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Empire of Dirt #1

Lilly Burns crouched from behind the car, avoiding the gaze of...whatever that thing was. The ten foot tall monstrosity scanned the recently made ruins of Manhattan. Lilly thought back to before the apocalypse occurred rather rapidly. It wasn’t that long ago she was investigating the mysterious meetings of diplomats and shady looking figures, and although she knew something big was occurring, this...wasn’t on her mind. The behemoth scanned the area, it’s attention snapped into one direction, its weapon raised, strutting over to whatever dared move in it’s direction.


It lowered it’s odd looking rifle.

It looked around, searching for a victim through the dust. It’s head perked up rapidly, almost as if it was listening to an unseen communicator.

Lilly stared in awe at this thing. It was the first time in the matter of hours that she got a chance to actually study one of them


Large, a mixture of metal, plastic, and exposed flesh, almost human in a warped dystopian movie sort of way. It’s facial features were replaced, it seemed, by sensors and advanced machinery. The most bizarre sensation was that it almost seemed familiar, like a long lost memory of some distant relative.


It let out a low grunt, and lumbered back to down the street, leaving Lilly to live in this horrid new paradigm of human civilization.


Lilly thought back to a week ago, there very much was a connection, and she would be the one to find out.



11:15 AM, Wednesday.



Lilly Burns took a deep breath as she clutched her phone. Today was the day that her journalism degree might actually be worth something, and she could quit that trashy Hooters knock off. She opened the email from The Soap Box, which was a fairly large indie press, with an anticipation that rivaled some midwestern town’s high school football team behind a few points in the 4th quarter and sweating at the ten yard line.

She screamed out, with joyful tears pooling in her eyelids.



12:13 PM, Wednesday

Lilly walked into Honey Thighs with a huge smile on her face (which was unusual enough when she walked into that place) and her uniform balled up in her hands. Tossing the pile of clothes (if you could really call them clothes) onto the floor in front of the manager, followed by a stuck up middle finger and the two best words you could say in this scenario, Lilly strutted out of that fine establishment with a sense of pride, she would never have to don a pair of booty shorts again...unless she wanted to, but that's besides the point. The point was that she didn’t have to deal with the typical bullshit a late twenties woman had to deal with while working at a place actually named Honey Thighs.


3:47 PM, Wednesday

Lilly poured herself a glass of $4 wine and sat comfortably in her tiny studio apartment. Tomorrow was the day her life began again.



9:33 PM, Saturday


Lily was fairly astonished that, not too long ago, she was serving chicken wings to horny boomers, and now? Now she was hiding in a car with tinted windows while spying on some unknown CIA-looking suits. The taller man handed a folder over to the shorter man. Then they walked in separate directions without saying a word. It was one of the most bizarre things Lilly had ever seen.

“This shit doesn’t actually happen? This shit is B movie-tier drama.”

She took her photos.

“Holy shit Dave...holy shit.”

Dave drove through the city streets, he was in significantly less disbelief than Lilly, as he was following this story before Lilly’s resume came across The Soap Box management.


“What do you think that was?” said Dave with an almost knowingly tone.

“I think...I know, this is some deep government thing.”

“Why is that?”

“Because why couldn’t they just send an email? Or even a text message? This is deep enough to where they want to mitigate the threat of some Russian kid hacking into them.”

Dave smiled. “Not bad, kid.”


Dave was actually a very genuine and sweet man. That Saturday night Lilly began to develop the start of what would have been feelings.


Would have been.


Would have been if it wasn’t for the high velocity droplet of ferrofluid launched from an alien invader’s cannon that made Dave’s face a vacant hole. But that was this upcoming Wednesday, and Lilly had no idea. All she knew was that she was on to a very big and very interesting story.


Oh how true that would end up being.


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