WHAT HAS GONE BEFORE
Chapter 1 – “TRUTH” – Fireball and sonic booms in the sky, Grey rain, Conspiracy news sites – computers fried, individual conspiracy believers – a similar fate, much self mutilation by the very same, visible streams of broken conspirator words in a blue/white starry shimmer disappearing from the body to the ether, tick like bugs exiting mutilated bodies swarming and repairing the bodily harm, the people seemingly cleansed of their conspiracies.
A warning to every electronic device on the surface of the Planet on the fourth day after:
“Remember the Truth. Separate fact from fiction, what you see is real. Believe in Science, never forget history. Be kind, love thy neighbour – all. You are not alone, we are the Truth watchers. Always have been and will be. Do not dismiss us. Next time we come fireballs will crash to earth, earthquakes will break……Humans will tear themselves apart and our Word mites will eat you”.
Cracking sounds great the turn of the wheel on the hatch. “Geez, I know I have been down here for two weeks and two days, but the hatch shouldn’t be that tough to crack open. Hinges were nicely greased before the test run was started.” So says Herman, the wannabee survivalist and staunch Libertarian as he heads back to the surface from his new survivalist underground bunker real time test run. Crack it finally does followed by a pop of air normalisation.
Fresh air gulped down, almost choking on its freshness. “Hmm, have to do more work on those air filters”, as the putrid air leaks out behind him. The air stinks and Herman really has no idea how much he does. Two weeks and two days down the hole will do that to you. His only connection to the world had been his mirror periscope. This morning? Just a severely frosty ground and frosty back of house to be seen. Two months was planned, but after wall shakes and booms that reverberated to the underground four days earlier, his curiosity had gained the upper hand.
Hoar frost covers the Plains as far as the eye can see, if the eye does see. Naked sun and glare from the ice is too much for his underground dampened retinas. “At least the World is still here”, as he savours the icy air into the now recovering lungs. This back end of North Dakota has not seen this event for close on 70 years. Days have stretched to weeks now and it is not yet quite Winter. Way too early. Pretty extreme it is. “Surely those Climate Change nutters aren’t correct?”, states one nutter blindly to himself.
Herman is one of a not so rare but currently endangered sub species of human that sees conspiracy at every turn. Anything emitting a radio or electronic signal is to be treated with much caution as ‘Big Brother’ is obviously tethered to everything listening and waiting for the right moment to pounce. Not that Herman has ever been on anyone’s radar, apart from his recently departed Mum who used to despair at his disappearing acts as a teenager and early adult, only to return days later, no apologies, no reasons given, no matter how stressful it had been for Mum. Herman was and still is a nobody. Friends? A couple of school pals, but only really one that was close, his dark web drug dealing mate – Dino, who he used to spend much disappeared time with. His drift to the edge of society went unnoticed by society at large.
Nobody jobs in Service Stations, Janitor work and his longest stint working on installing Septic tanks in difficult to get to locations. Much hand digging was required. Herman’s love of a decently sized hand dug hole was born. A seriously good hole he dug. The survivalist bunker in his Mum’s backyard was his “piece de resistance”!
Herman’s Army surplus boots echoed a crunch across the yard to the house, a small wind zephyr out of nowhere, cracking a still frozen branch off the sole tree, collapsing the clothesline to the ground. Jump, Herman did. He was naturally scared – part of his sub-species traits that he swore to work on, but never quite did. Unnoticed by his still adjusting eyeballs, a tiny shimmer of blue and white stars showered off the smashed ice particles. A casual gaze over the scene. Ice crystals vaguely grey, but not enough to get the two week and two days underground mind to register.
To the woodshed, wood chopped and carried to back verandah. The three padlocks unlocked – all combination, generator start attempt, but this damn freezing weather it just wouldn’t crank over. “Gotta get the fire going, heat some water, find the hot water bottle, fill it and give the generator a warming cuddle.” Wood heater started, water heated, hot water bottle filled and placed. Finally, an hour later it revs to life. Lights on for the first time in weeks, main room warming, Herman settles down to find out what has happened to the World while he was away. Obviously not much as the lights are on in most of the houses and nearby light industrial estate on this edge of town. He had eschewed mains power supply years ago freaking out about EM radiation emissions. But, he still maintained the telephone land line. None of this Wireless stuff! More EM to ruin you!
