The world has gone the way of the dogs by an unknown outbreak, they're zombies ... we think .... the problem is either way the dead don't stay dead and they aren't all as dumb as video games have you believe.
It rang out loud clear and enough to haunt ones memory, that one single shot I would never forget no matter what happened from here on out, and believe me when I say it’s only going to get worse now.
So back to the shot, that one shot I would remember forever is the moment I was forced to face reality that I could, if given enough time lose everyone I ever cared about, had somehow become humanity’s worst nightmare and all the games in the world hadn’t prepared me, I mean first lining up a shot is harder than it looks and second the recoil had actually caused my hand to ache and I had to finish the job.
His face pale, almost grey as I looked down, the pain in my chest swelled violently, I had to do it I just didn’t want to, I wanted anything right now but this “I’m sorry” and the second shot rang out, survival first was all I could remember telling myself.
I reached down to take his weapon and then the pack he’d been carrying, I needed the supplies as I scrambled back to the armoured truck we used to ensure we got through them in one piece. I pulled the door shut and wiped my eyes, trying to focus, trying desperately to regain myself. The thud and growl soon brought me back to my senses, the faces you’d never forget at least not in that moment as they clawed at the armoured glass to get to you, I jammed the key in the ignition and without a second though slammed the truck into gear, it was time to go.
The tyres screeched as they found traction and then I was gone, bodies stumbling through the street and then wandering off wherever it was they went, now I’m on my way I can try and tell you what’s going at least if you haven’t figured it out by now. The guy I killed back there wasn’t just some mindless, creature or brainless as we call them, which it’s self is a contradiction because they have brains they just don’t work very well. Still I diverge but it’s hard to focus when you’ve been forced to kill your best friend, he was bitten a few days ago and this thing it’s kind of hit and miss, you can be bit two or three times and be fine but the moment you’re dumb enough to think your immune is usually the moment you turn into one of those, they are nothing short of killers, I want to call them zombies but it’s not true, some aren’t as dense as your average zombie stereo type.
Still keep up with me here, I’m headed back to Ashcroft Farm, which for the moment is our safe haven, unfortunately it’s a matter of time before it becomes less than safe, and that depends on how long we keep the power up, which I hit the brakes and the truck screeches to a halt, is the reason we came out here in the first place to get fuel and in getting side-tracked I had forgotten to get, I pull down the glove compartment and yank out my tablet, yes I know the internet still works again it’s all a matter of time, the advantage is I don’t have to pay the bills anymore because let’s face it who’s there to chase me to actually pay them? The downside to this new hell is that if things break down you either fix them yourself or hope you run into someone who can.
It’s a strange world to wake up to each day but there it is a petrol station not too far from where I’m currently sat idling by the road, and more importantly it’s in the same direction I’m going. So I’m off again, I’ll park opposite and then survey the station, I know there’s a huge chance for it to be empty but it’s a risk we have to take if our fence goes down we all join the brainless.
I guess it’s time to fill you or at least catch you up on things, yes we are slap dab in the middle of a zombie apocalypse the problem is it’s not quite what we all thought it would be, you see the undead are indeed undead but there are groups, almost tiers of undead, some are of course your garden variety zombie, slow, dense and simply want to bite you, then there are weasels, a variety of zombie that seem to retain intelligence, they have little to no memory of who they were but these things stalk you, follow and then attack, if they get you it’s no point worrying about if you’ll turn or not because your are dead either way, they are smart, they are fast and they are almost always dangerous, because of that we no longer travel alone, we move in pairs, of course I just killed my partner so now I have to take this risk alone, I’ll deal with the repercussion later. There are other varieties too but we’ll get into that later, for now you know enough to understand not everything is as black and white as you may believe.
So what happened? It was back in October of 2013, I think we keep time but it’s hard to remember when your adrenaline constantly overrides rational thought, you see we had arranged a sort of fun night in the city, a zombie game, you run around see how long you can survive, lots of light guns, and make up it’s real fun or at least it was, I’d run a dozen of these before, but this one this one went sideways in the worst way.
I remember that night, I will always remember that night, just like I’ll always remember today, some moments you do remember, the rest tend to blur, it’s hard work to keep up, but that night was bad in every way, as usual the team had prepped the 30 folks who play the undead, slow brainless just like in the games and the movies and they are simply supposed to imitate biting then you go to the trailer and the make-up team do you into a zombie and you join the horde to take out the survivors, last man or woman standing is declared the victor and gets a fancy plaque saying I survived with the city name and date upon to show off to their friends. It really was good fun.
