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He turned onto the highway heading north, towards the ominous green light that swarms of other people seemed to be fleeing in the southbound lane. The government was still using the emergency broadcasting system to inform people not to panic and to stay where they were. In the meantime, mob mentality fueled by fear, prejudice, and organized religion, drove slack jawed oil workers and their whorish spouses away from the new and unexpected. Not Thorin though, he had just finished a rather terrible week of dealing with the same fleeing sheeple and was not in a mood to join them. Instead he loaded up his jeep, plugged in an outdated, but still functioning, mp3 player to the radio and headed north.

He sped north in the center lane at about fifty clicks over the speed limit which should have worried him as the only other vehicles on this side of the highway were emergency vehicles all which passed him like he was standing still. He knew they were responding with whatever force they could spare and reporting to the lookout outpost constructed about 25 kilometers away from the glowing green ball that lit up the sky for miles.

He just blazed ahead listening to his playlist of golden oldies until he noticed the road had become deadly silent and he could see the orange flashing lights of a barricade up ahead. He pulled off the road and headed up a side road with his lights off. Then as the road began to curve right he continued along the road on a pair of tire grooves worn into the ground. They lead a trail through a patch of thick forest, all the time with his vehicle moving no more than 30 km/h and watching the glow in the dark compass closely as he wove his way through the trees, finally emerging on the other side after about an hour of the tedious wooded path. As he exited he turned his lights back on and heading out of some farmer’s field merged back onto the highway. The annoying orange lights behind him and the ominous emerald one in the distance becoming brighter as he raced closer.

Thorin noticed that the light was beginning to flash again, and he pushed his jeep hard to make it there on time. Every time it did, people would disappear, only to reappear a few hours later in a park, fifty kilometers from the object. It was like it was looking for something which explained why it was just sitting there waiting. Thorin had to get inside that thing, he had to disappear to see what was going on. He could have claimed it was just the reporter in him that drove him to risk life and limb to find the truth; but in all honesty, he was just curious. He needed to know what all this was about, even if he could never tell a soul it was important to him in a way he couldn’t really explain.

Clearing the rim of the crater the thing had carved into the ground as it landed he finally saw the pulsating green light sitting in the middle of the glassy bowl it had made. He stopped his vehicle, strapped his sport camera to his chest and got out. Then carefully he slid down the bowl towards the giant glowing orb. Unfortunately, it was at this point he realized he was not alone as five uniformed officers from the police, military, air force, navy, and some kind of secret service, were all pointing firearms at one another.

He halted to a stop as the others all glanced quickly in his direction. He went to say something witty in hopes that he wouldn’t be shot, however before anyone could speak the bowl lit up with a brilliant emerald light and next thing he knew he was sitting in a waiting room with a door across from him and the word test written on it. A digital counter was over the door and read five hours, which just happened to be the same time most people had disappeared for. Nothing else was in the room, which was a pastel green, except his chair he was in which seemed to be molded out of the floor.

Thorin stood up and looked around the room, trying to think of a way to determine where or when he was. The room was still empty but for the door and the counter. He rubbed his chin eyeing the counter and proceeded to climb up the door standing on the door handle, which surprisingly held his weight. He very carefully ran his fingers around the edges of the counter on the wall and finally found what he was looking for. On the left side, farthest from the door handle of course, was a series of bumps that felt like letters. He couldn’t see them so he took his phone out and took a quick photo of that side before slipping off the handle and falling to the floor.

He groaned as he sat up, picking up his phone which now was sporting a cracked screen. He crossed his fingers as he pressed the power button and was relieved to see that the display panel was still unscathed. He unlocked the phone to see the photo he had just taken and his eyes went wide as he read the engraved letters which read ‘Manufactured, 12th Aug. 3420’…

——— The first teaser of one of my new novels ——-

Thanks for reading!

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