Violent winds and roaring thunder would slice down any trees in its path. Cars would be crushed, homes would be destroyed, and some weren’t able to evacuate in time. Lucy was one of those unfortunate families. They were forced to watch the news, which warned them that the most dangerous earthquake in history would be appearing in China. Although China was one of the wealthiest nations, 60% of the population was expected to be wiped out. It was only a matter of time before the storm would come, in fact, they only had a day to prepare. Lucy’s father worked as a firefighter, and he was expected to save lives rather than protect his own family. Lucy and her mom were to lock themselves in the basement and wait for John to come home.
JANUARY 23, 1556
“John! What have you heard so far from the news?” Lucas asks.
“Good afternoon boss, so far I heard there is traffic on the highway of people who were trying to evacuate, but they have closed off the streets, sir. We are going to need to do something about it or they are all going to die!” John yells over the rain.
“Let’s drive over there and see what we can do!”
From the corner of John’s eye, he sees his daughter standing at the door.
“I will meet you in one-second sir, let me make sure my family is set.”
“Copy that,” Lucas replies.
John bends down on one knee and looks into his daughter’s eyes.
“You need to get inside, Lucy. The earthquake is expected to begin in twenty minutes, and I can’t risk losing you, or your mother. Where is mommy now?”
“She’s downstairs, she told me I can say goodbye.”
“Excellent. Go downstairs with mommy, I will meet you back shortly.”
“I love you, daddy,” Lucy says.
“I love you too, now daddy is going to go save some lives, ok?”
She runs in for a hug, then runs back into the house with her mom.
“We have ten minutes to get to the highway and tell everyone to run home. If we don’t go now, their lives will be at risk.”
They turn the sirens on and they are well on their way to the most crowded highway in China. They were going to need to come up with an idea to stop the eruption in the ground. Where it was going to start was a mystery. John and Lucas jerk the car doors open and yell at everyone to get out.
“Where are we supposed to go? We can’t run on foot! It isn’t safe!” A woman shouts.
“I have a two-year-old in the car!” Another woman screams.
“What’s the plan now, boss?”
“How much time do we have left?”
“About five minutes.”
“We run for our lives, these people won’t, but I will.”
“Sir, we must protect these people.”
“Not before I protect myself,” Lucas says.
In a blink of an eye, Lucas is gone. Now it was up to John.
“Wow! We have a coward firefighter who only gives a damn about himself! Are you going to run too?”
“I assure you I am not going anywhere!” John promised.
John looks at the horrific sight of the cars beeping at each other, and the guards that were stopping people from going.
“Everyone I need your attention! This is the plan! There are too many light poles here, and we don’t want any of you to get electrocuted. Instead of standing here, we are going to need to do something, and we will only be able to do it if we work as a team!”
“Those of you in the left and right lanes, I need you to move over to the middle lane if you can! We want to stay away from those poles!” John shouted.
Everyone began moving their cars to the middle lane, and John felt as if he was going to accomplish something.
“We only have three more minutes before this earthquake occurs, so listen carefully. I want you all to get back in your cars and fasten your seatbelt all the way so it’s the tightest it can be.”
“What are you going to do?” A woman asked.
“Don’t worry about me, I am here to protect you!” John says.
Suddenly the ground begins to shake, and people begin to scream.
“Please! Don’t panic! If you are in need of emergency, I want you to yell my name!”
John sees the crack in the ground, which seems to be right below his feet. John does his best to stay calm and grabs his large latter and hovers it over the crack. Suddenly a large slam startles everyone, and they all gasp as they see what has happened.
“John!” Someone shouts.
John puts his hands over his mouth and feels as if he is about to faint. A power line has just fallen on one of the person’s cars, and they were inside.
“John! What do I do?” The guy screams.
“Sir, I need you to relax. What is your name?”
“My name is Alex! My little boy is in the back, his name is Dustin.”
“I am going to need you to remain in your car until someone comes. Are any of you hurt?”
Alex cries in excruciating pain and struggles to turn and look at his little boy.
“My leg sir, I can’t move my leg! My little boy is ok.” Alex says.
“Alex, you are going to be ok, help will arrive once the shaking comes to an end.”
A massive explosive occurred at the end of the highway, and the rumbling came to a steady. Finally, the shaking stopped, but the explosive affected many. Authorities came rushing in, and they took Alex on a stretcher with his son in the back seat of the ambulance car. Many rushed to the people who had been exploded so they could take them away. John took the car and rushed back to his family to see if they were ok.
He slams the door open and runs down the stairs, both the mother and Lucy look up at him with smiles on their faces.
“What’s got you guys so happy?” John says.
They point to the TV, as the news was being broadcasted.
“Finally we were able to secure the grounds of the earthquake, and we reported the head of the fire department ran for his life to protect himself instead of the people. His partner took charge, John Benson, who I am announcing the new head of the fire department. We were expecting 900,000 lives lost, instead, we had 830,000 lives lost. Although that isn’t necessarily a pleasant number, Mr. John Benson has saved 70,000 lives. That’s more than anyone in the fire department was ever able to save. This is world news tonight, with Mr. Kilp.”
John’s face glowed up, and tears rolled down his eyes. He pulled Lucy and his wife in close and assured them that they were safe as long as he was around.