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Chapter 1

Can a line of events be traced to its origins, only to connect with its end?

Sept 17, 14:15

Apex clouds converged around the azure mountain of ice. The polar ocean rumbled, somewhere beneath, grappling into the iceberg, gnawing away at its foundations.
Grim, fluttering celestial arc released a blinding sphere of light has from the cloudy grasp. Scorching beams of sunlight smashed into the iceberg with relentless fury and the iceberg screeched in fear of their attack as glittering veins of cobalt and silver pulsated upon its surface. The temperature was rising, as the iceberg drifted south, pushed forward by the slashing wind. The iceberg fought against the warm currents till its last breath, but all was hopeless. An unyielding crack started to crawl across its surface, explosions of cold mist whooshing as the iceberg crumbled, expiring away; connecting with the clouds and the ocean.

Oct 4th, 9:12

A tiny, conical drop of water spiraled through the gray and blue mush of fog that made up a massive, agitated storm cloud. The droplet twirled and rushed left and right, bouncing inside the cloud, as if trying to stay up in the sky at all costs. Unexpectedly pulled leftward by the wind, the droplet collided with a few others, gaining weight and starting to descend much faster, breaking through the cloud like a large silver bullet- fired completely aimlessly.
Strangled by the cold draft the droplet emitted a dying scream and converted itself into an icy diamond. The diamond gained velocity and punched through the foggy cloud, refracting and glittering in the sunlight. Little rainbows danced on its surface, flashing and interlinking as the diamond grew arms and legs, spreading out into a brilliant snowflake.
Refracting and twirling the snowflake joined ranks of its partners, as thousands of other snowflakes drifted out from the cloud in a slow, magical waltz.
This singular snowflake, was a tiny piece of ice still pulsated with life from the inside, within it hundreds of microorganisms, amoebas and bacteria temporarily frozen in their eternal struggle for survival. However, even deeper within, between the follicles of ice and water, between the single-celled prokaryotic microorganisms, shuffled to and fro, re-awakened by the melting of the polar ice, embedded in an tiny piece of frozen dust, smaller then the smallest of all, resided a single, tiny machine created by nature eons before humans walked this planet- a bacteriophage retrovirus. This particular retrovirus resembled a sinister six-legged spider, with a long cylindrical body, exactly fifteen nanometers in circumference. Its large icosahedral head swayed overhead, containing within DNA fragments from a time when the world was young. Fragments that would copy the virus, over and over and over, eternally reproducing it once they would come in contact with living cell tissue.
The snowflake continued its gentle waltz, utterly unaware of what it carried within.
Gentle drafts of wind pulled the snowflake to and fro through the air, in an elliptic curve, as it approached its final destination.
Beneath, the gray city stood still.

Oct 4th, 9:15

It was a day in consistency to any other in a singular beige monotony of my life. Why beige, you might ask? Because, according to one of my enlightened teachers, that is “what modern science speculates the color of the universe is, when all colors are combined into one”.
However this winter, I would rather say that it’s gray. Gray roads, covered with a mess of crumpled, crushed, stepped on and driven over snow.
Gray concrete walls that tightened as I moved deeper into the core of the still city. Gray, decadent sky covered with incandescent blobs of unsmiling clouds. Gray, no longer transparent due to dirt, glass of the skyscrapers.
Only the tiny rainbow puddles, made up of melted snow and car gas broke away from the horrors of the gray.
The capitalist paradise that is our merry mega-city stood above my head and rumbled beneath my feet. Myriads of tiny lights, buzzing, manmade stars and their refractions blinded me as I moved, increasing in numbers as evening approached.
For a split second, I looked up, before descending into the deep darkness of the subway tunnel.
A tiny snowflake settled right on my eye, burning it intensely, I blinked and slapped my face, defending against the snowflake far too late, tumbling across the whooshing, rotating doors, entering the subway station.
The subway was covered in dismal green plating that was nearly falling off the walls.
My feet slipped and clashed on the wet concrete, covered in a billion footprints that nobody cared to wash away. I wondered how deep and dirty the tunnel path would become if a billion more feet walked this way, slowly pounding the concrete, one shoe at a time.
Reaching the hollow innards of the station lit with flickering halogen lights, I’ve walked across the ticket checkpoint and jumped onboard the train, immediately falling asleep on the seat. Months of student life, exams and commuting have taken their deadly toll.
As I slept, I dreamt of a water droplet and then a snowflake’s flight from Antarctica to Toronto. What a vividly realistic and odd dream, filled with visions of motion in the clouds, winds, storms, hurricanes.
Without doubt it was brought on by this merry winter weather. Maybe the snowflake is a metaphor for my life, always flying somewhere, nowhere in particular, pulled left and right by fate and pressed on by gravity.

Wait. There was something in the snowflake? If only I could remember what it was. I scribbled one word on a piece of paper “V-retrovirus”.  V… what is what? My dream was dissolving away. Come back! Must remember. Mustn’t forget.

