2074 (Cycles One and Two)

January 18, 2018
By Anonymous

PART ONE (Cycle One)
The year is 2074. Natural disasters are raging on the coast of Los Angeles, California. Dylan looked over his shoulder to the wide, grey sky behind him. He motioned to Clark. “See that? Another volcano going off.” So many had been going off lately and mixing with the high levels of water forming new islands as big as Hawaii. He started walking towards Clark but suddenly the Earth began to shake violently. Rocks flew in the air, trees fell, and everything shuttered. Dylan fell to the ground and watched as the ground between him and Clark split in half. It was the San Andreas Fault. It had been getting worse and worse in prior weeks. The barren landscape was now even more damaged. The trees had been destroyed years ago by the hurricanes. The federal funding had gone along with the government. Dylan and Clark were wandering out here by themselves. A tide that appeared as storm surge appeared on the other side of the fault line. Clark was swept off his feet and into the crack! “Clark!” Dylan screamed. He ran over to see him hanging on a branch, as water flooded over his head. He lost control and fell about five feet further. “Dylan,” He panted, “Find a way to get me out of here.” It was only a shallow ravine. Dylan ran the other way. However as the storm pounded him and the Earth shook, he slipped over and over. Not only did the environment suffer, but the government did as well, about 25 years ago. The United States of America collapsed, which originally started with states such as Florida, California, and New York. This was because of the nation's refusal to believe in climate change. This directly impacted these states due to the rising tides. Climate change additionally attributed to a rise in natural disasters. Dylan experienced this firsthand as they walked further and further. Suddenly, he heard the purr of an engine. He looked ahead to see a big, black truck. A hooded, rough faced man got out of the front seat and opened the trunk. Dylan spotted bungee cords, just what he needed! Suddenly the tremor of the fault line started to move more in Dylan's direction. He crumpled to the ground as the Earth cracked and shook. Suddenly, another surge from a nearby tropical storm came, blowing Dylan back and also flipping the truck over. Fighting against 200 mph winds, Dylan dove for the bungee cords. “HEY, YOU!” he heard the big man yell. “Get back here!” Dylan took off as fast as possible through the wet, soggy, Earth, darting between thick wildlife, hearing trampling footsteps behind him. He got closer and closer to the spot where he and Clark had originally split. As he approached, ready to fling the bungee cord, he felt a searing pain in his shoulder. His vision became blurry, his shirt wet with blood. He looked back to see a slight view of the man coming for him. He could feel himself becoming lightheaded, and with one more conscious breath, he flung himself into the ravine.
PART TWO (Cycle Two)
Dylan awoke in a daze. He tried to stand but pain shot through his back. He lay in a pile of wet, dirty, leaves. He could feel the dried blood on his clothes and the sweat on his forehead. He lay there gasping in the pitch black night. He couldn’t see his hands wave in front of his face. He barely even noticed when he blacked out.
He awoke again, this time with new clothes, a sleeping bag around him, and a bonfire to his right. He struggled to move but felt more pain.
“Don’t move,” a voice said. “You’re still healing.” Dylan looked up through his tainted vision to see a man sitting around the fire. He had a worn face with long hair and blue eyes.
“Wh, Who are you?” Dylan said, confused.
“I’m Adam. I found you this morning and carried you back here.”
Dylan thought of Clark and panicked.
“My friend. I was with someb-
“I found him too. He’s out trying to find something to eat.”
Relieved, Dylan was able to get out of his sleeping bag and sit up.
“Where you from Adam?”
“Up north. Washington area. How about you?”
“Right here in California.”
It wasn’t the same California he’d grown up in. There weren’t as many earthquakes or hurricanes and California had more land back then. Everything had changed when his state seceded. There was an organized country of California, with a president and everything, but that crumbled quickly. Since then it was every man for himself for resources, food, transportation, you name it. Suddenly a noise in the deep, dark woods made them jump. Clark came around the corner of a large redwood tree and smiled to see Dylan awake.
“You’re alive,” he says. “If the ravine was any deeper you’d be a goner. Anyway, I couldn’t find anything to eat. I know this sounds crazy, but we need to go to the city.”
Adam looked at him skeptically. “Alright, we can leave tomorrow morning.”
Adam’s ATV spurred through the thick mud, dodging fallen trees as they went. They reached the end of the forest and saw slight city lights in the skyline. They also saw the raging illustrious flames on the tops of trees, bright as the sun. A lot of the California forests had been burned down due to natural wildfires. Los Angeles was still big, but not the city it used to be. As they sped over hills and edges into more and more city buildings, they parked the ATV. They stealthily snuck up to a distressed grocery market with sounds of gunshots all around. They quickly ran in to see what they could get. Shopping carts sprawled everywhere, people running and screaming, fighting over cans of food. The dilapidated concrete was missing chunks, the old refrigerators in pieces. Adam, to Dylan’s surprise, held a sterling silver pistol to his side. He moved swiftly and motioned for us to follow. He grabbed a cart off the ground and ran across the aisle, sweeping as much canned stew and vegetables into it as he could. Suddenly something blinded them for a second. A red laser dot appeared on Adam’s chest.
“ADAM!” Clark tried to scream as a surge of red, orange and white light ignited the scene and blasted them backward. Dylan and Clark lay in the rubble and spotted Adam crumpled against a smoldering pile of bricks in the distance. Through his clouded vision, Dylan saw two large, bulky men dressed in black, running towards Adam, kicking up dust in their path.
“No!” he screamed, struggling to his feet and sprinting across the uneven debris. He chased them as one of them heaved Adam’s bloody body over his back. Dylan made desperate attempts, hucking cans of green beans and stew. As he chased them to the parking lot, Adam was stuffed into a van. All of a sudden Dylan felt an electric shock zoom through his body, as if he had been struck by lightning, and blacked out.
Dylan awoke to the extremely loud buzzing of what sounded like helicopter blades. His body was shaking, his arms were bound and a blindfold covered his eyes. He attempted to stand up but was struck across the face, as if a thousand pounds had been dropped on him, sprawling him across the floor.
“Your friend’s gone,” a voice said. Did it sound like.. Adam? His blindfold was removed, and he was indeed in a helicopter. The complex panels, switches and wiring surrounding the edges as well as a smooth black floor. Looking out the window, he could see the clouds as if they were marshmallows. He faced the front, where the pilot was flying. In the compartment behind the cockpit, directly in front of Dylan sat Adam, with two henchmen dressed in black on either side.
“You.. You're one of them? How?” he said in short breaths.
“You’re a fool. A nice man saves your life, pretends to team up with you. You didn’t realize that you were the target the whole time. And you took the bait.” Adam retorted.
Dylan first thought of Clark, then of where they were taking him. He saw the black jacket Adam was wearing, with a type of symbol near the front pocket. He gazed at Adams split lip, curved around his unbalanced mouth, below his tousled hair and skin as grimy as a dumpster.
“I’m sorry to do this, but.. it’s time for you to end” Adam smirked, raising a shiny sterling silver pistol.
The first bullet hit Dylan in the shoulder. He cried out in immense pain as blood splattered like a sprinkler. But the second bullet missed. With a bang like the breaking of a wine glass, the back window burst. Dylan, crumpled on the ground in agony, croaked: “No it’s not.”
And with every last ounce of strength, he hurled himself through the shattered glass.

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