How can we dance when our earth is turning?
How do we sleep while our beds are burning?
- 'Beds are Burning' by Midnight Oil (Ros)
It happens suddenly, without warning. One moment Ros is shrugging her jacket over her shoulders, the next she is diving for the floor as a rumble, louder than thunder, shakes the earth. The building tremors, joists threaten to fall, her windows shatter. Minutes pass, Ros keeps her head covered, and only raises herself into a crouch when all she can hear is silence. She pads to the fireplace and withdraws the hidden gun, tucking it into her jeans before she goes outside.
Scenes of devastation greet her, and she can see a rising plume of smoke in the distance. She finds herself almost magnetically drawn to her car, and speeds into central London, struggling against the opposing traffic who are trying to leave. Her training serves her well, and she screeches to a halt on the pavement outside Thames House.
Or rather, what is left.
Ros runs inside, barely registering that there is no guard to walk past, no form to sign, and continues through the labyrinth of corridors until she reaches the pods. The glass is broken, and she steps carefully, her eyes searching for someone, anyone. Pale skin catches her eye, and she hurries over, her throat tightening as she looks at Lucas' fallen form. His eyes are open, wide and staring, and she bends down and closes them. Soon, she finds the rest of her team. Tariq beneath his desk, tangled in computer wires; Ruth is nearby, also beneath her desk, holding her necklace tightly in her hands. Ros prises her fingers open, and takes out the fine, gold chain. The crucifix is mocking, but Ros' movements are tender as she replaces the necklace into Ruth's fingers.
She stands and goes into Harry's office. He is still sitting in his chair, and she thinks for a moment that he might turn and greet her, normality in this scene of horror. Instead, she sees the blood trickling down the side of his face.
Ros closes her eyes and goes back outside, into the apocalypse.