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It was a long day at work and all I wanted to do was head home, pop open a beer and play some Destiny.  It was the latest triple ‘A’ title released and it was great fun.  I sat in my cubical and spent the last 30 minutes looking up WTF pictures until the clock ticked four and I was a free man.

As my luck would have it the only spot available was at the very end of the parking lot when I arrived earlier in the day.  It was winter, I was cold, and by the time I got to my car I was grumpy.  Unlocking it I got in and let it warm up.  As my windshield slowly defogged I saw a note.  Great had to get out of my warm car, I was not impressed.

Ripping the note from the under the wiper blade I began to read it.  “The World is ending call 843-2632.  We need your help to save the world.”  I looked at the note and laughed. Some asshole co-worker was playing with me because who ever it was found out I liked video games.  I may be 35 but I like gaming so what if I like getting lost in an imaginary world now and then and get to play a hero saving digital worlds.  I tore the note up and tossed it out my window thinking nothing of it.

I arrived home in a pissed off mood and got my beer and went online.  Xbox Live was down.  Great!  I sat there looking at the green and black screen when my apartment building started to shake.  My first thought was I live in Ontario it’s not earthquake central like LA.  I looked out my window and saw a fireball moving though the sky.  “Shit.  I should’ve called that number.”  My cell phone flashed with a text message from 843-2632 it read.  “Asshole”.  I finished my beer with a front row seat to the end of the world.

The End

I never really consider the consequences of life when you’re living it.  I was never one for church or repenting of my many sins but I hope that the good things I did in life would out weight the bad.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  It would seem I did very little good.

On the day of my death I wondered if I would see the light and be whisked away to a beautiful place.  But that was not the case.  I could see my friends standing around me, which were few.  I never married so there were no tears being shed by a grieving widow.  Hell I was only forty years old.  But when my friend pulled the plug on the machine that helped me breath my soul stepped from its body and a strange thing happened.  The world around me faded away.  Like a heavy fog in the early morning it slowly disappeared.  And what surrounded me was an empty space it was like living on a white board.

I walked for what felt like an eternity before I came to a large desk, it reminded me of something you’d find in a courtroom.  Suddenly a large being appeared behind the desk, I jumped in shock not expecting that, thinking a door would open or some being would gently appear.  This creature didn’t look male or female, but it had a bright light swirling around it along with a glow of flames.  I stood there looking up at this giant Omni sexual being.

‘It’s judgment day.’  The voice echoed around the empty space like a song on repeat, never ending.  I couldn’t believe it, I thought judgment day was a joke to scare people in to going to church.  The echoes only ended when the being spoke again.  ‘You have spent only eight hours in church, but the way you lived your life has defined your true character.  Bully in high school and a bully in the work place.  Tell me did you have fun stepping on people in order to get raises and get that seat on the board?  Did you ever consider what you were doing to the other person?’

I just looked at the creature, not sure what to say.  I was surprised that this was happening.  But before I could answer or speak for my good deeds the creature continued.  ‘Let it be noted that the man in question has no reasons for the way he treated people.  I sentence you to the door of horns.’

‘Wait what?  I have something to say.  Please I’m sorry.’

‘Sorry…you sorry?  Those people are sorry their lives destroyed by your actions.  Door of Horns, please enter.’

I shook my head and walked around the desk.  The creature disappeared and I looked at the door of Halo’s, damn I knew where I was going.  Panic started to rise deep with in my eternal soul.  I didn’t want to go to Hell.  I ran to the door of Halos and pulled on the doorknob.  It didn’t budge.

I screamed and yelled to be let in but nothing.  Then the door of horns slammed open and a great wind blew out of it.  The wind was scorching as it swirled around me, I could feel invisible hands clutching at me pulling me.  The invisible wind was dragging me to the door.  I hung on to the doorknob but my grip failed and I flew through the door of Horns hearing it slam behind me.

It was hot and in the shadows I could see things moving.  Screams lit up the surrounding area but I had no idea where they were coming from.  In the distance I could see buildings that were aflame, a sky that shimmered like coals.  A dark shadow against the red horizon was heading my way and I thought to myself hell I wish I had my sunglasses.

