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The Physics of Madness

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What would become an apocalyptic plight worldwide began as a normal day. I rushed out the door to get to school as the news showed the weather and traffic reports. Today was history in the making. The news had been reporting for days on the "Hadron Collider" experiment.

A million Quarks, Atoms, Neutrons, Protons and Electrons would be shot from opposite sides at each other. Scientists wanted to see what would happen in such an environment with opposite particles being forced together at high speed. We would be watching in Physics class since scientists worldwide predicted that something bizarre would occur.

There'd been protests in front of the White House and the capital for days though, and not all of the population was happy to see this experiment go through. If the experiment was a success, it would basically be like an energy light show inside the collider.

If it wasn't successful, no one knew what would happen. Some scientists speculated that a black hole would appear right inside the Hadron Collider and would suck up all of earth in a matter of an hour. The chances of any "going wrong scenario were around 1%, but with all the scenarios that existed, the chance of it failing in some horrific way was high.

At school, my first hour was physics, and we were lucky enough to be sitting, watching live on ABC as the collider was about to be used.

My friend Keith leaned over and said to me, "Close your eyes."

"Why?" I asked.

"It might not be pretty," he replied with a grin. "Maybe the world will explode or split in half."

I almost laughed at the thought of earth just suddenly ripping in half and turned my attention back to the TV. The countdown began for the experiment and the camera was focused on the glass and plastic supercollider. "3...2...1..." The voice said, "ignite!" The supercollider turned on and suddenly, there was a blinding flash. The glass shattered and shards tore across the room. Suddenly, the scene switched to outside.

"Ladies and gentlemen, there's been a horrific accident inside the Collider. It seems that although the world hasn't ended as some were afraid, the experiment has." Smoke floated out of the building and I heard flames crackling. Suddenly, there was a second explosion and the entire landscape was lit up. A large hole tore in the air. How it was possible I couldn't explain. It was like a hole tore in the image of the laboratory as if the whole thing was a painting.

Something flew out and suddenly, a blue of motion soared out of the hole. Dark purple smoke oozed out of the tear in space/time and half the class began talking loud. Out of the blue, something tackled the cameraman to the ground and blood soaked the screen. Something thin and sharp, a projectile, struck the news reporter in her neck and she collapsed a few feet away. The camera sat there cracked and switched to the newsroom. "S-s-something's happened!" The anchor stuttered. He then broke down. "My family lives in Dectaur, Illinois, I gotta go warn them!" He darted out of the room and a commercial replaced the empty news.

We lived in Peoria and the Hadron Collider was a mere 20 miles from our school. The next five minutes were chaos. Frightened students, and several staff made a frantic effort to escape. Our room was on the side of the school with only a window and someone picked up a chair and tossed it through the glass.

The fire alarm sounded and the door shot open as other students climbed out the window. 20 miles to the Northwest, a large black pillar of smoke began rising up. Flashing explosions shot out of nowhere in that direction, suggesting the disaster wasn't over. A window to the third floor of my highschool shattered and a boy fell out. He landed on the grass, got up and limped away.

More windows began breaking and I saw people climbing out and being lowered out from the second floor. Someone grabbed my shoulder. "Let's get outta here," Keith yelled. "This might be the end of all this. Take a look at the school. It may be the last you see of it." 

In the parking lot cars were backed up as terrified parents came to get their children. One car headed toward the curb and as it did, a second car struck it. Flames shot out of the hood of the one and both were smashed. The doors to the highschool were unhinged and several injured kids were laid out on the lawn. As I watched this unfold, Tyrell darted toward me and Keith. His head had a large gash on it and he was limping. "What happened?!" Keith cried out.

"I was coming from the bathroom and as I got to the East wing, this mob of crazies almost trampled me," Tyrell replied. "What's happening?"

"The experiment at the collider went wrong, I'll tell you more later," Keith answered. We fled the scene and soon reacted my house. "It's locked, my mom and dad are at work in Springfield," I told Keith.

Keith walked a few steps away, picked up a stick and suddenly charged at the glass front door and began striking it. It started cracking. "You idiot! What are you doing?!??"

I screamed. "We have to get in that house,"

Keith said. "Getting in may save our lives."

