Kate’s body groaned, but she caught up to him easily enough. The knives returned to her side for a moment but didn’t linger as long.

The pair cut through neighborhoods, staying off the main streets where most of the looting and chaos was taking place. But the houses and apartments they passed were calmer, more stable. Kate assumed home had that effect on people. Though there were a few exceptions.

“Danny!” A young woman stepped from a small house, cradling a crying baby in her arms. “Danny!” She had been screaming that name since they’d turned down her street, her voice shrill and panicked. “Danny, come back!”

“Shut it, lady! Danny ain’t here!” The angered voice was thrown from a window in one of the apartment buildings. Kate looked to see where it came from, but the coward had already ducked back inside.

“Oh, god,” the woman said, and the baby let out a high-pitched shriek. She gave her a soothing bounce and kissed the top of her head. “It’s all right, Liddy. Everything is going to be okay.”

Kate locked eyes with the mother briefly as she continued her search for Danny’s whereabouts. Kate assumed it was her husband or boyfriend. She was a young woman, not much older than Doug.

A few hours ago, if the woman had wanted to talk to Danny, all she would have had to do was call his cell phone. It was so easy to talk to people now, and it could be done at any time, from anywhere in the world.

The sight of the woman made Kate grab her phone, but the blank screen was a reminder of just how easily all of that could be taken away. In the blink of an eye Kate, and the rest of the people in the city, had been cast into the stone age. No cars. No phones. No power. And then Kate stopped, a terrible thought freezing her in place.

“What is it?” Doug asked. Then, noticing the phone in Kate’s hand, he lunged forward excitedly. “Did you get it working?”

“If the power went off, how does that affect our phones? They have batteries in them.” Kate lifted her head and saw that the woman with the baby who was screaming for Danny had gone back inside. “And the cars. They’ve all stopped working too.” She frowned. “How is that even possible?”

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