I opened my eyes. I was still inside the TTC subway car, slanted on a torn up orange seat, amidst the eternally changing landscape of faceless travelers, trapped in the cold, heartless machine of public transit, designed  as if it could throw people instantly to their destination, without any care for the enjoyment of travel itself. Images of commercialization gnawed at my eyes, making me wonder how public transit can sell itself out. Thin halogen light-tubes lit up various commercial posters ranging from “save your self from hell, by investing in our products” to “please buy this generic product, please we beg of you, where are you going, no, come back, keep reading this sign, damn it!” The posters were literally everywhere, plastering every empty square meter of the train car with the exception of the floor and ceiling. No wait, not that I looked closer, there were a few pamphlets on the floor advertising a club. One was stuck in the ventilation tube, fluttering back and forth and making a noise equivalent to that of a dragonfly’s wings flapping back and forth.
Fleeing from the overbearing wave of commercialism I pulled myself against gravity, disconnected my back from the seat, got up and walked out through the whooshing, gliding subway doors. At the very second that I’ve emerged from the subway tunnel, my cell phone started whistling the bumble bee tune in its mechanized voice. I picked up.
Static and breath.
“I finally figured out why we can’t be together”
“Amm… okay”
“You’ve stolen my last cheque”
“That’s right,  I left my purse in your possession. You’ve stolen my cheque. It’s over. I’ve discovered your true nature. You… lying, thieving bastard.”
Dial tone filled my ears.
I tried to call back several hundred times. She didn’t pick up. Inexplicable. What cheque? Why? My left eye started to pulsate. It was obviously the first sign of stress. At least I wasn’t losing my hair. I came home to find my apartment empty of her things. She was gone. How could everything we had together, done together amount to absolutely nothing in the end. The absurdity of the situation was snowballing itself into a big mess.
Embitterment, resentment and misunderstanding had filled my life, plunging it into a deep well of confusion, while confining my mind in a massive concrete shell. It seemed that there was no worth in living. Nothing was worth doing. Seemingly, there was no escape from the escalating nothing-ness, no way to fill the emptiness left in my heart. Why did I have to dedicate so many things to her, shamelessly basing my life around her?

Oct 5th, 9:19
I stared at my reflection in the mirror. It wasn’t pretty. My beard was expanding rapidly all night and had to be shaved off into a neater state, just like every morning. The razor slid across my white, cream covered face, like an Olympic mountain skier nicely gliding down a snow covered slope going for the gold and then suddenly stuttered on a little bump. The skier wasn’t getting that gold.
“Auch!” I yelled out, dropping the razor.
A drop of blood instantly formed on the cut, unfixing itself from my neck, and dropping down, plummeting towards the sink.
My eyes followed the droplet’s flight, only to realize that the droplet wasn’t going anywhere.
“Huh?” I stared profoundly at the droplet. “Blood is heavier then air, right?” I asked it, lowering myself down to witness the divine miracle firsthand.
The droplet was simply floating there, as if wanting to poke fun at of Newton’s laws.
“Praise the lord and all the seven apostles!” My brain grappled with this new concept of anti-gravity blood.
The droplet suddenly came alive and collided with the sink.
I stared at my reflection. Ridiculous! I have to stop going to sleep at 7am. Two hours of sleep obviously didn’t cut it.

Oct 6th, 12:32
The lecturer was droning something obscenely boring about essence of efficient architecture. I wobbled the pen in my hands, wondering how much longer I have to endure this class. Time didn’t matter. What mattered was purpose. Why was I here? Why was I in this classroom? To learn? To be educated? Why? Too many questions and images pestered my overly vivid imagination.
I scratched my face and started drawing a caricature of the teacher on the desk. It was turning out to be quite pleasing.
“Alexander?” The lecturer’s voice smashed against my eardrums, suddenly calling out my name. “Can you tell me why?”
I had no idea what he was talking about, since I didn’t care to pay attention in the first place. I slammed my pen against the desk, fearing an inevitable reprimand, when suddenly the lecturer’s glasses cracked, the lenses falling out, sparkling and glittering merrily on their way down.
The class burst into a gasping laughter as the lecturer searched for pieces of his secondary eyes on the floor. Lucky save, I guessed.

Oct 8th, 8:18
I checked today’s email. The news was grim. An airplane the exterior of which I was supposed to spray paint with a lovely sky mural had exploded upon landing. Ridiculous.
How the hell am I going to pay for my ever-escalating car insurance if I just lost a big job like that? Fate was obviously against the concept of me working on airplanes. I wondered whether it was also against me flying on airplanes… or perhaps using escalators.

Oct 14th, 9:33
“I’m sorry Alex. There’s nothing I could do. MCF has bankrupted our company. We’re canceling all contracts. Your share of the company’s stock is worth nothing.”
“Why didn’t Bill the CEO do anything?!”
“He was a patsy. How could he do anything about it? I didn’t even expected. They put in 40 million in anonymous contributions and then pulled the project funding. The firm is bankrupt. I’m canceling all accounts.”
“Graaaaa.” I flailed my arms in discontent at the ruins of my glorious career as architect that has collapsed before my very eyes like a deck of rather poorly stacked cards.
My job was over before I even seriously started. I felt like something was pulling me out. Out of phrase with the rest of the world. One by one my contacts fell to silence.

