Invasion

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Chapter 7

They continued to talk as they waited for their food. As usual, he felt awkward when talking with other people, while she just smiled and laughed, trying to get him to relax and just talk. “Oh, so you’re going all psychologist on me,” he said, semi-joking. “No, no psychology here. Just two friends talking to each other,” she replied, “Takashi, you don’t have to hide from me. Cause I know the real you, the one that you hide from everyone. And I like him.” “You shouldn’t. I’m the weird guy that no one wants to hang out with.” “I do. Takashi, listen: first of all, you are weird and a little strange sometimes.” He laughed. “But, you’re also funny and very smart and talented. Most importantly, you have a heart, and a very strong one at that. Yes, you are a bit emotional about things; you take things to heart. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but if you do it every time something happens, you’re just gonna make yourself feel bad. Okay, sorry. I am going psychologist on you for this part.” “Hahahaha, it’s alright. Thank you for saying that.” Smiling, “You’re welcome.” At last, their food finally arrived. The cashier asked them if they would like to add salt for their fries, but they said no. “Oh, finally. Hello, delicious,” she stated. “It does look good,” he agreed. “We’ll talk again later, okay? But, for now, we eat.” “Haha, alright. Bon appétit.”

Olivia quickly cut her chicken and ate it. She was enjoying herself too much. Takashi could only just stare at her in amazement. He ate some of the fries first and then cut his chicken. As he looked at it, he prepared himself. “Just eat it. It’s really good. Come on, I wanna see your face when you eat it.” “Seriously?” He let out a sigh and put it in his mouth. As he chewed it, he smiled. “Holy shit! This is delicious.” “Huh, huh. Didn’t I tell you??” They spent a good 15-20 minutes finishing their food. And, again as usual, he ruminated about his life as he did so. He does this a lot and realizes this; he knows it’s not very good to introspect or ruminate too much. This would only make him feel worse. He wasn’t not sure if this is a product of always being alone or if it’s just who he is. Why do people make friends? he thought to himself, I mean, not like that. I guess we need friends. But it’s interesting how they do it. Well, different people do it differently, I guess. I don’t quite understand. ‘How can someone know you lov—care about them, if you don’t tell them?’ Do we have to be friends with them first? It’s part of the love cycle. You don’t have to be best friends—although that would be better—but two people can be together even after only being friends. He clutches his hand in anger. This is life. IS this life? Why is the world like this? It’s not really life’s fault. Life is only a canvas after all and the world is the painter. She noticed this as she was chewing and tried to snap him out of it. She swallowed and told him, “Hey, stop doing that. Just eat. Don’t think too much.” “I know. You’re right, I’m sorry.” She laughed, “You don’t have to be sorry. But, you’re not gonna feel any better thinking about everything too much. You have to let it slide sometimes. You can’t bear all the weight on your own, and you don’t have to. I’m here for you.” “It’s a habit. A bad one, I know. I guess I’ve spent too much time alone. You know, when you spend a lot of time alone, you tend to talk to yourself,” he chuckled, “I used to think I was talking to God. But then I realized, this is what happens when people spend too much time alone.” “That’s good,” she said to him, “at least you had someone to talk too. It’s also good because it doesn’t expose you too much to the outside world. By that, I mean, most people make friends and party and all that, they don’t really have time to think about themselves, to reflect. There are benefits to contemplating and introspecting; people who do that learn more about themselves and the world around them. It teaches them to think and reflect on their actions. And they do often care too much, much like you. You take things to heart and you’re very emotional. And there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s who you are. Now, can we please finish eating first? Because this is really good.” “Haha. Yeah, ok,” he laughed.

