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Rated: E · Novella · Action/Adventure · #2161266
A disaster befalls America so its up to one guy to find out how to solve it.
I made this book from March 3, 2018 to May 14, 2018.


CHAPTER ONE
THE ASSEMBLY

DOUGLASS SCIENCE & DEFENSE COMPLEX
WASHINGTON D.C, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
MAY 15, 2047 - 12:44 PM

Scientists and military men were running around the Douglass Complex as if their clothes were on fire. The United States of America was in a war with the ever-growing Salvadoran Central American Empire, or Salvadorcae for short. It was started when the once small country of El Salvador suddenly grew and conquered all of the Central American countries and Mexico. The United States wasn’t very concerned until the Salvadorans threatened to invade America next.
Since then, the USA and Salvadorcae have been fighting each other non-stop. The scientists at the Douglass complex were priming a weapon the United States had developed to destroy Salvadorcae. This weapon was a type of fire that was modified to only be put out by a chemical called Kinite, a solution of water, carbon dioxide and radium. This fire was called Contagion Fire. Contagion Fire was designed to spread and burn anything in its path until Kinite touched it. It would then start a chain reaction and kill all of the flames. USA’s plan was to drop a small missile containing some starter powder for Contagion Fire. When Salvadorcae surrendered, burnt, or the fire got to close to the United States, they would launch a missile containing Kinite. Meanwhile, General Howard called an assembly in the auditorium.
“Gentlemen, I am pleased to announce that our weapon that you have spent ages on is now officially ready. In 48 hours time, we will be sending a short range missile to impact the southeastern region of the Salvadoran Empire. This missile will contain powder, of the substance you have all created. Contagion Fire. It will cripple, if not destroy, the Salvadoran Empire. But let us not forget the directors of this program. We have Corporal Thomasson, Dr. Cyprus, Dr. Ydera, Dr. Ironsmith, and Colonel November. You all have worked very hard on this project.” And then, the loudspeaker came on. A low, German accented voice said “I am Eraser. Watch this nation burn.” And then the complex exploded.

CHAPTER TWO
ESCAPE

LARSSON RESIDENCE, LAWLIET STREET
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
MAY 17, 2047 - 9:50 AM

Dominic Larsson sat in his leather armchair in front of his television. A news reporter stood in front of his background talking about the disaster that happened two days ago. “The unstoppable fire has raged across the east coast as far north as Maine, as far west as Kentucky and as far south as Orlando. An estimated 98 million are dead across the nation. Experts estimate the fire will reach as far as Seattle in roughly 36 hours. According to survivor Corporal Arnbjord Thomasson, the missile set for Salvador was set off by a terrorist, or possibly a rogue scientist, calling themself Eraser who set off the fire. He says the only way to stop the fire is by Kinite, a chemical which was destroyed by Eraser. He says until some Kinite is made or found the fire will wreak havoc among America. There is little hope. May God have mercy upon our souls”
Dominic clicked off his television. “If I had it my way, I’d be in Paris by now. But of course, when I most need it, my ship is under repair.” Dominic had 36 hours to leave Seattle before certain death. Dominic remembered the Seattle Airship Port and there may be a ship willing to take him to Europe. So he got the biggest bag he owned and put everything he owned and needed into it.
He drove to the airport. He walked into the airport and up to the front desk. “Hi, I need to get out of here. Are there any airships I can take?” he said to the desk lady. “Sorry, sir. The last passenger airship departed for Kiev 15 minutes ago. There won’t be another arrival for another 2 hours.” Dominic couldn’t wait that long. “Are there any ships at all I can take? Even a cargo ship?” he asked. “Well, there is one cargo ship. It’s bound for Trondheim in 15 minutes. I’ll call the Captain and see if he’s willing to let a passenger onboard.” she said. She picked up a phone and keyed in some numbers. “Captain Robertson, I have a man here who wants to board your ship. Will you allow it?” Dominic heard some muffled speaking, and then she hung up. “He says you can. The ship is in terminal B2, the ship’s called the Heron. Have a safe flight.” Dominic thanked her and proceeded to terminal B2.
He could see through the windows the ship wasn’t very big. Probably 50 feet in length. He opened the door to the terminal and walked down the metal stairs. A man in a white shirt and black pants walked up to him and said with a Norwegian accent “Are you the one coming ‘board?” he asked. “Yes. This is the Heron right?” “Indeed it is. My name’s Scott Larke, I’m the first mate on this ship. Captain’s inside. What’s your name?” “My name is Dominic Larsson,” Dominic said. “Mr. Larsson, welcome aboard the Heron.” Larke entered the ship, followed by Dominic. The ship seemed a lot bigger on the outside than it did on the inside. Granted, it was full of crates of everything from potatoes to sporks to swim caps. Why did Trondheim even need swim caps?
Then the door to the cockpit opened and out stepped a man in the same outfit as Larke. “Captain Robertson, this is Dominic Larsson. He’s going to be riding with us to Trondheim,” Larke said. “Alright, then. Larke, empty a crate for the passenger to ride in. Don’t forget the air holes.” the Captain said. Dominic looked at him confused. “Only joking. M’names Charles Robertson, I’m the Captain of this ship. Are you by chance a sky sailor?” the Captain asked. “Yes I am. I’m the pilot of an airship called the Cloudliner,” Dominic replied. “I could tell,” the Captain said, “I need a copilot. My copilot is in a hospital in Oslo right now. Care to join?” “Sure, sir.” Dominic replied



