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Static (standard:science fiction, 1340 words)
Author: Andrew RAdded: Jun 16 2002Views/Reads: 1710/1110Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Locked in a bunker, away from the danger. Is that music I hear? I have a strange urge to dance, just dance and sing, forever and ever.



Look at that candle, that'll help. 

No, it hurts, light flickering, changing too much.  My head is
throbbing, like something is inside pounding to escape, through my 
eyes, through my nose, I'm trying desperately to block it out... 

Shit, is that panpipe music I can hear?  Oh no, it's too late...shit,
I'm sorry, please forgive me...(static on the monitor). 

Static sound.  The two men looked at the monitor for a moment caught in
the monotonous drone of the static, somehow hypnotic.  Brane shook his 
head noticing what he was doing, he broke the monotony, 'so what do you 
think Anthony?' The other man looked at him, his face ashen grey and 
weathered, 'what do I think?  I think you already know.'  He turned 
away from Brane and moved towards the door, turning back with the same 
expression, 'We're doomed.'  Anthony left the room, footsteps heavy. 
Brane sighed, he leaned back on his chair looking around the dark room 
he occupied as if taking it in for the first time.  The walls seemed to 
be held up by dust, battle weary would be how he would describe it but 
he wasn't sure how appropriate that was.  Brane flicked the switch on 
the monitor to kill the static; the low thrum of machinery took over.  
The wheezy organs of the instillation pumped air from the surface. 

Brane wasn't sure what would be worse, being up there, like them, or
stuck down here in this claustrophobic tomb with Anthony.  There were 
others once; the instillation had enough room for fifty people to 
sustain themselves for up to four years.  Originally built as a nuclear 
bunker in the cold war days, Brane chuckled when he thought of the real 
threat that had conquered the world.  Oh how foolish they had all been, 
nobody saw the signs, they just thought it was some sort of popular 
fad, then maybe a harmless cult.  Who would have thought music could be 
so damaging, no one human anyway.  Trust those alien shits to come up 
with something cunning like that.  Now it was just Brane and Anthony, 
he laughed at the irony, the two people who got on the least in the 
whole group where the only ones left.  Even before any of this happened 
they hadn't got on, Anthony just didn't seem to get Brane's sense of 
humour, too uptight Brane thought.  Where was the harm in putting deep 
heat in someone's underwear? 

Julian had been there last hope; he had lived up there for the longest
amount of time, Brane and Anthony had just assumed that he was immune 
to the virus.  They were wrong and Julian had paid the ultimate price, 
he was one of them now.  Probably wearing his pauncho and playing his 
panpipes right now.  Brane sighed again and got up to find Anthony, 
they would have to talk about it, decide what they were going to do.  
They still weren't completely sure how the virus took hold, or why the 
victims displayed such bizarre behaviour before they died.  Obsessive 
listening to panpipe music, the need to wear a pauncho and dance in 
public where all sure signs the virus had taken hold.  Harmless enough 
except for the fact that the victims ceased to be self-sufficient so 
they slowly starved to death, happy in their own delusion.  Some were 
able to make a little money before their deaths, or at least in the 
early days, when everyone still thought it was just a new trend in the 
busking culture.  It started with people noticing that every town 
centre in the world had a group of buskers playing panpipe music, 
seemingly endlessly.  But it was when the ordinary people of the towns 
started joining the buskers in their music that the governments became 
suspicious, at first they just assumed it was a harmless cult, by the 
time they had figured out how dangerous it was it was already too late. 

A few months after the first followers where noticed most of the worlds
population was infected, happily listening to music and dancing in town 
centres everywhere.  That's when the deaths started, starvation mostly, 
but there where also a few cases of accidental death, falling into 
rivers and such like, too busy dancing to panpipes to notice.  Some 
people resisted longer than others and they decided that it must be a 
virus, the world was in chaos, governments in ruin and still nobody 
really knew what was going on.  Brane, Anthony, Julian and a few others 
had worked in the electrical substation linked to the nuclear bunker.  
They had been out of the way enough to panic first before thinking what 

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