Wednesday 4 July 2012


Welcome to the Xeroversary! We're celebrating two years of the Xeroverse with guest fiction from some of my favourite flash fiction writers. Thanks for dropping by, come in, enjoy the fiction, say hello. =)

...and don't miss the afterparty! ^_^

by Jack Holt

Office of ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬


▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ ▬▬▬▬▬▬


TRANSCRIPT: Special Activities Division (SAD) Command Post Traffic – July 1st, 2012.

The following is a transcript of the command post radio traffic on July 1st, 2012, during an unsanctioned mission on U.S. soil. The document is classified above Top Secret. The name of the agent has been removed. The identity of the second man is still unknown. The transcript was intercepted and prepared by the United States National Security Agency.

Due to the nature of radio communications portions of the audio are unable to be accurately transcribed. The portions will be noted. The transcription is an accurate representation of events in accordance with federal regulation.

Time code referenced is from beginning of audio clip.

Sunday, July 1st, 2012, 00:17am EST:


SPECIAL AGENT ▬▬▬ ▬▬▬▬▬▬: You there, ▬▬?

UNIDENTIFIED: I'm here, ▬▬.

SA: ▬▬, ▬▬. Really?

U: Just in case. (pause) You never know.

SA: Whatever you say. You're the brains. (loud thump) Anyway, I'm in.

U: Good. Now, you should be in a long corridor.

SA: Let me just.. (clicking sound) Right. Sure long corridor, one room to my left, one on my right.

U: We don't need those. Keep going forward. (sound of keyboard typing) About 300 yards.

SA: 300 yards. Got it.

U: The rooms to either side were labs mainly, according to the blueprints here.

SA: Shouldn't we..?

U: Believe me, I want to. I can only imagine what lies on the other side of those doors.

SA: But..

U: But you haven't got a lot of time. And the target is priority.

SA: Sure.

(loud crackle)

U: Everything OK?

SA: What?

U: That sound.

SA: No sound this end, ▬▬.

U: Interference of some kind perhaps. I'll run a quick diagnostic. (pause) Keep going.

SA: This flashlight is useless. Still hard to see. (pause) It's so dark.

U: I told you, I can't-

SA: I know, I know. You can't remote start the generators as it would draw too much attention. I get it.

U: Remember, we have no ▬▬▬ ▬▬▬ ▬▬▬▬▬▬ whatsoever.

SA: I get it.

U: If ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬. So be careful. Tread soft.

SA: ▬▬▬▬▬▬.

U: ▬▬▬▬▬▬ and ▬▬▬.

SA: Roger that.

U: GPS tells me you've almost reached 300 yards.

SA: 296, 297, 298..

U: Take the next left, then through the first door on your right.

SA: Left, then right. Got it.

(loud crackle)

U: There it is again.

SA: The noise?

U: Yes. Diagnostic showing a clear signal. You're not hearing it?

SA: All quiet here. ▬▬▬▬▬▬ maybe. You're getting spooked at your old age.

U: Just keep your eyes peeled. (pause) Remember where you are.

SA: Sure thing, Mum. (laugh)

U: Brilliant.

(creaking sound)

SA: OK. I'm at the stairs.

U: Go down.. (sound of keyboard typing) four levels.

SA: Four levels. Got it.

(heavy breathing)

U: You OK?

SA: Yeah (interference) It's hot down here.

U: Stay focused.

SA: (loud metal clang) Always. (pause) Level four.

U: Now, you should be in another corridor.

SA: I am.

U: Rooms on either side stretching down around.. (sound of keyboard typing) I make it 208 metres.

SA: Let me guess.

U: You want the room at the end.

SA: Course I do.

U: Can you (interference)

SA: Repeat.

U: Can you (interference)

SA: I'm not hearing you, ▬▬▬. Proceeding down corridor.

U: Damn static on the line again.

(loud bang)

U: What was that?

SA: Shhhh.

U: ▬▬▬?

SA: Something just moved down here.

U: Don't be paranoid. This place has been closed for years.

SA: Trust me, ▬▬▬. Something moved.

(shuffling sound)

U: ▬▬▬▬▬▬ ▬▬▬ ▬▬▬ ▬▬▬▬▬▬.

SA: (heavy breathing) ▬▬▬.

U: Situation report.

SA: It's too dark, I can't see. (pause) Damn flashlight is (interference)

U: Report.

SA: I'm here. Room 815, right?

U: 815, confirm.

(creaking sound)

SA: What the (interference)

U: ▬▬▬?

(scuffling sound)

U: ▬▬▬, what the hell's going on?

(loud scuffling sound)

(loud metal clang)

SA: Holy fuck. (heavy breathing) There's something in here with me.

U: Listen-

SA: Where the fuck have you sent me?

U: Just relax, remember your (interference)

SA: ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ ▬▬▬▬▬▬ ▬▬▬.