CHAPTER THREE
THE HERON

SEATTLE AIRPORT
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
MAY 17, 2047 11:25 AM

Dominic was sitting in the copilot’s seat next to the Captain. An hour ago the Heron had taken off from Seattle, and was now coasting at 260 miles per hour across Saskatchewan. It would take them another 17 hours to get to the Trondheim airport, but at least they were over 9,000 feet above the burning continent. So far it was a comfortable flight. Suddenly, the radio crackled. “This is the Regina International Airport air traffic control tower. Please state your ship name, number, coordinates, and destination. Over” The Captain looked confused, but said “This is the Heron, number 31018, bearing latitude 50.445211 and longitude -104.618894, destination Trondheim, Trondelag, Norway. Over.” The radio voice responded with “Roger that Heron. We have a nasty storm on the radar, you may want to avoid it. You’re going to have to switch your routes via Minneapolis. Over.” “Roger that, Regina. Over and out.” the Captain replied. The Captain did some quick calculations. “Oh that’s great. That’s gonna add another half-hour to our schedule. If we’re lucky, we’ll make it to Trondheim only 10 minutes late.” And the Captain turned the ship southeast. Dominic started to drift off and eventually fell asleep.
Dominic awoke to his head smacking the dashboard. “Wuzhapnin” he tiredly said. He looked out of the window of the ship, to only see water. “We’re halfway across the Atlantic,” said the Captain “We hit a bit of turbulence. It looks like some of the winds from that storm are coming at us. But don’t worry. Turbulence is the worst they'll do.” Dominic hoped he was telling the truth, and fell back to sleep again.

CHAPTER FOUR
THE STORM

ROUGHLY 45 MILES SOUTHEAST OF ICELAND
ATLANTIC OCEAN
MAY 17, 2047 1:27 PM

The next time Dominic awoke, it wasn’t a pleasant sight. One glance out of the window made Dominic’s tired bliss turn into a sense of sharp hypervigilance. Outside of the Heron were deep gray and black clouds consuming the skies. Rain and lightning lashed from the skies, thunder echoed through the heavens. “That storm followed us here. And there was another storm, coming off of England. They collided. It’d be a miracle if we get out of this storm unscathed,” the Captain said. That wasn’t particularly reassuring to Dominic, but Captain Robertson said he had been a pilot for over two decades. Dominic was sure he and the Captain could pull through this storm. But he was wrong.
Five minutes later, there was a new feature added to the storm. Hail. Chunks of ice falling with the rain. He could hear them bouncing off of the metal of the hull. And then without warning, there was a flash. It made the whole ship bright as day for a split second, and it took the same amount of time for Dominic to realize what just happened. “Captain, we’ve just gotten struck by lightning. We’ve lost power in engines 1 and 3,” Dominic heard Larke say over the radio. This was then followed by a lot of frantic Norwegian between the Captain and Larke. And then a huge chunk of ice shattered the windshield. The air began to draw everything out of the cockpit. Dominic ducked underneath the dashboard, but the Captain was old, and didn’t have the reflexes of Dominic. With everything that wasn’t bolted down to the cockpit of the Heron, Captain Robertson went rolling over the hull and fell 5,000 feet into the stormy Atlantic ocean.
Alone and with little oxygen, Dominic was flying a now half-powered airship through a massive storm over the Atlantic ocean. Dominic started to feel lightheaded and realized he was running out of oxygen. He scanned the cockpit and found a container underneath the dashboard that had to be oxygen. He put the mask on his face and opened the jar. Immediately his senses sharpened and it was clear what he needed to do. Fight through this storm and make it to Europe. Then all of the illuminated buttons and dials suddenly went dull. And then he heard Larke shout “Captain! We’ve lost all power. We’re going down.” Dominic only replied with. “Window’s shattered. Captain’s overboard. Let’s see where we can go.” And without warning, the ship rose
The altimeter was the only dial still illuminated, somehow. It now read 28,000 feet. He knew hypoxia, or altitude sickness, was setting in and would kill him fast. Out of the corner of his eye he saw a button labeled ESCAPE SHIP and without thinking he clicked it. He heard metal scraping and clinking and opened the cockpit door. What he saw was not what he expected. The crew of the ship, Larke included, on the ground, either dead or unconscious. He saw a metal hatch with a ladder and assumed that’s where the escape ship was and ran towards it. Walking down the ladder he saw a small red airplane suspended over the ocean next to a plank. Dominic threw his bag into the plane and out of the blue, the chains snapped leaving the escape ship to drop towards the ocean. He had to decide fast. Would he stay with the descending ship, and try to pilot it to safety or would he attempt to jump into the falling escape plane with the risk of plummeting into the Atlantic ocean and meeting the same icy death as Captain Robertson? It was fight or flight.