The glass shattered and we entered. "Grab any food you can find and water," Keith said. "I'll get the batteries, and Tyrell, you get the toiletries and toothbrushes."

"Sure thing," Tyrell replied. He darted upstairs, Keith headed for the garage and I started in the pantry. I packed the food into a garbage bag I found in the foyer and I proceeded downstairs to grab extra food.

We regrouped in the garage, and Keith suggested we needed a car. "Both my parents are gone," I said. "Where're we gonna get a car?" Keith grinned, pulled out a paper clip and said he had an idea.

"No!" I yelled. "We aren't going to steal a vehicle!"

"Any better ideas?" Keith replied.

We headed next door, broke in, stole more food, and then headed to the garage. "I've got it," Keith told us as he fumbled with the ignition.

"Hey, who's in my house?!" A man yelled outside.

"Shit,"

I whispered. "We're dead!"

"I've almost..." I heard a gun cock and footsteps approach the garage. "GOT IT!!!" Keith screamed. He hit the gas and reversed, smashing through the garage door as a gunshot cracked the windshield.

The garage door fell and slid off the car as a second gunshot pierced the confusion. As the man walked out onto the street with a shotgun, we floored and sped off with a third shot echoing behind us. As we reached the nearest road, I saw a house with the door wide open and looters exiting an entering. I saw the same thing in several locations as we drove dangerously through Peoria cutting corners and nearly striking pedestrians.

Panic had spread fast and a line of cars was crowded in front of the Sunoco near our school. I could hear sirens wailing across the city and the occasional gunshot. A fire engine passed me with its lights flashing.

We reached interstate 74 in downtown, and already it was crowded. We decided against being trapped on it and took Washington road out of town. We soon were surrounded by farms and grass and out of the chaotic city. That's when Tyrell turned around and alerted us to the bizarre cataclysm beginning. "Whoa!" Tyrell yelled. "Holy shit man, look!" I turned and gasped.

A large, deep purple cloud had appeared to the Northwest where the collider had been. It was thick and looked like a strange ball of haze. It was widening fast and within an hour, it covered much of the Northwestern sky.

"What is it?" Tyrell asked.

Keith shivered and all I said was, "Something bad. It's something really bad." Tyrell wasn't shaken up as much as us since he hadn't seen the TV report.

"What's happening?" Tyrell asked more urgently. "Would someone please tell me what the hell we're running from!? Why is Peoria going insane??!! Why are we driving at near 90 miles per hour to the East?! WHY?!"

"Shut the fuck up, I'm trying to drive!!!" Keith yelled. I turned and looked Tyrell in the eye.

"You don't wanna know," I said.

"Yes I do!" Tyrell replied.

"Fine," I said. I took a deep breath. "That cloud isn't just a bad accident," I said. "The purple fog is something unknown to man. While you were away, everything went awful. The collider exploded right as the experiment occurred and then... this hole, this portal, appeared right where the laboratory once stood. That purple fog floated out and something else exited to. We saw a blue of motion, and something attacked the reporters. Both were slain where they stood. Blood splattered the screen and it went to static. The news anchor darted from the room to phone his family in Decataur, Illinois. After that, everybody panicked. I guess they all heard the rumors that the world might end and when the lab exploded and a hole opened in space and the reporters died, they realized it was happening."

Tyrell was silent. Then he began speaking. "Is it a black hole?" he asked.

"No," I said, "it didn't suck anything in. Something came out."

"Something?" Tyrell responded.

"Something alive," I said. "Some kind of monster must be in that dark pillar of fog, the one that murdered the reporter and cameraman."

Tyrell shivered violently. "Is it headed for Peoria? Are we safe? Can we escape?!"

"That's what we're doing!!!" I yelled. "Hopefully, by going East, we can escape the terror. I just hope my parents are okay!" 

I woke to chirping birds and light and sat up. Keith was warming a can of food over a makeshift fire he had started. The sky was void of a bizarre planet and I wondered if it was a dream.

"Did you see it?" Keith asked.

"What?" I replied.

"The planet, it appeared out of a hole in space," Keith replied. I gasped. It wasn't a dream, I had seen a real planet appear from out of nowhere.

