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Doomsday By Design - Novel In Progress

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posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 10:37 PM
In light of my feeble attempt of resurrecting the short stories forums, I'll be posting another story of mine here, one I DO own, and one that will be fully published and online to buy once it's complete. I've talked to ATS staff about this a few times and I believe I'm in the clear to post my stories here.

Some of you might be familiar with Doomsday by Design, as it was originally a role play I hosted here on ATS a couple years ago. I tried to revive it, to no avail. I've tried writing AND drawing it many times, and only until I was able to complete another story of mine, my first novel, did I channel the confidence to write this one properly.

I'm sorry, but I did NOT use many characters from the role play. A couple of them, I did. There wasn't room for all of them. If you have suggestions as to how I could add one of the old characters later on, though, I'd love to hear it.

Also, this story is gritty, uncensored, and uses the word "window" occasionally. I don't know why, but ATS likes to replace the word "window" with an underscore (_). Expect many of the curse words to be censored or snipped, and if you see an underscore, it was probably meant to be the word "window"

I'll post the first chapter, and if you guys want to see more, I'll keep posting. I have six chapters so far, though I have to skim through it and do a little editing. So yeah...



Doomsday By Design

Chapter 1
Las Nueva Era

Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding.
There it is again... that irritating, infuriating noise...
Sandra extended an arm out from underneath her twisted and contorted blanket, groping around for the source of the noise. When her fingers made contact with the alarm clock, she grabbed it, reared back, and launched it across the room with all her might. The tiny clock hit her television screen and shattered into three big pieces, which scattered around the room upon impact.
She'd been dreaming of destroying that annoying clock for weeks now. Today was sure to be a good day, now that she'd finally murdered the stupid little machine. That noise started her with a headache every single day... hopefully the thing was broken beyond repair now... hopefully, her uncle wouldn't find a way to fix it... God willing...
Sandra sat up groggily, the window beside her bed allowing rays of weak morning sunlight to bleed into her room. It always hit her directly in the face in the mornings, and always covered most of her bed. Too bright. Too annoying.
Sighing, Sandra climbed from her bed and examined herself in her mirror. With a few loose swipes, she managed to make her hair appear semi-kempt. The crimson red dye shone uniquely under the lighting, her combed-over bangs invaded by three dark, black streaks. Her hair barely reached the back of her neck, and her bangs were undoubtedly the longest of it all. Her oceanic blue eyes were mostly absent of make-up now, as she'd slept most of it off, with a few small smears of leftover black and silver remaining. She licked her fingers and wiped them away, then opened her backpack and reapplied her makeup.
She never wore much eyeshadow or mascara; she'd use a little black on the eyelashes, and fade the black into silver from there. Makeup wasn't a priority really, but it was nice to use on occasion.
Sandra pulled the tank top off of her body, then fully dressed herself in the nearest outfit lying atop her messy hamper. Black cargo pants, a skin-tight black t-shirt decorated with Gothic designs, and her most expensive article of clothing; the thick, fitting leather jacket complete with studs and numerous pockets. She'd always zip it up halfway, and conceal her hands within its front pockets when she'd walk around. It was her favorite piece of clothing. Nothing suited her better.
Her backpack lying crookedly over one shoulder, Sandra flipped the light switch and marched out of her room. She made her way down the narrow, creaky wooden stairs and strolled to the kitchen. Her bed room was a large attic, complete with a bed, a dresser, a small tv, a radio, an outdated gaming console, junk food, and clothing lying amok. The home was technically a one-bedroom, but her uncle, Dorian, had fashioned the attic into a living area when she'd moved in years back.
The silver canteen was sitting in its usual spot inside of the fridge, wedged between the milk jug and the wall. Sandra grabbed it and took a large swig of her cold coffee, suddenly feeling much better about being awake.
Sandra carried the canteen with her as she walked out through the front door, and today, she had enough change in her pocket to fill her canteen at a gas station on the way home. That was a nice plus.
The small house sat on top of a hill along the edge of town, and a long gravel driveway led downwards, towards the two lane road which connected her uncle's property with the rest of the world. The top of the driveway, as well as the front porch, had an absolutely gorgeous view of the sunrise every day, the sun peaking over the distant trees and the occasional building, the night sky fading into a swirl of red, orange, and yellow as the day began to illuminate. Sandra never thought to pay it any mind, though. She kicked rocks on her way down the driveway, untangling the earphones connected to her mp3 player as she did.
The thought of walking through the entire town without her music to drown out the people and the vehicles was almost appalling. The last thing she wanted was forced contact with other people. The music would always succeed in melting away their voices and making her forget where she was entirely...
"Sandra!" A hearty voice echoed from the distance, just when Sandra was about to insert her second earphone. "Sandraaaaaa!"
Sandra winced, exhaling a long breath. Goddammit.
"Come'ere!" Her uncle hollered from seemingly nowhere, though Sandra knew exactly where he was.
Sandra veered left, approaching a mostly hidden dirt trail leading down the side of the hill. At the bottom of the hill and the end of the trail, her uncle Dorian stood expectantly, waving her along and waiting for her to join him.
Slightly aggravated, Sandra stomped her way down the dirt path. When she reached her uncle, he'd already turned away and began fidgeting with that old metal door again.
"The security system works now." He told her, hunching over the door's handle and punching buttons on a metal, square device. "I made a password."
Sandra nodded silently. That's great. Can I leave now?
"Get down here!" He grasped her by the wrist and pulled her into a kneeling position. "Look here. You press 'enter' before you type in the password. Are you paying attention?"
"Mhmmm." Sandra mumbled with a false enthusiasm.
"If you need to use the bunker whenever I'm not here—now you can get in and nobody else can. Alright?" He went on. "This is important. Pay attention."
"Ah-huh." Sandra moaned again.
Dorian turned his head and faced her. He squinted at her curiously.
Sandra blinked. "What?"
"You're not listening." He replied. "Sandra, this is important."
"I don't care." Sandra said without thinking. "Explain to me how this is important. A doomsday bunker's not gonna make a goddamn difference if there's a nuclear holocaust. We'd all be dead."
"Explain to—alright. Alrighty then. This new flu breaking out all over the country? They're calling it a pandemic as of yesterday." He told her.
edit on Xx552101031PM110 by XxNightAngelusxX because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 10:38 PM
"Yeah, and they called the Swine Flu thing a pandemic too. None of us died from that." Sandra countered. "I don't see the point in living in a hole in the ground."
She'd let it out at last. For years, her uncle would pull her aside and attempt to teach her how to use his generator, or how to safely operate a firearm. The man was an outlandish and paranoid doomsday prepper, and more and more, day after day, Sandra found herself praying that she wouldn't have to hear the lectures, the warnings, and the teachings anymore... and here, now, as he stared into her with his mouth agape, he appeared just as maniac as his actions frequently led on. His wild, silvery hair was slicked back and hanging over the back of his collar, his blue eyes were shining with a peculiar passion, and his stubble had gone unshaved for at least a week now. The scent of black coffee was apparent to Sandra at the moment, as the two of them were crouched rather close to one another. Dorian rarely slept; he always had some project to work on, and he'd always be pumping himself with caffeine while doing so.
Now, rather than getting angry, Dorian simmered into an unusual calmness.
"You never know." He said softly. "That's it. That's the point... that's the only point. You never know what could happen."
"Nobody ever knows what could happen." Sandra replied. "That doesn't mean anything."
"No, that means everything."
"What does that even mean?"
"It means, we have no idea what the future could hold—and our society lives far too comfortably. If any piece is pulled out of place, our economy comes tumbling down like a house of cards."
"The hell are you even talking about—?"
"Sandra." Dorian placed his hands on her shoulders and stared into her face. "I understand why you don't want any part of it—but things like this, things as simple as a password—I need you to pay attention to. There have been deaths from this thing. People dying within the first day of their infection. And have you heard about what happened to the vice president? Important people have been dying, and there’s a reason for it, I just don’t know what it is yet. I need you to pay attention to this stuff."
Something in her snapped.
Sandra stood bolt upright and broke away from her uncle.
"I don't care." She told him, shaking her head. "I don't care. I don’t care..."
Dorian slowly stood as well, his usually excited face seeming to fade into an uncharacteristically solemn expression.
"Please. I need you to—"
"No you don’t!" Sandra cut him off. "God! Every single day, I can't even get up and go to school without being reminded of a new world order or some goddamn zombie apocalypse—"
"I never said anything about zom—"
"I don't care!"
Sandra turned and stormed away, climbing up the hill from where she came. She'd done it now; all the pent up frustration and anger had finally found its way out. The rambling about the importance of preparation and self-reliance... she couldn't stand it anymore. It was all pointless. Absolutely pointless.
Dorian watched her quietly until she was out of his sight.
The town began its day like usual; Las Nueva Era was a tiny desert town in Nevada, which most people hadn't even heard of. It was quiet and scarcely inhabited, which Sandra found rather peaceful. The school contained students from all over, prestigious, poor, and anything in between. It was a town comprised of families who'd looked to abscond from whatever city they lived in and settle somewhere away from the hustle and bustle. Many of the people simply walked to their destinations when they didn't feel like driving, and today, oddly, there seemed to be more people gathering in the parking lot of the hospital rather than the school.
That'd been happening for about a week, come to think of it. On her way to school, Sandra would notice that the hospital down one of the nearby streets was strangely busy. She figured the Red Flu scare had everyone rushing to get a vaccine out of fear. The same sort of thing happened during the Swine Flu 'pandemic' in 2009. Sandra remembered that event well. It had sent her uncle into a prepping frenzy.
Suddenly, Sandra pictured her eccentric uncle hunched in the corner of his bunker, wearing a crooked gas mask, a bullet proof vest which had been hurriedly strapped on and had twisted his jacket into a lopsided position, and his arms wrapped around a very long sniper rifle as he rocked back and forth. She stifled a laugh and shook the thought away.
The school was one of the taller buildings in the town. Sandra weaved her way through the crowd of her peers outside as she made for the front doors. There weren't as many people attending school today as usual. Sandra guessed that the school was remaining open simply because they were meant to distribute the new vaccines today, so anyone attending school would have their shot without having to make a visit to the already overcrowded hospital.
Sandra didn't plan to take the vaccine. She herself wasn't hell bent on preparing for doomsday and researching every government conspiracy theory known to mankind as her uncle was, but nonetheless, she didn't always trust vaccines. She knew that vaccines had questionable side effects sometimes. There were quite a lot of theories surrounding the vaccine controversy, but Sandra wasn't sure what to believe. Out of all the conspiracy theories she'd ever heard, it wasn't the most ridiculous one by far, but who was she to say which theories were true and which ones weren't? It wouldn't matter much one way or the other. It’s not like anything would change, regardless of what the truth was…
Sandra entered the building just when the breakfast bell sounded. The entire school had formed into a mob of people on their way to their classes. She made her way through the mob of people, up the stairs, and entered her home room on the second floor.
Her usual seat was in the center of the middle row. She sank into her desk and immediately retreated into her folded arms as the small class room filled around her. When she got the notion to open her eyes and observe her surroundings again, she looked up just in time to see a tall, lanky African American stroll down the isle passed her. And on her other side, her friend had claimed the nearest desk and began unpacking.
She was familiar with all of her classmates, the boy beside her in particular. He was skinny, and his black hair was cut into somewhat of a bowl shape. His small frame was coated with a black outfit, a sleek pair of pants and a clean cut button-up. He adjusted his transparent glasses and began studying his notebook.
Sandra screwed the lid off of her coffee, chugged half of it, sealed it and sat it on the floor beside her ankles. After a while, home room was over, and Mr. Knowles stood from his desk and began talking. As usual, Sandra forgot to pay attention.
History class commenced, and Sandra drifted into a light sleep as she lay on her desk. The boy sitting beside her, Alan, gave her a slight smack on the arm to wake her. She gave him an irritated look, then returned to her restless slumber.