Oct 17th, 11:45
“Lucky duck”
I looked at the squiggly hieroglyphs of the Chinese store sign.
“Lucky goose” I read below in English. Wait just a minute! I looked at the hieroglyphs again in confusion. How is it that I know what they mean? Perhaps as a child I studied Chinese. No, that can’t be it. Don’t remember anything like that. Perhaps the mass bombardment of television has finally paid itself off and now I can read all languages? How ridiculous of a concept is that. Just to check I walked inside the restaurant and demanded the menu. Strangely enough, I could almost guess what each little character stood for. Amusing.
As I devoured my fried dumplings, I listened closely to conversations of the customers behind me, trying to understand what they were saying, but at no avail.

Oct 19th, 4:04
Four in the morning. Can’t sleep. Must finish Essay on “Romantic poetry in Britain and France”.
Type. Set. Print.

Oct 20th, 8:24
This morning I discovered that I wrote half the essay in French and another in English. This is getting ridiculous. How come I didn’t even notice this? Going to have to re-type it tonight and hand it in tomorrow. Sadly enough, I don’t live in French Canada. Also, last time I studied French was in grade 9. I don’t recall it ever being good enough to write essays.  Made the logical assumption that my memory had begun to fall apart, piece by piece, strand by strand, due to exceeding stress of inability to find another job, and constant university exams. Life had become a construct of senseless and lost dreams, one following another in a never-ending string of somewhat memorable occurrences. I still hoped to wake up on October 4th, pretending like nothing ever happened, pretending that everything was still all right.

Oct 19, 18:12

Cha cha cha. The world rebounded, shaking. No, it wasn’t an earthquake. I was sailing away… no wait, I was still on the subway.
“Ungrion stration” the announcer rumbled, rudely fully awakening me.
Well, this was lucky. I could have slept right through it.
I opened my eyes. The view was fuzzy, a broken television screen. People moved back and forth, towards the doors, leaving blackened trails behind them. The lights flickered, their coronas shifting and changing shape. There was fuzz and pulsating grain wherever I looked.
For a few seconds, I was rather discouraged by this failure of eyesight, but then the picture had begun to slowly come into focus.
“Khhhkh…Sht Andrew Stration” The announcer coughed.
“Hey, wait a minute! St Andrew station?” I jumped on my seat. “Wasn’t I just at Union?”
“Damn this. I must be too tired.” I yawned, quickly got up and followed the crowds. My vision cleared; colors and shapes fully came back. I’ve ascended via the whirling escalator out of the hellish depths of the subway. I was far too disoriented to take the train back and decided that a walk on the outside would do me some good.
The city welcomed me with gashes of wind that slapped me across the face, twirling and tagging the ends of my leather jacket.
Snow started to fall harder. I walked through the streets, dipping my shoes in and out of the newly formed cover of snow. A crouched figure of a homeless man, lying on the sidewalk caught my eye. Clouds of warm air pushed from the vent beneath him, curving around his figure, wrapped in several torn up mattresses. A layer of snow settled over the bum, probably melting and seeping through his many covers. I could not see his face, but great pity ran through my mind towards him, as he was probably freezing to death.
Somewhere between the next blink of my eyes, as my eyelids flashed to and fro, I witnessed something inexplicable. For a split second, the hot vent mist stopped moving up; its curves just simply froze in the air. A gray fluttering snake shape appeared over the sleeping bum. As the shape oscillated over the vent, starting to come into focus; electrical beams arched and flashed back and forth from the bum’s body on the sidewalk to the fuzzy air, highlighting what looked like a giant, metal caterpillar that floated in mid air.
In another second, the caterpillar vanished, but the homeless man remained.
My vision darkened, as if a thick, veiled mosquito mesh was pulled over my head. A flash of headache struck me from all sides, shoving my brain into a giant blender, filled with nails.
The intersection streetlights flashed red, green and yellow at the same time. The crowd around me blurred up, and faded away for an instant. The sun jumped down and the clouds evaporated.
I closed and opened my eyes. The veil was gone. My head pounded slightly.
“What just happened?” I asked myself.
“No, no. Demons don’t exist. Stop imagining things!” my thoughts slammed against each other. I looked at the sleeping bum. He wasn’t moving. Clouds of warm air whooshed around him. I slowly made my way across the intersection, staring around and back in suspicion and soon enough a wall of gray bricks, plastered with commercial posters blocked the view of the homeless man on the sidewalk.
“Another one free from the burdens of life? Was it a demon I saw that pestered his body for the last seconds of his life?” I speculated, passing massive stone columns and pulling at the doors of Union station.