CHAPTER FIVE
FIGHT OR FLIGHT

ROUGHLY 50 MILES SOUTHEAST OF ICELAND
ATLANTIC OCEAN
MAY 17, 2047 - 1:40 PM

He chose flight. He leapt and for a solid second he was suspended in air. He was touching only air. As gravity drew him closer to the planet, he hit the hull of the plane with a hard thud. He managed to pull himself into the cockpit and got the engines on. He managed to maneuver the plane to safely land on the ocean while the engines got enough power and he was lifted eventually lifted off of the Atlantic ocean and right for the storm clouds.
The sight he saw next was the Heron crashing into the ocean. “It’s a shame,” he thought “I guess Trondheim won’t be getting their swim caps.” Dominic was one to cheer himself up with jokes, but in this instance it felt disrespectful. Scott Larke was in that ship, sinking to the bottom of the ocean with it. Dominic said a quick prayer and continued flying. And then lightning struck the airplane.
“Great,” he muttered, “this storm’s trying to kill me.” He had no engine power, but oddly the rest of his ship had power. He was now free gliding 3,500 feet above the ocean and hopefully wouldn’t crash. Then the ship started to rise. It was caught in the same kind of updraft that brought the Heron to the altitude that brought it down. The altimeter began to go up by ten, a hundred, a thousand it doubled then tripled. Then rose to 25,000 feet. And what he saw next, he would never forget. When he saw it first, he thought he was seeing Iceland and his altimeter was broken. But upon looking down he barely saw the waves, and knew what he saw. An island in the sky.
It was too realistic to be a hallucination. But his powerless airplane was angled towards it and gliding to it with tremendous speed. Now he was above it and saw grass. And then a metal building with a big sign that said “BIENVENUE SUR L'ÎLE DANS LE CIEL” which he knew was in French. He tried to angle his ship down to lose speed but all he ended up doing was ricocheting the airplane off of the roof and sent it barreling towards the ground. He managed to press the eject button, but the plane rolled and shot him down on the ground. He landed face first on the dirt. He looked up to see a man in a weird suit running towards him. “Are you alright, sir?” the man asked. “Yeah, but where am I?” Dominic asked. “Welcome to Apex Skyland, the island in the sky.”







CHAPTER SIX
APEX SKYLAND

APEX SKYLAND AIRPORT
CIEL, SECTOR ONE, APEX SKYLAND
MAY 17, 2047 - 2:01 PM

Dominic was inside of the airport. The man had introduced himself as Johannes Quaz. Dominic had recounted the events of how he got on the island. “You may be wondering what this place is,” Quaz said. “Yeah I am. How does an island float?” “Do you recall the name Nicolaus Clef?” Quaz asked. “Yeah, wasn’t he that lunatic French inventor who went missing ten years ago with a bunch of people?” “He’s not a lunatic and he didn’t go missing. That's just what the public thought of him. He’s alive and well. I mean, despite the fact he’s got amnesia. Yeah he made this island. Electromagnetic rock that is lighter than air and can hold upwards of 20,000 tons on it. Crazy right?” “Crazy.” Dominic agreed. A floating island? Who would’ve guessed. 25,000 feet above and 50 miles southwest of Iceland, an island not surrounded by water. But surrounded by the sky.
According to Quaz, he wasn’t the first American to crash-land on this island escaping the fires. About a week days ago, a full passenger airplane landed on the island. So there were others.

