Infinity Chronicles – Outlander Saga – Pt13 – Dangerous Paths

**The story below is a draft **

He was too exposed, here in this concrete mausoleum, even at night,

it was a path he would never normally chance but, it seemed, destiny

demanded it. He grunted at the concept under his breath as he

heaved himself up and over some rubble, he still wasn’t sure what to

make of the story the mysterious golden women had told him back at

that rust bucket of a town and her words gnawed at him daily. She’d

spoken of futures, spoken of pasts and then of his role in a tapestry of

time that was constantly being woven.

At first he’d dismissed it all, telling her quite plainly that what she was

saying was bull-dung, wondering for a short time if she’d caught some

kind of brain sickness out in the wastes, but she’d said she’d known

he wouldn’t believe her and that she would need to tell him also of the

other things she knew, the things about him, the private things, the

dark things. She recounted them as his eyes grew wide and his belief

begrudgingly stronger, she didn’t just know the possible things, the

things that could be salvaged from before the fall, such as where he

had once lived or what his wife’s name had been, no, she knew more.

She knew about the time he’d had to end the life of his companion

dog due to a ravager bite. She knew about when he’d scavenged for

food in a house full of the decaying remains of children and how he

wept as he passed their small bodies. She knew about that fatal night

years ago when his family was lost to him and how his dreams had

tormented him ever since. He had sat quietly for some time there after

as she simply continued to look at him, if she was mad then her

madness was catching as he asked her to tell him more.

She’d told him there was only one more story she had to tell him, the

story yet to reveal itself and of his part to play in it and the flow of

history. She spoke with an unerving confidence as she recounted it,

highly accurate in some respects and worryingly vague in others,

telling him of the events that would unfold in the coming months,

events she assured him that would lead to the end of all this pain and

suffering and to the living hell the human race had found itself in, but

only if he played his part.

He’d sat quiet for some time and she’d effortlessly waited for him to

speak again with several minutes passing before he asked her a

single question, ‘what did she knew of his life afterwards?’. She had

looked blankly at him and blinked once before saying ‘time’s history

was unclear’, given what she had said he’d need to do he was hoping

for a more promising reply.

They’d spoke a little more but it seemed everything that had needed

to be had been said. She’d followed him to the outskirts of town and

passed with him through the gates, on the opposite side to which he’d

entered, and proceeded on to the edges of the beginning of the

sprawling forest that lay before them. He’d asked her if everything

was decided, if events could come to pass differently or if history was

set in stone, she’d simply replied that ‘time is infinite and varied with

thousands of possible combinations but human nature, is not’ before

placing her hand upon his cheek then turning and walking off along

the forests edge to a path unknown.

He remembered it all so vividly, but that was weeks ago now.

He stopped and looked up.

He stayed like that for some time, with his head tilted back and his

breathing coming slow and steady, no need for urgency in this

stillness he had a small lifetime if he wished simply to take the sight

in. Above him towered a tall monolithic structure, skyscrapers they

used to call them, that homage to the ancient tower of Babylon, one of

the many mighty works of man to look on and despair. No dim light

escaped its many thousand faceted glass panes now, no thromb of

person filled it’s halls moving numbers from one imaginary place to

another, lack of purpose filled its every room. It stood now as a

forgotten guardian of some past time, like a mossy covered grave

stone that would last long after the emotion for its creation was

remembered.

As he stood in silent contemplation of the ingenuity of man and the

folly that seemed to go hand in hand with it at every turn something,

fleeting, moved position suddenly in the thick scrub bush that now

covered the busy downtown grid road. He strained his hearing to

listen for something, anything that would give away the creature that

now clearly knew of his presence, caught out in the open as he was.

He slowly hunkered down low to the ground and tensed for a moment.

Like an arrow he shot suddenly for a nearby alley. The quick repeated

sound of gravel being scrunched underfoot filled the street that once

would have drowned it out with car horns, engines revving and the

cacophonic sound of hundreds of voices holding conversations.

He hit the alley wall as he passed its corner, the force of his

momentum driving him round 360 degrees, and as he spun he whirled

his rifle from his back and had it ready and cocked.

He started backwards in fast paces, keeping his gaze to the entrance,

heading for a door he’d clocked as he’d entered the passage and

cursing his luck as he tried it only to find it locked.

He crouched down and waited, his hot breath appearing in front of

him as it met the cool air as his breaths came in small puffs as he

panted in a restrained fashion after his sudden exertion.

He heard it before he saw it. The pained and confused nasal yell it let

out was a chilling sound as it echoed across the giants graveyard that

was the city, it lasted for several seconds before falling silent. The

sound of something heavy and possibly metallic being pulled along

the floor could begin to be heard now, like a shovel being callously

dragged over concrete by someone who cared not what awful noise it

made. Another ghastly screech of a yell. He tightened his grip on the

rifle as he looked around for any way to avoid this thing that was now

surely heading for him.

 

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