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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
PART 1
“Honey, I’m home!” shouted Mark as he walked through the door of his semi-rural home, 30 miles from the city center. “Where are you?” he shouted again, now worried, because his wife usually greeted him as he walked into the house. Walking through the foyer and towards the living room, he heard the sound of a male voice speaking in a monotone. Walking quietly towards the noise, he then saw that it was the television. Looking across the room, he saw his wife, motionless, curled up under a blanket on the couch, staring at the still talking man on the television. Now content that his wife was alright, he turned his attention to what the television announcer was saying, which was really nothing much of all that was of substance. What really got his attention was what was being scrolled along the ticker at the bottom of the screen. In the place of what was usually the rise and fall of stocks, or the results of professional sporting events were two words, written in all capital letters: “PEAK REACHED”. Now intrigued by the change from the normal, he wordlessly sat down next to his wife on the couch and continued to watch the television.
“As we have been repeating for the past few hours, we have just receive word from the leaders of OPEC that peak oil was reached early this morning, and for the first time in decades, the production of oil has started to slow” silently, Marks wife, Jill, slowly turned towards Mark and asked “What does this mean?” in a low, timid sort of voice. “Dear, this means I have to go buy gas, diesel, whatever, and quick. I’m going go soon, but I need you to go get the gas cans from the garage and load them into the back of the truck.” Jill hurried off to load the cans, but Mark had something a little more serious that he needed to do. While he did carry concealed, he had never been a fan of carrying a “truck gun” rifle idea, feeling that for a man who commuted 30 miles each way to work in the city, it was unnecessary, and he was also worried about it being stolen while he was working. Now, however, he realized the necessity of a rifle while getting gas, as there was bound to be a line that would be a mile, if not more, long. If there was a single person out of the hundreds or even thousands in that line that would be stupid enough to try to use force to cut the line, there would be pandemonium, and he would need all the protection he could get. After going to his gun room, he returned with the most compact rifle that he had. A 16” barrel Vepr AKM with a folding stock chambered in 5.56, he thought that it was the best compromise between AR accuracy and AK reliability, and was sure that this was the right gun for the situation. He took the five 30 round magazines that he had for the gun and loaded them all, giving him a total of 150 rounds of ammunition, should he need them. Feeling like he was prepared and wouldn’t be under gunned if it became necessary for him to escape in a hurry; he walked to the door that separated the house and the garage. Opening the door, he saw his wife sitting patiently in the front passenger seat. Without a second thought, he said “Oh no, I’m not taking you on this. No. You just stay here, stay safe. If anything happens, go hide in the bedroom with a shotgun and lock the door.
Recently, there had been a spate of robberies in his area of the county, so he had had the walls of the bedroom shorn up with eight inches of reinforced concrete, installed bullet resistant glass in the windows, and put a heavier steel door that was weighted to give it the feel of a light, indoor door at the entrance to the bedroom. It didn’t change the appearance of the room with the exception of thicker walls, not even visible to the casual observer. In the closet, there was a small, hidden door behind a rack of clothes that led to his semi secret prep room that even his wife didn’t know about. His wife, did, however, have her own 20 gauge and she practiced on at least a semi monthly basis.
After making sure that his wife would be ok while he was gone, he kissed her goodbye, said he would be back soon, got into his car, and started the five mile drive to the nearest gas station, located in the outer suburbs of the city.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
If you want more, let me know! It starts out a bit slow, but this is really a more realistic scenario then the "Mad Max" types of stories that we all love so much.
 

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Sounds like a great start but anymore I never start reading any more stories until they are finished. Theres notheing worst then reading a story for months then it ends and is never finished. So Ill watch and when I see an end I will read. But I would sugesst getting it all done before posting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Part 2

Rascals: i get your point, it does suck. I promise I'm not gonna be a D*** tease with this one, so just give me the benefit of the doubt :)


