Chapter 2: Travel

I'm going to travel to a place several miles away through an area infested with alien creeps. Sounds like a walk in the park.

Apparently, the big attack didn't destroy everything. I have been in my house for the past hour and it is still standing. Outside the window, things don't look as good. Most of everything is still standing, but there are some buildings that have been burned to the ground. The most changed thing, though, is that there are no people. No cars roamed the streets, no people played in their yards, and there were dead plants everywhere. I could not hear the chirping of birds, or the talking people, or anything. The world, or what I could see of it, seemed dead.

Maybe it was radiation, but wouldn't that be harmful, even now? It was probably some alien weapon that humans don't understand now. By the standing houses it appeared to not purely destroy. Maybe it targeted life itself, or maybe it's targeting just open places.

I needed a plan of action. I couldn't just walk or run several miles to the Research Facility. I could take my motorcycle, but that would be risking an encounter with something. I needed more supplies before taking a trip that long and risky, anyway. What would I do, though? If everything in my house has remained, maybe I could get some supplies from a store.

Whatever I did, wherever I went, I would need a way to get there. The primary methods of transportation available to me were walking, and riding my motorcycle. Walking was slow, tiring, and I would be more vulnerable, but I wouldn't be noticed. Riding would be quick and easy, but it would also be loud, noticeable, and I might run out of gas.

I looked out the window again. There was still nothing, no movement outside. With nothing out there, what was the chance of being in danger while riding? Probably lower than I feared. The best decision was to take my motorcycle.

I headed out to the garage and slowly pulled open the door. Outside, it was just as I had observed. All the plants seemed lifeless, and there was no chirping of birds or barking of dogs. It was unbelievably quiet, with only the moaning of the wind to interrupt the solemn yet disturbing peace. As I walked outside, I noticed that it was unseasonably cold. It was early summer, yet it felt like early spring. I pulled my jacket tighter around me.

I walked out into the street. There was no sign of life still. Looking down the street, I see a car parked in the street. It had been there before the big destructive beam thing. It looks like no one has been outside since then I thought. I walked over to the car, calmly and slowly. Someone watching me would have a hard time noticing the anxiety welling inside of me. As I approached the car, I looked in the window. There was no one in side, of course, but there were keys in the set. I opened the door and climbed in. If I was going to travel places, this would be the way to go.

I put the key in the ignition and started the car. It still ran, and had half a tank of gas. What luck! I though as I put it into gear. But where would I go; where would I need to go? I thought about supplies. I would need food to replenish the supplies at my house. I should make my house my base of operations unless it is too inconvenient. From there, once I have gathered my supplies and prepared myself, I should head toward the Research facility.

I drove slowly down the street. It's a good thing the engine was quiet, because I was more exposed than I had wanted to be as I drove across the small town. I lived in a quiet little town where half the people knew each other, about five miles from D.C.M.F.P.R. The roads were fairly narrow, and the houses were packed tightly in some places and spread out in others. I drove down a winding road out of my neighborhood and toward the center of town. I had decided my destination was the supermarket.

Around me were houses that looked in bad need of repair, with roofs sagging inward and walls looking damaged. I didn't remember this area being so dirty-looking, so it was enough to raise alarm. I started driving slower, and looked around every corner for anything dangerous. After a few moments of not seeing anything, I resumed my previous speed. There was probably nothing there, anyway.

I finally arrived at the town square, where the super market stood off to the side. I parked next to the door, since there was no reason to park in the parking lot when I haven't seen anyone around in a few weeks. Getting out of my 'acquired' vehicle, I looked around. No one. It was amazing, and depressing, to see everyone just gone.

I walked inside the large building and retrieved my flashlight from my pack. There were no lights on in there and I would not be caught unprepared. As I approached the sliding glass doors, I did not slow down to open them. My ignorance was apparent as I hit the glass face-first.

What the- Oh, no electricity, stupid! This time, I pulled the door open, turned the flashlight on, and looked inside. The smell of rotten meat was faint from all over the store. Perishable items don't do well when the power's out. Over to the side, there were the isles of cans and bottled things. Those should be what I am looking for. I strode over to those.

Soup, soup, more soup. Canned veggies, I'll take this and this. Fruit juice: not expired yet. I'll take that, too. I filled the rest of my pack and got what else I could carry. Taking it back to the car, I wondered how much I would need. Probably not a whole lot, but enough to last. I went back and got another pack full. I needed to survive off of this stuff, so I got what looked best.

After I had obtained some food, I looked around for anything else I may have need for. There were camping supplies over by the wall; those would be useful for my no-electricity situation. I decided not to stay there any longer for fear of fainting. The smell of rotting things was getting a bit overwhelming.

I rushed outside to the somewhat-fresh air. There was no need to go back immediately, I thought, so I walked around for a while. The cool, non meat smelling air felt pretty good compared to inside that place. In the parking lot, there were a few cars, but not many. I walked over to one of them. It was a tall red truck with large tires. Under the truck was… what was that?

I walked over to the truck to see what was under it. It was white, small, and looked like a ball. It almost looked like-

A skull. It was a human skull. I was shocked to see a skull just lying there under that truck. It was the first physical remains of a person I had seen in a long time. To see a skull just lying there made me wonder. How did this happen? If everyone is dead, where are the bodies? If they are alive, where are they? It's like everyone has just disappeared except for me, and this one skull.

Maybe there was something from the sky. If this person crawled under the truck just in time, maybe his skull survived because the truck blocked some of the… whatever it was. If so, then this thing could have vaporized anyone that was in direct sight of it. That could explain why there are no bodies, but it is just one of my many improbable theories. What could have happened that would have done this?

There must be survivors. If I am alive, if that Dan guy is alive, then there must be more. I must find them, no matter what happens. To find the people is to find hope, and to find hope is to find a fighting chance. There is nothing else I can do, except exist off of the food here and live in my house, alone. I must find them.

I drove home, both disturbed that I had seen a human skull, and hopeful that I could find more people.