As the third narrative opens, tensions are high in the bunker as Kris nears the end of her pregnancy. Blake is still angry that a baby is coming, plus he’s terrified to deliver the child — in his survivalist mindset, all he can imagine is how much can go wrong. Kris resents that he can’t appreciate the gift of a child, and Tucker is stuck between his parents — happily anticipating the baby he’s called his sister from the beginning, but fearful of angering his father.
After a hunting expedition that leaves Tucker devastated, Blake realizes he’ll have to search by himself for a deer big enough to sustain his family through the winter. During his overnight trip, a group of armed men and women come over the gate while Kris and Tucker are in the house playing. Although Kris is terrified, she faces down the group with a shotgun … and realizes they’re not complete strangers.
Blake is furious to see others when he comes home with a deer slung over his shoulders, but in just a few days, with his family in crisis, he stands outside the bunker and utters three words previously foreign to his tongue: “Grant us mercy.” And the universe delivers the assistance they need, nudging the paranoid survivalist to acknowledge that the damaged world still holds good people who are willing to help, simply because they can.