PROCEED WITH CAUTION

By Missy Eppard

The Center was filled with plenty of substance for the RA to live off of but they craved more. They trickled out of the Center and spread across the nation consuming any life force that stood in the way. The RA's were what the people started calling those that were infected with the radiation. In an attempt to try and create a force field over the nation, They had doomed the world. The epicenter was in Kansas City. The dilapidated Arrowhead stadium made for the perfect middle ground to cover the whole nation with the force field. In an overnight maneuver the Army had taken over all of Kansas City. Within a week the field was set to go up.


Groups acrossed the world watched in horror as our nation would fall to rubble within that one week. June 12, 2033. The day in which humanity would begin its descent into chaos.
Since nothing could stop the RA from taking over and diminishing all forms of life, those who did survive were the elite. Most traveled alone in search of the sea. Rumor that the islands off each coast were clear and home to the dawn of a new civilization. It was this rumor alone that gave a glimmer of hope to those still alive.

 

A blindingly bright green flash from the Center lit the nights sky across the nation. Those who still wanted to keep up with time could count on the flashes. That green flash reflected in Charlie's eyes as he walked back to the camp for the night. He looked up from the ground and shook his head "no" to his travel companions. Delta and Alpha looked to one another and then back to Charlie. They all carried a look of defeat. Charlie, however, seemed to get them encouraged enough to move on. They were all Marines together at one time and it seemed that their brotherly bond knew no ends. All had lost everything, even their names, but they still had each other. Charlie had sat down and started to draw a map into the dirt, plans for their next move. They didn't need any fire to see, the Center sent off an electric green hue into the sky constantly creating an eerie and still, lit landscape. Delta nodded to Alpha who returned the gesture. It was set. Tomorrow they would try to make their way to the coast.


Alpha took the first watch that night. He was the oldest in the bunch and served the most time in the Marines. He sat in the silence of the hum. His icey blue eyes constantly scanning the surroundings for any RA. They were easy to spot, especially during the night. Due to their high levels of radiation they glowed in the dark. But they were fast. Ridiculously fast. And thats what made them so deadly.
 

A few hours passed and Alpha gently tapped Charlie's boot. Cracking his eyes open, Charlie slowly sat up to begin his watch. Within seconds of laying down Alpha was asleep. A small yawn escaped his lips as Charlie wiped his face and looked around. This was the time that most people would over think their situation and slowly make themselves mad. But Charlie had learned this and during the times of watch he would go over his old video game techniques in his mind. His spare time in the Marines was spent playing war RPG's. This gave
him the extra hand when on missions, he was able to predict movements of friends and foes.

 

While going over tomorrows plans in his mind again, his hazel eyes darted to the south. Movement. A glow moving quickly in their direction. Charlie quickly got to his feet, silently he covered himself in the nearby bush. This RA seemed to be moving differently than most. It was only a matter of seconds that the glowing RA made it to their small encampment. Within those few seconds of being within range Charlie had slit the throat of what would have been considered a raccoon before the Field. Now 4x larger and dripping with radiation rabies the body of the RA lay motionless. Charlie ripped a piece of his shirt from the bottom to clean his knife. Even the blood of the RA glowed.
 

Making sure not to touch any of the blood or RA itself he put away his weapon and moved over to the others. He gently kicked the bottom of Delta and Alphas boots. Charlie motioned to the raccoon. They all looked over, nodded and quickly gathered their belongings. Today was going to be longer than expected.
 

Forced to leave their rest behind, the three moved silently through the trees. Up ahead they could make out a break in the tree line. Could they have finally made it to the the coast? Were they closer than what they thought? As they reached the break Delta raced to climb the tallest mound of debris. Being the youngest and most agile Delta always knew his place. When he reached the top of the broken cement and rebar the scent of salt air almost knocked him to his knees. They had made it to the coast.

Delta rushed back down but not before noticing a large glow to the north. It was now or never. The three ran in silence through the demolished town. Dawn broke as they reached the docks. The three spilt up to try and find a working boat. Charlie jumped onto a skiff frantically looking for the key to the engine. As he moved around the boat the rope that tied to the dock had rotted and fell into the water sending Charlie and the boat into the harbor. Finally realizing the boats movements Charlie looked up to the docks. The glow from the north had descended. RA's ravaged across the docks like lighting. Alpha and Delta would never see another day. And Charlie slowly drifted from the harbor out to sea.

© 2020 by Travelin' Tim
 

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