Now bounce forward to the Christmas of 2025. The corona virus had mutated over the last couple of years but somehow we had been able to avoid a full on pandemic with the scientists working around the clock to keep one step ahead of new outbreaks. So in a false sense of security we had basically all reverted back or close to it as possible, our old ways of living. So here is our story, to be passed on to the next generation of survivors ( if the human race survives). So learn by our mistakes and take heed of our struggles to live even from day to day. Waking up early I wanted to make sure that this Christmas would be one for all to enjoy. Our family (especially since the kids had grown up and moved away) had been scattered from Far North Queensland down to Brisbane and across to Melbourne in Victoria and with the last couple of years with the virus and borders closing to contain it we could only skype or talk on the phone so this was really special to have us all together for once. I smiled to myself as I could hear the grandkids ripping into their gifts from under the pine Christmas tree that my partner Neddy had chopped down from outback of our farm. I should have known the rascals would be up and eager to see what they got from Santa! I lay back on the cool satin sheets for a second then just as I went to hoist myself out of bed I slipped and ended up in a pile on the wooden floor! Bugger! I swore to myself under my breath- I always forget how slippery those sheets are! So after quickly making the bed and throwing on some clothes I wandered out through the loungeroom to be greeted with mounds of pretty Christmas wrapping, cards tinsel and gifts everywhere and the most beautiful memory of all- the grandkids smiling and laughing as kids do , racing around with new toys, not a care in the world and that made my heart sing. Kissing them all I made my way to the kitchen after and found my daughters, Nyellen, Kitty and Syan busily cutting up ham, cooking eggs and making toast - our traditional Christmas breakfast with yummy roasted cherry tomatoes and cooked onion too . So after wishing all Merry Christmas , I grabbed a mug of hot steaming coffee that Syan had thrust at me, took a sip and sat back to admire how my girls had grown into fine women and when the chips were down they would if possible, be there to lend a helping hand. When there was space to move in my kitchen I got to work putting the last of our Christmas cooking on for our huge lunch we were having later on that day when all our visitors had arrived. Luckily we had already cooked the chicken and turkey the day before plus pre- prepared our salads, potato salads and coleslaws too. So now the huge pork roast was put into the oven and the hot vegetables were prepared ready to go when the roast was half done. There were potatoes, pumpkin ,carrots, sweet potato and onions plus my favorite- creamy crunchy taro ! You may think this is a stupid part- talking about the Christmas spread, but believe me , what happened later that day and the food we lived off after would make anyone savor their last proper meal. Looking back I realize that we were some of the lucky ones, we lived off grid so never saw the carnage till much later . How were we to know that something so much more sinister was lurking, hovering like vultures actually, literally above our heads just waiting for the first strike to occur? That Christmas was the last time we had anything near normal and it's sad to say we were not sure how our future generations would ever be able to enjoy the freedom of life on Earth as we had. They would be growing up in constant fear and forever looking over their shoulders. Well here goes - my recollections of that fateful day. Let me introduce myself to you first- I am Adie, wife of Neddy Oslek and my kids from oldest to youngest also their partners and kids are as follows:- Lucias first born son, married to Micha, Nyellen with estranged husband Jonas , eldest daughter has four kids - Rain, Nebula, Syth and Izzy. Kitty third born married to Dillon has two kids Jett and Terra , Syon married to Jean with thee kids Sarina, Wilt and Amnesty, and finally my last born Derk and his wife Ember with four kids - Lyon, Ramon, Cilla and Bea. On that day we also had friends with us to help celebrate such a wonderful Christmas- Brian and his partner Trixie, Steve and Leanne, Roach and Lydia, Maurie and Michelle, Toady and Vanessa, Tony and Ratch, Bren and Honeybun ( thats all Bren called her so we all followed suit!) and finally Joel, Rosie his dad Guiseppe and kids Lucy, Kayla and Don. We had retired to the bbq area where the shade from the big old gum trees kept the warm sun off us and were just laughing, joking and relaxing with a beer, or a wine or scotch, rum or cocktail-whichever took your fancy. The kids were happy playing around with cricket being the main game for now. Kitty had wandered inside to bring out yet again more Christmas food and had lingered by the tv to watch the latest news on TV which usually is just Christmas movies. Next minute, time seemed to stand still as she came flying outside yelling and screaming about a disaster in the city which we never comprehended at the time till she calmed down enough to tell us . Most people in the cities never stood a chance. They thought the fireworks exploding around them was some sort of Christmas celebration. They never ever really saw it coming until it was too late. Most were caught out as they sat down to their Christmas dinner. Some even thought it was a new Spielberg movie that was rumored to be shot in Australia in the near future. It seems the only ones that had actually been watching the skies that day were a hand full of preppers who immediately headed off to their hideaways and yelling at people to get out of the city really didn't sink in till it was just an after thought. Soon the mad exodus would start. Most cities were destroyed within the first half hour of the sightings. They had destroyed our communications satellites just before the carnage so only a few got the message out- luckily I guess. The Governments had taken most of the weapons off the general population but I don't think we would have been a threat to them much anyway. We all rose as one and started to sort out kids, food, rations, water medications and yes- toilet paper! We had prepped for floods, cyclones ,fires like I said so this was no different just more sinister so we had to keep a level head, not panic too much and just get on with preparing to head to our safe haven-hopefully we were not too late to leave.