Zombie Survival: Sacrifice Style
I awoke to the sound of pounding on my door. “What the hell? No one can get up here without a key card.” I lazily rolled over and tried to wake up my boyfriend, only to find him gone. BAM! BAM! BAM!
It’s 0300, where in the world could he be? I get up and slowly make my way to the door. Looking through the peephole, I see Crimm and a few other people all looking around frantically and yelling at me to open the damn door. I undo the deadbolt and four blood covered people literally fall into the apartment.
“What the fuck, Crimm?! It’s three in the damn morning. I am not having an after party at our place today.”
“Brittany, you have no idea do you? Have you even been watching the news?”
“No” I reply, “You know I don’t watch regular TV or even listen to the radio. You want to introduce your friends before I kick them all out?”
“Remember what I said two weeks ago about this building being easy to defend during a zombie attack?”
“Yeah…. what does that have to do with price of tea in China?”
“Will you stop being a smart ass and just fucking listen! Our base fell under attack last night by these things. I don’t want to call them zombies since they don’t act like what we would classically call a “zombie.” They took the base and the ship in under an hour.”
I just roll my eyes and say, “uh-huh, whatever you say.” Assuming he’s just playing a prank on me as usual. It’s then that I notice the extremely terrified looks on the others faces. One is holding a bandage on what is obviously a bullet wound to the shoulder. The other three are covered in filth and blood from head to toe, so badly their fatigues are crusty. I considered the fact that we are stationed at Pearl Harbor at this time and assume we’ve been attacked by foreign enemies. No I would have been called in if that were to happen.
“OK Crimm, tell me exactly what is going on.”
“Of all people I have to explain this to, you question this scenario? You are the only person I know who actually defends the idea of a Zombie reality. It all started off with this C-130 landing without authorization. This crowd just poured out of the cargo hatch as soon as it started to open. They were squeezing through the opening before the hatch was all the way down. I had never seen anything like it before. They were trampling each other and scrambling after the personnel on the ground that had surrounded the plane as is protocol for these situations.”
“Yeah Crimm, I know, I was in the Army. Skip the crap and get to the point.”
“Give him a break! We just fought through the weirdest shit just to get to this place and here you are, being a bitch.” This coming from someone I have never seen before in my life, looking like a medieval archer.
“And just who the hell might you be? Robin Hood?” I ask.
“Actually, my name’s Oliver Queen, but you may know me as the Green Arrow.”
You have got to be kidding me, I think as I shake my head.
“Okay Arrow, how about you fill me in while I get supplies to help this one over here, since Crimm seems to think we are in a horror movie.”
“Ma’am, he’s not kidding. It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. These people, at least I think they were people, were just piling out of the plane without thought or pause. I watched as they took down all the people on the ground while we were on the smoking deck of the ship.”
“They were eating them” said the one with what I thought was bullet wound.
“And who are you?” I ask as I pull back the haphazardly placed bandage only to find a huge chunk of flesh missing.
“Chloe Sullivan, I’m a reporter on assignment from Metropolis. Are you the medic Crimm was talking about?”
“Unfortunately, yes I probably am.” I say as I pour water over the wound that would not stop bleeding. “This is going to hurt.” I tell her as I put crushed antibiotics on the wound. “Now here, take these, all four of them.” I start to wrap the wound the best I can with what I have in my measly kit I never bother to restock.
At this point it is starting to set in. I start to hear the commotion outside. Looking out the window of the 32nd floor, I see chaos down below. What is usually a quiet shopping center this time of morning and a dead street aside from the few people driving home from the bar, has become a circus of freakishly pale people attacking anything that moves. Mongoose, birds, and even other humans are being attacked right before my eyes. It’s then I notice the fires off in the distance on Ford Island. “Holy shit. You weren’t kidding.” I say as I back away from the window.
As reality sets in I look back at Chloe. Having been recruited by Leval Industries to do research on the latest bio-engineering in parasites, I know she won’t make it until sunrise. We had been researching the parasite found in rats called toxoplasmosa gondii, but it can only breed inside the intestines of a cat. The parasite knows it needs to get the rat inside the cat, so the parasite takes over the rats brain, and intentionally makes it run to imminent death where the cats hang out. The rat is being programmed to get itself killed without even realizing it.
We already knew that half of the worlds population is infected with this parasite, and they don’t know it. I mean really, rats and humans are not that far off when it comes to genetic composition. What I want to know though is how the parasite evolved into what I’m seeing. We had cases in the lab where the rats would be overcome by the parasite and attack each other rather than causing their own death. In the process, infecting other rats and so on. Is this what I’m seeing in real living color, outside of the lab? And why were there humans infected being dropped off in a C-130, in a now obvious attack on American soil?
