Primordial Soup

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The Last Refuge

As the seas cooled down and the weather patterns of the earth changed, cataclysmic events began unfolding all over the planet. Life was being extinguished en-mass on every continent. The Americans had soon withdrawn their forces and gone home, with a threat of launching everything they had at the creatures and damn the consequences. Russia and China were of the same mind.

The British government, prominent dignitaries, and everyone C.O.B.R.A. had decided were important enough to be saved, had gone underground - the Royal family had their own fully equipped and well stocked shelter at Balmoral - to shelters stocked full of everything deemed necessary for long term survival. No member of the public was invited, they were on their own. It was every man, woman and child for themselves.

~

Robertson sat with his wife and children in the lounge of the suite of rooms appointed to them. He was unsuccessfully trying to reassure them that everything would be fine.

‘Fliss, we’ll be okay. We have enough food and water and everything else we need to last at least a year, two if we ration it. They can’t stay up there for ever. Something will stop them.’

‘Well nothing has so far. They’ve been up there for months now,’ she retorted. ‘Isn’t there anything you can do? You’re the bloody government for God’s sake.’

‘We haven’t got anything left to use against them, everything’s gone. It’s up to America, Russia and China now. They’re co-ordinating the attack tomorrow, they’re using everything they’ve got.’

‘But if they use that many nuclear weapons they’ll poison the atmosphere. I was a physics teacher before marrying you, remember,’ she said, sarcastically.

What else can we bloody do? If we don’t try we’ll all die. It will be the end of the human race.

‘It already is,’ she shouted. ‘In case you haven’t noticed, Joe public hasn’t got a place down here, has he? Even if it does work there won’t be anyone left up there to start society again. They’ll all be dead.’

‘Not everyone. There are always survivors. Those that go down the underground for instance.’

‘Don’t be so bloody naïve Henry. If this winter continues there won’t be, any survivors.’

Robertson looked over at his children. ‘That’s enough Fliss. You’re frightening the boys.’

‘Well maybe they need to be frightened. Maybe they need to know the truth. Everything they had, everything and everyone they knew is gone, and it won’t be coming back. Maybe they need to face up to reality, which is more than you can do Henry.’

‘That’s not fair Fliss. You know how hard I worked to find a solution to this. I...’

‘Oh yes. You and your government cronies worked really hard, saving yourselves. How much effort did you all put into saving the millions of people up there? None. Not one shelter. Not one member of the public, man, woman, or child has a place of safety to go to.’

‘You know we were going through one of the worst recessions ever experienced, the money just wasn’t there.’

‘Shut up Henry. Just shut up,’ she screamed. ‘It’s always about money. Everything you do is always about money.’ She began to cry.

Robertson sat looking at her feeling totally helpless. The two boys got up and tried to comfort their mother.

‘Fliss, we’re alive, that’s all that matters now.’ He got up and went to her. ‘I’m sorry. I’m sorry I failed. But I don’t know what else to do.’ He bent down and took her hand. She pulled away from him as though she’d been scalded.

‘Get out,’ she cried. ‘Go back to your cronies and pat yourselves on the back for killing us all. A job well done.’ She turned away from him and sought solace in the arms of her children.

Robertson stood up and walked to the door, he had never felt as wretched in his entire life as he did at that moment. He left the room and walked down to the operations room. The mood in the shelter was ominous to say the least.

Burbridge was sitting at a desk with Stanton, pouring over figures and computer data sheets. He looked up as Robertson walked in. ‘Ah, Prime Minister...’

’You can drop the Prime Minister. I resign. I want to spend what time we have left with my family.

’You can’t just resign. You’re the bloody Prime Minister. We need you Robert.’

Prime Minister of what Charles,’ he shouted. ‘There’s nothing left to be Prime Minister of, it’s all gone, everyone’s gone. This is it. This is the end. The human race is finished, can’t you bloody see that.’

‘No, I can’t,’ Burbridge sneered. ‘While there’s still hope and a chance to start again I’ll cling to that hope. It’s all we have.’

Robertson looked at Stanton then back to Burbridge. ‘We’re never leaving this place Charles, this is our tomb.’ He turned and walked back to his wife and sons, hoping they could reconcile for what time they had left together.

Burbridge turned to Stanton. ‘Run the weather patterns again Peter. We need to be sure we’re not wrong.’

Stanton stood up, walked over to a computer terminal and sat down. ‘He’s right you know. If the snow continues to fall at the rate we predict, in four months we’ll be buried under fifty foot of compacted snow. In six months it could be as much as seventy to a hundred feet. This shelter wasn’t designed for anything near that level. The water will freeze, the...’

‘Just run the bloody weather patterns,’ Burbridge shouted. He kicked his chair back and stormed from the room.

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