“Knowledge is power”
[FREDERICK, MD – ZERO HOUR + 90 MINUTES]
“Do you have your car keys on you, Luther?” asked by Jennifer.
Luther struggles to look above his head as he is still lying on his back. He replies, “I think so. Hopefully I didn’t lose them. What do you need them for?”
Jennifer responds, “I’m going to try to see if we can take shelter in your car. We need to do this before we lose moonlight and the rain comes.”
He looks up at the sky and can see that the clouds are slowly starting to block some of the natural light. “Oh! I suppose we don’t want to be lying out here getting wet. Except you are the only one that can walk and make it, so you should probably go for shelter. We’ll be fine.”
Jennifer starts making her way over to him around Marcus’s head, “No, you don’t understand. Black rain coming down on top of us is not good and almost a certain and painful death.” Feels Marcus grab her shirt and tug on it.
“Black rain? What the hell are you talking about?” He says to her in a concerning voice.
Jennifer sighs heavily and drops her head explaining nervously. “Radiation is about to fall on us in the form of rain, and we need to take shelter before it comes.”
Brooke raises her head to look at Jennifer, “Jennifer! What do you mean black rain, radiation is about to come? What happened?” Sounds like she’s about to cry.
“What I saw over the hill towards the town is a mushroom cloud. My dad used to explain to me about nuclear rain that comes from the sky after a nuclear bomb had detonated.” Jennifer reluctantly explains.
Marcus continues to show his nervousness in his voice, “A nuclear bomb went off?! Oh my God! What do you need us to do?”
“I can’t believe this! Oh my God why is this happening!” Brooke cries out under the tears of fear.
Luther reaches out to Brooke with his good arm to comfort her. “I’m right here baby, Jennifer is going to get us out of here so we can be safe. Okay?” Brooke shakes her head up and down crying in silence.
“I’m going to see if we can get inside. I’ll be right back.” Jennifer starts to make her way before she was stopped by Marcus’s hand on her hand.
“What if we can’t get shelter? What happens then?” Marcus looks right in her direction. Jennifer leans down and kisses him on the lips and places his hand on his chest and leaves without answering the question. He lies there in his own mind and begins to fantasize about the worst case scenario if they don’t gain shelter. Jennifer makes her way, limping, towards Luther’s car and starts to find a way to gain access. As she got right next to it, with the little moonlight she had, could see that the frame of the car was mangled and out of shape. Trying every single door to open them was a tremendous struggle, and the last thing she wants to do is shatter a window to compromise their safety. She looks up and see half the moon is being blocked by heavy dark clouds, and can see the black rain starting to fall beyond the hill.
With only a very short time to spare, she keeps trying to figure a way into the car by tugging on the door handles. Marcus starts to yell out to Jennifer to see what is happening, but he gets no answer. He can hear her struggling with something, but he just can’t see her. Suddenly, Jennifer feels herself making way with the front passenger door. Using all of her available strength she was able to pull open the passenger door as she falls back. Marcus can hear the metal creaking and release as he starts to smile about her getting the door open.
“JENNIFER! I JUST HEARD THUNDER! HURRY!” Yelled out by Marcus.
Jennifer heard the same thunder noise and moves as fast as she can towards them. “I’m here! Okay! I got the front passenger door open so we need to hurry up and get inside.” She reaches down towards Marcus’s legs. “Can you feel my hand on your leg?”
“I can, but not sure I’m able to move without help.” As he grabs her shoulder firmly.
“Okay, I’m going to grab you by under the arm pits and pull you out from under the brush. I know it’s going to hurt, but I gotta move you.” She rubs his face to comfort him to let him know she means well.
“I’m starting to gain some feeling in my legs again. I might be able to help!” Brooke says out to Jennifer. Hearing this brings tears of joy to her eyes knowing that her friend might be able to walk again.
“That’s great news, Brooke! I can use the extra help. If you want to try to move Luther and I’ll take care of Marcus. I can help you if you need it.” Jennifer replies in a slight happy tone. She looks back down at Marcus and lets him know that she is ready to move him. As she gets into position with her hands under his arm pits, he reaches up and grips her forearm. Jennifer counts to three and pulls him out hard, which makes him scream out in agonizing pain. Using the momentum that she has pulling him, and going downhill, she doesn’t stop no matter how loud he got. “AHHHHH!” was heard from Marcus the entire time she pulled him towards the car. Once she got there, she stopped to rest and to give Marcus a chance from being in so much pain. He lies there next to the car in tears from the pain that shot through his body.
“BROOKE! YOU OKAY UP THERE?” Jennifer yells as her voice echoes over the thunder that is moving closer and louder.
“I THINK I’M GOOD! I’M ABOUT TO MOVE LUTHER!” Brooke yells back in response. Brooke slowly rise to her knees to see if she can stabilize herself, and by surprise she can even though the pain is still there. She looks down at Luther with a grin on her face, which she gets back one from him. “You ready baby?! I’m gonna drag your fat ass down this hill!” Chuckling in his face.
