There’s a radioactive horseman who rises every Friday and wipes out people by exposure. It’s called the syncope. He carries no weapons. The survivors are genetically altered forever.
There are underground shelters and chutes and when the horseman comes, they go into the chutes. The chute entrances are in labyrinthine houses, built to confuse the horseman. The horseman cannot enter the houses.
The genetically altered survivors fall into three categories; the insane, the crippled and the unscathed. The unscathed have an inexplicable hunger for sweets. You cannot trust them to not eat every single sweet thing in the vicinity as soon as you turn your back. They’re said to be in jessmode.
Is the horseman a horseman? No one knows. He rises out of the ground and you run.
There are guards outside the labyrinthine houses. They are the only ones who don’t run. The horseman does not harm them. The guards wear all black. They have machine guns that are ineffective against a supernatural being. Why doesn’t the horseman harm them?
Earth has changed in two hundred years. There’s a lot of dust. There’s a lot of undrinkable water. People come to earth in time capsules and are confused. Is this really Earth, they ask. Are you sure? Earth isn’t like this. Are we in space?
We are not in space.
The horseman rises and a girl is too late. The doors to the labyrinthine houses are closing. She pleads with a guard to let her in. It can’t be done. The doors are closed.
The guard asks the horseman to spare the girl. It’s the first time anyone has ever spoken to the horseman.
The horseman opens the door to the labyrinthine house and walks in. The girl and the guard look at each other. Does the horseman have access to the other labyrinthine houses and underground shelters, the girl asks. No, the guard answers. He does not. The shelters are not interconnected.
The girl weeps to think of the innocent people in the shelters below who believe themselves safe, who have Death marching to meet them.
The guard takes off her helmet and drops her gun. Her face is hard. She seals the doors.
Who is the horseman? Where does he go?
Is it the same horseman? Does a new horseman rise out of the ground every Friday? Is he a product of the toxic ground we walk on? Is he a product of human experiments? Is somebody responsible or is he a monster, born out of collective human failure?
Will he rise again on Friday?