PART 2
As he pulled out of the driveway, Mark made sure to look in his rearview mirror to check if his wife was in fact going back into the house. Normally, he wasn’t near this worried, but, today wasn’t a normal day. As he drove along the roads, he noticed something, or rather the lack of something. This something was cars. It seemed that, contrary to his beliefs, people wouldn’t be rushing to the pump to fill up, but were instead either holed up in their homes watching the news or trying to not use their vehicles and instead conserve gasoline. Briefly, Mark considered this, but then came to the conclusion that he should press on and hope that his luck held out all the way to the gas station.
This, however, was not to be. As he neared the station, he began to hear the sound of shouts and car horns. When he crested a hill, he saw below him a seemingly never ending, snaking line of cars with heat visibly rising from them, giving the visage an almost dreamlike quality. “Idiots” he thought to himself “they should be turning their cars off while the line isn’t moving, not sitting in them baking while they burned the ever more precious fuel. Mark had seen enough to know that waiting in line wasn’t going to do him any good, so he pulled his car off the road and a little way into the light woods and scrub brush, hopefully concealing it enough from the casual passersby for it to be as safe as it could be. Knowing it would be a long walk, he then grabbed a single gas can from the back of the car and started to walk along the edge of the road towards the station. Knowing it would draw more attention than he wanted, he left his rifle tucked away in the truck.
Walking along the hot, dry road, Mark began to get stranger and sometimes hostile looks from the people he was passing. Realizing that his bright, “gas can” red can was drawing the attention, he decided that he had better step off and start to make his way through the woods, which would be much more concealed than the side of the road mere feet from angry motorists. This, however, lent the problem that he was moving much slower than he had been, and would take hours to get to the station and back.
Deciding to compromise with himself between the recklessness of walking along a road of stopped cars, and the slow pace of carefully marching through the woods, Mark decided that he would first scout out the station before he took his precious gas can there. He carefully piled some leaves on top of the can, but left a stick propped at a certain angle right next to it so that he alone would be able to recognize that the pile of leaves concealed anything, even if it was unlikely that anyone was going to be looking for a red gas can in the middle of the woods, it was better safe than sorry.
Mark worked his way to the culvert at the edge of the road and then climbed up the steep bank and began to make his way down the row of cars. Since he wasn’t carrying anything that would draw attention, or driving his truck which could be misconstrued as him cutting in line to the station, nobody paid him very much attention. After about 25 minutes of steady walking, he found himself facing a heavy chain link fence with a sign on it. The sign read “Authorized Access Only – National Guard.” After reading the sign, Mark quickly figured out that until the amount of oil left in the earth was figured out, the government was quickly seizing whatever resources it could lay its hands on, constitution be damned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Part 3

I'm gonna keep these coming you guys, here's part 3, i hope you enjoy it!


PART 3
He quickly turned around, not wanting to be a part of the riot that was sure to follow the quick spreading of the news that there wasn’t even a public gas station there anymore through the line of cars. As he walked back, a few people asked him if there was a problem ahead, but he said nothing. He knew that he needed to get back to his wife and get farther from the city as soon as he possibly could.
Since he was walking as quickly as he could without drawing attention to himself, he reached his can in only five or so minutes. Quickly uncovering, he then continued his fast march to where he had hidden his car. Upon reaching it, he found it to be unharmed and untouched, so he got in and started to drive it out of the woods. Upon reaching the edge of the woods and the start of the culvert between the road and the trees, he noticed a new problem that he hadn’t anticipated: the line of cars had grown. Now, instead of being at the back of the line, he was in the middle of what was rapidly becoming a massive parking lot style traffic jam. Thinking quickly, he pulled into the center of the relatively flat bottom of the drainage ditch and started to drive in the opposite direction of the now National Guard controlled station. Suddenly, he had an idea, one so obvious that he practically shouted it out loud to himself for no apparent reason.
“Radio!” he realized. He knew that there would be updates, and any news he could get was fine by him.
“The National Guard and regular military forces have seized all fuel temporarily” came a static-y voice from the speakers “we recommend that people stay indoors and do not, I repeat DO NOT, use any appliances that are run using power from the central grid” Mark breathed a sigh of relief. He had installed solar panels two years ago partly because the rising cost of energy and generous tax credits made it a financially viable option, and partly because his wife had had a brief phase where she tried to become more environmentally friendly, which Mark stopped as soon as she raised the idea of tofurky for the annual Thanksgiving meal.
Mark sped along the culvert until he reached the tail end of the still stationary line when he heard shots, specifically, rapid fire shots. Guessing from what had happened and what he had seen, either one of the Guardsmen was opening fire on a civilian trying to jump the fence, or a civilian with an auto gun had decided that they had had enough and was firing on the soldiers. Either way, Mark didn’t want to get involved, and quickly increased his speed to 20 miles per hour over the posted limit, not caring at this point about the police, who had more important things to do right now, or speed limits, which, at that point, carried just a little less sway with Mark than the police.
Racing down the highway, Mark passed a few cars that appeared to have broken down, but without AAA, the clueless passengers had no idea what to do. One man appeared to be changing the tires on a car with smoke coming from under the hood, while another equally clueless man was looking under the hood of a car with a flat tire. These people, obviously from the city, had probably been out of town when the peak was announced, and instead of staying put in their much safer country cabins and weekend retreats, had decided to trek back into what would probably become an lawless city within a few hours, as more and more and more people would become aware of the peak.
When he finally reached his long, private driveway, he got out of the car to unlock the gate that provided a sort of barrier to his property. Reaching down for the gate, he noticed something, or rather, the lack of something. The gate wasn’t where it usually was, but rather was lying flat and off to the side of the road. He looked down, and saw the skid marks of a large vehicle. One thought raced through his mind: “Jill”.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Part 4

