes explained, his voice as casual as a weather report. “The big boys in their ivory tower have set you up as the patsy. They’ve planned a date with death for you during your speech. You know, ruffle some feathers, get the masses riled up, make them storm Area 51 by the millions. A public spectacle for public consumption.”
John’s eyes were two horrified moons.
“What the fuck?” he managed to stammer.
Wes chuckled, a sad sound like a broken violin.
“That’s just the hors d’oeuvres, my friend. They want to hand over the cold, dead bodies from the battle as a friendly gift to our extraterrestrial neighbors. A morbid exchange program for more shiny toys and gadgets.”
John was silent, his face a canvas painted with disbelief and terror.
“And that’s not the worst part,” Wes continued, leaning in as if about to share the secret recipe to Grandma’s apple pie. “The aliens, well, they don’t like being cooped up. They break free during the raid, and what follows is an invasion. Not just one alien race, mind you. Many. It’s like a cosmic family reunion, and Earth’s the unwitting host.”
He paused, looking John in the eye.
“It’s a bad scene, my friend. A really bad scene.”
John remained as still as a statue, his mind whirring, trying to mesh gears with the insanity he’d just heard. Then, as if the punchline to some cosmic joke had just hit him, he grinned and broke into laughter, much to Wes’ astonishment.
“Oh my god,” John laughed, the sound rich and knowing. “You really are a babe in the woods, aren’t you?” He looked at Wes like a cat eyeing a mouse that had just explained the meaning of life. “I’m in on the game, my naive friend. I know all about their little puppet show.”
“You do?” Wes asked, his voice a mix of shock and disbelief.
“Of course, I agreed to it!” John declared, his voice swelling with pride. He opened his suit jacket like a magician revealing a hidden rabbit, showing off a bulletproof vest. “My death will be a theatrical masterpiece. Afterward, they’ll whisk me off to some exotic land, a bag full of money in one hand, maybe a cocktail in the other. I hear South America has some fine sights to see.”
“You’re mad,” Wes spat, his words dripping with scorn. “I can’t believe you’d sell your soul, deceive the millions who looked up to you.”
John’s laughter was a cold thing now.
“What are you, fresh out of grade school? Wake the fuck up, this is America! A land where dreams are bought and sold like cattle at market. I’ll make sure to tweak their little plan for a happier ending. Thanks for the tip, kid!” He picked up the gun, aiming it at Wes with a grin. “You even brought me a party favor. How thoughtful!”
“Wait,” Wes stammered, his hands raised in the universal sign of ‘let’s talk about this.’ “You’ve got the story all wrong. You don’t get shot in the vest. You get a bullet in the head.”
John’s eyebrows shot up like startled birds.
“What?” he gasped, his voice suddenly small. “They wouldn’t!”
“You’re the frayed end of a thread, John. They’ll snip you without a second thought,” Wes said, his lips curling into a smirk. “You think you matter to them? That’s cute.”
Wes reached towards his pockets, the motion as deliberate and ominous as the ticking of a clock.
“Aye!” John barked, his gun a lethal extension of his arm, aimed at Wes’s heart.
“I’m just fetching my phone,” Wes said, his voice as calm as a Sunday morning. He pulled out his gadget, the device that had become a part of the human anatomy in the modern age, and went on a little virtual stroll across the world wide web. With a slide, the phone skated across the floor to John, who picked it up as if handling a fragile piece of history.
John’s eyelids sprang open, his eyes two horrified orbs.
“No,” he gasped, a word so small and yet so full of the human condition. “Why?”
Tears fell, each one a liquid testament to betrayal.
“Why!?” he cried, a question that echoed down the corridors of human history.
“Now you see,” Wes said, his voice dripping with the kind of wisdom that only comes from disillusionment. “They don’t give a damn about you, me, or the human race. It’s all a game of Monopoly to them, and we’re not even the players; we’re the pieces. So, my dear John, what’s your move?”
“What can I do?” John’s voice was a tremble, a leaf in the wind. “I’m already marked for the grave.”
Wes leaned in, his eyes full of that peculiar fire that burns in men who’ve stared into the abyss and come out the other side.
