Woke up, as predicted. Making progress on this, I’m getting good at staying alive.
“No you’re not,” I hear just after I think that.
‘I’m not even talking to you! Just thinking for fudge’s sake!’
“You’re definitely dead very soon.”
“They’ve been closing in.”
“It’s only a matter of time before they get you.”
For fudge’s sake. Even after all that bank stuff. Well, probably because of that as well as everything else. There’s me thinking that it’ll help me stay alive; it’s might be having the opposite effect.
I chat to Ben about what’s happening. He’s watched enough shows with me by now to know it is a real thing, but I can tell he’s still doubting it. It’s a hard pill to swallow.
I didn’t know how to tell him. Where to begin?
“Basically, I got approached by some powerful people. I thought it would be a good thing, but they ended up talking about war and that I’ve got to do something about it. I suggested reducing the population so there are fewer recourses to fight over, which is the underlying reason for many wars. They agreed with me and I think some people have been killed, which has pissed some of them off. And now, people want to kill me.
They can do things and manipulate things, you wouldn’t believe. But honestly, I think my life is in danger.”
He paused for a bit, shell shocked and processing what I’ve just told him.
“Why would you even think about killing people? What the fudge?!”
“It’s complicated, but it ended up developing to that. I feel terrible, but I still think it’s the right thing to do.”
While we’re talking, he was looking at me and glancing back and forth to the TV. The characters are pausing, just staring back at us. I can tell he is awake to the TV manipulation, but he hasn’t said anything. It’s just obvious. I know how he feels though, if he says anything about the strangeness, it would make him sound nuts.
He starts to get worried about me and probably for himself and his girlfriend. He then asks if there’s anywhere else I can stay, in a saddened defeated way. I then realize I probably shouldn’t have said anything to him. He doesn’t want anything to do with this madness and if it’s going to put him at risk; it’s very fair that he wouldn’t want me to stay there anymore. He didn’t directly say get out, but I could feel that was the vibe.
“Don’t worry, I’ll sort something out.” It’s probably best if I get out of here for everyone’s safety. I’m going to have to come up with a plan to become as untraceable as possible.
As I’m driving back to mine, I’m going through my mind on what is in the storage container and if I need anything to take with me. Locating my camping equipment and weatherproof clothing. While I’m going through the thoughts, the news report on the radio starts talking about an imploded storage container.
“Everything is completely destroyed. Crumpled in on itself. forensics are investigating on how this could have happened.”
‘My one?’ I think-talk. They end up almost convincing me that it’s been destroyed.
I need to get a few bits and bobs anyway, so I swing by. As I’m pulling into the yard, I’m in two minds about what I’m going to see.
Phew. Everything is as it should be. They’re just fudging with me now. I was more sure that it would be intact than be destroyed. Either intact or all empty wouldn’t have surprised me.
I grab what I need. I put my phone into the container. If I’m going to do this, I’m going to have to do it without my phone. I may as well bring a fudging homing beacon with me if I’m taking my phone.
I go to the cash machine on the way back and withdraw the maximum it will allow on two of my bank cards. That’s just £1000. I don’t want to take any more as this may raise suspicion. I’m not going to take long about this. I should sort this stuff out but I don’t know if I’m going to come back. Where would I start anyway? It’s still a building site! I don’t need anything. I can’t even trust my keys; something might be in them. I decide to not take anything, lock the house up and wrap my house keys, car key, and bank cards up in a plastic bag and hide it in the pile of logs in the back garden. I do it all in the dark, not looking at my keys or hands and doing it all by feel. I don’t want them to see through my eyes and know what I’m doing and where the keys are.
I get on a bus which I’ve not used since living there and catch a bus to the train station. I keep my head down, vision blurred because I don’t have contact lenses or glasses on. This is going to be a lot harder to get around when I’m struggling to see. I’ll do it though.
I get off the train with my cash-purchased ticket and go straight to a charity shop before it closes and buy two completely new outfits.
After a few taxi trips from the cheapest low-tech taxis I can find, I feel I’ve made enough random trips to make it difficult to be tracked. I then find a hotel that accepts cash. I don’t know how long this grand is going to have to last me. The only thing that I’m going to bring is my cash and diamond. Everything else needs to go.
Anyone I walk past I look at with doubt.
‘Who’s spying on me, is it you? Are you in on this?’
Any van that’s driving past could be the one that a load of people jump out and rush me. When I’m waiting to get some food at a cafe, someone in the cue behind me says, “He’s in survival mode!”
