Zero Day Part 2

Zero Day

Part 2
Following the events of Zero Day Part 1

“We’re not the first here,” the husband says as he weaves through several abandoned vehicles outside the facility. He pulls as close to the gates as he can manage, throws his door open, and hurries around to open the side door. He doesn’t bother to turn the engine off; they’re not going to need the vehicle any time soon.

The husband takes his wife’s elbow, helps her to her feet, and grabs the bag from the back. Together they navigate the dirt path beyond the chain-link fence toward the opening in the cliff-side. 

The doorway is large enough for a small vehicle and two feet thick of solid metal set into the stone. It leads into a large room carved from the inside of the mountain and lined with metal. The wife steps through the threshold into the atrium just as a voice yells to them from the fence.

“Sean!” The man yells again from back near the gates. The husband turns and releases a sigh of relief as he spots two new arrivals; a man is pulling bags from the trunk of their car as a woman is rushing around from the driver’s side to help him.

“You see, Sam?” Sean says, patting the hand of his pregnant wife. “I told you Dr. Jones would be here.” He raises his hand and waves to the two newcomers. 

“Sean?” Sam squeezes his hand as she steps forward, through the threshold, and back outside. At first, Sean thinks it’s another contraction until he notices her face; she’s staring off into space somewhere to the south. Sean turns and immediately notices what has her attention; a large burning ball of light in the sky.

“My Lord,” Sean mutters under his breath. They stand, frozen in place as they watch the impossibly large object in the sky grow larger with each passing breath.

“We need to hurry,” Sean finally says. He assists his wife back inside the safety of the Habitat, then turns to wave at Dr. Jones and her husband. The distant sound of sirens reaches them as the public emergency alert activates, every phone in the vicinity chiming at the same time with the same message; SEEK SHELTER THIS IS NOT A TEST.

“No, not now,” Sam holds her belly as she mutters quietly. She pulls on Sean’s arm and with his assistance is lowered to the floor to lay down.

“The doctor is coming, love. Hold on, just for a minute more!” Sean says. He releases Sam’s arm and hurries back to the door to check their progress. The Doctor and her husband are still by the fence and seem to be struggling. The man seems to be caught on something.

“Samantha,” Sean turns. “I’ll be right back, they need some help. I’ll be right back, I promise.”

Sam tries to call to him, but her voice is drowned out by the sirens as Sean hurries out the door and runs down the hillside as fast as he can without tumbling. He rushes to the Doctor’s side and immediately notices the problem; the man’s sleeve is caught in the door so tightly that his hand is turning purple.

“Where are your keys?” Sean asks.

“They’re in the car,” the man replies, quickly. “We’re not going to need them anymore, I just-“

Sean peeks through the window, spotting the keys on the driver’s seat. He nods, then looks to Dr. Jones.

“Samantha is up there, the baby is coming. It’s not an opportune time, but… Can you-?” Sean trails off as his intent is clear. “I’ll cut him loose and we’ll be right behind you.” As he speaks he pulls a utility tool from his pocket. He searches through the tools until he finds the knife and flicks it out. 

“Yes, yes, of course, Mr. Donovan,” Dr. Jones says. She kisses her husband quickly and turns to run up the hill. Sean immediately begins to cut the fabric.

The light over the habitat door begins to flash.

To Be Continued
Author: CJ Stark

4 thoughts on “Zero Day Part 2

    1. *fist pump*
      I’m adding +1 to my “cliffhanger” skill on my character sheet.

      I’ll try not to keep you waiting too long 😁

  1. A frantic race to reach a shelter, pregnant woman… doctor… then that ball of light in the sky… flashing and coming closer…
    Nice ingredients for tension, CJ 😎

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