“Run, John, run like the wind. Find sanctuary in a place that’ll harbor the truth and spill the beans. Let the world know what’s hiding behind the curtain. Force their hand, and live to tell the tale.”
John’s throat worked as he swallowed, his Adam’s apple a bobbing ship in a stormy sea.
“There’s just one little hiccup,” John said, his voice as dry as a tomb. “I never worked at Area 51. Not one day. I’m just a puppet, my friend. A marionette with the government’s hand up my backside, dancing to their twisted tune.”
Wes’ jaw fell open like the door to a forgotten cellar.
“Are you kidding me with this?” Wes demanded, his voice cracking like a teenager’s. “Is this some kind of cosmic joke?”
John’s eyes were two dark wells.
“I’m sorry,” he said, his voice as flat as a pancake on Sunday morning. “I really screwed the pooch on this one. Made a mess of the whole universe.”
He put the rifle in his mouth, a metallic kiss of goodbye.
“No!” Wes yelled, his voice a desperate cry in the indifferent wilderness.
But John pulled the trigger, blowing his brains out in a symphony of destruction. It was over, just like that. The final punctuation on a sentence that had started long ago in a world that didn’t care about the words. Wes stood there, his body trembling like a leaf in a storm, staring at the corpse. The corpse of a man who had danced to a tune that nobody could hear but him.
“Ladies and gentlemen, John Namath!” a disembodied voice boomed, and the world held its breath.
Wes felt his heart, a small and frightened animal trapped in the cage of his chest. He sweated, not the kind of sweat that came from a good day’s work, but the kind that came from staring into the abyss and finding it staring back. He looked from the dead body to the curtains, lost in a sea of what-nows. Staring at the curtains, Wes gulped down a mouthful of terror. Game time, he thought, a stray piece of bravado in the chaos. The crowd clapped as the curtains danced open, their hands a percussion of expectation. But the sound died in their throats when they saw Wes, a lone figure with the weight of destiny on his shoulders, shuffle to the podium. The arena was a vacuum, a silence so profound it was almost loud.
“Where is John?” someone called, a voice in the wilderness. “We want John!”
The crowd found its voice, a chorus of discontent. Wes scanned the sea of faces, feeling the sweat on his brow like a baptism into a new and terrible reality.
“Everyone shut up!” he roared, and the arena obeyed.
A small smile played on his lips.
“John is in the John?” Wes ventured, a joke at the edge of the precipice.
The crowd chuckled, a sound like rain on a tin roof, and Wes felt a tiny island of relief. Meanwhile, in a building nearby, a man with a sniper rifle pointed at Wes was a cold instrument of fate. An earpiece, a lifeline to the puppet masters, nestled in his ear.
“Sir,” he spoke, his voice a razor. “You want me to take this kid out?”
“No. Stick to the plan and wait for John,” the voice replied, as calm as a funeral. “We can’t afford him getting away if shots get fired too early.”
Back on the stage, Wes’s mind whirred like a machine, gears clicking into place. Then his eyes lit up like two stars in the dark night. He rolled up his sleeve, exposing the watch, the key to everything. He raised it in the air, a beacon in a world gone mad.
“I am from the future,” Wes announced, his voice quivering like a rabbit in the jaws of a wolf. The crowd laughed, a sound like birds taking flight.
“You don’t believe me?” Wes chuckled, a sound out of place in a world turned upside down. He fiddled with the watch, a piece of the future strapped to his wrist. “Well, believe this, my friends!”
With a flourish, he pressed a button, and the fabric of reality tore open. A portal appeared, a door to the unknown, and Wes leaped in like a man diving into his own destiny. He reemerged, triumphant, holding the limp and otherworldly body of an alien.
“Behold!” he roared. “An alien from the raid on Area 51, in the future no less!” He reached into his pocket and produced a futuristic pistol, an instrument of science fiction turned fact. “And this!” He fired it into the air, a blue bolt of pure energy, a scream from the future.
The crowd had become a sea of phones, recording the spectacle, the madness, the truth.
