Irish Asperer had visited the Union Station only once in his 28 years as a Washingtonian. He made the visit to meet his now wife, Vashel Strattord. That was three years ago. Vashel is a famous prima ballerina and a member of the New York City Ballet. Irish remembers it as though it happened yesterday. She hates to fly and opted to take the Amtrak to cohabitate with her then fiancé, Irish.
Taking in my surrounding, in particular, the stations barrel-vaulted ceiling. Its gold and white inlays remain flawless. No residue of an electrical surge from the lightning bolts he witnesses outside and only moments earlier. The main platform of the station huge in comparison to the church I vacated earlier. Its vastness felt busy, not clogged, in spite of the over one thousand occupants muddling about.
Taking the polished, wood steps to the large Center cafe which sits elevated
in the center of the grand hall of Union City station, I search the faces. No sign of my wife, Vashel or Marcus.
Below above the heads of the thousand, hand waves and catches my
attention. Actually, it’s the obvious and oversize R2D2 tattoo that is
recognizable on his inner arm. The owner of said tattoo is another good
friend of mine.
Mallu Ragiri, a robotics engineer. We meet my first year at Georgia Tech and we have been friends since. Taking the steps two at a time, I made it over to him.
“It's damn good to see you again brother. Have you seen Marcus or my wife?”
“No. There must be over 1,000 housed here. Don't know how many others in the other alcoves. Shit, what happened on out there?”
“It was inevitable. It’s been gradually coming to a head. Its the first victim was my father.”
“What you say? So his death wasn’t a freak accident like you said.”
“Correct. He died when a dish fallout hit out shed. Unfortunately, he was in there. Another landed on my car four days ago. The lid had popped off the sky and the whole shebang kept coming like rain bringing the fire with it."
“Is that what’s going on out there?”
“Pretty much but it’s over with for now. I've not seen a fallout in four days.”
I am here to collect my sister early this morning. Nothing has been through the station and I’ve been here for almost…” Malu looks at his cell. Screen black and non-responsive after several attempts to activate it. He then looks to the clock above Center café on stations wall. “... four hours. All of a sudden the alarms go crazy ... people herding through the doors. A woman screaming and crying. She is burned pretty bad and falls into my arms. She told me the fires are bad but I left anyway but didn’t get very far. Shit, she wasn't lying.
I stand before Mallu half listening because I’m drawn to the station walls. They are shuffling -- realigning themselves in sections.
Hey, shush! I say looking about me and to the station above." Did you see the lightning earlier?
What? What do you mean?
Streams of lighting ... say three bolts exactly. One had already penetrated the roof then two others followed. I say searching the barrel-vaulted ceiling of Union Station closely then back to the surrounding walls.
No. What's this all about.
Give a sec. I walk away and to the moving wall ahead of me. Jeffery follows me.
You don't see this?
It is shifting --- shuffling as though making room for something.
Honey, Irish honey! Suzie breaks away from the crowd gathered in the middle of the large union station area. Finding security in each other against the devastation outside and with no hope in knowing why.
I turn away just as she squeals above the constant murmur of the crowd and leaps into his arms.
Four visitors in white robes walked out onto the platform from behind the partially demolished walls of our once Union Station. Those who witnessed their arrival say they seem to float through the walls. But I saw them differently. To me, they crawled out like millions of cockroaches as though someone had disturbed their nest. They gave the illusion of four to the other citizens.
A select few including myself have a disadvantage over the other citizens. I am chosen to build their underground city but there is still much that is unexplained.
Why did they came and from where and how did they get here? These are still unanswered questions. No one dares ask. We’ve accepted them based on their appearance alone. They walk and talk like us but what do they want or hope to gain from their abundance of charity. No one does and gives for absolutely nothing in return. It is not the human condition perhaps they are not human at all.
One month has transpired since the visitors appeared. Their presence coupled with the discovery of the pens was all the encouragement I need to forge forward.
walks through the wall.
The mass in the station.
The construction of the new city known as New Columbia.
They know it won't last long and only a few can reside in their subterranean max 1000 because they have exhausted their materials building the domes
bring in from the flash drive.
I am concern… after what I have seen will they notice any
difference in my behavior. I am a
cooperative citizen. No harm has been
done to any of the remaining relics of the United States thus far. However, the women, the females of our kind
have been segregated from the males. I have not seen my wife for some time –
six months precisely.
I will backtrack my journal to the day the women were taken --gone missing, is a better word to describe it. Vashel was just not there anymore.
walks through the wall.
The mass in the station.
The construction of their new city known as New Columbia.
They know it won't last long and only a few can reside in their subterranean max 1000 because they have exhausted their materials building the domes which can no longer withstand the surging heat. the atmosphere hot and seething.
TO BE CONTINUED....
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