CHAPTER SEVEN
THE DOME

PICKERING APARTMENTS
AUSTRINUS, SECTOR THREE, APEX SKYLAND
MAY 17, 2047 - 3:30 PM

When Quaz told him to go to the Pickering Apartment complex, Dominic was expecting something like a hotel back in America, or at the very least something like a run-down motel. What he didn’t expect was a 50-foot completely windowless iron building with a huge iron dome. “Whoever designed this building,” he thought, “was definitely the lowest bidder.” This was the building he would be living in for the next who-knows how many years of his life? A giant metal dome?
He walked in the dome and was instantly shocked. You could see out of the dome, and there were big squares flooding the building with light. They were one way windows. You saw only iron from one side, but the rest of the world from the other. He knew the patent existed, but he never had seen it in use. Especially in something as big as this.
He walked up to the desk lady. “Welcome to the Pickering Apartments. What can I do for you.” “Uh… hi. Can I rent an apartment?” “What do you want? A small, a medium or a large apartment?” “I guess a large?” “Alright. $15,000 dollars a month. Sound good?” “Whoa… no I can’t afford that. How about a medium?” Dominic said. “5 grand a month.” “Yeah, I think I can afford that.” Dominic paid her the $5,000. “Alright, its room 240. Second floor. Good luck.” Dominic thanked her and walked off, thinking it would be the end of that conversation. But she turned back and said, “Oh and Mr. Larsson, you’ll have a roommate.” Dominic stood there for a second. “Thanks,” he said and walked towards the elevator.
Dominic was walking through the hallway of the second floor counting down the rooms. 246… 244…. 242… and then finally 240. He put the key in the keyhole and opened the door. He heard someone say “I told you yesterday, Bob, I didn’t need my room clean-” he paused and looked at Dominic. “You’re not Bob,” the man said. “I’ve come to realize that myself,” Dominic said. “Right. Who are you then,” the man said. “My name’s Dominic Larsson. Apparently, I’m your new roommate.” Dominic said. “Right,” the man said, “Marshall Rynsburger. I’ll be right back, I’ve got a phone call to make.” He walked further into the apartment. He picked up the phone and entered a number. “Dolores, you never told me I was gonna have a roommate,” Marshall said, followed by some muffled yelling coming from the phone. “What do you mean it was in my contract! I never read anything about it,” Marshall said. Then he hung up. “Alright, seems like you live here now.” Marshall said. He told Dominic where all of the rooms were, and Dominic walked into his room.

CHAPTER EIGHT
ISLAND EXPLAINED

ROOM 240, PICKERING APARTMENTS
AUSTRINUS, SECTOR THREE, APEX SKYLAND
MAY 17, 2047 - 3:45 PM

Dominic and Marshall were sitting in the lounge. “So who exactly are you now?” Marshall asked. “I’m Dominic, as I previously mentioned. I lived, up until now, in Seattle. I’m an airship pilot of a ship called the Cloudliner, which is most likely a huge pile of metal and ash in Thunder Bay right now. What about you.” “I’m Marshall, as I also previously mentioned. I lived in the Netherlands and I was an underwater photographer. Good thing I was over the Atlantic ocean flying home from New York when the airplane I was on got carried up to this island a week ago. I’ve been living here ever since.” “Do you know anything about this place?” Dominic asked. “Actually, this whole week I’ve been doing essentially nothing except studying how this place works. I’ll tell you what I’ve found.”
“So about 15 years ago this scientist from Lyon named Nicolaus Clef started becoming a bit famous for his inventions. He made a bunch of random stuff that I guess the French deemed as “life changing” and he got pretty famous. Then he went on this airship ride to Paris to meet the president, and he loved the sky and wanted to live in the sky. So he coined the idea of an “island in the sky.” People started believing he was crazy and he lost fame. But he had managed to create a type of electromagnetic rock that was lighter than air and could hold up to 40 million pounds per square inch without breaking. 5 years later he, and a bunch of close family and friends, disappeared without a trace. A majority of the skeptics believe they were abducted, some people thought they were all murdered, but some believed he had managed to actually create the island in the sky. The names of those who disappeared 10 years ago were, Nicolaus Clef, Joseph Clef, Elizabeth Clef, Barry Clef, Johannes Quaz, Viktor VanLaum, Dolores Danielsson and James Wurtz. Nicolaus left coordinates for anyone who believed him in his laboratory, and so that's how this island got populated.”
“Wait, so all of those people live here, right?” Dominic asked. “Yes, they do. Except James Wurtz and Viktor VanLaum. They left a few years ago apparently. In fact, Matthew, Nicolaus’s brother, owns the restaurant in sector one. LeClef, I think. Sometimes, Nicolaus sometimes does a question and answer thing at the restaurant. In fact, he’s telling one tomorrow. I wonder if we could learn about the island some more if we went,” Marshall said. “Good idea.” Dominic said.