 

The End

I looked out the window at the fading suns, the reds, blues, and pinks caresses the horizon in a display of color that I have never seen before.  It was fitting considering it maybe one of the last I see on my home world

Against my parent’s wishes I had joined the explorations unit of D.S.E.  I had heard stories of great men and women discovering new races at various stages of evolution, planets that seemed ripe for colonies only to have monsters that would tear you limb from limb and worlds where you’d think no life could exist only to find a thriving metropolises.  The danger that went along with joining the D.S.E I’d like to think was the main reason my parent’s were concern about me join.  The concerns they had didn’t stop me, I wanted a life of adventure, not routine and boredom.

 

At 1700 all the new recruits gathered in the intergalactic map room for orientation and assignments.  A few of my friends had spoken about going to unexplored regions where they would be in deep hibernation on their ships only to wake fifty years later and have only aged a day.  They’d return heroes like the space explorers of years before.  The idea of waking from deep sleep to find that your loved ones had passed on and that the world your loved had change was something I wasn’t sure I’d want to come home to.  If you came home at all.  Deep space missions were the most dangerous kind.

“Hey Giblet, how’s it going?”

I turned and looked over my shoulder and saw Larry and Bob standing behind me.  Giblet was a nickname I gotten in school because I once peed my pants during a Halloween haunted house.  Not my best moment, but I was only five.  I wondered if anyone here knew my real name?  Then again Dick isn’t much better then Giblet…to think of it I’d rather be called Giblet then Dick.  “Good, any idea where they might send you”’

“‘I hope deep space, that’s what I checked off in the survey.”

“I checked off the Helix Galaxy.”  Bob said as he came to stand on the other side of me.

“What did you check off?”  Larry looked at me.

“I check off undecided.”

Larry and Bob passed a quick look of confusion between the two of them.

“What do you mean undecided.  All you talked about when we were kids was going to deep space and becoming a hero.”

“I guess I changed my mind.”  I shrugged.

 

“Attention!”  The chief officer entered the cramped room, with twenty new cadets it was shoulder to shoulder standing room only.  Everyone came to attention and in behind him walked Space Commander Zed.  He was said to have discovered the mining colony Serg that gave us an abundance of Cel-Gel warming coolant for our space engines.

“At ease fella’s.”  He looked around the room eyeing everyone.  When he met my eyes I felt a shiver flow through me.  “Well right here I have all your assignments.”  He tapped his finger against a v-log.  “Some of you will be very happy but in here is a classified long term assignment.  Before we get in to assigned duties, I need a volunteer for this long term off planet integration assignment.”  He looked around the room at everyone, probably trying to see who might raise their hand, but no one was jumping to accept it.  Integration missions were long term sometimes life sentences and that wasn’t for everyone.

“Okay you need more information huh.  I can tell you this assignment has a life span of 30 years, you will assimilate in to the culture, and you will try to prevent an all-out extinction of the planet by influencing it through new discoveries.  Of course this discoveries will simply be the invention of technology that we already have but used to bring a fractured world together.”

“A babysitting assignment!”  Someone yelled out in disappointment.

‘Who said that!’  The Chief looked around annoyed and ready to hang someone.

“It’s alright chief.  We believe that the planet Earth is worth saving.  They have come a long way but with world destruction looming and the great wars that consumed many countries, they require leadership, and we need someone here to help guide them.”

Bob leaned over and whispered loud enough that Larry and I could hear.  “Who would want that job?  I don’t want to go there, not to that brown shit ball of a planet.  Hell it will probably implode before whoever decided to do this gets there.”

“This will also grant you early retirement after your return to your home world after the thirty years.  So before I pick someone anyone want to volunteer?”

I looked at Bob and Larry, they look around wondering who would be dumb enough to take it.  “I’ll do it sir!”  I yelled out.  Bob and Larry looked at me in shock.

“What’s your name?”

“Private Dick Space sir.”

