James and Nate observed the city streets as they drove towards the apartment building where Robbie lived. Everyone they saw was stumbling around aimlessly, rotted faces expressing cluelessness and emptiness. They all looked the same as Charlie and Jerry, the same rotted teeth, green-tinted skin, and jaws hanging open.
"Fucking hell..." said James in a solemn tone. "Has this happened to everybody?"
"Obviously not, if Robbie's still alive," said Nate, casually blowing cigarette smoke while taking in the sight.
"True," said James. "But still, this must be an outbreak, some kind of serious infection."
"Any diseases that can make people act like this?" asked Nate.
"In terms of behaviour, plenty," said James. "Brain parasites, neurotoxins, mad cow, rabies. But the whole "zombie" appearance... Never seen anything like it."
"Shit," said Nate.
They continued driving until they arrived at Robbie's apartment building. James pulled into a back alley, next to one of the building's fire escapes. After parking, James and Nate exited the car.
Several yards away, a zombie noticed the two, and began moaning and stumbling towards them. James raised his rifle and quickly silenced the creature with a shot to the heart.
"Nice one," said Nate, readying his shotgun.
"Got in lots of practice with Robbie at the gun range," said James. "Let's go." Starting up the fire escape, the two climbed to the fifth floor, breaking the window to access the apartment. Shortly after climbing in the window, they heard rapid footsteps outside the bedroom door. The door flew open to reveal Robbie, revolvers in hand, a look of horror on his face.
"Whoa, whoa man!" said Nate. "Stay cool, it's us!"
"Shit, James," said Robbie, lowering his revolvers as he rushed over and embraced his older brother.
"Good to see you're alright," said James.
"Same to you," said Robbie. "You've seen what's happened?"
"Oh, it's goddamn horrible," said James. "People are turned into goddamn zombies everywhere we look."
"I know, I had to barricade myself in here," said Robbie. "Wasn't sure how long I'd last."
"Well, we can't stay here," said Nate.
"You have any food or supplies here?" asked James.
"Decent amount," said Robbie.
"Grab some dufflebags and pack all the non-perishables, I'll grab anything useful from your medicine cabinet. Nate, keep an eye out for zombies."
After retrieving dufflebags from the bedroom closet, James and Robbie exited the bedroom into the rest of the apartment. Robbie immediately headed for his cupboards, placing all canned goods into the dufflebag. James went to the bathroom and quickly cleaned out the medicne cabinet of basic supplies. After going back to the main room, he noticed a couch Robbie had placed vertically along the door, with a coffee table supporting it.
"You have a cooler?" asked James.
"Yeah, I'll get it," said Robbie.
"I think so."
"Good," said James. "We can use it to store fresh stuff, eat that first. I'll grab some plastic bags for fruits and vegetables. Get any bottled water you have as well."
After a few more minutes of gathering supplies, James and Robbie went back to the bedroom, prepared to leave the apartment building.
"We've got company," said Nate, gesturing out the window. James looked to the ground to see several zombies gathered, all moaning and shuffling along.
"Looks to be about a dozen," said James. "We can take them."
"Hehehe, sounds good," said Nate. The three exited the apartment one by one. Raising their weapons, they quickly dispatched the zombies below.
"How much ammo do you have for those things?" asked James, gesturing towards Robbie's revolvers.
"Enough," said Robbie, opening a satchel at his belt to reveal several boxes of ammunition.
"You can never have enough ammo," said Nate.
The three climbed down the fire escape to the car, placing the dufflebags in the trunk. They entered the car, James in the driver's seat, and drove off.
"You remembered a can opener, right?" asked James.
"Of course I remembered a fucking can opener!" said Robbie.
"Just checking," said James. "We'll need more supplies. Anyone have any ideas?"
"Yeah," said Nate. "My uncle has a few things."