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Cordelia Lives? by Mol
What if Cordelia survived the San Francisco Pebble? What if she found a way to board the Mayflower, to be with Jobs?
(Starting from the middle of the Mayflower Project.)
Cordelia started to pan down toward the reception again, intending to focus on the rather gruesome sight of Lucy stuffing her face with crab legs, but something drew her eye.
In the sky.
It was a small asteroid, a meteorite, no more than eight-hundred feet in diameter, a chip that long ago had spun off the Rock in its collision with the comet.
Just a chip. A pebble.
It ripped through the air, shrieking, a hurricane wind blew from behind it.
The pebble slammed into San Francisco Bay just short of hitting Alameda.
The explosion was equal to a nuclear weapon.
The entire contents of San Francisco Bay, billions upon billions of gallons of water shot skyward, a vast column of superheated steam. Millions of tons of dirt, the floor of the bay, erupted, a volcano.
The immediate shock wave flattened every building in Alameda and Oakland. Skyscrapers were simply knocked over like a kid's pile of blocks. Frame houses collapsed. Cars were tossed around like leaves in the wind.
The water of the bay surged in, sucking the USS Reagan into the bay, a swirling bath toy, then all at once the water blew back. The USS Reagan was picked up and thrown into and through the Golden Gate Bridge. The rust-red bridge wrapped bodily around the flying ship. The bridge supports ripped from the shores. Cable snapped like bullwhips.
The shock wave reached San Francisco itself. The downtown areas pancaked. Areas that were landfill simply melted, quick sand, entire square miles of city sank down into the water.
A million dead in less than five seconds.
Cordelia said, "Oh, my God, all those people." It was all she had time to say before the shock wave ripped apart the mansion on Twin Peaks.
(Here's where the alternative story of Cordelia surviving the San Francisco Pebble Attack.)
The final image broadcast was from a link lying sideways. The lens was speckled with dust. But image was still clear: Cordelia lay on her side, her face shocked. She looked down and saw the huge hunk of steel lying on her feet. The image was ended. Something smashed it.
Cordelia's feet had been smashed. Her bones in her feet were in a thousand tiny pieces. In thousands of tiny shards.
A clump of dirt had landed on the link. Cordelia began to cry.
Hours had passed and Cordelia managed to pull her legs underneath the steel. She looked at her feet. They appeared to look like peach balloons with muddy water inside. She drug her body with her arms. She drug herself about three feet and then collapsed.
A day went by and the moon had come out. Cordelia thought she was done for.
"Is anyone alive!" a man's voice screamed.
A tear went down Cordelia's eye. She spoke as loud as she could.
"I am! I am alive!"
The voice got closer, "I beg of you. Please. Oh, God, please keep talking to me."
"My name is Cordelia. I am sixteen years old. I am a girl. I have a nose that is a bit on a large side. My hair is blonde. My eyes are..."
"Blue!" the voice shouted. Cordelia looked up and saw a homely-looking man. About fifty years old. Maybe older. His hair was black, and most of it was gone. His eyes were bright green. And very much alive.
"What is your name? Are you here to save me? Were you in San Francisco when this happened?"
"You ask a lot of questions, Cordelia. My name is Michael Burnst. And yes, I am here to save you. I was coming to meet my family. I heard a huge noise. And the next thing I know, my car is being pushed off the rode, and into a ditch. I ran about three miles the rest of the way to San Francisco. I guess curiosity got to me. Then I saw this mess and decided to look for survivors."
"How are you going to get me out of here? I can't walk." Michael looked at Cordelia's feet.
"I can probably help you with that both of those problems."
Cordelia talked with the man for many hours. She told him of the pebble and what had happened. In return Michael used his cellular phone to call his friend, Joe, that was a helicopter pilot, to come and get them out of their.
It was dark, and they were afraid Joe wouldn't find them. Michael found the link under the clump of dirt and made a faser out of it. He kept sparking it.
Finally a helicopter above had spotted them. Joe flew about a mile away and landed. It was as close as he could get. Joe walked out to Cordelia and Michael.
"Youíre very lucky I came out here to get you. The Rescue Squadron will not help. They say it's useless."
"Thank you, Joe. Her feet are crushed and I'd say that they are unrepairable. So were are going to have to carry her."
"Okay," Joe spoke. He turned his head to Cordelia, "What's your name?"
