The Day The Earth Went Dark: Episode 2

“This message for anyone out there who is listening,” Drake said and tried to keep his voice calm. “I have a safehouse able to hold ten people. We can take four more. If you’re out there and find your way to our location, please do so. I will issue the coordinates in ten minutes.”

The microphone clicked off, and the transceiver shut down on its own. Drake wanted to send out more information, but the charge only held for so long. It would take another good ten minutes to crank out enough energy out the transceiver to send out the coordinates. I hope someone heard me. Drake took his headset off and started the recharge process on the transceiver. The internal battery sent just enough electricity from the drained batteries to start the gravity-driven engine. It wasn’t an efficient energy source, but it could get small electronics working for a short time. 

“Do you think it’s a good idea to be broadcasting our location to the world?” Charley asked. 

“Charley,” Drake said with a groan, “how many times do I have to tell you this? If they have the means to find our location through coordinates, then they are most likely people we would want to join us.”

“I know, but, like, are you sure?” Charley asked. “I feel like we should keep it to us. And why did you only tell them we had space for four more?”

“Because, if we tell them that there are two of us, then someone may try to kill us and take this place,” Drake said. “I won’t give them our exact coordinates anyway because I want to see them before I let them anywhere near our safe house.”

Charley didn’t raise another question and looked at her half-empty bottle of water on the table. The safehouse had always been there for what Drake expected to be the zombie apocalypse. Though, Drake didn’t believe he wanted the zombie apocalypse to happen after all the power went out. Any knowledgeable prepper would know that power would run out eventually, though no one expected it to be the first thing to run out. It was day one, and neither Drake nor Charley had figured out how to reach their son up in space. I’m sure they can tell from up there that something’s wrong. The gravity engine whirred away as one wheel rolled down the track, and the weight of the top wheel fell and pulled the machine along. It was like watching a mini turbine. The battery indicator showed half full.

“Have you heard anything from anyone else out there?” Charley asked. 

“No,” Drake said, frustrated, “We have been in the same room all day. You would have heard it if someone contacted us.”

Drake yelled more than he intended to, but he couldn’t fight the feeling that he should be doing more to reach his son.

“Geeze, no need to be an asshole,” Charley said.

“Charley, I—“ Drake said.

“No, fuck you,” Charley said. “You don’t get to talk to me like that, even if the world is falling apart.”

Charley didn’t give Drake a chance to respond and left the main room for one bedroom. After a successful career as a military contractor, god knew the regular army didn’t pay well enough. Drake settled down with Charley and built his safehouse with the extra money saved from the last three civilian tours. But now, with his only son in space and his wife in the other room, the safehouse felt empty. The battery showed a full charge. Drake returned to the desk at the far wall and placed his headset over his ears. 

“Coordinates are as follows,” Drake said and drew in a deep breath, “12 Tango Victor Lima 2711 5321.”

Then Drake repeated it three more times before the power ran out on the transceiver. All he and his wife could do at that point was wait. Drake found his way to the bunker room and opened the slot in the bulletproof glass. He would wait until he saw people walking to the lone tree in the valley below before he raised his Remington 700. Charley will be fine. Once we get some more people here to talk to, she’ll be fine.

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