CHAPTER NINE
NICOLAUS CLEF
LECLEF RESTAURANT
ETOILE DE CLEF, SECTOR ONE, APEX SKYLAND
MAY 18, 2047 - 9:29 AM

Dominic and Marshall were sitting at a table at the LeClef restaurant. Nicolaus Clef was going to be out here in a minute. A rectangular wooden platform about half a centimeter above the rest of the floor of the restaurant was surrounded by a red curtain. Out of nowhere, a man in a black t-shirt and black slacks walked out from behind the curtains. “Matt, lève le rideau. Je suis en avance,” the man said. The curtain rose behind the man in the shirt. Which meant one thing: this man was Nicolaus Clef.
“Good morning everybody, ze name is Nicolaus Clef, if you don’t know. You’re on my island, Apex Skyland. I named it zat because it is ze highest inhabited place in ze world. Apex means ze highest part of somezing. I don’t quite remember how I engineered ze island but rest assured I wouldn’t share ze every detail if I did. I have amnesia due to an accident involving my head and a staircase.” Dominic vaguely remembered what Quaz said about Nicolaus having amnesia. “Now, does anyone have anyone have any questions?” Nicolaus asked. “Who came up on this island with you at first?” Dominic asked. “My parents and brother, my crazy American cousin Dolores, and my friends Johannes, Viktor, and Thomas. Zey were ze only people at ze time who believed in ze possibilities of ze island, but more found ze coordinates I left behind and came here. Next question.” People in the restaurant were asking questions about how the island stayed up and stuff like that when Dominic wondered if the scientist knew anything about Eraser.
“Mr. Clef, do you happen to know of the disaster in North America?” Dominic asked. “Yes. How could I not? Its been going around ze news for ages. Its a catastrophe, sir,” Nicolaus replied. “On the news it said someone called Eraser had set off the bomb that caused the fires. Do you know who that is?” Dominic asked. “Maybe. I had an old friend who would call himself ze Eraser, and I zought he was a bit odd for calling himself zat. He was a bit of a pyromaniac to say ze least.” Nicolaus replied. “Do you remember his name?” Dominic asked. “No. I don’t remember his name or really anyzing about him. I only know, and very clearly, where he lived. A one floor red fibreboard house in Sandusky, Ohio. On ze edge of ze woods on ze edge of Lake Erie.” Nicolaus said. “Thank you Mr. Clef.” Dominic said, got up to leave, but suddenly a man came running out of the kitchen and shouted “Les incendies en Amérique du Nord ont disparu. Ze fires in Norz America have disappeared.”



