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"After the Fall"

"After the Fall"

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Published by Polaris93
The Eris War. Volume I: The Dragon and the Crown. Book 2: This Devastated Land. Part 1: Deep Impact. Chapter 4: After the Fall. Details of the catastrophe. Rachel talks with Steve via ham rig. Rachel begins to feel what she hopes is just the onset of the flu.
The Eris War. Volume I: The Dragon and the Crown. Book 2: This Devastated Land. Part 1: Deep Impact. Chapter 4: After the Fall. Details of the catastrophe. Rachel talks with Steve via ham rig. Rachel begins to feel what she hopes is just the onset of the flu.

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Published by: Polaris93 on Sep 10, 2010
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Yael Dragwyla and Richard RansdellFirst North American rightsemail: polaris93@aol.com 3,300 words
The Eris War
Volume 1: The Dragon and the Crown
by Admiral Chaim G. Resh, USN detached
Book 2: This Devastated Land
Part 1: Deep Impact
Chapter 4: After the Fall
Gigantic tsunamis, four or five of them, followed by a number of lesser ones that were the reflectionsoff the coasts of Spain and Africa and Cape Cod of the first shockwaves that had raced east from the strikein the Gulf of Maine, had flooded over the coast of Maine, coming all the way up into the mountains. Nowthat the waters had retreated, there were a few planes and helicopters out trying to find survivors, but theyweren’t having much luck. What the big earthquakes that had followed the strike hadn’t shaken to pieceshad mostly been washed out to sea. From what they had heard, everything between the coast and themountains, save for a few hilly areas here and there, was a broad expanse of mud-covered desolation,various and sundry items of marine life lying in piles here and there among the wreckage of what had been prosperous and often densely populated cities and towns. A few enclaves of survivors could be found outthere, mostly in the hilly areas of the eastern side of the state, but their outlook was bleak: food, clothing,medicine, and the other necessities of life were in very short supply there, with little hope that more would be available to them any time soon. They might be able to get enough to eat by gathering up what the seahad left behind, salting it down, and packing it away,
if 
they got to it soon enough. As cold as it was over there – snow was now coming down hard in that area – “soon enough” could be any time within the nextfew days or even weeks, depending on how long the cold that had gripped that area with iron talons mightlast. As for clothing, medicines – well, it was going to be rough.That wasn’t all. It wasn’t even the worst.
 
Day of the Dragons
By Yael R. DragwylaPage
2 of 5A federal dump-site for biological and chemical warfare matériel located slightly east of Lewiston,Maine, had been shattered by the first and biggest earthquake caused by the asteroid impact. Countlessshipments of toxic and radioactive wastes as well as various sorts of deadly biohazards had been storedthere by US Army biowarfare facilities, the CDC, and several other agencies ever since it had gone intooperation a couple of years before. In point of fact, the dump was highly illegal under both federal andstate law, and shouldn’t have been built there at all. But because the federal government had mandated itsestablishment, no one had been inclined to challenge it. It was also likely that some whopping big bribeshad been paid to grease the wheels of the local governments, which had basically looked the other way, pretending it wasn’t there. No one had talked much about it – “we don’t want to alarm the locals, now, dowe?” – and up until last night, it hadn’t been thought to be a problem.Starting at around 2:15 a.m. this morning, however, the dump had become a great deal more than amere problem, so much so that the term ‘liability’ was ludicrously inadequate to describe it. The materialsstored at the site, which was shattered by the earthquakes that then ripped across the state, were washedeverywhere east of the Longfellow Mountains from one end of the state to the other by the tsunamis thatfollowed the strike, then out to sea again as the seawater that had flowed over the land ran back to itsoriginal bed. Nor was that the end of it. In 2011 e.v., the US federal government had contracted with a major EastCoast waste disposal service to take certain forms of waste generated by federal agencies all over the Northeastern United States, including biomedical, chemical, radioactive, and other toxic wastes, pack themin steel drums, and dump them just off the continental shelf in the Gulf of Maine. But that company, whichwas run by the Rhode Island Mafia, instead dumped the stuff most illegally at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy. The area where they dumped the waste was located on the continental shelf rather than on theabyssal plain beyond, where their contract stipulated they were supposed to dump it. Whether the federalgovernment just never bothered to check up to see if the contract was carried out properly, or, thanks to judiciously applied bribes, influence-brokering, or similar reasons, knew what was going on but tacitlyagreed to what the waste-disposal company was doing with the waste, nothing was done to stop the practice.So when the asteroid hit the Gulf of Maine, the already catastrophic damage caused by the resultantearthquakes and tsunamis was compounded by several orders of magnitude by the presence in that area of all that hazardous waste. Broken free of the muck into which they’d fallen and pounded against the oceanfloor as well as against undersea cliffs and the like by the earthquakes that followed the flooding, most of the drums broke open, spilling their contents into the Bay of Fundy – unfortunately, just long enough after the asteroid impact that the water there was no longer boiling hot with the residual kinetic energy of thestrike, . Thus, as a result of the asteroid impact and subsequent horrendous flooding of the region, a vastarea at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy and the ocean beyond was liberally contaminated with unspeakablylethal toxic waste and biohazard material of every conceivable and inconceivable description.Then the continuing tsunamis (the first ones, those caused by the asteroid impact itself, plus thosegenerated by the earthquakes that followed) picked the up all that indescribably dangerous biohazardmaterial from the Army labs and the crap from the hazardous-waste dump and carried them back up intothe Bay of Fundy, over the Maritime Provinces, and all the way up the eastern foothills of the Appalachiansin Maine. The latter then reflected the waves back down to the coast again, still carrying all that deadlycargo.Since seawater kills many viruses, a good deal of the unprotected viral material carried by the tsunamiswas destroyed in the process. But there are viruses that routinely hitchhike inside bacteria, including somedeadly ones, such as tuberculosis. The floods thus spread such bacteria, carrying some truly nasty virussuch as hanta, Ebola, and other lovely things, all over the place. As a result, those in the area who hadmanaged to avoid being drowned by the tidal waves, buried alive in the earthquakes, electrocuted by fallenhigh tension wires, or dying from any of a thousand other, disaster-related causes might soon die of plagueor poisoning.“Oh, God, our kids!” moaned Rachel.“Oh, shit,” Janet said in a low voice to Tom, “I didn’t realize they were from there. I’m so sorry – what can we do for them?”“It’s all right, you didn’t know,” Tom told her, putting an arm around her and pulling her close. Then,in a louder voice, he told Rachel, “Look, your kids and their families could have gone up into the hillyareas themselves, or even into the mountains, like the three of you did, just before this all started. It was
 