"Yes," I replied.

"Well, it wasn't a dream," Keith told me.

"I listened to the news this morning, and they said that this planet is at a strange distance from earth. A large, 500 foot tall tidal wave had torn across much of Western Europe and killed half of the population. The wave also hit West Africa and the Azores. It was on course now for Australia and Indonesia. Worldwide casualties were predicted and people along California's coast were heading to the mountains to escape. Los Angeles would be underwater by tonight as would be San Fransisco, San Deigo, Seattle, Vancouver, Portland and Salem."

"We've gotta get to higher ground!" Tyrell yelled. I was confused.

"Why? We aren't on the coast."

"If we don't, we'll be killed when the Pacific Ocean washes over the United States!" Tyrell replied. "Most of America will be underwater."

I was startled. Suddenly, I remembered the fog. I turned and was shocked to see the purple cloud covering half of the sky. It was everywhere. It had to be a few miles away. "Let's go!" I cried. 

We reached by nightfall, we were in Grayling. The city was several hundred feet above sea level and would be a great place to stop. As I began to close my eyes, I heard the sound of water flowing. I opened my eyes and saw water fill town. It was a foot deep here, but anywhere else in our country, an ocean had formed. 

The news the next day was only out of ABC, who had retreated to the Mountains near Los Angeles. Every other news station was destroyed.

"Looting is now widespread in any place that survived the floods. Most of the US today is flooded over, and the world has been fully engulfed in water. Meanwhile, the purple smoke has been seen spreading over most of America." I turned and gasped. The cloud of purple was so close, hills only several miles from town were veiled by it. The sun shone through a bit, but very little light pierced it. It drew near and by midday, all of town was engulfed in it.

The air had a bizarre quality in that it seemed harder to breath. It also had an odd smell to it, that can't be described. Harmonics in this fog of darkness were weird to, since even nearby noise sounded far away. A truck driving outside sounded like it was on one of the hills a few miles out. I had to yell to Keith even when I was a few feet from him just so he could clearly hear me.

After a few hours, we boarded a plane heading for Traverse city. From there, we would fly to Denver, where the US was regrouping. We reached Traverse city in a short time and our plane to Denver took off around 3. As we soared over Wisconsin, I gazed down at the ruined farmland below. Debris floated in the water and I could see the buildings of St. Paul and Minneapolis sticking out of the ocean like ancient monoliths. 

Outside, it was like the evening. There was enough light to see the fog passing by, but still, not much. It was while we flew through this bizarre cloud that strange things began happening. A loud, melancholy cry sounded somewhere outside the plane, sending shivers through most of the passengers.

"What was that?" Keith whispered. I shook my head.

"I don't know," I replied. Tyrell gazed out the window, but saw nothing. "Remember how we saw movement on the TV screen when the portal opened up at the ruined collider?" I asked Keith.

"Y-yeah," he replied. I continued, stuttering and shaking in fear.

"W-w-well, then the reporters were killed and shit. I wonder-is something lurking in this fog?"

We were silent. I slumped in my seat and would feel no safety until we reached Denver. We drew closer and closer. Finally, when we were only 20 miles from Denver, I let out a sigh. Suddenly, something struck the plane. A large shape hit the window next to us, cracking it. Two large, glowing eyes gazed in at us and Tyrell screamed.

Keith jumped up to grab the nearest fire extinguisher and the window shattered. There was a blur of motion and Tyrell was sent flying into the next row. Another fast blur, and the woman who'd been sitting in front of us was a bloody, decapitated corpse. Red liquid covered the wall and soaked several seats. A fast blur darted through the air and blood soaked the aisle.

Keith aimed and fired the extinguisher's liquid at the flying creature. It screeched and crashed headfirst into the bathroom. It reared up on its hindlegs, revealing its hideous form. The being was seven feet tall, with large, bat-like wings. Its face was two glowing eyes, and a mouth of simply two pincers and rows of teeth. It let out and growl and fired a spear-like projectile from its mouth. The object struck Keith in the arm and pierced right through it. Blood soaked me and Keith screamed.

Right as the being was about to attack him, there was a gunshot. The monster's head exploded and black blood soaked the area. I turned to see Tyrell standing behind me with a handgun. "I found a dead Marshall with this and saved your asses," he told us. "You can thank me later."

