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Earth's Survivors Settlement Earth

Length: series


An alarm that was mounted partway up the wall above the huge banks of monitors began to bray. Long, strident calls. Mieka turned to the alarm, frozen for a second. It had never been triggered in the ten years he had worked at the Alaska station, never, he had begun to believe it would never be triggered. He thought of it as the Oh Shit, alarm. It was triggered from the central office on the mainland. It was only set off if there was a catastrophic failure of some sort. With the delay because of the land lines he had no way of knowing how late the alarm was. What had already, in all probability occurred.
He turned to go back to his own chair; there were decisions to make, people to notify. Suddenly the floor dropped from under him, and he found himself falling. Before he could reach the floor it suddenly leapt up to meet him, and he slammed headfirst into the polished concrete, nearly losing consciousness.
He regained his knees and tried to brace himself as the floor shook harder still. Blood ran from his hairline, and joined a small trickle of blood from one eyebrow. A second later it ran across his cheek to his chin; dripping to the floor.
He watched the drops hit the concrete; splatter, and he thanked God that he could still see. There was a stabbing pain behind his eyes. He had hit hard, and the shaking building wasn't helping at all.
Screams and yells mixed with the crash of file cabinets and the splintering of plastic as monitors shook apart or crashed to the floor. The air suddenly became clouded with dust as the concrete the room was made from began to shake apart.
Mieka watched as Jane Howe bounced across the floor, her eyes wild, and slammed headfirst into the corner of a desk, sliding underneath; her body suddenly loose, shaking like a rag doll as the jolts hit the building: Her legs jumped up and down. Mieka tore his eyes away. He tried to maintain his position on his knees, the palms of his hands flat, grasping at the concrete, but the constant pounding of the floor against his kneecaps was becoming excruciatingly painful. Reluctantly he dropped back down to the floor, trying to control the drop as much as he could, but he went rolling away to slam into a wall: He felt his ribs break as he hit.
The noise from the earthquake was a constant roar. Screaming, yelling, crying, pleading the constant rain of concrete chunks sounding like hail stones as they fell from the ceiling above. The thickening dust: A roar of something else, wind? ... Something beginning to overtake everything else, closing out all other sounds as he sagged against the wall and tried to hang on. His ribs were definitely broken; it hurt to lift his arms. He could feel the bones grinding together. He knew he was crying out each time they were moved, but he could not hear those cries.
The ribs ground harder, and this time the light dimmed further; he had a harder time opening his eyes. A second later they slipped shut again as the floor suddenly dropped from beneath him once more, causing the splintered ends of his ribs to grind together even harder. He found himself falling as consciousness slipped away from him. The noise increased as he fell and then suddenly it was gone. He fell silently through the darkness.

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