Year sixteen:

"It's you."

I struggle futilely, catching only a glimpse of dark, crew-cut hair and the by-now-iconic combat suit. White and dark blue. "It's here. And it's now."

"Me? Why me?"

Exasperation. "We don't know."

I feel a needle going into my arm, right through the shirt. "This is anaesthetic. We're going to put you into the deepest coma it's biologically possible to wake from. Your brain functions will be slowed to a crawl and you'll be more or less paralysed from the neck down. It'll wear off in about fifteen minutes."

"There're nothing but sand out here for two hundred miles, what harm could--"

Then it starts to feel like layers of insulating foam are being placed in front of all my senses.

"Please just trust me. Even this might not work."

An insane white light wobbles out of my peripheral vision and stops dead in front of my eyes. That is the Sun. I have fallen on the sand.

A different voice, crackly: "Brent's into his dive. Thirty and counting. Go."

There's a distant sonic boom. And a seemingly eternal windy silence.

My eyes are burning out. They won't close. My head hurts, but I feel detached from the pain, like someone's bringing messages from the next room: "We've got a report here saying you have a splitting headache..."

It takes him minutes to reach me. I see every detail on his face, on his fists. His eyes are brown, like mine. My fingers twitch. "Hnnnnnnnnn--"

And then--





I wake up groggy, clotted to the ground.

Over the course of minutes I stagger upright, barely noticing the shreds of white and dark blue here and there on the blackened sand. Climb the nearest dune. Climb, jump, leap and fly.

It's a beautiful day.

Next: Crushed Underground

This was created as part of Raz de Equites, an Everything2 quest. The title was selected from a set list and there was a limit of 300 words. However, as only one entry was allowed per person, I chose "Film Maker" as my entry instead.

Discussion (10)

2008-05-06 07:40:22 by Val:

Trying to let the Birth of 4096 happen while he's paralyzed, arent'we? :)

2008-05-06 23:26:54 by Val:

..oops, I mean 65536 Haven't seen it's year 16

2008-07-18 18:18:45 by Paradoxia:

No, actually I think it's number 32768. Remember, you can't just say 2 to the power 16 because the first super started as number 1 and the next one as 2 etc. Anyway, glad they finally have a system working to get to the Births in time (hopefully).

2008-08-16 11:15:51 by Paradoxia:

Then again, would the first one be 2? No, I don't think it says anywhere that the first power is twice as strong as a normal human so I think my previous comment is correct.

2008-11-20 16:44:12 by Panda:

16 would be 65,536 they point out the numbers and strength with Arika and Jason. So the first power was 2. Interesting Fact BTW, if he slows his perception full pin, in one second our time, he would have a little over 18hours to do whatever. Crazy.

2008-12-06 17:08:04 by Daedalus:

17 years after this story, the new Birth is more powerful than the rest of humanity combined.

2009-10-26 02:56:47 by TimMcCormack:

Are these supposed to be out of order? I just read a story farther down the page that takes place in year 11.

2009-10-26 08:12:40 by qntm:


2009-10-26 15:05:37 by TimMcCormack:

Ah, now that I've read farther, I have a better sense of the narrative structure. Actually, I really, really like the jumping around. Carry on! :-D (This is a seriously excellent story.)

2019-12-12 02:21:31 by The Apocalyptic:

I worked it out. The difference in power between a given Power and all previous Powers combined is exactly and invariably equal to the power of the First Power.

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