"So no one else survived, eh?" Alan asked again. He guided Rusher down the hall, where he could hear human voices.

Rusher replied, "Not that I know of. Everyone died in the group I was in." His throat suddenly caught and he grew quiet.

Alan nodded respectfully. The two walked down the hall toward the voices he heard.

The pair passed several other survivors down the hall they walked. Most were quiet and their gaunt faces stared sightlessly at the structures that guarded their lives.

However, one face perked up at the moving people. "Hey, party people! Whazzup?"

Alan's face darkened significantly at the man. "Here is our American representative, Jack Hathaway."

Hathaway grinned at Rusher and ripped out his hand. Rusher hesitated but slowly raised his own and gripped it with the certainly oblivious man's. Either that or he is a little insane. No sane person can be happy and laughing with their world currently dying behind the doors.

"Well, someone's chipper, aren't they?" Rusher smirked at the man before him as their hands separated.

"Hey, somebody's gotta be the sun in this dark hell." Hathaway's smile faded as a thought crossed his mind. "Lower floor guy, huh?"

Rusher nodded, bracing himself for the flood of questions the upper survivors would no doubt ask.

Jack's mouth tightened in a straight line. "I knew a guy down there. Erik Jonathan, Accounting? Know him?"

"Not really. I was more in the desk area, anyway."


Hathaway nodded once, soberly. "Well, I'll let Alan show you the area. Hopefully see you around?"

Rusher said, "Yeah." Hathaway grinned for a second then turned and walked down the light hallway.

Alan's face cleared when the man left. Rusher noticed and raised an eyebrow. "Do you have a problem with him?"

Alan turned back to him smiling, and slapped his shoulder. "Ah, nothing that matters."

He turned back to the room opposite that Hathaway left, making a sweeping gesture with his arm. "Here's where we gathered! Very few exits with entrances in an excellent position to block. Most peop-" Alan's voice was cut off by a coming woman.

"Hello, Rebecca Carey from Publicity here." The blond woman smiled nicely at the pair. "Are you planning on staying here? Or letting us know what's happening down there?"

"Uhhh…." Rusher looked at Alan helplessly. Dealing with people was never a strong suit with him, and knowing all these people want a piece of him is shortening his breath. He mostly dealt with file sorting at his desk.

Alan ushered the reporter away from Rusher, saying, "Stephen will address us all later, okay? Pass it along." The woman protested but eventually gave up and walked away.

"Now, where was I?" He laughed. "Excuse them. All of our heads are a little scrambled, and our social protocols are gone for the time being."

Rusher smiled knowingly. "Anyway, continue the tour."

"Well, this used to be a showing room for the company, but makes for an excellent last stand area." Alan's voice faded away as Rusher looked across the hall. It was an exquisite room with the available furniture (tables and chairs) pushed up against the three large, thankfully heavy-looking wooden doors. Rusher noticed with amusement the cane between the handles on one set. An older looking man sat against the wall, probably the owner of said cane.

The roof was painted gold and wooden barrier was painted red, creating a fancy feel for the meeting hall. People were huddled in the middle, whispering frantically and casting frequent glances his way. He noticed a certain blond head crouched in there. He sighed again and started to pay attention back to what Alan was saying.

"… And then the installing was a nightmare! Let me tell you….."

"Hey, Alan," Rusher said, gently prodding him away from his speech.

"Oh, yeah. Um, why don't you take a look around? You'll probably spend a lot of time here, haha."

Rusher nodded. He turned to the crowd, looked at them, then looked away. He walked toward one set of doors and felt an odd feeling crawl up his back.