Sometimes it's hell getting to heaven.
Gabriel received a call from his brother several weeks before the news broke, more cryptic than anything he had ever heard from him. It was nothing that revealed what he knew, what he was working on. Basically, his brother told Gabriel, "Goodbye." Nothing had ever unsettled him quite so much. His brother was the competent, confident one, the one everyone loved, the one that did everything right. His brother loved Gabriel when Gabriel had made it impossible for anyone else to, even Gabriel himself. And then it was over.
He began researching what exactly his brother had been up to. Gabriel hadn't heard from him in months, which itself was unusual, but his brother was always busy, and he couldn't possibly maintain every one of his commitments all the time. Gabriel had never once fulfilled a commitment in his life. He considered his brother a saint. He had once come very close to becoming the manager of a music talent he'd discovered in a bar. He had once been asked to be a different kind of manager, of a bookstore, but never showed up to the interview. He had even been requested to be a missionary for an obscure church in the midwest. So many different lives that had never materialized.
He discovered that his brother had been working for a man named James Ward, and that his disappearance had caused a significant delay in the project. Gabriel himself eventually tracked down the body of his brother, in a Mexican bordertown. He would never learn how it had come to be there. Whatever trail might have remained went up with the rest of the planet.
And Gabriel found himself taking his brother's place as one of the last survivors of the human race.