I was very ill when I was little. My parents told me that too much stress, too much exposure to germs, or even a small cut could kill me.

They said I’d understand when I was older.

I could never go out to play, and the other kids couldn’t come in to see me and bring their nasty germs. So I just kept to myself in my room, alone. I wrote letters to the ther children, but my parents would only read me te replies, not even letting me touch the paper.

Aside from my toys, I used to love looking outside my window. The glass was thick, reinforced, hermetically sealed, but I still loved it. I loved that clean, bright, still image that was a serene daytime landscape which stood almost endlessly in front of me, separated only by the glass.

The week before, I noticed that the power had begun to flicker a bit. Nothing too alarming, just blips here and there. My parents remotely closed the shutters, keeping me from seeing outside, while they dealt with what they said were generator problems.

But day by day, things started going wrong. The blackouts and brownouts were longer and more frequent. The only contact I had ith Mom and Dad were the meals they left for me when I was asleep.

Eventually, I decided to open the shades myself. They were electric, but using one of my toys, I was able to lever them open. I climbed up on my chair to look out the window.

The image MOVED.

Why did the landscape outside of my window look like was moving like a curtain? The leaves still swayed gently, birds still flew overhead, but they were like television pictures projected on a screen. And behind it…darkness and blinking lights.

That’s wen the alarm sounded. “Subject Delta Containment Breach! Engage emergency protocols. Strike team inbound. Lethal force authorized.”

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