A/N: This is just a little thing I started on a whim. I have about five chapters done. I just want some feedback since this isn't the thing I'd normally write.

This belongs to me (CrazyCowgirl101) and to no one else. All the characters are fictions and any resemblance to real-life people or characters is purely coincidental. Don't steal my work.



2:13 p.m.

Terrance and I stand together near the opening of the manhole. Our fingers brush lightly but we don't make a move to increase the contact. Not today.

This was our first foray above ground since The End. We're wearing gas masks-the Cold War Era kind. All around us is ash. It still falls gently from the sky and coats the ground thickly, like gray snow. Everything is gray. Flat and gray. I look at him and see the frown on his face deepen.

Around us others are coming to the same conclusion. I hear someone sobbing and a baby's wails. The murmur starts low and quiet and then grows to a dull roar. We're scared. We're confused. Nothing is the same. People talk and scream until a shrill whistle from Commander Chase silences all of us. We all turned to face him. Our leader.

Terrance slips his arms around me and I feel the mouthpiece of his mask brushing against the top of my head. A pang of sadness runs through me as he rubs my back soothingly the way that Joel used to when i was upset. Joel.

"We were once citizens of a great Nation," The commander's voice floats over us, pleasing to the ear and filled with assurance and authority that no one else possessed. "But now we find ourselves newcomers to a land once known, a land human eyes have yet to see, until now." I shiver at his words, wishing that i could simply disappear under the ground again. What would another few days be to a few years? "It is time for us to branch out and see how much remains of the place we called Earth." He pauses and his voice is still caught in the air, loud and booming. "Welcome to ExTerra."

If we had been in a movie there might have been applause and shouts of happiness. But we were anything but happy. How could we be? We'd lost everything we had ever known.