STRATEGY: “I’ve already thought this one through a bunch of times. Up in the hills is your safest bet. All the water tanks are on high ground on the North Shore. I’d go to the old bunkers up in the mountains—they’re fortified and you have the water towers. If you’re controlling the water, you’re controlling everything. Resources put you in a position of power, because money won’t be worth a thing.
“In terms of food, there’s already a feral pig problem, and dogs go feral pretty fast. So you could eat pigs or dogs for meat—either shoot ’em or trap ’em. You could use snares, and you could catch people who come to poach your snare.
“I’d lay low at the beginning, get what supplies I needed, then let people start canceling each other out. Once that happens, I’d head down to the ocean—that’s when you come out and make your move.”
LIKELY RESULT: As winter bleeds into spring, only two alpha males survive: Mark Healey and Kai Garcia. Healey is based in the bunkers, while Garcia makes camp in Waimea Valley. Garcia tends to a motley flock of survivors— all women and children—who have begun to farm the valley and re-domesticate the animals. Healey and Garcia know of each other’s presence; for many months, they have encountered their respective victims—a gruesome breadcrumb trail of death and dismemberment. The bodies tell no lies—they point to the approximate location of each fearsome man.
But while Garcia gathers and cares for the women, children, and animals, Healey soldiers on alone—too terrified to take on responsibility for another life. That unfortunate incident with Jericho the pet snake was enough for him, thank you. So Mark knows he must make the first move. He must study the habits of Garcia, and, when he least expects it, strike.
For many months, he watches the great man. Based on the corpses of Borg’s victims, he expects to find a cruel, blood-thirsty ogre. Instead, he examines from afar a savior—kind to the young, generous in his affection with the wahines. Mark cannot help but feel a tinge of something he’d never thought he’d feel again: shame. The more Healey observes, the more he comes to respect—even love—Kaiborg. The civilized world now rests on the shoulders of this large, unlikely man.
Healey becomes convinced that he must face this most worthy of adversaries with respect, instead of deceit. It is the only way to win and keep living, yet the most likely way to die. But Healey must risk it.
He lays down his rifle, un-straps his knife, sets down his spear gun. He marches naked into the heart of Kai Garcia’s camp, hands up, ready to offer Garcia a noble fight to the death: hand-to-hand combat. They guide him to Garcia, who is sitting on a toilet-bowl throne. He looks up at Healey, exhales.
With that, Kaiborg raises his AK-47 and riddles Healey’s pale body with a veil of bullets.