By most measures, they’d had enough warning.
They’d gotten enough advance notice, between Iesult’s spotty and erratic future-seeing and Gerauld’s contacts in the government, to know when things were going to go weird. They’d had enough time to hit the stores before everything was stripped down to lime juice and off-brand saltines. They’d even had enough time, in part due to Khalim’s money-market philandering, to get a cabin off in the middle of nowhere and stock it up.
They’d had enough time to get themselves safe, in other words. They had time to warn their friends and family, in vague or concrete terms, depending on whose kin and kin, and how close they felt to them. They had time to get five of their closest to a nearby cabin, even.
Compared to most of the world, they’d had more than enough warning. By the time the city they’d been living in was rubble, they’d been settled in their cabin for a month. Julep had started a garden, Ieseult and Gerauld had finished the wall around the cabin-area (with help from some other fugitives from the end of the world), and Khalim had stocked them up on non-perishables and paper goods. They were in good shape – them, and the little group of twenty others who were holed up on the mountain with them.
They’d had enough warning that Khalim had turned most of his money into solid assets by the time the stock market blew up. They had supplies, real supplies, and a small community of like-minded individuals, in a place that was built for off-the-grid living. They were going to survive – and they had enough weapons to make certain they weren’t overrun. They were doing pretty well for themselves.
The four of them, the twenty of them, the fifty from that mountain, all gathered in the ski lodge nearby to watch the last TV broadcast from New York.
They watched as the bridges crumbled. They watched as the ocean flooded in. They watched until the tv showed them nothing but snow and static.
They had not had enough warning for this. There could never be enough warning.
They watched, holding hands. Not just the four of them, friends since elementary school. Not just the twenty, kin and kind. All of them, everyone on that mountain.
“How can we go on?” someone whispered.
Iesult cleared her throat, unsurprised to find it was tight with tears. “Together.” She coughed, and said it again. “Together.”
They would be pretty well off. Together.
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