They had setup camp in an old fallout shelter left over from the cold war days. It was located just outside of the downtown area, and had ample room for several hundred people. The fifty or so survivors that had gathered there had plenty of room to spread out. They hoped that more people would show up.

There were troops moving through streets, mostly national guard, but a few regular army as well. No one was quite sure what was going on. There were rumors that the country had been attacked by terrorists, or maybe from an enemy state like China. The only thing that they new for sure was that this city had been hit with several large bombs, both in the central downtown area, and the outlying suburbs. Whoever had attacked had used conventional weapons, but the damage was still extensive.

A unit of guard troops had stopped by the shelter two days earlier to check on the civilians and to leave a short-wave radio for emergency use. Luckily one of the survivors had spent his youth on ham radios and knew how to work it.

“Patrol’s back.” a burly man said, stepping into the dimly lit room from where he was standing guard outside. “Looks like they found more survivors, and they’ve got a couple of wounded as well.”

That news brought a flurry of activity as several men started getting beds ready for the newly arrived wounded in a side room. One young man stood apart from the rest, all but bouncing on his toes in nervous anticipation.

The first people to make their way into the small entry room were four large men, a pair for each of the stretchers they were carrying. They moved carefully to the side room that had been made ready for them. Entering right behind them was the young woman in the beat up EMT uniform, Lisa. She followed the stretchers into the side room without stopping to look around.

The other members of the patrol filed in, moving quickly to their loved ones waiting for them, or just going off to find a quiet corner to forget the horror that their world had become. Some of the faces were new, and they were taken to another part of the shelter where they could shower and find a place to call home among the bunks that made up the majority of the underground structure.

The young man who had been so eager just moments before all but collapsed in on him self, realizing that the face he had been eagerly anticipating was not among those who had come in.