Sunday, 30 December 2012

Chapter thirty three


Adam paced around his room, munching on his family size packet of Doritos as he went. He was already regretting the way he had spoken to Christiana, he hadn't even meant half of it, he was just shocked at everything and he had taken it out on her. He considered going back to apologise but figured she'd be so drunk by now she wouldn't remember it anyway. He sighed and stuffed another handful of crisps into his mouth. He just needed to keep himself busy.

He walked over to the inbuilt cabinet system by his tv and slid the door open. Inside were a large selection of DVDs. All of his favourites were inside as well as his complete collection of films and TV appearances. For people who seemed to know him so well, he would have thought they would have known that he hated watching his own work. He let his finger scroll across the DVDs, there had to be over 1,000 films and box sets in there, all organised in alphebetical order. He stopped as he came across a particular film and blinked in dismay. It was one of the first movies he had ever done, something that had been labelled as artistic when he had auditioned but had really just turned out to be soft porn. It had only been a small student project in the end and as sich hadn't made many copies. When he started to make it big, he did everything he could to make sure that all copies of the film were destroyed. He hadn't been aware that any more of them existed and yet here it was, right in front of him. He pulled it out and examined the front cover. A young teenaged version of himself peered out at him, shirtless and holding onto an equally young blonde. He searched his memories to try and remember her name but came up blank. He remembered how kind she had been, showing him the ropes and teaching him useful tips of the trade. She had been amazing and now he couldn't even remember her name.

He flipped the DVD over to see if it was on the back. Nothing. He wondered for a moment where she was now and then realised that she was probably in the same place that everyone was, lying on the ground somewhere either dying or dead. He put the DVD back at that thought and walked over to his sofa, sitting down and continuing to munch away at his Doritos. The arm of the sofa beside him seemed cool, he examined it and found it to have an inbuilt mini fridge full of bottles of beer. He briefly considered having one then decided against it.

It seemed odd to him that there was so much alcohol in a building full if people grieving and terrified. Surely all this would do was breed a bunch of alcoholics whose livers would pack in before the first couple of years were out. Then again, there was probably a limited supply of alcohol where they were anyway. It's not like they were able to stock for 4 centuries of alcohol.

He reached into his jacket and pulled out his mobile. He still had a bunch of unread messages. He took a deep breath and started to flick through them.

The first that caught his eye was from Lucy, his ex girlfriend and the woman that he had been convinced he was going to marry at one point. He opened it to find five simple words:

"I have always loved you."

Great, he thought, now she tells me. He thought about how he would have reacted if he had seen this message last night when she had sent it. That would have completely screwed with his mind. And given how drunk he had been, he dreaded to think what kind of angry response he would have replied with.

He continued to look through his messages, more of the same right up until 4pm yesterday afternoon when he guessed the signal must have gone dead. It killed him that he hadn't responded to any of these messages. All of them contained words of love and desperation, and all they had received in return was his silence. What a nice way for them to go out remembering him by.

He felt the anger surge through him again then. He really was angry. He was angry at being here, he was angry and being deprived of any last goodbyes and he was angry that he still didn't have a single clue on what was going on or where he actually was.

He got up, that was one thing he could change. He would go exploring, get an better idea of the place he was stuck in for the remainder of his life.

He left his room and made his way back to the lobby. When he got there however he was stopped by a young blonde woman.

"Adam Gammon?" She asked.

"I'm a little busy at the moment."

"Sorry, it's just I need a moment of your time. I was just coming to your room actually."

Adam sighed as loudly as he could to show how much of an inconvenience she was being to him.

"This will only take a second, I just need to give you your injection."

"I'm sorry, what?" Adam asked. "I don't need any injection."

"It's Utopia policy I'm afraid. Just to eradicate any chance of rogue toxins in your body."

"You think I'm infected?"

"Potentially everyone is Mr Gammon."

"Please don't call me that, it's Adam."

"Sorry Adam. I promise there is no danger. Just a routine injection, we've all had it."

Adam eyed her suspiciously.

"How do I know that?"

The woman smiled at him sadly. "We're hardly going to do anything to damage the people we've spent the past four years ensuring we save."

"Prove it." He said. "Take the injection first."

"I wish I could, it would certainly make this a lot easier," she said. "But I've already had my injection."

"Well I'm not taking it unless you do."

"How many people do you think have said that to me? If I took a dose of this stuff every time someone else did then I would be lying comatose on the floor from an overdose."

"So it is dangerous."

"Any drug is dangerous in too high a dose."

"Well then, I guess I won't be taking it."

"You'd risk death just to be stubborn?"

"Looks like it."

The woman sighed. "I hate to pull this card but we can't risk that happening. You're important to our future so we would like you alive, if you don't agree we will have to use forceful measures."

"What exactly do you expect me to do for your future?"

"Everyone here has been hand picked for their own involvement for the future of Utopia. Unfortunately I couldn't tell you what you've been picked for, I only administer the injections."

"Well who can?" Adam asked. The familiar feeling of anger was back.

"We'll all be told what we need to know when we need to know it."

"Can you see where I'm going with this lack of trust issue I'm having?" Adam asked.  "A little tip, next time you want people to do what you ask, try being a little less cryptic in your answers."

"Claire McCarthy." She said.

"I'm sorry?"

"That's my name. Claire McCarthy. I'm 24 years old. The list of people I have lost over the past two days include my husband James and 3 year old son Liam. I had no idea about the impact prior to entering this building but I have been here for a month and for that entire time I have not been allowed any contact with my family. Last I checked, they filed a missing persons report on me. They even made the local news. I watched my husband cry on camera. That happened to also be the first time I have ever seen him cry.

"I have spent every night since coming in here crying myself to sleep and praying against all hope that the meteor didn't hit our atmosphere. During the first week I hid in the shadows behind the entrance to the building, waiting for it to open. When it did I almost sliced my arm open trying to get out in time. I failed and ended up in surgery."

Claire held out her arm, a large deep and recent scar crossed the span of her upper arm.

"Do you want me to show you the pictures of my family? Show you the white blonde hair of my son and the laughing face of my husband? Or perhaps you'd prefer if I broke down in front of you to prove that you're not the only person who is grieving every second of every day."

"Why are you going along with this?" Adam asked, a stab of guilt resonating in his stomach.

"Because what other choice is there?" She asked. "It's not like I can do anything about what's happened. I can either be angry with these people for the rest if my life, kick my toys out of the pram and refuse to contribute so that I can lie in a fit of depression or I can suck it up, keep myself busy and hope that one day my life doesn't feel as crap as it does right now. So what's your choice? Are you going to give me your arm or am I going to have to call security to come and pin you down?"

Adam thought about it for a moment. There was a chance that she was lying, that all of this could just be her way of manipulating him, but if that was the case he had to assume that there were some people she had now lost. He sighed and decided to just let what lever happens happen. He rolled up his sleeve and offered her his arm.

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