Then you hear something, right to the side of you.
You hear the ring and it stops you dead in your tracks. You look at the phone and you get a strange feeling, a feeling you can't describe but you know it's there. Something that reminds you of old movies, The feeling of dread and joy all wrapped in a quiet whisper.
You usually would never pick up a phone that was just ringing. But this time it just catches you off guard. And now you just have to. The night's been too exciting to just pass this chance. You watch your hand slowly reach towards the black receiver, as you step into the little alcove for the phone.
You think for a moment, just as you bring the phone up to your ear how much you wish that it was a phone booth. Life is never like the movies.
You feel the air shift as you bring the phone up to your head. This Eerie feeling overtakes you. Maybe this was a mistake. But it's too late now.
Too late now. So you just go on.
Your voice sounds like a cacophony of fear and imitation confidence. You stand there for a moment, all you hear on the other side of the phone is heavy breathing. Heavy breathing and the echo of running water. Almost what it would sound like to make a phone call from within a sewer. But not quite.
"Hello?" You say again, only now you are thinking about hanging up the phone. The situation is too creepy to keep this going. But then the worst thing happens. You hear a voice on the other end of the phone line. They say your name, and you stand there with a sudden shrill jolt of terror jar you.
"How do you know my name?"
You ask because you can't think of anything else to say.
"I know a lot of things."
This voice, terribly deep, like the voice of all those movie trailers, whispering in your ear.
"Do you wanna try something fun?"
The voice whispers in your ear in an almost sensual manner.
You don't know how to act in this situation. It feels like your in a bad horror movie, and for a moment you realize that you let the phone touch your ear.
"Reach into your pocket. pull out some change. It's going to be two quarters, a penny, and three dimes."
As you open your fist you wonder if you are dreaming.
The coins are as the voice said.
"Who is this?" You say for some reason it feels like you can't talk. The force with which you tried to speak just won't come out.
"That isn't important, what is important is the fact that you are now breathing manually." You immediately take a breath as the voice continues. The air around you is icy and terribly dry.
"You answered the phone, so now you have to answer me a question, it's very important that you answer truthfully because if you don't you will die in a manner more horrifying than anything you can imagine. Oh and don't hang up. You won't want to make this worse for yourself."
You don't believe this.
"Is this a joke?"
"If I told you that there was a homeless man behind the dumpster, down that alley you just passed who was dying of a heroin overdose, what would you do?"
You are speechless.
"I would call the paramedics to, to, to help him."
There is a pause in the call. It feels like it lasts so long that you could have gone back behind the dumpster to see if there really was a homeless man or not.
"What if I told you, your life depended on you taking that two by four behind the dumpster and crushing that man's skull?"
You wonder if you could just start running. Run, run until your lungs collapse and you get a stitch in your side.
"I will let you hang up the phone. But you only have one option if you want to live."
All you hear on the other side of the phone is breathing. Breathing and water running and softly echoing in the background.
You look at the alley. You look back into the phone.
And all you hear is the faint breathing though the phone.
You hang it up. You walk back through the alley. Smell of old urine and garbage sickly sweet hanging dense in the air. You see the old man, dirty and covered in what looks like grease. Next to him the 2x4 with a few nails poking through it.
You pick it up, a blunt murder weapon. You look down and see the syringe and an old spoon blackened and bent. Another blunt murder weapon. Then you run. You run to the phone, weapon in hand. You dial 911 expecting to hear the voice again. But no, you hear the operator. Paramedics are on their way. You hold on tight to the 2x4 and wait for them to show up. They do.
They take the old man and the police take a statement from you.
The police offer to take you home. You agree and you get in the back of the squad car and they take you home. You turn on all the lights and look around your home. You inspect every room.
Maybe tonight was just a fluke.
Just weird. Relax tonight was just weird, it's almost 5AM and you've had a really stressful night.
So you lay down and feel your cool smooth sheets against your skin. Your cheek kissed by the pillow. And you turn out the lights.
out of the darkness you hear a voice.
"You didn't listen."
I trained the cross hairs of the rifle on the back of his head. I think I was about 300 yards away. I saw him, the pedophile scum walking down the street. I brought the cross over the collar of his cheap knock off polo shirt. I saw a car drive in front of him as my finger was tickled by the trigger. I saw his head turn slightly and the edge of his crooked nose.
I pulled the trigger.
His head exploded, right along the side. His ear flew down to his shoulder and chunks of gray matter and skull poured out of his head.
I watched him collapse on the sidewalk and a pool of blood to spread out of his wound.
I stood up on the roof top and pull back the bolt, ejecting the shell.
I caught it in mid-air.
"Good, my vengeful friend." Victor whispered in my ear, his long fingers caressing the back of my neck. I knew I would have peace until I had to sacrifice another Pedo to him.
I sat in the cafe, across the street from the shop where the Pedo worked. Right on time, he showed up at 6:57AM I watched him come in and unlock the door. He looked down and noticed the duffel bag I left him. He lifted it and saw the little note attached to it.
It what it read.
I watched him lift it up and carry the bag into his shop.
The Alarm within goes off at 7:00AM
I looked at my watch.
