By Devin Kuberski
Chapter 1: The Earth Cracks
"There are more things in Heaven and Earth Horatio...then are dreamt of in your philosophy."
-Hamlet Prince Of Denmark-
LOCATION: Seattle Washington December 1st 1999
0700 Hours Pacific Time
There was the slightest rumbling underneath her feet, but Shelia Jane Macklin ignored it. Did Washington state even have earthquakes? Certainly it was on the Pacific Rim with several powerhouse volcanos, but there was no history of the Earth moving too quickly for civilization's towers in this place. Seattle Washington certainly had rain, an endless torrent of it in fact, but no quakes like in that crazy place known as California. Shelia quickly forgot about the minor tremor and got back on task.
A crowd of reporters were trying to push there way through the police blockcade in front of her. A group of Y2k obessed whack jobs had taken a rather large Microsoft office building hostage and were threatening to execute the computer programmers within. How this would stop the supposed apocalypse about to lay waste to Western Civilization was unknown to rational thinkers. But true believing soldiers in various deranged schemes were never the most logic minded people, prone much more to strapping bombs onto one's chest than to read a book of any kind.
Shelia's dark hair was drenched with sheets of eternal gray rain. Visibility of what was going on was poor indeed for an outsider. Especially with the baton carrying and riot shield wielding line of blue uniformed police officers telling the reporters in no uncertain terms to back the hell off from the vicinity. They had already fired gas into a cluster of hippies and pummeled some protestors to the action with baton stick and pistol whipping assualt action.
"YOU GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE MISSY!!!" One hulking Seattle police officer growled at her fiercely. The city of Seattle had extensive experience in dealing with various ultra liberal violence and no uncertain weariness from subdueing these uprisings. This one would be no different for the police forces, they were already forcing their way up through the building and gunning down the terrorists. But they did not want to deal with that which they considered to be a communistic liberal press intent on further smearing the already maligned public image of law enforcement.
"Please...the people have a right to know about this!" Shelia yelled. She wasn't yelling to piss off the police, but rather to get heard above the shouting of the other reporters and the noise of gun battle within the grim office tower. The press had to report this horrible atrocity being committed and the police were standing the way of whatever was going on.
"YOU GET THE HELL OUT OF MY FACE LADY! OR I'LL CLUB YOUR FUCKING HEAD IN! WE DON'T HAVE TIME FOR THIS PINKO BULLSHIT!"
The police forces were the only right wingers in the entire coffee worshipping city of Seattle.
"Okay fine." Shelia and her camera man began to sulk away, but not before the reporter threw the comment of "You fucking nazis!" in the direction of the police contingent. The officer snarled at her, but did not give chase. As much as he wanted to gun down one of those irritating liberal press members he couldn't do anything that would damage the police department's reputation to that degree.
The ground trembled again.
"Come on. We have to get on top of that building." Shelia told her cameraman Jake.
"Are you insane? We could get shot by those anti technology whackos!" Jake told her swiftly. "Or by the pigs!"
"Or we could capture grissly footage that would launch me...I mean us to the top of our respective careers!"
"I'll give you fifteen percent of whatever I get out of the documentary we create about this."
"Well...okay." He grudgingly conceded. Jake had more then twenty thousand dollars worth of student debt left from his days at USC film school. The repo men were liable to kick down the door on his apartment anyday now and seize all of his material goods. He'd be then thrown out into the street by his mini Adolf Hitler of a landlord to rot. No matter the danger he had no choice but to go on this mission with his boss. "I'll do this. But don't be suprised if I crap myself repeatedly when we get inside."
Shelia didn't even hear him. "We could take that heliocopter over there." She waved to her less than friendly rival Carl Jacobs, a muscular and handsome dark haired man who like her was an overly ambitious young reporter. He stood at the front of a heliocopter from the Los Angeles Times. Media from all around the country had flocked to try to cover this massacre. Carl and Shelia were quite alike in spirit, both wanted their glory covered star of fame and neither cared too much about what they would have to do. Things such as ethics were not very important to this breed of media member, things like air time and good hair were. And this horror show up in the Pacific Northwest could well be the leap into stardom and adoration that they were waiting and scheming for.
