“Your design seems to imply it will. We have found no flaws in the mathematics.”
“Yes, but you know, right? You already have faster-than-light drives; you could tell us what we’re doing wrong…”
“Our drives operate on a wholly different principle, as I have explained. You have followed a path of inquiry we never seriously investigated because of what may have been false assumptions.”
“Our theories implied that the warping of the universe would be non-local and irreversible.”
“Non-local and irr—”
“But if your world is not destroyed, we may wish to license your design.”
With her coat on, standing in the hallway, she could have been his wife or girlfriend or administrative assistant. Inside, the red dress showed just enough skin here and was just tight enough there to reveal her true vocation.
“Any bad habits I should know about?” She smiled disarmingly as he handed her the envelope.
“Is that a joke?”
“Not at all. I’m not worried about being bitten.”
She laughed, and the dress slid off. “You may be a vampire, but you’re also a regular. You won’t risk your good standing with the agency just for one drink.”
She heard the shots before the sound of the engine. Funny how sound propagates; she’d never noticed that before, what with all the background noise of civilization, but now that that was gone…
She held the shotgun over her head and waved so they would know she was alive. When the armored bus with no windshield pulled up next to her, she was still waving. The door cranked open.
“All right, all right; you’re alive, got it. Where you headed?”
“Come with us, you’ll do a lot more babysittin’ than fighting…”
“Fine by me.”
“Well, then, hop on in.”
The boat rocked gently back and forth. She kept her eye on the horizon, on the thin strip of land just barely visible there, but it didn’t seem to help at all. Eventually she couldn’t help it, she leaned over the railing and threw up.
“Not feeling any better?”
“I told you: I don’t like boats.”
“That all it is?”
The guy from the gas station said, “She’s fine. She’s not sick. Look at her, man.”
“All right, all right, I’m just asking.”
“I appreciate your concern that I’m turning into a zombie, but could somebody hold my hair? Please.”
How many could there be at this point? I mean, the government nuked the big cities, right? And people been fighting up this whole time, since it started. Especially here in the states where people got guns… that’s gotta have made a difference, don’t it?
I say we bust out and take a look. I know we’re safe down here and all, but we can’t stay locked up in no shelter forever, there ain’t enough food and water. It’s fine for shelterin’, but what if there worst’s over? What if it’s time to rebuild again? What if we miss it?