PART 4
In case there were intruders still in the house, he got out of his car and walked silently along the edge of the drive until he came within sight of his house, and the one thing he didn’t want to see- an open door. He quickly jogged back to his car and removed his Vepr. Mark silently crept back towards his home. When he got to the grassy open area surrounding it, he crouched down and began to crawl around the first level of the home, carefully checking inside each window before moving on to the next.
When he finally finished checking each first floor window and finding them all empty, he assumed it was safe for him to enter. He assumed wrong.
As he walked into the foyer of his house for the second time that day, but under very different circumstances, he was scared. This was the first time in many years that he had been willing to admit it to himself, and the first that he had known that it was true, sincere fear that he was feeling. This feeling of fear increase exponentially as he walked into his kitchen. When he was almost completely done walking through the kitchen, he heard a squeak. Drawing his concealed carry gun and spinning around he saw, just in time, a dark man sized shape go flying past the door. Running out of the kitchen from the same door that he had entered, he followed the man dressed in black at a dead sprint down the driveway. The man was holding a bag that appeared to be filled to almost bursting, which hampered his escape considerably.
Mark caught the man with relative ease, given that the man was so encumbered, and tackled him to the ground. Ripping the man’s mask off of his face, he revealed a young man, no more than 20 or 21 years old. While holding his knee into the man’s back to ensure he couldn’t escape, he grabbed the bag and unzipped it. What he found inside was surprising. Most of his pantry was stuffed into the bag, not his expensive silverware. Impressed by the kid’s ability to realize that something was amiss and to get his priorities straight, even if he had resorted to looting, he said “Kid, what’s your name?” “Shut up” said the kid, implying with his tone of voice that he wasn’t going to talk to Mark at all. “No, bud, you don’t understand. I just caught you breaking into my house. Even if the police can’t come and get you as fast as they would have if all this hadn’t happened, they’ll still come! So either you talk, or you’re screwed” replied Mark. Suddenly, the man squirmed free, and reached towards his waistband.
Since Mark had already drawn his own gun, he trained it on the man before he could do something that he would regret. “Don’t you move a muscle, boy, or it’ll be the last thing you do. I swear to God, don’t you move” Shouted Mark “Now give me your gun. Slowly! That’s right.” The kid dropped his gun onto the mossy ground, and, finally realizing that Mark was dead serious; slowly put his hands on top of his head. “Fine” he said “by the way, my name’s Carl”
“Shut up Carl” said Mark, unwilling to get friendly with the man who had just broken into his house. “Are there any others with you?” “No, I was driving out of the city and I saw your driveway. Barricaded driveways usually mean there’s something valuable beyond it, so I took a chance.”
“Kid, all you took was my cans of beans and corn and stuff. That’s $100, max. Are you stupid?” said Mark, incredulously.
“Listen, Sir, I’m sorry. But-“ “Shut up, Carl. I’m going to keep this gun on you, and I’m going to take you inside to zip-tie you. You move, I shoot you. Understand?” Carl nodded vigorously.
Mark marched Carl inside, where he proceeded to zip-tie his hands securely behind his back. He then took him back outside, and, after frisking him again, tied him to a tree. Before going back into the house to look for Jill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Part 5

PART 5
He walked back into the house, carefully looking everywhere before he moved, and slicing the pie on every room. After thoroughly clearing every room in the house, he went to the bedroom. Thankfully, he found the bedroom door locked. After banging on the door and not hearing any noise, he pulled out his key and unlocked the door carefully. Swinging the door inwards, he slowly stepped in and said “Honey? It’s me” before he walked into his deserted bedroom. He looked around and saw nothing amiss, save for a light on in the closet. Worried about his wife, he guessed that she was hiding in the lit closet, and then carefully stepped around the door to get a picture. In the closet were a pile of clothes ripped off of their hangers, and his hidden door open. Now knowing that there was either an accomplice of Carl hiding in there or his wife, he approached with caution.
Peering into the hatch, he called “Jill? Jill it’s me, Mark. Hon are you there?” to which, much to his relief, he heard her quite clearly “Yes dear. When were you going to tell me about this room?” before she switched on the fluorescent lights in the room.
“Well, dear, I didn’t know what you would think, so I decided…”
“You decided what? And why didn’t you think I would like this room? After today, I’m all for it!”
Mark, remarkably surprised by his wife’s about face stance on his guns and prepping, was still very happy. “Hon, I caught the guy who broke in”
“Oh thank goodness, Mark that’s wonderful! But what are we going to do with him now?”
“I don’t know. We can’t trust him, but we can’t do anything with him. And if people are already finding and breaking into our house, I don’t know what we can do besides let him go and leave” said Mark, dejectedly.
“Wait, dear, I have an idea. Since the boy was just trying to take food and not valuables, why don’t we just leave him here, and take all of our food? We can take the truck and go to my parent’s house.”
This was unacceptable to Mark. What if the house was destroyed when they got back? Mark saw no way that this could end well, until he realized that because of the military requisition of all fuel, there was a very small likely hood that they would come back any time soon, and he had wanted to move into the country anyhow.
“Fine, but if the house is destroyed when we get back, it’s on you” said Mark in a passive aggressive tone.
“Let’s just go, ok?” said Jill, tired of her husband being petty once again, even in such a serious matter.
“Ok ok hon, fine” said Mark.
The two proceeded to gather up all of the guns and ammunition from the room, as well as the canned food, and load them into their travel suitcases and duffel bags. After many trips to the garage to load the truck, they then emptied the tank of gasoline that they kept on reserve to fill their riding lawnmower into their empty gas cans, getting a full 40 gallons before the tank ran empty. They loaded the eight five gallon cans into the back of the truck, which had an almost full tank because the last time it had been driven was when it was driven home after getting gas at the very station that he had just seen taken over by the National Guard.
Before they left their home, the stopped at the tree that Carl was tied up at and explained what was going to happen. While both of them were apprehensive, there was really nothing else that they could do. Since there was no police presence, they couldn’t call the police to take him away, but since they didn’t, they couldn’t just leave him there. This was the best choice of the evils.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Part 6