Shit. With no regard for the others in the room, I go to my nightstand and get my 9mm, check the clip to make sure it’s loaded and then rejoin the others in the living room. I plop myself down on the couch after making sure I have Chloe comfortable in bed in the other bedroom. “OK, who are you two?” I ask the remaining grime covered people in my apartment.
“Captain Jack Harkness, Director of the Torchwood Institute.” Is all I hear from one, whose face I can’t see through the blood, dirt and ash.
“Are you fucking kidding me?!” I exclaim, “Let me guess, you’re The Doctor?” I sarcastically ask the remaining member of the people gathered in my living room.
“Actually, no. I’m Rory Williams, I haven’t seen the Doctor in some time.”
“Great our own Red Shirt on the Away Team.” I say as I cover my face in a pillow. “OK, we still have power and water for now, y’all should get cleaned up and get some clean clothes on before we lose that.” I state as I pull myself together and wrap my head around what I’ve just been told. Screw what’s going on down below. I have a gang of what I thought were fictional characters in my living room.
As they almost drag themselves to the two bathrooms in the place, I turn to Crimm. He can tell by the look on my face that I’m about to freak out on him. I ask, “How did you find them?”
“They found me. I was trying to get through the mess on the base to get home and they flagged me down. I seriously considered leaving them behind. I didn’t want blood in my car, but seeing as I was already a mess from fighting through the ship full of these bastards, I took the chance and stopped. I knew I needed to get to you and that Chloe needed medical attention. This was the safest place I could think of. The building is concrete, there are only three other apartments on this floor. I guarantee our firepower outdoes any on our floor. With your training in self defense and combat, my experience in combat, Olivers skill with his bow that I witnessed as we tried to get away, I figured we could use them to help in our mission.”
“What mission would that be?”
“Survive. Just survive for now. Hey did I mention that Jack is a time traveler?”
“I’m aware.” I say as I roll my eyes. “Why didn’t he just time travel his way out of here?”
“Something about his device being lost in the mad scramble for safety.”
I decide to not press the issue any further. Crimm gets up and makes his way to the bathroom as Rory makes his way out. I hand him clean clothes and point to the room I have Chloe in. He emerges and states that Chloe really isn’t looking so good.
With a heavy sigh, I get up knowing what must be done. I walk in to the room and realize Rory had underplayed the situation drastically. She was barely breathing and I could see the parasite taking over her bloodstream right in front of me. I walked over to the bed and sat down gently next to her. I put my hand on her cheek as she opened her eyes. I could tell that she knew what I was there to do. She weakly reached out her hand to me and with a raspy voice said, “Take this. It has all the images and video I was able to get before I got attacked.” I find a flash drive meeting my palm. The touch of it sends shivers through my body, as I was now in possession of what could be the most important information in human history, possibly the last information of the human race.
I give a small comforting smile, gently caress her cheek as Chloe takes her last breath. In one quick movement, I grab her head with both hands and snap her neck, effectively severing the connection from her brain to her body. Why waste a bullet?
I emerge from the room and no one says a thing. Everyone has reassembled in the living room and are looking as if they are just lost. I realize that they are in shock. Who wouldn’t be in a situation like this? Crimm is the first to say something, “I’m sorry you had to do that.”
“It had to be done, now we have to figure out what to do with the body.” Just then the power goes out. Fuck. We have bigger problems now. I run to the bedroom where Chloes’ body is and throw open the window, knocking out the screen as well. Rory is right behind me, so I tell him to grab her feet as I drag her by the shoulders towards the window. A look of disbelief crosses his face as he realizes what I am about to do. “Look, I can’t lift her high enough to make it our the window and we can’t have this body just laying in here. The parasite is vicious and will find another host if it hasn’t already.” With a heavy sigh, he does as I tell him and helps me to dispose the body out the window. I don’t wait to see or hear it hit the ground below. I just know.
Back in the living room, I see that Crimm has taken on the leadership role. I don’t know if he will ever know how much I appreciate that. He has Jack and Oliver out in the hallway going door to door, trying to find survivors. I hear a random shot here and there but other than that, all is quiet on the 32nd floor. We really need to start thinking about gathering supplies and securing the stairs.
Oliver’s the first to come back. As if reading my thoughts, he has gathered food and water from the other apartments. I don’t even bother to ask if they found anyone alive. The look on his face says it all. Jack follows closely behind him, arms full of medical supplies. Mostly gauze and useless prescriptions. Some we could possibly use, like the antibiotics, but who really needs blood pressure medication and anti-depressants in the long run around here?
After tying the stairway door to the apartment door across from it, effectively securing it for now, we all agree that we need to rest but someone needs to keep watch. I volunteer for first shift since I was sleeping while they were fighting for their lives, not knowing if they would survive long enough to get here. As rattled as I am, I’m elated that they did, even if I did just have to kill one of their group. As they settle in on the couch and other bedroom, I grab my fully charged cell phone and tablet. I’m hoping for some sort of signal so I can listen through the next few hours to whatever news that might be available.
