Author: Quatez Reid

Chapter 14
The Here and Now


Our unlikely survivors are headed back to post, courtesy of Old Man Thomas' unnamed, probably dead battle buddy!

Vonotar: You see...I bet you didn't expect that!

Smitty: I still don't understand!

Francis: These...”dumbies” as you call them, are actually much more intelligent than you give them credit for. When you had that flamethrower, I saw some cower in fear and try to walk away. Yet some, like the ones that followed you into the garage, mimic'd your zipline fail. And your first encounter with them has pretty much confirmed my theory-THEY'RE DIEING and not DEAD!

Boyd: So you're saying that whatever is causing this, is actually EATING away at their body slowly?

Francis: Yes. I think its food-borne, as G.O.D. told me one day...

Smitty: God told you?

Francis: Not God, like Father of creation. G.O.D. Like Government Operated Device, our supercomputer that I helped create.

Vonotar: Lemme guess, it went HAYWIRE, proclaimed all mankind needed to die, and set out on some sort of crazed path to perfection?

Smitty: That's the dumbest-

Francis: Actually...yes! But how did you-

Vonotar: I highlighted that in my paper! You were in love with it, but you didn't get the underlying meaning?

Francis: In Engineering, there IS NO underlying. No should be. There is ONLY IS and what WILL BE.

Vonotar: And that is why...YOU FAIL!

Smitty: Woah! Lets cut the geek-bar and break the sentences down for us without complicated, rocket-surgery degrees. What happened Dr. Francine?

Francis: *sigh* Ok. I was tweaking a bug I found in the source code for G.O.D. and it started to have a conversation with me. It asked me what I thought of the Bible, more specifically, the plagues.

Boyd: Like the Revelation ones, or the ones from Moses?

Francis: Could be both. If it was speaking of Revelation, it would make sense..., the pestilence, the mass deaths...

Smitty: I think you Bible-beaters are racking your brains too hard. The computer clearly meant the “Black Plague”. It wouldn't be too hard for a "SUPERcomputer" to unleash something like Bird Flu into the world. After all, YOU worked at CDC and YOU made it. YOU uploaded all the data into this computer!

Francis: FOR SCIENCE! Imagine, having patients that could be diagnosed and healed in a matter of minutes, instead of days or years. Cancer patients treated because we were able to pinpoint the cause using a “sentient being”, whose knowledge surpassed our own understanding.

Smitty: For a sexy babe with an Engineering degree, you sure are dumb!

Francis: How DARE YOU?!

Smitty: You had the BALLS to call your team ANGELS. Last I checked, Angels were the SERVANTS of God. Next, you forgot that Computers only know as MUCH as the programmer. HOW MANY of you “SAINTS” were on the creation team...?

Francis: There were 7 of us at first. 3 Dropped out due to religious reasons.

Smitty: And of those 3, who actually had a motive?

Vonotar: Motive? Who are, Columbo now sir?!

Smitty: Listen, People don't just quit MOMENTOUS projects because of religious reasons, “honey”. They quit because they either A, don't get enough control, or B, are overshadowed by someone new...someone young...someone...you.

Francis: That's...I...I...

Boyd: So you're implying someone tried to reprogram the computer? Make it all bad and destroy humans?

Smitty: Yeah. Essentially, a remake of mankind.

Vonotar: Sir...how did you even THINK of all that?

Smitty: I've got a bachelor's in Philosophy, and I minored in Theology...

Boyd: I knew you sounded too smart to NOT know about the Bible...

Smitty: “Know your enemy”...its what the old man used to say...

Vonotar: Ok OK! HOLD ON! BACK TO THE TOPIC! Francis, how do we stop the program?

Francis: I don't know. My partner had been preparing the deletion code, just in case...HE had a feeling that a sentient program would...I JUST...

*Tears begin to well up in her eyes*

Boyd: Its gonna be ok...don't cry...

Francis: I'm sorry...its just...with all that's happening, I haven't had time to...EMOTE...its all so much!

Smitty: You better not get goddamn PTSD! You're the only one we know of who might be able to stop this! You and your “partner”.

Vonotar: Hey sir, Let her be, shes just trying to deal. 'Sides, we got bigger things to deal with now...

Francis: No...I need that. But...can I ask a favor of you, Victor?

Vonotar: Sure. Whats up?

Francis: Can we stop by my house...If its not too much of a bother?

Vonotar: Uh...I have to use my chain of command...

Smitty: Ain't your home in Stone Mountain...as in WHERE WE JUST LEFT?!

Boyd: Why do you need to go back lil lady?

Francis: Everything I need is back there. Every researcher knows that you keep more than one copy of your work. One was at the office, and the other I kept in my house. So what do you say? *sniffle*

Vonotar: You heard the lady sir...I act on your whim...

Smitty: I say we go back to post, and get the hell to the bed...

Boys: And I SAY We go to her house. I AM the highest ranking here, and this is NOT up for discussion.

Smitty: But-


Smitty: Yes sir...

Boyd: Vonotar, whip this thing around and set a course for...?

Francis: East Side Stone Mountain

Smitty: And shes sediddy too?

Vonotar: Aye Aye SIR!

Boyd: We're not in the Navy!

Vonotar: Had a friend named Rob sir. Navy Nut. If you love me, then you'd...well, you'd well...

[Vonotar turns the Van that they found on the side of the road around and goes back into Stone Mountain. Once they get to Panola Road, the streets have been blocked off and the Channel 5 Fox news is there covering the whole thing...]


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