After finishing their meal, they brushed and wiped the table to clean it and brought their plates to a spot near the kitchen. She grabbed her bag and they left. It was already drizzling outside; they quickly rushed back to the bus stop. They reached the crosswalk to get to it, but still had to wait for the light to turn green. It started raining. “Oh, man. Come on,” he said while pressing the button endlessly. “Relax, it’s just a little rain.” At long last, the light turned green and they ran for it. Unfortunately, this particular bus stop had no cover or canopy to shelter them from the rain. “Urgh. I knew I should’ve brought my umbrella,” he regretted, “sorry about back there.” “For what?” “You know, how I keep doing that. The thinking too much.” “Hey,” she said to him, “if you ever need someone to talk to, you can always talk to me.” He smiled at that, “Okay. Thank you.” “I really like you a lot. I mean, the real you. You’re different. And different is good. I’m here for you. Okay?” “Okay.” They both stared at each other as the rain poured heavier; water dripped from their hair and cheek, and wet their clothes. She pulled him closer, hugged him and they shared a long kiss as the bus arrived.

Lightning flashes in the sky followed by the roar of a thunder. “Hey! I think he went this way,” she screams as the rain is still loudly pouring. He’s still caught in his memories, standing there staring off into space. She turns to him, “Uh, what are you doing?” she asks. He returns back to the present; he looks at her and smiles. “What?” she asks, confused. “You still look as beautiful as you were that day. When we shared our first kiss in the rain.” “You remember that?” she asks, “argh, I can’t remember!” He hugs her, “It’s okay. You will,” releasing her, “Don’t try to find it. Let it come to you,” he explains. “Okay.” “Alright, let’s go.” They continue their search for the mysterious man, through the pouring rain. They shiver as the air starts to get colder and colder. She wonders if they’re gonna contract a disease or a cold. They decide to take shelter for a while in one of the buildings. At the front entrance, she telekinetically pulls the boards and opens the two, big wooden doors; they head inside. It seems to be an old hospital; gurneys fill the hallways and that weird hospital smell still faintly permeates the air; some debris litters the ground. The walls are painted sky blue, although barely noticeable as it has started to deteriorate. A flickering light fixture hangs from the ceiling. They stand in the reception area where they find a flowerpot broken on the ground—the flower had wilted away. A few wheelchairs sit in the corner. They head into the hallway and check the rooms. Some of them are still littered with medical equipment, bottles, and even food, old and rotting away. Olivia shields her nose from the fetid stench. They head back to the hallway. “I don’t think we’re gonna find anything useful here,” he says. “Well, it is an abandoned hospital,” she remarks. She goes and sits down on one of the benches, still dripping wet; she removes her jacket to get rid of some of the water and hangs it on the side. He joins her at the bench and also removes his jacket; he brushes his hair to remove some of the water. “Hey! Stop that!” she slaps him on the arm, “you’re getting me wet.” “Sorry!” he laughs, “we shouldn’t stay here too long, I think.” “But it’s cold and raining, hard. The guy’s gotta be taking shelter from it too, right?” “Do you really believe that?” She chuckles, “Not really,” sighing, “ok, fine. But, let’s just wait a few more minutes.” “Alright.” He takes a good look around, “I hate hospitals, especially abandoned ones.” “Why?” “You know, because of the ghosts.” “Seriously?” “It’s just scary, okay?? That’s all.” She laughs and then he hears a noise and hurriedly stands up to check. “What was that?” he said.

“What was what?”

“That noise.”

“You’re hearing things, baby.”

“I don’t know.”

“Relax. It’s nothing. Alright, let’s go.” “Alright.” As they put their jackets back on, they both hear a rustling noise. “Okay, you heard that, right?” he asks, terrified at this point. “Yeah.” It gets louder and is followed by a loud crashing sound. “Okay, I’m scared now,” she says. “What happen to ‘you’re hearing things’?” “Shut uuup.” They slowly go to investigate. It seems to be emanating from the end of the hallway, around the corner. The storage room is the only door in that hallway, and the sound is coming from within. Takashi braves himself and walks slowly towards it, with Olivia behind, scared. He stops midway and points his hand towards the door. With a gesture, he psychically moves the handle and opens the door; it creates a somewhat loud creaking sound as he swings it open. They both flinch at that and cover their ears; the door is open. “Well, that was loud,” she says, being sarcastic, startling him. “Don’t do that!” he yells at her quietly, clutching his chest and lying back against the wall, “you’re gonna give me a heart attack.” “Sorry,” she apologizes. “Alright, let’s go.”