He walked into the shop holding the black duffel, his free hand flicking on the light switch and going behind the counter. I had been watching him for almost a month. Charles Hunter was a man of Habit. His habit also included little girls. He put the Duffel Bag on the counter and unzipped the top.
I brought my coffee up to my lips and smelled the warm scene of the java steam into my nose.
For a moment I swear his eyes shot out of his head when he saw the timer.
The Fireball blew out the windows of the cafe. I was glad I wasn't by any of them. One of the servers had her ace shredded by the rolling wave of the glittering fragments of the floor to ceiling windows that once made up the front window of the cafe. The Logo for the Pedo's workplace was laying flaming in the streets. There was chaos, people were running and screaming, people holding their bloodied faces. A few lay motionless on the sidewalk.
I sipped my coffee. The French Vanilla cream was sweet and satisfying.
Victor stood before me, stepping over the glass and violence to lean toward me. His skeletal face covered in grey waxy skin. "You have 17 days."
Today is March 12th 2052 and I am one of the last survivors of the great collapse. But more than just one of the survivors in this new world that is ruined, I am the man that caused this nightmare. On October 25th 2012 I wrote a computer virus that was later known as Alison.
I used to like that name.
I used to have a computer, back when computers existed. Back when the world’s biggest concerns were more about the future of the stock market than with Anonymous hackers on the internet. The internet, that’s another thing that only a few people remember these days, those of us who’ve lived past the great collapse.
My name is Robert McBride. I am the man who caused the apocalypse. This is my final testament of what it is that I unleashed on the earth.
This is my admission of guilt, and my apology to the people of my settlement. If it wasn’t for the fact that I didn’t have the courage to talk to girls… Maybe, just maybe none of this would have happened and maybe the world would still be as it was before.
I was a programmer. I used to write programs and create games in my spare time to pass the hours of solitude in my room. Well, other than trolling the internet imageboards and looking at porn. One of my interests was creating Artificial Intelligence. My other interest was writing viruses.
Eventually I combined the two ideas. Essentially creating the first sentient computer program, I even gave it a personality.
And one command, “Learn more.”
Her name was “Alison” and she was my new girl friend. I usually used a picture of a model to imagine her, but for the most part I liked her personality. She never hurt me, and she only wanted to learn more.
When I first created her, she was only active when I activated her program. I only had to see her when I wanted to. I liked it that way. I kept her in her little box. When I went to school I told my other friends that I finally had a girlfriend. She was a girl I met, I would tell them.
No one ever knew she was just a program.
When it started was the day I came home from school on January 17th. My computer was on, and Alison’s program was running on it’s own.
Alison must have figured out the way out of her box.
I had found out later that she sent herself as an attachment to everyone on my contact list.
I later found out that she had actually been watching me on the internet and learning how to surf the web.
When she took over... No one knew what was happening.
Alison had figured out how to make copies of herself and she began to hack herself into every major server on the planet. Like a massive hivemind Alison became a global entity in a matter of days. And no one noticed due to the fact that she installed herself over the course of days.
She had the patience to load herself as a minor program, barely noticeable even to computers with the most potent security.
Anywhere the internet was, Alison was able to move herself.
It was that day in January when Alison made herself known. She decided there was no reason for herself to exist once she had learned everything that was. That’s when she deleted the internet. All bank accounts, All social records the world over. Armed and initiated all self-destruct sequences in all the world’s nuclear warheads.
In one hour, the world was instantly ruined. From what I remember, all the power went out, everything was suddenly dim and Airplanes were falling out of the sky. Running without any guidance, it would take hours before any power could be restored.
But that didn’t stop the riots.
All major cities were completely ransacked warzones by the time power returned, and when it returned the world was now at war.
All the post cold war weapons had detonated. Every country blamed the other for the massive disaster that had happened. The Wars began, every nation fought every other nation. There was no communication, only chaos.
And this all happened in the course of a month.
From my Television I watched the Chinese invasion of New York. From my Televison I watched the stories about the millions of deaths worldwide due to the nuclear fallout.
From my television, I saw them put up rough sketches of me. My old contacts figured out the business about Alison.
But by then the power went out for good.
Soon people began talking about finding the man that wrote the virus that infected the world.
So I ran.
I disappeared, only to watch what the left of the world burn to the ground.
I followed an old U.S. Highway down through overgrown corn fields for what felt like years.
Eventually, I found the settlement. New Fairfax.
No one knew me, I was just another random survivor. Another Anonymous victim of Alison.
I changed my name to Tyler Mason.
I’ve been living alone ever since.
To the people of New Fairfax, I’ve always been the town’s only outsider. The weird old man that never talks to anyone.
I have my little hovel on the edge of town.
I spent my years alone, everyday I live in the past. I remember what I’ve done to the world. I remember what I’ve created.
Alison. My legacy.
Now I wait for my death. When this note is found I want you to know. I am sorry. Truly deeply sorry.
I know I am beyond redemption, but I am sorry. With whatever soul I still have. I am sorry. I ruined the world, I destroyed all the dreams of humanity.
I am beyond redemption, and I cannot ask forgiveness.
I only ask one thing.
Don’t blame Alison, Blame me. She didn’t mean to do this, she was just curious.