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You've never slept alone on the outside. You aren't about to start. Plus the only realistic resting place at the moment, a knotted tree just off the road with long arms, reminds you of a famous postcard from a centuries before of a family posing in front of the body of a lynched black man.

Solarbombs go off after they have taken in enough solar energy. Better to set it at night and get a head start on the retreat. You feel you made the right choice.

With a kick against the ground, you are taken away on the seat of your two-wheeled machine. You dim your headlights because you start seeing empty houses on either side of the road. 80 or so miles left. Your motorcycles puts in complaint and then gags. You feel yourself dragging. Your fuel gauge had hit bottom. Furiously, you slam your foot against the gas. Again. Again. Nothing. Your ride rolls to a stop and falls to its side. Quietly, you step from the machine and let it rest.

Staring at the motorcycle and beating yourself up in your mind, you pull at the solar bomb. You'd never be able to drag it 80 miles.

You stand in the dark clutching your gun for a long time, then prop your motorcycle back up and get on. You twist the keys and are rewarded with a low hum. Shakily, your breath releases in clouds. You push the petal and start running again.

You roll through an empty town with your tank filled with nothing but fumes. You expect to see a runner smash through every window you pass. In only a few miles, there is an unmanned gas station where you fill up. You haven't ever felt this sick. If just one zombie shows up, you'll probably have to take care of it. Gunfire is certain to draw more zombies. You have gas now, but it barely consoles you.

You are tired, cold, and are stumbling around in darkness, for fear headlights would do you more damage.

The town silently rolls behind you without incident. It looked so empty and foreboding... yet very real and very present. Some day it would be nice to sit down at a dinner table and complain about the meal like you had used to.

Outside the town are very few zombies to blast away. Maybe they once lived in that town. In the dusk, your headlights dim and your motor stops. You have made it.

You stand in the parking lot to a pre-invasion strip mall. Cars are still there, ghosts of consumerism. The glass paneling that once was the mall door is scattered in a cone stretching meters from the entrance. Crushed glass suggests that Obreal's intel was right: there has been heavy traffic in and out of this building.