“200 Years Before” by Michael Drewke

Michael Drewke


It wasn’t long after the bomb was dropped that the U.S went into complete lock down. States such as New York, California, and Texas were all demolished by the bombs. Many areas around the country were obliterated into thin air. A small isolated town in the corner of Idaho was instructed by the government to inhabit an abandoned town underneath the city. The U.S was worried that states such as Idaho, Nevada, and Wyoming were going to be hit next because of the nuclear storage the states held.  Prior to the instruction of the government, no one within the community knew they were living above an entire city. The year was 2088, and the city was abandoned in 1865. The residents were informed to bring the most essential needs with them because once they were in the town, they weren’t allowed back up per government instructions. 


There were about 20 people living in the area. They were part of a small county but very far from civilization. The reason being is because between them and the neighboring city there was a big construction company that took over the land. They had a special job to make more developments and create a new city. However, the project was stalled and never quite got off the ground. Instead, there was just a big desolate gap of land between the two cities. The people of the area were quite familiar with each other. They all had a special job in the town. Everyone in the town worked in the same factory. The factory was designed to build holograms for people. Holograms invaded the U.S. the same way cell phones did in the 2000’s. They were relatively cheap and were in high demand. 


The community went down to the town and tried to make an understanding of what was going to happen. The town was made of nothing but wood. There was no electricity and no source of heating, cooling, or ventilation. Darci, the head leader of the community, instructed that everyone got their own cell within the city jail. The jail was set up with rooms neighboring eachother but each cell had its own privacy. The smell of the town lingered throughout everywhere. It smelled somehow refreshing yet appalling. The city was cold, dark, and very damp. The roads were filled with mud and the buildings were practically falling apart. Darci instructed everyone to arrive at the city saloon in the morning to go over living plans. Everyone set up their holograms and re-synced them to their phone implants on their wrist. Everyone set their alarms to awake at the same time the next morning since there was no light that shined in except for a little hole at which everyone entered from. 


The next morning everyone arrived at the saloon except for a mother. Darci asked her children where she was and they both said she wasn’t in her bed when they awoke. Darci took this as an insult and went to find the mother. She entered the jail and before turning the corner Dacri laid her eyes on a mysterious black, lanky figure with no facial definition. The creature stood tall and slim. Darci froze and peeked around the corner watching its movements. The creature shapeshifted into the mother before Darci’s own eyes. Darci turned around and walked to the saloon in a normal fashion. Even though deep within she was petrified. When she got to the saloon a message was announced in everyone’s ear piece that the U.S. was being invaded by Russian AI in the west coast. The AI was slaughtering towns and taking over. The U.S. was struggling to fight back and was losing territory. Hope drained from everyone’s eyes as they knew they were going to be underground for a while. Darci on the other hand started to undergo a panic attack. 


Everyone started to panic upon seeing Darci starting to freak out. Darci’s vision started to tunnel and she felt as if she was going to pass out. About five minutes passed and Darci eventually calmed down. Looking up at all the confused and worried faces, Darci announced what she had just seen. “ I just witnessed a shape shifting creature in the jail! It was looking around and then it turned into the mother that was missing!” Darci said in a wimpy thin voice. Everyone looked around in disbelief thinking that Darci was losing her mind. People started to get up and go back to the jail. Darci looked around at everyone leaving and started to feel defeated. Not even a full day had passed and Darci lost all of her support. 


When the people returned to the jail they noticed something was off. Things had been moved throughout everyone’s cells. It looked as if everything had been ravaged and ransacked. But by who was the question everyone started to chat amongst themselves. Darci entered the jail and saw what was happening. Everyone looked at her as if she was the suspect. “You were the last one in here! It must have been you!” A woman yelled in the crowd. Darci felt her stomach drop. The angry crowd started to approach Darci and then in everyone’s ear piece a message started playing. “ Hello, this is a recorded message from the U.S. government: The U.S. has been invaded by russian AI. We have deployed our own AI to fight against the foreign invaders. I strongly urge you to find shelter and for no one to leave once they are in a safe place. This will all be over soon. May god bless all of you.” Everyone stood in shock by what they just had heard. Darci, backed in a corner, started to undergo another panic attack. Her vision started to tunnel and she lost her touch with reality. While all this was happening an odd looking creature entered in behind everyone. The room fell dead silent. The creature stood tall and slender. It had no facial features but had distinct features on its body. It towered over everyone and was as still as a statue. No one in the room made a noise or moved an inch. Eventually, the creature turned around and walked away silently. People ran to the door to see where it went and it vanished. The crowd all turned to Darci and realized she wasn’t lying. 

People started to panic and got items they could carry with ease. Darci was back to her normal self and realized she had to get everyone out before they were slaughtered by the creatures. Everyone turned to Darci and followed her instruction. Darci’s plan was to have everyone leave the town through the way they entered. However, they had to plan what to do after because of the war that was going on above them. Darci’s plan was to leave the town and go to the town’s barn. Underneath the wooden barn was a hidden basement and the plan was for everyone to go hide under there for the time being. They started towards the hole in the ground at the edge of the town. There was a little light peering in and that was their beacon to safety. 


Darci was taking point. They had a couple miles to walk before reaching their destination. While walking people started to apologize that they thought Darci was the one who ransacked everyone’s cell. Darci turned around to accept the apologies and realized two people were missing from the group. Darci looked around in confusion and asked where Margret and Jane were. The group turned around and noticed they were gone. One lady said they were there when everyone left. Darci bit the dead skin from her bottom lip as she started to think. Zoning out in the distance, Darci saw a tall slender figure in the distance move. Frightening her, she started to feel trembly. Darci looked at her hand as it started to shake. She felt her vision start to enclose. She lost her breath and started to feel like she was going to pass out. The figure crept towards them in a still motion. Darci tried to speak but the words wouldn’t come out. Everyone turned around and saw what was coming. Everyone started to run towards the edge of town. Darci couldn’t move. She was paralyzed by her fear. The figure got closer and closer. Darci tried to run but fell down into the dirt. Losing touch with reality a gunshot went off in the distance. Darci turned around frantically and the creature was on the ground struggling to get up. Darci looked around and no one was in sight. It was just her and the creature together on the ground. 


Darci got up and looked at the creature from a distance. The creature had a hole in its chest. Darci squinted in the distance and more gunfire erupted. American AI had entered the town through the other edge of town. The AI were fighting the creatures within the town. Darci turned around and met up with the group again and they all ran as fast as they could towards the hole in the town. Gunfire loomed over the entire town and no one looked back. Everyone reached the edge of town in 30 minutes. Darci looked for the hidden staircase within the rocks. Struggling to find the entrance people started to help move rocks and dirt. Eventually, the staircase was found and everyone squeezed through a tiny hole in the wall. Darci was the last to leave and before leaving she took a glimpse of the town. Gunfire lit up the town as if it was day time. American AI and alien-like creatures were in the streets fighting each other. Darci climbed through and patched the wall up with rocks. Everyone left the city and arrived at ground level again. Without even thinking about it everyone ran back to their city to enter the barn.


The group reached the barn and instantly went to the underground floor. Everyone sat in disbelief by what they just had witnessed. Everyone started to thank Darci and told her she was a hero. Although Darci could only focus on the fact that three people were taken. Darci started to break down from the guilt she was experiencing. Everyone around her started to hug her and said that it was out of her control. Looking around, Darci realized that even though three people were taken, many more were saved. Darci wiped her tears away and started to plan out the next game plan for survival.