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07 March 2009 @ 11:50 pm
Fic: Silence  
A series of little Drabbles telling a greater story. Experimental, not sure how I feel about it... Kind of Apocafic, but... has a happy ending.

Every section has exactly 100 words for a total of 1,300 words.



Silence

1. He had been walking across campus, on his cell with Seth in Providence, when the line had filled with static. "Seth?" he asked.

"Ryan? What's with the recept..." Seth began, only to be cut off as the call was dropped.

Ryan lowered his phone to look at it, seeing the screen was dead. Completely dead.

He was turning the phone to check that his battery hadn't come loose again when he heard glass shattering behind him and screams. He whipped around, catching a glimpse of the physics building exploding behind him, before the shockwave hit him and sent him flying through the air.

~~~

2. There was chaos as hundreds of mouths hung open in silent screams. Ryan just lay in the middle of it, staring up at the sky that had turned pitch black despite it previously being a cloud free spring sky.

Later, he'd be haunted by the fact that the last thing he would ever hear was shattering glass and screams. Of course, that was the last thing a lot of people would ever hear, considering how many people suffered the same damage to their eardrums that he had.

But at the time, all he could think was that the sun had gone away.

~~~

3. It was a bomb, he learned later from the notes Kirsten wrote him, placed in the physics basement. No one knew exactly what kind of bomb it was or how it had caused so much damage, but what they did know was frightening enough.

First it had released a biotoxin that spread rapidly, invisible but hanging around just a few feet of the ground. Then it had set off an EMP that destroyed all electronics within a 100 mile radius, which shouldn't have been possible. Finally, it exploded, a shockwave forcing the students down into the still spreading cloud of gas.

~~~

4. Quarentine wasn't so bad, Ryan supposed. Everyone inside the facility was in the same boat as him, exposed to a deadly toxin and deafened from the blast.

It got bad at night, though, when he could feel the others banging against their metal bunks in frustration that they couldn't hear their own anguished sobs of fear and pain and longing.

Sometimes, Ryan cried with them, though his would have been silent even if he could hear, muffled by his thin pillow or his arm. His life wasn't suppose to be this.

And the worst part was, he was one of the lucky ones.

~~~

5. He saw one of those who displayed symptoms, and he would never forget the blood that poured from the girl's mouth, eyes, nose, and ears. He wouldn't forget her silent screams of pain and fear and anger and hatred as she'd turned on the doctors in their protective suits, tearing at them and trying to expose them to the toxin.

He'd never forget the way a soldier, also suited, had come in and shot the girl, the bullets tearing away at her body even as she kept trying to attack, only stopping when she had stopped moving entirely.

She was only seventeen.

~~~

6. He spent five years in Quarentine, waiting for someone to say it was safe and he could go home. But every so often, someone would succumb and begin attacking doctors or guards, and they'd all know that they weren't leaving yet.

No one understood how it could have such varied incubation periods, days for some, weeks for others, and in some cases, years. But, five years after the breaking glass and screams, Ryan walked out the doors of the hospital and into Sandy and Kirsten's arms.

All it took was another dozen bombs of the same type going off across the country.

~~~

7. After the new bombs, it was considered accepted that hearing loss was most likely a side effect of the toxin, not a result of physical damage caused by falls. It was impossible to contemplate millions of people manages to hit their heads just right to cause permenant hearing loss.

Seth was at a loss, unable to hear his own voice, and weaped inconsolably his first days home as he struggled to adjust to not hearing his family's joking and teasing. Ryan understood, though, and pulled Seth into a tight embrace when the other boy began to scream silent screams and sobs.

~~~

8. He found a new calling after leaving Quarentine, taking classes at the deaf colleges sprouting up everywhere now, and becoming a counselor specializing in helping the 'Silent Generation' as he and the other victims were becoming known.

Two years after the second attack, there were more in the rest of the world, and across the internet messages appeared about the world learning to listen by living in silence. It didn't make sense, and Ryan was disgusted by how many people, mostly those who could still hear the world around them, began to see whoever was behind the bombs as folk heroes.

~~~

9. He wanted to kill a man who came into the clinic 5 years after the third wave of attacks asking if the rumors of a 'medicine' based on the toxin were true, because he wanted to be one fo the 'special' ones. The Silent Ones.

He'd sternly told the man that he was one of the 'Silent', and there was nothing 'special' about having his hearing stolen from him by terrorists. That it was cruel and murderous, considering the Silent Ones who still occasionally went haywire, and that if the man didn't leave immediately, he'd contact the police about a terrorist.

~~~

10. It got easier, with time. People adjust to the suddenly exploding population of deaf citizens, and while there were still incidents of Silence Related Homicide, they were starting to taper off as people elarned the warning signs and got their loved one treatment before they hit that stage.

Unfortunately, treatment usually meant heavy doses of sedatives or being given an overdose to end things if they were too far gone for sedatives. Ryan wasn't a fan of the euthanasia policy, refusing to take part in the procedures when it had to be done, his mind still on the girl from Quarentine.

~~~

11. His wife was from a small town back east, and hadn't been near any target cities, so she had her hearing. At first, she wasn't sure about being involved with one of the original Silents, worried Ryan might go haywire like so many others, but later she said she couldn't resist his smile.

She knew sign language, learned it as an elective her senior year of High School after it became a standard option following the Berkeley Incident, as it was known. But she was also nearly as good as Ryan at conveying her thoughts with a single look or smile.

~~~

12. They found an answer when Ryan was thirty-three, his first child nine months old and alsmot ready to start talking. That was why he volunteered to have the procedure tested on him to see if it worked for the original Silents, despite concerns about a possible haywire incident.

That was how it came that one of the first things he heard, after fifteen years of silence, was his daughter calling him 'daddy', her smile wide and brilliant just like her mother's. That was how he came to fall as in love with his wife's laugh as he was with her smile.

~~~

13. Seth took the treatment not long after Ryan did, and not long after that, Ryan found himself suckered into sitting on the floor of Seth and Summer's living room, spending a marathon weekend getting caught up on fifteen years worth of 'lost' music.

He couldn't care less about the music, but he liked hearing Seth's rambles again, laughing wildly as Seth dismissed almost every song as 'complete crap' that 'only Silents should be exposed to', since they wouldn't be suffering.

Ryan kept up his work, building a new world, a new way of life, instead of buildings that would crumble in time.

The End
 
 
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: Dancing - Elisa
 
 
 
Kat: CarDoor Ponderingkatwoman76 on March 8th, 2009 08:11 am (UTC)
That was dark at times.
Thank you for giving it a happy end.
fifimom on March 8th, 2009 11:10 am (UTC)
Strange, scary but good. Thanks.
finleefinlee on March 8th, 2009 12:23 pm (UTC)
Really scary and awesomely good!
jujuberry136jujuberry136 on March 9th, 2009 09:30 pm (UTC)
Really interesting and original story, thanks for sharing with all of us!

The drabble format worked great :D
dogsbody01 on October 22nd, 2009 12:30 am (UTC)
Great fic.That would be Hell, for Kirsten and Sandy though,to have it happen;not just to one son.But to both of them.You've certainly got the knack, for tearing people's hearts.