“You want me, motherfuckers!” Wes screamed, his voice raw with defiance. “They know the truth now! So come on and shoot me if you like! I’m right here!” The words hung in the air like smoke after a fire.
But the expected gunshot never came, the expected screams never sounded. Wes opened his eyes to find the crowd still recording, still watching, their disbelief transformed into something new: belief. He tossed the alien and gun to the ground, artifacts of a world gone mad.
“Now you know what’s in Area 51,” he declared, his voice a clarion call to reason. “But don’t use violence or raid the base like they want. You will all die.”
Everyone’s eyes remained locked on Wes, as if magnetized by his message, his plea for sanity in a world gone mad.
“Do it peacefully through protests,” Wes implored, his voice resonating with a wisdom beyond his years. “Call these politicians to force them to call for hearings. Get them to put the CIA and other officials on trial to release all the information.”
His words were a cry in the wilderness, a beacon in the night, a dream of a better world. And then, without warning, the dream shattered. A gunshot rang out, a sound as cold and final as the grave. Wes’ head exploded, a grisly punctuation to his message, his life, his hope. The crowd screamed and scattered like leaves before a storm. Out of the chaos, a figure leaped onto the stage, his eyes wild, his soul lost. He snatched the watch from Wes’ dead hand, a prize, a trophy, a symbol of something he couldn’t understand.
“It’s mine!” the man cheered, his voice a hollow echo of triumph.
His joy was short-lived. Another gunshot, another death. The man’s body slumped next to Wes, two corpses in a world that no longer made sense. Two men in black, faceless and emotionless, emerged from the shadows. They retrieved the watch, placed it in a briefcase, and disappeared behind the curtains, unnoticed, unremarked, forgotten.
In a laboratory, under the hum of fluorescent lights and surrounded by the cold clatter of metal and machinery, two men gazed down upon their creation. One man, wrapped in the arrogance of a suit, stood next to another, adorned in the white lab coat of a scientist. Their eyes fixed on the rooms below, filled with the stuff of dreams and nightmares, aliens in capsules, advanced weaponry, and secrets.
“It’s a mess,” the suit lamented, his voice dripping with contempt. “Politicians, media, the public… They want to know everything. In a few months, we’ll be shut down.” His face contorted into a smirk. “Unless.”
“Unless what?” the lab coat inquired, his voice trembling on the edge of something he couldn’t quite grasp.
“This is your design,” the suit said, slapping the scientist’s back with a hollow camaraderie. “You know how to use it. It’s a finished product now.”
Opening a briefcase, the suit revealed a time-traveling watch, its face stained with blood. A token from a future that was never meant to be.
“Go back in time and kill the kid before he could ever stop the assassination of John,” the suit instructed, his voice dripping with malice. “Then our plan goes on as we wanted it.”
“But it doesn’t seem right,” the scientist stammered, his voice cracking. “What’s so bad about selling millions of bodies to aliens for technology? We do it all the time.”
The suit laughed, a hollow, soulless sound.
“Just do your job. It’s just one kid. That shouldn’t be a problem, right?”
The scientist took the watch, his hands trembling, tears in his eyes.
“That’s good,” the suit whispered, a snake’s grin on his face. “It’s like it was destiny.”
The suit’s laughter echoed through the room, a chilling reminder of how far they had come, how far they had fallen. The scientist looked at the blood-stained watch, his heart heavy, his soul aching. The man in the suit, a personification of corporate malice, sat sipping his coffee, the rich aroma mingling with the sterile air of his secret lair. Then the alarm screamed, jarring him from his thoughts. The computer showed footage of the scientist, Heath, his face twisted with determination, burning the watch.
“What the fuck!?” he yelled, his voice filled with rage and disbelief.
The room burst into chaos as the suit and a phalanx of armed guards stormed in.
“What the hell are you doing!?” the suit screamed at Heath.
“You son of a bitch! You killed Wes!” Heath’s voice broke, his words a raw wound.
The suit’s face contorted into a smile, a grotesque parody of joy.
“Wes? Oh shit! That kid was your brother, Heath? What are you sad about, you’re the one who asked for your death to be faked, so you could get away.”
