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AKSHAY DHAR


WRITER

AKSHAY DHAR ARTIST

AVIK KUMAR MAITRA INKER

SWAPNIL SINGH (ABSTRACT BROS. MEDIA) COLORIST

NAVAL THANAWALA LETTERING

AMITA KHOSLA ART DIRECTOR

AMITABH THAKUR editor

ADHIRAJ SINGH The stories, institutions and characters in this publication are fictional. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Published by Pop Culture Publishing, an imprint of Twenty Onwards Media Pvt Ltd. B-130, Naraina Vihar, New Delhi - 110028 Artwork Copyright © 2011 Twenty Onwards Media Pvt Ltd. Character & Concept Copyright © 2011 Akshay Dhar. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the publisher. The publisher is not responsible for any views, ideas, comments and opinions expressed by the author. Further, the publisher cannot be held liable for any error or omission that might have crept in inadvertently. Publisher shall not be held responsible for any direct, consequential or incidental damages arising out of use of any information contained in the book. 2011 -2012 FIRST EDITION ISBN: 978-81-910061-1-7 PRINTED IN INDIA BY AVISHEK PRINTERS, NEW DELHI

WWW.POPCULTUREPUBLISHING.COM


the trouble with our times IS THAT the futUrE is not what it used to be -paul valkley

IT NEVER REALLY OCCURS TO US HOW FRAGILE WE ARE DOES IT?

NOT JUST US, BUT THIS LITTLE SHINY BLUE MARBLE A NERDY FRIEND OF MINE USED TO CALL “STARSHIP EARTH”

I GUESS WHEN THE SUN WENT CRAZY AND BALLS OF FIRE RAINED DOWN FROM THE SKIES...

...WELL LET’S SAY I STARTED TO RETHINK THINGS A LITTLE. OK, A LOT.

WE HAD IT ALL, TECHNOLOGY, MADDENING DEVELOPMENT, GLOBALISATION, EVERYTHING. AND IT SEEMED LIKE NOTHING COULDN'T BE ACHIEVED BY HUMANITY IF THEY WANTED IT.

“HUBRIS”, I THINK THE WORD IS.

WE THOUGHT WE COULD DO ANYTHING AND SO (FROM WHERE I STAND) IT LOOKS LIKE THE UNIVERSE HAD TO HUMBLE US REMIND US THAT THOUGH IT WAS OPEN TO US, WE WERE STILL ONLY A SPECK FLOATING THROUGH THE STARS, ANY DAY COULD BE OUR LAST.


ALL IT TOOK WAS ONE DAY. ONE DAY. 24 HOURS AND WE LOST IT ALL.

WE ALL SAW PLANES SIMPLY FALL FROM THE SKY, JOINING THE OTHER FLAMING STREAKS RAINING DOWN.

THE SKIES LIT UP LIKE A NIGHTMARE VERSION OF THE BOREALIS THAT I HAD ALWAYS WANTED TO SEE.

I CANT EVEN IMAGINE THE KIND OF DEVASTATION THAT MUST HAVE BEEN FELT ACROSS THE GLOBE.

ONE BABBLING STRAGGLER WHO SEEMED NUTS HAD EVEN MUTTERED THE WORD ‘TSUNAMI'. THAT BROUGHT BACK IMAGES FROM NOT THAT LONG AGO...

COMPUTERS, POWER SUPPLIES, SPACE INFRASTRUCTURE... IT HAS BEEN OVER A YEAR SINCE WE HAD SEEN ANY SIGNS OF ANY AT ALL. BASIC MACHINERY COULD STILL WORK BUT WITHOUT POWER WE WERE ON MANUAL MODE. BACK TO BASICS...

“POST APOCALYPTIC” LIKE MY NERDY FRIEND] USED TO SAY. YEAH, I DON'T THINK ANYONE ACTUALLY EXPECTS TO SEE IT HAPPEN TO YOU.

What do you do when it does? where do you go when the world is in pieces?


EVEN AFTER ALL THIS TIME, GOING OUT AT NIGHT STILL FREAKS ME OUT MORE THAN A LITTLE.

I still don't see why this couldn't wait till morning! Its crazy t' be heading through that place at night! I can’t see shit!

SCOTT SMITH, OUR RESIDENT WHINER. IT’S SMALL WONDER HE AND TABBY HAVEN'T EXACTLY BEEN GETTING ALONG, IF WE WEREN'T SO SHORT ON PEOPLE I'D NEVER HAVE BROUGHT HIM ALONG.

Shh!!!

No talking unless it is urgent. Not to bring notice to us!

BUT SOMETIMES NECESSITY OUTWEIGHS WHAT YOU WANT.

BUT RAZZA, HE'S SOMEONE I WOULD WANT HAVING MY BACK. HE'S A MOUNTAINOUS AND SURLY BUT HARSHLY HONEST FORMER GURKHA COMMANDO WHO HAD BEEN THE JACK-OFALL-TRADES REPAIRMAN OF THIS LITTLE TOWN WHEN WE FIRST MET.

GOD WHAT I WOULDN'T GIVE TO HAVE ONLY THE CROWD AT MR. SINHA'S GROCERY SHOP RIGHT NOW AND WITH THE SKIES BEING AS DARKENED AS IT SEEMS, THAT PROMISES TO BE SLOWER AND LESS PROMISING EVERYDAY.

Keep it together Scott. There's no more foodTO scavenge in this town, and with our little garden at least a couple of months from giving us anything we can use, that leaves us running out of options sooner rather thAn later.

ITS HARD TO BELIEVE THIS GHOST TOWN WAS ONCE HOME TO A FEW HUNDRED PEOPLE, LOOKING AT THE 18 SURVIVORS THAT NOW REMAIN.

WHAT THE STORMS AND TORNADO DIDN'T KILL, THE UNEXPLAINABLE ILLNESSES and BREATHING DISORDERS TOOK NEXT.

are not far from first trap, total quiet from here is needed.

NOW WITH OUR SCAVENGED FOOD RUNNING LOW AND ALL HOPE FOR OUTSIDE HELP LONG DEAD, WHAT CHOICE DO WE HAVE BUT TO ADAPT? I NEVER IMAGINED I’D BE HUNTING FOR MY FOOD BUT WE HAVE NO CHOICES LEFT.


I hear something ahead, perhaps something is caught in the next trap.

Nothing, does not look even like they come here today. Maybe other traps bring better luck for us.

Oh shit!

Shit! Damn it all!

Scott,get back here! We have to stay close !


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