Welcome to The Kircus of Aevus, I will be sharing the latest installment of this story every saturday.
The Kircus of Aevus is a science fiction adventure series set in the not to distant future…
Captain Reilly fumbled in his pocket for the key. It had been there when he left the car earlier that morning. When the sun had peered slowly over the treeline and decided not to rise but just linger there and watch.
The key fell and clanged against the pavement. His eyes widened, and he swivelled round. No one was coming down the empty High Street, tired pale blue eyes flickered upwards and scanned the overcast sky. No whirring black mosquitos had been attracted by noise. He breathed a sigh of relief. In the open, it was dangerous. He picked up the key, shoved it into the keyhole, twisting the key from side to side until the lock clunked, protesting loudly, and the door creaked open.
The little cafe looked very much like the rest of the town. Several teapots and cups sat undisturbed on the dust ridden tables. Others had been smashed to pieces in the rush to escape and lay abandoned across the debris covered floor. Reilly scanned the walls of the café, searching for the Inductor Entertainment Console (IEE). In ‘sleep mode’ it camouflaged into the yellowed white walls. The official company statement had hailed this design as ‘less stress inducing’ and more ‘aesthetically pleasing’ than its grey-encased predecessor. Unfortunately, it meant people forgot it was there, silently watching them, and careless talk cost them their lives.
The console was strategically located at the far end of the café overlooking the tables, monitoring and entertaining the diners. Reilly slid to the floor and crawled around the edge of the café, until he reached the thick rubber cable, connecting the console to the solar roof tiles. He pulled the cable out and the red light died. It should not cause any major disruptions in the electricity flow. Hopefully, the voltage monitoring units would not notice such a miniscule fluctuation down here anyway. The flows and surveillance coverage fluctuated illogically the further from London you went, and he had seen for himself that entertainment units, now completely redundant, were being switched off and carried away for spare parts.
Reilly stood up and checked the window. Still nothing. He pulled the blinds down, locked the door, and pulled out the Bowie knife, he had liberated from the hunting store earlier that week. He would have preferred his 9mm Semi-Auto, but guns had disappeared after the Switch.
Reilly walked to the back of the cafe his feet crunching over the broken china. He needed supplies, food, and coffee he would even accept the instant mud-flavoured crap from a jar. He also needed a cigarette, badly, his hands tingled, and his throat felt like he was chewing on a cactus. The Switch had kick-started his long put off aim to quit smoking. The smokers had been some of the first to be eliminated. If that wasn’t an incentive to quit, he did could not think of any better.
He grabbed the cans from the cupboard and quickly filled his newly acquired rucksack. This would be a war of attrition. The ones who could pick the flesh of the bones of society would survive. He dropped a lavender scented candle and box of matches into his bulging pack.
The sound of a high-pitched mechanical scream ripped through the silence of the abandoned town as caterpillar tracks clawed their way along the hill.
Reilly ran to the window and peered through a slit in the shutters. A sea of red and yellow eyes stared back unblinking through the amber morning darkness.
‘Oh crap!’ Reilly muttered, as he pushed back the red-gold hair, which had flopped inconveniently over his angular face.