Another giant wave story, but this time the waves weren’t exactly natural…
It started with my working in a hotel room near the top of a giant high-rise.
I was working for a company where most of the employees worked in a ridiculous cubicle farm, so I was gloating how awesome it was to have my own private bathroom only a few feet away, not to mention a gorgeous, bird’s eye view of the city from out my window.
And that’s when the first wave hit.
They came in sets like a tsunami and were just unfathomable in height – the first few I watched in horror from the balcony, but then I quickly ran inside when I realized that the next one was going to be tall enough to cover my own room on the 19th floor of this hotel. The windows certainly weren’t meant for that kind of pressure and were quickly shattered as the water came crashing in…
I was floating halfway up in the room when they finally subsided and the waters slowly began to recede.
That’s when he appeared – a man in a dramatic cape, floating over the wreckage and cackling that the worst was still yet to come. A number of black whirlpools swirled in the waters around the city, and then an even bigger wave came – one that was big enough to topple the building itself.
I remembered seeing the concrete from the ceiling crashing down from a distance, and I braced for it as best I could as I took my final breath. For some reason I had Cleo with me, and I clenched her leash tightly as I held her close. Then everything went black as the ceiling above our heads followed suit.
A few days later, I woke up in another part of town, but she didn’t make it.
I found myself in hiding in the middle of a much larger skyscraper, taken in by a group of people who had survived – many of whom I already knew and one who was a very good friend. The invaders had wanted only to make a point, not to decimate everything, so the larger structures in the city were still in tact … in fact, it was believed that the one we were in also had a faction of them in the lower floors, so we had to be very careful about making noise and attracting attention so as to not give away our location.
From our hideout in the center of this building, we watched and waited as the invaders took up residence. We had no idea how widespread their presence was beyond the city, and we didn’t dare to use wireless communications for fear of being detected.
Over time I grew to become one of the leaders of our rebellion, though for the life of us we didn’t have any idea how to stand a chance against this foreign body. The waves continued to ebb in and out, though there really wasn’t much left for them to destroy at that point. Miraculously there were still some buildings on the outskirts of town that seemed to escape the wrath of the waves, leading us to believe that maybe they had been isolated to focus on the city itself, and that maybe there was hope yet for the rest of the world that we had been cut-off from.
One day in exploring our building, we came to find that there was another group of people we knew only a few stories higher than us and it was very disturbing to find that they weren’t being nearly as discrete as we were about their location. Where as our group of maybe twenty took refuge not in the regular rooms of the hotel, but in a hidden storage area located on the interior of the building without direct access to the building’s windows, they were enjoying the incredible views as if they were on vacation, with some taking up shop in these unique hotel rooms that jutted out from the corners of the building with glass floors to look out onto everything below.
…which seemed like the perfect way to get spotted if someone were to look as they were flying by…
After lecturing the group about survival and showing them what we had been doing ourselves, myself and a friend continued onward and found a locked door that seemed particularly curious. Breaking open the lock, we climbed another set of stairs and walked into an expansive private movie theater, set to seat maybe twenty with a massive screen that filled the entire wall and was probably at least twenty feet high.
The two of us sat down here to take a break and surprisingly found out that the entire system was still powered. Noting that the room was cleverly sound-proofed, we went back and closed the door below, and then settled in to watch a couple of videos and forget about the war happening around us for a short while. In the disc player was a sampler of some intense action movies, and we watched in awe as they unfolded in front of us on the gigantic screen, lounging back in plush comfort that we hadn’t enjoying in who knows how long we’d been running and hiding.
When the video completed, my friend said that he was going to go back and I decided that I wanted to stay a while longer and play a couple of songs that reminded me of my wife. Punching up a menu, I was able to pull a music video off of YouTube, and that’s when I realized that maybe more had survived than we knew if the data centers big enough to stream out videos from YouTube were still actually operational…
It was then that I heard a lot of shuffling downstairs and it quickly became apparent that the people we had warned barely an hour prior had somehow been discovered. I wasn’t sure if they had found me, or if possibly the sound proofing that we had been relying on wasn’t as good as we had thought, but I wasn’t sticking around to find out and quickly turned the theater back off before disappearing into a storage area and descending down a shaft in the center of the building.
Instead of stopping where my own crew had been hiding, however, I unexpectedly found myself all the way back at ground level.
Knowing that it wouldn’t be long before the waves cycled again, I made my way a few blocks over to a smaller building that was short enough to be completely submerged, yet had somehow managed to survive, and found myself ushered in by a separate group of survivors who were plotting their own tactics against the invaders. They showed me how they had covered their glass windows with a special coating that both made them more structurally sound as well as turned them into one-way mirrors so that they could watch out on the enemy forces below without fear of detection.
After sharing what we each knew, they advised me to visit a small grocery store on the outskirts of town that could possibly help me more, and when I finally made it there I was shocked to find that the rebels who had taken up refuge in the store had managed a way to stay in contact with the outside world. They explained that only the larger cities around the world had been targeted, and that a lot of citizens were able to take refuge in smaller towns that weren’t of such importance to the invaders.
One who appeared to be their leader took me into the back and showed me the computer that was still in touch with several civilian systems, the most useful of which being a way to look up a person’s last known address and whether they had been reported as deceased or not…
I asked him to look up my wife, however nothing recent appeared under her name.
I then suggested instead trying her maiden name, which showed a hit from about a year prior with an address in a small town about twenty miles away.
Had it really been that long since they’d arrived???
Just then we heard a ruckus out in the store and I peeked around the curtain to see a small band of invaders making a mess and just throwing their weight around.
For the first time since they had arrived, instead of just being afraid for my life, I was pissed.
Barging out into the storefront, I grabbed an axe that was resting nearby and fell the six of them before they knew what had hit them. I’d never fought before, but something had gotten inside of me that filled me with a newfound inspiration. I needed to find my wife, and then I needed to stop the man in the cape.
After the group in the store helped set me up with supplies that I’d need for my journey, I set out on the two-day walk to the town where the computer had said she now called home. I had no idea what I was going to find when I got there, or even what she would think of me after having been separated by this unexplainable tragedy over the last couple of years, but I was going to find out, and then – for better or for worse – I was going to end it.