Nan and Sam are running through the darkness with a flock of roadrunners in hot pursuit. Sam reaches into her basket from time to time and pitches something that distracts the speedsters momentarily but their numbers are too huge to make much of a dint in the charge. A panting Nan attempts to keep a vigil on for scorpions as she runs but it is no use. The birds are everywhere. And what does Sam have in her basket anyway?
Nan stands frozen and shivering in the desert night staring in horror at the scorpion army seemingly locked for battle in front of her. If she could scream she would no doubt wake up her parents sleeping soundly in their heritage home just a quarter mile away, but her voice is stuck somewhere between her larynx and her tonsils. A meek whimper is the only sound that she manages to squeak out as she keeps a vigilant eye to the stingers ahead. But why aren't they moving?
The thought of heading out in the middle of the night into the cold Coachella Desert brings images of scorpions to Nan’s mind— little armies of stingers marching in unison looking for water. The scene is the stuff nightmares are made of, more specifically, it’s the stuff her own nightmares are made of. Ever since the Colorado river dried up things are no longer as they used to.
The cell looks more like a living room or even a private den. Of course, it could very well be anywhere since Svetlana and Igor seem to have lost all recollection of the recent turn of events at their ocean farmhouse. Post traumatic stress is a plausible cause if one of them is still mostly functional but for both of them?
The Ivanovich’s purchased their ocean farm less than three months ago for a great price and they have had nothing but bad luck ever since. Their first halibut harvest was modest (much less than historical figures predicted) and their second harvest even smaller. “Could today’s catastrophe also be related?” Svetlana mumbles to herself as she struggles to stem a deluge of self-pity bubbling up inside her.
Svetlana cracks open one eyelid and twitches her nose. Her second eye opens and her tongue sticks out as she contorts her face in disgust. “Igor!" Her husband snores peacefully face down with one leg hanging off the side of the bed. Svetlana whips around and wacks him on the butt. “Cve-NYA! Wake up! What did you eat yesterday?” But that's not what she is smelling.
“There’s something not quite right about the whole situation, Sally,” Boris explains as he examines a Nunavut berry under a microscope. He grafts a piece off it, places it inside a vacuum sealed container, and starts the DNA test on it. Melissa and Nathan are mesmerized by the image they see on the computer display. But it's not the berry which worries Boris.
Boris is analyzing the harvest report for his orchard and frowning. The trees need water desperately and it hasn’t rained for weeks. His farm just happens to be on the wrong side of the county line. What is happening on the other side?
Sally is preparing the lunch for today’s special adventure when Melissa skips into the kitchen with her little brother Nathan in tow. She sneaks past her mother rummaging inside the fridge for her kids’ favourite soda pop, walks her fingers along the edge of the counter, snatches a few berries, and gobbles them up. “Melissa Ann!” Her mother slaps her tiny fingers with a bunch of celery tops. “Those are for Uncle Boris. You KNOW how important they are.” But why?
A dozen or so motorcycles are cutting through the field behind them positioning themselves for an attack. Iris locks the exterior cameras onto their heat signatures. The infrared lens picks out enough detail for her to identify which gang the belong to— the White Scorpions. “Crap! They must have tracked us since the Ute Reservoir. But how did they get across the border?”
The Esperanza’s are keeping a steady eye on the flanks of US-54 as they make their way to Dalhart on the road to the Oklahoma border. They slow the truck down and switch over to their electric engine as they begin their stealth approach. Will they make it there undetected?
It’s a cold summer’s evening in the Albuquerque desert. As the sun sets over the abandoned gated communities less than 100,000 people remain. The rest have either died of disease in the overcrowded camps or were wealthy enough to buy their way up the list for relocation. The Esperanza family count themselves amongst the fortunate few who have thus far survived the catastrophic desertification of the Southwest. What's their secret?
The screams, helicopters, sirens, and megaphones directing people to higher ground turn into white noise. Gisele can only faintly hear her own thoughts as she tests out her treadmill endurance on real terrain. Ms. déjà-vu had not seen this coming. But someone did. Who?
Gisele tunes into KNX AM to find out what the holdup is on the San Diego Freeway: “A bridge collapse at the Marian Freeway is causing a backup on the 405 as far back as the Santa Monica Freeway. Emergency crews are on the scene. It’s going to be a hot and smoggy parking lot today! Hope you have some extra filters in your glove box.” She mutters: "Why did I move to America again?"
Gisele is sitting at her regular table on the enclosed patio at La Petite Coquette in Beverly Hills sipping an Americano as she scrolls through her Twitter feed. She raises her cup to her lips and shifts her eyes to a man in a designer suit taking a seat at the table next to her. He sits down, places a laptop on the table, and as he opens it he scans the big red sign on the post in front of him. What could it say?
The list of casualties numbs Captain Jacob to the point of detachment: Wellington, Sydney, Honolulu, Lima, San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco are only the largest of the cities affected. Countless smaller communities were obliterated. Is this the end?
First Officer Tremblay’s voice trembles as he delivers the message to Captain Jacob. “Cassandra, the Ross Ice Shelf is collapsing.” He hands her a tablet with the live video feed from Scott Base in Antarctica. Josie appears on screen and what she shows them is simply surreal.
Captain Jacobs stands at the helm of the CCGS Terry Fox staring out into the vast open arctic ocean. It’s February 4th, 2015 and the winter seems to have finally vanished. She passes command of the bridge to Officer Tay, walks out onto the deck, and leans against the railing, windbreaker flapping in the wind. What happened to the ice?
A voice calls to Nayra in tube C-51. It’s the operator who green-lighted her appointment earlier. “Nayra! Get up! They’re in the lobby. Nayra, please!” Terry has his hands around his console and his face pressed against the camera lens. “You have to leave NOW!” What's the rush?
Nayra looks up toward tube C-51 and groans. She grabs the ladder and climbs to her cocoon for the night and settles in. The same instructional video she has been watching every Wednesday evening for 40 weeks now chimes in from the roof of the tube. What is in that medical kit that was handed to her?
Nayra hurries into the tunnel connecting her office building with the banking district while she completes her check-in process on her tablet. She places her thumb on the sensor as instructed and the operator at the Institute appears on screen, displeased. “You’ve been running again, 13-25F.” What's the hurry?
A couple of weeks go by and Amanda is finally experiencing some lucid moments. By this time, her and Sarah have become quite close friends. The two of them are hanging out at Sarah's watching a sci-fi horror flick on WebFlicks when the real horror begins.
The restaurant manager appears out of nowhere and calls for reinforcements. A dozen or so secret service lookalikes come pouring out the back office and create a security zone around Sarah and her party. But why?
It's girls night out at All-talk-but-no-pay-equity incorporated and the cubicle walls are starting to shake. Luckily for Sarah it's two dollar salmon tartare night at the new Skinny Mermaid fish house down the street. But what exactly is she eating?