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1 Prelude to Apocalypse

 9:27 AM, Emilio Aguinaldo Highway, Bacoor City, Cavite, Philippines

"Haaa....."

Mark climbed up the stairs of an overpass while sighing. He sighed not because he is disappointed or feeling down but rather, he feel too annoyed that he could punch someone and can't do anything about it.

He needed to pay his electricity bill which is due by today. He really isn't the type of person to go out too much and if it's is not for the bill being due today, he would still be relaxing at home. To finish things fast and go home, he decided to go to the distribution office as early as possible making him wake up by 6:00 AM and he left before 7:00 AM.

Due to traffic, it's already past 8:00 AM when he arrived at the office. Lucky enough, there are just four people who came before him. So he thought that he would be able to go home early, but as if just toying with him, no number was called for quite some time.

More and more people arrived as time passed by but not a single transaction was made since the office opened this morning.

Mark is getting impatient but he can't just leave the payment for another day or it would be likely that his house won't have electricity by tomorrow. The other customers also started complaining and asked the staff passing by every now and then.

As he looked around, he noticed the staff getting flustered about something. Many of them are going back and forth as they discussed their work with unnerved expressions.

At 9:27 AM, the issue was finally disclosed to the customers.

"Our apologies but there seemed to be problems with our system. Transactions will get delayed until we fix the issues."

The branch manager explained.

As the other customers asked more questions, the issue seemed to be on the main office's side making the branch manager unsure of when the transactions would be continued.

Without any other choices left, the annoyed customers left the office while grumbling about the time they wasted while waiting.

The frustrated Mark also left while thinking of checking the office back later in the afternoon. He can't delay the payment for another day after all. But if things didn't go well, he might spend some days without electricity at home and also needed to pay a reconnection fee.

"How troublesome..."

He grumbled under his breath as he walked on the overpass.

Since he needed to pass time anyway, he decided to spend it at the city mall a few blocks away. He might as well play some arcade while at it. He needed to cool his head after all.

Still, he needed to wait until the mall opens at 10:00.

***

Mark walked down the stairs of the overpass and left towards the direction of the mall. Maybe because he is too frustrated or maybe because he didn't really go to this place too much, he did not notice.

Before he walked up the stairs, there are too many people walking towards the same direction. When he was walking across the over pass where the view of the area is wider, the heavy traffic is rather way heavier than usual. The annoying sounds of car horns never ceased as the drivers of the cars stuck in the traffic expressed their annoyance.

What is stranger is that the heavy traffic only affected the northbound side of the highway while the other side had its flow of traffic going smoothly.

And no one would ever notice. That almost all of the cars moving southbound actually came from branching roads and the actual cars coming from the other end of the highway are very scarce. Furthermore, the cars coming from that direction are driving at very high speeds unbefitting the tight space of the highway.

***

10:04 AM Emilio Aguinaldo Highway Cr. Tirona Highway

An impatient jeepney driver can't wait anymore and tried to counter-flow towards the opposite lane of the highway as he tried to overtake the cars in front of him. It is then when a city bus from the northern end of the highway came at very high speed. As the traffic at this side of the road is going smoothly, the bus managed to avoid accidents despite how dangerous the speed it had took.

Unfortunately, the jeepney took its action at the moment the bus is coming.

Before the jeepney could even totally leave its lane, the bus that did not even tried to avoid, crashed against the jeepney. The jeepney with its totally crushed front half was pushed strongly and crashed again at the cars behind it while the bus, due to the force from impact, was sent flying and rolled on its side several times crashing everything, other cars and people, before finally crashed unto another bus halting its onslaught.

The event is totally horrifying to everyone who witnessed it. Dozens of cars are involved in the accident as the torn off metal parts littered the road along with the bodies of the unlucky people.

Many of the witnesses felt their knees go weak and some pulled their eyes away from the grotesque appearance of the dead bodies. The shock and fear they felt as they watch everything happen can't be explained with just a few words.

Those with clearer minds immediately took out their phones to frantically call for help. Unfortunately, for some strange reason that no one here knew about, all their heard from their phones are beeping sounds as no one was actually able to connect their calls from the emergency hotlines they knew.

The flow of cars totally stopped and the people started gathering around the site of the accident. Those who took out their phones to call for help continued trying while others started taking pictures and videos.

It is then that...

"Hey look!"

No one knew who shouted but everyone's attention was called unto the wreckage that can't even be recognized as a bus anymore. It is because...

Even if they are crawling, staggering and moving slowly, even wounded and broken bones protruding out of their bodies, the passengers emerged from that bus.