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On the coast of what used to be New York, I was hard at work trying to find something, anything, that I could defend myself with. I had just escaped, on the run from an unknown enemy. While they had held me captive, the world had torn itself apart. There was rubble everywhere. The once magnificent skyscrapers of New York had now been reduced to nothing more than crumbling basements. It was like this everywhere, from Washington D.C. to Rome, Italy. The worst part was that it was all my fault!
It was December, and I had traveled to Eastern China for the winter. The weather there was nice and warm, very much unlike winter in America. I had decided to go hiking, but I had gotten too close to the border of North Korea. Some people whom I thought were soldiers kidnapped me, accusing me of spying. I didn’t think they were part of the nation’s military, because instead of taking me into custody, they held me for ransom. They dressed like North Korean soldiers when they sent the ransom message to the U.S. The U.S. thought it was the North Koreans and immediately declared war on them. The conflict escalated from there. Other countries joined both sides, and from what Korean I understood from the man who I assumed was my guard, the war was apparently World War 3.
While all this was happening, I had been sitting in a “jail” cell, trying to think of ways to escape. A guard always came three times a day to give me food. He always slid the metal tray under the jail cell. A plan for escape had begun formulating in my mind. I would throw food at him, and when the guard came into my cell, I would use the tray to knock him out. Hopefully no one asked to see any I.D. when I would walk out in my guard’s uniform. “Yeah, right,” I thought. “Just another one of my stupid ideas that got me here in the first place.” But then again, I have nothing else to lose except for what I’ve already lost.
When the guard came in the morning to give me food, he stood outside my cell, watching me. “Perfect!” I thought to myself. I took the glass of who-knows-what and threw the mystery liquid into the guard’s face. Just as I expected, the guard came into the cell. He didn’t know I had the metal tray behind my back. Just as he drew back his fist to punch me, I slammed the metal tray onto his head. I put on his uniform. It was a simple olive-green collared shirt with the man’s rank and last name. I tore off the patch with his last name and walked out, thinking about an excuse for the missing last name.
Everything after that was a blur. All I remember is a train, a boat, then another train. Now here I am, searching for something to defeat whoever was after me. All I found was a watch and a newspaper. The watch was useless and ended up back among the rubble. I decided to read the newspaper to find where everybody was and to see what I had missed in the past four years. The main headline was “The Hidden: What Started the War”. I staggered away from the paper. Now I knew, I finally knew who was after me. The Hidden. I played that name over and over in my mind. I walked back to the newspaper and read the article. The only significant pieces of information were that they had taken over Chicago. For the first time in four years, I finally knew what to do.
I still needed to find a weapon. There was a broken pipe in front of me. It wasn’t much but would have to do for now. The metal was cold and somewhat heavy in my hands. It was small enough to fit in my backpack I had stolen from some broken-down convenience store. The backpack was full was full of medical supplies and other kinds of survival equipment.
All of a sudden I heard a distant scream out of the sky. It looked like the Koreans thought that there were still survivors in New York City. I jumped under some of the rubble as soon as the bombs hit. They landed about four-hundred yards away from me. Grainy pieces of rock got into my eyes, and my ears were ringing even after the explosion. My little cover had offered no protection at all, but I only got minor scrapes and cuts. The Korean bombers flew away, only to be followed by three American fighter jets. One of the jets deployed a missile, only to have one of the Korean bombers send out flares and destroy it. One of the other three jets also shot a missile, taking one of the bombers down. Metal rained down, and once again I had to dive for cover. The only thing that could actually protect me was a large sheet of metal. Burning pieces of the bomber were falling, bouncing off of my make shift “umbrella”. The actual body of the bomber came crashing down, exploding as soon as it hit the ground. Again, metal rained down, but this time I didn’t expect it. A large piece of ash floated down and seared my skin. I sprinted into a lone building that I hadn’t noticed before. The building shook as the rest of the bomber pummeled the already cracked and broken ground. After the most of the dust and smoke settled, I ran out of the building. I cautiously looked up at the skies, in fear of more battles between U.S. and Korean aircraft. When I thought it was safe, I ran to the broken down bomber. The pilot, who died in the air when the missile struck the bomber, had a small Korean pistol in a holster by his side. Now that was better than the metal pipe. The pistol didn’t have a lot of ammo, so I would have to use it sparingly. Hopefully I wouldn’t have to use it at all. I didn’t really fancy taking another human’s life, but if my life was on the line, I would do what I had to do.
After wandering the crumbling streets of New York, I finally found a bike, which is definitely better than walking. The gears were a bit rusty, probably from endless days in the rain, but the bike still ran smoothly. I got on it and realized that it would take a while to get used to riding. Walking was still a small trouble for me, after four years in a small confined cell.
The bike was a huge help. It not only helped my tired and aching legs but made them stronger. I now could do a light jog for about ten minutes until I felt fatigued. This would help me in days to come. If my bike blew a tire, I was confident enough to go the rest of the way to Chicago on foot.
As I was biking past a large city that I thought was Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, I spotted a silhouette of something that resembled a human in the distance. I think he was watching me. He realized that I had saw him and darted out my view. That’s definitely not a good sign. The sun was starting to set, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw another figure stand out from the pink in the sky behind him. I turned my head completely and he, too, hid from my line of sight. I needed somewhere to stay for the night, but it wasn’t safe here with those people around. I thought about where they could’ve gone as I biked on towards where I had seen the first man.
I got to where I saw the first man and stopped. I was afraid of them, and they were afraid of me. If they weren’t afraid they wouldn’t have hid when I looked at them. A small, compact tent that had been in my backpack provided good shelter from the mosquitoes and other annoying insects. Even so, it was a liability because of the fact that I couldn’t see anywhere around the outside of the tent and I was a huge sitting target with neon orange walls. I bet someone would be able to spot me even in the pitch-black.
I woke up in the morning when something started scratching the front of the tent. I poked my head through the semi-oval opening. From there I saw a hand with a mean looking club come down, then total darkness.