Infected. Katie was infected. That was what the doctor woman said. Her friend was infected. Her Katie. No. No no no.
Lindsay spent days trying to see her, trying to get out of bed and find her, to help somehow. Maybe if they did a blood transfusion? Maybe if… maybe…
In the end she couldn’t get out of the room. Even though she felt stronger and her wound barely pained her anymore, the metal door remained locked from the outside. The doctor woman, Major Richards, came to check on her every four hours. She brought her books and an old tablet to watch some movies on. None of it helped alleviate the urgency to get out and find Katie. She partially marveled at her own recovery speed, how the pain in her shoulder went away after just 48 hours. She figured maybe it was painkillers. Continue reading
James woke with a start. The clock read 0520, still an hour before he’d normally bother getting up. He was about to close his eyes again when he realized the base was buzzing with activity. He heard the wap-wap-wap of several helicopters, the whine of jet engines and groans of trucks. There were people calling out to one another, not in alarm but with the hurriedness of preparing for action.
Then the shooting began. Sitting up, he rubbed the sleep from his eyes and strained to listen. The voices were still no-nonsense and orderly. No sense of panic or desperation. They were not being attacked.
Must be zombies at the wall, attracted by all the damn noise, he thought. Even if they weren’t being attacked, something was happening and he wanted to find out what. That no one had woken him for a briefing told him his dad was still pissed. Continue reading
The silence was the worst part.
Lindsay lay in the dark, straining to hear Katie’s voice. She wanted to know she was alive. For a time, there had been shouting but then, suddenly, nothing. She’d been terrified she would hear screaming but the silence was so much worse. Nothing indicated Katie still lived.
Unsure how long she lay in the quiet darkness of her cell, Lindsay slipped in and out of a disturbed sleep. Sometimes she dreamed of sunny days at school. She’d be in study hall, talking to Sidney Meyers about the Senior Prom plans. Danny Phillips asked if she’d go, but Lindsay hadn’t given him an answer. Continue reading
James regarded the man in the other cell. His beard was unkempt, his appearance disheveled and his body odor suggested he’d been here for some time. When they shook hands, he’d noticed the look of exhausted determination in his eyes. His hand was calloused, strong and firm. He’d met many types in his military career, and this man was definitely military.
The name Chris Fox meant nothing to James, though the man seemed to think it would. He knew who James was, and who his father was.
“So, how do you know my dad?” James said, still feeling more than a little intoxicated. The straight forward approach was usually the best. Continue reading
“Put down your weapons and get on your knees.”
The man motioned to them with the muzzle of his rifle. Lindsay didn’t understand. This was the army right? Weren’t they here to help them?
“We heard your radio thing! We need your help, mister… uh, soldier?” Lindsay said, the words sounding young and pathetic in her ears. She couldn’t see the man’s expression behind his mask. The gun didn’t waver.
“I said, put the damn weapons down or I will kill you.” Continue reading
James Fitzpatrick tried his best to sober up on the way to the briefing room, but the sheer amount of Jeremiah Weed in his system hung on like an AIM-120C inside of a 10 mile engagement. There was no way he was going to shake it. Not without some fancy moves anyway. Unfortunately his body had no moves to make.
Unless vomiting counted, a maneuver which he performed with gusto.
Leaning against the administration building’s wall with one hand, he wiped his mouth with the other and desperately wished for a glass of water. Lowering himself to his knees, he scooped up a handful of snow and shoved it into his mouth. A part of his brain screamed that this wasn’t a great idea, but the other part of his brain was very thirsty and punched the first part in the face. Continue reading
The metal door gave way with a sharp crack of splintering drywall and wood. The sounds of the dead grew louder as they pushed through, crawling over one another in their haste and hunger. The darkness didn’t impede them in the slightest, crashing through like a wave of unending destruction, fingers reaching, teeth gnashing.
Lindsay stared in horror. She’d never seen so many. They were endless, a sea of death. The smell hit her then, an overpowering stench that reminded her of rotting garbage and soured milk.
For all its horror, the Infected were known to her. The bodies that lay behind her, in the tunnel that led to safety, did not move or moan or grab. They lay still, rotting and bloated. The stink that came from them was sickly sweet. She tasted bile in the back of her throat. Continue reading
James listened to the whine of the A-10s start up from his bunk. His quarters was in the back of the complex, a windowless room made of concrete and painted a dull gray. He had only a single light, a small LED lamp on his nightstand, but it was enough to light the small, square room.
He lay, partially dressed in athletic shorts and a t-shirt, holding a picture up to the light. He’d kept it, squirreled away in a rucksack. It was bent and creased despite his best efforts. The top was partially torn but he’d done that. He’d wanted to tear her from his life but found he couldn’t.
Elena looked furious, standing in her grease-stained fatigues while James grinned widely in his flight suit and helmet. They’d both been wasting time while she checked over his landing strut. He’d said he’d popped the hydraulics on the landing as a joke. That face she’d made kept him laughing for a long time. Continue reading
They agreed to leave early that next morning.
Katie had spent the previous evening packing up various packets of paper that Lindsay didn’t understand. Some were lists of names, some were maps of places she didn’t recognize. When she asked, Katie just said her dad would want them.
The rest of their supplies were food, ammunition, first aid and other survival supplies. Lindsay didn’t know why they’d need all of that, since the radio station would only take a day to get to and then they’d be taken to a shelter or something. Katie insisted so Lindsay didn’t say anything. Continue reading