Mitosis – Chapter One

Where the hell am I? What happened?

Cody Morgan found herself on a sandy beach. Her jeans were soaked through. Sand covered the darkened fabric as well as her t-shirt. The cold wind whipped her hair about. She peered over her shoulder, tugged the shirt, and noticed patches of the fabric were gone. Around the missing pieces, the cotton was singed. Her skin shone bright pink through the patches.

Attempting to remember all that happened in the past few hours, or hell, days if she was lucky, she spun in a circle. Her water slogged shoes sunk into the sand when she turned. Her body ached in ways she couldn’t even pinpoint. Where did one pain end and one pain begin? She wasn’t sure.

The blast.

Her eyes landed on the massive bare bones of the colossal ships in ruin. The only two ships left. Poseidon and Zeus. She remembered that. The now former President’s ship leaned to the side precariously. What remained of it before was nothing compared to how little there was now. The waves lurched against the shore, crashing with a ferocity that signaled this major catastrophe that overtook the world wasn’t done with them. Not by a long shot.

Hopefully it was on a downturn, but without radar, without the ships, there was no telling.

The blast that sent her hurtling out onto the sandy beach tore the other ship apart as well. The only part left of Poseidon was the frame, and that wasn’t much either. Parts of the hull were still attached, but they were beneath the water line. The large surging waves made the giant, now sleeping for good, tilt and sway as if it weighed nothing. These beings which were supposed to be terraformed into new homes for them, had become shells.

She held the hair out of her face. But then the government had lied about that, hadn’t they? They were nothing more than transports. Because behind her was what appeared to be a city. A long way off, but higher above sea level than this beach. Most likely a “just in case” situation. Putting the city far above this new sea level, which had buried continents across the world, they were still safe if the water rose further. The city loomed like a juggernaut, but it beckoned all who survived. An air of power rose around it, something not quite right.

A few of the buildings really stood out among the rest. Even from this distance, she could tell the framing was done to withstand far more than just the hurricanes and tornados, or even lightning strikes. Like the ships, they were built to withstand a powerful blast.

But like the ships, that blast could be a nuclear bomb, but not her Pyrosulfrine Compound. This . . . this wreckage was all her doing, really. If she hadn’t made the Pyro mix, if she hadn’t—Guerin. That’s right. But then he got what he deserved.

There was more there. What. What more?

What am I missing? Why’s he that important?

Cody took in the beach to the left, then the right. She twisted too far on her sore ankle and hissed in pain. Standing next to her was a large palm tree, which she put her free hand on to ease the weight off her foot.

What survivors though? There were so few people around. Unless they abandoned the beach and went straight for the city. She doubted it. Before. That’s right. “I woke before too, on the sand. Here. Where I am, wasn’t it?” She could see herself looking toward the freshly ruined ships, see men traipsing around on the beach. The wind blasting her naked body.

No.

No, wait. She didn’t wake naked. Did she?

The backs of her arms were freshly burnt. Not too bad. Nothing more than what amounted to a sunburn, but an emptiness existed in her that she’d never known, and couldn’t define. More than that. Something else.

She took in her arms again, then where she stood hidden amongst the brush and palm trees. There were lifeboats bouncing here and there between what remained of Poseidon and Zeus. Her brain said there was more to this scene. This scenario didn’t quite fit in and there were gaps in there. Though when wasn’t that the damn case?

Her blackouts were shit on her memories.

Cody replayed all she could remember. She stared at the normal bland sand to help her focus. When she ducked down, the worst pain in the world blinded her. Searing between her eyes, she jerked her head up, but that was worse. Closing her eyes, she murmured under her breath.

It was then she realized she’d been knocked out. Knocked out. By who? Who in the hell had a reason to knock her out, and why? “Why can’t I remember anything?”

She rubbed her face in her hands, carefully this round, taking great care in not moving around too fast. Then very gently she roamed her hands against the back of her neck, her head, and she found it. Wasn’t that large, but it was there. A nice bump where someone struck her. But with what? She checked around her for evidence and found nothing.

Wasn’t she carrying something? Long marks in the sand led to where she stood. Someone knocked her out and dragged her here, then left her. Until she had an idea of what happened, she didn’t intend to go too far from the beach.

“Where?” a man’s voice shouted. Blonde hair flung around his face, his blue long-sleeved shirt snapped around in the wind. On his shirt were darker patches from the rain drying up. It must’ve been a few hours or so since the rain quit.

Cody leaned around the tree. Two men with guns moved about the beach. The rifles were slung casually over their shoulders, assured everyone was dead. Must’ve been checking while she was out. They seemed to be searching for something. No, someone. Guerin. They were his men. Well, they wouldn’t find him. She remembered that too. The ship blew and he was inside. With her foot, she’d knocked him out. After they’d gone a few rounds for . . . nope, not there yet. They fought, but the why played hide ‘n go seek.

That’s right. I remember that. I’d seen them on the beach when I woke. They were killing all the survivors from the other ships. No. No, that’s not right. Something about that doesn’t seem right. I’m where I was, but . . . why is that wrong?

“Ocean!” the dark-haired man shouted back. They were a good fifty feet apart, but from Cody it was the same. The dark-haired man pointed to the remains of the ships. Ocean what? What were they talking about?

The wind thrust her ginger locks into her face, and she struggled to peel the hair out of her eyes. She brushed and shoved, and shoved and moved, then finally saw them wandering closer to one another. A single lifeboat sat farther up on the dark beach where they were centered, but she didn’t get the big deal.

A gust of wind silenced their next back and forth, but she caught the last bit, “—alive!”

Alive? Someone was alive? Her heart sped up and adrenaline poured through her, her skin tingled and the world around her blurred in and out. “Urgh,” escaped her as her knees gave out. Cody slumped to the ground, coughing and gagging. Her hair cascaded down around her face, her fingertips dug into the sand.

Again she coughed.

“What the hell happened,” she whispered. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath in, coughing it out. “Why can’t I remember?” A droplet of blood lie next to her fingers. Too far in front of them to be from her. Again, the adrenaline surged as all sorts of ideas swept through her.

It was important to remember. Whatever happened, she had to remember. Why couldn’t she remember?

Sandy covered feet sunk into the sand in front of her. The feet lost the shoes they’d worn, lost the socks as well, or they’d been cast aside. But she recognized those feet. Or did she? Déjà vu swam through her. Maybe she’d seen them before somehow. Had she?

The hems of the jeans on the wearer were soaked through, and they hung over the foot. To the point she knew they were jeans not belonging to the wearer. That was confirmed when she raised her head and found they seemed a size, or a few really, too big. A big t-shirt flopped around the body of the person when she met their eyes. Red, bruised, scarred face stared down at her from beneath hard eyes. Cody’s lips parted and the air pulsed out.Her world swayed and out she went with an, “oh god.”



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Mitosis is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, stories, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2019 Kim Iverson

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, contact the publisher at the website.



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