I woke up suddenly from sleep. I darted around, and then recalled the premises. It was my office and I was on my chair in side my cubicle. “What I’m doing in my office, now?” I tried to answer that question.
“Yes, I have been working on fixing bugs in BTT module, which must be delivered today. I slipped into sleep while working on that”. I answered myself.
“Where is Ganesh?” I looked at Ganesh cubicle. It was empty, no one was there.
“He was with me yesterday night? Where is he now? He might have left to home?” I thought.
“But, why he left without informing me? Strange”, thought.
I looked at the watch; it showed 1:50AM. I surprised because definitely it was not 1:50AM as I could feel the sun at outside, so it might be around 7 or 8 AM. I went outside of the ODC and noticed no one wondering around.
“Where are the workers? At least few workers would have been here by this time. Is it holiday or what?” scratched my head.
Went to elevator and pressed down button. It didn’t take much time to realize that the elevator was not functioning. “Hmm… damn it, I have to use stairs now”. I was muttering. I hate to use stairs as my office was in 6th floor!
I came-out from the building; there was a canteen opposite to my building. Usually by that time, the canteen should be with full of employees. But no one was there, not even sweepers. Then I thought I should call my manager to inform the situation. So I pulled my IPhone, which I bought recently. There was no signal in it.
“What the hell, usually in office there should be full-signal, now it is showing no signal”.
I rebooted phone, as sometimes, that should pick the signal, but even after that no signal. “Ok, let’s go to the security office”, I thought as even in holidays, security should remain in office.
The security office located a bit far from the office. The company where I was working is one of the largest software companies in the country. The entire campus consists of several buildings, canteens and play grounds. “no one is there” I thought after reaching security office.
“What is going on? Why no one is here? it can’t be as they can’t leave the office, just like that”. I saw VOIP phone at the desk, tried to call but no call sign. It was dead.
“I better go home”, I thought and went to the parking lot. My bike was parked there. I started it and came-out from the campus. I was driving in the city’s busiest highway. Usually by that time, even in holidays that should be packed with vehicles, however, that time there was no sign of even one moving vehicle on road. I thought a curfew was placed in the city. I was scared as if any police officer would notice me then he would take me to custody. So I drove fast, on the way, I saw no person, literally no one!!! All roads were damn empty!!!
“What is going on? Something is seriously wrong. Otherwise, why no person around?”.
I reached the breakfast center. I used to take breakfast in it. I entered inside, same thing, it was totally empty, but all items were arranged neatly inside the glass door.
“Where are these guys? What happened to all of them?”
I felt very hungry, thought of eating something. I grabbed few items inside the glass door and ate it. I felt energized. My brain started functioning sharply. I left the shop and sat on my bike. I looked around and started analyzing the reasons for that situation. I had never seen that place like that before as all shops were open, but no people around.
“Is it real? Or am I dreaming? Where are all the people?” I decided to go home. I started bike and drove towards my home.
“Ganesh, Ganesh…” I shouted after entering the house. The door was not locked. Same thing, no sign of any persons inside. Ganesh and I were colleagues and staying together. Two other guys were also staying with us. I searched all rooms; it was a three bedroom house. My house is in the first floor, and a family stays at ground floor. I came over and knocked the ground floor entrance, I expected the uncle would come to open the door. No body responded. I opened the door as that too not locked.
“Uncle… are you inside”, I entered inside, no response. I saw few breakfast plates, it looks like somebody had finished eating the breakfast before they left!!!
I slapped my head with a hand. I didn’t understand what was going on, I became insane by seeing all these things, all “nobody” situation in the city. I decided to go city center, so that at least I might find few people.
Reached city center, damn it, no change in the scene, I was alone. All shops, fruit stalls, super markets, everything, EVERYTHING WITH-OUT PEOPLE.
“HELLO…ANY BODY THERE”, I shouted.
No response. I shouted again and again. I didn’t get any response. I went to a TV showroom. Some recorded programs were coming in all TV’s. I changed to Live News channels, but those channels were not broadcasting anything. I had surfed many channels, no live tv transmission.
“God damn it, it’s not just this city, looks like no people in the whole world. The question came again, is it real? Or am I dreaming? I’m working too much that’s why my brain is dreaming too much. I better take a break from work. Ok, if it is dream, let’s enjoy in it. Think positive, and make any situation as an advantage to you”
Those self-motivating words were truly refreshing to me. I drove to super mall. I parked bike outside and went inside. And Inside mall went to a branded showroom, where I rarely go, because of the cost of the items in it. Now, since no one was around, and I never really required to buy anything, so happily went inside. I spent almost 2 hours, wearing different dresses, hats, shoes, trousers etc… Finally packed hand-full of items and left the store. I saw a sports car parked outside. I went near to it and noticed the car keys were inside. I smirked and opened the trunk and put all items inside. Though I learned car driving long back, never drove a car without instructor on road. Now I got a chance, that to sports car, I smiled again.
