It wasn’t as much as a sensation of waking up as it was dragging oneself from oblivion. There was nothing, and then there was pain, a dull ache in the joints, a ringing in his ears. Voices were calling out. His mind was beyond fuzzy it was barely functional. He had an urgency that he didn’t understand upon him. Wind blew around him, papers were rustling.
“Hello? Can anyone hear me?” It wasn’t so much as voices as one voice. A man’s, and though he repeated the same lines, “If anyone is there, please respond,” the voice sounded cultured and desperate.
He slowly tried to take stock of where he was, and what was happening to him. Dust and debris covered him, like he’d managed to survive an explosion. Had he survived an explosion? The man coughed, his lungs burned while the rest of him ached. He slowly pulled himself into a sitting position, his muscles screaming at him. He felt like one giant broken rib.
“Is anyone out there?” The voice was saying and he realized it was coming from a radio on the belt of what looked like a dead police officer. The man slowly got to his knees, checked for a pulse on the police officer, found none, and removed oddly first the officer’s gun and then the radio. The man was much more comforted by the weight of the pistol in his hand, as if it was meant to be holding one.
“Yeah,” the man said wearily, “I’m here.” There was a pause on the radio before the voice responded with what seemed like jubilation.
“It is so good to hear another voice! I thought I was the only survivor,” the voice said.
“Survivor? Survivor of what?” The man asked the voice through the radio.
“I want to say the apocalypse, but it was an attack of the extra-terrestrial variety,” the voice answered, “Do you not remember?” The man thought a moment and realized he didn’t remember. He didn’t remember much of anything before waking up on the floor of what looked like an office building.
“No,” the man’s voice was soft, barely above a whisper, “I don’t remember anything.”
“Do you know your name?” The man thought quickly, but his mind was a blank.
“No, I don’t.” There was a silence on the radio a moment.
“You may call me Archangel,” the voice said, “I shall call you Mr. Doe.” The man snorted, tucking the pistol into his belt.
“As in John Doe?”
“I will guide you to safety,” the voice stated without answering his question. John Doe took stock of himself and where he was. He was wearing a dirty black suit, no tie, and from the looks it had been a nice suit, tailored. John shrugged the jacket from his shoulders and examined the tag. The suit was tailored, and from Italy it would seem. Was he a wealthy man? John slipped the jacket back onto his shoulders. John searched his pockets and found no wallet and no keys, only a broken cell phone.
He appeared to be in the lobby of the office building, the windows were all shattered and shards of glass lay everywhere. There was a scent of something acrid in the air. He checked the other bodies around him, it would seem only he had survived some sort of blast. John listened and heard nothing, it was as if the city was silent. No cars, no people moving, just… silence, not even the cooing of pigeons.
“You need to move Mr. Doe, they are coming,” spoke the voice on the radio. John adjusted the volume to make it quieter.
“Who are ‘They?” John asked the disembodied voice from the radio.
“Extra-terrestrials, aliens,” the voice answered sounding impatient.
“The city is under attack by little green men?” John asked with a half a grin on his face.
“The ones who are approaching your location are gray, not green,” the voice now sounded annoyed.
“How do you know they’re coming?” John asked. He looked up and down the street, cars were dead in the street, glass broken on most of them. He assumed that it was some sort of pressure wave that had come through. All around him was evidence a bomb had gone off except anything that looked like a blast radius and burning or blackened ruins.
“I’ve hacked a satellite,” the voice did not seem proud but rather ashamed, “I’m connected to the traffic camera feeds and I can break into most building surveillance, if they still have power.”
“So you’re watching me?” John looked around himself, scanning for cameras and even glancing skyward as if he could see the satellite.
“Please! Take cover!” The voice was near panicked and John wasn’t sure if he heard footsteps. They were light, as if the person weight very little, and close together as if the person was short legged. John inexplicably ducked down next to an abandoned cab. He noticed he had the pistol he’d taken from the officer in his hand. He expertly checked the clip, it was full and he clicked it back into the gun.
John didn’t know what to make of the creature that came moving around the corner of the building. It was a little gray man, with large oval eyes, like every alien conspiracy artist ever drew. It was naked, except for something on its wrist. It didn’t move like he expected, it actually scuttled forward on all fours, and would occasionally stand up on two legs to look around. John assumed he should be panicked, he was seeing something he didn’t want to believe. Instead he was tensed, and yet emotionally mute.
“Is it hostile?” John whispered into the radio. He did not want to be the one starting an intergalactic war because he shot a peaceful alien.
“Extremely. They’re the ones who set off the biobomb,” Archangel’s voice was also a whisper. However suddenly the radio squelched loudly and John quickly turned it off.
The best explanation is it shot at him. The gadget strapped to its wrist seemed to be weapon. It shot what looked like a green goo that landed like acid. It had shot in his direction but missed, one shot, a glob of green hit the wall of the office building, melting it. A second glob hit the cab, melting into the hood and the green goo seemed flammable as the engine caught fire of the cab. Flames licked through the holes the goo had melted in the cab’s hood.
What the FUCK? Was all John could think. A third glob landed on the sidewalk, melting the concrete like lava. John peeked over the flaming hood of the cab and saw the little gray man was moving towards him, getting closer. John squeezed the trigger of the gun without blinking. John apparently had excellent aim. The bullet sliced into the little gray man’s skull but when it hit the alien, the head burst like a water balloon filled with pea soup. A yellow/gray goo splattered around it. The gadget on its arm seemed to splinter into tiny pieces like it was made of crystals that were just smashed with a hammer.
John listened intently, hiding behind the burning cab, the heat from it swirling over him. He wasn’t spooked but he wasn’t ready to fight aliens. He remembered the radio and turned it back on.
“Mr. Doe! Are you alright?” Asked Archangel who seemed genuinely concerned.
“Yeah, but why so worried? I thought you could see me,” John’s voice was soft, and almost teasing.
“Not always,” came the slow reply of someone who was trying to explain something to someone who probably wasn’t going to understand, “The extra-terrestrials emit some sort of electrical discharge.”
“Like an EMP,” John stated. He still had no memory of himself.
“Similar, they disrupt electronics rather than shut them down, so when you’re in the vicinity of one, all I receive is static on my monitors,” Archangel explained. Monitors? Who was this guy? Where was this guy?
“So now what?” John asked.
“We need to get you to safety,” Archangel stated.