"Okay, Cordelia, this is going to be very painful, but it's going to be your only chance in surviving." Cordelia nodded her head. Michael knelt down by Cordelia's head. And Joe knelt down by Cordelia's feet.
They both picked her up at the same time. She screamed in pain. They walked as fast the could. They put Cordelia in the back of the copter. She blacked out.
She awoke about two in the morning. Cordelia was lying in a bed, and her pant legs had been cut. Needles were on a table next to her. Drugged? Cordelia wondered.
Joe walked into the room through a door to her left.
"What are you doing to me?"
"You haven't noticed yet?" Joe peered at her feet.
Cordelia looked at her feet also. Wait. There were no feet. Just stubs. Attached to her stubs were metal feet.
"What are they?"
"They are your new feet. Try and walk." Cordelia listened. She stood up. She started to walk. Her feet worked! They actually worked!
"You should get some rest you had a hard day." Cordelia laid back down. Joe left the room. She started to fall back asleep.
Cordelia's eye shot wide open. She had a vision. A vision of Jobs fighting an person in a space suit. A person in a space suit that had a gun! She saw a NASA sign. She saw the berths.
She got out of her bed, and found herself the front door of the house she was in. Luckly the next to the door was car keys. Cordelia opened the door and got into the car that was in the driveway. It was a Ford Sobreviviente 2007. She started the car and drove off.
She didn't know where she was. That was until she passed a "Welcome to Flordia" sign, She had to be in Georgia? Why had she been flown across the country?
She drove up near a patch of woods. Just in time to see two boys go in. Cordelia pulled over and ran in after them.
(Back to original text from the middle of the Mayflower Project.)
"How much farther?" D-Caf asked.
"Half a mile." Mark replied
"I need to rest."
"No. Do you just not get it? The ship launches tomorrow night: 2:26 in the morning. After that thing in San Francisco, that tape being on all the news shows, all over the world, this secret is not going to keep. They can talk accidental nuclear explosion and all that, but no one buys that load of bull: the only nukes were aboard the carrier, and it would have been vaporized, not flying backward through the bridge. People are figuring it out, which means everything is gonna hit the fan and security is going yo come down even harder. There's no backup launch window, NASA has to go. This is it. Either we're on board, or we're dead."
D-Caf shrugged, "Maybe we shouldn't do it."
Mark spun and yanked his collar, yanked him close. "Don't even start."
"You said yourself it was a sham, Mar. I mean, if it's not even going to save out lives then why do it? I mean, why? I can't kill someone."
"You won't have to," his brother sneered, releasing his angry hold. "I've always taken care of you, haven't I?"
"I'm not killing anyone, the Rock is killing them. If the Rock is going to kill everyone, how can I be a murdered, huh? Have you figured that out?"
Mark wasn't sure whether he wanted to roll up in a ball and be sick, or beat his brother's face in. The stupid kid! Didn't he realize how hard this was? Didn't he realize he was just making things worse? Mark was saving his stupid life, maybe, saving him from the end of the whole lousy world and all he could do was whine?
"We'll get caught," D-Caf wailed.
"Yeah? What are they going to do? Put us in jail for life? That's a twenty-seven-hor sentence."
"Doesn't make it right," D-Caf whispered.
"Hey, you saw the video. You saw what happened to the whole Bay Area? Everyone with in five miles of the impact point is dead. That was a pebble, some little nothing knocked loose from the Rock. What happened there was a joke compared to what's happening in twenty-seven hours."
"We'll nver make it," D-Caf said, sounding defeated. "It's the end. It's all going to end."
"Yeah? Then guess you might as well relax. Let's go."
(Alternative story begins again.)
"Wait!" a voice came from behind Mark and D-Caf.
The two stopped. Mark pulled a gun out. He aimed it at the mystery person coming forward.
"Stop! Or I'll shoot!" Mark yelled. Then he remembered about the sensors.
Cordelia stopped at gun point.
"Please whisper. Tell us your name and your reason of requesting us to stop."
"My name is Cordelia. I wanted to know if you knew a way onto the NASA shuttle?"
Mark lowered his gun, "My name is Mark." He pointed to his brother, "and that's my younger brother, Harlin. We do know the way onto the shuttle, but how do you know about it?"
"I had a vision. My friends are aboard."
"A vision?" D-Caf laughed. Mark gave him a stare and he shut up.
"Ouch. What happened to your feet?"