PART 6
While they were still uneasy with leaving their home in the care of Carl, the man who had only half an hour or more ago broken into their house, they still felt better leaving him on somewhat good terms than they would have felt if they had left him on his own in their area after angrily kicking him out of their house.
“Jill, I have to tell you. There was some shooting at the gas station as I was leaving” said Mark, wanting to impress upon Jill the severity of their current situation.
“Oh dear!” said Jill “is everyone ok?”
“I don’t know, but we need to get away from the city. Without fuel, things will get bad really fast.”
“Hon, what’s going to happen to us?” said Jill, slowly becoming even more worried about their future.
“I don’t know. I really don’t” replied Mark. “I’m sorry.”
The two drove along in silence for about 45 minutes, when suddenly, as they drove over a hill, they saw a large tree lying across the back country road that, until then, they had been traveling without any problems at all. As they slowed and approached the tree, a man came out from behind it holding a rifle. The two stopped the car, and, unsure as to what to do, stayed motionless. The man approached the window and tapped it. Knowing he had no other recourse, Mark rolled the driver’s door window down part way, and looking warily toward the man, said “Can we help you sir?”
“Yes y’all can” said the man. “If y’all have any guns or gasoline, y’all better give them to me right now, understand?”
“Sir, listen, my wife and I, we just want to get to her parents house, ok? We’ve got no guns and just enough gasoline to get there” Lied Mark, hoping that the man wouldn’t search their car.
“Well, if y’all don’t have any guns or gasoline, y’all are just gonna have to give me that pretty lady sittin’ in that seat next to you if y’all want to get through. Jimmy!” he shouted, and another man emerged from behind the tree, also holding a gun. Mark knew that this wasn’t going to end well for anyone, and as the man who had first emerged from behind the makeshift roadblock tree began to walk around the back of the truck while Jimmy continued to train his rifle on the couple, Mark quickly threw the car into reverse and slammed the pedal down, peeling out backwards and running the man down. “Self defense” he kept telling himself. “I just wanted to keep my wife safe. That’s it. Self defense.” As he drove another 800 yards in reverse before quickly skidding around and driving off in the other direction.
“Hon, oh thank you! But what are we going to do now?” said Jill gratefully, but also equally worried as to the continued status of their escape. “Where are we going to go now?”
“Well, we obviously can’t take that road” replied Mark, still very shaken up after the encounter with the two gun wielding men. If people were already brazen enough to set up their own road blocks and openly threaten people with weapons, what was next?
“Hon, reach into the glove compartment and get the maps out. We need to find another route” he said, now wondering if leaving home was the best idea after the break in.
“Dear, why don’t we just go back home? There was only one break in, and even if Carl has stolen our valuables, at least it’s four walls and a roof, right?
Silently, Mark agreed. After driving in the direction that they had come for a few minutes, he said “You’re right. Let’s just go home for tonight. We can regroup tomorrow and head out”
After driving along for another 30 minutes in relative calm, the two saw billowing smoke on the horizon, but, at this point, it didn’t surprise them very much. What did surprise them was that, after driving for another five or six minutes, was the sickening realization that finally was voiced by Jill. “Oh my God! Our house!”
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Marlin 45: I felt a little strange writing it, but as I got to that point in the story, I really found that Mark had no other options. What would have happened if he had simply kicked him off of the property before leaving?
 
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