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The Walks of Darkness, Chapter 6

The passage below is rumored to have been based on an actual event that took place within Autumn City, Vermont. The writer, Kyla Flint, was an embedded journalist traveling with a special team of Autumn City police that had been assigned to investigate a number of strange events that took place almost immediately after the Great Darkness of 1999. Flint’s book, “Walks of Darkness,” while supposedly a work of fiction, is believed by many to be a largely truthful account of the writer’s travels with the aforementioned police unit. Unnamed sources close to the writer have claimed that Miss Flint was forced, by certain government agencies, to reclassify her books as fiction, so as not to revel the Great Darkness as anything but the product of a freak solar event.

From chapter 6 of “Walks of Darkness”:

 “The police were swarming a large, rotting apartment building. The men’s movements betrayed a shrinking confidence in their numbers and weaponry. A few years ago, the cold steel of their guns and near-absolute authority to act without penalty would have set them at ease – just enough slack to swagger. But now, after the Darkness, they move more conservatively, as if their lives depended upon it. 

fanning out across the cracked parking lot, the policemen took up strategic positions around the building. The smell of cold sweat was all that remained of the men once they took their places. From the back of a police van a small drone mounted atop a set of miniature tank-treads was set loose upon the sidewalk. It moved to the front door of the building and extended a long mechanical claw that clamped over the doorknob. After an awkward tug the door banged open, and the machine proceeded into the darkness of the structure. Forty-five breaths were held, and sweat ran colder than space. The drone could be heard clumsily navigating the interior of the building. The man remote-controlling the drone sat in the back of a police van and stared into a heavily pixilated screen, carefully monitoring the images coming from the camera secured to the drone. A police officer who had wedged himself between a derelict car and a dumpster began to tremble, as Images of his family looking down into a coffin stuffed with his ruined carcass blinked into the spaces of his mind. The officer who had crawled into a rank tangle of bushes revisited his most recent nightmare. The policeman at the computer monitor turned to look at his watch, and an indistinct face pushed through the haze on the computer screen. Before the officer could react, the eyes in the face opened. The policeman gathered outside heard a scream that quickly melted into bubbling and fizzing sounds, followed by a deranged, wet laughter that seemed as if it were barely breaking the surface of shallow water. The police van hosting the remote controller detonated, spreading thunder and fire in all directions.

Police snipers, hidden in nearby buildings, fired depleted uranium rounds into the husk of an apartment house. The policemen closest to the dwelling retreated behind the rows of remaining law enforcement vehicles, where they formed into staggered firing lines and joined the snipers in shredding the building. After a sustained barrage that lasted nearly thirty seconds, the guns went silent. The apartment building bled small curling snakes of smoke, and moaned from its ruined timbers. Nothing moved. A deep and thickly modulated voice croaked out from a police radio, “Send in the heavy.”

The largest and most heavily armored police van came alive with swirling lights and high pitched, widely spaced whistles. Something huge moved inside the vehicle, as its weight tilted the truck towards its rear wheels. Large hydraulic doors opened slowly and a gigantic shadow spilled out from the back of the truck, followed by a colossus of steel and gun. Great pains had been taken to add a fierce flourish to the metal shell of the armored power-suit—where broad metal plating would have sufficed, layers of steel in the shape of human musculature predominated; and where there was no need of a grinning, demonic face, one was provided. Once the eight-foot tall power-suit had cleared the street and stepped upon the path leading to the bullet-riddled structure, strange weaponry unfurled from lighted recess within its back, looking like the silvered bones of angel wings. When the walking weapon reached the midway point between the street and the building it produced twin spotlights from its shoulders and washed the building in bright, blue light. The increased illumination brought comfort to the assembled strike-team, and just as quickly, a single voice took it away.

“Enough already! What a ratchet you’re making. Look at all of the lovely silence you’ve destroyed. There’s just no fixing it, now. I’m just going to have to replace it, I guess…”

The voice came from a smoking cavity where once hung the front door of the building. A thin figure slowly walked into view. Finally, the figure became a pale man dressed in rags. Dried blood and crowds of flies caked his closed eyes. Without warning, the police opened fire on the strange individual. Then the pale man opened his eyes. The officer inside of the armored giant became screams and evaporated blood. Then, with the slightest widening of his eyes, the strange man reduced the hollow goliath of steel to hot smoke and a single, deafening sound. A voice croaked from a police radio, “Pull back!”

The pale man dragged his lethal gaze towards the buildings across the street, above the line of retreating policeman, to where snipers fired from attic windows and balconies. Deep furrows in the ground tore open, outlining the surging path of invisible death that flowed from the man’s bleeding eyes. The buildings opened up like the flaming pedals of a burning flower, and then exploded into glowing dust. A retreating gunman turned and placed his weapon’s laser-sight on the forehead of the man with death in his eyes. However, when the officer saw the evil man’s eyes through the scope of his rifle, his mind filled up with every evil sight ever seen: mothers eating their babies; millions of corpses lying beneath shifting blankets of flies; unfurling mushroom clouds; burning cities; and countless other atrocities as seen through countless eyes, all at once. The gunman dropped his rifle, unsheathed a large bowie knife, and spent several seconds cutting his eyes from their sockets.

The remaining policemen could retreat no further, as they were caught between burning buildings and inhuman things. The man closed his hellish eyes and tilted his head, as if listening for something.

“Not quite as before, but we’re getting there.”

The pale man began to walk towards the line of shaking lawmen. Before the officers had a chance to plead for their lives or risk the fires at their backs, something hissed as it passed over their heads. The missile struck thirty feet to the left of the approaching man-monster, throwing him from his feet. A gigantic helicopter descended toward the officers, flattening the plumes of billowing smoke and lowering rope ladders. The death-eyed man rose up from where he had fallen. The policemen climbed over one another in a desperate attempt to reach the ladders. The helicopter turned to face the man and fired both of its chain-cannons. Three of the high caliber rounds hit their designated target. But instead of dying instantly, or even bleeding, the strange man only took three steps backward. The aircraft’s spotlight illuminated the evil figure, revealing gigantic, closed eyes where there should have been only gaping artillery holes. Another missile flew towards the eye-creature. Five hideous eyes opened…

The sounds of explosions, screams, and fire slowly died into the quiet breeze that whispered through the dust of men and machines.”

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