CHAPTER TEN
MISSILE STRIKE

ROOM 240, PICKERING APARTMENTS
AUSTRINUS, SECTOR THREE, APEX SKYLAND
MAY 18, 2047 - 2:14 PM


“At approximately 12:04 PM the American fires were set out in Washington D.C by Corporal Arnbjord Thomasson of the United States Army.” He fled the scene afterwards and authorities have not been able to track him down.” the TV news announcer said. “Why would he run away from all of that? He just saved millions of lives and he just ran?” Marshall asked. “I have no idea. Maybe he’s camera shy or socially anxious or something. Or maybe he’s just modest and doesn’t like taking credit for stuff like that,” Dominic replied.
“You know, I think we should track the Eraser down ourselves,” Marshall said. “What? Why? The police, and probably the military, are already looking for him.” “Well, I think that he destroyed the island. He was friends with Nicolaus Clef, and he mustn’t have known that he had amnesia! Nicolaus said he hit his head last year! So Eraser must have found the island, knew Nicolaus lived here, realised he was a threat and sent a missle to blow it up! And obviously its been days and if the army hasn’t find him yet they won’t find him now.” Dominic pondered for a second before replying with “I guess you have a point. In the words of Charles-Guillaume Étienne, if you want something done right, do it yourself.”
And then the TV switched channels. All that displayed now was a red screen. “Did you change the channel?” asked Marshall. “No, I thought you did.” Dominic replied. Then yellow words lit up the screen and a synthetic voice blared “This is a civil alert for the entire island of Apex Skyland. A medium range ballistic missile has been detected and it will make a confirmed hit on the island within minutes. The areas that will be impacted directly will be Ceil and Etoile De Clef in Sector One. If you are in those areas please evacuate immediately and get to stable and underground shelter. All citizens are strongly advised to seek stable and underground shelter.”
Dominic was frozen. They were in the dome of Pickering Apartments, there weren’t any shelters for miles. They couldn’t do anything except brace for the inevitable impact. They stood waiting for five minutes and then the clear sky lit up into a fiery blaze of red, yellow and orange. The ground shook heavily and suddenly it felt like the ground had been pulled out from under them as he started falling and hit the floor hard and fell unconscious.


CHAPTER ELEVEN
OHIO
ROOM 453, HÔPITAL DE L’APEX SKYLAND
TRIANGULUM, SECTOR TWO, APEX SKYLAND
MAY 18, 2047 4:20 PM

When Dominic woke up he was staring at an unfamiliar ceiling. It was white, like a hospital. He’d been in one a couple years ago when he broke his wrist. He looked around and there were two doctors talking to each other in the back. “Ah good. You’re awake. You hit your head pretty hard. You have a mild concussion. When the searchers came in they took you here,” one of them said. “Perhaps you would like to see the live coverage,” the other one said. The second doctor picked up a remote and flipped on the TV. “At approximately 2:23 PM a medium range missile struck the first sector which destroyed a large majority of the sector and caused the island to drop an estimated 10 feet. The airport is gone, the entire city of Etoile De Clef is gone, and a lot of the other buildings have been destroyed. The museum in Altair of Second Sector has collapsed, the Pickering Apartments dome in Austrinus of First Sector is severely damaged and a rescue team have cleared a lot of the residents to the hospital in Triangulum, and we have not been able to loc-” and then the doctor turned the TV off. Dominic looked around “Where’s Marshall?” he asked. “Mr. Rynsburger? Oh he checked out about 10 minutes ago.”
Ten minutes later and Dominic was out of the hospital. He had found Marshall in the waiting room of the hospital and they left to find some way to get back to the United States. They were exploring Sector Two when they came across none other than Johannes Quaz, the owner of the airport. “Hey, Mr. Quaz!” Dominic shouted. Quaz looked at them “Oh hello Mr. Larsson. What can I do for you?” he asked. “Did any of the planes survive the explosion?” “Well I was listening to some music on the radio when I heard that warning, so I packed my things and jumped in a plane and flew to Triangulum.” “Can we borrow your plane?” Dominic asked. “If you can pilot it. What do you need it for?” Dominic thought for a minute on how to explain it when Marshall cut in and said “Expedition America.” Quaz lead them to the plane and they got in.
Dominic did a quick Google search and found the coordinates for Sandusky, Ohio. 41° 26' 56.184'' N and 82° 42' 28.6596'' W. He keyed them in to the GPS system of the airplane. It popped up with a map and said 6 hours. He turned on the engine and they were off to Ohio.
Six hours later, Dominic and Marshall were standing the ashes of what used to be the town of Sandusky, Ohio. But they couldn’t focus on the ashes. They had a terrorist to find. So they started their trek to find the woods on the edge of Lake Erie. But, it was now nearly midnight so they thought the best thing to do was to find somewhere to sleep for the night. But, as the entire town was destroyed, they ended up sleeping in the rubble of the streets.


CHAPTER TWELVE
MISSING MAN
A WOODLAND NEAR LAKE ERIE
SANDUSKY, OHIO, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
MAY 19, 2047 8:27 AM