"I suppose you could take a trip to the top with myself and I." Carl said. "But your not the L.A. times, your from Miami. I'm not sure if I can let a rival reporter onto my heliocopter." His unnaturally bright white teeth glowed smuggly at the attractive long legged woman in front of him, mentally undressing her as he did so. This was an easy task as she she drenched from head to toe, her raven black hair hanging limpy around her pretty face and her buxom figure becoming visible even through the business suit she was covering her body with.
"Oh screw you Carl. Just let me go to the top of that bloodbath of a building along with you. I promise that we'll share the glory."
"I'm not sure. A first hand look at a thing like this by an articulate genius such as myself could easily be turned into a book that could make a million dollars, top the New York Times bestseller list and then get me a pulitizer. Then we're talking MOVIES young Shelia and making even more money and getting..."
"Carl JUST SHUT THE HELL UP!" She bellowed. Even to another egotist this guy was an insufferable ass.
"We could be up on the roof in the time that I've had to listen to your self absorbed rant. Do you realize that as we're talking valueable carnage is being used up never to be photographed?"
"Your right goddamit. Okay we're going to the top of that mess but you've got to give me the best blow job of my life."
"It's the only way up baby. The Carl aerial express is no hippie's free ride."
"Okay! But if you tell anyone that I sucked you off for this...I WILL DENY IT UP AND DOWN!"
Carl, Shelia and Jake all got into the heliocopter and the pilot swiftly brought it to the roof of the Microsoft tower. "Get out." He told them. "But I'm hovering to the side of the building until you get done with this. You may be willing to die to build fame but I'm not."
"Your a wuss." Carl shoot quickly. "Okay lets get in this building and do this thing."
"Just two seconds." Shelia said.
"What the hell is wrong now?"
"I have to practice my crying face. This has to look as dramatic as it possibly can be."
"Ohhhhhh good idea. Too bad this rain is just plain hell on the hair."
The ground rumbled again, this time excessively loudly. This was now registering to Shelia for the first time, an earthquake could not be a good thing to have while on top of a building this high. If the structure were to cave in under the attack of the elements then she would have a very long way to fall and her pretty face would splattered against the cement in horrible fashion. She had seen earthquake damage first hand in 1994 when the Northridge quake leveled sections of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles and had heard the death screams of poor bastards trapped helplessly in the rubble.
For a few seconds the glory hoggette balked inside, but her resolve was steeled and her mind was made up. Nothing short of the fiery sword of God would keep her from getting footage and highly dramatic analysis of this mass murder.
"Maybe we'll have an earthquake after this." She told Carl. "Wouldn't that be something?"
"Yeah. So long as this building holds and my hair isn't ruined."
Carl went to the emergency exit on the roof of the building. He wondered why those throughly unattractive computer nerds hadn't tried to make a break for the roof, but figured that the militants had sealed it off on the inside.
Carl then pulled the door but it didn't budge. "Goddamit!" He growled at it.
"What?" Shelia asked.
"It won't open."
"Oh that's because somebody welded the door shut." She suddenly realized. The metal had been melted against the walls to seal the exit impenetratably shut. "Goddamn this sucks!"
"Okay. Don't paniac. I'll get on the phone with the nearest gun store. We'll blow this bitch off it's hinges." Carl told Shelia firmly.
"You can't buy a gun just like that! The hippies have wait lists on all those things these days!"
"Okay. Then we ram the heliocopter into the building. John! Do what I just said!" He yelled at the pilot. "Crash that thing into the top of this building so we can get in!"
"OH HELL NO!!!" John Rodgers retorted viciously from the cockpit. "You want to strap a bomb onto your chest so you can get in...that's YOUR mentally insane business and not MINE!"
Suddenly it was as if the ground roared. The buildings of the Seattle skyline shuddered deeply and a thunderous noise ripped the sky. Shelia, Carl and Jake were all knocked to the floor by the intensity of this sesmic disaster.
Shelia tried to stand again but the force of the tremor pushed her down again and again. The building whined and began to crumble below her, flooding Shelia with primordial terror. She had finally found something even worse than missing the story that would have launched her career. With pure terror she grew strong enough to stand on her feet again and head out towards the heliocopter. She got herself to the edge of the distengrating tower and the heliocopter began to move itself in.
Horror flooded out from her released bladder to every part of her as she saw the strangest sight of her life. The streets below were inexplicably flooded! As the buildings of the skyline were cut down water was rising from below as if God had called upon a second Noah's flood! The ground literally split open near the Space Needle and as it did water began to pour upward like black gold in some colossal Texan oil strike. The ground split widened even further and the flood waters rose quickly to swamp the ground.