Union, Toronto’s Central Train station would have bedazzled any new visitor with its grandeur of columns, fluffy international flags, matte black boards with flipping letters that make the ‘tcha tcha tcha’ noises as they flip, semi-reflective marble floors and an array of travelers of all shapes and sizes. However this grand sight did nothing to amuse me for I have become utterly and hopelessly pacified with it, having traveled here through this very hallway hundreds, maybe now, thousands of times.
The soft crackling voice of the announcer rambled something about the new arrival on platform 3B. The crowd rushed straight at me. I was pushed from side to side, as if stuffed inside a barrel, rolled of a cliff and set towards unknown destination at stormy sea.
The storm had begun, not with a bang, but with a whispering melody.
Spiked murkiness clouded somewhere above me, spiraling, shifting left and right, like the heavy sword of Damocles, about to drop.
What is this sword anyway? I asked myself. Have I ever stopped to consider the meaning of this simple phrase? I searched my memories for an answer.
In the fourth century BC the court sycophant Damocles questioned the king’s life, wanting to live like the king himself. He, like me, wanted to know the answer of what it is to live differently, be above and better than all others. What Damocles found out was that even though his king Dionysus had the tastiest of foods and finest of things at his disposal, the king was as well in constant danger from those that envied him.
…. A metaphorical sword, suspended by horsehair was constantly hanging above his head.
What the? Who said that? Where did that just come from? Since when did my mind become an encyclopedia of answers? I twirled my head, trying to shake off the feeling of being watched.
This time, I could actually see the spiraling fuzz overhead, as I stared at it, from the back of my eyeballs. I kept on focusing, intent on seeing it this time. What the hell is that?
It was right behind the layers of pulsating gray cells, behind the firing neurons and synapses, barely visible through the thousands of thin, webbed lines of electromagnetic pulses that makeup thoughts. It was behind the thick layers of bone, behind the rows of oscillating veins filled with tumbling, doughnut shaped red blood cells. Right behind the thick cracked layers of skin, getting dry and dead higher up, crystallizing into dust between the rows of hair follicles.
It was there, getting louder and louder. No, it was not a noise, but a feeling of something that’s turning terribly wrong, a split second when your foot falls down and you just don’t know if that’s where the last stair ends.
In an instant, the tapestry of the world unraveled itself, coming undone, tearing from the unknown pressure, seams silently coming apart and throwing me somewhere off course.
As my heel failed to connect with the floor, I slipped and fell in mid air, on perfectly solid ground, sliding backwards. Everything was black and white, as if somebody just shut down every single cone inside my eyes. The rods were still there though; focus becoming way too perfectly clear as everything had stopped moving. In another second, I realized that I was now deaf as well. All sound faded, as if somebody had just pressed a “mute button inside my brain.
“What the…?!” I bluntly stated, blinking.
The colors slowly shifted their spectrum. Suddenly, I remembered a stupid question that I could never answer: “How do you explain the color of red to a blind man?”
“Hell!” I finished.
Why did the yellow walls just turn orange? Why did the blue sky just turn purple?
“Mommy, why is the sky blue?” another random thought jumped out.
“Light wavelength” My all-knowing brain screamed back. “The sky is blue because…”
When did my skin become so tanned? I pondered, staring at my hands.
I looked around, with a tint of madness in my eyes. Everything stood still. Time stopped.
I poked the round, balding man in a pink suit, standing next to me. His foot was frozen in mid air. Pink suit?!
“Okay then. This is a prank, right?” I asked the silent air.
“Welcome, to stupid TV pranks, stupid!” My brain stated.
The prank was looking exceedingly elaborate and realistic. The bloated, black arrow of the main clock stopped between 26 and 27 minutes. Wherever I looked, the more I came to a realization that the world stood absolutely still. The people around me were quite immobile, some with their mouths stuck in a halfway smile, as if taunting me.
The green letters of the schedule board, showing the latest train arrival were stuck one third of the way, not completely rotated straight.
I looked for anything that could give away the prank. Anything that moved!
Nothing was moving. A few pigeons perched on the cracked stone parapet were obviously stuffed dummies. Another pigeon must have been attached by a wire to the sky, its wings spread out, as it was flying apparently nowhere.
Even the falling snow behind the window was stuck in mid air, deciding to blatantly disobey gravity. “Witchcraft” My brain giggled.
Almost instantaneously I looked at my own watch to put a final blow into my skepticism. The little green numbers weren’t changing.
“Ooookay” I rubbed my face, realizing that this is serious, pondering whether 20:26:11 meant anything in the grand scheme of the universe or had anything to do with the fact that this was the exact second that the universe ran out of time.
“This would be a good time to rob a bank….” A thought snapped.
I raised my left foot, preparing to walk forward, wanting to see and feel more of this magically time-less world, when the colors of the entire spectrum suddenly shifted again.
The world wasn’t perfectly still anymore. The station looked as if it was melting away in fevering heat. Lights and shadows warped, slanted and intertwined.
A shadowy figure was racing towards me, slowly gliding through the air, sending black streaks of swirlies behind it. My last thoughts were how the swirlies remind me of tea that slowly dissolved inside water, when the shadow collided with me, sending us both tumbling backwards in slow motion. During this spectacular flight I managed to blink a few times, and at the exact moment when my back collided with the cold marble floor, the shadow materialized into a female shape. The swirlies dissolved completely, releasing a girl dressed in an outfit of a fashion that I could probably never imagine even if I’ve worked as a fashion designer for 200 years. Her outfit was a silver mess of flowing curves and shifting lines, above which I could see the Romanesque cubical ceiling of the train station. The ceiling lost most of its color and was smudging up, becoming hazier, as if I was looking at it through a strong current of water.
Fiery, amber eyes stared at me coldly, first in surprise, then in anger, then in confusion. Musical tones and strange sounds started pulsating on my nerve cells. The sound was coming right from inside my mind and not from her lips; forming into flowing; perfectly clear words of her voice.  
“Time Immemorial! What? Hey, what do you think you’re doing? This isn’t a jump terminal!”
“Ah… ah I tza” I uttered, unable to say anything intellectual at the moment, captivated by those fiery amber eyes, orange tinted skin, sparkling crimson hair and the constantly flowing suit that followed every single tiniest contour and bump of her body.
Who is this divine creature, I wonder? I thought, staring back.
The girl pulled away from me, standing up onto her knees. Her silver suit played in the light, its dark and light lines flowing to and fro, mixing up, flashing and dissolving into themselves.
She sighed, looking at her wrist, where a strange curvy watch glowed with dials and numbers too numerous for me to count.
“Great, now I’m going to miss my train by at least 5 days… 6 days… 7 days. Just great! Oh, I’m so very late! 3rd level? How did this happen?” she continued to speculate.
Next, she looked at me.
“Amm… sorry about that. My time-dial must have malfunctioned. Have a pleasant century.” She concluded, winking at me and clicked a switch on her wristwatch.
Her figure began to blur and slowly washed away.
“Wait! I have to… Where…?” I uttered, my fingers trying to grab her fuzzy wrist, but only catching empty air. She was gone.
“Great! Just great! Once in a lifetime I get to see an angel and I didn’t even get to ask her what the meaning of life is!” I thought, sliding forward and standing up.
Blinding pain struck the left side of my head. The colors in my eyes shifted back and forth, as if I was seeing the world through a television screen where somebody was having fun adjusting contrast and hue ratios, and rubbing a few magnets against its surface at the same time.
The air became thick with barely visible movement. The still figures of Torontonians and tourists started to fade away, and swirls of black fog filled the hallways, as multitudes of new, strange sounds started to harass my left ear. Beeps, clicks, whooshes and booms. The station’s walls faded in and out. Sounds of steps and chatter of voices came through; figures of constantly moving people emerged from the black fog of unending motion, faces and silver suits flashing here and there.  
As I looked up, I noticed that the ceiling of Union faded away and above it up high in the sky loomed, floating massive starship-trains, huge engine coils flashing beneath them. Bloated, spherical elevators, filled with people moved up and down with clicks and whooshes across glass pipes.
“The future is now?” I giggled, reaching up to touch the sky.
A strange feeling of euphoria struck my nerves. I’ve never felt so happy. Weight-ness. I couldn’t feel gravity’s crashing pull on me anymore. I wanted to laugh, to dance, and to celebrate this momentous occasion.
Then, for a brief instant, my heart stopped and something inside me snapped. I choked, gasping for air.
The colors started to flicker, shifting again. My breath became heavy. My lungs caught fire. There was no oxygen. I could not breathe. I could not stand up. As I fell down onto my knees, my synapses started to fail one by one.
A floating, black, metallic caterpillar materialized right in front of me. Myriads of tiny arms moved across its surface, arching lights flashing back and forth. Bolts of electrical beams struck between my body and the caterpillar’s metallic hands. My vision was fading. I could not feel the warmth of my body. The caterpillar wheezed in deathly metallic voice.
“Multicellular singularity. Soul-scan concluded Negative. Evaluating for termination…”
Its cold hands of metal spread out, opening up, reaching for my body. I saw my pale face as it reflected back at me in the single, large convex mirror eye of the caterpillar.
I screamed in horror.
Something inside me snapped.
The caterpillar froze up, screeching in high pitch; its myriads of arms flapping back and forth, its one eye flashing and darkening.
Color blind-ness. Click! The color spectrum shifted yet again. The caterpillar’s coils unfolded into a mesh of wings made of bright, blinding light. I squinted my eyes. Linear cracks ran over my vision, like semi-transparent barcodes were simply slapped right over my eyes. The caterpillar’s screech had started to fade away. The surreal twenty third century world started to fall apart right before my eyes. The caterpillar literally crumbled away, its hands breaking off; its coils unbending and collapsing, its insides and outsides shattering into thousands of tiny glittering freckles, as if it was made from ice or glass. The glittering particles showered my head, gliding right through my body. The world around me was no longer solid.  My vision disintegrated into pixilated dust, linear cracks and lines of light fluttering in my eyes back and forth, until an orange curve of light struck from the inside of my mind, instantly knocking me out.