“Will Mr. Dick Space, the job is yours.  Come get your itinerary.”

I stepped forward and took the v-log and looked down at it.  On the screen in big bold red letters is said Confidential.

“I suggest you leave Dick Space, you have a long journey to pack for and some reading to do.”  Zed looked to the Chief.  “Show him to his new quarters where he will be staying until mission goes active.”

“Yes sir.”  Chief said.

I turned my head and looked over my shoulder at Bob and Larry who were still wide eyed as they watched me leave.  I still wasn’t sure how I felt about them, but maybe on Earth I’d meet someone else and make new friends.  Maybe even end up saving a planet.  One thing I did know is that on Earth I could be anyone I wanted to be.

 

The End

February 9, 2015

 

Glossary

D.S.E – Deep Space Exploration

“Roy it wasn’t that bad, you did good. You got a few laughs.”
I gave Derek a sarcastic stare my show was the exact opposite of good. Derek and I had been best friends since grade five. Right now I didn’t need my best friend what I needed was a break. I couldn’t go back to my job on Monday, the very thought of going back to Coffee-N-Go serving those over privileged, skinny jean wearing, metrosexual, make up wearing, wannabe’s that were born to trust funds just ticked me off. And after tonight’s failure seeing them would pull that wound open and pour salt on it. “A few laughs, I need more then a few laughs. Damn it Derek I’m going to be the first act for the rest of my life with just a few laughs. You know what maybe I’ll get an arena gig with just a few laughs. Maybe that cute blond in the front row would get with me with just a few laughs.” This conversation was not helping me. Hell I was not helping myself with all this sarcastic bull shit.
“Look, dude I know you’re upset. I thought it was funny and I’m sure a few other people did. How about we go get a few drinks hit on a few girls and tomorrow we’ll work on your stand up for your next gig?”
“Derek you weren’t on stage when that drunk started to laugh, everyone looked around for the one guy laughing at my jokes, it was embarrassing.“ From deep down a heavy sight escaped, like a wave crashing before the calm. “I have a gig next Saturday but I think I’m going to cancel.” I shook my head. “Hit on girls? What so they can turn me down and I can embarrass myself again? That will make me feel much better.” I said sarcastically.
“Don’t cancel, let’s go get a few drinks and think of tonight as a learning experience.”
“Everything is a bloody learning experience. My first time kissing a girl was a learning experience, my first time driving a car was a learning experience, my first time getting the crabs was a learning experience. I’m tired of putting nights like this behind me. For once Derek I want to walk out of a venue and have everyone waiting for me to sign autographs. To get that killer paycheck, that is what I need to have happen.”
“It will come.”
“I’m not so sure, I’ll be collecting social security before I’m funny.” With that Derek shut up and we walked in silence to the pub.

We made our way to Flanagans. A pub that served decent food and it wasn’t to far from where I lived. So after I was finished drowning my sorrows I could stumble my unfunny self home.
“Hey Roy, Derek, how’d tonight go?” I looked at Amanda, she was new to Flanagans but every time I was here she was. I considered it luck on my part, as she was easy on the eyes. After the night I had, any distraction would be appreciated.
“It went really good Amanda, how’s your night going?” I said.
“Good, the tips could be better. When is your next show?”
“Next Saturday, you should come. “ As soon as I said it I regretted it.
“Maybe I will, give me a joke. If I laugh I’ll come and the first round is on the house.”
“Sure, what the hell.” Derek and I looked at each other for a brief unsettling moment. It was to late now I had to go through with it, good or bad. “Okay Amanda. A little girl puts a quarter in to a gum machine, and a human tooth comes out. The little girl looks up at her mom and says Mommy I found where the tooth fairy lives.”
Amanda looked at me then to Derek, “It’s $7.50 beer night.”

Sitting in the living room Johnny had his Holo-Mask on that allowed him to project images on to surfaces throughout his home. It allowed him to do everything from watching T.V, playing video games, and surfing the web. Using hand jesters Johnny skipped through pages of the VirtWeb looking at cars. Lately Johnny was obsessed with cars ever since his father had told him about the car his grandfather had once owned.
Johnny found it hard to believe that cars once rolled on wheels and a person actually had to control it. These were things that he had trouble picturing. But he was determined to find videos or images of people driving cars.