As everyone restlessly sleeps, I reflect on everything that has happened in just a short few hours. I’m realizing, this really could be the end. I then remember the flash drive and phone that was in my pocket. Do I risk my precious battery charge on my computer to see what’s on it? I could get vital information on the pressing matter. I could also get nothing considering I already have a pretty good idea as to what has happened.
I decide against looking at the information on it and set to making a plan of action for when wake everyone up. I pull sheets of paper out of the cabinet and start drawing diagrams of the building and surrounding areas to go over for scouting. Just as I’m finishing putting big X’s over the places I think will be heavily infested, I hear a loud bang as the door to the stairwell is opened but snaps back hard, just as it is supposed to do. I immediately reach for my gun but the noise has already woken up everyone else.
The door repeatedly is opened and snaps back into place. If this was an uninfected human, they would call out or be rational enough to cut the cord that is holding the door in place. With that thought in mind, we cautiously open our front door. Crimm takes point as he has the most firepower and experience. I’m just a medic gone researcher. As the door snaps open again we catch a glimpse of what is causing the racket. I am horrified at the sight but keep my cool. Rory falters and backs up against the elevators that are no longer working and stuck on whatever floor they were on when the power went out.
What used to be the security team on the property, are now standing in the stairwell. Covered in blood and other grime, some with pieces of flesh hanging from their mouths and stuck in their teeth. It is obvious they have made their way up the floors catching anything they could. I fear that most of the uninfected people in the building panicked and ran for the stairs to get out taking to their flight instinct and getting caught by the ones that usually are there to protect us. I then realize that since the power is out, the security in place is now not working. DUH! How could I overlook the security system going down?!
I look at Crimm as he looks back at me. I give a slight nod and he gives Jack the signal to undo the cord holding the door in place. The door flies open revealing fourteen infected in various areas in view on the stairs.
“Well that was a bad idea.” I say as Crimm starts popping off shots.
“Aim for the head!” I shout, knowing that the parasite infects the brain when it is in full effect. I still haven’t told everyone that I know where this came from. My fear being that they will turn on me knowing that I helped create this. I still haven’t figured out how it got out of the lab and into the hands of someone who wants to use this horrid thing this way.
We all continue to fire shots as we retreat back towards our own door that we have propped open just in case our venture tuned into exactly this. Just as I reach the door and see what I think is the last of them fall, something small and frighteningly fast runs over the bodies and clamps down on Rory’s leg.
Rule number one of combat, no one gets left behind, and that’s exactly what we forgot. Caught in the moment, we had left Rory in the hall without any help except for the .357 he had with him. Knowing he had been infected like Chloe, I take one last look at him as he fires a shot into the small child’s head. He knows what I have to do. I take aim and am about to pull the trigger when Oliver pushes me out of the way and fires off an arrow right on point. The arrow lodges in Rory’s eye. We’ve just lost another one.
With the hallway cleared, we begin to move the bodies into the other apartment, furthest from ours. Jack ties the door back in place, Oliver retrieves his arrow. I shake my head at him knowing that the arrow is now covered in infected tissue and could cause others to become infected if we keep it around. I assure him that if we can make it out of this fucking building, there is a Wal-Mart just up the road that carries archery equipment. Assuming that it hasn’t already been overrun and over-looted.
As Crimm, Oliver, Jack and I return to the apartment, we realize that as defensible as our current location is, we really have no idea what is going on around us, besides what we see from the corner windows. We have to get to the roof. It’s the only way to see around the rest of the area. Problem is, it’s another twelve floors up and we don’t know what could be in the stairwells after what just happened. We collectively decide it is best that we try to eat, knowing that if we don’t we will become too weak to fight when the time comes again. We have already lost two members that could fight, we can’t afford to lose another.
Since we have no power it is decided we use up what little perishables we had in our place when this started. Compared to things later to come, it was a feast. Mind you it was only sandwiches, milk and fresh fruit, it was still better than what we were going to be stuck with later on. We eat in silence. Each of us lost in our own thoughts. I know Crimm and I were thinking about our kids on the mainland, and if the infection had reached there as well. We found out later what Jack had been thinking about. Oliver, well we did find out what he was thinking about that day.
I decided it would be best to turn my phone on and check the alerts. As it powered up my notification tone started going off without pause. A majority of them were from Civil Defense stating that Martial Law was in effect and that we should stay inside. Then the unthinkable happened. My phone rang. It was my mother. I immediately answered.
“Mom! Thank God you’re alive. Where are the kids?” I immediately ask.
“They are here. They are fine. We were evacuated to Colorado Springs, which appears to be one of few places that is still holding up against this. Do you know what this is?” She says all in one breath.