Darkness. Silence. Sound started to fade in. I was hearing buzzing of the lights, chatter of voices and the hauntingly clear white noise of the Union station. My eyes opened. I was slanted sideways on the cold, metal, white and green bench. In front of me, people walked to and fro.
“Attention, the lakeshore eastbound train is delayed. Passenger, the eastbound train is delayed.” The dull voice of the announcer sharply bounced in the air above me.
“Has anything really happened? How did I end up here?” I’ve asked myself, rubbing my stiff face. Terrible headache struck me instantly, with pounding hammers from the inside of my brain, bringing me back into reality.
My thoughts cluttered up into an angular tetrahedron that jabbed my skull from the inside, providing no answers to my questions. I couldn’t think straight. “What the? Who? Why? It couldn’t have been. No, it clearly never was. A dream. A hellishly realistic dream.”
I stared at the wall light. “Forget it, go home. It never was.” the light bulb told me, sparkling slightly. The world was once again a tapestry of gray, upon which I’ve walked amongst everyday.
“Okay” I nodded, got up and walked off in slight sorrow. Looking up at the board schedule I noticed that I missed my train by 6 hours. How this had happened, I could not even speculate.
Did I get out too late from my house? Did I have a fainting spell of some kind?
Memories had intermingled with thoughts.
I could no longer remember or tell what was real and what was a dream, as I headed back to my apartment.
Headaches persisted with severe drowsiness. I spent the night staring at my monitor and writing an essay on “Ergonomical evaluation of room 354”, that was worth 25% of my mark and was apparently due a week ago.
“Take me now, angel from the future. Save me from this time and place. Take me now into starry space. Save me from this essay.” I started to type.
“Do it now, before it’s too late.” I added.
I waited, counting the pixels of my monitor for amusement. Nothing had happened. Nobody typed back. Nobody had magically appeared in my room. Eventually my thoughts slowed down to nothing and I came to the realization that if insomnia had a color, it would have been white, as the images that floated before my eyes spun out of rational existence.
Unanswered questions haunted me.