Started the car and accelerated to full speed. Understand how much fun in driving the sports car. I drove to costliest restaurant; went inside kitchen, whatever items were there, tasted all of them and ate stomach full. Then from there went to a bar, and drunk fully. I started blabbering under the influence of alcohol, talking to chairs and images on the wall, pretending those were real people. Didn’t know how I drove, but finally reached home and slept on my bed without closing the doors.
Next day morning my head was spinning due to excessive drinks yesterday. I went to the bathroom and washed my face; came out and sat on sofa in my hall. I had tried to remember what happened yesterday; I recalled that all persons in that city were vanished. I thought that was a dream, but I realized it was not a dream.
All people in that city indeed vanished. I didn’t panic that time. Concluded something, so got ready and left home. I noticed the sports car on the road; remembered that I stole that car from shopping mall. Smiled and got inside; wanted to go police-station, where they would have a radio phones or satellite phones, so that I could try to contact somebody, if there are any.
Parked the car in front of the police station and went inside. As usual no one inside, but seems like some activity had happened before they vanished. I went inside the control room; it was the first time I was actually looking inside a police station. There was a satellite phone and emergency number written on it. During a national emergency, we should call that number. I dialed that number. It was ringing. Waited for few minutes, no one answered, and then I disconnected and dialed again. No one answered the call. I tried some other emergency numbers, no response at all. I was irritated; out of frustration smashed the phone on the floor.
“What to do? What to do? Am I alone in the whole planet? It can’t be”
decided to check in internet. I went to a nearby internet center. It was open; all machines were running. I sat in front of a system and typed “www.google.com” and it came instantly. But that didn’t give any happiness to me as the servers would work for several days or months even if no persons around. I navigated to today’s news section; it was showing old news. That means it didn’t record any events since yesterday. I searched for several hours, but all websites stopped updating their sites since yesterday 1:50 AM. The same time where my watch was still showing.
“God! I’ll really become a crazy guy by seeing all these things?” I thought.
I went out and sat on the pavement. The whole street was quiet, the vehicles were parked haphazardly. Then I observed, not just human beings, I didn’t see any other animals, like street dogs, birds, cows, nothing at all. So that means no living species around except me.
My mind was full of contracting thoughts, “Is it some kind of alien abduction? Why they left me alone and took everybody else, I’m just a normal person? not a special to be considered… Or am I dreaming ???. I’m certain that it was not a dream. Because, I never felt so real in any of previous dreams. May be I stressed too much, so I’m dreaming very long. Wait a minute… actually in dreams time doesn’t matter, you feel it is too long, but actually you might be dreaming in hours or may be minutes.”
Dont know “dreaming” was not going from my mind. I pinched myself just to confirm. It pained like anything, so it was not a dream. There could be chances that everyone in this city vanished, but there might be people living outside. I have to search for them. I drove my car towards home. Packed things required for one week living and put in the trunk.
I started driving to leave the city. Though it was morning, the highway was damn quiet. The too much silence can certainly make any person go crazy. I had put the songs with full volume from my IPhone, just to feel the sound. I never liked loud voice, but that time I felt happy while listening the music. On the way I spotted an old house, it looks weird to me. I stopped the car and got down, decided to go near to that house.
I stand just ten yards from that house. Something was missing in that house. It didn’t look like a “REAL” house, some kind of movie setup. I went further near to the house. Surprisingly, after nearing 5 yards, I was not able to go further; some invisible wall was stopping me. I touched it; I could feel that there was something in between. I looked at the house carefully, the windows, doors, painting etc… all appeared strange to me. I thought I had seen that type of home before, somewhere. But where, where? I got headache thinking about it.
I didn’t want to stay at that place. I returned back to the car, and drove towards city limits. After driving 2 hours, I saw the sign board, indicating that the road ahead was closed. And there was a giant metal fence across the road.
“Damn it”, I blurted. I realized that is the city limit and impossible to go further through that fence. “Who constructed this? Whoever abducted the city people, would they have done this? But why? … It might be that there is something out there, which they don’t want me to see.”
I got down from the car and noticed there is a small mountain on the right side. “If I’m able to climb that, I may see what is in the other side.”
I started climbing the mountain.
After a while I reached the top and looked ahead. It was not clear to me first what I saw. My mind was taking so much time to process that image. Some electrical signals or gama rays, unfinished shapes. I tried to move closer, then that happened; I have been pulled back forcefully from that place, and fell on the ground.
I looked up; I can see the sky, a clear blue sky. Then I saw digital numbers on the sky, counting backwards from 10.
“10… 9… 8… 7”, “what the hell, digital numbers on sky.”
“5…4…3…2…1”, then I heard a massive sound and everything turned black, pitch black.
I opened the eyes and removed PSE helmet from my head. I kept it on the table. I pressed a button on the right side of the helmet; a blue colored small chip came out. I took it on my hand, “Alone- Simulation program-59” was written with Golden colored letters on it.
Year 2035/09/09 – Time 1:50 AM, the digital calendar on the wall showing it.