The room contains many bed sheets, towels, food and drinks. It’s separated into sections for each with shelves dividing them, extending to four shelves in length. A separate room on the right contains medical equipment and another on the left for the medicines. Crash! The noise is definitely coming from the medicine storage. As they approach it, they can barely see a man sifting through the items. “Uh, hello?” Takashi speaks. The man, shocked, turns around; it is the man they saw back in the city. “It’s you,” she says. She thrusts her hand towards him, sending him flying and pinning him to the wall. They notice that he’s carrying a gun, holstered on his right leg: a Beretta M9 9mm semi-automatic pistol. “Who are you?!” she asks, “why aren’t you asleep like everyone else?” The man then starts laughing. He raises his head and looks at them. “They are not sleeping,” he says with a Russian accent, “they are dead.” They both freeze upon hearing this revelation. “What?” she asks, shocked. “Nerve gas. Deployed by your military,” he explains. “They are not our military!” They both then suddenly experience slight headaches. “I can help you,” the man tells them. She pushes him against the wall. “Shut up,” she says. Remnants of a memory return to them. She remembers entering the bathtub and hearing the screams of people outside; She looked out through the window and saw a gas sweeping through the streets. People fell to the ground, motionless. It entered the room and she breathed it in. She started to convulse in the bathtub; the light flickered. Finally, her body gave in and she closed her eyes. Takashi also experiences these flashes. He was in a restaurant, waiting for his food. He wrote his name on a piece of napkin as people outside screamed and fell. He put the napkin in his jacket coat and got up as the people inside started to worry. The gas entered and its effect was immediately felt. Everyone started convulsing and fell to the floor. He too was affected and fell, knocking over a table.

The man stares at them, confused. They eventually snap out of it. “I remember,” Olivia says, “pieces of it.” She then looks to him, “Who are you?!” “Relax. I am a friend. A friend. We are on the same side.” “Prove it!” she continues. “If you would please, let me down, I will tell you my story.” She looks at him with distrust. “Liv, maybe we should hear him out,” Takashi says, still recovering. “Seriously??” she asks him. “Surely, with the powers you both possess, you are not afraid of a simple man like me,” the man speaks. “Alright, we’ll let you go,” Takashi says, holding Olivia’s shoulder, “but, the first sign of a betrayal, you’re dead. Understand?” “Yes,” the man answered. Reluctantly, she lets him go and the man drops to the ground. Olivia turns around and leans on a shelf with one arm, still trying to recover. “Thank you,” the man expresses his gratitude. “Whatever,” she replies. “What’s your name?” Takashi asks. “I am Sergey Markovic,” he introduces himself, “I am part of the resistance formed to fight the invaders. But, when they began reporting of strange creatures appearing, we had to investigate. I had just finished my reconnaissance and was returning back when you saw me in the city.” “What are you doing here? In this hospital?” he inquired further. “Several of my men were injured during our encounter with the invaders. I was looking for anything that could help.” “I’m sorry,” Takashi offers an apology. “Me too. But, it is not serious: just some cuts. They are soldiers. They will be fine. All I need are some bandages and penicillin, in case of infection. Yes?” “So, did you find all that?” “Yes. I will grab it and we will go,” he speaks with enthusiasm, smiling. “Wait. Wouldn’t it be expired or something by now?” Olivia asks, carefully leaning back against the shelf. “No,” Sergey replies as he grabs the items, “these things can last for a very long time. Plus this hospital was only abandoned about a year ago, so should be fine.” “Oh, well, in that case....” she says sarcastically. He wraps the items in a piece of cloth and puts it in his jacket pocket. “Wait. Sergey, where are we going?” Takashi asks. “To my base…our base. Come, I will show you.” After he leaves, Olivia asks Takashi whether they can trust him or not. He answers, “For now, at least. Besides this was your idea. But I mean, if these people can really help us, then why not? If they turn out to be bad news, then we’ll take ‘em down.” “Alright,” she agrees, “let’s go then.” They then head out.
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