Pitch Black

by Brooder

5:20 PM


Falco was heaving, hard.  He had just been thrown, forcibly, from his matrix connection.  No explanation, no warning.  Just dumped.  And his body was having issues with it.


After he was able to get his body back under control, Falco took a moment to look around.  He found, however, that he couldn't.  Everything around him was black.  No light from anywhere.


"Frag!" he shouted.  "I'm blind!"


"Shut up, keeb," he could hear Bruno shout from the lower level of the loft.  "We lost power."


"Oh thank the matrix."


Of course, it took a moment for Falco to realize that he should have been able to see.  His natural lowlight vision should have been able to use light from outside to allow him to see.  But it was still black.  That meant either the shades were closed, or the whole block was out.


Moving in the direction of the window, Falco wanted to make sure the whole block was out.  When he got to the window, he gasped.  Normally, from where the team's loft was located, they could see the lights from downtown Seattle with no problem.  Now, only the twilight covered the city.  No lights anywhere.


"We've got a problem!"


5:30 PM


The team was gathered around a portable lamp.  Each was concerned about the outage.  This was not something that happened in Seattle. The backups had backups.  Something big was happening.


"This is strange," Bruno said, still looking out the window of the city.  "The only lights are combustion engine cars.  From the looks of it, even the vehicle grid is dead.  Few emergency vehicle lights.  Looks like even the parameds are having trouble with this."


"Of course," Falco said.  "Their whole system is automated.  Right now, the dispatch is probably going crazy getting onto portables to get everybody into roving mode."


"Hey guys," Sparticus said, looking around the group.  "I know that he's normally quiet enough that we don't notice him, but does anyone know where Brooder is at?"


The rest of the team looked around.


"God," Jade said.  "I hope he's alright."


5:35 PM


Brooder hauled himself out of the wrecked vehicle.  When the grid died, so did his car.  He'd been so concerned with reaching the team that he missed the truck speeding up a side street toward him.


Now, his car was totaled, he was bruised and bleeding, and the driver of the truck was dead, his steering wheel embedded in his chest.


Brooder looked around in the total darkness.  He had no idea where he had stopped.  And if he was right about the power outage that had dropped the vehicle grid, then the whole city was dead.  Not a good thing at all.


"Hey mister," a voice said from a nearby building.


Brooder looked to see a young woman peering out through a doorway.


"Mister," she repeated.  "You need to get off the street.  The gangs are going to take advantage of this."


Brooder nodded.  When it got completely dark, gangs and looters would be all over the place.  He turned to start walking back to the loft.  As he turned, he grimaced as pain flared in his ribs.


"Oh no," the woman said.  "You can't walk after that accident.  You probably broke some ribs.  Come inside here."


For lack of other options, Brooder moved toward the woman.  He had a feeling tonight was only starting to get interesting.

Copyright 2002 - R. James.

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