How Close Is Pure Insanity?

Floating Madness

Once there was the group of people. They lived in a small, close-knit community that was similar to most other communities. They had an occasional weekend barbecue at somebody’s house, and they had a community swimming pool that most of the kids went to on the weekends during the summer time.

A few of the families had been living there for more than one generation, and it wasn’t uncommon for the kids to grow up, move away to college, and then come back and start their own family. It also wasn’t uncommon for the kids to leave for college, never to return again, except for the occasional holiday. New families would move in from time to time as well, and were generally welcomed without any undue scrutiny.

But that was before the incident.

Something happened which had irrevocably changed this small town from a safe place where kids could play in the street well past sunset to one of unimaginable terror and danger. A place where people knew it was foolish to even look out their windows past sunset,

Certain occupations that required their workers to be out after dark had to take extra precautions. However, these occupations were few and far between, as the demand for products and services that extended past sunset quickly dried up as residents learned that nighttime was best spent quietly inside, preferably in a room without windows. For if you happened to look outside at the wrong moment, and saw one of them for more than a split second, well, let’s just say it only happened a couple of times. And when the description of what happened after had quickly spread through this once happy town, people quickly learned to keep their heads down and their eyes averted after sunset.

For a short time after the incident, it was treated with nothing more than a peculiarity. A few scientists came in from neighboring universities to study what they thought was an interesting, albeit dangerous, phenomenon. What they found, at least that got in close enough to measure it, was beyond all human comprehension. Beyond all human logic and reason. Sure they had certain scientific instruments that measured certain pieces of data. Data they could later take apart and analyze back in their laboratory. But the implications of the data were absolutely horrifying.

Scientists base their whole method upon the idea that there are certain laws of physics, like gravity and electromagnetic radiation, that are absolutely true regardless of where and when in the universe they are operating. Sure many aspects of those laws may be outside of human understanding and experience, but they are rigid laws nonetheless.

Of course, many believe that laws are transient, and don’t always apply. One law of physics that holds true in this area of the universe over here, won’t necessarily hold true in that area of the universe over there. But those that believe in this kind of transient application of seemingly fluid physical laws don’t usually make it a point to build a career out of science.

Which is why these scientists are first were more than a bit puzzled when took apart their data. It just didn’t make sense. The anomaly seemed to emit certain levels of radiation and what they referred to as “electromagnetic shock,” although there was argument if this term was wholly appropriate. The entity seemed to sometimes obey the known laws of physics, and sometimes not.

This would be OK if it obeyed/disobeyed in a repeatable, predictable fashion, but the frequency that it seemed to switch “on” and “off” passed all statistical tests of randomness.

Then the “incident” occurred.

It flashed a burst of what would later be called an “enveloping incident.” It seemed to expand in size, and briefly enveloped a scientist who had gotten too close. It was only for a short fraction of a second, but it was enough. After it had retreated to it’s “shape” prior to the incident, the scientists himself exhibited all the signs of an entity that was no longer bound by seemingly unbreakable physical, chemical, and biological laws.

Brain synapses stopped functioning properly, muscle cells, transmission of nerve impulses stopped behaving according to the laws of biochemistry. Once he had become “infected,” he was classified as “entity number two” by his fellow scientists. Some who had worked with him for years. Even referring to “entity number two” was a stretch of the imagination.

At times he would appear somewhat close to human form, although in obvious physical and mental anguish. Other times “he” would simply be a cluster of improbability, unpredictable, and deemed too dangerous to measure.

This of course, had presented the scientists with a huge dilemma. Obviously, they had to keep this “incident” from repeating, but they all agreed that any form of matter that came close to it would be in danger of being removed from the laws of physics and chemistry. It would be turned into a ball of purely random energy, that didn’t behave in any predictable fashion.

So the government did the best thing they could. Which was to place an imaginary barrier around the town for hundred miles, and try and decide if they could contain the entity. As far as the townspeople were concerned, they would be left to fend for themselves.

As such, they were a fairly self-sufficient town, with enough farmland, and a source of water that they weren’t dependent on outside resources.

But that didn’t stop the terror, and the fear, and the absolute horror. Of being locked in with hell itself, floating around, slowly turning victims into itself, one by one.

To be continued…

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