The VirtWeb was full of information, the days of the Internet had come and gone and so did the adult videos and pictures that filled up 90% of it. Society embraced knowledge and information over gluttony and lustful urges. No longer did YouTube serve up videos of guys kicking other guys in the balls, or girls bouncing their tits so they could get famous. Now YouTube was all instructional videos and a learning resource where schools and other education facilities posted classes. It was a future where traveling across the country to attend an Ivy League College was no longer necessary.

Johnny was excited. He finally stumbled upon an automotive history v-log and was able to see some of the videos of men and women driving cars. It was the first time he had seen a steering wheel or cars actually sitting on tires and not hovering silently above the ground.
‘Dad! I found something…come here quick and bring your Holo-Mask.’ Johnny flipped through more pictures and videos until he stopped at an image of an old Corvette. The picture had captivated his mind as he waited for his father.
‘What did you find son?’ Dad linked in with his Holo-Mask and soon the same image popped up on his screen. ‘That is a beauty, I had a poster of that car on my wall as kid and worked hard to own such a vehicle.’
‘Dad, what color is that? I have never seen a color like that before. Our cars no longer look like that or come like that, with the nano-paint that keeps cars clean and in perfect condition.’
‘Yeah, it’s a shame too. I know the nano-paint is used to absorb the energy from the sun and to power the cars, but back then son paint was an expression of the owner. Ahh, the color is candy red I’d say.’
Johnny cooed. ‘Can we go to the automotive museum this Saturday? I’d really like to learn more about old cars.’
‘Sure son, I’d like that.’ Dad put his arm around his son as the continued to flip through old images of cars. A smile was on his face as Dad got to relive his youth and share his passion of cars with his son.

The End

J.C. Fredricks

“Kids do you have your permission slips?” Miss Ackorn said looking around at her students as they held the permission slips in the air. “Good, now hand them off to Andy, our operator for this trip and then take your seats. Make sure you fashion all safety harnesses.

The well behaved kids formed a single line and all walked into the time travelling school bus handing their signed permission slips to Andy as he scanned them in to the travel log. Once all the children were inside Andy stood at the front of the bus and looked back at the seated children.
“Okay here are the rules on this trip, you will always keep your arms and legs inside the bus at all times until we have arrived. Do not get separated from the group, if you do find yourself lost, please press your locator beacon that we have provided and a rescue team will be bought in to find you. The most important thing to remember is to listen to all instructions issued by your teacher Miss Ackorn and myself. Everybody understand?”
“Yes Andy!” The children said together.
“Good, any questions?” Andy asked but no hands went up.
“Good let’s get this show on the road!” Andy turned to take the controls of the bus as the kids cheered behind him. Every one excited for todays field trip.

With in seconds they had travelled back to the prehistoric period, the doors of the school bus opened and the children lined up to exit.
“Okay kids should a dinosaur show itself…” Before Miss Ackorn could finish a ginger haired kid ran past her and out in to the prehistoric forest.
“Ha-ha look at me, first one out!” Larry started to take giant steps and shorted his hands. “Look at me I’m a scary T-Rex, rarrrrr!” Larry looked back at the bus and noticed that all the kids stared at him with shock and terror on their faces, not the humor he expected. The school bus doors closed and Andy hit the emergency button. They return to 2164.

“Here you are sir, Larry, as good as new. We downloaded the latest memory back up and he should be up to date. But we must advise that you inform your child the safety of staying alive. Cloning technology can only do so much and this is the third time your child has perished on a field trip. You know that we cannot guarantee accuracy past the 4th generation. So do take care, your son is running out of second chances.”
“Yes of course, we will have a stern talking with Larry tonight.” Larry’s father flashed him a stern glare. “He will have a leash around his neck for the next little while.”
“Good day.” The Doctor said.
“Thank you Doc.”