His trusty and crusty 2010 Dell Latitude, cover saturated with Libertarian quotes is revved up. Automatically he heads through all the protocols that Dino had set up for his access to the dark web. No Fake news main stream media for him. Only the ‘REAL’ news. Punches out “Infowars” on the keyboard. “What is going on? Nothing! Huh?”, is let out in frustration. Lines of unintelligible code (to Herman at least) are levitating up the screen, Blue and white is the colour. “What the f#%k is going on?” Restart protocols run through and tries almost mainstream Newsmax. Error 404 flashes briefly and the blue and white gibberish starts over again. Back to restart. Out of desperation Herman commits the cardinal sin of typing CNN and voila, straight to its news site.
Standard fake news extolling the virtues of the new Biden led Covid vaccination campaign. “Can’t these morons see that Bill Gates will control everything! Shit!, I may as well still be in the bunker. W T F is going on?” He checks Fox News – some old faces that last backed Trump are gone. Tucker Carlson is conspicuous with a rant about the value of Real Truth vs believing the conman Trump. “What has Tucker been smoking?? The only voice of sanity on mainstream fake news has gone insane!” A quick check of his go to Survivalist/Conspiracy Dark site – “HELLS HOLE DIGGERS”, nothing but the blue and white levitation to show. Herman’s scared gene kicks to full life.
“Oh man, my head is pounding, what has happened? Its too much. Maybe I am still in the Bunker dreaming. That must be it.” Sub zero temperatures outside and the Couch near the wood heater beckons. Stoke it up and off Herman goes into dream land. His natural disposition of being scared, certainly doesn’t help and a nightmare beckons.
Noooooo!!!, is screamed coming out of sleep. The dream fragments feeling all too real. Thump and sharp smashing sounds are outside. Automatic glance towards the door and it just doesn’t make sense. Herman is still trying to collect thoughts after his disturbing bugs eating human dreams that left his mouth with a bitter tang that triggers memory of the air tang the day before when the tree branch snapped off under the Icy weight.
Unseen and unknown, overnight a warm front had arrived. Hoar frost and Ice riveted to the veranda posts and beams had started breaking off, collapsing and melting. Instead of dripping and leaking away like normal melts, it has found its unerring way under the door with purpose heading towards the couch. Couched he is, body locked in place as if covered in Hoar frost.
A sun ray penetrated casting a brief light to the now wet floor. Weird grey film is dancing on its surface. “Aghhhh, its alive the goddam water is alive, I must move.” Sleep dreams, fugue from two weeks underground, never enough workouts and reaction time is just way too slow. Out of the water, stream hundreds of Tick like bugs with one sole purpose. Herman’s dream came true. Shrinking through the weave of his woolen socks they penetrate under the toenails and work their way up and along. Using the main arteries as a super highway to the Brain first and then back towards the Heart, they consumed from the inside to out. Within a minute all that remained was his Ear stud and a reducing shimmer of blue and white stars dissipating along the floor, under the door and gone back to the Truth Watchers above.
Herman never received their message about Truth, and their additional warning about being eaten if truth was ignored. He should have stayed below.
The surreal and bloody events of a week earlier had almost completely dissipated with our unquenchable thirst for new news cycles. There were still TV psychologists offering Counseling to the witnesses of the “Truth cleanse” (as it had become known) filling up space on Morning TV shows.
Rational people all across the Planet had witnessed fragmented word streams, self mutilations and body repairs by bugs. The irrational and deluded were not irrational or deluded anymore. Their memories purged of the Con and Grifter fake news World into which they had deep dived.
So quick, the truth ignorers found a path to irrationality again. Newly minted Doomsday Prophesy con artists found a voice. A week on, and the conspiracy of a Cabal of World Governments breeding the Truth bugs came out, swiftly followed by a new Bill Gates population control virus partly funded by the Soros foundation, Democratic Party of America and any other left leaning Government.
For every ex-conspiracy lover purged a week earlier, a new one now popped up. Perhaps they had been hunkering down in underground isolation like Herman, exited the Cave or basement just missing the above ground gory Global Truth reset.
