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Sky on Fire

The Ruins of The United States of America

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a part of Sky on Fire, by NethanielShade.

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NethanielShade holds sovereignty over The Ruins of The United States of America, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

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Setting

Default Location for Sky on Fire
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The Ruins of The United States of America is a part of Sky on Fire.

4 Characters Here

Ciel Byrne [2] "I always thought I'd be prepared for an apocalypse, but I'm honestly scared for my life..."
Zeric Ackerman [2] "Do we have too? I don't know..."
Blair Madden [0] "Hey, I watched Train to Busan like ten times. I think I got this."
Lola "Lolly" Matthews [0] "...so on a scale from Walking Dead to World War Z...how bad is this?"

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Character Portrait: Ciel Byrne Character Portrait: Zeric Ackerman
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It was a Friday. And it was a day he'll never forget. The day that financially struggling in your early twenties with a wife and a baby on the way in a small one bedroom apartment suddenly looked like a huge luxury. Every detail of the day has been ingrained in his mind since it happened, and he will always remember where he was and what he was doing on that day. The temperature was 53°F (12°C) outside, with a slight breeze that made the chilly air nip at his arms even through his light The Legend of Zelda hoodie and his Aeropostale brand ripped jeans. The overcast weather bathed everything in a blue-ish cold tint, and he almost rear-ended an idiotic driver who wasn't paying attention and swerved into his lane, probably texting or something. His name was Ciel Byrne, and he was a twenty-year-old newlywed man, driving home from work in his dark green pickup truck. "Kiss This" by The Struts was playing on his car radio, and he was tapping on his steeling wheel, bobbing his head, when the song was interrupted. The song cut out and went silent, then the radio host of the particular station he was listening to began to speak.

"Sorry to interrupt the song folks, but the Russians seem to be doing another bombing run and our president is giving a live speech about it, so we're going to play that." The audio switched instantly to the president's voice as they spoke. "Yes, there have been reports of Russian bombers flying over major cities. Our fighters have shot some out of the sky, but it is recommended that everyone get inside, get somewhere safe-" There was a long silence. Then, "We have... Dear God. We have confirmed reports of nuclear detonations in-"

Static. Then, an instant later, his car was shut off, and he slammed on the breaks. And everything was bright. Clamping his eyes shut tight, he saw the telltale purple of a single giant lightspot over his entire vision. Eyes still closed, he turned the key in the ignition frantically, but the car made no sign of starting, no noise. After a few moments, he was able to open his eyes again. Looking around, every car in sight was stopped also. The street lights down the street were black, not red or green. Off. Then, looking behind himself, he stopped breathing. Dear fucking God. A second sun peaked over the horizon to the northwest, around it a halo of darkness. The fireball soon flared out and showed a mushroom cloud, far, far off. Ciel, at the time, didn't know exactly where it was, but a plane carrying a hydrogen bomb on it's way to Lubbock Texas had been shot down but before it crashed, the crew activated the bomb to set off at it's intended height, still inside the plane. One hundred and ten kilometers away, 1,170 km in the sky above Seminole Texas, the 15 Megaton hydrogen bomb detonated with a mushroom cloud that could be seen up to 122 km away. All Ciel knew was at the time, however, was that he was stearing at the modern embodiment of death. His car was dead from the electromagnetic pulse, as would anything else electronic and exposed to the sky in this side of Texas, but coincidentally, he was three block away from his childhood friend, Zeric's, house. Almost ten minutes later, right as he was about to reach the house, he stumbled as if he had been pushed, covering his ears as the sound of the explosion finally hit them. The windows on the nearby house bowed and vibrated, but didn't break. Ciel broke out into a run to his friend's house.

Zeric's car had been in it's garage, and so it still worked. Ciel, being the prepper he was, had already had plans for if the apocalypse ever happened, and had shared some of them with his friend before. He gave him orders, things to pack, and after ten minutes they were in his friends car and weaving down the street, in between the sea of dead cars, with a full trunk of some supplies. That was when the second boom hit, because twenty minutes ago a detonation went off above El Paso. Too far to see, but definitely close enough to hear. Five minutes of driving, and two more booms, one the same as the last two, and one many times louder. Austin and San Antonio, a 15 megaton and a 100 megaton. Sound of the second shockwave was powerful enough to travel across the entire globe five times, so it would not be the last time that day they'd hear that particular bomb. And many more like it across the united states. They eventually had to pull over and take refuge in a nearby storm cellar in the back yard of a stranger's house, who didn't appear to be home. For the rest of the day and late into the night, booms from 38 different detonations echoed across the united states like gunfire. The next morning, they climbed out of the storm cellar to see smoke stacks all around the city. So began Day 2.