There was another sound of shattering glass and a scream. Blood oozed from the cockpit and we snuck over. Two other Marshalls were dead and we took their guns. I told both of my companions to be silent and as we got ready, I have the countdown. "3...2...1!" We burst into the cabin and chaos erupted. The monster lunged and was killed. A second creature tackled me and I stuck the gun in its mouth, pulling the trigger. Its head tore backwards and black fluid filled the cockpit.

More creatures appeared at the window and we kept firing. The cockpit instruments were destroyed and the plane's wheel was torn off. The aircraft suddenly took a sharp turn and began a spiraling descent. We killed several more monsters and the plane slammed hard into the ground. Dirt piled up against the window and there was an explosion in the back.

When it was over, me and my friends were soaked in blood and injured. I stumbled into the hall to see most of the passengers were dead. Only a few passengers were still alive and two were injured. Tyrell kicked open the door and we gazed out. Several dead people were scattered around the plane and I heard sirens approaching. I sighed and collapsed. We'd made it. We were safe. 

Several weeks after the accident at the Hadron Collider, me, Keith and Tyrell had found shelter in the Bronco stadium in downtown. We had food, running water, cots and safety. The sky was always dark purple, and at night, it was pitch black and devoid of stars.

It was on the 30th of June that it happened. Scientists stated that satellite images showed a third portal open up in space. For several days, a large, dark portal hovered by earth in space.

It was on July 4th the situation changed. At noon, the TV screens in the stadium were suddenly lit up with breaking news. Several huge asteroids exited the hole and began orbiting earth. One struck the moon and a large piece of rock flew off and directly struck central Africa, killing thousands. Three asteroids grazed earth, tearing off pieces of continents. The chunks of earth rained back down as meteors on the other side.

The remaining space rocks were hurled into space, and one struck the ghost planet between earth and mars. Then, it got scarier. On July 10th, it changed. Recent evidence showed that the three portals formed a bizarre triangle and that they exerted a force on the gravity binding planets to the sun. In exactly three weeks, Venus was supposed to strike earth, and Mercury would be swallowed by the sun.

The asteroid belt was already disturbed and the rocks would pound mars into a cratered, flaming hell. The only cause of this disaster was the Hadron Collider. The solution was unknown. Also, the moon had basically left earth's orbit and was now its own planetoid orbiting the sun. 

Keith's hopefulness for survival faded. The news that we were on a collision course with Venus finally killed his hope. He slumped in his cot all day and slept more than usual. Finally, after a week, I asked him why he was so upset.

"We survived so much," I told him. "Look, even if Venus is on a collision with us, we aren't the side that'll be hit. It's supposed to strike around where Europe is."

Keith looked at me and began tearing up. "Don't you understand?" he asked me. "Don't you realize this is it?! Venus is the size of earth!! When it hits, this planet, and it, will completely explode. Nothing will be left. That's a guaranteed death sentence. Worse yet, I wish we were the side getting hit! They will instantly die! They'll be vaporized and crushed! We get to be launched off into space, to die from a lack of oxygen and air pressure! We'll die the most painfully!"

I was horrified. We were the unlucky ones, AND we would all die. We'd escaped the tidal waves, monsters, asteroid impacts and riots, but unless we left earth's surface, which wasn't going to happen, we were dead. This was 100% likely. I had only two weeks, and after that, nothing.

I found Tyrell in the church nearby, praying. "You heard the news?" I asked.

He nodded. "I can't believe this is it," he said.

"We escaped death so many times but-I guess you can't cheat death and win." I was solemn.

"Do you believe in God?" Tyrell asked me.

"Nah," I said. "I just don't. I'm Agnostic."

Tyrell looked at me and said sadly, "I'm not sure if I believe totally either anymore. Look at this situation. Millions, maybe even billions, are dead worldwide. The earth is riddled with craters, ruined cities, and death. It's covered by this purple haze. If there is a God, this must be Armageddon. This is the final battle. After this, if the bible's right, we all go to paradise."

I raised an eyebrow. "What do you think it'll be like?"

Tyrell asked. "What do you mean?" I replied.

