Fifteen years after the first wave of attacks, the street resembled an effigy to city life. Burned-out shells of automobiles lined the boulevard. The few remaining buildings over two stories high threatened to collapse at the brush of a stiff wind.
Mike's heart pounded when he heard a sound and detected movement. A rat scurried out of the knee-high grass grown up through cracks in the asphalt and cement where vines climbed over and through the wrecks. After three excruciating minutes, he relaxed and motioned Kayla forward.
"You're not going to like it," he whispered.
"It can't be any worse than the damage I've already seen."
They methodically moved through each car looking for salvageable pieces to help build the weapon. When they reached a small station wagon, Kayla stopped.
"Did you find something useful?"
"No, I found out I was wrong." A tear slid down Kayla's face.
In the back of the car, the remains of two car seats had melted together. The bright pink and blue plastic stood out against the charred black of the back seat and the seat covers.
Mike put a hand on Kayla's shoulder.
She wiped her own eyes and then looked into his. "Your weapon had better work. We need to start winning this war. Not just for us, but for them as well."