That morning, the only thing on Ciel's mind was his wife. They had rushed to his apartment to find it empty and looted. Ciel wasn't good enough at reading scenes to tell if it was his wife who had taken things or someone else. They spent the better part of two hours looking at likely places they could be, to no avail. So it would just be him and Zeric. Ciel would not give up so easily, but at the moment survival was necessary. He could tell from the sounds all night that the USA was ravaged, there was no government, no longer any law. "We're going looting."

The day was spent breaking into houses. They avoided stores, because other people would be looting stores and it would be dangerous to confront others. They broke into garages and stole ten car batteries that would fit Zeric's car. The stole a few tool boxes, and they stole many empty gas canisters to fill later. Ciel also found a laptop, and promptly deleted everything unnecessary for it to run, freeing up as much space as possible. Wifi towers had been EMP'd, so they didn't have conventional internet access, but Ciel set up a wifi hotspot with his phone, and by some miracle the satellites were still running, and so it worked. Connecting the laptop to the hotspot, he spent several hours downloading the offline version of wikipedia. Continuing their loot search, they had a filled trunk of clothes and blankets and other things, but they filled the backseat with first aid supplies stolen from bathrooms. Band aids, gauze, several bottles of disinfectants like rubbing alchohol, all the meds from several houses that they could fit in the several Wal-Mart shopping bags they found in a pantry, and even a box of menstrual pads that Ciel explained would make good bandages for deep wounds. Of course, living in West Texas, 90% of houses had a gun cabinet with guns. However most were empty or locked in a metal gun cabinet. One family, however, had their guns on display and they each stole several hand guns and some rifles, along with some ammo. Ciel also had the foresight to search for a fire extinguisher and a fire axe, rope in a garage, combat knives and pocket knives, lighters and matches, kerosene, and flashlights in laundry rooms. Para-cord was also an essential material Ciel had looked for, learning about it's usefulness in the Marines. While they were driving around, he made para-cord bracelets for each of them. They had found a large backpack each, which they also filled with supplies and kept in the backseat. One house had a compound bow with a few arrows, they probably bow hunted for sport, and Zu seemed interested in taking it. They also had a plastic 28-pack of half liter water bottles in the backseat, and several cans of canned food, because they wouldn't go bad. During the day, they had seen several hundred people on the streets, brawling, running, hiding, burglarizing, but luckily none confronted them. At one point, they had to take a different path due to an organized riot of roughly 200 people blocking a street. Eventually there reached a point where Zeric had asked him how much more they needed. Ciel replied telling him if they wanted to survive, they could never get enough. But it was also a risk versus reward situation, and the longer they stayed in the city, the greater risk someone would realize that murder was a great way to get a car full of supplies. It was sunset anyways, and so Ciel made the decision he would later regret, to leave the city his wife was still potentially in.

"Drive, out of the city, to the north east. Take us to Snyder." And so it began to get dark, and on Day 3 they were outside Snyder, Texas.

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Character Portrait: Ciel Byrne Character Portrait: Zeric Ackerman
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It was taking a while, a lot longer than he thought... But it still wouldn't sink quite in. His brain refused to believe that it had happened! It was sad, shameful, and quite frankly; frustrating. Why couldn't it happen? It was such an easy to occur possibility, especially in this day and age. Zeric could still barely believe what his eyes had clearly seen. His hometown, his only ever resting place; 'his' city, in anarchy from the result of the very last thing he had ever expected to occur during his lifetime: Nuclear devastation. "It wasn't even anywhere near us too! What the fucking hell!?" He cursed aloud, turning and looking at Ciel for just a moment before jerking his head back towards the road. They had been well on their way out of Midland, and now were close on the city limits of Snyder. He knew that it was easily possible that Ciel had no clue what he was talking about, but his incredulity was just, too much to contain. "I mean sure I would have freaked the fuck out too if it was as close to us as, I don't know, fuckin' Lubbock! But noooo, it's over fucking Seminole and everyone loses their goddamn shit!" Zeric knew, he knew deep in his heart, that if he were any younger or any braver than he could have ever been, he would have 'lost his goddamn shit' too.

It took them a moment, a bit longer than Zeric thought it would considering how close they were to Snyder itself... But then he noticed it; all the cars that they were slowly passing by, whether it be from their own lack of speed, or because they were half on, half off the road, all of them were without power. Or drivers for that matter. Most of the cars on the road were either abandoned and empty, or had no amount of power running through them; then again, would either of them notice that? Well, oh well. "Hey, hey 'C, what's with the cars?" Zu asked aloud, turning and looking at Ciel with a raised brow as he moved to pass yet another car without occupants. It didn't help that it was just near about early dawn; the sun just barely rising above the horizon behind them... It was scary, almost, in Zu's eyes. He couldn't see a single damn person, and yet it oddly felt like it was crowded.

