A dead civilization walked the city cinder, but not Doctor Samuel Gordon Chase. Fate had another plan for him. It took a couple of days to go by before Samuel got better. In that time Rebecca examined everyone in the sick bay.
The bomb shelter was very extensive. It had an octagonal shape and five off-shoots on every other side. Including the entrance, there was also the kitchen, the lavatories, the sickbay, and the barracks. Within the kitchen there were fully stocked dry, frozen, and refrigerated pantries, and a dining room. Within the lavatories there was a washroom and the boiler room, including all the generators, circuit breakers, and an active well with a water filtration system and iron cast coating to keep all radiation out. This was a perfect way to outlive the apocalypse.
That much Luther knew.
That much Luther knew.
Luther was not some psycho from Jersey; he was the oldest brother and member of the family. He had to watch out for them. When fate offered him a way out in the form of a dying man giving away all his earthly possessions including a multi-billion dollar fallout shelter, Luther knew it was up to him to keep his family safe. Now the only thing keeping them in danger were the strangers amongst them and that door being unsealed and re-opened. Luther let it happen once; he would never let it happen again.
The sickbay was nothing more than a hospital ward; a room with six beds, although the last two beds were X-Ray and MRI machines. So Samuel was in the room when she examined each person. Although the curtains were up, and she told them all he was still unconscious, Rebecca muttered certain confusing medical jargon out loud for him to hear.
Atticus was in and out of the sick bay almost every hour, as if he was reporting to Samuel. Rebecca was no fool. She looked at his heartbeat readings and knew what was happening. Now they were all in cahoots. Something about this elusiveness made Rebecca worry, worry about what would happen if the brothers or Luther caught on. They were planning an escape, nothing more. But the gun they first noticed on Atticus was about to become an issue inside the shelter.
Clark’s wife had convinced Clark and Ed to get Luther to do something. Ed seemed to be the most compassionate of the brothers, and the most easily persuaded. Atticus spent his time indirectly observing their behavior. Identifying and classifying their strengths and weaknesses. Ed was an ideal target to reason with to try and get out, him and Walter…the family friend…already at odds with Luther because of the door once, and a black eye to remember it. Atticus kept Walter and Ed close. The boy, Simon, frequented the sickbay often to check on his new friends.
Both Ed and Rebecca were in the sickbay on the sixth day when Samuel opened his eyes and regained consciousness publicly. Samuel got up with a change of clothes by the bed. Ed was baffled, “You should be a bit wobbly…”
“I’m a fast healer. Now, Ed, my friend, we need to go, and we need you to help us.” Samuel said as he put his jacket on. Just then, Simon came into the room to check on Samuel and Rebecca when he saw Samuel awake. He jumped for joy and ran around screaming at the top of his lungs, “HE’S AWAKE! HE’S AWAKE!”
Samuel sighed and shook his head at Atticus. Rebecca knew it, they had planned this whole thing out…Samuel waiting for the right moment to wake, showing him the change of clothes, these were no coincidences. As they left the sickbay after Simon, all the adults were gathered together anyways, on their way to confront Atticus.
“It is good to see you awake Doctor, but we’re going to have to ask Captain Atticus to hand over his weapon,’ Luther demanded.
“If it’s all the same with you we would like to be on our way,” Samuel rebutted.
“Nobody goes in or out.”
“Until the radiation is gone.”
“The radiation is gone.”
“No it’s still in the winds.”
“The effects of a nuclear explosion aren’t rendered inert for thousands of years,” Samuel informed everyone.
“If that’s what it takes…” Luther finally admitted.
“Wait a second…” the family began to put it together, “You were going to keep us down here forever?”
“You wanted us to live in a basement for the rest of our lives?”
“Down here we’re safe. Down here we have a chance to survive, a chance to die with dignity and not turn into one of those things!”
Rebecca had to tell them now, and this seemed like a perfect time to do so, “You’re not safe down here. You let fallout particles in after the door was re-opened, I’m sorry Walter, but your father and son have been contaminated with too much radiation…”
Walter, who had barely said a word, finally spoke up, “What?… Are you telling me they’re going to die? What about the Doctor? He was with them too.”
