“Heavenly Fire” (Sci-Fi – Part VII)

Previously on Heavenly Fire – Four teenagers were setting out to have a night filled with consuming alcohol and smoking reefer.  That special secret outing was tarnished when the power of their beloved city goes out and they are hit suddenly with a shockwave from a falling meteor.

July 4, 2021

It has been over a month now since their beloved friend, Jonathan Maze, died in a meteor shower that annihilated their historic city home.  His girlfriend, Amber Fischer, has been mourning his lost for about thirty days, but haven’t had time to really process it completely.  Her other two friends, Jeremy and Mia, are with her every step of the way, but knowing they must keep pressing on to find complete safety.  Over a month ago, when a meteor struck their town and caused an immediate atmospheric change, they suddenly found themselves fighting for survival in this post-apocalyptic society.  Even the devastating meteor showers are only physically impacting the Western Hemisphere, the earth’s climate and atmospheric conditions are changing throughout the globe.  The jet stream that streaks across the plains of the United States, in the heartland, is carrying the nuclear like fallout conditions across the east coast into the Atlantic Ocean and now reaching Greenland.

The European community, with Great Britain as the leader in this crisis, has sounded the alarm and is warning all citizens of the European continent to prepare for the incoming of radiation fallout.  Although the people of Europe may have some time to prepare, chaos and civil unrest soon spreads in Germany, Spain, and Portugal.  Back in the United States, big metropolitan areas such as New York, Philadelphia, Newark, and other smaller cities in the New England region are starting to feel the affect of several meteors striking the earth’s surface.  Today, on America’s birthday, it would appear that no one, from coast to coast, is celebrating this joyous occasion with fireworks and sparklers.  The U.S. government seemed very vulnerable at this point and time in their history, but the entire nation is not completely lawless.  As expected by their respective citizens, every state in the union has either restricted border access between neighboring states or has merged resources with other state governments, which would establish a new regional order.

In countries south of the equator, civil unrest and civil wars have started and is quickly spreading to the poorest countries.  With no open communication line to nations outside their respective borders, most government officials in Central and South America fear the worse of being overtaken by well armed militias and revolutionary prone citizens.  In some countries political officials went into exile, but from that information alone, no one would nowhere they would exile to since most ports on both coastlines are either shutdown or military controlled.  However, all this is not known to Amber, Jeremy, and Mia, who continue to wonder the open mountainous terrain of the Appalachian Mountains.  For nearly a month after the death of Jonathan Maze, they have had to live day by day in search for food, water, and other supplies that are essential to their survival.

Within a week after the death of Jonathan, Amber was able to receive medical treatment at a nearby house, where they were being chased by armed men in a pick up truck days earlier.  After being a month out on their own, surviving off the land and seeking shelter from nice strangers, they continue their adventure westward through the mountains of the Mid-east.  At one point they came across a stream, which was more of a small river attached to the western tip of the Potomac River, and decided to take a much needed break before continuing.  Jeremy, being the unofficial leader of the pack, finally comes to terms with that they need to have a specific destination before continuing on through the mountains.  Mia remembers grabbing a map of the Eastern United States from a ransacked Convenient store several miles back.  She pulls the map out of her backpack, which was also found abandoned with essential water and food supplies inside.  Once she completely opened the map Jeremy and Amber hovered around her to see if any of them can get a great understanding of where they are and what direction to go.

On this day the temperatures soar past 90 degrees during the day, but at night in the Appalachian Mountains, the temperatures drop nearly thirty to forty degrees cooler.  Since Jeremy has this knowledge of the temperature drop at night, in the mountains it can feel as it the cold air resembles temperatures below freezing, but when it is actually between 60-70 degrees.  All three of them left their last known shelter hours ago, which at that time they were staying with an outdoorsmen, who had escaped the big city lifestyle to take his chances in the mountainous region.  The biggest thing that was missed between all of the lost, non-destination teens was the lack of communication with the rest of the world.  Since most of the radio waves and satellite signals were either blocked by massive space dust lurking in the atmosphere or electronic components fried through an EMP, knowing the most important news and events going on around the world was unknown.  The teens had no way of knowing if the rest of world was suffering the same fate, how many people have perished, and whether or not another meteor would impact earth.  Well, although they couldn’t find out and know what was coming next, the people of Panama and Puerto Rico discovered they were next on the list.

Later that same night, while Jeremy and Mia speak over the direction in which way to go as Amber sleeps, two massive meteors penetrated the earth’s atmosphere and found their targets.  As have been reported before, a bright light streak is seen going through the night sky coming down from space.  This time as the massive meteor plummets towards the island nation of Puerto Rico, their preparation for an incoming meteor was about to pay off.  The Puerto Rican government was able to station, strategically, surface to air missiles around the island to defend themselves with against incoming meteors or foreign raids.  Two surface to air missiles were fired at one of the massive meteors plummeting towards the island nation, with great impact.  A bright and huge explosion was seen and heard miles away when the massive meteor broke apart, but their troubles were not over.  Although the meteor has been struck by two surface to air missiles over the island nation of Puerto Rico, it has now broken into smaller and faster falling pieces to strike multiple locations.

The smaller pieces falling onto Puerto Rico were not as damaging as the others that had devastated entire cities and communities, but were doing enough devastation to make rebuilding months and months down the road.  At the same time the second massive meteor that was plummeting to earth was heading straight for the Panama Canal.  This mighty, vital waterway is a shortcut for merchants and military ships instead of sailing around the southern tip of South America.  Now it is threatening to be destroyed by a misguided meteor that has found its mark.  The massive meteor struck the canal and several hundreds pounds of debris and concrete and metal, along with thousands of gallons of canal water, shot up into the air.  Flooding took immediately, along with hundreds and hundreds of Panamanians being swept into the sea several miles across the island or just simply vanished and never seen again.  Several Chinese, American, and Panamanian workers were killed immediately in the explosion, and that news quickly got back to Beijing.  Even though the Chinese government was quickly being viewed as the world’s new superpower, they were hit with harsh reality that they definitely needed the United States to maintain its aggressive and powerful appearance in the daily global matters.

