Chapter 001: Day Three

Sarah's grandmother, Terri, had been an ordinary office worker in one of the endless offices throughout Washington D.C. Each day she rode the Metro into the city while trying not to fall asleep as the train filled up with people and slowly rocked everyone into a kind of helpless submission. The ride home was the same, except more crowded and filled with unspoken anticipation and tension of urgency as the commuters tried to make their way home.

There was an endless stream of small decisions that Terri made that fateful night which would end up saving her life. If she had not stayed a half-hour later than usual, she would not have found her friends outside, who would have not been able to talk her into getting a drink with them. If she had taken the metro from her usual station rather than from the one closer to the bar or even walked just a little faster to the station, things would have been different. If she had simply caught the train before or after, then office worker Terri Parker would have most likely died along with the rest of humanity.

When the train stopped in the Tysons Corner station north of Washington D.C., Terri hardly noticed. She still had several stops to go and, as was the case on the subway, you simply did your best to tune out everything going on around you. There had been a man at the bar who had paid her attention that night, and Terri sat in her cold plastic seat weighing the pros and cons of the man and felt the weight of his phone number in her coat pocket, all the while smiling quietly to herself.

It wasn't until the train sat in place for a full half-hour that Terri began to notice something was wrong. At that moment, she could never have dreamed that the train she sat on would never move again or that it would become her home, and the only home her children would ever know.

When the lights went out, the people moaned, thinking that they were being delayed by yet another one of the rolling brown-outs that had been plaguing the D.C. metro area for the last several months. The emergency lights came on and the doors opened and everyone waited.

Another hour passed, then another.

People were now standing up, stretching their legs and wandering only a few feet from where they had been sitting. A few of the more courageous ones had walked off the train and onto the platform, looking for some kind of answer. Without talking to one another, they all simply stared into their brightly lit phones; none of which were connecting to any network or cell tower.

It wasn't until the train sat in place for a full half-hour that Terri began to notice something was wrong. At that moment, she could never have dreamed that the train she sat on would never move again or that it would become her home, and the only home her children would ever know.them. If she had taken the metro from her usual station rather than from the one closer to the bar or even walked just a little faster to the station, things would have been different. If she had simply caught the train before or after, then office worker Terri Parker would have most likely died along with the rest of humanity. Tysons Metro Station would be locked up tight until the authorities arrived.

Immediately, everyone came to the same conclusion that there had been some kind of terrorist attack. Several people grabbed their belongings and ran off the train in a panic. All of these died within hours of leaving the station, but those still at the station did not know their fate and believed, for a long while, that those who had left had been the fortunate ones.


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