That’s what I wanted to hear,” Klopov said. He stood up and put his hand on Garrett’s shoulder. “All of our intelligence reports say there is one place that will oppose us more than anywhere else. Any guesses where that is?”
“Marie, what’s going on?” he asked nervously. Suddenly Marie reached through the flap and pulled him in by the front of his shirt. He found himself face to face with Marie’s mom Carol.
“I don’t believe it,” he cried as she gave him a hug.
He looked past her and saw his sister Denise sitting there with tears streaming down her cheeks. “Nathan! I’ve missed you so much!”
“America is essentially dead,” Klopov continued. “The United States will never return. Over the years your leaders unwittingly paved the way for a group of nations known as the Coalition to divide up America among themselves,”
Garrett felt sick to his stomach. “That’s not true. The American people will never allow it to happen. They’ll fight back.”
The two men yanked open the front door, and the floor creaked as they stepped inside the living room. The earthquake had shifted two couches, a recliner and a coffee table together at the south end of the front room. Then a large entertainment center had toppled on top of everything else, blocking the hallway that led to the basement stairs.
banged up by the asphalt.
The initial jolt soon subsided, but as they sat up and looked around, they gasped as they saw the reservoir. It had been calm just two minutes earlier, but now it was filled with large waves racing in all directions and crashing against the shoreline.
“Look at that!” Denise cried as a large landslide gained momentum down a nearby mountain and slammed into the water, causing even more disruption.
They both instinctively ducked as the cliff they had just walked beneath collapsed and buried the highway less than 100 yards behind them. Dust filled the air from other smaller landslides, and the water in the reservoir continued to slosh violently.
The red Nissan that had been trailing him now swerved past. The driver was a co-worker named Whitney Vincent, and she was screaming in terror as her car skidded toward a five-foot-wide crack that had opened in the pavement. She tried to turn, but instead her car jolted to a stop with a sickening crunch as the front end dipped into the crevasse.
A few days later in California, Garrett Foster walked along the Pacific Coast Highway. He was heading south in hopes of finding the group that claimed they had electricity again. It was a long walk to San Diego, but after seeing his friend Layne killed, he just couldn’t stay in Santa Monica anymore. He knew he was going though some form of depression, but he couldn’t shake it. Everything seemed to be combining against him.
They turned the channel to KSL-TV, where the big story was that the edge of the storm had reached the Utah-Nevada border. The first wave of hailstones pulverized the city of Wendover, turning most of the city’s neon casino signs into shards of falling glass, killing several people who had taken shelter near the casino entrances.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
Garrett sat up in fear as a wave of large hailstones hammered down on the roof. It sounded like a herd of horses was galloping above them. Then a window shattered, followed by another. People shrieked and scurried into other rooms. Some panicked and actually ran outside, where they were struck down and severely injured by the falling ice.
Nathan jerked awake and saw two men in security uniforms staring down at him. The shorter one was pointing a chip detector at Marie, and then he swung it back toward Nathan. He frowned and said, “Hmm. You two have a lot of explaining to do.”
Nathan reached over and tugged on Marie’s arm. “Hey, wake up. I think we’re in trouble.”
Before leaving work for the day, Aaron decided to risk checking Marie’s chip status again. He knew his keystrokes were being monitored, but he just couldn’t resist. He had checked Marie’s chip status during his lunch break, and everything had been normal. She had still been in her apartment, presumably with Nathan.
By noon Garrett had reached the Santa Monica city limits, and up ahead he saw some sort of barrier across the freeway. As he got closer he could see that several cars had been pushed together to form a blockade. Two men stood in the road. They had spotted him, and one of the men pulled a rifle from one of the cars.