“You’re such a bitch! I want to see you do that!” Luther responds with a smirk on his face. Preparing for the massive pain that will proceed once she starts to move him. Takes a huge swallow of saliva, “I’m ready when you are.”
Brooke struggles to her feet and falls back down in excruciating pain. She takes a look at the back of her legs and can see blood stream down, which she knows that she has a massive laceration. Pushing through the pain she gets back to her feet and grabs Luther by his right arm, and starts to pull. This makes Luther scream out in pain as she moves him inch by inch with as much strength she can muster. Getting only about two feet from their original position, Brooke falls down again and yells out to Jennifer. “JEN! I NEED YOUR HELP! PLEASE!” Thunder roars overhead and 90% of the moon is being blocked. Jennifer yells back, “I’LL BE RIGHT THERE! HOLD ON!” Jennifer just grabs Marcus by his arms and forcefully puts his upper body in the car. “OH WHAT THE FUCK! COULD’VE WARNED ME FIRST!” Marcus yells out over the pain. “You gotta pull yourself in! I gotta go help Brooke with Luther! I’ll be right back!” Jennifer responds leaving him.
“Here I come Brooke!” Brooke lies on her back crying from fear and pain overwhelming her. Jennifer struggles and limps towards them and falls next to Brooke. “Hey! I’m here now, okay? I know you’re hurting, but we gotta keep moving. The rain will be here any second” She whispers in Brooke’s ear. Brooke sits up and starts making her way towards the car limping and hoping, but ends up crawling the rest of the way. “You’re a tough girl. Marcus is fortunate to have you.” Luther reaches up and grabs her arm as she starts to drag him. “SHHIITTT!” Luther screams out as she drags him to the car past Brooke, who is just feet from it. When Jennifer gets to the car, she sees that Marcus made it in the back seat with very little room. Brooke comes around to the passenger side of the car and immediately starts making her way into the car. As Jennifer wait for Brooke to get completely in, thunder roars extremely loud above them and the moon is entirely covered.
“Let’s go Luther! I’m going to climb in and pull you at the same time!” Jennifer talks down to him. Brooke makes it in the back and falls on Marcus, who grunts with agonizing tones. Jennifer climbs in and pulls Luther at the same time, which causes him to pass out from the pain that overwhelmed him. Once he was in, Jennifer shook the car over and over to make the door close. As soon as the door closed, the window shattered and flew all over Luther. “OH SHIT!” Jennifer responds as she pulls Luther on top of her to keep him away from the window. Just as she pulled him away from the window, the rain began to pour down and hit the roof of the car in a heavy down pour. Brooke looks at Jennifer as Jennifer looks back at her and Marcus. “We’re safe now. I guess we can try to get some sleep if we can.” Jennifer said in a calming voice.
“Jennifer? What happened out there?” Brooke asks in a curious and concerning voice.
“I’m not exactly sure. I just know that things will be different from here on out. I don’t know how, but different.” Jennifer responds.
“I’m scared. I don’t know what to think. Are we gonna…” Brooke is cut off by Jennifer. “Don’t think about that right now. Just…try to get some rest. Marcus and Luther already beat us to it.” Leans her head back and closes her eyes listening to the rain falling just outside. Her plan for the morning has not yet formed, but she understands that their survival will depend on her getting them to safety.
[MANAUS, STATE OF AMAZONAS, BRAZIL – ZERO HOUR + 90 MINUTES]
The entire state of Amazonas has become an area of disaster with numerous fires and death toll on the rise from recent events. Throughout the capital of Manaus, vehicular and pedestrian traffic immediately came to a halt when an enormous fireball engulfed the city. Homes, vehicles and buildings were destroyed in an instant and many people had no chance to take cover or shield themselves from the scorching danger. Just like the historic great fire of Chicago, the entire region blazed in such a way that anyone surviving would be deemed a miracle. Fires continued to rage on with no one around to attend to them, but two people did survive.
A five-year-old child came crawling out from her damaged home out into the street of her neighborhood. Standing in the middle of the street, with deceased residents all around her, she’s holding her favorite doll. Even though part of the doll is singed, she keeps it in her hand not understanding her new world. Dazed and confused, she sees a large, tall man approaching her wearing a full fledge chemical suite dawning a face mask. Putting his book bag down and reaching in for another face mask, he cautiously puts it on her face. The unidentified man picks her up and places her in one harm and shoulders the bag in the other. Thunder rages above them, which he looks up and sees the clouds quickly moving in. Knowing the girl is not properly equipped for the situation, he begins to walk down the street to a safe house where they will wait out the storm.
END OF PART II
Next Publication (Part III) – March 18, 2017