Heath’s eyes, filled with sorrow and defiance, met the suit’s.
“Doesn’t mean I don’t love him.”
The suit’s laughter was cold, a sound devoid of humanity.
“After we kill you, we’ll kill him in the past, and yo momma! It’ll be a family reunion.”
A pause. A standoff. A decision.
“Wait!” Heath’s voice cut through the tension. He revealed his finger on a red button on the watch. “You kill me, my finger goes off this button, and we all blow up with this entire building.”
“Bullshit,” the suit spat, his voice dripping with contempt.
The room was charged with uncertainty, with fear, with the knowledge that something terrible was about to happen.
“I said shoot him!” the suit yelled, his voice cracking.
The soldiers hesitated, their eyes darting between Heath and the suit.
“Sir, he may be telling the truth,” one of them ventured.
“I didn’t ask for your opinion!” the suit snarled, grabbing a rifle and firing.
Heath’s body crumpled, his finger slipping off the button, his life extinguished in a heartbeat.
“Back to work!” the suit yelled, his laughter echoing through the room. “That motherfucker thought he could fool me.”
The suit’s laughter continued, a sound that would haunt those who heard it, a sound that spoke of cruelty, of arrogance, of a soul lost.
Then a beep. A pause. A realization.
“Oh shit,” the suit whispered, his voice barely a breath.
The world exploded, a fireball of destruction that consumed everything, the entire building reduced to ashes and rubble.
In a sad and splintered corner of a tired universe, nestled in a coffee shop that smelled vaguely of despair and old jazz records, people were staring at a flickering screen. They watched, their faces tinged with the subtle hues of a world too complicated to understand.
US AIRFORCE FACILITY AKA AREA 51 DESTROYED IN AN EXPLOSION, the headline bellowed. The fire, like a distant red flower, bloomed miles away from the tired lens of the camera recording it.
One character, a human with a voice that knew only the loudest decibel, rose to his feet, his hands trembling with indignation and too much caffeine.
“Hey everybody!” he screamed, breaking the sacred silence of apathy. “The government destroyed Area 51 to hide evidence. I say we raid the White House for answers!”
And then the unexpected happened: everyone cheered. It was a sad sort of cheering, the kind that comes from people too broken to be broken any further.
***6 months later
Time, being the relentless monster that it is, dragged us to the Oval Office. A man, breathless and with the look of someone who had seen too much, stumbled in.
“Sir, the raid on the White House just broke 12 million participants. They got people coming all over the world, including government officials from different countries.”
The chair turned, as chairs do when burdened with the weight of presidents, revealing the commander of it all, with a cigar that smoldered like the end of the world and an M-4 cocked like an afterthought. He smiled. It was not a happy smile.
“Let the games begin,” he said, and somewhere in the distance, a clock ticked, marking the beginning of something or the end of everything.
It’s hard to tell, really, in a universe so tired and splintered. Outside the gates of the White House, where power and lunacy often danced hand in hand, the raiders amassed, armed with the weapons of both the furious and the desperate. There were gardeners with pitchforks and bankers with baseball bats, teachers wielding signs that said “Truth!” and students gripping cans of spray paint. There were shotguns and smartphones, all mixed together in a riotous ballet of chaos. Reporters, those brave vultures of truth, were circling, their cameras hungry for the madness, their microphones thirsting for the words that would explain the inexplicable. Police, dressed in the armor of a world gone mad, were lining up too, their faces masks of confusion and dread, their riot shields reflecting a reality too strange to be real. They were the defenders of an order that had stopped making sense, guardians of a fortress that had become a symbol of all that was hidden and wrong. And in the midst of it all, the President sat and smoked his cigar, a puppeteer who had perhaps cut his own strings.
It was a scene of lunacy, of a world that had lost its way, of people who had forgotten why they were fighting but knew they had to fight. It was a circus and a tragedy, a comedy and a war, all wrapped up in one impossible moment. And as the sun dipped lower, casting a bloody glow on a day that would surely be remembered, the air seemed to hum with the words of an old and tired universe: “And so it goes.”