edit on Xx555101031PM110 by XxNightAngelusxX because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 10:39 PM
Alan was basically Sandra's opposite. He always arrived on time, never skipped his classes, and all of his effort went into keeping his grades as high as possible. Sandra cared nothing for school. She only showed up because she was legally required to do so. The only thing the two of them really had in common was their usual cold and antisocial attitude towards others.
Mr. Knowles continued to ramble on and some of the students would occasionally respond to him. And now, as her consciousness began to leave her behind and the voices around her invaded her thoughts, Sandra could have sworn she was watching the whole room from many different angles as the class went on... all of their expressions, the sun rising outside and shining brilliantly through the large window, the gestures Knowles would make as he'd explain certain parts of his lecture... though in reality, she was simply lying sleepily on her desk, entirely lost to the world...
"... and most of the war on terror. Now... we were supposed to watch a documentary, and I was supposed to bring in the tv from Mrs. Hughes' room, but since everyone had to take their vaccine this morning, I didn't have the time to get everything set up... so... you're all stuck listening to me talk instead." Knowles continued. "Now... can anyone tell me what the primary driving force was behind the war on terror?"
"Mad cow disease." The boy behind Sandra said.
"White dudes rapping." The African American beside him added.
The two boys behind Sandra were usually the objects of her sanity, the only things keeping her time in school somewhat enjoyable; the lanky boy in the leather jacket, and his counterpart, the African American in the hoodie, were the clowns of the class. They both served to create many laughable situations in Knowles’ class. They'd both unknowingly lightened Sandra's mood numerous times in the past. She didn't know either of them well, but she liked them all the same. The third boy sitting in the back row was nearest to the window, and he was the quietest one of them all. He was a Japanese foreign exchange student named Ryujin, sitting with his arms folded and his attention elsewhere. Sandra had never spoken to the exchange student before, but he never seemed to be interested in socializing anyway. That was something she could relate to.
As the two loud boys gave more ludacris responses, Knowles revealed a faint smirk. He wiped off his glasses with his shirt, placed them back on his face, and crossed his arms.
Alan, unlike the others, had raised his hand and was patiently waiting to be called upon.
Knowles raised his brows at Alan. "Yes?"
"The 9/11 attacks." Alan answered as-a-matter-of-factly.
Knowles nodded.
After hearing something uttered about the war on terror, Sandra sat upright and blinked herself awake.
"And who carried out those attacks?" Knowles said.
"That's a difficult question." Sandra blurted before anyone else could speak. "A lot of people think our government had a hand in those attacks."
Everyone fell silent. Knowles' focus rested on Sandra now, his brown eyes glistening with a peculiar wonder. He ran a hand over his brown, slicked back hairs, then sighed. Sandra thought she heard Alan mutter something under his breath, which sounded like a lot like "Ridiculous..."
"Al Qaeda did it... sure. But criminal elements in our government helped." Sandra clarified. "Watch the footage. It wasn't just the planes that made the towers fall. They exploded from the bottom. It was a controlled demolition. 9/11 was an inside job."
"There have been numerous conspiracy theories regarding 9/11 and none of them have ever held any solidity. We've heard everything from controlled detonations to holographic planes." Knowles exhaled. "In reality—"
"Really?" Sandra said a little more loudly. "No solidity? Really? So the World Trade Center 7 didn't just fall down of its own accord for no #ing reason—"
"Watch it, Sandra."
"You can't even consider—"
"That's enough, Sandra."
"No it's not. Our government is stomping all over a bunch of foreign soils because of that attack—it was a scare tactic so we'd all be accepting of whatever they'd do to solve the problem. Take our rights, invade other countries—"
"Sandra." Knowles gave her a very direct look. He spoke with a calm yet unsettling tone now, one Sandra recognized. "We've had this discussion before... now. Please. Don't interrupt my class with these absurd—"
"So you don't think any government is capable of preforming a false flag attack to initiate a war that they want to happen. Right?"
"No. I don't."
"Then you're a closeminded assho—"
"Outside." Knowles pointed to the door. He looked positively livid now.
Sandra rose from her seat and grabbed her belongings. She grasped her desk and overturned it, sending it flying into the front of Knowles' desk with a loud, echoing BANG. She then stormed out of the room without another word.
This sort of thing has happened before. Sandra had been a part of Knowles' home room for her entire stay at this school. Knowles was in charge of the satellite class, which was the class containing anyone with an IEP, an Individual Education Program. The students in his home room class were all either disturbed emotionally, had a criminal record, or had some sort of mental disorder.

posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 10:40 PM
Sandra was, of course, one of those students. She argued with all of her teachers and never seemed to get along with any of her peers, though in all fairness, most of them seemed to dislike her for seemingly no reason whenever they’d first meet her. She always made sure to return that courtesy in full. She'd never do her school work and rarely participated in group discussions, and when she did, it usually ended with yelling or damaged school property.
It was November, and she'd already been suspended seven times this year. Knowles was a nice enough teacher, and he even made an effort to defend Sandra whenever the principal would confront him about the behavior of some of his more troublesome students, but the man absolutely refused to listen to any conclusions that weren't properly rationalized and printed onto the pages of some text book...
Sandra placed her back against the lockers and slid downwards into a sitting position. She wrapped her arms around her legs and gently laid her forehead on her knees as the backpack slipped off of her shoulder. The hallway was vacant and quiet, and she was barely able to hear Mr. Knowles' muffled voice through the classroom door.
All at once, an overwhelming sensation of exhaustion consumed her again. She felt as though she wanted to be the only person on the planet. Everyone else's existence was nothing but a hindrance.
Sandra really hated that feeling, but on days when she'd become overly frustrated with the people around her, it was inevitable. She didn't actually hate anyone... or, perhaps she did... couldn't be sure...
The thoughts refused to leave her mind for quite a while. After some time went by, the entire first period of the day was finally over with. When the bell rang, Sandra hadn't moved from her spot on the floor.
The students emerged from their classes, and the hall quickly filled with noise. They all went for their lockers, and Sandra reached her feet with an annoyed groan.
Alan was one of the first people out of Knowles' class. He approached Sandra and gave her a long, unreadable stare.
Sandra blinked at him. "What?"
"That was pointless." He told her, then stepped passed her and began turning the knob on his locker's lock. "You really need to learn how to control your anger. And it's extremely disrespectful to talk about 9/11 the way you did, I hope you know."
"Suck a dick." Sandra snarled.
"My point exactly." Alan commented as he popped his locker open. "I really don't see the point in arguing about something like that anyway."
"Don't start with me.” Sandra said in a dangerous voice. "I'm really... really.... not in the mood."
"Your conspiracy theories cause problems. It isn't my fault. And school certainly isn't the place to go talking about that nonsense." Alan said.
Sandra glared silently at him until he noticed her lingering gaze. He stopped sorting the books in his locker, sighed, and returned the stare.
"No—you know what? I'm done." Sandra said, shaking her head. "I'm done talking to a little stuck-up piss ant who thinks he knows every goddamn thing there is to know—I'm fu**ing done. You can drop dead for all I care."
At that, Sandra turned and began stomping down the hallway. It was true; she wasn't about to listen to Alan's spiels any longer. She'd been quiet about his blunt and judgmental attitude for far too long. Who did he think he was? He acted as though he had an answer for everything, as though he was in some position of authority, as though he honestly had the right to lecture her about her behavior...
A hand reached out and grabbed her by the shoulder, stopping her.
Mr. Knowles released the collar of Sandra's leather jacket. He stood over her and watched her with a distant, ominous expression spread across his face.
Sandra gave him a straightforward look. "Am I suspended yet? Can I go home?"
"No." Knowles said calmly. "I haven't told anybody anything. Come here."
He motioned for his class room's open doorway and stepped into the room. Sandra fallowed him, feeling a sensation of dread brewing in the pit of her stomach. Mr. Knowles wasn't interested in punishing her this time. Instead, he seemed to be in the let's talk and work out the problem mood. This was aggravating. Sandra was beginning to look forward to another suspension. She was growing quite tired of everyone, and her patience was unusually thin today, even by her own standards....
He leaned against the side of his desk. The room was empty now, apart from the two of them.
"So... explain to me why you're so stressed out." Knowles said. "Explain to me why you feel the need to cause a scene like that."
"I don't." Sandra answered at once. "I don't..."
Knowles raised his thin eyebrows at her.
"You don't... listen." She said. "You act like anything that's not taught in school is automatically wrong."
There was a pause following these words.
To her surprise, Knowles didn't retaliate or respond right away. He folded his arms and nodded, seeming to agree with her.
"Well, frankly, that's what I'm paid to do." He told her.
Sandra narrowed her eyes at him. "Why don't you say what you really think?"
Knowles breathed out a laugh. "I'd get fired."
They stared at one another for a moment. Sandra hadn't expected him to level with her on this topic. Knowles had always been very opposing to any alternative theories regarding any topic in his classes.
"Just tone it down." He said calmly. "Just... tone it down for me. I don't like fighting with you. It doesn't solve anything and you end up having to deal with the consequences."
Sandra sighed. On a whole, it really wasn't worth the trouble of making a scene during class. But she'd only intended to state her beliefs, and in an environment meant to educate people, shouldn't a debate be welcome? No... that's now how school worked...
Hesitantly, Sandra nodded in agreement with Mr. Knowles.
Knowles returned the nod, then gestured for the door.
Sandra turned and left the class. The hallway was still crowded, but the mass of people was beginning to die down. She was only supposed to go to her locker, get her textbooks and supplies, and return to Knowles' room... but now, suddenly, she didn't feel up to sitting through another class.
Already exhausted and ready for the day to end, Sandra wandered aimlessly through the hallways as less and less people came into her view. Most of the students had made it to their next class already. She wasn't sure where she was going... she just wanted to be alone for now.
When she rounded a corner, she spotted a familiar figure a little ways down the hallway. Actually, there were a few of them.
Alan was the first she recognized. He was facing away from her, and three other individuals were blocking his path to the stairwell.
After squinting at them to get a clearer view, Sandra knew who they were. One of them, at least. The biggest of the three was a burly guy from Knowles' home room class named Church Boone.

posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 10:41 PM
Church was one of the special participants of the satellite class. Most of the teachers classified his issues with labels such as "emotionally disturbed" or "needs anger management" when they'd talk about his status in his classes, but Sandra didn't buy into any of it. Church Boone wore all the same little labels that she herself wore... but Sandra never knocked anyone's books out of their hands for no reason, never slashed anyone's tires, never picked a physical fight with nearly everyone to look her in the eye. The same couldn't be said about Church. They could give him every excuse in the book, but at the end of the day, he made his choices and he reveled in his bully persona; regardless of his issues, he was still, simply put, a meat headed prick.
The two students at Church's side were a couple of his friends, both of whom were dressed like thugs, with their shorts sagging so low Sandra wondered how they walked without tripping over themselves. She didn't know their names; they were only two of many friends who regularly followed in Church Boone's large, arrogant footsteps.
Sandra was barely able to hear Alan's voice down the hall. He'd muttered something to Church, but she couldn't make out what it was.
Then, the back of Church's large hand met with Alan's arm; the navy blue binder that he'd been carrying flew from his grasp, as well as a couple of mechanical pencils. Alan spoke again, but Sandra still couldn't hear him clearly from where she stood. Church shoved Alan backwards with his two huge arms, and suddenly, Sandra's blood seemed to ignite like a steady stream of gasoline. She began forward without realizing it, and during her first step, the heavy metal object in her pocket swayed ever so slightly... that beautiful little paperweight... the one she carried simply for show, up until now...
Sandra didn't know how the fight started, or what they'd been arguing about, or even if Church was justified in shoving Alan... she couldn't know... she couldn't care... her thoughts had abandoned her entirely as she stormed down the hall, her hand sliding into her leather jacket's pocket, fingers inching through the four circular openings in the hidden paperweight, which she was about to use for its true intended purpose for the very first time...
Church zeroed in on Alan. He only just made eye contact with Sandra before—
The brass knuckles connected squarely with the jaw of the bully. Church's head spun and his eyes widened; he hadn't expected to be hit with such force out of nowhere. Sandra quickly withdrew her right hand, the black knuckles shining dimly under the school's fluorescent lighting as her fingers tightened around the small weapon. Then, all at once, her rationale began to return to her. She'd never hauled off and hit anyone before. What was she doing? The suspension, the possible lawsuit, the lecturing from her uncle and her teachers...
Church cracked his neck and gave Sandra a striking glare. He was easily a foot taller than her, and he was very broad. His eyes shone with a maniac pleasure, and his eyebrows pressed together in a focusing way. They were the same color as his buzz-cut blonde hair.
Alan stood feet away from them both, looking shocked, and Sandra felt a rising panic form inside her. She had no idea if she could hold up a fight, or if she ought to be preparing for a fantastic showdown, or a massive beating...
Church didn't throw a punch. He grabbed Sandra by the collar, and she braced herself, coiling her fist shut as her heart began to hammer. The bully's two comrades no longer appeared to be enjoying the show, as the situation had gotten very real, very fast.
"I'm not about to hit a girl." Church growled, unable to hide a puffed-up smirk while a spot of blood became visible in the corner of his mouth. Then, he pulled her a little closer with a gentle movement, his hazel eyes burning into her blue ones. "But don't fu*k with me again."
Then, Church released her somewhat forcefully. He turned and marched away with his two companions following suit. The three bullies vanished from the hall, leaving Sandra and Alan standing alone.
Sandra felt exhilarated. She’d never acted so impulsively, so irrationally... to just throw a wicked punch and nail someone? If only she could do this every day... it felt wonderful... euphoric...
When she turned to Alan, the boy's eyes seemed to fix on the brass knuckles on her hand. He met her gaze and gave her a very peculiar look from behind his glasses.
"What?" Sandra exhaled with a smile.
Alan's eyes narrowed at her. He raised his eyebrows, seeming perplexed by her odd casualness regarding the events that had just transpired.
"What're you even doing out of class, anyhow?" Sandra asked him, concealing the brass knuckles within her pocket once more. Her crimson colored bangs were covering even more of her face than usual now, after having lunged at Church the way she did.
"I had... a binder to take to the... visual audio room." Alan slowly explained as he searched around the floor until he located his binder. He picked it up and pressed his glasses more firmly onto his face. "And you?"
"Tch." Sandra shrugged. "Didn't feel like going to class."
Alan stared at her again.
Sandra scowled at him. "Don't say a goddamn thing."
"I wasn't." Alan said, shaking his head and looking away. "And you... you just carry those around regularly, then?"
He motioned towards her pocket.
"Sometimes." Sandra admitted. "I never thought I'd get to use 'em though. They sell 'em as paperweights at flea markets and stuff."
"Ah. Well... alright then. Nice." Alan commented. "That's.... nice. Thank you."
Sandra blinked at him.
"Don't." She said with a half-grin. "Don't worry about it."
"Hm. Well. I need to go." Alan checked the watch underneath his sleeve, then rushed down the hallway and out of sight.
Sandra watched him until he was gone from the hall. He'd never thanked her before. It was refreshing to see a glint of feeling from the cold and judgmental Alan, but nevertheless, it hadn't lasted very long at all.
So, not wanting to return to class and longing for her mp3 player, Sandra headed to the staircase and climbed every floor until she reached the roof. It was her favorite hiding spot; she’d often pride herself with her ability to sit on the building’s edge and overlook the desert, and the scenery was beautiful. It put an extremely uneasy feeling in her stomach, being so close to the edge of the building, legs hanging about fifty feet above the ground, but it was quite relaxing and incredibly thrilling at the same time. She loved it.
About an hour went by, during which she lie on the rooftop with her feet at the edge of the building, the sun growing steadily brighter and brighter and her music blasting in her ears once again. There were few things that compared to skipping class on the rooftop of a school, accompanied by no nagging teachers, no bullying students, and no crazy parental figures… just the music…. The sunlight, the fresh air, and the music…

posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 10:43 PM
Her boredom and contentment allowed her to slip into a light sleep, her arms folded behind her head, the sunlight beating down on her face… and the music in her ears began to paint up a variety of lucid dreams, dreams of springing up and jumping from the rooftop, flying through the air with gravity seeming to lighten, falling briskly to the ground, kicking off, and ascending again… but where was she flying off to? To find her uncle? Yes, that must have been it… to find her crazy prepping uncle… after all, the sky was turning red and the clouds were being torn apart by Russian and Chinese aircrafts dropping bombs on unsuspecting Americans… she needed to make sure that her idiot of an uncle was safe and sound…
When her eyes eased open, Sandra checked her watch. She’d slept through an entire class period, and she’d likely see consequences for it, but it didn’t matter. Now, after having a little relaxation, she felt loads better.
Sandra staggered to her feet and took a few steps backwards, away from the building’s edge. Her fanciful dreams had gone away. There were no aircrafts or red clouds in the sky.
But the sky had darkened a bit, and judging by the scent in the air, Sandra figured that a thunderstorm was brewing. Her trail of vision followed the odd pattern of the dark clouds until she realized that they were stretching out from a light source that wasn’t the sun.
Directly opposite her, somewhere far into the desert—perhaps in another city or town—Sandra was vaguely able to see a massive cloud forming from the ground up. It wasn’t a storm cloud or a tornado, it was…
No, it couldn’t be.
Sandra’s dream had ended, right? She wasn’t asleep anymore. Her war-themed delusions and conspiracy-filled dreams should have dissipated.
So then, why was it that her eyes were fixating on a giant mushroom cloud?
No matter how many times she blinked, the image of the nuclear blast didn’t go away.
The cloud slowly grew, reaching into the sky and expanding at a rate Sandra couldn’t have possibly comprehended. The blast was very far away—or, at least, it looked to be.
Sandra’s heart thrashed behind her ribs as she anxiously waited for the dream to end, but this was no dream. Her legs ached from the uncomfortable angle she had crossed them in while laying down. Her hands shook beyond her control, while her heart continued trying to burst out of her chest with each pulsating beat and her heels hurt from her having walked so much so early in the day. This was real. This was very, very real.
But it couldn’t be.
This was something Dorian would dream up. This was a ridiculous worst case scenario that you’d see in an apocalypse movie, or in a doomsday documentary. It couldn’t actually happen.
Yet here it was, unfolding before her very eyes.
It was reality.
A memory appeared in her mind. It was a long time ago, and she couldn’t exactly remember when it had happened. She and Dorian stood on the hill where their house resided, and Dorian was raising his thumb up towards the sun.
“See?” He had said. “If you ever see a nuclear blast, you don’t look directly at it. You hold up your thumb and block the light. And if the mushroom cloud is bigger than your thumb, that means you’re in the blast radius, and you need to get out of dodge.”
Sandra drew nearer to the edge of the school’s roof, her hand raising as she held up her thumb. The mushroom cloud aligned with her thumb almost perfectly, but the blast remained visible to her, the smoke extending around her thumb and above her nail…
Holy sh!t.
For a moment, Sandra thought she’d remain rooted to the spot, that she’d simply stand frozen in fear until the blast finally caught up with the town—but all at once, she suddenly found the ability to move again, and she was off like a shot.
Nobody inside of the school realized what had happened yet.
The bell rang about three minutes ago, and Alan was on his way to his locker when he was intercepted by a person who resembled a gorilla stuffed into a t-shirt and jeans. When Alan tried to walk around him, Church took a side step, blocking his path.
Church wore a sour expression, undoubtedly still upset about having been punched earlier in the day. It was interesting that he chose to vent his frustrations on Alan rather than Sandra, but Alan figured that Church was simply intimidated by her, as most people were.
Alan had faced Church many times before, never willingly and never successfully. He refused to fight, but even if he did square off with Church, he didn’t think that he would win. Even the most seasoned thugs in the school—those who were used to fighting—usually got their asses handed to them by Church.
Still, Alan wasn’t afraid. He continued to stare into Church’s face without wavering, and Church, agitated by this, bashed his palm into Alan’s chest in a hard one-armed shove.
Alan stumbled backwards. Just when Church was about to advance, a third person stepped into the altercation. He pushed Church away with a swift thrust to the shoulder, then stood in front of Alan and met Church’s gaze.
It was Ryujin, the Japanese foreign exchange student. His slim, toned body wore a sleek and tightly fitted suit-jacket, a black one with crimson colored seams on the collar and the rim of the cuffs, and he also wore a pair of stylish jet-black pants. His short black hair dangled in front of his fierce, dark eyes as he maintained the standoff with the bully before him.
Neither Alan nor Church knew Ryujin very well at all. Usually, he kept to himself and didn’t interact with anyone if he didn’t have to. Him taking action like this was very new.
“You pick on everyone in this school, don’t you?” Ryujin said in a calm, smooth voice, with an underlying authority in his tone. “I’m sick of standing by and watching you push people around. You’re a coward.”
Church said nothing. It’d been a long time since anyone bothered to stand up to him.
There was a long, tense silence.

posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 10:44 PM
The other students in the hall finished getting their supplies from their lockers and headed to their next class, while Church, Alan, and Ryujin all remained entirely still in the hallway.
This didn’t stop until Sandra came flying around the corner.
Alan stepped away, leaving Ryujin wide open.
Sandra slammed into Ryujin and nearly knocked him over.
“Oh God—sorry!” Sandra exclaimed, grabbing Ryujin to keep him from falling, then quickly releasing him. “There’s a mushroom cloud! A mushroom cloud, outside, there’s… there’s…”
“A what?” Alan said.
Church abandoned the fight and sauntered over to the closest window.
Ryujin and Alan both gave Sandra the same suspicious look.
“There’s a mushroom cloud outside!” Sandra said frantically. “We have to go! We have to go!”
Sandra tugged at Alan’s wrist and tried to pull him down the hall, but he yanked away.
“What’re you rambling about now?” Alan demanded. “I’ve heard some ridiculous things come out of your mouth, Sandra, but this one takes the cake. A mushroom cloud? Come on.”
“There is!” Church called from the window. “There really is a mushroom cloud!”
All of them crowded around the window, seeing exactly what Sandra had seen from the roof, the growing cloud in the distance which was, if Sandra wasn’t imagining it, considerably bigger than it had been minutes ago.
“That can’t be…” Alan murmured in disbelief. “That can’t be…”
“Come on!” Sandra hollered at them.
There was no time to stand idly by; they needed to move, and fast.
This was her uncle’s worst nightmare come to fruition. And if Sandra never awoke from this series of dastardly events, it could very well turn into the end of the world as they knew it.
Sandra found herself kicking all of the classroom doors as hard as possible before darting down the hall.
Hopefully, alerting the students and teachers would get them away from their routines long enough for them to realize that they were all in imminent danger.
Her body felt as light as a feather, the way it often did in her dreams when she would fly, run, or fight rather effortlessly. After all, there was no time for hesitation or restraint now.
Sandra couldn’t stop even for a second.
On her way down the stairs, she heard the rapid thumping of footsteps behind her. Alan, Ryujin, and Church were following her closely behind. They were all making their escape together.
Sandra didn’t care to question it now. Her uncle had a hidden bunker built for just such an occasion, which meant that she could at least get herself and her three peers to safety.
The wind was kicking when they reached the outside. Some of the traffic in front of the school had stopped, with some people standing outside of their cars and observing the situation, while others sped off at top speed with the intention of getting as far out of dodge as possible.
Sandra bolted across the street without bothering to look both ways. The four teenagers sprinted through the town, over the curb, down the sidewalk, and down the main road of the small town until finally arriving at the bottom of Sandra’s driveway. They all tried very hard not to notice the low rumbling of the ground beneath their feet.
Sandra stumbled down the dirt trail after climbing half of her driveway. The hill led to the door to the underground bunker, and she hit her knees after getting to the bottom, staring at the buttons on her uncle’s security system.
“Password…” Sandra whispered to herself. “He never told me the password…. #… #… what is…”
Her thoughts whizzed through her mind rapidly as she tried to think of a password that her uncle would have chosen. Why did she have to storm off this morning? If only she’d stayed and listened to him, she would know the password…
On impulse, Sandra typed her own name into the small security terminal.
The door made a high pitched ding, and the rectangular screen on the terminal turned a bright green.
The screen read;

edit on Xx546101031PM110 by XxNightAngelusxX because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 10:46 PM