He became silent then, pausing for a moment as he let his mouth hang open. People here, it was clear enough that some had stayed, yet even still, it was as if everyone grabbed their bags and just.. Left. Stores were missing windows, cars and some buildings were obviously left empty, and the one person that Zu did see was in a state that left him reeling: a man, homeless probably, holding his head and wailing quietly- or at least he was quiet since they were still in the car- his eyes were unseeing, that much was obvious after a few moments of looking at him, for he was staring blankly into the distance with with the whites of his eyes so bloodshot it was clear even from a good enough distance. "Ciel. C', are you seein' this? Do you see that guy? ... Holy fuck that could have been us..."

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There is nothing but Before and After, now. "Before", was when the world still stood, people overpopulated the planet, bustling through the life some -most- believe there is a tomorrow.
There was not.

It all came crashing down one thing after another one day and then the "After" began.

Before. Lolly had been on her way home from work. She was probably you're most stereotypical barista a person could ever met. She had her dark hair swept up in a ponytail, her Starbucks cap resting atop her head, her ponytail sticking through the back, and an ever present look of disinterest on her face. She was on the one that got even the most simplest of names wrong but She did that on purpose and only when a person came in with an annoyingly specific order, like with exact measurements, or made a comment about her name being Lola. She would give them a look that read. "No, I do not like being called Lola Bunny." There was something about the look of distant that brought a smile on her face when she wrote something completely wrong.

She wasn't actually a barista, or atleast not JUST a barista. She was an engineer, with a college degree in Mechanical Engineering, but that took so much money, she had to work, a lot to pay for the schooling, barley got any sleep, and needed to pay bills for her and her Grandmother. Yani as she called her. As sweet Haitian lady who had a remedy for everything. She called herself a voodoo priestess, but Lolly was dubious about that, and many of the things she did. She always believed in some judgement day, and stock piled for such an event. She even believed that Hell would run out of room and all of those evil, damned and sinful spirits would walk the earth. Lolly didn't think too much on that. It didn't matter to her though, the woman raised her when her parents couldn't-or wouldn't. They thought it best that she stay in one city, one country, the one they defended. Fair enough, she supposed, but she had little love for them. Not for lack of trying but she just couldn't bring herself to care that much for people she really didn't know.

She sat in traffic in her clunker of a vehicle. She wouldn't call it a truck, a vehicle suffice because it got her from point A to point B, it wasn't pretty, and it had an attitude most days, so calling it anything else would have been kind.

She kept it running, but with old parts she managed to scrap together from Yani's friends and neighbors. They, much like the parts they provided, were all old. For the longest time, Lolly had been the only child on the block. Occasionally, kids would show up, visiting grandparents, and a few times she'd made friends but they never stayed long. Not many would blame her for being a loner, and with her odd love of anything metal (not the music) her school days hanging in metal shop and computer classes made sure she was not the friendly sort.

She didn't know why she had been thinking all of this at that moment, perhaps her subconscious knew something was coming, and was feeling somewhat nostalgic, knowing the end was near and the After was coming.

She pulled the hat from her head and tossed into the passenger seat and sighed. She reeked of burned coffee beans, whipped cream and hipsters, and she couldn't wait to hit the showers and grab her computer.
That little piece of equipment was the only thing that gave her provincial life excitement. She would browse hacker forums at night, chatting up with hackers from around the world, her mind understood code in a way an artist might understand colors. It just clicked. She wished when she had been coming up, this sort of things was cool, but she was a 90's kid, that wasn't what people did then.
Suddenly, something pulse and the radio that hadn't worked in years, fizzled and popped, the engine in the truck died. Lolly, feeling frantic, fought with the pedals, pumping her foot like she was riverdancing. She looked outside of the truck window, finding this wasn't just her bad luck, it was everyone's. She didn't dare step out of the car, but she did narrow her eyes passed the traffic and to sky. A dark cloud began to form. She was miles from any real city, but even from here, the Austin skyline was visible...or it was. Darkness covered the sky, like night had decided to come early and Lolly felt fear like she couldn't believe. What the hell was going on. She looked at her phone. Dead. She should figured as much, but that just meant that pulse that she felt, was an EMP, or she guessed it was and the smoke....

"No..." She breathed. "There was no way." She couldn't believe that she thought, but if that was what she thought it was, then she was doomed regardless. A Bomb....of a nuclear nature.

No...It couldn't be, a Nuclear bomb would make the epicenter a parking lot and the nearest area inhabitable immediately....Unless it was small.
Yes, it had to be a small one, even still, the wind would carry the radiation. She had to get underground or...or.

She stopped trying to think, if she did, this would get more and more impossible. Could Yani be right? Was this then end of days?

The moment Yani crossed her mind, Lolly hoped out of the car, and darted home. She could walk from here. Snow fell...no...Ash fell, as night crept closer and closer. A nuclear winter would be on its way.... ad they would likely be dead before then it that was true. Lolly ran the thirty miles home, where she'd lived her entire 24 years and prayed to whatever God, Loa, or what have you was listening that her grandmother was still alright.

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