What happens when a fatal sickness places not you in quarantine, but the entire world?

Oct 20th, 10:47, my watch flickered with green numbers, as somewhere inside it, the microchip decided that it could rule my life with its control of time. My memory was going awry. I haven’t slept since yesterday morning. I couldn’t even remember how I got to University. I started up a slideshow of images in my mind, memories of places I’ve been to, flipping like grainy, dusty slides. Nothing amusing came to mind, except for those amber eyes at Union.
“Stop daydreaming!” I slapped my head, getting back to note taking. The lecturer droned on, and clearly didn’t want to pause for anyone or repeat anything.
Today’s lecture’s class was half-empty. Most people chose to skip its boredom and partake in more fun activities. I however was trapped, without purpose, without cause. The headache persisted. Lights flashed. Static, black and white fuzz appeared and disappeared in my eyes. During the last break, I’ve got up, collected my numerous binders, said “The hell with it, I’m going home.” and slipped out of the lecture hall. Outside the campus there were a few tables of “Political campaign for Student Union election representatives”. One of the candidates, Sarah Slean, was giving out yellow lighters with her name imprinted on them, so that people could smoke outside and vote for her after. I didn’t vote. I didn’t smoke. I just took one of her lighters for amusement and slipped it into my pocket, considering whether I should set their stupid slogan or at least one of the SU representatives on fire. Never know when a free lighter might come handy, especially if you decide to join the ranks of pyromaniacs.

Deciding to ignore the existence of trains, I’ve jumped into a bus and fell asleep, lulled by the hum of the engine and whispering of wheels that racketed on the road.
Between the moments of wakeful-ness and slumber, between the seconds that the mind is reborn from another world I saw those amber eyes again, piercing through my very soul.
I woke up from the freezing chill that was spreading out from my heart, pushing from the inside out. Looking out the window and shivering, I thought on how far our civilization has advanced, how much was accomplished, as we all existed on this spinning ball of inanimate and animate matter. Boeing 747 was piercing the sky, between the fluffy clouds, leaving a massive trail of exploding gases behind it. Where were those passengers going, why, what were they, what are we all searching for? Eternal happiness, perhaps?
How we are all interconnected, yet we choose to separate ourselves through misunderstanding and bridged walls. Never-ending walls of glass inside and outside of our minds.
Just as I was speculating on how to break down at least a few walls between people, the interior bus lights began to flicker.
“Alas, they too expire from the cold” I concluded harshly. However, as I looked outside, it wasn’t just the bus lights. The sun had begun to flicker too. The problem couldn’t lie in the sun; the problem was inside me. I felt my warmth being drained away from every cell of my body. I followed the synapses, counted the mitochondria, trying to trace down after the escaping heat, through my bloodstreams, up higher and higher, through the ivory, porous layers of spinal bones, towards the veins on the back of my neck. I felt an incredibly thin, invisible string wrap around my neck, choking me slowly. Scraping my teeth, I pulled forward with all my strength, clawing into the cold, metallic handlebars. The string stayed in place.
“You can’t escape. Stop trying. Surrender.” IT whispered through my bloodstreams in a dark, cold melody. After a few more seconds of struggle I came to realize that the key wasn’t to pull forward. The key was to pull inward. As I struggled with my last breath, the lights flickered faster and faster, colors shifting from black and white to a slightly tinted red world. The string had instantly snapped, freeing me. The sound of traffic outside and voices inside the bus faded and vanished as if they never were. The bus began to slow down and stopped to a standstill. The plane in the sky, was sticking its tail out of the white, solid cloud, not moving forward at all, as if it was stuck in thick porridge. The sun glared back at me with a differently shaped corona and shade as if it was a sun of an alien world, a billion light years away from earth. My eyes ran around madly. Everything stood still.
“Well, this re-occurring pattern of dreams is rather interesting” I concluded.
As my eyes re-adjusted to the dimly lit interior of the still bus, I’ve noticed something rather strange about. Something was moving and alive in the stillness. A mesh of thin, silver strings expanding and converging, a vast spider web that was alive, spread all around the bus’ interior. As I’ve focused harder, I’ve noticed that each string connected to somebody’s neck on the bus. The strings were slightly pulsating, as if draining blood one micro droplet at a time from each bus riding individual.  
“Dracula?” I speculated, looking up to the ceiling, where webbed mesh of strings ended.
A gray, incoherent, mushy thing hung in the top left corner of the bus, pulsating slightly.
I’ve focused my eyes harder, trying to make out what shape it was. The shapeless spider-thing resisted my eyes, by shifting to and fro and yet remaining still at the same time. Little silver glowing dots sprung on its surface, moving back and forth, across the strings.
The thing looked at me. It had no eyes that I could distinguish, yet deep inside I knew, felt it, that it saw my presence and found in me a threat. The air became thick with motion, as strings disconnected from the people and shifted about, as if trying to feel my presence.
“Wake up! Wake the hell up!” I screamed, as thousands of silver threads begun to vibrate and crawl towards me, jumping left and right.
Feeling me up they pulled at my arms and legs, piercing my skin, and ripped as I pulled back, jumping off the seat. My struggle didn’t last long. The thing, whatever it was, had won, entombing me in a cocoon of silver strings in mere seconds. White, blinding light from the constantly shifting strings was the last thing I saw before I fell.

