Legendarystory, the Old Soul
Join date: 2011-05-12
Location: a World of Standards, Arid-Zone-A
|Subject: What Happened in Arizona [Edit: some of this needs to be changed] Sat Nov 19, 2011 3:24 am|| |
The Calm Before the Storm: a Prologue
In the dream cloud of thunder and lightning, a room is illuminated. The sound of thunder triggers my sympathetic branch of my autonomic nervous system, my digestion is slowed, blood is drained from the periphery, my adrenal glands are signaled, hormones flood into the blood stream. My skin becomes ashen. My perception is elevated. I noticed the gleam of a knife, the shine of medical instruments. The whiteness. My heart beats faster. I hear a door open and close, a cold, sterilized air washes into the room. The surgeon walks in, I try to talk, and then move, but fail. The surgeon comes closer to me; I see the eyes, the cold calculating eyes. And then, I’m on a beach. Wet sand between my toes, the ocean breeze flowing through my hair. Darkness. Screams of people. Explosions. The flow of time slows. Details flood my senses. The smell of burnt flesh, scorched earth, petroleum, burning paper. Shadows, people, buildings – moving, changing, halting. Silence. The silence seemed eternal, yet I knew the end was not here. Then the alarm. The wailing of a siren, signaling a bomb drop. Bombs; nuclear warheads. A flash, a shock wave, the explosion. I looked up to see the clouds rising, filled with radiation and slowly falling with obvious intent. I shivered and stood defiant, accepting my fate. White permeated my every sensory organ. I saw white, heard white, felt white. It burned within me a radioactive fire that destroyed my physical shell.
My eyes open up to nothingness. It was too early for the sun to be up, so I could not see the fan attached to the ceiling. I turned and sat up, sitting on the edge of my bed. I felt a little lightheaded, because the sudden change in elevation the amount of blood flowing to my head sharply declined. I stood up and looked at the time on my cell-phone, it was 4:38am. I could go back to sleep, or get ready and be early to school. I decided on the latter of those two. So I went to the bathroom and brushed my teeth. Then I set about my daily routine.
According to my cell-phone it was 6:15am when I decided to leave the house, which meant I would get to school about 15 minutes early, as opposed to needing to push myself harder in order to get to my zero hour on time. From there, my day was fairly normal, up until around 5th hour, right after lunch. I began having the strangest feeling of Déjà-vu; I looked up at the hands of the clock, 12:40. It was as if I had suddenly been plunged into an ice bath, my body felt as if all energy deserted me. I sat there in my chair fearing some unknown event. The clock ticked on and on and on.
From the sky there fell, vessels of an unknown origin, carrying with them, the destruction of civilization.
A virus, from an unknown maker, infected the computer terminals of all the worlds’ governments. This virus activated the launch sequences to thousands of silos. And when the bombs hit the world stood still. As whole cities fell into radioactive dust. Few towns escaped the bombing unscathed, but most were destroyed by the radiation. But not all the bombs carried with them the nuclear material that so obliterated the earth. The missile that hit phoenix Arizona, for instance, was only a firebomb, ten times more powerful than the firebombing of Dresden. As if Arizona needed more heat. The firebomb devoured the city of Phoenix like a hungry serpent. It appeared as if hell itself had claimed the city in its serpentine grasp. Millions of people died, the fire itself grew and became gargantuan spreading to Scottsdale and the surrounding areas. Hospitals burned to the ground, police stations turned to glass, and nothing escaped this fiery serpent. Three weeks the fire burned, finding new bits of dry wood or other flammable material. The scene at Saguaro was particularly grisly.
I was at Saguaro as a tutor; I had night classes at the college so I could help students during the day at Saguaro. I had a love for Biology, but I needed to know quite a bit of chemistry, so I tutored, because teaching someone something is the best way to solidify that knowledge.
At 12:45 we got an announcement warning us not to go outside. 12:47 we heard the contact explosion. At 12:52 we lost power. And then the smell of burning material seemed to seep through the walls and up my nostrils. I didn’t need anyone to tell me that a firebomb had just hit, which was obvious to me. What I didn’t know was how close to the impact we were and how much time we had until the chemical fire consumed the school, or even reached the school. I also understood that it would be a really bad idea to stay next to the chemistry lab as there are gas pumps, and once the fire reaches the site, we’d be dead. So I decided to be a leader, something I seldom ever wish to do in any circumstance. So I stood up and took out my cell-phone to use as a light, and said as calmly as I could, that we should all move to a safer location, such as the bomb-shelter beneath the gymnasium and auditorium. My fellow classmates seemed to agree, or at least were glad someone was doing something and taking charge. We all managed to get inside before the fire swept over the school.
