Sam: No Cure Except a BulletMature

I went into the back to continue my research working with the zombie I'd captured a few days before, and found that it had chewed through its gag and was struggling against its restraints. I quickly tied a new gag over its mouth and then shot it with another tranquilizer. It slowly sank back down, laying on the table unconscious. I began work with my latest creation - the series 12 vaccine. I injected the solution into the zombie's wrist, hoping it would work. This was my last chance.

The creature began to flail wildly, convulsing. I watched, horrified, thinking I'd killed it, before it stabilized. I quickly examined all of its vital signs - no change. Pupils were still dilated, heartbeat was still faint but regular, and breathing was still normal. Then, its eyes snapped open, and it tore the restraint from its left hand before ripping off the gag and tearing off the other hand's restraint. It slipped its feet through their restraints with amazing fluid agility and started after me. I ran to my machete, deciding this one had to be put down. It grabbed me by the neck and nearly bit me, when I heard a single shot ring out with a deafening report. It had been shot.

Looking up from the ground where I'd fallen when the zombie had been hit, I saw Dwayne standing there with his sniper rifle. "I'd been wanting to talk to you about that," he said, taking my right hand and helping me to my feet. "Why did you have one of those things tied up in the back like that?"

"I was hoping to cure the disease," I said, just blurting out the plain truth.

"There's no cure," Dwayne answered slowly, "except a bullet to the head. And why were you trying to stop it anyway?"

"I- I needed to stop it. It's all my fault... I caused this."

"What are you talking about?"

"I was on a team of doctors, Dwayne. We were supposed to be working on a way to resurrect the dead. It was all part of a big project to revive ancient cultures."

"I heard about that," he said. "I heard that some doctor - Tyrone -"

"Yeah, I worked with Tyrone. He was a brilliant man... knew all the right things to do with the gene sequences to get the thing working so it only affected the dead....and then he gave me a sequence one day, said, 'make this sequence into something that kills the people we revive.' He called it 'insurance', said it was all perfectly humane, and so on. So I did it. I brought it back to him, and he gave me another sequence. 'Make this one revive dying cells,' he said. 'You'll be famous for curing death itself.'

"I told him it was no easy or small task....he just laughed. Said, 'make it work. All I'm asking you to do is reverse what you did with the other sequence - make something that's the opposite of what you made the other day.' I finished the project, was just finishing securing the sample in a sterilized container to take to Tyrone, when I heard my son down in the lab in our basement." I paused here, forcing myself to go on despite the sorrow that was coming back to me from these memories. "I went down, still carrying that sample...and he'd gotten into the kill virus - that was what we called it at the labs, Kill Sequence Three -  and I had no choice. I injected him with the sample of the virus that was supposed to revive dying cells - to save lives - and he changed. He became one of them. The first one. He bit my wife, who'd come rushing down to see what was going on."

"And then?" Dwayne was still pressing, still wanting more answers.

"And then.... what the hell do you think?" I shouted, suddenly enraged. "They got loose. They bit people. I managed to track them down....and I took them back to my lab. I locked them in, behind blastproof doors, and left them there." I paused again, staring off into space. Then, I concluded, "I've been running around ever since then, trying to cure these people. But I guess you're right. There's just no cure - no cure except a bullet."

The End

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