Chapter 0:

The Last Day Of Peace

World System Apocalypse

[Date: Monday 23rd April 2017] [World Population 7 Billion]
[Time: 2:37pm]
[Location: Maths Classroom, 4th floor, New School Building, London]

Call me Will, my full name is William Wilson, but Will does the job fine.

James was scribbling something. On his desk, rested a book about the evolution of modern weaponry. It was opened at a page about the mechanics of intercepting ballistic missiles. He twiddled a pen in his right hand, examining the sophisticated calculations and differential equations written.

Meanwhile, Ned Lee, our teacher, rambled on about graph plotting and their uses. He seemed to think that James was conscientiously studying the exam textbook, so left him be. Little did he know, rather than paying attention to the lesson, James was calculating almost military level mechanics. And being a former British intelligence officer, if he knew, it would have probably resulted in a little more than a simple chat between teacher and student.

"Can we put some music on?" asked Sam, leaning forward. Sam was a rock music enthusiast; he played the saxophone fluently and often performed at the school concerts. 

"Sure, what's your suggestion?" Ned answered, sensing the tiredness and boredom. It was afternoon and most of the people in the school were ready to doze off. But, his students were especially bored since they already knew the material. After all, our class was the top maths class - a select group of four nerds.

"The 2003 remaster of Roundabout by Yes."

After putting on the upbeat music, Ned continued the lesson.

[Time: 2:44pm]

Daniel smiled. He held the maths textbook vertically, covering his face. In front of the textbook he grasped another book -  a fantasy novel by an anonymous author. He tensed up as he had reached an exciting plot point. 

I sat on his left and stared at the people walking on the streets. I had pulled an all-nighter playing MMORPGs and watching anime. The lesson was painfully boring and with every second I fought against the strong urge to slump down and sleep.

I checked my watch.

[Time: 2:51pm]

The lesson had thirty nine minutes remaining. I would only have to fight my tiredness for 2340 seconds more. "I can do this", I thought.

[Time 2:54pm]

The room was hot. Like an overheated computer. Everyone wore t-shirts. Except me, I always wore my favourite hoodie. Actually, my only hoodie.

[Time 2:56pm]

Two years ago, the school removed uniforms, attempting to emphasise the student's individuality. The students now wear a variety of different clothing each day. But I wear a single navy blue hoodie each day with blue jogging bottoms, no matter the weather. On windy days, rainy days, foggy days and days with scorching heat.

[Time: 2:57pm]

Noises of people hurrying to their next lesson filled the corridor. Some had half an hour lessons, other had ones lasting an hour. I wish I was out there instead of in this mundane place.

[Time: 2:58pm]

The room was extremely hot. Maybe its just the hoodie.

[Time: 2:59pm]

The room was silent. 

James looked up.
Ned's incessant waffling had stopped. 
Behind him, Sam's cheerful face was shattered in horror. 
He turned to the front and froze.

I, who was locked in an intense battle with my mind, paused.
The room was eerily still.
Ned's muttering had ceased and James' pencil noises had stopped. 
I looked to the front.

Daniel, sensing the tension in the room before the silence, and noticed.
Something was incredibly wrong.
He let go of the books and glanced towards the front. 
He shuddered.

[Time: 3:00pm]

Ned was fixed into place like a tight puppet on a string. He was no longer sentient but a smile remained attached to his face like a sticker. Beside him, his arms hung like chains of sausages above his pipe-like legs. 

Blue gas, rose steadily from his head and body and disappeared as it contacted the ceiling. Ned was fading away, evaporating to be scientific. 

The room grew uncontrollably hot with the air bludgeoning around like lava forcing its way out of a volcano. It sizzled our throats and made us cough. Daniel had an asthma condition and it became almost impossible for him to breathe in the room. Breaking out from his state of shock, he scrambled into corridor. Triggered by this movement the others regained their senses, and stumbled out after him.

In the corridor, several other teachers were also evaporating, and although the corridor was wider the breathing conditions improved only slightly. Daniel spluttered and wheezed. The others saw this.

"We need to get outside fast,"croaked James, "Sam help me carry him." The two boys lifted him up onto their shoulders like carrying a coffin and raced to the stairs. I ran after them, wondering if this was a dream, had I finally fell asleep? We sprinted down the stairs which felt like an ever winding spiral, through the school hall and reception and bounded out onto the streets.

A slither of summer breeze welcomed us as we filled our depleted lungs with air. Daniel continued coughing and wheezing, but looked noticeably better.  The place around us was a disaster. The rubble from colliding cars filled the roads with fire and smoke. Most of the pedestrians were covered with a bluish hue and vaporising. A crying child clung onto his mother's hand until it too, eventually disappeared. Explosions could be heard reverberating across the city, making the landscape seem like a war zone.

"What is this dream?" I asked, my body shaking.

"This isn't one," responded James, pretending to be calm.

The facts dawned on us, this was real life and countless adults around us were fading away and disappearing. There would be chaos. Barely any people remained on the streets. Several children lay by the hedges crying and calling for their parents and a few other students had ran out after us, after being nearly suffocated in the school building. 

"What do we do?" asked Daniel, desperately trying to calm down.

"Wait for r-rescue party?" stuttered Sam, whose hands were still shaking. "Surely the  government has c-contingency plans for these k-kinds of scenarios."

"We'll wait out here for 2 hours. If they don't come, I think we should return to the school and prepare to stay there for the night," I responded my mind being clear. 

I had watched many apocalyptic animes before and I realised that, in all likelihood, this was one of those scenarios. It looked as if the all adults around us were disappearing and assuming that applies to the whole country/world, I didn't think there would be a rescue party. But I had to let them keep some hope for the time being.

The two hours passed quickly. No one came and the city explosions became less frequent. The clouds gathered into a grey blanket in the sky; it would probably start raining. My classmates seemed to have come to terms with the current situation but showed no intention of moving as they stared around, at the debris and smoke. 

I checked my watch, it was 7:42pm - it would get dark soon. 

"Guys, the weather doesn't look too good, and its gonna get dark soon. We should head back to the school building and spend the night there."  James and Daniel stood up. Sam continued to stare into the distance.

"He's right, let's go Sam," urged Daniel. Sam stood up with an empty look on his face.

"Let's go to the reception, I'll take watch, by the window incase the rescue parties come, you guys get some sleep. We don't know what's gonna happen from now so it's better to be prepared just in case."

"Sure," they mumbled.

Someone had to keep watch, not for a rescue party but for any dangers.  I was the best option. Those three were still traumatised and might not be able to react fast enough if they see something dangerous. I grimaced, even though I had adrenaline rushing through me like crazy, the after effects of two all nighters would be very unpleasant.

[Date: Monday 23rd April 2017] [World Population 0.8 Billion]
[Time: 11pm]
[Location: Reception, 1st floor, New School Building, London]

[Downloading mana... extracting monsters...]
[Uploading invasion...]
[Commence World Apocalypse]