“Go, go, go, go, go.” Salem said, waving us to move forward quickly, guns at the ready.
“Price, get your head down before they dust you.” he said, as we frantically ran toward cover, crouched to the ground.
I saw a bright flash. There was never a scream to hear, he was gone too quickly. What was left of his body dropped and rolled with the momentum of his run…
“Price!” I clutched the sheets as my eyes flung open. Still laying down, I tried to catch my breath. Sweat was pouring all down me and yet the blankets couldn’t quite cover me from a chill I couldn’t erase. I would never see him again. That stupid mother fucker. What was he thinking?
“Fuck you, Price,” I muttered. “Why’d you leave me here alone? I miss you…” It wasn’t until a tear trickled into my ear that I realized I was crying. As I took an unsteady and shuddering breath, I sat up, swung my legs over the bed, itched my ear and looked around.
Look at this shit hole. I thought to myself. The walls were all made of iron, like everything else. The solar light flickered a little. Too bright, I thought. I must have over-slept. I pulled myself out of bed, still wrapped in blankets, and went to the clothes rack. Did I want my dirty combat clothes, or my torn combat clothes? Choices, right? It was drab and cold in my quarters. Always drab and cold. It was also all I’d ever known.
Before my parents died, they told me many stories of before. Stories of great cities, tall buildings, houses made out of wood. Wood! Can you believe it? They even had parts of the house you could look through, they called them windows. I’ve seen the pictures, of these beautiful structures, but it’s still hard to imagine. Now we’ve got nothing but a bunch of scattered sectors with a few hundred people a piece.
The strange thing is… It wasn’t even all that long ago. 25 years. That’s it. I was… lucky enough… to be born 5 years after the fact.
According to the stories, it started in the White Zone. As you know, it’s not a nice place. My parents said it used to be a part of two different states called Colorado and New Mexico. The survivors of the outlying areas of the White Zone said there was this huge noise that covered the skies. A deep metallic drone that lasted for hours They were explaining what we know as The Bellow. Apparently it was longer, and louder, than any we’ve heard. It shattered windows for hundreds of miles around the White Zone. Then, without warning, it stopped. They say there was panic and confusion everywhere. Of course, I don’t blame them, nobody had ever heard that sound before… I wish I could imagine a time without it.
Less than an hour after the sound stopped, a huge flash of light shone in the sky. It permanently blinded hundreds of thousands of people around Oklahoma, Utah, Arizona, Texas, Kansas, Wyoming, Nebraska and the other halves of Colorado and New Mexico. My parents showed me an old map*, so those names would mean something to me. I’ve fought the Evarian, I’ve seen their power, but I can’t imagine the sheer size of the flash… To blind that many people, that far away from each other…
After The Flash, as far as we know, nothing else happened for a while. People were on edge and there was no news for weeks. Everyone was afraid to travel to the White Zone. Nobody knows where it started, but news did start trickling in. First travelling through the survivors in the area, then onto the outlying states. From Albuquerque to Denver, gone. No buildings, no plants, no animals, no people, no remains of any kind, or, well, almost none. There were scraps of iron all over the place, from little bits and pieces, to giant bars of it. The weirdest thing was that everything was white, picked clean bone white. Hence the White Zone’s name.
My name is Alice Kristi Nichole Blackwell. Alice to my friends, Blackwell to my commander and 47 to Cruz. This is my story of a beginning and an end.