“Oh, he’s doing well,” replies his mate. ‘Are they following me? Or are they just watching the show and commenting? Either that or they are being controlled by them? Or maybe an actual coincidence?’ At the moment, I’m not taking any coincidences as coincidences. I am however allowing some messages to have a factor of inaccuracies. This just sounds like live commentary, so I’ll take that as they still know where I am.
I need some sunglasses. Maybe the security cameras have bio-metrics that can read eye profiles. I’ll also get a cap, so I’m harder to track. It would be dumb to think that they haven’t tracked me go from the biggest city in England.
I completely shave in the hotel, head to toe. Feels like a routine now but if it helps even a tiny bit; it’s worth it. The weirdest part is my eyebrows and legs. They really give away my mental state, but ah well. I won’t be seeing many people, so I don’t care that much.
In the morning I gorge on the provided breakfast. Posh people are sitting on the other tables and I keep getting the strangest looks. It might be because I’ve decided to keep my sunglasses on even inside. As I am standing in the elevator, someone says to me “The future’s bright!” That’s a weird thing to say, again. They’re fudging everywhere! But at least this wasn’t life-threatening so it gave me a bit of hope.
I check the bus station; they might not have as good of a monitoring system there. I head North East. Get off in one town then get on another bus at a small village. There are no cameras that I can see on the bus and I sat on the back making sure that nobody was following or that looked suspicious.
When I get to another village, I feel it’s a bit safer but still cautious. I get some food down me. Charity shop again and a set of 4 outfits. They’re also selling brand new socks and boxers. That’s a relief. Walking to the next bus stop I see a shop with knives in the window. It stays in my mind for a while until I decide to turn around and get myself a good locking folding knife with a five-inch blade. This might come in handy.
While I’m waiting for the bus, I’m sketching. Ages wait later, the bus is here with a few old people getting on. They slowly get off, until the bus is empty apart from me sat in the back.
Fudge it, I don’t want any of my other clothes on, just in case. I slump in my seat out of view from the driver’s rear-view mirror. I take my shoes, socks, trousers, and even boxers off. Put the new ones on. Get down behind the seat like I’m picking up something and swap my t-shirt. All my previous clothes bagged up. Surely the driver is going to realize? I don’t want to take the bag of other clothes with me, I don’t want anything to do with them.
I get off the bus and the driver doesn’t even notice my complete outfit change. Great stuff. He drives off with the bag of old clothes tucked under a chair. It will just look like forgotten luggage. This is the last haul, so remote I wouldn’t have even thought there was a bus going here. One old farmer gets on and I give the driver a hand full of shrapnel.
I finally get here. I’m a few miles walk away but that’s far closer than I thought I’d get on the buses. When I get off, I’m conscious that I’ve brought the cash that I withdrew from the cashpoint with me. There might be something in there too. I go to a small pig shed that’s empty. This will do. I bag up the remaining cash and stash it. While I’m in there, a tractor drives past and looks at me very strangely. I duck and hide. He stops and waits a while. ‘Shiz, what am I going to do say?’
He eventually drives off. I don’t trust the cash to stay in the crack in the rocks when I return, so I’ll just take it with me. I walk through some fields and back roads and I’m here at my step mum’s house. I’ve been conscious of not think talking about my destination, the further away from civilization while think talking the better. I hope she is in, or maybe some of my brothers and sisters are here for a visit.
Seems like an obvious spot but if nobody’s followed me here, and she’s not registered to live there then it will be a lot safer than my registered address in the city.
‘Knock, knock.’ Nobody’s here. Fudging hell, I’ve come all this way, and she’s not even in! Her car is there on the field. I’ll have a look around. I do a lap of the house and nothing. ‘Have they got to her already? Is she safe?’
While I’m sat outside thinking all possibilities through in my mind, she shows up from a long walk that she was on. She looks very shocked to see me and worried about how I look with my shaved head and shook look on my face. I say to her that I’m in trouble and if it’s okay to stay with her for a bit.
“Of course you can! This is very unexpected though!”
We get inside, and she makes me some soup, I put my wet socks up on the radiator and feel like I can finally relax after what feels like a very stressful journey.
I need to put the TV on. I want to know if they are still there and if they know where I am. I’ve done pretty much everything I can to get here as covert as possible. Part of me wants them to be there. I’ve become so accustomed to hearing updates through their means of communication that I’d feel more lost without knowing what’s going on.
Serena thinks it’s a bit strange that I want to put the TV on so soon after a catch-up chat. She finds the areal that was gathering dust in a box and lets me set it up. A few channels are working so there’s enough to talk. I feel that the BBC is the most consistent with communication that isn’t full of whoever has paid to say whatever they want. Whether it be taunting, belittling or lying. I just want to hear what is actually happening. Not that I can be 100% sure that the BBC is on my side, but they seem to be sending positive messages far more than other sources.
