“It’s such a weird enemy. No contact. No demands. No nothing. That’s why some people reckon it’s the Chinese – explains the radio silence. Yeah, if it had just been Day One I could maybe have bought that. I mean, they made all the phones right? But no. People didn’t do this. They left everything intact, except the people. Like they didn’t care we still had cars or satellites or power stations, for as long as they kept going on their own. Most of it broke down with being abandoned I suppose. Then by the Spines, as they started to spiral outwards. That’s what they did – the Spines I mean. When they couldn’t find people to pull apart they started tearing down buildings, roads, anything that was ours.
“That was the first time I went up in a jet. You can hear them now. Just listen to that roar. ‘Beta-Haris’. Brilliant planes. Like nothing I’d ever seen. Half fighter plane, half zeppelin or something. Some Euro/US secret design, they just pulled them out of a mountain. Seriously – there was a door on the fucking mountain and it was just full of all this experimental war stuff. Maybe that’s we got to use it – no one else was ever going to. They’d lost so many soldiers going head to head in the towns. So that was where we came in. More meat for the table.
“So they started putting us up in the Beta-Haris. At first it was just to watch, y’know – figure out where they were going, what they were doing. We tracked them, from the sky. You know they’ve got no real sense of ‘up’? It’s fucked up. It’s like they just don’t get it. They’ve got no long range weapons either, so we just stayed high and watched them. Later we’d drop bombs on them, or just anything heavy. There was this idea going round that there was no collateral damage anymore – how many people could there possibly be once the Spines got started? Those fucking things were relentless. So no one cared what happened to the stuff around them. We put a lot of holes in the world.
“That was before Day Three. Stupid names, suggests they’re all consecutive days. Makes no sense, like naming events after the dates they happened on. Americanisms. But Christ, when that started. I don’t know, worse than Day One. We saw it happening, everyone did. So did the radio guys. They said it was like someone had put a call through the whole planet. It scared the shit out of everyone. It was like a backwards mining operation – the millions of dead digging themselves out of the rubble and the streets and dragging themselves to the Spines. Not zombies, but just… crawling.
“Look – I don’t want to talk about this. You know. Someone else can do this bit. I don’t like to think about it. That’s how they made the domes alright. Look, I’m almost out of time. I need to suit up. My Beta-Hari’s waiting. We’re going to burn Birmingham today, scour it of those fucking necro-domes. They used to talk about a purifying fire, well that’s what we’ve got, and if you ever wanted to be buried – tough. We all get cremated now. I just hope there’s something left at the end of it all. If there is an end.
“You want a scary thought? Yeah, another one. Well there’s global warming already obviously – we’re dumping more fire into the atmosphere than ever before, plus the nukes and the power stations breaking down and the fires we didn’t even start. Hey, maybe it’ll help. I heard the tsunami that hit Japan killed everything, and I mean everything. Smashed the Spines to pieces.
“Oh yeah – scary thought: what’s Day Four? Yeah, exactly. Anyway, I’ve got to go. Wish us luck.”
The War Alone will continue… but not next week. Probably.