“If we don’t get help,” Rebecca added, “We could all die.” Even though she knew there was little hope for them. Atticus was proud of her, using deception as a tool for survival.
Walter turned back to Luther and the brothers, and begged, “Please, we have to let them out!”
Frank and Wheeler were just two punk kids caught in a family dispute, they had no side. Clark and Ed looked back and forth at Luther and Walter as they argued with each other, and things became heated again. Clark and Ed were twins and always friends with Walter growing up. Luther, who was eight years older than all of them, never got along with Walter. Clark and Ed did not know what to do. Both sides were right. They had no way of deciding and were hoping it would get decided for them…
Walter pushed Atticus away and grabbed the gun from his belt. He pointed it at Luther and threatened him, “Open the door or I put a bullet in your head.” Luther laughed at him. Walter’s hand was shaking so much the gun rattled. Everyone knew he wouldn’t do it. Then Walter pulled a wild move, pointing the gun at Simon, “If my son dies, your son dies…”
The women screamed and Samuel took his gun back from Rebecca and threw it to Atticus who pointed it at Walter. Luther started to slowly walk forward, getting in between Walter and Simon. “Listen Walt, you don’t want to do this. We are safe. Just put down the gun.”
“MY KID’S GONNA DIE BECAUSE YOU’RE AN ARROGANT PRICK!” Walter pointed the gun back at Luther. “Let… me… through...”
Luther stopped walking and stood in front of Walter, Atticus, Samuel, and Rebecca. He stood between them and the door. Brook took the kids away, including Simon. And Atticus pointed his gun at Luther. “Let us through, Luther.”
“I do that…and we all die…”
“That’s not gonna happen...” Samuel tried to reassure him.
They inched forward and Luther stood before the barrel of Walter’s gun. Luther took a step forward and pressed his forehead against the tip of the barrel. “If you want to get out, you’re going to have to get past my dead body.” Walter stood still. He was at an armistice. He could not kill in cold blood. Not even to save the rest of his dying family. He began to cry and let his grip on the gun loose.
Luther patted Walter’s back and took the gun from him. It was a comforting sight to see. He then quickly shot Atticus in the chest and Walter in the head. Everyone screamed as the ringing of the shots echoed through the underground shelter. Samuel fell to the ground and grabbed his gun back from a still-lying Atticus. He shot at Luther catching him in the arm and throwing him off his feet. Rebecca kicked the gun away as Luther squirmed on the floor next to Walter’s dead body.
Atticus gasped for air and tore his shirt open. The bullet shell dropped from being wedged in the bullet-proof vest. He got up and took his gun from Samuel. In a uncontrollable rage Atticus saw the worst of man and swore to himself to take a stand against it, “YOU KILLED AN INNOCENT MAN!” he screamed in Luther’s face while he held him up by his thin blond hair. Atticus put the barrel of the gun in his mouth and broke his teeth. Rebecca finished helping Samuel up and tried to stop Atticus before he executed Luther. But it was too late; Atticus pulled the trigger and blew the top of Luther’s head off.
This gunshot was muffled by Luther’s head. All that could be heard were the men and women crying. Atticus unlocked the door and Samuel pulled Rebecca up from trying to salvage the carnage. “We have to go!” he moved her out.
“WAIT!” yelled Ed, “We’re coming with you!” Ed, along with Frank and Wheeler wanted to get out of the shelter as well.
“What?” Clark said on the bludgeoned floor.
“We have to go, Clark.”
“I’m staying here with my family. It’s what Luther would have wanted.”
“I’m coming too,” Nora ran over past her father.
Clark acted as though a knife went through his heart, “Nora…no…”
“I’m Sorry, Dad. But I’m only twenty. I can’t spend the rest of my life in this steel trap.”
“I’ll look after her, Clark.”
The brothers parted ways and Ed, Nora, Frank, and Wheeler left with Atticus, Samuel, and Rebecca. The door was sealed behind them, never to be opened again. Once they wrapped bandannas around their mouths and left the apartment building, Frank and Wheeler led them back to the Warbird’s crash site.