The End.

A small black zodiac raced towards an oil tanker that moved slowly through the waters off the coast of British Columbia. Lightening flashed across the night sky as the zodiac pulled up beside the tanker. Carpenter moved a hydraulic arm in to place stretching from the zodiac to the hull. At the end of the arm was a powerful magnet used to hold the zodiac in place.
Once secure to the hull Carpenter checked the magazine of his glock 30 pulling the slide back, happy with the action, he tucked the silenced weapon in to the holster under his left arm. Sliding on two highly engineered gloves that featured webbing over the palm and fingers he placed his hand against the hull. The weave held firmly as he started to scale the tankers hull. Each movement had to be calculated and measured, the glove had to make contact on tanker’s hull at a certain angle or he would have no grip and fall to the dark waters below.
Peeking over the edge Carpenter spotted two sentries on the deck. With a smooth roll of his right hand the glove peeled of the hull. The glock was in his hand and with two quick shots the sentries fell dead. Hauling himself aboard the deck of the tanker he dragged the dead bodies to cover.

Checking his watch quickly he had only thirty minutes before the terrorist organization called Shadow Group launched an Environmental Disrupter. He had first seen the weapon in use over a small island in the Atlantic on a computer screen during a visit to a secret CISIS bunker in B.C. When the device was detonated it took seconds for the island to break apart and disappear under the aqua colored waters. Everyone in the room stood in sheer awe and terror of what they had just seen.
His orders were simple destroy the weapon, the ship, and a K.O.S order was issued for the leader of Shadow Group a ruthless Canadian who called himself Lucius.
Carpenter moved to the bridge house, locating a staircase he followed it down until he was below the water line. Setting C4 charges on the hull he heard voices coming from behind him. Moving to the dark shadows behind the staircase he pressed himself against the cold steel of the bulkhead. The flat black clothing he wore blended him perfectly in to the shadows.
Two men holding AK’s stopped in front of him, he knew that he could easily kill the two with his combat knife but in this case it would be better to leave them. It would be nearly impossible to conceal the bodies below deck.
He listened to the men talk briefly about being at sea to long and the need for female company. In the back of Carpenter’s mind a clock ticked down and if these men didn’t move on soon he would have no choice but to end them.

Lucius paced the bridge of the ship. The hard steel walls had been retrofitted with a bulletproof glass dome giving him a 360-degree view. He looked to Macabre who was a nasty fellow with a long scar that ran down the middle of his face. “Have the Canadians and Americans paid yet?”
“No word on the money transfer, perhaps 100 Billion was to much to ask. Maybe they are stalling.” Macabre shrugged.
Lucius glanced up at the clock. “Fifteen minuets to pay, lets see what they decide to do.” Lucius looked out at the deck of the ship, secretly hoping that the U.S and Canada would not pay. “Macabre one more thing. Don’t ever say I ask for too much. Or I’ll strap you to the rocket and fire you in to oblivion.”
Macabre nodded, he knew that a threat coming from Lucius was no threat at all.
An alarm sounded on the bridge, in unison Lucius and Macabre turned to look at the monitors.
“I knew they would send someone body.” Macabre said.
“Jack Carpenter.” Lucius said without hesitation, he knew CISIS would send their best agent. “We are to close to let a cockroach ruin everything. Would you mind going to greet our guest?” Lucius asked.
“Not at all.” Macabre cracked his knuckles.
Lucius reached for a tranq gun and loaded it with a dart filled with a yellowish liquid. “Keep his attention Macabre, I’ll do the rest.”

