Intervention by TechieInAK

144 17 7

Darkness. Silence. Stillness. Then pain. An uncontrollable rotating sensation gripped Tim as he felt himself spin faster and faster, thrown violently in all directions. He burst through the veil of unconsciousness and found himself retching on the floor on his hands and knees. He swallowed hard, pushing down the sour taste that had emerged in the back of his mouth before he leaned back against the bed behind him, breathing heavily.

As his mind slowly pushed away the fog that was clouding his mind, his eyes were overwhelmed by a bright light from outside the window. Squinting, he looked away and shielded his eyes with his arm as he carefully struggled to his feet and over to the window.

What's going on?

He unlocked the latch and opened the window but immediately closed it as a mix of screaming and shouting, barking dogs and cacophony of car horns greeted his ears. He tried to get a glimpse of the source of the bright light but had to look away. A million little knives seemed to poke the inside of his head, his eyes burning from just those few moments of exposure. Reflexively, he covered his ears with his hands, closed his eyes and sat down on bent knees with gritted teeth as he fought the urge to scream. Slowly, he regained control of his senses and stumbled over to the bed, sat down and looked around.

Where am I?

The room was small, large enough only for a bed in the middle and a small table and a chair by the wall opposite the window, on the other side of the bed. A dresser with a TV perched on top was positioned across from the end of the bed. Tim figured it had to be a hotel or some sort of hostel. He glanced back at the table and saw his laptop computer, screen on, its screensaver dancing across the screen to some silent melody. Flying toasters.

The computer. A chill went down his spine. His chest tightened and Tim felt as if his heart skipped a beat. He looked down on the watch on his wrist.

It was 9:47:17pm exactly.

Adrenaline rushed through his veins as he jumped to his feet and leaped across the bed. He scooped up the laptop, snapping it closed in the process and rushed out of the room and down the stairs while frantically searching his still foggy mind for a missing piece of the puzzle. The bright light. The screaming people. Two minutes exactly. He knew it all meant something.

The courtyard at the abandoned hospital. That was it. That was where he had arrived many months earlier. He had to get back there. It was his only way out.

9:47:32pm.

He sprinted out through the front door of the building and bumped into a screaming throng of people on the street. Everyone was running in random directions, searching in vain for an escape from the inevitable. A few stood and stared, pointing, eyes and mouths wide open, their faces glowing yellow. A grandmother held a grandchild on a rocking chair across the street, content to sit in the shadow, holding her most priced possession while tears streamed down her cheeks.

9:47:45pm.

Tim pushed through the crowd to the other side and dove into a narrow alley between two apartment buildings. Dark and damp, it was abandoned except for a few rats that quickly scattered as he ran through. For a few moments, the noise of the street faded, replaced by the echos of his footsteps as he ran as fast as he could.

9:48:01pm.

A minute and fifteen seconds. Barely. He was running out of time. He glanced toward the sky at the bright light created by the approaching asteroid as it tumbled through the atmosphere and heard the rumbling as it plowed through the air. The people around him didn't have a chance and many of them were just realizing it for the first time. He had known before he even arrived.

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