~Dashkovs impact was catastrophic, hitting off the coast of Japan the eighteen kilometre wide meteorite impacted earth travelling at twenty-three kilometres a second. The energy of the impact vaporized the asteroid and a large portion of the impacted Earth, the dust and debris from the impact created a curtain that covered Earth, initially super heating the atmosphere setting the world on fire. Then for five years following it blanketed the Earth from the sun resulting in an ice age.

~Professor Lubomir Dashkov had spotted the asteroid thirteen years before the impact and the world began to prepare, building underground shelters capable of supporting life for at least thirty years. The closer the impending apocalypse came mass hysteria consumed the Earth. The drafts to determine who was sent into the shelters were a mistake, human nature was put to the test and failed. Many shelters became bloodbaths before they were even filled, some did not close in time, and others closed with too many inside and resources ran out quickly forcing them above ground before the quarantine had finished.

~The apocalypse however did not come without a final twist. The irradiated dust that covered the Earth should have wiped out any living thing on the surface, instead evolution dictated that life would find a way, true to that fact mutated species from every living organism emerged inheriting the Earth. And thirty years later when the shelters were unlocked the inhabitants were greeted with an all new set of obstacles. It was called the second age of the apocalypse.

Ok close your eyes real tight for thirty seconds then open them looking directly at the sun, stings doesn’t it? Ok now close your eyes for seventeen years! I couldn’t get over how amazingly bright it was. Nothing looked real even rocks had an abnormal glow, and the heat! Holy toasting crumpets. Literally toasting it was redic-uble. Oh by the way did I mention I was still in the APC? Yeah that’s right the blinding light coming from the front window still cooked me in the back of an air conditioned armoured personnel carrier.

I didn’t want to be the idiot who commented on the heat so I swallowed the build up of saliva that instantly watered in my mouth and wiped the sweat off my forehead, then thanked god the dopey kid sitting across from me said something first, because it really felt unnaturally hot.

“Is it supposed to be this hot” he said looking like he was going to faint.

“Oh the winner is Lia, damn new girl I swore you would be the first to crack, you just lost me twenty credits bitch” Said a ridiculously attractive brunette sitting opposite me about three seats up, she was referring to me as the new girl, there was quite a bit of sting in her comment. I resented the fact that I looked like I would be the first to crack, maybe it’s because she thought I was stupid enough to get lost in the colour coded hanger bay. But if I wanted to fit in well in this team I better keep my mouth shut and head down.

“That’s funny, I bet myself that you were the type of girl who lost her virginity in a male toilet, but now I can see its impossible you’ve ever been laid, looks like we both lose twenty credits” Damn Mi way to stay under the radar, but then again it really seems like I’m the type of girl to lap up insults doesn’t it. The brunette looked angry, obviously used to treating new people how she liked. I think the only thing stopping miss cranky pants was the chuckle generated from my little joke. Particularly enjoyed by the older chap sitting next to me, he was a big burly fellow with a grey bushy beard and long greying hair. He looked as strong as an ox but seemed as soft as a teddy bear.

“Oh deary me, where is my manners” missing marble Maes chimed in “I forgot to introduce everyone, ohh” She says with a jiggling laugh “how rude of me. Everyone this is out new recruit number four Myra Ca..”

“Ahh just Myra’s fine” I butted in. Damn now I think about it, not a good move. Now miss bitchy cakes over there knows how bothered I am about my stupid middle name that was blasted all over the hanger. I could see it ticking over in her peanut sized brain, ammunition.

“Okie dokie, Myra. And Myra right next to you there is Dusty, he’s been sweeper for a long time now, he’ll be able to help you out with anything you need. He’s also part of your sweep team, with me and our third new recruit Harper over there” Maes point towards the front of the APC, I looked past dusty up the row to see a small shy blonde haired girl with a little cute mousey face, she seemed to sink lower into her chair when the attention was focused on her (which must have hurt considering she was strapped into it).

“And on the second team is our second new recruit, young Dirt here” Maes pointed towards the awkward looking dopey kid who asked the obvious question, he still looked like he was going to faint but managed a wave in my direction. I gave him a half smile as Maes continued.

“Over there is Liana, she’s only young but has been with us for a while now” Liana was sitting next to the bitchy girl. She had dusty blonde hair and was quite attractive, although sitting next to the perfect princess wouldn’t do much for her self esteem, they did look like good friends though, but Liana still managed a smile towards me, I returned the gesture and then Lia received a death stare from her gal pal.

“I guess you’ve met Kai” Maes said and for the first time her smile disappeared, I could tell that Kai was one of those girls who only liked the ‘beautiful people’ so to speak. But I didn’t do myself any favours by smiling sarcastically and waving. She flipped me the bird and began to argue with her friend about waving to me.

“You’ve met Fún already, he’s our Sweep Lead. Our drivers name is Nester, I’ll introduce you when we stop and lastly the leader of the second Sweep Team is Jon. Who likes to sleep when we are on the move” Maes said with a little distaste for Jon’s style whilst pointing towards the tie-dyed curtain covered bunk.

“Ooh heavens look at the time, better get ready for the decent” Maes said, I looked at Dirt waiting for him to ask the obvious question again but now I was pretty sure that he actually had fainted. Kai shot a smug smile in my direction, she could probably see the glint of worry in my eyes.

“This’ll help” Dusty said handing me a small white device with two wires running out and splitting apart at the end with tiny little moulded round ends “Put those in your ears and close your eyes” he said and I put the moulded ends into my ears, they fit rather snug. The APC started to tilt forward, I looked at Dusty and he pointed towards his eyes signalling me to close mine, as I did the most unusual loud cracking music bellowed out from the small moulds.

The beat vibrated through my chest and I felt my whole body pumping to this weird and wonderful sound. My toes started tapping and I could feel myself involuntarily rocking my head, there was no music like this in the shelter. Dusty must have found it on a sweep, whatever it was I could definitely get used to it.

~The APC descended the jagged cliff face working the suspension with every large rock and dip, Dusty’s little diversion was just enough to keep Myra feeling what poor young Harper was going through. The sharp thrusts and blurry images from the front windshield sent Harper into a head spin, unfortunately her weak stomach couldn’t hold out any longer. Kai looked over at the green faced Harper sitting opposite and before she could say anything Harper’s lumpy half digested white porridge breakfast shot straight at her.

The End

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