A man lay on his stomach on the balcony of a third floor apartment. From where he lay, he knew, it was one hundred yards across a parking lot and past an IHOP to one of the short sections where SH-105 passed over the lake. The rifle he cradled was more than capable of reaching that distance. The Ishapore 2A1 (the last of the venerable Lee-Enfield series) chambered the 7.62mm NATO round, and would shoot well past one hundred yards. He reflected that his rifle could probably be traded for a person at this point. Of course, if he did so, he'd lack the means to keep said person in line, but whatever. Back to the task at hand, he thought.

He was waiting for some refugees to come along, heading west. Since winter had ended, people were leaving the dying cities for the countryside, and Houston was no exception. With an average daytime high over a hundred degrees Fahrenheit, refugees were fleeing to the cool of the hill country, and to the freshwater lakes therein. The man waited for the refuse (as he so charmingly thought of them) to come to him. He was not kept waiting long. A group of approximately twenty people came into view around two hundred yards "upstream" of the bridge. The bridge itself was perfectly clear, and looked innocuous. Naturally, the people comprising the band of refugees were simply focused on making their way over the next hill.

Sighting in on the one in front, he waited. He was very close to the column, and it was an even chance that instead of pinning them down, he would be pinned down himself. He fired anyway. The man in the lead (perhaps twenty, hispanic, carrying a carbine of some sort) went down. Up, back, forward, down. Next up was the woman bringing up the rear. Repeat. After the third shot, they located his position and tried to return fire. After the seventh, the remainder broke and ran. Satisfied, the man waited for dark inside the empty apartment. When they were certainly gone, he could go out and scavenge. A man has to eat somehow, after all.

A vignette from later in the same continuity as the others