"They got smashed in the San Francisco Pebble Attack?" The words shocked into Mark's head: this was the girl on the news. The girl that's feet were smashed by a chunk of metal.
"Cordelia you can come with us. Just be quiet. There are sensors all around this place."
"And Cordelia you call me D-Caf, I prefer it over Harlin," D-Caf remarked.
The three continued on.
(Back to original text towards the end of the Mayflower Project.)
Things happened very quickly then. One of the space suits moved, jsut a bit. Tamara Hoyle spun, leveled her weapon, and yelled something Jobs couldn't hear.
Her back was to the other suit. A gun appeared, raised in ghostly style by the white suit, held by the rubber-tipped glove. Someone inside, invisible behind the gold-coated sun shield of the helmet.
Jobs yelled, "Look out!"
He saw a flash. Heard only a distant explosion. Saw Tamara Hoyle spin and fire all in one easy move. Three holes appeared in the space suit. No blood visible, but the suit sagged.
Tamara Hoyle clutched at her shoulder. She pulled her hand away, saw blood.
The speaker crackled. "Okay, folks, we've just got the word to cut short the prep. We got some bad guys outside, getting a little to close for comfort. We're going to go ahead and light the candle." Commander Willett was trying to maintain the inevitably laconic NASA tone, but he was clearly worried. "Anyone on board who isn't berthed needs to exit immediately and get into one of the blast-shelters. And I man right now."
Tamara Hoyle started to climb down the ladder but she seemed unable to make her arm work properly. Jobs saw her frown.
Didnít they know she was still on board? Did they know? Someone had to help her. Someone had to help her.
Tamara collapsed, all at once, fell onto her back on the deck, head jammed between two berths, legs hanging down the steps. She was almost directly over Job's head. A red slat landed on the plastic lid, like a raindrop.
(Alternative story begins again.)
Tamara lay started up, mad at herself for being caught off-guard. Mad at herself for letting a little bullet stop her. It didn't hurt all that much, that was strange. She felt the deck vibrating beneath her. Saw the space suit she'd shot. Someone in there. And someone in the other suit, too. No. Wait, another person in a third suit. Three people. The second and third suits were moving, looking like a marionettes worked by a distracted puppeteers. Awkward. Like whoever was in them was trying to get out, or at least get off the hook that held their suit secure.
D-Caf was trying both. His feet were off the deck, couldn't move. Couldnít go to his brother. "Mark!" Mark!" he cried. "Mark!"
He writhed, unable to do anything but hang there. Everything was dark, shaded through the suit's visor. He saw three holes in his brotherís suit. Maybe the bullets had missed. Maybe It was possible, wasn't it?
But they surely had not missed the soldier. She lay there breathing heavily, unable to move.
And now the rumbling of the ship grew very suddenly..
Far below, the fire was lit. It exploded downward and outward and billowed up in a geyser of lame and smoke.
The rioters had made it through the determined resistance. They reached the launch pad just as the rocket fuel and liquid oxygen came together to explode in a blowtorch of incomprehensible energy.
The rioters turned and ran, turned their vehicles around. Far to late.
Superheated gas billowed yellow and orange. It incinerated the rioters in a heartbeat. It reduced the vehicles to tin shells.
The tired, overburdened old space shuttle carrying the Mayflower mission lifted up form the pad.
Cordelia felt the weightlessness. She, D-Caf, and Mark floated into the air. Well, Mark didn't float just his corpse did. Tamara floated, and then Cordelia saw him. She saw Jobs!
D-Caf had floated over to Mark. He took off his helmet and said something, that she couldn't hear. Blood bubbles came from Mark's suit.
Jobs started to have a space fight with D-Caf. D-Caf now had a gun, and was struggling with his suit, as was Cordelia who couldn't get her helmet off.
An astronaut slid down into the room. D-Caf accidentally shot him. It was terrible, but Cordelia knew it was a mistake.
So much things happened. Cordelia was getting confused. Another astronaut came. D-Caf started begging. Jobs was by the astronautís side.
They asked him his name and he just kept whining. Cordelia finally took off her helmet. Jobs looked at her and was in shock.
"I thought you were dead!"
"I survived. I found you." Jobs smiled. The astronaut had not.
Tamara, D-Caf, and Cordelia had found themselves a hibernation berth. The story continued, but not for her.
She felt her body slowly go down. She felt herself as if she was blacking out. In less than a minute Cordelia was put into a deep, deep sleep.