"Death, and the hereafter," Tyrell responded.

"Is death fast? When you go to heaven, are you immediately there or do you travel there? Is it like a tunnel and you go to the end and enter the afterlife?" I shrugged.

"I don't know, I didn't make heaven." Tyrell pulled out his phone and said,

"I kept it a secret but my dad called." I was surprised.

"Where is he?" I asked.

"Dead," Tyrell told me. "He called a couple days ago. He said him and mom were stuck in Cedar Rapids. Mom was dying of a bullet wound. I guess they got robbed in Davenport and it went wrong. Dad called as night was falling. He told me he knew it was almost time and said him and mom love me. I heard a loud sound of rushing water and the phone went dead. The tidal wave got them."

I looked down at the floor. "I'm not sad though," Tyrell told me.

"Oh, why?" I asked. "I'll see them again, on the other side," he responded. "You'll see your parents too. We'll all be-happy...again..." He broke down. He wept loudly for several minutes. In an anger that he couldn't understand I went into a rage.

"Don't you see!?" I screamed. "We aren't gonna just die and pass on Tyrell! No, we get to be the unlucky ones! We'll be at a position where when Earth strikes Venus, this chunk will fly off with the other pieces. Gravity will decrease rapidly, the oxygen will disperse, we'll float away, and we'll suffocate, freeze, burn and tear apart slowly, and painfully! Picture it, several minutes of pain and agony as you float in space, burning, freezing, drowning without water, dying!"

He became hysterical and darted out of the church. The horror, sadness, anger and helplessness was to much for him. I felt a twinge of sadness too, realizing that after a 15 year life, I was to die like this, and why did I deserve this? 

A week from the supposed impact, news appeared. The portals in space were fading and likely about to vanish altogether. This altered the disturbance on gravity and Venus was no longer supposed to make a direct hit. However, it still would dangerously graze earth, causing disaster where it neared. The new model brought it over Europe and America, but it technically wouldn't strike earth. Instead, the surface of Venus would come within 100 miles of earth's surface at its closest point and 1000 miles by us.

The results would be disastrous. No one knew exactly what would happen, but it would be the final blow to earth. Millions would likely die and Europe would be rendered uninhabitable and devoid of life. We had a small chance of survival. Likely, a few million lucky people would remain alive in America, but most of the people around us would be injured or killed in the tribulation.

I informed Tyrell and Keith and both of them lost some of their depression. We prepared for the grueling hours of disaster that were to come and when the day came, we met at noon on the top floor of the Well's Fargo center.

We didn't have to wait long. The large, smooth outline of Venus appeared on the horizon, and it made its way up and across the sky. The wind began picking up and I felt as if an invisible force was pulling on me. I told the two that we likely weren't safe and we left. By the time we reached the first floor, the electricity was out.

As we exited, a large tree collapsed. I felt as if I would be lifted off the earth itself and we finally reached the Bronco's stadium. By this time, Venus was almost directly overhead. The entire sky except the Western horizon was a fiery orange and the wind was unbearable. I told Tyrell and Keith that we had to reach the basement of this building.

We found a maintenance stairwell and as we descended, the roof of the stadium tore away and countless people were levitated slowly up. I could hear screaming and panic and soon, we had to climb downwards, as the gravitational force of Venus tugged at our bodies.

We reached the basement and found ourselves lying on the ceiling. I felt as if I would be crushed and Tyrell told us to lie on our sides. We did, and for hours, I screamed. I screamed until the pain stopped, until I had to hold onto the ceiling to keep from falling. Finally, gravity returned to normal and I fell.

"Ow!" Keith screamed. I grunted.

"Well, we survived." I stated. "We are the winners here, this is it, time for life to return to-" At that moment, the remains of the stadium fell back to earth, smashing through the ceiling and trapping us. 

I woke in darkness to the sound of water dribbling and flames crackling. The smell of smoke hung in the air and I sat up.

"Tyrell!! Keith!" I cried.

"Sam," Keith screamed back at me. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah, just bruised and bleeding a bit. Where are you guys?"

"I'm over here," Keith told me. "I'll shine the light on Tyrell's phone for you!" He turned it on and I crawled through the debris toward him.