Day of the Dragons
By Yael R. DragwylaPage
3 of 5really hot yesterday, all over the state, a perfect day to get away from things by going into the countryside.I’ll keep checking with my buddies for any word on them.”“I – if they went anywhere, they probably went to the beach,” Rachel told him wearily, her face ashen.Sitting slumped in her chair, head down, she added, “I . . . don’t see how they could have made it. Exceptmaybe Teri – she was on a hiking trip with friends somewhere in east Tennessee, I think it was. She’sattending the University of Maine in Augusta, majoring in political science. She and her friends decidedthat this Summer they wanted to see some of the rest of the country, so they decided to hike some of thetrails down that way, stay at hostels, get to know a little bit of the area.”“That part of the country doesn’t seem to have been hit by anything,” Janet told her gently. “They’re probably all right. And maybe your other kids are, too – you never know. We’ll keep trying to pick uphams over there – we’ve already contacted some in areas somehow spared by the floods, and in areas wherethe floods didn’t reach.”“I . . . I hope you’re right,” Rachel told her.Tom, looking down at his watch, told her, “Hey, it’s getting close to the time when we’re supposed tohook you up with Steve on the radio-phone. Why don’t you come upstairs, Rachel, bring John with you,and Chloe, if she’s awake – we’ll check on her on the way up to my room – so you can all talk with him?”She raised her head, a spark of life returning to her expression. “Talk with Steve? Oh, yes, of course,you were talking about that earlier, weren’t you? Yes, please, let’s do that.”“Come on, then,” he told her gently, getting up and coming around to help her out of her chair. He andJanet escorted her and John, who was also eager to talk with his friend, out of the kitchen and up to hisroom. They checked on Chloe on the way, as he had said; she was still sound asleep, looking shrunkenand lost under the covers on the trundle-bed. Going quietly, so as not to disturb her, they made their wayupstairs.About twenty minutes later, an overjoyed Rachel was saying to Steve, via the radiophone, “Oh,sweetheart, it’s so good to hear your voice!”“That goes double for me, darling. Everything all right there?”“Yes. This really lovely family has taken us in – the boy’s a ham operator, and so is his fiancée, who’salso here. Their parents are being very, very good to us – I don’t think we’ll have any problems as long aswe’re here.”“That’s good, Rachel, that’s damned good. Now:
do not try to come to me
, do you hear me?”“Steve –”“No, Rachel, dammit, listen. I think I can get a ride over there in a helicopter. There’s a guy hereworks for the local TV station who pilots their new chopper for them. The station’s not broadcasting now –  power’s out everywhere, nobody’s listening and they couldn’t get a signal out now, anyway – so thechopper’s just sitting there, taking up space. They’ve got lots of fuel for it and the pilot really knows hisstuff. As soon as the weather clears up here some, he’ll fly me to where you are. But
don’t try to come tome
, hear me? It isn’t just that the roads are all washed out – there are rivers of mud covering whole townsall over the place between here and where you are up there. The roads aren’t just impassable, they’re under so much mud they might as well never have been there in the first place. So don’t even think of it. Theonly way anyone can get between here and there in anything under several months, I’m afraid, is by air.You can’t get here, but I can get there – and I will, darling, as soon as this God-forsaken weather clears upenough.”“Oh, Steve . . . Okay, I’ll wait. It’ll be hard, but I’ll wait. I . . . can’t wait to see you again, honey.”“Hell, I’d take off now, fly the damned thing myself, if I thought I had a prayer of getting through,” hetold her, laughing a little. “I love you so much – you’re always in my thoughts, you know. Every minute.”And so the two lovers communed with each other for a good half an hour, while the others in the roomwaited, smiling. Finally Rachel said, “Look, John’s here, he wants to talk with you, too. Can I put himon?”“Sure, go ahead.”“Great. – John?” she said, handing the receiver to John.“Hey, Steve!” John said. “How’s it going there?”“Other than the fact that it’s cold as a witch’s tit here, not bad. Actually, we’re inside, and we’ve got a big fire going in the fireplace – we’re at this old hotel that’s about a hundred and fifty years old, big lobby,lovely fireplace, the sort of thing more modern places don’t have. We’ve been able to get plenty of wood, plus there’s a lot of paper trash that hadn’t been picked up by the recycling company from the bins out

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