A loud bang woke Jonah up the next morning. Startled, he leaped out of bed. He looked out the window and saw smoke rising from a nearby building. He heard sirens and screams.
He ran to the living room, where Sam was already watching the news. “What’s going on?” he asked, his heart pounding.
The reporter on the screen looked shaken. “We have breaking news of a massive explosion at a power plant in the city. The cause is still unknown, but authorities are investigating the possibility of sabotage. The blast has caused a widespread blackout, affecting millions of people. Some areas have reported injuries, fatalities, looting, and riots. We urge everyone to stay calm and indoors until further notice.”
Jonah felt a surge of panic. This was it. This was the beginning of the end. The apocalypse had arrived.
He grabbed his phone and called Rachel. She answered on the second ring. “Jonah, are you okay?” she asked, sounding scared.
“Yeah, we’re fine. How about you?”
“We’re okay too. We’re at Jake’s place. He has a generator, so we still have power.”
“Good. We have to get out of here. The city is not safe anymore.”
“I know. Where do you want to go?”
“I don’t know. Somewhere remote, away from the chaos.”
“Okay. Do you have a car?”
“Yeah, we do.”
“Good. Pack up your stuff and meet us at Jake’s place in an hour. We’ll figure out a plan from there.”
“Alright. Be careful.”
Jonah hung up and turned to Sam. “We need to go,” he said urgently.
Sam nodded, understanding the urgency. They quickly gathered their emergency supplies and threw them into their backpacks. They also grabbed their weapons - a baseball bat for Jonah, a kitchen knife for Sam.
They locked their apartment door behind them and ran to their car in the parking lot. They hoped no one would notice them or try to stop them.
They drove to Jake’s place as fast as they could, avoiding the main roads that were clogged with traffic and chaos. They saw people running, fighting, looting, burning things.
They saw fear and desperation in their eyes.
They saw the end of civilization as they knew it.
They reached Jake’s place without incident. The community where Jake lived had tight security to maintain order.
He greeted them at the door with a shotgun in his hand.
“Hey guys, glad you made it,” he said.
“Thanks for having us,” Jonah said.
“No problem. Come on in.”
They entered Jake’s house, which was comfortable.
Rachel hugged them both.
“I’m so glad you’re okay,” she said.
“Me too,” Jonah said.
They followed Jake to his living room, where he had a map spread out on the coffee table.
“So, where are we going?” he asked.
Jonah looked at the map, trying to find a suitable destination.
He preferred a spot away from the city,
somewhere with natural resources,
somewhere with low population density,
somewhere with potential allies,
somewhere with hope.
He scanned the map,
Searching for a suitable place.
He found one.
He pointed at it with his finger.
“There,” he said.
“Where?” Sam asked.
Jonah looked at her and smiled faintly.
“Alaska?” Rachel said, surprised. “That’s so far away.”
“I know, but think about it,” Jonah said. “It’s a remote, sparse population, plenty of natural resources. We could survive up there.”
Jake studied the map thoughtfully. “He’s got a point. Most people would head south or to the coasts. Alaska might be our best bet to avoid the chaos.”
Sam nodded. “I’m with Jonah. I say we load up and head north.”
The four of them quickly packed supplies and fuel into Jake’s truck and SUV. They brought weapons, food, water, warm clothing and other essentials. Before leaving the gated community, Jonah filled some gas cans to bring along. Who knew if they’d find fuel on the way?
They headed out of the city, using back roads to avoid congestion. Several times, they had to detour around crashed or abandoned vehicles. The highways were littered with debris from the looting and destruction.
After a few hours, they crossed into a rural area. They appeared to be the only ones on the road now. Perhaps the others had fled to different destinations.
It was eerily quiet as they drove through small towns. Many looked deserted. They decided against stopping, wanting to get as far away as possible.
As night fell, they took shifts driving while the others napped in the backseats. The road led ever northward towards an uncertain future. But as long as they stuck together, they knew they could survive.
The journey would be long and difficult. But if they made it to Alaska, they hoped to find refuge and rebuild their lives in the aftermath. For now, all they could do was drive onward through the dark and keep following the road north.
To be continued…