Saturday, September 6, 2014

Oracle


It started with a missing child.

I drove to work. The posters were everywhere I looked but the day felt ordinary to me. Cleaning drones roved the streets and hologram ads decorated the chrome city. It's been centuries since the world was devastated by mankind's destructive power. Here we are now living at the last domed city protected from the polluted planet.

I waved my hand over my car's scanner as a spiral building comes into view. The vehicle hovered just above the parking spot and landed. As usual, I greeted everyone inside as I got to my workplace. At lunch, I had another discussion with my co-workers.

My best friend however wanted to talk to me privately. He told me that he's been receiving strange messages lately from his oracle. I inspected the ring with a few tools I have. In the past, defective oracles were known to cause hallucinations as it damages the nervous systems. These days, the worst they could do was fill your senses with unfiltered spam. There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with his ring. By request, I rechecked and still found nothing.

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The lights switched on as I got home. At my command, the computer made my dinner. I tapped the oracle on my finger and sent a few messages to my fiancée. A few sweet words later, the news announced that another person has went missing. Shortly after, my best friend told me that he's hearing those messages again.

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More people have disappeared by now.

It's only now that my friend told me what the messages were. I... was disturbed. The messages seemed unusual, but something was off. At first he thought that his oracle disrupted the identity of the senders. But there was nothing wrong with it.

He went on about how the people who supposedly messaged him sent nothing when he checked them personally. Someone is impersonating his contacts. What is going on?

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The last city on Earth is under a threat.

Cops have been assigned to guard several areas. Inspection points have been designated but more reports of missing people continue. Curfew was implemented.

I did not see him at work today. My co-workers told me that some people close to him, including relatives, had vanished. I sent a few messages to check on him. I didn't get a reply.

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On the weekend, I met with my fiancée. With the recent happenings, it only made sense to us that we meet. We talked about everything. The news, work and most importantly our future. I couldn't help but recall everything we've been through together. From the day we've met, to the day I proposed to her.

She started thanking me for all the messages I sent her recently. Odd. I didn't send her that much. Cheesy poetry wasn't even my thing. Her smile dropped and our meeting ended with a bit of frustration. She wouldn't even let me accompany her back home as curfew approaches.

I checked my oracle for the news. The list of missing people was updated. My eyes widened  to see my best friend's name on the list. Does it have something to do with the messages?

Oh no. That means--

I ran as fast as I could. But by the time I arrived, there were cops outside her door. I was too late.

My fiancée.. she never went back home.

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A group of cops were reported missing. And then another. The city was slowly overtaken by anarchy as panic ensued. My oracle was now filled with several messages, most of which I do not trust.

I stayed at home as chaos continued.

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We are the last of humanity. And this is how we end.

I have a ton of unread messages by now. I found some comfort in the noise knowing that someone is still out there. But soon I must embrace silence or vanish whichever comes first.

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I sat at the corner of my room wishing for anything to make a sound. I've read every message from the oracle and waited for more. At last there was a new one. It was my fiancée.

I broke into tears.

Then I heard a knock on the door.

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