At the Parker Farm in Gilmanton, Brooklynne discovers she too has gained some strange new power, the ability to sense the condition of the earth and ground itself. Melissa confides in everyone, telling them about the goddess Ishtar, whom she has bonded with and become her high priestess. She shows them she can magically cause plants to grow, creating food to help them survive the winter. A group of desperate bandits, starving tourists from the lakeshore resorts, comes down to Gilmanton, killing several farmers, stealing anything useful or valuable, and kidnapping two teenage girls. Iris, Matt, Nathan, Brooklynne, Melissa, and Veronica defend the town with help from Chief O’Brien and a handful of officers. A score of the bandits are taken prisoner, prompting a town meeting. In the aftermath of the battle, Matt and Iris find comfort in each others arms…
During the meeting, the group establish themselves as important to the town, coming up with several ideas to help the town survive the coming winter and the destabilization of society. The Parker farm becomes the nucleus of a farm collective south of town. After Iris finds herself surprised by Melissa making romantic advances toward her, and Matthew catching them, she flees the farm. She runs into the woods where she discovers her own magical talent…and transforms into a wolf! Unfortunately, the loses herself in the wolf and runs off.
Up in Laconia, Jean and Sophia are attacked by a horde of rampaging…Zombies! They fight their way to the truck and escape, saving a handful of other people as well. They flee south and drive to Gilmanton, where they are accepted into the Parker Farm. Jean and Sophia are forced to be very careful to avoid someone discovering Sophia’s secret.
Meanwhile, in the mountains north of Laconia, biker Jean Deaux stumbles onto an SUV crashed on the side of the road. Inside he finds Sophia Meyers and promises to get her Laconia. Unfortunately, when he gets to the city, his truck is damaged by a woman who explodes in a ball of green flame for no apparent reason. Jean and Sophia find an abandoned house on the southern outskirts of town and set up shop there.
Sophia is becoming more and more sick each day, until she loses control, nearly attacking him. She flees and makes her first kill as a vampire, a local Catholic priest. While Jean is looting whatever he can during he day, she makes her second kill…a man who broke into the house. While dumping the body in a local golf course, she sees Julianna the Witch Queen summon a dragon crafted of snow and brutally slaughter a group of former fellow high school students. Oddly, they have a short conversation that seems to bond them as misfits before Julianna takes off into the night.
Jean discovers that the Mayor of Laconia has stolen his damaged truck and fixed it to the point it will run again. He hatches a scheme to take it back, critically injuring a cop and shooting another man. He succeeds in getting the truck, however.
At 5:11AM, December 21st, 2012…the Warp came.
Matthew Whipple woke up with his one-night-stand Melissa Sanderson, whom he had met at an “End of the World” party the previous night. Unfortunately, he discovered she had suddenly come down with a raging fever and convulsions. Concerned for her, he heads to her hotel room to get her identification, there meeting her friend Iris Monday. They get her to the hospital, where Matthew’s ex-girlfriend, Veronica O’Donovan is working triage. Melissa collapses and breathes flame!
Meanwhile, local Concord politico Nathan Bishop is staying at the Margate, the same hotel in which Melissa and Iris were staying. He meets local farm girl Brooklynne Parker, now stuck in town as most methods of transport are dead. Over the next few days, as society begins to teeter toward anarchy, Matthew invites Nathan and Iris to stay with him at his small Cape Cod north of town, while Brooklynne finds herself sharing space with Veronica. During this time, it is discovered that Matthew has developed “Magic Powers”, dealing with runes and sigils.
Which he puts to use when the Laconia police, now operating as the enforcement arm of the Mayor’s office, tries to commandeer his car (one of the few still working). They escape, but it means they’ll need to leave town. Brooklynne offers to let Nathan, Iris, and Matthew stay at her farm in nearby Gilmanton.
Iris and Matthew visit the New Hampshire National Guard readiness center in Tilton, acquiring some gear. Veronica is offered an opportunity to join the Mayor’s compound as one of the physicians there, but she turns the offer down, uncomfortable with the fact he had taken all the food from the markets, letting the rest of Laconia fend for themselves. She also discovers she has gained a strange new ability…the ability to become insubstancial. The ability comes to her when she finds herself confronting a ghost that has been feeding on the life force of patients close to death in the hospital. When Iris and Matthew sneak back into town to get Melissa from the hospital, they bring Veronica back with them as Laconia begins to self-destruct.