Medals and Mettles: Miles, Alive and Zombie-Wrangling

It was almost light out - almost time for me to head out and grab that promising specimen from yesterday - when it happened. There came, at first, a faint cracking sound, like fireworks being heard a long way off. The sounds were just loud enough to catch my attention. My eyes went wide as I sipped at my crappy cup of coffee, and I immediately double-checked that the door was barred and my weapons were handy before waking Nate up and handing him a rifle.

"You know how to use it," I said quitely, "We've trained enough, so don't worry. Just remember, aim but don't take forever and above all, when you shoot, stay calm. It'll help."

"What's going on?" Nate asked as I walked over to the window to peek out.

"I don't know," I answered as I cautiously pulled the curtain aside. "For now we'll just have to stay put and hope that the volunteers -"

Just then a shadowy figure appeared outside our home/laboratory, carrying a rifle and running to the door of the house. Drawing a pistol from my belt, I undid all of the locks and bolts on the door to let the volunteer in once he - or she - got close enough. When the volunteer -  a man - got close, I opened the door as he climbed the steps.

"Doctor, we're going to need your help," the volunteer began, "the Olympians -" The rest of what the man might have said was never spoken, as at that moment a zombie jumped on him from behind and tore a chunk of flesh from his neck. I quickly raised my pistol and shot the infected person, but only hit it - her, it was a woman - in the chest. She stumbled backward, but then screamed and rushed me, pinning me to the wall. I just barely managed to raise my pistol to fire before being pinned, ending up with the weapon jammed against the person's shoulder. That was no good. I could not get a kill shot by shooting this thing in the shoulder. It didn't stop them. You needed to shoot them in the head. I fought with all I had to get the weapon ready for such a shot, but to no avail. The only thing keeping the infected person from taking a bite was the position my left arm was in. It was stuck against the woman's chin, because as she rushed at me I had raised my hand instinctively to stop her.

Suddenly, as we sat there struggling awkwardly to gain some advantage over each other, the woman's head exploded. I slumped against the wall for a moment, shocked, before looking over to see Nate crouching by the bed with his rifle raised. As I turned to look, he pulled back the bolt on the old gun and slammed it back forward, chambering another round. Just like I'd trained him.

"Good...good job, son," I said.

He silently nodded to me, then stood up. I followed suit, then stepped toward the door. Nate automatically moved to follow me.

"No," I said, turning back to face him. "Stay here. Keep the door locked and bolted all the way up. Do not open this door for anybody. Stay inside."

Nate looked disappointed, but nodded. As I stepped out into the night air, Nate looked up at me and said, "Dad...just stay safe, okay?"

"Yeah, I will," I said. "I won't be back until after things settle down. After we get the infected back to quarantine, I'll stay up at the food court until lunch time. There's some food in the fridge, so eat whatever you want for breakfast and lunch. But stay inside."

Once more, Nathan nodded before closing the door and bolting it shut.

Okay. Time to focus; I had to make contact with the volunteers and help get the infected back to quarantine. That was the only way I could keep a steady supply of specimens for study.

The End

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