The 2020 Event |The Main Event|

|Front Cover|0|0.5|1|1.5|2|2.5|3|3.33|3.66|3.99|4|4.20|4.4|4.6|4.8|5|5.5|6|6.5|7|
|7.25|7.5|7.75|8|8.5|8.88|9|9.333|9.666|9.999|10|10.25|10.5|10.667|10.834|11|
|12|12.48|12.96|13|14|14.56789|15|15.420|16|16.5|17|17.5|18|18.5|19|19.5|20|
|20.20|21|22|22.2|22.22|22.222|23|24|25|Those Extra Four…|1|2|3|4|Back Cover|


Chapter 12.96
The Anomaly

A Zeroc-Human Hybrid

Moments after Wolf vanished from the Zerocian mess hall set up on the shores of the scenic Wanapo Reservoir, he reappears in the air one inch above the table, his body splattering the crimson blood he’s suddenly leaking all over the food of the nine Grunts who lost their bet and had to sit at the table with frickin’ NewBoy Humoy over here.

“What the fuck?!” at least seven of the Grunts exclaim, the other two puking because the nasty human blood dirtied their jumpsuits.

Moments later, Admiral Bolt barges in and clears the table. He examines the wound – a puncture hole, right through the human’s heart.

“Hmm… the man appears to have been skewered by a Zerocian transmitter beacon, judging by the laser precision of the wound.”

Wolf gargles on his own blood, the coppery taste activating his body’s gag reflex in ways his consciousness never wanted to learn were possible.

Admiral Bolt’s already on his communicator. “Hello? Yes, this is Admiral Bolt… BOLT… yes, that one. Connect me to the Council of Life, Chairseats Mahrana and Agartha, please. Yes, I’ll hold.”

The next few minutes are filled by the clashing soundwaves of orchestral ringback music and the final dying breaths of a human choking on his own blood while even more of his own blood squirts out of the hole in his chest like a fountain.

Then, “Yes, Chairseats! This is Admiral Derrick Bolt. Yes, the one chosen to investigate Earth. Well I’m doing great, thank you for inquiring. My apologies, I do not mean to interrupt but we seem to have a development – your theory, about the strange scan results obtained by our human initiate’s screening? You may have been correct, the teleportation chip worked and… no, he appeared a few inches from where he teleported from, but–… yes, I believe it is quite possible this was due to the fact that his body is much lighter than a Zeroc’s. Listen, many apologies for interjecting, but he seems to have been stabbed through the heart by the transmitter. Are you getting the appropriate signal over there?”

“You are? Well then, congratulations Chairseat Agartha, another prophetic vision came true. It is more than an honor to work under your supervision, truly, I–… yes, I’ll hold.”

The orchestral ringback tune takes precedence over the slowly fading struggle of Wolf’s consciousness to hold on to the dying shell it’s inhabited for the past… how old was he again? Meh, it doesn’t really matter, he’s gonna die soon anyway.

“Hello? Yes, this is Admiral Derrick Bolt. Yes. Mhm. Mmmm. Hmm. Affirmative, I’ll administer the serum right away. Thank you, all hail the Coun– hello? Hello? Huh.” click

Admiral Bolt reaches into his unzipped fanny pack, pulls out a large syringe filled with a glowing purple stuff, and shoves the point, which is larger in circumference than the puncture hole in Wolf’s chest, into the puncture hole in Wolf’s chest. He then plunges the plunger, injecting Wolf’s body with Zerocian antibodies and stem cells that make quick work of repairing the trivial flesh wound he encountered a few minutes ago when he was halfway across the continental Untied States.

After convulsing hard enough to decorate the walls of the mess hall in the iconic Jackson Pollock style, Wolf’s body finally goes into rest. Then, his eyelids burst open and he gasps, tasting bloodless air for the first time in as long as he can remember.

The man leaps off the table and clasps his arms around Admiral Bolt, who is very put off by the human’s head pressing into his rib cage.

“Bolt, you crazy son of a bitch! You saved me!”

Admiral Bolt, none too thrilled with this puny human insulting the strong, independent Zerocian farmer that was his Mother, may she rest undisturbed until the Universe heats itself dead, peels the sticky creature off of him and puts at least a Zerocian foot of distance between them.

Wolf, sensing the lack of discretion in the expression of his own emotions, apologizes. “Thank you, Admiral. I’m not sure what just happened though. Care to offer some exposition?”

“Well nobody else is gonna do it. Yesterday, when I took longer than the expected few minutes to return from my meeting with the Council of Life regarding you? Remember that? Well that happened because they called me back in – The Council informed me that your scans indicated the potentiality of you being a Zeroc-human hybrid. An anomaly, for lack of a better term. Nobody knows how, nobody knows why. What we do know, though, is that the transmitter that was sent to this planet, oh, four years ago maybe? We need that back eventually, and in order for it to ping its location back to Fuego and signal a retrieval beam, Zerocian dee-en-aye needs to be extracted. Please don’t ask why, the inventors of this specific transmitter were purists, or as I call them, xenophobes.

“So, I had Captain Rex discreetly fit you with a teleportation widget that would find the beacon and teleport you there, to test the results. Usually the sampling needle would penetrate the naval, but considering how you are short, well, it got you in the heart. Oh well, all’s well that ends well.”

“I’m… a hybrid? That… isn’t that kind of a big deal? You said that nobody knows how this could have happened.”

“Well, son, not as big of a deal as you’d think. My team was sent here to find an anomaly. We found you, also an anomaly. But not the anomaly. These are anomalous times, it seems, lots of things lining up, painting a picture that just doesn’t make much sense.”

Yet, you mean to say. Right? It doesn’t make much sense yet, because we haven’t seen the finished painting?”

Admiral Bolt, already halfway out of the Grunts’ mess hall, rolls his eyes. “I don’t know, humey. I’ve been doing this for a long time, it’s still too early to know – we have to see how it plays out.”