We’ve been getting closer and closer to our point of safety. We can see it now. Barely a half hour’s sprint away under normal conditions. I stress, normal conditions. The road there is not easy and we’ve been at it for so long we are mostly running on empty.
I make sure that everyone keeps going. My senses tell me the Collapse is imminent but how much time we have is anyone’s guess. I hope we have enough time. To get to this point and fail is unthinkable.
Suddenly I feel a buzz, deep inside me. A sense that something is so very wrong that I have no words to describe it because in truth I’ve never felt it before. As if to confirm my worst fears we all hear a loud crack.
The ground splits behind us only a short distance away. Deep fissures appear. There are tremors that almost knock us off our feet and the ground appears to turn itself inside out. It lasts but a brief moment. Stops. And then, it starts again. The ground around us keeps on breaking up.
Rocks and earth shift and separate. Long spidery cracks appear everywhere. Steam rises from deep within some of them. Then with a groan that feels like it’s coming from deep within the planet itself, the ground lurches beneath our feet. The fissures start gaining on us as if they were waiting for just that moment to swallow us whole.
I understand what this is. The Collapse is finally upon us. I turn to the stunned members of my group and at the top of my lungs I scream: RUN!