The air was warm and cloying, heavy with the burnt scent of ozone. Voices drifted past as his feet beat a steady rhythm on the pavement. Somewhere, a horn sounded. The excited conversation of a pair of women filled his ears briefly before fading into obscurity. Nearby, a vehicle hummed as steam billowed onto the pavement, somehow dry and moist at the same time. His mind wandered, filled with thoughts of work and where it would lead him. As a heavy man blundered past, knocking him slightly, he paused to observe the curious ritual across the street. It seemed almost bizarre as music filled the air, overpowered the soft, steady hum of electric motors. Music, he thought, was a much more pleasing sound than that of the air conditioner behind him, buzzing as it blew warm air down his neck. He turned to move on. Barely had he gone half a dozen paces when the world exploded.
12 minutes later a paramedic is staggering over rubble, dust heavy in the air as it fills with screams. A siren blazes obliviously. He feels deeply nauseous and is stepping out for what he believes to be ‘fresh’ air. Whilst the inside of the blasted building may reek of cordite and blood, the outside is filled with a fine dust which glues up his throat. He places a hand on a bollard, withdrawing it sharply when he finds it sticky. He looks at his hand. Red. A fine red mist covered the bollard, and now, his hand. He wipes the gore on his trousers in revulsion and then notices the pink tinge to the dust. His gut clenches and he wretches.
20 meters away, a sinister figure clutching a matt black assault rifle pads his way across the hot asphalt in heavy boots. The white writing emblazoned across his composite helm reads ‘POLICE’. A van pulls up an a door slides open. He makes his way through two police vehicles that are wailing there song of distress. He is brought back slightly by the roaring, churning sound a human vomiting. He approaches the van and comes face to face with a lens held in a black box. He tells the news team to move, they need the space. He only repeats his instructions, despite the urgings of a young man for information. Reluctantly, they pull away as an ambulance hums in behind them, wailing out of time.
It is now 15 minutes after the world exploded. Edward Fillance is not aware of this fact. He is only aware of the burning agony in his gut. He lies on what he assumes is a gurney, as it rolls across the broken ground, skipping and dropping, adding to his considerable agony with every judder. The agony is slowly abating, but as is his grip on reality. His vision swims and his head is filled with blissful thoughts. He slides into a metal box filled with cabinets and tubes. A door slams about him, and the box grows dimmer. He has a vauge sensation of movement before his vision darkens and he passes out.