"Thanks Keith," I said.

"Where's Tyrell?"

"He's really injured," Keith told me.

I looked to my right and saw Tyrell lying next to Keith. His left arm was gone and his right leg was maimed bad. Blood soaked him, and his head was gashed. He was unconscious.

"I found him pinned under a slab of debris," Keith said. "His arm was totally crushed and his leg was too. I amputated his arm so I could drag him out. I stopped the bleeding from his arm, but he's really injured. He might not survive." I was on the verge of total collapse.

We sat in the fortress of fallen concrete for several days, hunting rats and eating worms too. Tyrell woke and we fed him, but his health only deteriorated more and more. Finally, I couldn't take it anymore. All I remember next is the sound of saws and voices, then being pulled out of the ruin, then laying in a hospital bed.

"Where am I?" I asked.

"You're in a medical tent in the Boulder survivors' camp," a voice told me. I turned to see a nurse standing nearby. She wasn't frowning or smiling, but simply straight faced. "You finally came out of insanity," she told me. "You were rambling about judgement day and that you wanted to die. We knew you would eventually get better. As for your friend, he looks like he likely, will pass away soon."

I sat up. "Which one? Who is he?"

"We found a young, African-American male with you and the other man inside the ruins. He's missing limbs and fading fast."

I got out of bed. "Take me to him!"

I approached Tyrell's bed and gasped. He was patched up, and immobile. He gazed at me and smiled. Keith sat nearby.

"Well, the doctor said I'm going out," he rasped. "I guess this is it."

I teared. "No," I said. "No, you're gonna live. You have to survive. Look at what we've been through!"

Tyrell smiled a bit and said, "I did survive. I didn't die like so many others. I'm still here after the apocalypse. I've seen the new day. This is the earth after the disaster. You will live on, and meet new people. You'll someday even meet a woman who'll be your wife. You will have children and keep our kind going. Maybe you'll even name one Tyrell. Funny name for a white child, but who cares? We are one. We are all human. Race, ethnicity, religion, gender-they have no meaning in this new world. We all represent mankind, the race that almost went extinct from its own curiosity. You will continue, as will Keith. I may not, but you will remember me and someday, we will meet again, if not in this life, in the next. You've been a good friend Sam. You also have been a good friend Keith. Remember-me..." The monitor flatlined and I broke down in tears. Me and Keith both hugged each other and weeped. Sure, men don't usually hug, but here we were, at the dead feet of our friend, in a lonely, ruined world. I hoped Tyrell was right. I hoped I would meet a woman. I hoped I would see Tyrell again. I knew only time would tell.   

Years went by. Society repaired itself. From across earth came masses of survivors. People of various races, religions and nationalities found their way to the mile high city's remains. Together we built a new nation, known as Anthroposopolis, the city of mankind. Democracy was set up, tolerance was viewed and a society of something like a utopia became ours.

Outside of Colorado was a countryside of marauders and robbers, and other nation states appeared in Asia and Oceania. However, we were united under the existence of being human. I met my wife Ann when I was 20. She was from Japan and spoke very little English. However, we came to learn each other's languages and soon had a family of 3 kids and an amazing dog named Wookie. My kids were named Max, Tara and yes, to fulfill the prediction, Tyrell.

Keith and I lived near one another, and saw each other a lot. I think he got married about a couple months ago. Looking back, I never thought I'd live in such a new, amazing, and wonderful world. Still, I miss my friends and family who lost their lives several years ago. 

On Sunday, I received a knock at my front door. I got up and approached, looking out the window to see an old man staring back. I opened it and said, "come in." He walked in and sat on the couch, which was unusual for a stranger to do. Also, there was something familiar about this man, as if I knew him. Was he a relative? Who was he? Somehow I knew him.

"Do I know you?" I asked the stranger. He looked at me, got up, came over and hugged me. "Son, don't you remember me? Maybe I'm several years older, and worn from the disaster, but I'm still your father." Tears welled in my eyes and as we both began crying, my mother entered. She too looked worn from the years apart and the disaster, but I didn't care. Here we were, with the front door wide open, standing here hugging and crying-my father and I. 



Written by Lilahdog568
Content is available under CC BY-SA

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