This night we were about an hour in things were going as normal when all of a sudden we noticed two or three brainless wandering through the crowd the give-away was they attacked those of our guys who were paying undead the screams were insane, we knew something was up and Red and I went out to check, Rachel I think her name was laid in a puddle of her own blood the brainless chomping down on her leg, I barely heard the second one coming up behind us but instinct must have fired in because I shoved red out of the way and then ducked under his failing arms, the look in its eyes was enough to freeze you, which is a good thing humans have adrenaline or I’d be one of them by now. Red screamed something at me and we both took off trying to force the rest of the gamers back toward to the team trucks and the command building, we started with 100 people that night we finished with 36, that night will haunt those of us who survived forever, I’d like to say we’re all together on that farm but we’re not only three of us of that 36 live at Ashcroft, most tried to go back and find their families or lost complete faith in humanity, some I suspect now roam the streets.
Now back to this fuel, thing with petrol stations is they really are hit and miss, but we have a procedure with them now, I grab my rifle from the back of the passenger seat and climb out of the truck, quickly I scoot round then back and then pull myself up onto the top of the truck and then settle in to look through the scope, this allows me to scan the station for undead in safety if they are there I can pick them off from here and if they attack I’m up high enough to avoid been torn apart by them, well most of them anyways, as I said some are not as dumb as the movies have us believe. A pass over the courtyard reveals nothing and then slowly scanning the shop window still reveals nothing, that’s not to say they are not there just not within visual range, in the early days we had to break into the shops to activate the pumps, thankfully now we can do it by remote bypass. I take one more look over the area and then scan the road each side, I’ve been known not to and almost get chomped on by incoming from the roads, they wander aimlessly and for miles in most cases, most will simply wander around until they collapse from complete and total exhaustion, the human body can only work with what it has and they can in fact die of something very close to starvation or dehydration, unless they get to feed often which are usually the city based ones, at least we think they die. The old cliché of one to the head really is the only way to be sure, I’ve seen them survive been torched, pushed from a window, fall down a flight of stairs, severe the spinal cord and they are done for in most cases.
Time to go as I drop down by the back of the truck then move back to stow the rifle, it’s ammo is precious and I only have half a dozen or so clips left, we’ll have to hit a stock pile sometime in the future for now I can make do with my 9mm and the extra couple of clips I liberated from my fallen friend. Never leave what you can use from a fallen friend it’s our unwritten rule if we die we want you to survive. I quietly cross toward the petrol station and make my way to the tank hatch, if you check the pumps they usually tell you if you will get anything of use from them, petrol is usually the first to be drained folk want to keep their cars on the road, we quickly figured out we’d do better with diesel based vehicles and so our entire fleet are diesel vehicles. My armoured truck, our generator truck that powers the fence, as I said diesel seems to be lasting longer, of course it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the world catches up top this fact so we stockpile while we’re able to.
There’s diesel that’s good news as I make my way back to the truck to grab the containers I notice a car, recently abandoned, which means there are brainless close, quietly I make my way back to the diesel pump set my phone beside it and hit the override app that will unlock the pump for me, we can call each other but it has its risks. Also the phone networks can be a little unpredictable and that can create its own problems. The pump clicks and I begin to fill the containers, these are huge containers we load up and then transport back our generator, it wasn’t too bad in the first few months at Ashcroft we managed to highjack a diesel tanker and that saw us through for quite some time it ran dry about a month ago, since then we’ve been raiding as much as we can to keep our generator up, it’s not one of these small portable ones, we liberated ours from a fair, it’s one of the huge truck ones that can power a ride, for us it powers the farmhouse and our fence.
I hear a sound and immediately spin toward it and sure enough brainless barrelling right toward me, a quick roll sets me behind it and able to spring to my feet, that allows me time to raise my gun, if it’s a smart one it’ll move off, if it’s not it’ll lunge, as is my luck it lunges I step back and squeeze the trigger, the shot rings out and the body slumps to the ground. A moan and now I’m in trouble, we need the fuel as I grab the can and try to move off only to have my arm wrenched to a dead stop by the weight. “Come on” I growl and try to move off the weight has me stalled I need to roll it back to the truck and that takes time, I could grab the rifle and hunt them from the top of the truck but that takes time and I have no clue how many are out here, I could dump the fuel and bail, we need the fuel in the next day or so. I have no choice as I begin to roll the barrel on its base back toward the truck, slowly but surely making my way back to the truck, I’ll buy us half a day with this but we can come back later for more possibly even bring the tanker and drain it dry, but for now this will have to do.
I never hear him as he grabs me from behind and I duck forward out of his bite unbalancing us both ad we plummet to the ground my hands break the fall but not my head colliding with his nose and the sickening sound as it breaks, again I get lucky the bone must have pushed back into his brain killing him and I roll over to push him off me, one look and I know instantly there are six or seven coming toward me and I have nowhere to go they are bearing down on me from all sides, looks like my time in this hell is over. All I can do is close my eyes and wait.