Far From Home: Chapter 7 – The Erasing, Part 2

“What the hell do you mean erased?” I was shouting, suddenly very, very awake. The word terrified me although I didn’t know why. It was something more than the connotation of death in erase, and it wasn’t the thought that Shade may be a killer. No there was something else, something deeper.

{All units have been deleted. Removed. Erased}

“You mean dead”, I demanded.

{Unknown. No evidence of death, only erasing}

I glared at the humming, hovering robot as I felt my old friends confusion and fear rise inside me. They had always been with me, living and feeding off me. They gave me my anger, my pure points of rage and fury and it was, I had long ago come to realise, a symbiotic relationship of equal dependence. For now I sat on them, squashed them a little deeper until I was in control; anger would come and anger would save me, but for now I needed answers. “When? How?” I asked through gritted teeth.

{Thirty two minutes and forty five seconds ago}

Precise. Robots. But that was… “How long have I been here, in Shade?”

{Thirty two minutes and forty seven seconds}

“Did I arrive at the same time, or just after?”

{The same time}

I hadn’t expected that. My rising anger sank a little, tamped down as I tried to form some sort of timeline. “I was in a meadow…”

{You awoke under the trees on the mountain} Shade added.

“No, before that. Before here. I was in a meadow… it was on fire I think… I’m not sure. I was in the meadow and I had,” my hands shot to my face, “fur! I had fur and horns! Oh god! I had horns!” I ran my hands over skin and through hair that wasn’t mine, “What happened to my horns?”

{Unknown}

“I wasn’t asking you!” I snapped and immediately felt bad. “Look… sorry, I’m… Tell me again, I arrived at the same time as the rest of the people were… erased?”

{Correct}

“Then why wasn’t this body erased?” I asked patting both hands on my chest.

{Unknown}

“You don’t know much, do you?” I said with bitter sarcasm.

Shade bristled. His hum increased and several of his attachments whirled and snapped {I am Shade. I am everything you see, hear, smell and touch. I contain enough data and knowledge to maintain a whole planet of ten billion people. The erase did not originate on this planet and I hold no data on it or similar events}

“What did you say?” I shot back at the robot, my eyes wide with recognition.

{I am shade. I am this planet…}

“No, what did you call the event? The erase?”

{Correct}

I felt the colour drain from my face and my legs buckle beneath me. The erase. What else could remove ten billion people? What else could eat up planets without stopping? The erase. The Great Erase. The name slotted into one of the many dark holes of my mind like a small but important jigsaw piece. The Great Erase. A terrible echo of massive power rippling through the multiverse deleting all in its path. And it was here. A thought stuck me. “Why are the buildings still her? Why is the city? You?” I tried to stand up but my legs seemed to want to sleep, “Why haven’t you been erased?”

{Current data indicates the erase continues. Expectation is for further, deeper erases shortly}

“Shortly? What do you call shortly?” my voice hard with panic.

{Do not sleep Chosen Unit Antfarm. You must remain awake}

“What?” I was confused, “Never mind that, I’m fine. What is ‘shortly’, tell me?”

{The event is returning. Expected arrival in ten minutes. You must not sleep!}

“I told you, I’m not tired.” I said as my body crumpled to the floor and the world winked out around me.

****{}****

To be continued…
All the “Far From Home” posts can be read here.

*****{*}*****

Links to other blogs and stories:
1) The Great Erase is a tale told by Salazar Jack and you can read more here.

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