Lights hung from steel rafters swaying back and forth as the storm slammed against the hull of the tanker. Carpenter bent over the control panel on the first of seven rockets trying to shut it down. The dim lights in the hold brightened up and he found himself surrounded by men armed with various types of automatic weapons.
“Hey Jack how have you been?” Macabre said with a cruel smile. “And could you please back away from the control panel? I’d hate to get blood over my boss’s new toys.”
Carpenter stood there and backed off the control panel turning to look at Macabre. “I see you are still hanging around with that pile of shit.”
“He doesn’t pretend to be more then what he is. Unlike CISIS with offices full of wannabe spies sitting behind workstations pretending they are playing Call of Duty. Besides he pays better then CISIS ever did.”
“How much does it cost to buy an agent now a days?” Carpenter needed to keep him talking. The disarm sequence had be initiated and was almost at 100%.
“Carpenter you wait, one day your country will sell you out. When you are on the other side you will see how easy it is operate with lack of rules, regulations, and red tape.”
Carpenter looked around at the men that had him surrounded. “What now Macabre?” He still had an ace up his sleeve and would blow the C4. “At least my hands are clean of innocent blood.”
“Don’t fool yourself Carpenter you have a trail of blood just as long as I do. The only difference is I’m paid better. Now why don’t you come down off that platform and we can go somewhere and chat?”
Carpenter smiled and instead of climbing down the metal staircase he leaped over the edge and took cover behind one of the legs of the platform. He pulled out the remote detonator and held it in his hand. His thumb hovered over the glowing green button.
There was a puff of expelled air then he felt a sting in his shoulder. He looked over and saw Lucius standing there. Carpenter’s mind sent a signal to his thumb to press the button but his thumb did not move.
Lucius walked up the platform and ended the disarm sequence then stared down at Carpenter from the top of the platform “I am lost for words. I expected more from an agent with your caliper Carpenter, figure that outwitted by a piece of shit. In case you are wondering why you can’t move, you have been infected with a nasty little concoction I created. It paralyzes you, but as you can see you can still breath. This is so I can get hands on.” Lucius looked at Macabre. “Take him to the bridge, I want him to see the show.”
“My pleasure.” Macabre walked up to Carpenter. “I’ll take that detonator if you don’t mind.” Then smacked him over the side of the head with the butt of his pistol rendering Carpenter unconscious.
“The rest of you find the explosives, check below the water line. Once you find them toss them over the side, I don’t want any chance of the explosives going off on their own.” Lucius said on his way back to the bridge.

Up on the bridge Carpenter woke to find himself kneeling with his hands tied behind his back and his feet tied at the ankle. “You wont get away with this.”
“Ah he has come around, Carpenter I highly doubt there is anyone here to stop me. Your superiors had to much confidence in you and because they have not paid they will pay the price for your failure and their ignorance.” Lucius looked over to Macabre. “Hand me your pistol.”
Carpenter’s knees started to sting from kneeling on the steel grated floor. He could see the deck of the oil tanker beginning to open and the tips of the seven rockets peeking through. “You’re wrong, I am not alone. I do have back up.”
Lucius shook his head. “You have a false sense of hope my friend. But at least you have faith that someone somewhere is doing something.”
“I have it because I trust those around me, I have faith in my country and the men and women that serve her.” Carpenter snapped.
“I have faith that once the world witnesses the end to North America that I will be a very rich man. And they will keep paying me from bringing all they know and love to an abrupt end.”
“So you’re not going to tell me your master plan? It’s just all about money?” Carpenter was running out of time he had to try to stall until he found away free of his bonds.
“Carpenter you have seen to many Hollywood movies if you think I am going to tell you my master plan.” Putting the pistol to Carpenter’s head. “This is a real gun and inside are real bullets and I’m not reading from any script, no one is going to yell cut. You just have to realize that there are no hero’s left. You’re a dying breed.” Pulling the trigger there was an echoing pop that sent pieces of skull and brain on the floor behind Carpenter as his body fell over dead. “Please dump him over the side. I want to be able to enjoy this.” Lucius turned his attention back to the rockets that were now on deck. “Macabre say hello to a new world.”
“Hello new world.” Macabre chuckled thinking that he would like this new world now that Carpenter was no longer apart of it.
The tanker started to vibrate with the sheer power of the rockets engine as it blasted. Lucius and Macabre watched it until it looked like a star in the sky. They had lost sight of it until the sky lite up like it was on fire. North America was coming to an end and the rise of the world’s greatest villain had begun.

The End.