Samuel could hear the thrums of intergalactic war beating on his bunker walls.
Good, he thought. Serves them right. Year after year. Decade after decade. He'd been laughed at. Even with people he thought he might find a connection with, as soon as he mentioned the aliens and their incipient invasion, things always turned weird.
And this from people who believed subterranean shape-shifting lizards controlled the world hand-in-hand with baby blood sucking vampires.
Another explosion. The walls reverberated. An almost metallic clang went out, ringing his ears. When he first started dynamiting the mountain to create the room for his bunker, he believed he had found the perfect spot. Ten-inch thick steel reinforced by mother nature's own body of armor. Stone on stone on steel. What he hadn't considered is that sound traveled through stone a lot better than it did dirt. So whenever one of the alien's concussive blasts went off, the shockwave rode the shale straight up the mountain until it clanged off the metal walls of Samuel's little fortress.
No bother. Sound was sound. He'd live through it. What concerned Samuel much more was the group of people currently standing outside the entrance to his personal paradise.
In his zest to hunker down, Samuel hadn't properly strapped down the netting he used to camouflage the entrance to his bunker. Once the bombs started dropping--he assumed they were bombs, with the radios struggling to deliver their message his visibility into the world was rather limited at the moment---the aforementioned aftershocks shook his synthetic subterfuge off like a pair of warm shoulders shrugging off a shawl.
How they managed to stumble upon his little hideaway was still a mystery, but how he planned on responding was not.
"Leave me alone!"
By the way his unwanted guests reacted it was clear the speaker system he had installed was still working. Good.
The refugees--two men and a young lady--looked at each other and started speaking in a rather animated way. After arriving at some sort of decision, the taller man stepped forward and started speaking. Samuel couldn't hear a single word he said. The world was ending, energy needed to be conserved, and he wasn't going to waste a single drop to turn on the outside speakers just so he could hear some sheep bleating at him for help.
Still, they had laughed at him. Years and years. Oh to be able to tell them how stupid they looked now. But that would be foolish. And if the last twenty-four hours had proven anything, it was that Samuel Adstrum was far from foolish.
He didn't know how much time had passed. With the world coming to an end, Samuel had started toying with the idea that time--at least as far as it used to be viewed--no longer applied. There would still be day and night. Seasons for growing and harvesting, But beyond that, Samuel was no different now than the deer and the birds. What did an owl care about days of the week? What did it matter to a bear if it was 4:50 or 5:10 or 6:23? All that mattered now was the world itself. When was the best time to go fishing, the best time to lay traps, the best time to hunt and gather? These were Samuel's chief concerns and they kept him company while he ran through his inventory, adding in the few supplies he managed to transport over in his truck once reports started coming in.
That had been a thrilling seventy-two hours. The initial sighting. The frenzied reports. The useless back and forth between self-proclaimed intellectuals. Pseudo scientist and pop culture prophets. Part of him wished he could have spent a little time bathing in their panic. Reading denial after denial. But with the end nigh, he loaded up his truck and started delivering more and more supplies.
That was an exciting dance. He knew the aliens would attack. That they would rollover these pathetic, unprepared people was beyond a foregone conclusion. But when they would attack, and in what manner. That kept him buzzing. His hands had been so slick with sweat that as he steered his truck through the path he had carved (then concealed) in the woods he feared the thing would slip out of his hands and he'd go tumbling down the mountain. All that hoarding, all that planning and preparation, down in flames because he didn't take the time to wipe his hands.
But the wheel hadn't slipped. The truck had made it through the wilderness. Two, three, four times. Four! He had contemplated a fifth, and in retrospect he could've made it with room for a potential sixth, but too much had gone into his planning to spoil it over greed.
Still, that fifth trip would've be one hell of a ride.
Munching on a bag of crisps, Samuel rolled his chair over to his command center. The three visitors continued banging away on the door. They had found the camera--one of them, at least--and started speaking directly into it. The speakers were still disabled, a fact that tickled Samuel to no end, so all their efforts resulted in little more than a humors distraction for Samuel. A decent one, too, since the alien's bombardment had not ceased.
Samuel rubbed his ears. The nonstop clanging from the eruptions had started to wear on them. Of all the supplies he had forg