These Truth ignorers knew not of the final Truth Watcher message. All their online friends and occasional real human friends stated nothing about it as their knowledge had gone.
Out of one such Air-gapped basement in New York, a well bearded, tired but happy Q starts the eight skinny steps up to street level with thumb drive of the latest open ended conspiracy puzzle in the pocket. Care was needed due black ice even making stepping up a risk. Just over a week ago as the weather turned freezing, he descended into his separate world below to work on the latest puzzle to perpetuate the myth of Q Anon.
He had a quite chuckle to himself as he started the ascent. It was amazing where that fanciful Short story penned back in 2012 had taken him. It had been his first real attempt at looking into the group psychology and psychosis of Society. Especially intriguing was how to convince people of fantastical and frankly absurd propositions? Donald Trump and his Cabal of rusted on followers made the perfect storm for group psychosis.
Mid September 2017 and with his mate – Petey, showing his one and only WordPress publication, titled “Who knows” that received zero likes and only one read. Shattering it had been, and no more. Humiliation was just too much! He never renewed the subscription and went snow boarding instead. The Trust Fund got a workout. His mate was like “wow man”, you know this just about makes sense. My old man always said there was something bent about those leftie types. You make this so fucking real. Fuck it, you got nothin to lose, just post it online to one of the conspiracy sites. 4Chan accepts just about anything and everything and your identity is secret. Dudes that check out 4Chan will just about believe anything.” So he did. This pure garbage fiction took off in fake truth ways Q never imagined. It did feed his ego to perpetuate fake World. Now after three years, the joke was starting to thin. He was tired of the great Con, but the ego would not let go. Maybe the great Con was getting tired of him.
Six stories above, the house cleaner opens up balcony doors and steps out, not really aware of the Icy balcony floor below. She slips forward, down onto her back and slides hard into the Ice encrusted balcony. The bang, enough to dislodge much crusted on Ice to fall below. Winter diminished Sun highlighting an odd blue and white starry shimmer in the disturbance. The cleaner groans and carefully picks herself up. She is shaken but not stirred and gets on with life of work. Six stories and four remaining basement steps below, Q involuntarily looks up at the descending sound above just as the Ice hits the eyes. Shock of being hit, instantly followed by indescribable pain to the left eye and he slips backwards down the stairs to his basement door, hitting his head on the door knob, slumped in concussion as the eye pain intensifies. He is screaming but none hear or see the bearded and increasingly maddened one slumped down a flight of stairs from the real world. No one to see the fragmented word stream of Pedo…le Satan.. .emocra. baby bl..d deat.cu.t disappearing upward to the ether.
He became just a bloodied Truth Bug smothered gurgle as they attended to their most important work. With this one, they devour all the body first apart from the head and then start working their way towards the mouth which is now fixed in an “O” of disbelief. They slash a bloody track across and down the lower lip and then finish what is left of the rest.
A week after the thaw, an odd rotting smell attracted anyone to look, getting social media abuzz with a viral photo purple coloured Q shaped lips and nothing else. Just as quickly it was forgotten just as Herman was never remembered. Q who? Life went on. Little by little, a more truthful life that is.
Herman and Q’s grisly demise, while unnoticed, was just the edge of similar events sporadically happening all over the World.
American troop withdrawals in Afghanistan, led to the mountain cave complexes of the Jihad fighters emptying out. Their truth was like no other. On exiting many were caught in localised rain deluges that had not been witnessed before. The first fighter out reported sunny, the second fighter out reported cloudy, the main batch out and the scything, stinging, grey deluge descended. Within seconds all those drenched were enveloped in thousands of bugs that ate and the ate until there was no more apart from AK47 trigger assemblies. A fine gossamer of word fragments disappearing to the ether….72 vi..ins, welc..e de..h, music is .he ..rk of Sat.n, Wom.n mu.. be at h..e, k.f..r must d.e.
Quiet achievers the Truth Watchers were. Rather than the very public events of just over a week earlier, their ever watchful mopping up operations continued over the next few days out of view of any media, social or otherwise. All over, the stinging grey water found its way as water always had. A small impact on our planet’s out of control population growth with about Four Million of us erased from existence. A big impact on separating truth from fiction.
Soon..Edge of Truth