People have been poking me for far too long to write something long and novel-ish. So, one day, after getting my internet cut off for two weeks, due to the move to a new downtown apartment, I decided to just start writing one. So far I've got through 50 pages. More are on the way... When its done I shall have to start looking for publishers. Anybody know any publishers that would be interested in such-a-story?
Here is chapter 1 for your pleasure. Feel free to comment, criticize, suggest ideas for further chapters, help fix spelling and ecetera.

oh... and the story comes with the following paintings:

Add a Comment:
XxFr3AkZxX Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2013
its confussing...but it had a great mood, I loved all....if it gets published, tell me cause I have found a new story thats definitely worth to read.
I saw many misspelled words but the story was catchy that I didnt care.
LaughAngelsGibberish Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012
The style of character and narration makes me think of "notes from the underground". A supernatural version of the new UMs' adventures!!
StarWallace Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Long and novel-ish? THE HELL WITH THAT! You need to write and direct a film! Such color! Apocalyptica and the fall of civilization is definitely your thing lol.

Found you through, easily topped my favorite comics list, my artists list, and not to mention creatives in general. You're a very gifted one, there's no doubt of that.
Fawxxe Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2012
That was...truely amazing. I cant even begin to describe...

Try writing third person. ^^ I do think you would be quite lovely at it!
luka1184 Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2012
This is such a detailed, amazing piece of literary loveliness... wait, that word doesn't exist? :P

Stay creative,
- Lukas
luka1184 Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2012
And the artwork associated is pretty damn awesome!
Kamis0ri Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2012
wow that was awesome :D feed me moar!
329 Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2011
That...was abusolutely amazing...Never have i've been drawn into a story like that I wanted, no, needed to continue reading in such a fashion! I loved it....And I'm going to continue reading it
Skeletarios Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2011
Wheres the rest T.T i want more i loved it (or at least a day for the book and will i be able to pay with paypal ? ^_^' ?
Rakushasu Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2011
That was quiet awesome. I really enjoyed your writing style! Your descriptions are overall really well done! The colours and all the other stuff your narrator saw were well written and I really could imagin what was going on!

I liked the way you put up a date on every distinct part of the chapter. It really makes you see how time passes and what happens with your character over the course of days! Do you plan on writing the whole novel that way, or was it just the first chapter? It's quiet an interesting approache! Also was it intended that the date changed from the 20. back to the 19. ?

Also the writing in the first person perspectiv really pays off! I think you managed really well to describe everything and combine it with the thoughts of your character. I never write in first person perspective, because I think its more difficult than writing in third person perspective, but damn man you did great!

Overall a really great first chapter! I wanna know what happens next and after looking at the paintings I really want to read more!
Void95 Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
If you publish it I'd gladly buy it. So far it looks amazing
TimeElf Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Excellent I don't know if you have found a publisher yet but you might want to try Baen or DAW if you haven't.
GodRustang Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2010  Student Writer
Damn... I sorely wish that i had the time to offer my services for this story... My advice would be to go to several places, one go to the Wizards Of The Coast, they are involved with many fictional/scifi things.... they could very well be interested,
Also look for a way to self publish, if no one will take you,
Lastly look into a small publishing company, The one J.K. Rowling used could work.

Best of luck
bobell Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2010
man if stephanie meyer can get a publishing deal you sure as hell i really wanna hear more...the main character is horrifically relatable and the sci fi factor is a new one....i usually guess how everything ends but i cant even begin to decphier the story but id love to hear more(Y)
Sprocket19 Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2010
Epic win! 11/10
dumblindeaf Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2010
Will you compile these into a book of some sort? That would be awesome, I love the visuals along with the story it gets even better!
your-rubiks-cube Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2010
You're are amazing, I want more!
nimashiukkimoto Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2010
I'd Buy that Book ^_^
jochannon Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2009
This is a great start to a story.