Other global organizations such as NATO and the United Nations, were on the brink of disaster with every nation having and opposing their own views on what to do next as they wait for the U.S.  The global economy continued to take a massive hit to the point where it was nearly on the decline to a global depression, which was beyond anyone’s comprehension.  Violence in the Middle East, North, and West Africa sparked up once again, and this time there was no fear of any U.S. involvement in those affairs.  Israel found themselves, which seemed to everyone around the world a losing battle, fighting for survival as a nation as they faced continued bombardment.  With all that is going on in the world, on a global scale, Jeremy, Mia, and Amber have no idea how much worse things have gotten.  Violence all across the world is being affected by the atmospheric changes, diseases, and viruses are beginning to make their footprints once again.

As Jeremy, Mia, and Amber find shelter under some thick brushes and trees, risking tick contamination, for the night, several shots are heard in the distance.  Mia, who wasn’t completely sleep, sat up very quickly when she heard the echo of the shots bouncing off the hills, rocks, and trees that surround them.  Once she woke up and heard some more shots, she crawled over to Amber to wake her up.  When Mia explained to Amber of what she heard, Jeremy was then awakened by Amber relaying the same message.  All three sit up and sit still very quietly, even trying to keep from hearing themselves breath, as they listen to the dark territory that surrounds their little camp site.  After a few minutes of silence and nothing else is heard within that first few minutes, suddenly automatic fire erupts.  Although none of the rounds are penetrating their camp position, they rush around and scatter as if they are being fire upon.  Several men start yelling as automatic gunfire continue, but all three of the teens can’t see where it is coming from.  Then suddenly the bright red flash from an automatic rifle is seen in the distance, upon the horizon coming from two different locations.  Not knowing what to make of it they don’t move anymore and stay completely still watching this action pack like style in real life.

As the gunfight intensifies, a helicopter is heard in a distance with its rotor sounds echoing off the mountainous region, making it hard to know which direction it was coming from.  It got closer and closer to Jeremy and his friends when suddenly it appeared several feet above them coming in behind them over a rounded summit of the hill they were on.  The helicopter was hovering directly above them and lowered itself a few feet in the air facing the direction of the bright flashing from the constant gunfire going on.  Suddenly, as Jeremy, Amber, and Mia are transfixed on the helicopter above them, the 20mm guns onboard the helicopter erupt into an extremely loud, intensifying noise.  The noise was so loud that all three of the teens immediately covered their ears and began diving for cover as the hot shells, being ejected, fall upon them burning any exposed skin.  Jeremy received a few burnt marks on the back of his neck, Mia suffered some burnt marks on the left side of her face, and Amber only suffered some burn marks on her scalp, hands, and arms.  The vegetation and fullness of some of the trees provided a lot of protection from the hot shells falling and even slowed their descent towards them, but it didn’t provide the necessary protection.

As the hot shells continued to fall on them, which seemed like an eternity, they finally get relief from a cave-like shelter on the side of mountain they seek.  Once inside the shelter, they huddle up next to each other and listen as the helicopter flies away into the night sky leaving its path of destruction.  Suddenly, everything went quiet once again and no one was heard or no gunfire was heard for the rest of the night into dawn.  With the sudden shock of witnessing a veracious battle between two unknown parties, none of them could sleep again that night as they just waited for everything to kick off once again.  They waited at about mid-morning before they venture out down the side of the mountain to see what actually happened the night before.  During their search and investigation they come across several dead bodies scattered all over the hillside amongst the vegetation.  Some men were wearing uniforms and some were in civilian style tactical clothing.  As they continued through the sea of deceased bodies, Jeremy looks back and tells Mia and Amber to hold up on wait for his return.  Mia and Amber go back to a safe location as Jeremy continues to creep around the battlefield of dead fighters.  He continued until he came across one dead body, white male, lying on his stomach with his rifle still slung around his body.

Jeremy walks up to the lifeless body real slow, as if he was expecting the guy to turn around and surprise him.  Once Jeremy reached the body, he checked for the pulse and felt nothing, except the cold touch of a deceased human.  Jeremy reached down and turned the body over and he was absolutely surprised at what he saw.  Looking over the dead body after he turned it over was absolutely shocking and as he stood their trying to make sense of it all, he hears engines and other men in the distance approaching.  As the sounds get louder and louder, he races back to Mia and Amber who sees Jeremy sprinting over a crest of a hill waving at them to run.  Mia and Amber start to hear the engines and other people coming as they too start to run for safety.  The two teenage girls quickly find a hiding spot behind a very thick brush as they wave and yell to Jeremy to hurry up.  Just as soon as Jeremy meets up with them behind this thick brush, 4×4’s, ATV’s, and men on horseback appear from all over to arrive at the battlefield from the previous night.  While the men dismount their vehicles and horses to scower the area and to collect their dead comrades, Jeremy suddenly sneezes harshly, which echoes through the hills and valley.  All the men heard him sneeze and heard the echo, but are not sure where it came from.  At this point Jeremy, Mia, and Amber huddle closer together in hoping to keep each other quiet from being spotted by the mountaineers that roam the territory.

TO BE CONTINUED…Part VIII

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3 Comments

Filed under "Heavenly Fire", Sci-Fi, SHORT STORIES

3 responses to ““Heavenly Fire” (Sci-Fi – Part VII)

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