Don’t just put me under the spotlight without warning like that! Drake thought as he got up. Where could he start? What should he include and what shouldn’t he? Drake wasn’t good at talking in front of a crowd, but he didn’t really care.
He took a deep breath, and started: “The night of the apocalypse, a meteorite fell onto the Earth.” From what Drake remembered, a meteoroid was a rocky object in space, a meteorite was a meteoroid that reaches the ground, and a meteor was the streak of light that a meteoroid produces when traveling through the atmosphere. You can never predict where general knowledge was going to be useful, unlike that waste of time stuff he’d learned at school.
“It crashed in the woods, near my house in the town of Beil.” Drake tried to leave out any irrelevant details. “A few minutes later, Mayhems started coming out of the woods and eating people. They were just like the ones we’ve all seen: enlarged animals that have a darkened exterior and eat humans. It’s important to note that they came before the Mist.”
He decided to add another detail, “The proportion by which they grow initially, when they mutate, isn’t constant.” The frog and spider he encountered were nearly the same size, and they were only half the size of the deer. The size proportions were unlike normal animals.
Drake’s mind went in chronological order. Next was him running through Beil, and encountering a Fox. “The Mayhems seem to have the same physical abilities as their original animals. A fox I met could smell me from afar, and a toad was able to use its tongue to swallow a person and hop around. After about half an hour, I saw the expanding ring of blue Mist coming from the direction of the crash site. I assume this is what everyone else saw. It covered the world. Animals mutate after coming in contact with it, so it transformed the world’s animals into Mayhems suddenly. But not all animals mutate upon touching it.” Drake thought about what he had observed. He had heard crickets chirping in the woods, felt mosquitos biting his damaged skin, and saw a single Mayhem Ant, by itself. Not a whole colony of them.
This led him to believe that not all creatures that touched the mist were transformed. The conditions under which they did so were still unknown, though. There were more mammal mayhems than insects, amphibians, and reptiles. This meant that certain animals have a higher chance of mutating, upon contact with the mist, than others. Drake explained all these observations, noticing some people taking notes. His information was useful after all.
He went through everything he did and learned until he met Steve.
“…and that’s when I met Steve here.” Drake turned to Steve, “Steve, do you want to explain what happened from there?”
Steve made a gesture with his hands as if saying: Don’t drag me into this! Steve was genuinely impressed with how Drake was able to so freely narrate his experiences to this audience. He knew that they were in a survival situation, and so formalities and pressure were unnecessary, but he still wouldn’t be able to talk in front of even a single one of such people, let alone a whole group during a conference.
Drake shrugged and continued. “We traveled through a farm and a forest. There, we encountered an ant and a grasshopper. We were able to get them to fight each other. I think this shows some interesting patterns in their behavior. They are focused solely on getting their food, so much so that they’d compete with each other for it. They don’t communicate with each other. They are stupid, more so than their animal counterparts.” Unfortunately, that didn’t make them any less terrifying.
Drake moved on to Cyll. He explained, in gruesome detail, what he had seen. Enormous monsters and crowds of people trying to run away, with no way to escape. He wanted to put emphasis on the terror that most of the citizens of Rencia had seen, that the higher-ups here didn’t. He needed them to understand the mental state of the populace and what they’ve been through. He knew that these people had quite the burden on their shoulders, being responsible for protecting the country during the time. The deaths were partly on them. But knowing that people died somewhere was different from seeing or experiencing it.
“…and at that point, I was hit by a piece of debris and fell unconscious and awoke here,” Drake concluded.
The room was silent. Steve quickly confirmed Drake’s account, and then the room was quiet again. Steve felt embarrassed congratulated himself for speaking out. His words repeated in his mind to check for any mistakes he made in his simple sentence.
At last, The President cleared his throat and talked: “We all arrived at Rencia somehow, and we all must live here now. We have a lot of problems here, but we must sort them out to survive. There are thousands of survivors out there across the world, living in small groups, in bunkers, and other safe places, without the luxury of being able to sleep in peace at night. We, unfortunately, cannot rescue them all, due to our food shortage, but we must live on for their sakes.
“Since the Day of The Apocalypse, we have tried to communicate with survivors over the radio, and deliver information on survival tactics. We have also attempted to establish communications with any other countries and governments in the world who could have miraculously survived, but with no response. It seems we’re the last large group of humans left after the disaster. That is why we will work from today onwards under the assumption that there are no survivors out there in the world. We will tell the people of Rencia the same.” He looked at Drake, realizing that the stuff they were talking about was pretty confidential. He asked Drake and Steve to leave the room. Steve was quite content with doing so, while Drake felt patronized.
Drake left the room, while President Atkinson began: “We will now start discussing the city’s problems and their solutions.” As Drake closed the door, he saw the President look at him one last time, almost with an interest he hadn’t shown before. He had a brief uncharacteristic look of amusement and curiosity on his face. “May God Bless Rencia, and protect us all…”