Two things I think need some work:

1, tempo: your tempo doesn't vary; it needs to. There need to be times when the reader is dragged along by his collar, and other times there needs to be time to pause and take breath.

For instance, Oct. 20th in the lecture hall; it moves at about the same pace as the bus scene when he is attacked by the dracula-string-beast.

2, adjectives: you don't use enough adjectives.

Now, adjectives slow a story down, which makes them very good for pacing a story; lots of writers use too many adjectives, which slows a story down too much, others(I'm one of 'em) use too few.

for instance, the afore-mentioned lecture hall scene: it's boring, how boring is it really? The hall's half-empty, what's it look like half empty?

Adjectives are good for slow scenes, they're also useful in stretching out suspenseful scenes: the bus scene is a suspenseful scene that I think could be stretched out a bit further.

Just a few suggestions.
TotallyDreaming Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2009   Photographer
Just wondering, are you going to put up more chapters to this sci-fi novel your working on? I love it by the way, and your artwork. Beautiful in endless ways. :heart: :love: :heart:
cornivious Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2009
I know you've probably gotten this question multiple times, but has this novel been published yet? I would love to add this to my collection.
alexiuss Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2009
not yet
still writing it
cornivious Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2009
Take as much time as you need. The best things take a long time to make.
senfelone Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2009
Where can i buy this book?
eazolan Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2009
Have you considered self-publishing it on a Kindle?
Blervakh Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2009
So, can one actually buy this book, living in uk?
BlackbloodedSshae Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2009
This kind of has me looking back to [link] rather, this comment was kind of late so I guess just looking /to/ it. But this is really an extraordinary piece, even being the first chapter :] Do you know if it has been published yet? I would dearly love to read the whole thing <3
cornivious Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2009
This first chapter has captured my attention. The way you've written it really allows me to visualize whats happening in the story. Such fantastic descriptions too! I've never seen such great quality writing in all my life! Absolutly amazing. I can't wait for the rest of it!
R3ds0Ld13r Featured By Owner May 16, 2009  Professional Interface Designer
hey! Will there be a german copy of your book? :)
protagon Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2009
I kinda wish things like this would happen to me... great story.
darksnowolf Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
yoour vocabulary is suberb
coloneloutcast Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2009
i would use the publishers tor or maybe brown, little. hyperion dbg is also a good publishing place. those are themost common ones. oh and if you live in canada and i live in the usa would there be diff dates to when the book comes out?
coloneloutcast Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2009
umm, so when is the book coming out? i have to reed it after war and peace.
IssacBlast Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2009  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Wow, this is rather well done. I like how it gives a sense of mindless and confusing chaos, but order and purpose aren't lost in the process. Doing those two things at once is notoriously difficult in imaginative writing, but you effectively wrote several pages.

I already know the title is /|Chronoscape|\ but who is the publisher? And titled Author? I'd like to find this book when it is hopefully released in two months.
alexiuss Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2009
I'll publish it online first. author is mwa: Vitaly S Alexius
Don't have a major publisher at this point.
IssacBlast Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2009  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
OK, I'll keep an eye out for more info and art..
IsaacConrad Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
I would love to have your skills for writing AND drawing / painting like you !

I'd love to illustrate my stories (called Denaris, available on my DA Gallery... in french).

Good luck !
ZeDestructor Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2009
I will buy it if i find it when its released.
If I has the moneh.
alexiuss Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2009
cool, cool.
start saving up.
ZeDestructor Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2009
Can't Poor students get a free LQ e-book?
alexiuss Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2009
we're all poor students.
Mikehkun Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2009   Writer
simply awesome
JohnLM-89 Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
Absolutely Incredible work!
It did take a lot of time to read it, but it was worth every second!
I don't think I've ever read something like that before but it was smashing!
I'm impatient already awaiting next chapters!
Arendilon Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2009  Hobbyist
ditto :)
inkd902 Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2008
u, sir, have an AMAZING writing style. i could learn a lot from you =] just want u 2 know that i've actually gotten a few good vocabulary terms from your writing. lol.
may i ask who the publisher is? r u self-publishing? or do u have an agent?
buying this is novel is going on my list 4 books i want =]
alexiuss Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2008
inkd902 Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2008
well i must say, that is quite an accomplishment. i don't know many authors who have chosen to self-publish and ACTUALLY got it published. i tried to self-publish like last year; it didn't work out. they told me i was too young. they told me that "an underage author with an agent would understand more about the process."
but again, i believe that you deem this a great opportunity indeed. excellent writing. good luck with all of this. but be careful about 2 things:
-this is a fast-paced age. not everybody HAS 2 like your book. and if some people don't, then simply don't bother with them. if you believe that you're writing is A+, then just write it. if you go with the crowd and write other topics and ideas which you're not familiar with, then you won't write as well as you thought you would.
-don't let all the love you receive get to your head. lol. (just saying)

hope to see your book in the not-too-distant future.
alexiuss Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2008
publishing through internet. it's pretty easy actually.
inkd902 Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2008
ah; i see. i'm guessing they don't require unsolicited manuscripts. my mom doesn't trust internet publishing; dunno why, though. how exactly do you perform publishing through the internet? is it safe? (i'm sorry; i'm asking a lot of questions, but i'm just curious =]).
alexiuss Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2008
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