Ralph the Mutant

Part Two

By Douglas E. Gogerty

Wow, would it be cool to shoot lasers from my eyes. Now that is the kind of mutant that I would want to be. Not that my mutation has not had its advantages. I have met thousands of fantastic people all across the globe. However, there is lots of travel involved. London for a month, and then Shanghai for another month. The mutants from the comics always seemed to stay home most of the time. On the other hand, Gotham City no longer exists, so I guess there is that. In any case, I should get back to the story.

It had been a mild winter. There had not been too much inclement weather around the country. Snowfall had been way down. Apparently, this was a sign of the second coming and had nothing to do with Global Warming. Since it was the holidays, I was flying home to Cincinnati to see my family. I did not give one thought about the two hour layover in Minneapolis. It was in the midst of a long drought there -- again a sign of the apocalypse.

I thought it was my bad luck when we approached the Twin Cities. As we landed at the Minneapolis/Saint Paul International Airport, it was in the midst of a terrible storm. According to locals, it gave the Halloween Storm of 1991 a run for its money. Visibility made the landing difficult, but taking off was out of the question. There was no flying out of there.

To make matters worse, all the interstates coming into and out of the Minneapolis area were closed. If you could get a car, it would be tough traveling anywhere. Not that it mattered because there were no rental cars to be had. Hence, my fellow airline passengers and I were stranded at the Lindbergh terminal on Christmas eve. The storm was getting worse, so the prospects of leaving the airport before New Years Day looked mighty weak.

With my fellow strandees, I found a spot on the floor to stretch out. I intended to get some sleep before the next day's attempt to get home. However, little sleep was to be had. Someone had turned on the news in an effort to see when the storm would subside. This was a mistake. Horrible news was broadcast, and it had nothing to do with the weather. It was even worse than being trapped in the airport on Christmas eve away from family and friends.

The early reports were sketchy. That was because no one close to the incidents had survived. It was only reported that huge mushroom clouds were seen over Los Angeles, New York City, and Chicago. There had been no word from anyone in these cities. All communications were out. No one was sure if it was because of the electro-magnetic pulse from the blasts, which would have disabled all electronic devices, or if it was because everyone was dead.

All of the stranded travelers and I became glued to the television monitors to watch the news for developments. All through the night we watched and waited. Naturally, rumors and accusations were abundant and reported; however, evidence was in short supply. Sadly, these detonations killed millions instantly. Further, we watched as the nuclear fallout effected areas hundreds of miles from ground zero. The weather pattern that kept us from spending Christmas with our family's, drove the blast towards those very homes.

Our families were at risk as the winds brought horrible death to people far away from the targeted cities. Cities within a 300 mile radius of the targeted cities were cordoned off. If we could have left, we would not have been able to go home to Ohio. In any event, we were forbidden to leave the airport for many days following the incident. We watched as city after city was abandoned. Further, with all the upheaval, the communication systems were offline. Our only news was from the television. We could not speak with relatives in affected areas. Thus, we did not know what had happened to our families.

Chaos was the state of affairs for months. Everyone looked for the perpetrators and found them behind every corner. The talk radio personalities, those that survived, continued to feed the fire of hate and suspicion. Riots broke out in places everywhere. Everyone tried to bring vengeance upon the perpetrators.

When it was discovered that American Christian fundamentalist were responsible, everyone was dumbfounded. It was unfathomable that these individuals would escalate from killing the symbols of their unrest, such as abortion doctors and other religious authority figures, to destroying millions of innocent civilians including some that agreed with their position. Further, these extremist did not figure on the events that occurred afterwards.

Many of the plotters lived well away from the targeted cities. However, they believed that vengeance was taken out on the offending cities and that their homes would be spared. Nonetheless, the radioactive fallout continued to spread. The weather took the radioactivity all over the globe. Livestock began dieing in every part of the world. Innocent people everywhere lost their livelihood and their food. Starvation became common everywhere. Hundreds of millions began dieing from the aftermath of the blast from hunger as well as radiation poisoning. If starvation did not kill you, then cancer did.

Then there was the killer flu pandemic. Hundreds of millions more died from that. There simply was no way to prevent its outbreak. Authorities were busy dealing with one situation when the next one came along. It almost became a joke as to what would happen next. Those that expected to disappear with the rapture were shocked to find that they too were left behind. They suffered with the rest of us.

So, there we were spending weeks trapped in the airport. We heard about all the horrors going on outside, but could do little about them. The storm had left three feet of snow on the ground. Nonetheless, with all that was happening, no one bothered clearing the roads. It was not business as usual. Further, the uncertainty made us all afraid to leave the airport. Hence, most of us passengers were in some sort of unintentional quarantine.

However, there was only a limited amount of food. Thus, occasionally someone would leave for supplies. Gradually, we had more exposure to the outside world. Our quarantine was short lived. Our happy little airport family was slowly dipping its collective feet in the waters of the new situation.

The airport worker who brought the flu to us was not a welcome person. Did I mention that I had an unusually strong resistance to the influenza virus? Nearly half of my fellow passengers succumbed to the flu. Before I was sitting and watching the news, suddenly I was tending to the ill. I watched people I had befriended in the intervening weeks die in front of me. Me, I never showed a single symptom. My mutancy was slowly becoming apparent. I had to save the world, but how would I do that?

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Douglas Gogerty published on June 14, 2009 4:54 PM.

"The God Wars" - Chapter Eight: Beachheads and Bullheads was the previous entry in this blog.

"The God Wars" - Chapter Nine: Lost and Found is the next entry in this blog.

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