“Well, that was a long journey! Glad to finally see you in person again!” Was the first line that came through. To me, that sounds like enough to already know, but it will become clear if it carries on. Of course they’d be able to follow me here! I’d have been more surprised if I managed to lose them to be honest. I just hope I’ve lost the bad people’s trail, or at least some of them.
There’s a news report about Turkey’s refugees trying to get out of the country and being denied at borders, with many deaths on their path when trying to cross the borders. Dark stuff. I don’t want to hear about it and don’t want anything to do with it. I’m regretting thinking that a purge was even an option. They’ve taken the thought and ran with it.
‘Just stop it, we need this to end, surely there’s another way!’ I intently think-talk to the TV.
It’s stressing me out and Serena can tell, so she says, “Why don’t we turn that off and relax and have a cup of tea.”
I need to tell her what I know. If I’ve come this far, I just need to share it with someone who might believe me and give some sound advice.
I start by telling her about what G told me. It seems so long ago now, so much has changed since that fateful conversation. I go on to explain how I thought up the World Web country, the fact that they can’t come up with any other solution to stop our overpopulation issue which has been getting out of hand for ages. I tell her that they have time travel and can control almost everything.
She looks at me with my fully shaved head and my face with eyes a little wider than what would be considered normal. She gives me a questioning look. I look at her in a serious, worried, and almost desperate way. She needs to believe me!
“Do you believe me? I’m not joking and I’ve not gone crazy I promise you.”
“Okay, considering for a second that it is true. Can’t you just ignore them? If they’re bothering you, just don’t listen to them. Turn the TV off and it will be sorted.
“It’s not that easy. I’ve tried, they literally follow me everywhere. I’ve pissed them off, and they’re not going to stop.”
“I’m sure they will go, eventually.”
I don’t think she really believes me. I mean, who would? She’s Fifty-something years old, she’s seen it all. Like she’d believe all this, she’s the person that people go to for advice. Not the person who is learning how things work.
“I think I might have had the Pope killed.”
She looked at me with shocked eyes.
“And ate part of him in a kebab.” I can’t help but to grin a bit, just because it’s such a random thing to tell someone. Just as I finish saying that, a deep thud comes from the roof. The same noise that a body would make when dropping to the floor. They seem to be quite on it with their noises to sound like the intended noise.
Her expression changed from disbelief to shock and a touch of panic. I look at her after the thud with a knowing face. Her face then changes to denial, slightly shaking her head to her thoughts, followed by anger eyes.
“Why would you even do that?!” She asks.
“It just felt right at the time, it was stressful, and I was going with what felt like the right thing to do.”
“But the pope?!”
“I felt like my kids were threatened and could tell he was behind it. It was fight or flight.”
“If you are having people killed, then maybe you should be killed. It’s not right.”
“But how are we going to resolve the population crisis?”
“That’s not for you to worry about and it’s not your decision.” I think to myself that she has a point, but somehow it became my decision. I didn’t ask it to be, but somehow, I’ve been given the reins to the world and people are fudging listening. To me. It’s been mental, but I’m just trying to clean up. You can’t just let all the flowers and weeds grow wildly because that’s what they want to do. They grow, we tend to it. Trim them back, or it’s an overgrown mess. There are too many roses, and they’re taking over all the other species. A trim back isn’t extermination, it’s a cut-back. Seems heartless to think like that. True; but it’s a cold world, I thought it was warm up there, but it’s so dark and twisted, wherever and whoever they are.
“Well, you should make them stop purging.”
“I’ve tried! They’ve agreed now, and they won’t listen. They’re going to do it anyway now; they’ve made that clear. I’ve asked them quite a few times, either I allow it and leave them to it or I keep control and back the majority decision, so I’m stuck between a gun and a sword.” I could tell that I haven’t tried too hard to stop them. I still know deep down that it needs to happen. But by asking to stop, it’s a way of checking if they are just doing it because I asked them to purge, or because they are in full agreement that it needs to be done.
She looks at me with slight disgust. I didn’t expect this, but I can see the hatred grow. She loves life and I understand that. What she doesn’t understand is that I do too but if we carry on like this, we’re going to ruin the world.
“It’s just speculation though, how do you know we’re going to ruin the world? We’ve still got space.”
I mumble back, “They can check.” She laughs while looking down at me, thinking I’ve believed absolute bullshiz.
“Yeah sure. If they can do that then they can do anything, no disasters would ever happen. It’s not real and you shouldn’t believe it.”