The hills north of the Space Needle appeared to break clear loose of the ground and sink directly into the deluge like something out of those crazy rants about Los Angeles 'falling into the ocean' after some monster earthquake. Shelia thought she must have been hallicinating. There simply was no way for a natural Earthquake to cause a certain city to physically break off from the continent and be submerged beneath the waves. That was the kind of psychopathic idea that could only be believed by Californians and the Flat Earth Society.
But there it was in front of her, the land mass around Puget Sound caving in and Seattle literally seeming to fall into the ocean waters. The myths of Atlantis coming to life right before her dewy blue eyes. The Space Needle snapped in the middle of it's shaft as it were a matchstick and the two halves of that world renowed monument crashed into this raging new sea along with several other remaining buildings. The hills were gone to the North and Seahawk Stadium was drowned to the south and along with the port.
"GET THE HELL IN!" John yelled at Shelia as the building under her lost another five stories. The whole thing was collasping completely and utterly.
Shelia grabbed his arm and was pulled aboard. Jake had been the only one on the roof possessing any common sense at all, he'd gotten on immediately after the quakes had started let alone the inexplicable ripping open of the very soil and rock that once made up the ground.
"LETS GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!" The pilot yelled.
"WAIT FOR ME YOU MOTHERFUCKER!" Carl hollored as he ran over to them.
"OH HELL NO!"
"IF YOU LET ME DIE THEN YOU'LL BE IN SO MUCH SHIT LATER!"
"Goddamn bastard." The pilot grumbled as he grabbed Carl.
The building under Carl folded and crumbled into the territory that had been newly claimed by the ocean. The pilot then felt Carl's weight begin to pull him foward.
"GRAB MY WAIST!" The pilot yelled. Shelia and Jake began pulling, but neither was particularly. John David Rodgers was a strong and physically athletic former U.S. Marine but Carl weighed much too much for him to pull up safely, he would be dragged down too oblivion by the weight of the arrogant man.
"SAVE ME YOU IGNORANT BASTARD!!!" Carl yelled.
On some less than subconscious level John let go of his now former boss. With the weight having been instantly relieved of him he was suddenly flat on his back along with Shelia and Jake. John jumped to his feet and grabbed the controls. He pulled up on the stick and the saved the heliocopter from crashing into the sea.
"Okay..." John said with a nervousness no one had heard him have in his voice before. "All of us clearly agree...he was too damn heavy."
"Oh yes." Shelia said. "Our own saftey was undecidedly imperiled."
"He would have killed us all." Jake stammered fearfully. "I'll swear that on an entire stack of Bibles if it gets needed."
"Holy God...there are sharks down there!" John said pointing downyard. Spreading redness could be made out in the waters underhead even with the gloom of the stormy lightning streaking skies.
Carl screamed as he was dragged above water in the jaws of a huge shark. John pulled out a pistol he'd been keeping below his seat and shot at Carl. The man screamed in agony as the bullet hit the stump where the shark had tore his right arm clean out.
"You missed his head! He's still alive!" Shelia told John.
"Well you try to aim with one damn hand! And this thing shaking so much in the storm! And with so much wind resistance!"
John fired at Carl again, but before he got the shot off the great white drug him below the surface. The bullet created a splash as it tore into the water, but wether it hit anything was absolutely unknown to anyone of them. The shark did not surface again and neither did Carl or any parts of the body of Carl.
"Lets get the hell out of here." Shelia said.
"It stopped." John said. "Check it out."
What had once been the city of Seattle Washington was now an expanse of open water. Not one building remained standing where ten minutes before an entire metropolis had stood defiantly against an eternal onslaught of rain, cold and darkness. Snow capped Mount Rainer stood still defiant to the south of where the Space Needle and downtown had been, the mountain being now the only land visible.
"Ever been to Mount Rainer? It's a very pretty place full of wonderful nature." John stated vacantly. Shelia saw that his proud military face haven gone as ghostly white as a victim of old blood sucking Count Dracula.
"I suddenly feel myself having a hankering for the tallest mountain peak money can buy. Stear us to it...RIGHT NOW..." Shelia rambled, her pretty features terror raped by the scene of an entire city vanishing beneath the primal ocean.