“Oh… what?” Sandra gasped. “Holy crap…”
She stood and turned the metal handle, pushing the door open and stepping inside.
My name was the password, she thought. He could have just told me that from the get-go.
Sandra stood at the door long enough for Alan, Ryujin, and Church to rush inside. Then, she slammed the door shut and locked it at once.
To her despair, her uncle Dorian was nowhere to be seen within the bunker.
The fear she felt after seeing the mushroom cloud was nothing compared to the rising panic in her now.
Where could her uncle have gotten off to? Was he inside of the house, or perhaps in town? Why wouldn’t he be inside the bunker during the beginning of a holocaust? Wasn’t he supposed to be working on the bunker’s security system? Where could he have gone? Why wasn’t he here?
“No…” Sandra breathed. “Uncle… where are you…”


That's it for chapter one.

Lemme know whatcha think, and if you want more.


edit on Xx547101031PM110 by XxNightAngelusxX because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 11:34 PM
Oh man, now I'm left in suspense! I was at the edge of my seat. YES I want to read more!!!!!!

posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 11:39 PM

originally posted by: Night Star
Oh man, now I'm left in suspense! I was at the edge of my seat. YES I want to read more!!!!!!

I'm on it.

posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 11:40 PM

Chapter 2

Silence Follows

None of them knew how long they stayed in the bunker.
It could have been minutes passing them by, or it could have been hours. None of them cared enough to keep track. Their minds were muddled, their thoughts racing, the horrific image of the cloud haunting them as they attempted to remain calm.
When they first arrived, Sandra had almost stormed out of the bunker, almost ventured up the hill to find her uncle. There was no telling how disastrous the situation outside had gotten, no telling if her uncle could have survived, or even if he was still in town. It took every ounce of her will to keep herself inside, to refrain from acting as recklessly as she wanted to. And even if she decided to leave the bunker, she doubted that her trembling legs would carry her very far. Everything still weighed on her; it felt as though she was living a nightmare, and the shock of it hadn’t dampened at all. Her stomach kept turning and she thought she’d vomit at any second.
The bunker mostly composed of a large U-shaped area, the entrance of it leading first to Dorian’s cluttered countertop off to the left, and around the corner—on the opposite side of the left wall—was the kitchen area. Across from the entrance and the kitchen was a pair of beds on either side of the wall, both of them intended for Dorian and Sandra. In between the foot of two beds was a skinny door that led to the bathroom, and next to the kitchen was another door leading to Dorian’s stash of firearms. Sandra never entered that room before, and hopefully, she wouldn’t have to.
Alan sat on the right bed, Church on the left, while Ryujin sat cross legged on the floor with his back against the wall. Nobody spoke.
Dorian’s counter extended along the entire left wall; it was built onto the metal structure, and it held a wide variety of objects and papers.
Sandra’s palms were pressed against her jaw as she leaned on the only open space atop the counter. Her elbows rested on a few loose papers, and a few inches away from her was her uncle’s white coffee mug. The mug was mostly full, and the coffee was completely black. Sandra stared endlessly into the coffee in an almost trancelike way. She loved coffee just as much as Dorian did, but she never understood how he could drink it black without adding any creamers or sugars. Black coffee was disgusting.
It was strange that he’d left a full cup of coffee behind, too. Dorian never let coffee go unconsumed.
The numerous posters, all having pictures and messages that Sandra never paid any mind to before, were seeping into her mind the longer she stared at them. The closest one was directly in front of her, one that displayed an average American family darting through a freshly mowed back yard, running from the missiles falling from the sky and the atomic cloud in the distance. The wording strewn along the top of the poster was the part that really struck Sandra’s heart. It was a line of thick bold letters, reading; YOU’LL NEVER KNOW IT TILL IT HAPPENS.
Many of the posters were patriot propaganda, some of them decorated with pictures of blue coated colonials from old America and others covered in malicious quotes from world leaders and images of terror attacks or martial law.
The posters always seemed like images of a very far away world, a world of conspiracies and crazy events that only ever happened in books or movies. Sandra never imagined that she’d live through it. It was unthinkable.
In fact, she’d voiced that opinion to Dorian before. Sandra had told him how ridiculous it sounded. How likely was it that they’d ever experience a worst case scenario? And why should she believe anything he said about it in the first place?
“Because I know how things work.” He would answer whenever she’d ask the same skeptical questions. “I’m not saying we’re gonna live through a holocaust. This isn’t some big future I’m preparing for, kiddo. It’s for now. Self-reliance solves all problems, big and small. I just want us to be taken care of no matter what happens. We won’t run out of food if we know how to grow it or hunt it. We won’t run out of electricity if we own our own solar panels and generators. You get what I’m saying, right?”
But there was a holocaust, Sandra thought, becoming overwhelmed by her feelings of sadness and anxiety, her shaking hands cradling her head and her fingers digging into her scalp. There was a holocaust, and now… now, what the hell do we do? Where are you, Uncle?
Sandra looked down at the papers under her arms. Dorian’s messy handwriting covered most of the pages, as well as a couple of rough sketches of maps and other things. Then, Sandra pushed aside Dorian’s chainsaw blade in order to reach the knob on the radio which sat against the wall. Her uncle often listened to a lot of alternative news stations. Perhaps they would know what was going on.
The radio powered on, and the bunker was immediately filled with a headache inducing static. The sound of a screaming voice could be heard amidst the interference, but only barely. Sandra listened to the broadcast very closely until she was able to piece together the sentences being spoken by the radio host. Church and Alan were noticeably annoyed, but Ryujin was listening intently just like Sandra.

edit on Xx541111131PM111 by XxNightAngelusxX because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 11:43 PM
“… encourage all patriots to resist these attempts to the fullest of their abilities. I repeat, we have confirmed strikes on all the major cities on the east coast, and some on the west. DC has been hit. New York City has been hit. Boston has been hit. Miami has been hit. Houston has been hit. Chicago has been hit. Kansas City has been hit. Los Angelus has been hit. Las Vegas has been hit.”
Las Vegas was the one we saw, Sandra thought. The mushroom cloud we saw was from Vegas, I bet…
“Dallas has been hit. No word yet on Austin or San Antonio. No word yet on Albuquerque. No word yet on Denver. No word yet on Phoenix. No word yet on Seattle…”
“Turn that garbage off!” Alan yelled through the static, but Sandra ignored him and continued listening to the listing of cities, her spirit sinking more and more as she did. To think of so many people dying all at once… it was horrible… sickening…
“No word yet on Vancouver. No word yet on Portland. No word yet on Oklahoma City. Smaller towns are in panic, some being forcibly detained and evacuated, others left to their own devices. We advise all patriots to resist these attempts to the fullest of your ability. We advise all who fight for freedom to keep the spirit of 1776 alive. Follow the spade to sanctuary. Follow the spade to sanctuary…”
The static consumed the broadcast. Sandra shut the radio off.
“Well, that was annoying.” Alan snapped, reaching his feet. “Annoying, and unhelpful, and downright delusional. Your typical right-wing idiot playing with radio equipment. What was all that rambling at the end? 1776? Follow a spade to sanctuary? How idiotic is that?”
Alan spoke more quickly than usual. He inched closer and closer to Sandra with each word. Understandably, he looked positively shaken. The stress of the situation was getting to him.
“I don’t know what it means.” Sandra replied tonelessly. “Don’t get worked up.”
“Don’t—don’t get worked up? Oh I’m sorry, did we not just witness some kind of terrorist attack on our country? Did we not just run from an atomic or a nuclear blast? Did we not just escape certain death? Do I not have a right to be worked up—”
Church stomped towards Alan and wrapped his thick hands around his throat, smashing him into the metal wall. Alan struggled against Church, but he couldn’t break away.
“Quit it!” Sandra forced herself in between them, shoving Church away from Alan.
Ryujin was on his feet now. He joined by Sandra’s side, both of them glaring defensively at Church.
Alan regathered himself and fixed his glasses.
They all went quiet for a few short seconds.
“Listen, you fat #.” Sandra snarled through gritted teeth. “We’re not gonna start fighting in here. I’m the only one who knows where the guns are, and so help me God, if you put your hands on any of us again, I’ll personally blow your #ing brains out. You’re free to leave if you want.” She snapped her fingers and pointed at the door. “I didn’t have to bring you here, and I won’t keep you here if you keep acting like this.”
Church looked very much like a bomb that was about to detonate. His large face was fading scarlet, his hands curling up and his teeth gnawing on his bottom lip.
Contrary to what she’d said, Sandra barely had the nerve to hit Church, much less shoot him. Still, she wasn’t about to let Church bully her friend. Alan was being an insufferable twat, but considering the circumstances, Sandra couldn’t blame him.
“It was a code.” Ryujin’s calm voice broke the brief silence. “The end of the broadcast was some kind of code for a select group of people. That’s the only thing it could have been.”
“Yeah, code for what? Follow the leader? How do you follow a spade, anyway? What—do we ride on a magic shovel to our salvation?” Alan said. “It’s completely ridiculous.”
“Alan.” Sandra dug her fingers into her temple, slowly turning to him. “Please. Shut up.”
Church returned to the bedside where he was sitting moments ago.
Alan scoffed. “What? Am I wrong? Hm? Can you honestly tell me I’m wrong?”
“You’re annoying. Shut up.” Sandra said much more directly, and at that, Alan stopped talking.
When Alan walked away, Sandra and Ryujin met eyes.
Sandra averted her gaze and went back to her uncle’s counter.
More time passed, and the bunker remained quiet.
Ryujin leaned on the counter beside Sandra and examined her.
“Everything will be fine.” He said softly. “All we can do is stay together and wait out the storm.”
Sandra nodded without speaking. The two of them had never talked to one another before now, and besides that, she didn’t feel up to talking. Everything and everyone made her nauseous.
“So…” Sandra started, feeling rude for not replying. “Do you have family out there?”
“Yes. Not my parents.” Ryujin crossed his arms and leaned his back on the counter’s edge. “My parents are back in Kyoto, but my little brother is out there somewhere.”
“Oh. My uncle is, too.” Sandra responded. “Hopefully we’ll find them soon.”
They met eyes again.
Ryujin gave her a slight bow.
“We haven’t properly been introduced yet. Masashige Ryujin.” He said. “Nice to meet you.”
“Oh, uh… Sandra Levy. Nice to meet you too. Hajimema#e.” Sandra replied.
Ryujin smirked. “You speak Japanese?”
“No, not really.” Sandra answered. “Sorry if I didn’t say it right. I don’t know much Japanese.”
“You did well for not knowing much Nihongo.”
“Hey, listen… there’s plenty of food stored up in the boxes in the back of the kitchen.” Sandra informed, making a loose gesture towards the wall. “Help yourself to anything you want.”
“I will. Arigato.” Ryujin said with a faint smile.
He stood upright and walked around the corner, vanishing into the kitchen. He wouldn’t eat anything, though. None of them would have a meal for the rest of the day. They wouldn’t have been able to keep food down if they tried.

posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 11:45 PM
* * *

The evening following the holocaust was perhaps the longest one Sandra ever had to experience. Nobody dared to leave the bunker yet, and presumably around the time of sunset, they were all exhausted. Sandra claimed the bed across from the bunker’s entrance, so that she’d be the first to know if her uncle arrived—or if they received any unexpected company.
Alan didn’t feel comfortable sleeping near Church, so Sandra fashioned him a makeshift sleeping bag out of a bundle of blankets in the firearms room. Sandra explicitly ordered him not to touch any of the weapons inside the room, and not to let Church or Ryujin enter it without her permission. Church slept on the opposite bed and Sandra was able to hear a few muffled sobs escape him before he finally lost consciousness. Ryujin was awake almost as long as Sandra, lying on the floor beside her bed and covered in what blankets weren’t being used by Alan, Sandra, or Church. Sandra offered him the bed, but he insisted on sleeping on the floor.
Sandra wasn’t sure how long she lie in the silence, gazing into the posters on the ceiling and letting her thoughts run rampant. Why did Dorian disappear? Was he in the house when the crisis started? And if that was the case, why didn’t he reach the bunker in time? Sandra and her peers were able to run clear across town and hide themselves in the bunker when it all started. Dorian should have had enough time to make a quick sprint down the driveway. Maybe he simply didn’t notice the mushroom cloud in time. Maybe he simply had no forewarning of the event, before…
No, that didn’t make any sense. Nobody was more paranoid than Dorian, and nobody in the world had prepared for this day more than he did. If a doomsday were to daunt on America’s doorstep, he’d be the first to know about it, and he’d be the lunatic rushing into town to warn everyone, screaming at the top of his lungs at the cars and pedestrians and flailing his arms, shouting something along the lines of “The bombs are coming! The bombs are coming!”
Sandra snickered to herself at the thought. A sense of guilt swept over immediately; she shouldn’t have been giggling about anything right now. The world was coming to an end around them. How could she possibly have a reason to laugh? What gave her the right to be happy at a time like this?
Still, while thinking of her uncle’s antics, it was hard not to smile.
Now, the solar panels on the roof of their house and the mountain of boxes of food in the kitchen didn’t seem so pointless. Sandra remembered when the mountain of food boxes was only a stack of three, back when she was ten years old, when her uncle’s preps were in their early stages. He’d tried numerous times to teach her how to hunt, using a bb gun for practice, but Sandra never showed any interest in it.
One of Sandra’s fondest memories of Dorian appeared in her mind. It was a day like any other, and she sat upright in bed after hearing the familiar distant yelling of her uncle calling her name. She didn’t move from her bed for about five minutes, silently hoping that Dorian would give up, but he didn’t.
“Sandra! Sandra! Saaaaandra!”
“Oh my God.” Sandra grumbled irritably, tossing her covers aside and marching out of her bedroom. “It’s a bit… fu**ing… early… Uncle…”
Sandra, still only wearing her blank tank top and pajama pants, pushed the back door open so hard the door knob slammed into the exterior of the house. Sandra squinted into the sunlight, noticeably annoyed, her hair completely askew, her breaths heavy, and her jaw slightly crooked due to her teeth grinding together.
Then, she was met with a very bizarre sight. She blinked several times, halfway convinced that her eyes were playing tricks on her.
In the back yard of their home was a beekeeping box, a handmade box of wood that contained a large nest of bees. Dorian kept them so that he could store their honey. He believed that natural honey was one of the best foods and medicines in the world. But the beekeeping box wasn’t the strange thing; Dorian stood with most of his protective suit on, all but his headgear, and both of his arms were completely covered in a thick layer of buzzing bees. Sandra wasn’t even able to see her uncle’s fingertips underneath the blanket of bugs.
Dorian stood stock still, wearing a somewhat childish smile when he met eyes with Sandra.
Sandra’s mouth hung open. The first thought to hit her mind was a question; how could he be playing with bees without all his protective gear on? He’s allergic to bees. Is he completely stupid?
“Hey, kiddo.” Dorian said. “I have a problem.”
“Yeah, no #.” Sandra replied. “Go down the hill and jump in the creek. Drown them.”
“I can’t do that, I’ll lose my bees.”
“I need my bees.”
“Come take my gloves off for me, kiddo. Put the gloves in the box.”
“But then your hands will be exposed. You’ll get stung.”
“Naaah, I’ll be fine. Come on, you can do it. Just be careful.”
To this day, Sandra remembered how unsettling it’d been to try grabbing the gloves around her uncle’s hands without agitating any of the bees on him. The nuzzling of their wings and their tiny hairy bodies against her fingers was a strange feeling that she’d never forget.

posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 11:46 PM
That wasn’t the only instance that Dorian had solicited her into helping him with a weird project. No, that was one of many times… but for some reason, that one particular event stuck out in her mind more than the others. There was something unspeakably memorable about finding your uncle covered in pet bees in the back yard.
Hot tears rolled down both sides of her face and seeped into her ears. Sandra wanted very much to go and find him, but where was she supposed to look? The status of the world outside the bunker’s door was a complete mystery to her. She couldn’t know how safe it was out there.
More memories of her uncle surfaced in her mind without her permission. Part of her wished that they’d go away, but a stronger part of her clung to them, his scent, his shining blue-green eyes, his excited voice…
It became harder and harder for her to stifle the urge to cry.
Perhaps Sandra loved him much more than she thought. Now, the idea of living without him seemed like a horrible atrocity, like something she simply couldn’t bear…
One memory stayed prominent in her mind over the rest now, a memory of one of Dorian’s random lectures. One day, he’d dragged Sandra into the bunker to walk her through the process of evacuating the house during an emergency, and he went on to explain how to use the water purification tablets if the water ever stopped working, or what supplements to take in order to protect one’s self from radiation poisoning… seaweed… something about seaweed…
“It’s good for you!” Dorian had said a long time ago, when he and Sandra stood in the kitchenette of the bunker during his lesson. He took a large bite of the dried rectangle of seaweed in his hands and chewed on it loudly. “Full of iodine. You want a whole lot of seaweed in your system if you have to go exploring in a fallout. Or iodine tablets. Either one works. But I like seaweed… like the way it tastes. See, consuming the iodine will help your thyroid to absorb good iodine before you go out there and get exposed to radioactive iodine. If you already have iodine in your system, your body won’t absorb the bad stuff once you’re out there and exposed to it.”
Sandra sat up and stood, carefully stepping over Ryujin and entering the kitchen area. The kitchenette was the only section of the bunker with its lights on. Inside the drawer across from the fridge, Sandra found the little yellow bottle of iodine tablets that her uncle had stashed.
Thank God, she thought. I was hoping I wouldn’t have to rely on seaweed.
Sandra then took a bottle of water from the fridge and inhaled four of the large tablets with one swig.
“What else did he say… more… there’s more…” Sandra mumbled as she tried to recall the rest of her uncle’s rant.
It came to her in the seconds following.
“Uh-huh. And why would we go outside if there’s a fallout?” Sandra had asked him back then.
“Because we might have to.” He’d answered. “Sandra, this bunker is probably the only thing we’re ever going to need. But if that’s not the case… if something really, really drastic happens… we’ll have to go outside. We’ll have to go somewhere else.”
“Oh really. And where’s that?”
“To Sanctum, of course. You know, that place your uncle Carter and I go, the place you never let me take you? Yeah, that’s our failsafe. It’s directly north of here. I don’t see why you won’t just take a road trip with me, just once. I’d love for you to see the place. If we ever had to rebuild our country, we’d start at Sanctum. You’d love it there. You really would.”
Sandra stared at Church’s wide back as he slept. Her eyes were empty, and her flashback ended, leaving her with only hints of answers. Sanctum—that was the place Dorian would talk about, the place up north where he would go to meet with friends and work on bigger projects that Sandra didn’t care about. Sandra never went to Sanctum. She never thought about the place twice, and she had no idea where it was, or how far away it was from their home town.
“Sanctuary…” Sandra whispered. “Follow the spade to sanctuary…”

posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 11:47 PM
a reply to: XxNightAngelusxX

Yay! I'm saving it to read tomorrow. Looking forward to it! Thanks!!!

posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 11:48 PM
The radio broadcast might have had something to do with Sanctum. But how likely was that? Dorian managed to build a bunker and to scrounge a few livable resources own on his property, but to put together a whole network of preppers? To invent a code phrase to be played on the radio in case of a catastrophe? And if it all was some elaborate plan created by Dorian, then why didn’t he tell her about it?
Well, maybe he had told her about it, and she just tuned him out. That was completely possible…
It didn’t matter now.
The hours she’d spent in the bunker felt like days, or months, or years.
It was too much.
Sandra pulled the drawer open again and reached into the back, where her fingers connected with a thick padding of leather. It was a holster, the holster for her nine millimeter berretta, the handgun Dorian had purchased for her sixteenth birthday. Sandra had never fired it before, and it felt unusually heavy to carry, but she’d have to get used to it.
After securing the belt through the loops of her pants and placing the gun on her hip, Sandra searched around until she found one of her uncle’s jackets on the stand near the door. It was a long, thin black coat that reached all the way down to her shins, with two long stringy flaps dangling down the back that she didn’t bother to tie. She made a final trip into the kitchen to grab a couple of bottled waters and her uncle’s bottle of iodine tablets.
At the end of the counter, near the door, two large backpacks sat on top of each other in a lumpy formation. They were Sandra and Dorian’s bugout bags, the contents of which were entirely unknown to Sandra, but she didn’t care. Whatever she needed, it would be in her bag. Her uncle had great judgment regarding these crazy situations, apparently.
His bag is still here, Sandra thought as she squinted at both of the backpacks, the camo one on top—which belonged to her—and the black one on the bottom—the one that belonged to her uncle. He didn’t just leave me here. I know he wouldn’t leave me. Wherever he is… he needs help. He’s still alive. I know he is. I can feel it.
The clip in her handgun was full, but the gun itself was on safety. That was the way Dorian kept all his guns. Loaded, but safety-checked. Sandra stuffed the waters and tablets into her bugout bag and slung it on, wrapping the straps around her arms and sighing. Just before reaching for the door handle, Sandra turned back to the counter, lifted her uncle’s mug of black coffee, and chugged all of it in a few big gulps. She placed the empty cup down and headed for the door again. The end of her uncle’s sleek overcoat flapped behind her legs as she marched out of the bunker, closing the heavy metal door as quietly as she possibly could.
Outside, the night seemed the same as ever; there were no signs of a doomsday, at least not yet. The air was as sweet and clean as she remembered it, but Sandra couldn’t see all of the stars in the sky as she usually could. The dark sky looked thick with clouds, thicker than it should have, thicker than it ever had before.
Her heart gave a couple of nervous thumps.
Sandra marched up the hill and stepped onto her driveway. Overlooking Las Nueva Era, the town was as still as death. No sound, no lights, no movement whatsoever. Many of the cars had been abandoned on the streets, and up the driveway, the house sat untouched. There were no lights inside of the home, but Sandra would check it anyway.
Predictably, all of the rooms in her home were empty. Dorian was nowhere to be found.
He wouldn’t have been in the house, or in town. If he was within walking distance of the bunker, he would have gone there straight away to meet up with Sandra. Where on earth could he have gone?
Could he have absconded to Sanctum without her?
Could Uncle Dorian have given up on Sandra, realizing that she had no care for surviving with him, that she had no care for him in general?
Dorian wouldn’t have left her behind, would he?
From both of her eyes, a line of makeup was streaming down her cheeks. Sandra couldn’t stop the tears now, and as she stood by her lonesome on the top of her driveway, staring over the town where she once lived—the main street, where she walked to and from school every day, the pub where she would buy her favorite cherry floats, the hospital where Dorian would take her for her checkups when she was a child—she let out a huge, slow breath, and with that exhalation, she released more than air; it felt as if Sandra was letting go of everything all at once, every daily routine, every conversation with her uncle, every spat with her teacher, Mr. Knowles. No… the school, the hospital, the roads of Las Nueva Era… they weren’t safe anymore. They wouldn’t play host to her peaceful life anymore. Those roads ought to be feared, just like the buildings, just like the classrooms, just like the rest of the world, because there was no telling what dangers lurked amongst them now.
The safety that Sandra once took for granted was gone forever. Nobody would ever know that life again.
The world, as she knew it, really had come to an end.
Sandra sank into a sitting position and didn’t move. Her hands wandered through her backpack’s pockets as she kept the bag in her lap, searching aimlessly for something that might magically provide some sort of solution to her mountain of problems. There were three other teenagers in her bunker, and Sandra didn’t know what to do with them or how to look after them. Not to mention, her uncle was missing.
When her hand slid into a side pocket, something round and metal found its way into her palm. Sandra pulled the object out and stared at it. It was a thick gold-plated compass, and from it hung a thin chain. The dainty arrow behind the glass of the compass was fatter than most compass arrows. It was a rounder shape, a black shape with a point at its end…
“Spade.” Sandra said.
Indeed, the arrow of the compass looked identical to a spade. It swiveled northward and stayed on that direction without moving.
Follow the spade to sanctuary.
In a flash, Sandra was on her feet again.
It wasn’t much, but it was a lead. That was more than enough for her.
Sandra walked down the road leading out of Las Nueva Era without a second thought, intending to follow the spade no matter how far it took her.
And what a long journey it would be.

[End, stay tuned for chapter 3]
edit on Xx553111131PM111 by XxNightAngelusxX because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 9 2016 @ 12:17 AM
Ahh cool to see you writing this again. Was quite the fun experience when we had the group writing. Can't wait to see what you do with this version!