How does she explain how they can change things way back in the past and on the fly in the present? She can’t. She hasn’t had time to think about it, been exposed to it enough or embraced the option of its reality. Instant denial, I should have expected this reaction considering how far out it sounds. But I guess, wanting someone to actually listen to what I’m saying was an overriding feeling. I can’t keep it all to myself. But of course, she can join the list of people who automatically assume it’s either a lie or I’m crazy or that I’m a gullible idiot. I feel a bit stupid for thinking it would go any differently, to be honest.
To save face, she continues the hypothetical scenario. Also to prove that she is right; she starts talking about how everyone turning vegan or vegetarian would make the carbon impact better. I think it’s far harder to change people’s habits and it will just slow the inevitable. We’re increasing our world’s population by around 100 million each year. Changing habits will do a bit, but if we keep increasing in population, we’ll just keep making our consumption more and more.
“The average UK person has a carbon footprint of 15 tonnes per year. The UK isn’t even that high compared to other nations. If our life expectancy is around 70 years, the maths are simple. 70 x 15 is around 1000 tons of carbon for a lifetime. Sure, these figures might change over time and per country, but we still need to eat every day. We still buy and consume products. We heat and cool our buildings and need a roof over our heads. Each time there’s a new birth over a death that replaces it, that’s another around 1000 tons of carbon going to be consumed over the next 70 years. If that’s per person, it will be that figure times each extra per year. If it stays on 100 million, it’s around 100,000 tones extra that the imbalance of life and death will increase our carbon footprint. Every year. That’s without factoring our life expectancy increased over time with medical advances. As we move forward, it’s getting worse and worse. Just looking at the numbers it’s clear that it’s going to be a monumental task, near if not completely impossible to change it enough to save the world from itself.”
She takes in the numbers but doesn’t want to change her standpoint. Wrong is wrong and that’s that. If we can’t come up with an ethical solution, then we shouldn’t resort to any other way. I’m clearly not going to change her mind on this one and that’s that.
I decide to have a walk to clear my head. Once I’m around the corner of the house, I take a sit-down to contemplate things.
’If we do have time travel. We can stop anything that makes us destroy ourselves as well. We can see a pandemic coming and change it before it happens. We can see a war coming and change things before it gets to that. By allowing something like a war or a pandemic to happen, it will be the people who could have stopped it and didn’t do anything about it’s fault. It’s not ‘the power of nature.’ It’s us allowing it. With time travel, we have opened Pandora’s box. We’re playing god here already, so we should see things coming and be responsible. The number one priority should be; planet preservation. Without the host, we die or live a terrible life. With a healthy well cared for planet, we have a better quality of life indefinitely. Why is it so hard to change anyone’s viewpoint on this? Is it that hard to see? Are people really that set in their ways and thinking ‘what I think is right, nobody’s going to change my mind. I’m wise and if I change my mind, it makes me question all my beliefs.’ I guess it is a slice of humble pie that nobody likes to eat. Especially if it’s served by someone less than half their age, crazy look in their eye, hairless and in her mind; clueless.’
‘This isn’t going the way I expected. Nobody’s on my side. Maybe I am just evil. I do think it’s for the right reasons, but if so many people are saying it’s so wrong, maybe it’s me that’s wrong, not everyone else. Well fudge it, if it is me that’s wrong, then I’m wrong. Why are the majority who know enough to make these big decisions backing this movement? They’re the ones who are in charge of making these decisions. And they are in agreeance. Why do they think differently? They weren’t doing this before that I’m aware of, never on a large scale like this anyway. I’m racking up deaths under my belt and becoming a scary force that people are becoming cautious of coming after me. They’re trying hard because it’s early. If they want to stop me, they’re going to have to do it sooner rather than later. If they leave it off, they’re going to struggle even more because I keep growing.’
I go back in when the rain has made me uncomfortably cold.
“Can I use that laptop please?” Serena seems reluctant. She doesn’t want any of this madness on her computer.
“Don’t worry, I won’t put anything risky on here, it’s safe. I’ll put a track-resistant web browser on there so it will be a lot more difficult to track.” She looks at me with doubt and reluctantly lets me.
I put a Tor browser on there and start looking stuff up. My head is more shot, I thought I could relax now, instead, my head is racing. I just need to get on with the work that I’ve somehow landed in. Now I’m in the middle of nowhere with slow internet and someone who is against my views.
I’ll stay here for a while though; I need things to die down.
“We’ll be crawling all over you tonight” A message comes through on a video advert. Great. We’ll see if that’s true, or they’re just trying to scare me.
“We’re in the water there and everything, you can’t run from us.” They said in a happy voice, making it all the more sinister.
Serena hears these and I see the shock and fear wash over her face. I haven’t even told her about how they control things, but she’s awake to their ways already.