U: Just fucking concentrate. Remember ▬▬▬▬▬▬, they won't ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ ▬▬▬▬▬▬.

SA: Fuck all that. This thing, it ain't-

(unidentified groan)

SA: Wait, there's something-

(scuffling sound)

U: ▬▬▬?

SA: It's a ▬▬▬.

U: Shit. ▬▬▬, get outta there.

SA: Just wait a second.

U: ▬▬▬! Trust me, get (interference)

SA: Hey there ▬▬▬▬▬▬. What on earth are you-

(unidentified groan)

(scuffling sound)

SA: What the-



U: Get outta there!



U: ▬▬▬, report.

(heavy breathing)

U: ▬▬▬, report.

(heavy breathing)

At this point it is noted that the voice on Special Agent ▬▬▬ ▬▬▬▬▬▬ comm has drastically changed. This office's analysts best describe it as that of a male child.

SA: Hello?

U: Who is this?

SA: Thank you for waking me.

U: I repeat, who is this?

SA: My name is Xero, what's yours?

U: Where is Agent ▬▬▬?

SA: I know not of Agent ▬▬▬. Who is this?


U: This is ▬▬▬ of the ▬▬▬ ▬▬▬▬▬▬ ▬▬▬ ▬ ▬▬▬▬▬▬.

SA: Hello there, ▬▬▬ of the ▬▬▬ ▬▬▬▬▬▬ ▬▬▬ ▬ ▬▬▬▬▬▬.

U: What have you done with Agent ▬▬▬?

SA: I know nothing of this. (pause) Good bye ▬▬▬. Thank you for waking me.

U: Wait-


(line dead)


Sunday, July 1st, 2012, 01:01am EST

Special Agent ▬▬▬ ▬▬▬▬▬▬ is still missing. The unidentified man is still wanted in connection to Special Agent ▬▬▬ ▬▬▬▬▬▬ disappearance.

The child known as Xero is still at large.


Jack writes short fiction from his zombie-proof bunker deep in the Somerset countryside. He loves John Xero. Also, shark movies.

Xero says: Jack is a good guy who likes bad movies... (and Jurassic Park). He's not afraid to experiment with his writing and comes up with some truly intriguing ideas. Also, co-conspirator on Shark Knight.
(look out for Shark Knight Rises, coming soon.)


  1. But he's easy to find. All they need to do is come to Friday Flash!

    Whenever I see a blank on a transcript or missing line I immediately want to know what I've missed. I think it makes me read more closely.

    1. Only one blank was added for effect - the rest all hide something I initially wrote. Top Secret though, obviously.

  2. The tension and atmosphere kinda reminds me of some of the RPGs I've played, like the vaults and caves of Fallout 3, you know something unpleasant is gonna leap out somewhere along the line, and you just hope your carrying enough firepower.

    I like the blanks, I think they add to the overall feel of the story.

    And as for Xero?

    I know exactly where he is.

    I'm downloading the co-ordinates to you n... (Sound of door opening, sound of gunshot....Silence...)

    1. Nice try, Steve, nice try...

      (no need to worry, everyone, Steve's DNA has been logged and an appropriately behaved fast-grown clone will ensure normal service is maintained over at the Twisted Quill)

      nothing to see here... move along...

    2. I'm a massive Fallout 3 fan, Steve, but did not have it in mind at all as I wrote, so that's really interesting of you to say. Glad you dug the blanks (so to speak), too!

    3. Jack, I have really enjoyed this story, and the ensuing banter with the various comments and the resultant answers has given me lots of smiles.

      The thing is, I have managed to work out what all the missing words are, I've managed to fill in ALL of the blanks...

      Trouble is, I daren't tell myself what the words are...

      In case I have to kill myself afterwards!

  3. This was a lot of fun. My mind was racing, trying to figure out what was down there before the reveal -- it was a Xero, of course. I should've known.

    Now, who will be playing the Shark Knight in the film version? Martin Lawrence? ;)

    (note to self: no one got that movie reference; stop being silly)

    Thanks for the ride, Jack!

    1. You're welcome, RSB! Glad you enjoyed the ride.

      And don't worry, I got the film reference! Casting call is still open, though...

  4. Ground Xero, that's where I am... (b'dum tsh)

  5. Oh my… too bad this was all redacted so heavily. I'd like to know what this is all about!

    Hey wait… it was on US soil? XERO IS HERE? Crap, where's my shotgun—

    1. He's behind you! Oh no he isn't! Oh yes... Nope, can't keep it up.

      Sorry if the excessive redaction put you off, Larry, but national secrets are national secrets. Above my pay grade...

  6. I enjoyed the back and forth dialogue and I could hear all those crackles!

    A fun piece!

  7. I could hear it all in my head, Jack. Nicely done.

  8. Ditto on the dialogue. It moves the story along nicely. I was worried about zombies, not Xero. I suspect we're doomed.

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