“Nothing to Fear” is an episode inspired by The Rule of Three, the opening novel in Eric Walter’s trilogy of the same name about the terrifying challenges faced by an ordinary suburban kid, his family, and his neighbors, in the first days and weeks and months after a viral catastrophe causes the world to go dark. Sixteen-year-old Adam Daley is taking his girlfriend, Lori, on a picnic in his homemade ultralight aircraft—one of the few computer-free machines that still works. He wants to celebrate a surprise anniversary only he knows about (the first time he saw her at a junior high basketball game). But soon, this attempt at a normal date away from the fortified safety of their neighborhood feels increasingly risky. As their gripping misadventure unfolds, it is a reminder for Adam and Lori that there is nothing in particular for them to be afraid of, because in their world there is everything to fear.
This short story was acquired and edited for Tor.com by MacKids editor Wes Adams.