“I have a pretty good idea, I’m just glad you are safe. Is the military still operational over there?”
“Yes, that’s all that is keeping us safe.”
“Good, have you heard of any other states having safe zones?”
“The southeastern parts have been evacuated to Ft. Bragg in North Carolina.”
Just then Crimm has turned his phone on and is talking in a hushed voice to someone very rapidly. From what I have caught he is talking to a ranking officer at Ft. Bragg trying to get a list of survivors out of him. With a “Fuck you too!” he hangs up.
“Mom, Keep the girls safe at all costs. I love you, tell the same to the babies and just stay safe.” With that my phone goes out. Crimm gets a text just as that happens. It’s a list of survivors with his last name. There are two, that’s all he needed to know to keep fighting.
Since he was on duty when this all started, Crimm had a comm device available. It was mostly static but we got enough to know that someone was trying to find out if anyone else was still alive out there. We had to get to the roof. The building was blocking most of the signals we could pick up at this point. Damn concrete.
“OK, here’s the plan,” I state, “Crimm will take point, Jack you fall in behind me after cutting the cord on the door. Oliver, you fall in behind Jack and watch our backs. You know you are way more accurate with that bow than any of us ever will be. We are going to the roof. We have to get in contact with whoever is on the other end of that radio.”
With no objections we take positions and prepare for heading up the dreaded stairwell. “On my mark,” says Crimm. As we exit the apartment he has his right arm raised. As soon as he pulls it down, as if a well practiced move, in perfect synchronicity the door opens and Jack cuts the cord. We are all slightly stunned as there is nothing in the stairwell that we can see or hear.
“This does not mean we are in the clear….” I state the obvious. I’m beginning to feel like the Zombie moron who is always stating what everyone already knows. We quietly make our way into the darkened area. The only sounds we hear are the slight shuffling of our feet as we slowly make our way up the stairs towards the roof.
As we reach the 40th floor, we are feeling the stress of being on guard the whole way up. Only eight floors and it feels as if we have climbed Everest. Behind the doors on some floors we can hear the infected scuffling around, trying to get the door open to where we are. The doors open towards us and we are just as terrified as they are determined. We reach the 43rd floor without incident. Just as Crimm reaches the door to the roof, we hear Olivers scream “Oh shit!”
The infected have managed to get the doors open and are pouring into the stairwell after us. I can hear the ‘whoosh’ of each arrow leaving his bow as Oliver fires at each one with perfect precision. As Crimm gets the door open to the roof, I hear Jack “Oliver- fall back! I’ve got this!”
Knowing that he is just a simple time traveler, I know this cannot end well. I turn to see that Oliver had indeed listened and has traded places with Jack. I feel myself being pulled from behind out into the humid air of the rooftop. I know that Crimm has taken hold of my collar and is dragging me as I watch the horrific scene unfold in front of me.
Jack has effectively given us at least a ten yard lead on the infected, with Oliver still unloading arrows into the group, Crimm is firing into them as well. I’m amazed at the accuracy they both have. Infected are dropping, but more take their place. As Oliver reaches the door and calls out to Jack to let him know to turn and run towards us, we see Captain Jack just turn and give a cheeky smile at us. Suddenly, he is gone. So are a majority of the infected that had remained in the stairwell.
“That bastard had his device the whole fucking time!” I yelled. He had known what he would have to do eventually. Jack had sacrificed himself to save the rest of us by using his time traveling device, which had a radius of about 5 yards, to take himself and the infected with him to only God knows when.
It was as the door closed that we heard the helicopter. I looked up through the blood on my face to see Crimm on the radio telling the pilot that we were here and uninfected. A few moments later a ladder dropped from the chopper. Each of us climbed up as fast as we could. Just as Oliver made it off the roof, the door burst open and the infected started to flood onto the roof. The helicopter made a quick movement and we all almost lost our footing, but managed to hold on. As the copter flew away from what was once going to be our tomb, we all climbed in. Covered in blood, dirt and tears, we all strapped ourselves in.
We looked down to see hundreds of infected still pouring out onto the roof drawn by the sounds of our retreat. I looked at Crimm, he was unreadable at that point but he met my eyes and I knew. I fell into his arms the best I could while still being strapped into the seat. Oliver appeared as if he was going to pass out but had a look of relief on his face. As I sobbed I heard Crimm talking into the comm to the pilot.
Next stop…. The T.A.R.D.I.S.
I awoke to find myself in my bed, unscathed. My alarm screaming at me to get the hell up. Crimm was sleeping through it as usual, peacefully. I got out of bed and walked out to the living room to find everything completely normal. With a sigh of relief I walk back to the bedroom and climb back into bed with my loving boyfriend. He holds me close and asks, “another bad dream?”
“You could say that.” I reply as I just pull in closer to him and close my eyes.