Chapter One-February 9th
Steve awoke inside his semi detached house on woodland road, Darlington. 55 miles from The Colinton Labs in York.
“Good morning” Steve chuckled to himself.16, brown hair, brown eyes, 5ft7, academically and sportingly average. Generally, Steve was thought of as regular, nobody took notice of him and he didn’t know his direction in life. Steve attends the Darlington state school and studies English, Maths, ICT, Business studies, French, German and Spanish. He was unusual in the fact that he liked living with his parent, they got on well; yet everyone has their arguments, unfortunately for Steve that day was today. Karen was a single mum, left to raise Steve when he was very young. Steve had never met his dad, never wanted to. His mum had brought him up to hate his father and he did just that. His mother had fallen out with him over something so insignificant yet it would be the last words shared between them.
It was mid afternoon and Steve was searching round the old tunnel system installed under the city. He was there really to escape the consequences of what had happened earlier in the day. Classed as useless by the Darlington City Office, the tunnels were left to decay and rust. Most of the water and Antium pipes have either burst or been redirected as free resources.
I should explain: Antium was a new source of fuel found on Mars on an expedition in 2014. It’s a mixture of Martian stone and heavy water. It became a race for fuel and suddenly, the whole planet has disappeared, only pictures and stories to tell of the red planet closest to ours. Shows the behaviour of humans today, devouring everything to sustain a selfish lifestyle.
Steve had found a bunker with rusty hinges and had managed to pry the door open with a crowbar. Inside he found, a large room with three beds, one refrigerator, one large box of dehydrated food, three survival kits of assorted sizes, one radio station connected to all other stations around Europe and three doors; presumably leading to the next endless corridor. Steve had always cherished this place like a home, a place to escape from reality. He didn’t bring any friends down here, nor did he want to. It was a place for Steve and him alone. He laid down on the moist beds, pulled out a book from the collection left here by the previous inhabitants and opened a packet of crisps. The book was about nuclear warfare in World War 2 and how technology has greatly improved in the nuclear industry. He took a minute to imagine how destructive Nuclear weapons have become, not just as a physical weapon; but as an emotional fuel. A substance which can change people, evolve people. Steve quickly shook off the thoughts of the outbreaks in London and began to search the room.
As every three families owned one bunker, many personalised it by adding certain items which were special to them. Many weren’t items worth monetary value, but Steve was no thief. He was interested in people’s lives and tried to determine the families’ personalities by the things they owned. This bunker was different, it had been stripped of all valuable materials, the survival kits were empty and most of the food was gone. The pipes had been redirected to a nearby house and the copper wiring in the radio had been ripped out. The last place Steve looked was under the beds. A solitary card lay on the floor. He got down on his knees and grabbed the card. It was a regular playing card with the face of the red joker upon it. Upon turning the card over he found a faded sentence, etched into the card. It read:
‘Let God protect us from the chaos of the world, for the Leaders are a pair of Jokers.’
Steve was surprised at the bluntness of this statement and continued to search for the other cards but to no avail. He slipped the card into his pocket and settled down on the bed. He closed his eyes for a few minutes, and fell asleep to the dripping of the overhanging water pipe.