The first hint of that the fire was here was the explosion that knocked some of the students to the floor. I thought it was the science building blowing up, but later I would find out that another, smaller, firebomb had hit the school and that there were many other smaller firebombs hitting the surrounding area. All we could do was wait. Luckily someone thought to bring the emergency bucket and water down with them when heading to the shelter. Everyone was quiet. I didn’t blame them, someone, some nation had just attacked the city, heck; the United States of America had just been attacked. After a couple of hours they started talking, some freaked out, some cried, some started blaming others, people became irrational. I sat next to Yuli; she looked like she needed a shoulder to cry on. As she did, I observed the shelter and it’s current refugees. I observed that some other classes made it to the shelter as well; a fight broke out, probably over something irrelevant, or rather, irrelevant to me. It seemed to me that panic was beginning to settle into the survivors. I wondered why I wasn’t feeling any sadness, or scared for my life.
A week passed, we were out of water. I went to the entrance of the shelter, the temperature increased sharply, I braved a little further, the door had been burned, and I would have to crawl out or move the rubble from the path. I moved some of the rubble only to have more fill its place. I guess crawling out was the only choice. I crawled out of the rubble to see what was left of the football field and stadium, which is to say lots of scorched earth and glass. Although, a bit of the stadium was still somewhat intact, which was surprising to me, and for what I could see, it was safe enough for the others to leave the shelter. The fires appeared to have burned there way to other parts of town, for I could see them in the distance. I went back to the shelter, my eyes had to readjust to the dim lighting of the shelter, it was then I noticed how much it resembled a mining cavern or shaft, dim-light and generally dark in appearance. After my eyes had adjusted I searched for my peers and fellow students. It didn’t take long; someone was fighting again, over what I don’t know. My presence seemed to have temporarily stalled them because as soon as I was within eye sight of the too combatants one stopped and then shortly thereafter the other did as well. I announced that I had gone outside and that it was safe to go out. The announcement was met with silence. I heard murmurs of people deciding what to do. After sometime had passed they decided to listen to me and go outside. I noted their initial reluctance; perhaps it was from fear, the fear of knowing what had happened and facing it. To me, at the moment, survival was of the greatest importance, what feelings I felt could be dealt with in time.
As the survivors of the firebombing emerged from the battered shelter they found a school that was largely destroyed, and still alit with fire. It may have been safe to leave, but the scene that greeted them was none to assuring. The view was filled with burning homes and charred bodies of those who had the misfortune of being outside when the bomb hit. Some still bore a semblance to who they used to be. The smell of charred meat filled the air, along with several other scents that could have only come from the buildings that once stood where the ruins of the school now lay. The group of students and what few teachers were left began to decide what to do next, some wanted to split from the group and go to their homes to see if anything or anyone had survived the bombing. What they didn’t know is that apart from the firebombing of Phoenix most of Arizona had been irradiated by nuclear warheads that had been dropped and detonated on impact. So essentially they and what few other survivors there were, were surround by an irradiated wasteland. Which for young Nicholas was the beginning of a new adventure to survive in this new world, this wasteland. The Storm had passed, he was unscathed, and there was more to come.
Now the teachers and the students had split into groups, some unwilling to let go of the faintest of hope that their loved ones were still alive and well. A hope that for many would be in vain. Young Nicholas knew his mother had died in the firebombing, the building she worked in was in Phoenix, where the first bomb hit, and he had accepted his mothers death, he knew that the firebomb would have likely incinerated her body and left very little to no remains whatsoever. Just as he accepted this new world, he accepted her death. Now, he would do what felt the most natural to him; he would observe and defend. Of the many survivors he would be the most likely to live for more than three weeks after the bombing, he knew how to survive in an urban environment with little food or water. He managed to convince some of his fellow peers and a few teachers to follow him, including Yuli. They travelled back to his house, to see if there was anything that could be salvaged, as the houses nearest the school had been completely destroyed by the firebomb that had hit the school. They passed an Albertsons that was still partially intact, he made note of it and decided that if the Sports Authority was still intact they would try and get some hiking/camping packs to pack some food into. Once they happened upon the location where Nicholas’ house once stood, they began their search.
Among some of the things they recovered from the wreckage, Nicholas found his machete and whetstone, he deemed that they could become invaluable in the future and when the group moved on, took them with him. From his house they scavenged the rest of the neighborhood, they found little of use to them at the time, what bags they found they shoved canned foods and water into, even if it wasn’t much. From there they travelled to the Sports’ Authority that, among some of the other buildings, still stood. Once the group arrived at the store and found the doors locked, they had a vote of what to do, it was decided that it was necessary to break into the shop so that they could salvage what they could and leave. Once inside they found that it was difficult to see, and of course the flashlights were at the back of the store, so as a group they went to get flashlights to better salvage the store. They left with new clothes, new gear, and more likely to survive this apocalypse.