posted on Jan, 9 2016 @ 08:50 PM
Can't wait to read more! Hurry up! LOL

posted on Jan, 10 2016 @ 01:07 AM

Chapter 3

New World

Sandra’s legs ached terribly when midnight hit.
The isolated road that she followed was nowhere near any towns or cities. Sandra wasn’t sure what state populated areas of the country were in, but by now, there must have been a lot of people swarming the streets in utter panic. Those who survived the apocalypse, that is. A great deal of the population was probably wiped out in all of the blasts. The greatest cities in the country were now nothing more than some of the world’s largest gravesites.
Sandra needed to avoid populated areas at all costs. Thankfully, this road wasn’t taking her to any form of civilization. At least, it didn’t appear to be… not yet…
Back at the bunker, Alan and Church were still lost in their restless slumbers. Ryujin stirred himself awake, unable to get comfortable because he needed to use the bathroom. He noticed that Sandra’s bed was empty when he stood. He stepped between the two beds and inched into the narrow bathroom, did his business, and returned to his sleeping spot on the floor. He figured that Sandra simply became anxious and decided to check her home for any sign of her uncle, and she would probably return soon…
More time passed.
By the time Sandra was long gone from the bunker, Alan, Church, and Ryujin awoke. It was about nine in the morning when they all regained consciousness.
The three of them were unusually quiet.
This was the first morning following the great holocaust. It would be a long, terrible morning, for them and for every other survivor in the world.
Alan emerged from Dorian’s weapon room after sleeping in between two small walls lined with various firearms. It was an uneasy way to sleep, but to him, it was better than sleeping in the same room as his personal school bully.
Church sat on the edge of his bed with his forehead resting in his two large hands, while Ryujin remained crouched on the floor, rifling through his backpack.
“Where’s Sandra?” Alan asked.
Ryujin shook his head. Church said nothing.
“She disappeared last night.” Ryujin answered. “I thought she was only stepping out to look for her uncle, but she hasn’t come back yet. She may have left for good.”
“That’s ridiculous. Where would she go?” Alan stated. “There’s nowhere she could go that’s safe.”
“Should we go look?” Church said. “I mean… should we look for her?”
Alan and Ryujin both turned to Church.
“Tch. You’re out of your mind, lummox.” Alan said. “And since when do you care about anyone but yourself? I don’t buy it for a second, Church. You can go out there and get eaten alive with radiation or nuclear fire if you want to. Sandra’s an idiot for leaving on her own. She’s insane. And if you all want to follow her like lunatics, be my guest. I’m staying here.”
Ryujin was on his feet now, standing against the wall and listening quietly. Church merely gazed up at Alan with an astonished look on his face.
“That’s fu**ed up, man. You’re a pussy.” Church said.
Alan blinked. “Excuse me?”
“You’re a pussy, dude. That girl punched me in the jaw yesterday because I was messing with you, and you’re alright with just leaving her out there to die? That’s fu**ed up.”
“Excuse me, but you don’t get to tell me what’s #ed up, you stupid, pompous, overfed—”
“Shut up!” Church shot upwards and grabbed Alan by the throat. “She ain’t here to protect your sorry ass now. You don’t think I’ll snap your little neck in half? Try me.”
Church launched Alan backwards, making him stumble several times before regaining his balance.
“You can only put your hands on me so many times…” Alan gasped. “Before… before I…”
“Before you what?” Church sneered. “What’re you gonna do? Huh, big man? What?”
Ryujin stepped between them and waved a hand in the air as if ordering them to stop fighting.
Alan and Church turned their attention on Ryujin when he opened the door to Dorian’s weapon room. Inside, they saw all of the firearms along each wall, as well as the crinkled blankets that Alan had slept on.
“Sandra told me not to let anyone else in there.” Alan said.
Ryujin shot him a very serious look. “I bet she didn’t tell you what to do if we’re left here on our own. Sandra didn’t tell us that she was leaving, she just assumed that we would be safe here with the weapons and the food.”
“Well… we are, aren’t we?” Alan asked. “What do we need to use the guns for?”
Ryujin began to examine the firearms. “To find Sandra, of course.”
“We’re going after her?” Church said. “Dibbs on a shotgun.”
“No. We’re only taking one gun. Only one.” Ryujin said flatly. “There’s no need to carry more weapons than we know how to use. And no disrespect to either of you, but I think I’m the only one of use who’s even wielded a weapon before.”
Alan gulped and went quiet. He didn’t want to know why Ryujin had wielded weapons in the past.
“I have too.” Church protested. “I’ve carried lots of weapons.”
“Bats and sticks don’t count.” Ryujin told him. “I don’t mean any random blunt objects that you can get your hands on. I mean real weapons. Proper ones, like… like this.”
Ryujin zeroed in on one rifle in particular, a black M1 with a strap for carrying, and not only that, but the end of the barrel was equipped with a double sided blade that was about seven inches long. It was two weapons in one.
At the foot of this rifle was a box of ammunition. The box didn’t contain much ammo, probably because the bullets for this rifle were so very big. Ryujin lifted the bladed gun with one hand and carried it, as well as the box of ammo, out of the weapon room. He kicked the door shut behind him before kneeling over his backpack and stuffing the ammo box into one of the front pockets.
“Grab whatever you can and fill your backpacks.” Ryujin ordered. “Just grab small things. Dehydrated food, cans of sardines, a couple bottles of water… whatever is light enough for you to carry.”
“You’re serious.” Alan said, trying to mask his anxiety. “We’re really going out there.”
“She’s your friend.” Ryujin retorted very forwardly. “I would think you’d want to go after her more than any of us.”
Alan fell silent.
“Pussy.” Church pushed Alan aside and approached the countertop near the door.
“Sandra’s being foolish. I just don’t want any of us going down the same path and paying ultimately for it.” Alan told them.

edit on Xx70710131AM11 by XxNightAngelusxX because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 10 2016 @ 01:10 AM
“No, you just don’t want to get hurt. You’re afraid.” Ryujin replied. “It’s normal to be afraid in a situation like this… but if you’re not willing to put your fear aside for someone you care about, then what are you even surviving for? You’ve got nothing to stand for if you put yourself before everyone else. You've got no honor.”
Alan opened his mouth to argue, but he couldn’t think of a response.
“Fine.” Alain threw his hands up. “Fine, great, well and good. Yes, let’s march off to our deaths. And when we find Sandra, I’m tearing her a new one. Look there, one of the to-go bags is still here.” He pointed at Dorian’s abandoned bugout bag. “Someone grab that bag. It’s probably got a lot of useful gear in it. Church, why don’t you carry it? Make yourself a bit useful for once. And I’ll carry the geiger counter.”
Ryujin gave Alan a peculiar squint.
Alan picked up a rectangular handheld device from Dorian’s countertop. It was a dark vanilla color, and it had a small screen on the front along with a variety of buttons.
“The what?” Church said, staring at the device. “What is that thing?”
“It’s a geiger counter, you idiot.” Alan told him. “It’s meant for detecting radiation. This is a rather small one. Usually, they’re bigger than this.”
“If it works, then bring it along.” Ryujin said.
Alan nodded.
“Alright. Look around this place for a little more than canned food and bottled water.” Alan instructed. “I’m sure this prepping lunatic had walkie-talkies somewhere. We’d also need a handheld emergency radio, like the one on the counter, but smaller. He might not have one of those. Or if he does, it would be for travelling, which means it would be in his bag.”
Alan looked over to Church, who had Dorian’s bugout bag halfway on. Then, Alan extended his arm expectantly, waiting for Church to hand it over.
Church slung the backpack at Alan. He barely caught it, then spun it around, opened the largest pocket, and stuck his arm into it. There were a lot of things in the backpack, but Alan didn’t stop groping through the items until he found the thing he was looking for. It was a small black radio with a retractable antenna, a tiny panel on the back for absorbing solar power, and a hand crank. This radio was meant to keep itself working without batteries or plugs. That was exactly what they needed.
“You’re smart.” Ryujin said. “How’d you know that would be in there?”
“I didn’t. It was just a logical assumption.” Alan answered. “Glad I was right. We’ll need this if we want to keep track of what’s going on in the world. There are bound to be a lot of alternative news stations that stay on the radar, specifically for survivors like us.”
Ryujin and Alan stuffed their school bags with as much as they could carry, careful not to weigh themselves down too much. Church didn’t bother with his backpack, as he already had a bugout bag to carry. Ryujin made sure to scour the bunker one last time in search of ammunition for the rifle he had claimed before they departed the place for good.
After they walked to the top of the hill, the town came into view. It was a shadow of what it had been the day before. Now, it was only an abandoned, desolate ghost town. It was almost unrecognizable as their home.
“Which way did she go?” Church asked, looking up and down each end of the road.
“She wouldn’t have taken the road into town. That was the direction we saw the mushroom cloud.” Ryujin replied. “The only other way to go is north.”
Alan couldn’t tear his gaze from the town. He tried his best to keep his growing fear in check, but seeing Las Nueva Era so empty, so without life, was dreadful. The sky carried a thick overcast, which kept the sunlight from beating down on the world as it usually would this time of morning. Although their environment appeared still and unthreatening, the drastic change was clear, and all of them understood that nothing would ever be the same.
Alan almost wanted to return to the bunker, lock the door, and never step outside again. But with Sandra missing, that wasn’t an option. They’d just have to follow the road and hope for the best.
Keeping up a brisk pace meant that they would reach her before she could wander off again.

The night bled into a murky morning, and Sandra woke up without remembering when she’d fallen asleep. Grass blades nuzzled her face, itching her skin. The dew made the outside of her overcoat damp, but it felt nice.
The previous night, Sandra had taken refuge underneath a very large weeping willow. She’d slept in the grass and waited for the sun to rise. The walk exhausted her.
Now, sitting upright and blinking herself awake, Sandra still had the spaded compass held firmly in her hand. Now wasn’t the time to worry about her sore legs, her empty stomach, or her dry mouth. She could worry about her own needs once she reached Sanctum, once she knew that Dorian was alright.
The road had taken her to the outskirts of the town. Sandra spent half the night traveling through a heavily wooded area on the back road, and once the trees began to vanish from her view and were replaced by an open sky, she gave in to her tiredness. The weeping willow stood just outside of the small forest, alongside the road that continued northward towards areas unknown. Staring down the road, Sandra couldn’t make out any clear destinations; most of the land ahead of her was flat and probably uninhabited.
Sandra was hunched over, sitting with her arms wrapped around her legs and her back against the bottom of the tree. She didn’t move from this position for quite a while, simply watching the emptiness of Nevada and trying to estimate how long of a journey was ahead of her.

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