Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Time: 2015 EST/ 1615 GMT
“What is that?”
Angel watched as her father pulled a long tube from the back of the second gun locker in their survival bunker basement. It looked like a massive poster tube, big enough around that it took two hands to fully circle. He hefted it over a shoulder by its strap and let it hang. He did not answer as he grabbed more ammunition magazines and slid them into various pouches on his vest. He grabbed a second vest and continued to load it as well.
“Seriously, Dad, what the hell is that?” Angel hated when he went silent on her, even when it was not the end of the world. Now she was really starting to reach a panic level. For eight hours they had monitored the radios, tried to make contact with others in their area on the internet, called every emergency hotline they could think of, and done everything short of venturing up stairs and outside. Finally, her father had declared it was time.
Wordlessly he held out the vest to her. “Strap this on, you’re going to need it.”
She started to protest, stomping her foot on the slate tile of the bunker. He shook the vest in his fist but did not say anything. Relenting she reached out and took the garment, surprised at its weight and begin to slip into it. “Now will you tell me what it is?”
“Stinger antiaircraft missile deployment system with modifications for dumb fire direct line deployment.” His flat tone matched the manner in which most men might describe the ingredients of a salad.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Sunday, May 5, 2013
Lt. Jacqueline Sobal, USMC
Time: 1730 EST/ 1810 GMT
Lt. Jaqueline Sobal was one of the last of the survivors to get a tray of food. As far as she knew, only Major Thompson had yet to take a portion of the Christmas Dinner feast that had been scavenged from the small food court in the airport terminal. The two of them had gone through every document they could find on her tablet computer, on their small shelf of manuals, or on what defense networks they could log into. She had hoped that the Major would have had clearance for something unique, some hidden orders for the end of the world or the like. If he did, he was not sharing with her or the rest of the crew.
She took another bite of the burger Lefty had made for her. It felt weird to let an enlisted cook for her. It ran counter to all of the Marine traditions, but every effort to relieve Lefty of the cooking duties had been met with a smile and an insistence that he needed a chance to relax and grill. While she had waited, he had regaled her with the stories of his mother's homemade Tamales and how bittersweet every Christmas was since she had passed. His sister, apparently, had never learned the art, and thus the tradition had died with their mother. Jackie still would like to take a turn at the grill, but if this was Lefty's idea of down time, she would grant it. She and Gunny had eaten in silence, sharing one of the tables near the windows overlooking the tarmac. Any survivors of the first clouds must have taken refuge in a shelter nearby, a shelter that had not proven sufficient.