The year is 2096. The deadly Virus has crippled North America, and in the ashes the ruthless Insurgents cut a swathe of destruction into the heart of America. Thousands die, it is only a matter of time before New York falls. Curfews are set, and blockades spring up throughout the city in an attempt to stop them. Meanwhile, Jacob continues with his everyday life until he catches the virus. When however the 'cure' fails to work on him he discovers the truth about the Insurgents...


1. Passing

Jacob dropped the handful of dirt onto the coffin as it was lowered into the cold grey earth. That was another one. Two family members dead in three months, the virus had them dropping like flies. He turned away, leaving the grave diggers to cover up the ebony box that held his cousin. He hadn't known either of the dead very well, but he'd gone anyway - the last thing he needed was his own family hating him.


Settling into the seat of his pickup truck, he pulled a packet of cigarettes from his pocket and lit one, breathing it in and coughing, the sound harsh against the quiet loneliness of the subarbs. The truck growled into life as he turned the key, hungering for the easy solitude of the road.

"Not tonight my friend," he murmured, "just home." It was dark by the time he got back to Manhattan, and as he unlocked his apartment he felt waves of tiredness overwhelming him. He stumbled into bed still fully dressed and fell asleep.


His alarm jolted him awake and he slid out of bed, feet cold against the hardwood floor. Rubbing the stubble on his chin, he washed sleep out of his eyes, glancing at his watch as he did so. Seven thirty. Still just enough time to get to work, if he hurried.


Moving quickly, he undressed and pulled on jeans and a t-shirt, grabbed his keys and ran out of the apartment. He unlocked the car and started it up, pulling out of the parking lot and onto the streets. Five minutes later, he was solidly on his way to nowhere. Enormous traffic jams had completely blocked the way.

"Crap." It was fine, he told himself, he'd just turn off at the next junction. If he ever got there. As the line crawled along glacially, he noticed that the only people on the streets were dressed in army fatigues. That wasn't unusual in itself nowadays, but there was normally some pedestrians, even with the curfew and at this hour.



"Oh shit. They've put up another blockade, haven't they?" He wasn't certain, but it would explain the army personnel and the traffic jam. This was his junction coming up. But where there was normally a bustling street, it was blocked up by a pile of destroyed cars. Behind the cars, Jacob could see an unfinished titanium steel wall, glinting in the sunlight as more soldiers scurried around it like ants. That was weird. They normally made the blockades by night, so they were finished in the morning. Something must have stopped them.


Jacob realised he'd been staring at the blockade so long that the queue had moved forward and his truck had stalled. He tried to start it again but it only made a faint wheezing sound and refused to start. Swearing furiously, he got out and opened the bonnet, making all the regular checks. There. Someone had capped his car. He stared at it. Capping was the easiest way to stop a car whilst outside it. You simply inserted the cap into the fuel cells, and at the press of a button, it would cut off the fuel supply. It was easy to insert and extremely difficult to remove without destroying the car.


Restarting his swearing rant, he dug into his pocket for his phone, called his company and told them he'd be late. As he ended the call, a sudden breeze swept down from the blocked off street, and Jacob shivered, despite the heat. He started another call to a mechanic, but suddenly felt faint. Realisation dawned on him as he dropped to his knees and looked at his blood gauge. 0.7. Below 1.5 meant you were infected. Virus. As people ran around him, shouting, all he could hear was the other end of the phone call.

"Hello, this Dawnstar Mechanics, how can I help you? Hello?" Jacob blacked out, lying there on the street. "Hello? Hello, is anyone there?"

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