Colleague With a Gun

When she’d been a fledgling reporter with dreams of conducting hard-hitting , insightful interviews with heads of state, Arlys had imagined herself in life-and-death situations, and how her courageous and intrepid on-the-spot reporting would impact the nation. Now, as she faced a drunk, potentially crazy colleague with a gun, her mind went blank . Panic sweat rolled greasily down her spine .

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Don’t Doubt Yourself

Are we human?” “Of course we are.” To comfort both of them, he covered her hand with his. “Don’t let the fear and suspicion of the brutal and ignorant make you doubt yourself . We’ll get out of Manhattan, and then we’ll head north, north and west, until we find a clear way over the river . The farther away from urban areas , the better the chances.”

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Busy Dying

lastic barriers , latex gloves , surgical masks ? The Doom scoffed at all and gleefully spread its poisons . In the second week of the New Year , the death toll topped ten million and showed no sign of abating . Though his illness went unreported , and his death was kept secret for nearly two days , the President of the United States succumbed . Those heads of state fell like dominoes . Despite extreme precautions , they proved just as susceptible as the homeless , the panicked , the churchgoer , the atheist , the priest , and the sinner . In its wave through D.C . in the third week of the Doom , more than sixty percent of Congress lay dead or dying , along with more than a billion others worldwide . With the government in chaos , new fears of terrorist attacks lit fires . But terrorists were as busy dying as the rest . Urban areas became war zones , with thinning police forces fighting against survivors who looked at the end of humanity as an opportunity for blood and brutality . Or profit .

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Watching Death Enter

But Jonah knew death when he saw it . Sometimes he could feel it . He tried not to — it could get in the way of the work — tried to block out that knowing . Like , sometimes he knew that some guy who brushed by him on the street had cancer . Or some kid running by would fall off his bike that very afternoon and end up with a greenstick fracture of his right wrist . Sometimes he even knew the kid’s name , his age , where he lived . It could be that specific , so he’d made it a kind of game for a while . But it spooked him , so he stopped .

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