Humanity Fell – Store Closed

On the fifth day with the message still in the sky, I felt pretty apprehensive which wasn’t very new. I lived life by “Expect the worse and maybe hope that nothing will catch fire today” mentality. And since I worked at the Everything Store, going into work could mean literally anything since management refused to turn away anyone who needed anything. But on that particular day, I couldn’t help but want to bail. There was something bad that was going to happen. I could feel it in my bones.

            It was the sort of day that you knew that someone was going to vomit on you, or threaten you with a knife, of most likely we were going to get robbed again.

            I hated it when we got robbed. The police came, we were stuck for hours, and management made our lives hell by constantly stating that we were lazy while we were giving witness statements. I thought about going calling in, saying I was sick or something but I knew that it wouldn’t work out. The last time I tried to call in sick, Mr. Payne threatened to fire me. This was also how nearly everyone in my department got sick with the flu. Deciding that I didn’t want to spend my days in the unemployment line, I drove to the Everything Store for my shift. It was there that I saw something that I had never seen before.

The doors were locked.

The open sign was off.

Oh, yeah, and there was this weird green and purple spaceship floating above the store too but, I mean the doors were locked! We were actually closed for once!  

Humanity Fell – The Message

The day the message from space came, a lot of people, myself included, wrote it off as a prank. You know how it is, right? Something starts trending on Twitter, it looks SUPER fake, then the YouTubers are out commenting on it, then the conspiracy theorists show up….a lot of false information got out. I mean, come on, a message from space that isn’t weird noises or clicks, but a voice screaming “X the Undaunted is coming! Prepare or be enslaved”? It’s like something out of a science fiction novel. Who would believe that aliens, if they were real, would come to warn us? Usually it’s always “kill all humans” or “we come in peace”. No one believed the message. Not the global powers, not the conspiracy theorists, and certainly not me.

And then the message was everywhere.

It was on the television, on the radio, on our phones, and then a week after the initial message came, the skies darkened. In bright red letters, translated into every language that resided on earth, the message came again.

X THE UNDAUNTED IS COMING. PREPARE OR BE ENSLAVED

This went beyond anything any government, conspiracy, or single person could do. This message was here to stay and whoever sent it, was not going to be ignored. But that didn’t stop humanity from ignoring it anyways. There were those who continued to claim that it was an attempt to do…actually, now that I think about it I don’t know what they were trying to prove. It involved something involving their rights and their thoughts. I don’t really know, but what I did know was that warning of impending doom and enslavement was not enough to convince my boss, Mr. Payne, to close the store for even half a day.

“CLOSE THE STORE?” he bellowed at the hapless associate (aka me) who dared to inquire about a possible store closure. “WE DIDN’T CLOSE DURING 9/11, WE DIDN’T CLOSE DURING KATRINA, AND WE SURE AS HELL AREN’T GOING TO CLOSE NOW.”

I retreated from his office reeking of cigar smoke. As much as I hated to admit it, Mr. Payne was right. Those who worked at the Everything Store, literally never closed. We’d been flooded, threatened, robbed, had a few murders, and once we had a guy building a bomb in the men’s bathroom. And why would we? The Everything Store prided itself on having everything for everyone whether it was a work day, weekend, holiday, or whatever. As our name implied, we sold literally everything.

You want a car?

We’ve got an entire section for you.

Need a coffin?

Would you like it to be lined with silk or with cashmere?

Are you looking for a brand new rocket launcher?

Aisle 71, right next to the pharmacy.

Working at the Everything Store was not a glamorous job. It sucked, but it also paid decent enough money. I had student loans…crippling student loans. College had yet to pay itself off and since I was in desperate need of money and the Everything Store was always hiring, I was stuck working here.  But while the work was grueling and the customers were fucking awful, I did learn three important things while I slaved away here.

  1. Always wear running shoes – You never know who or what you’ll need to run away from. I finally learned this lesson after we were robbed for the sixth time.
  2. The cleaning staff is worth their weight in gold – I once saw Jim the Janitor clean up three aisles covered in puke with half a roll of paper towels and a cup of bleach. I still don’t know how he did it.
  3. Always expect the unexpected – Enough said

I had no idea how those little three lesson would save my life when X the Undaunted came.

Humanity Fell – Prologue

In the year 20XX, humanity received a message from space that the greatest evil in the universe was coming. It was a warning of X the Undaunted, a ruthless warlord from beyond the stars. The Conqueror of galaxies, the Destroyer of suns, and to those who whom he subjugated, he was the Supreme Ruler of all. To defeat him, it would take an unprecedented united global effort.

This effort did not happen.

Between global grudges and political punches, the initiative to save earth was doomed from the start. X the Undaunted came and in less than ten days, humanity fell to his power. Hundreds of thousands of people died. They fought with nukes, with missiles, and in the case of the desperate, with kitchen knives. None of it worked against X. Those who survived the minimalist assault were thrust into a new world of power struggles, a shifting criminal justice system, and existential crises.

It was a whirlwind affair to try and move on with our lives under X the Undaunted. People suffered, some died, and others like me, ended up on the unemployment line. But I wouldn’t be stuck like this forever, because this is the story of how I became the right hand man of the greatest villain in the universe.