In the weeks that followed, the group became as a tight-knit family, sharing experiences and stories as they travelled, searching for others who may have had the luck of living far away form the main city, or the other students and teachers that split from the group. Eventually, on one of Nicholas’ solo adventures he would find what became of some of the students, who had wandered away, suffice it to say, they had died of starvation or some food born illness gained from not properly cooking the food they found. Or so it appeared to Nicholas.
Years went by, and as the group travelled the bond between Nicholas and Yuli grew, and they became close. Their relationship grew, and life seemed to be taking a turn. Until the group came into sight of a town, a makeshift shantytown, made by a few people trying to build a secure place to live and farm. Unfortunately, as the group approached they saw that the little town was in trouble. A group of about ten raiders were approaching the settlement and they were armed with crude weapons, tire irons, bits of pipe and other wise blunt objects, only one had a gun and he looked to be the leader of the pack of raiders. They descended on the small settlement quietly and when one of the poor farmers saw them approaching he let out a yell to worn the others dwelling there, he was too late. A gunshot rang out and the man fell to the ground like a sack of potatoes. Which triggered a thought in Nicholas’ mind, and spurred him to tell his comrades to wait for him, as he dashed to the settlement taking with him the machete he’d honed for this purpose. His run quickly turned into a furtive jog. As he got closer he began to observe his surroundings and listen. He listened for the raiders their footsteps, their actions, and their voices. Knowing he was outnumbered, he tried to find the one with the gun. Which wasn’t particularly hard considering he was waving it around pretending that he was the decider of fates. Nicholas recognized the man, he had been a political candidate for mayor some years ago, although this mans’ name did not come to him a rage began to build. This rage bubbled up slowly, and his metaphorical cup of bubbling tea began to spill over the edges he began his assault. The man with the gun noticed too late to do anything and found his gun hand missing, Nicholas moved in for the killing blow as one of the raiders saw him, the politician died swiftly, as Nicholas turned to his new adversaries. He parried their attacks with skill killing eight of the nine remaining in a matter of seconds as he moved with an almost unnatural agility. The ninth came in time to see the seventh and eighth have their throats slashed open to the bone and die in a gurgling heap on the blood soaked earth. He stopped and stood taking in the visage that lay before him and he feared this man with his machete. As Nicholas turned to face the ninth man, the ninth raider the man raised his arm as if to strike, and Nicholas moved quickly, perceiving a threatening move and the ninth fell to the ground headless. Never before had Nicholas used his rage on another human being, but for him this was justified, these were evil men, stealing the work of others, living in a state of nature. This is how he justified their deaths. After the ten were dealt with, he looked around the shantytown, searching for survivors. Other than the man who died in the field that others seemed to have been unharmed. They feared him at first, as he was covered in the blood of his enemies, but they learned of his deed and began to come out of hiding, looking at the dead men, shaken, but not deterred. Nicholas went back to his companions and they were worried as he was covered in blood, he told them it was not his own, and they followed him to the village where they found shelter for the night, along with running water from a pipeline that had survived the bombing. It was the first time they had bathed since the bombing. Nicholas was the only one who had sand-bathed in the desert.
This settlement was the first of many that Nicholas and his companions found, showing that for some, the search for security was over, and maintaining that security was still developing. As the travelers found their way into other counties of Arizona they found that some people had resulted to cults, one such cult growing in power and influence was the cult of Cæsar. Allowing their personal freedoms to be suppressed in order to be secure, they even went as far as too create an army, called Cæsars’ Legion. Most of the land south of the Grand Canyon belonged to Cæsar and his legion. As small organizations and governments began to spring up, so did trade, and the use of caravans to carry goods from settlement to settlement. From the areas affect by radiation, their came some sort of two headed cow, which became domesticated and used as a pack mule. From the radiated areas also came humans, who although had been heavily irradiated still retained some of their former intelligence, but their physical appearance had changed from human to the appearance of a zombie. Though of course they were not zombies that did not stop people from calling them such.
Nicholas and his companions didn’t stay in Arizona, as the cult of Cæsar grew, so did fear of enslavement. As Cæsar’s legion became known to take freemen and make them slaves. The band began to head north, to the border, and from there to Nevada. In search of a place to settle down and become active members of some peaceful society, along the way they discovered new things, and the adventurers learned that more than bombs fell from sky that day, temples and buildings had been reported rising from the earth and of strange artifacts that lie within.
Whatever you are, be a good one
Let children act as children.
Let those who help themselves get what they deserve.
Nothing in life is fair, but you always get what you deserve. Imagine if the whole world acted exactly like you did right at that moment. -Anonymous Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should.
Just because you want to do something, doesn't mean you need to.
Biophysics: the study of life at every level. From the macro to the micro and more.