Dominic and Marshall had begun their search an hour before. They had found a woodland area on the edge Lake Erie and were looking for the one-floor red fibreboard house that Nicolaus was talking about. “Nicolaus Clef” Dominic thought aloud “lived in the sector that got struck by the missle.” Neither of them had realized that until then. “I wonder if he is alive.” Marshall said. They continued walking in silence. All around them was ash on the grounds. Only a few of the sturdiest trees were still standing, but through most of the journey they had been climbing over the charred remains of trees that had been burnt like logs in a giant campfire. Suddenly Dominic found something shining underneath some ashes. It was a golf club. That's when they realized they were standing on the remains of a golf course.
15 minutes of walking later, they found it. The red house stood before them. They were facing the back of the house, but they could tell quite clearly it was fibreboard. There was a single window in the back but there were curtains covering the window. They were approaching the building to go in through the door when it went up in a blaze.
The explosion knocked Dominic and Marshall off of their feet. They hit the ground with a thud. Dominic’s head felt like it had been hit with a sledgehammer. Whatever was in that house must have been important. But whatever was in it was gone, blasted into oblivion. They stood up and stared at the burning building. The only thing that held the answer to who set the country on fire was gone.
“What was that? What happened?” somebody behind them asked. Dominic turned around and pointed the golf club at the stranger. A man who looked to be in his early fifties was standing in front of them. He was wearing a blue United States Military jacket that looked a size too big. Dominic noticed a patch on his jacket that read THOMASSON. This man was Arnbjorn Thomasson, the corporal who put out the fires. “The house blew up,” Marshall said. “Obviously.” The corporal surveyed the house. “This was it. The military had suspicions about this house. A friend of mine and I are trying to hunt him down because we know he is in this area but we don’t know where exactly.” “Corporal Arnbjorn did you actually put out the fires?” Dominic asked. “Please, call me Arnie. And yes, I suppose I did.” And then the radio that Dominic previously hadn’t noticed started crackling. “Thomasson, I’ve got him. South Bass Island. Over.” “Roger that, Ironsmith. Over.” Arnie replied. “My friend found him on South Bass Island. Care to join me as we take this monster to the military?” Dominic and Marshall stood thinking. “Yes.” they said.

CHAPTER THIRTEEN
ERASER

LAKE ERIE
SANDUSKY, OHIO, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
MAY 19, 2047 10:01 AM

Arnie had lead Dominic and Marshall to a speedboat floating in Lake Erie. Arnie, Dominic and Marshall got into the speedboat and they took off heading for South Bass Island in the middle of Lake Erie, where Arnie’s friend Ironsmith had captured Eraser. As they approached the island, Dominic was confused: there was only one speedboat in the dock. If there was Eraser and Arnie’s friend, then there should have been two. “Okay, don’t get skeptical yet,” Dominic thought to himself. “Maybe Eraser just swam or his boat sank or he took the ferry” As they got closer to the dock, Dominic realized there was a man waiting there. “Okay, now its time to be skeptical,” Dominic thought. “Um, Arnie. Who is that?” Dominic asked pointing at the man standing on the dock. “I believe that is Ironsmith himself.”
There was nothing he could do. The water was too deep, and probably too cold, to swim in. So all he did was get on to the dock. The first thing Dominic did when he got onto the dock was look at Ironsmith and ask “where is Eraser?” Ironsmith just laughed. “Here that Vik. They fell for it! This is gold!” Dominic looked at Arnbjord confused. “Let me do a bit of introduction.” His voice had changed from the American accent to a low, German accent. “This is Smith Ironsmith. He is my friend and a worker of the United States Defense branch. He is the only other rogue in the military. And my name is Viktor VanLaum. Also known as Eraser.”
Dominic could not believe it. He had been lied to. Marshall was the first to react. He grabbed the golf club out of Dominic’s hands and swung at Viktor. Viktor dodged it and Marshall swung again. Smith tried to grab the golf club out of Marshall’s hands but Marshall turned and when he swung it hit Smith straight in the forehead knocking him out cold. And then Viktor, from behind, grabbed the golf club and wrestled it out of Marshall’s hands until he had it. He swung twice hitting Marshall both times and he fell just as Smith did, unconscious. Dominic charged at Viktor, and Viktor hit him in the shins with the golf club and Dominic plunged into the water.
Dominic thrashed around trying to regain his sense of direction until his hand brushed against a ladder which he grabbed with both hands and hoisted himself out of the lake. Dripping wet, he saw Marshall in Smith’s speedboat, still unconscious, and Viktor sticking a match in the opened engine. Then he pulled back the crank and the boat sped off. Dominic watched in horror as the engine exploded in a fireball and when the smoke cleared there was nothing left of the boat. “It’s a shame”. Viktor said. He raised the golf club and swung at Dominic knocking him unconscious as well.

