Zone Girl in the Apocalyptic World Book One

New York, 2010. Stella Kincaid is a fourteen year old girl whose parents are dead due to the plague. When World War III happens, she is forced to wear battle armour to fight the United States Government whose corrupt behaviour threatens all of humanity.

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2. The Iron Works factory

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Nothing out of the ordinary happened inside the Iron Works factory. ​I saw Cara was scared. "It'll be alright, Cara; it'll be alright", I soothed her distress. She saw the lights were off; she couldn't see in the growing dark. I struggled to turn on the light with my right hand; I eventually flicked the light on. Seconds later, we saw a dim hallway. 

We saw a figure lying near a lamp. He was dead. It was a man. He was frothing at the mouth. "He's been dead for several hours", I said to my friends. Cara shivered. "We need a gas mask for Cara". I saw a green cupboard. I opened it up. To my relief, an old gas mask dropped downward near my feet. "Wear it, Cara". She nodded. It was a child's gas mask. She put it on her face; she breathed slowly. "Okay. Once we check for bunks, we can sleep here for several hours...", I said. The thunder boomed loudly. Rich saw some candles inside the cupboard. "Take these; I'll find a table to eat here". And, as he left, we noticed some more dead people...and we knew that time was short; time that we didn't have before we left in the morning.

****

Two ​rogues whispered to the leader. 

"Stella's gone". 

"She must be here in New York", Carter Devries said. He lit up a warm cigarette. 

The fiery embers flickered in the grimy dust. He gripped a black coat with his right hand. The plague was tearing the city apart; Carter stopped smoking. Then, as the other rogues scanned the city, Carter saw a dead woman near the Iron Works factory. "She's there", Carter said. And they walked towards the front door...and went inside to arrest Stella Kincaid.

****
​Suddenly​ we heard the distant voices. Before we could do anything, I saw Carter Devries and the other rogues. Mom and Dad had business dealings with him six years' ago. Carter was a ruthless assassin. Or so he thought; I was too young to care about him. And now he was here with two rogues. "Ah, Stella. How old are you now? Thirteen, fourteen?", he asked me. "Fourteen", I answered. Cara took my left hand. She wanted me to be her Mom; she needed a female role model for her to look up to. I smiled. "It's alright, Cara. I'll take care of you". And Carter smirked at my interest in the stricken girl. "How lovely it is to have someone to love. Arch, Frank. Take her!". I took off my gas mask. Then I hit Arch across the head with it. He fell next to Frank and Carter....and remained still as a statue. "​Fools! Fools! Fools!​", he shouted. Then we all left the Iron Works factory...and ran towards the rain. The hard, gravel, road was distant. We didn't care. Then we looked at the old road that lead into Lower Manhattan...and preyed to God that we would survive once again.

****

Trish ​cried. "It's not fair", she uttered. I knew that we'd made mistakes. "Who was he, Stella?", Rich asked me. "Carter Devries. He was dad's business partner. They made money on the Stock Market. When everyone lost money in the 2008 crash, they went their separate ways. Mom was sure we'd make more money. And then World War III started, everything's gone to Hell". I shook my head. "How did he come to the Iron Works, Stella?", Rich asked me. "It's part of New York's history; it's not too far from Central Park", I informed him. "And what do we do now?", James added. 

"We fight back", I said. 

****

​Time stood still as the eternal blackness took us into the crazy abyss. ​I hoped, (but not needed), a sense of inner turmoil; the turmoil was never ending. Cara saw a young woman watching us. She looked at us forlornly; she ate a cheeseburger as if relishing the taste of fast food for the final time; she gazed at us, as if thinking we were the enemy. "God took my Danny away. He had cancer. He was twenty-three". I blinked at her. "I'm sorry". The woman, who looked forty-seven, stared at us. "​Don left me a year ago. He was with another woman in Dayton, Ohio...​". I shook my head. "I'm Stella Kincaid. We're fighting the Government over the fact that it's World War III; it's the plague, you know". The woman ate the rest of the cheeseburger; she savoured the taste of the meat, tomatoes, and cheese. "I'm Amy Greg. I have no home because of the war". She watched us eagerly. Cara looked at me, as if she was concerned about my welfare. "Come with us. We'll find another place to live in", I said. And Amy followed us, as more thunder boomed in the sky.

****

​There ​was an old man lying down on the wet ground. He wore red pyjamas. "Help me!", he said. I noticed him sneezing; I wore my gas mask on my young face. "There's no doctors here", I informed him. "No one!", he sighed. "Yes". He gazed at me; he sighed. "Typical New Yorkers". He gripped a small .9mm gun in his left hand. "Rogues have ruined the city, you know. Forget about the soldiers; forget them. It's the rogues, you know. They're the ones to watch". He looked around. He had blue eyes. "There was a time in which New York thrived​ over the last decade or so. And then there was the imminent threat of World War III. It didn't happen in Asia, or Europe, or The Middle East; it happened in America". He shook his head. "I'm Stella Kincaid". The man nodded. "Arthur Dean Robertson", he told me. "Wait! Didn't you become rich over oil?", I asked him. "That was in two thousand and five; that was at the height of power. I did meet some Saudis in Afghanistan; I did many things, you know. And then the contracts were cut up, and I was forced out by greedy politicians. That was five years' ago. And now everything has changed". I nodded. "We have to leave you, Arthur. You're ill. We can't be getting the plague". Arthur nodded; "I'm on death's bed anyway. Good bye!", he said. And, as he sneezed again, his body shuddered with pneumonia, and he passed away before the heavy rain flooded the blackened city.

 

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