CHAPTER FOURTEEN
REVELATIONS

LAWRENCE STORAGE FACILITIES
LAWRENCE, KANSAS, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
MAY 20, 2047 7:45 AM

When Dominic regained consciousness, he had no idea where he was. He quickly realised he was handcuffed to a wall. He surveyed the area. On one side, he saw Smith unconscious on the floor, on another side there was a table which had a box of matches, a cardboard toilet paper roll and a computer running a very old copy of Microsoft Excel. And then Viktor entered the room. “Oh good. You’re awake. It’s story time now. You probably want answers. Why did I set the most powerful country in the world on fire? Why did I kill your friend and handcuff you to a wall? Here is my story.”
“I was raised in a small Swiss village. During the war between Switzerland and Russia, when there were United States troops in Switzerland, my father was accused of being a Russian spy. So they took him away one night. Stole all kinds of things from our house and set it on fire. My mother had left Switzerland years before for Poland, so it was my father, my brother and I. My brother and I decided to find her and go to Poland. While we were going to Poland my hatred of America and its army increased a lot. My brother ended up staying with my mother in Poland, but I left. To join the United States Army.”
“While in staying France I met Nicolaus Clef and we became friends. He promised me enough money to travel to the United States and join the military if I helped him establish Apex Skyland. So I did. And then he gave me the money and I left. There I met Smith. He was also a rogue who hated the United States so we agreed to take it down. We spent hours writing plans and we went to the El Salvadoran government one summer and helped them concur everyone else, while Smith came up with the plan for Contagion Fire.”
“So I was doing a lot of my work from my house in Sandusky when I remembered my old friend Nicolaus Clef. I asked Smith to go up there and see if the old man was even alive, so he snuck aboard a passenger plane from New York and hacked the controls taking it up to the Skyland. Then I happened to be Kansas where the fires stopped and we found the real Arnbjord Thomasson with the last vial of Kinite. So let's just say I took care of him. Anyway, when Smith found out Nicolaus was alive, I convinced the Salvadorans that the Americans were developing weapons on that island so they sent that missile there. Smith confirmed Nicolaus was dead so he snuck back on your plane. You know what happened then.” Viktor finished.
“So why did you kill Marshall and take me then? What was all that for?” Dominic asked. “I wanted somebody to be alive to tell the tales of how America burnt.” “Wait, you’re not going to be alive and watch this at all?” “Why should I? They’ll find me and throw me in prison. So I wouldn’t want to be here and have to spend the rest of my life in a cage.” And then the door flung open. A man in a hooded sweatshirt ran into the room, grabbed a knife out of his pocket, and cut one of Dominic’s handcuffs. And then a gunshot rang out. The man fell and his hood came off revealing his face: Marshall.

CHAPTER FIFTEEN
FALLEN
LAWRENCE STORAGE FACILITIES
LAWRENCE, KANSAS, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
MAY 20, 2047 8:00 AM

Dominic yelled out. Viktor just chuckled. “That's one less problem I have to deal with now.” He was holding a revolver pistol that was still smoking. Viktor dropped it on the ground. “Now its time to re-light this candle.” Viktor said. He walked towards the table and struck a match. It didn’t light up. While Viktor was struggling with matches, Dominic used his free hand to undo the other handcuff. It clicked off of the wall and he was free. Viktor had finally got a match to work, and was about to reignite the power inside of the cardboard tube when another gunshot rang out. This time, the gun was in Dominic’s hands.
It missed and shattered the window. Viktor dropped the tube and match. The match landed on the computer, setting it on fire. Dominic clicked the trigger again, but the gun clicked empty. Dominic threw it down and charged towards Viktor. Viktor was caught off guard and didn’t have time to resist. Dominic plowed into him and drove him out the shattered window. Viktor VanLaum fell 50 feet towards the ground and towards his doom.

EPILOGUE

On May 20, 2047, Dominic Larsson saved the United States from what would have been a catastrophe. Years later, he moved back to Apex Skyland and wrote a documentary about the island.
Marshall Rynsburger survived the gunshot and recovered quickly in a hospital. Apex Skyland was expanded and Marshall was elected commander of the armed forces.
Viktor VanLaum was killed from a 50-foot fall
Smith Ironsmith survived the injury to the head and was arrested on a number of felony charges that earned him a new record sentence of 2,694 years.
Nicolaus Clef managed to survive the explosion and developed more rock to expand the size of the island as its population increased.
The United States was rebuilt very quickly
The El Salvadorian empire confessed to being under the influence of Viktor & Smith and weren’t punished severely. The empire was disbanded.


THE END

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