Thursday, October 10, 2019

Day 10: Emergency Meeting



David felt the tension boiling in his gut. He knew he had mere moments to get to the truck before the horde set upon him and with a blockade of eight festering corpses in front of him, his options were limited. Suddenly, he saw Cristian turn the wheel of his vehicle toward him. He was preparing to run them over. Diving out of the way, he listened at the sound of decayed carcasses bursting upon impact with the front grill of the truck.

Knocking up against a stack of pallets, he rushed to his feet as he heard more zombies closing in. “Get in!” Liz shouted. “Hurry!”

Jumping into the passenger seat, he heard the door slam shut as Cristian maneuvered the vehicle into a U-turn, starting toward home. “That was a close one,” David replied. When they reached the main street, they noticed a number of fires burning around them.

Cristian’s driving slowed a bit when his attention was momentarily distracted by the sky to the east. In the distance, over the tall line of buildings, dark columns of rising smoke was visible. It appeared that quite a bit of the city was burning. “These guys are everywhere,” Liz said. “We need to get out of here. Fast!”

A single car with its hood up was the only thing visible ahead on the street and Cristian drove closer slowly. Moving to a corner occupied by the fire station and a convenience store, he came to a stop. “What’s that?” he asked, waiting for the others to see what had caught his attention. A large military vehicle was blocking the main road. The engine revved. And a few moments later, three members of the BioCore Militia exited the truck.

“Go,” David said in a low tone, staring at the men as they readied their weapons.

“Are they…they wouldn’t,” Cristian said. One of the men took aim at the group. “Holy shit.”

“Go!” David yelled.

Slamming his foot on the gas, Cristian raced down an opposite street, heading east away from the prison. Taking as many back streets as he could, he made a few turns and started north, ensuring they weren’t followed or driving down any barricaded roads. “Did we lose them?” he asked, not daring to look behind him again.

“Yeah, we good,” Liz replied as Cristian turned down the road toward home.

Dominic gently placed Elise on a cot in the infirmary and watched a moment as Natalie tended to her wound. “How bad is it?” she asked once the blood had been cleaned up.

“Actually,” Natalie replied. “You’re gonna need some stitches but you should heal just fine. I’ll grab you some antibiotics and pain meds from the back once we’re done here.”

A beeping alarm alerted them that the others had returned and Matthew met the group at the door. “Is everyone alright?” he asked, hoping they too had not met with unexpected injuries or trouble.

“We’re all fine,” Liz replied, “But we need to talk. All of us.”

“Agreed.” Matthew called an emergency meeting. After everything that had happened in the last three days, there was much to discuss. “We need to figure out exactly what is going on,” he said. “There are too many accidents for any of this to be coincidence.”

“Exactly,” David chimed in. “Someone has to be orchestrating these run-ins with all the zombies. We are always extra careful and vigilant when we go out, yet the last four time we’ve all met with hordes of these creatures who seemingly appear out of nowhere.”

“Not to mention the fact that they run now,” Cristian stated. “It makes for extremely dangerous situations.”

“We found a couple of BioCore’s guys while we were out. They may be able to give us Intel on the company and what they have planned for survivors,” Troy said.

“One thing interesting about that, they were held in a room with a couple of zombies and neither were attacked.” Dominic added. “I don’t know if they’ve figured out some way to repel zombies but I’ve never seen anything like it.”

“Could it have something to do with the black ooze coming from them?” Portia asked. “My last kill, the zombie spewed this slime that I’d never seen before.”

“Anything is possible,” Josh replied. “We just need to be careful. Since learning that a person can turn whether or not they’d been bitten or scratched, everything has an added layer of danger.” The group nodded and the room fell in silence for a moment.

“There’s something else I think you should know,” Matthew said. “James and Nicole found a girl hiding in their truck. And after a lengthy and insightful conversation Sumiko revealed to us that she has been bitten on numerous occasions and survived without infection.”

“What?” Liz gasped. “How is that possible?”

“The only explanation I’ve been able to come up with is she’s immune. But more importantly what that means is she’s the key to a possible cure.” He replied, standing more erect at the front of the room. “There may be an end to this apocalypse once and for all.”

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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Day 09: Proceed with Caution


“We need to do the humane thing and shoot her already!” Josh replied. Sumiko had been placed in one of the cages in Cell Block C awaiting the group’s determination about her.

“Wait,” Nicole yelled. “She hasn’t shown any signs of infection and the bite appears to be days if not weeks old.”

“And? Last I checked, you didn’t have a medical degree and we all know this virus affects everyone differently,” Josh continued. “We can’t take the chance she’ll infect any of us here.”

“I think we should wait,” James chimed in. “Nicole is right. The girl hasn’t shown any signs she’s sick. For all we know it could have been a dog bite or something.”

Just then, the front door opened and the group was joined by Natalie, Portia, JC and Matthew who was carrying an unconscious Aisha. “What happened to Aisha?” Jeremiah asked, rushing forward.

“We had an accident,” Portia replied solemnly without looking up.

“Well is she ok?” he continued, watching as Matthew carried her off toward the infirmary with Natalie in tow.

“We don’t know yet, Miah. Natalie is going to look her over and we’ll know more from there. Don’t worry ok? She’s a tough girl. She’ll be fine,” JC replied, hoping to calm the young man. “What’s going on here?” he asked, noticing the tension in the air.

“We found someone in our truck,” Katrina said, as she hobbled over to a chair.

“What do you mean you found someone in the truck? Are they here? Are they hostile?” Matthew asked, hearing the tail end of the conversation.

“We don’t really know. She’s a young girl. Maybe 17. Japanese. Says she became stranded here and separated from her parents when the outbreak occurred,” Nicole said, filling the others in on what they’d learned so far.

“She’s also been bitten,” Josh added.

“What? Where is she?” Matthew asked. “Why hasn’t she been taken care of? We can’t let her infect anyone else.” Josh threw his hands up in agreement.

“See that’s the thing,” Nicole started. “Her bit is old and she’s not sick. We didn’t want to just take her out without hearing her side of the story. We should figure out what happened first. If she really was bitten then why wasn’t she turned? How is she different than anyone else?”

“It doesn’t matter,” Josh again said. “She’s dangerous and the longer we stand here arguing about it, the greater the risk of her getting out and harming us becomes. We don’t know her or where she came from and we don’t need to know. The facts remain. She’s bitten. She dies.”

“No,” Matthew said. “Nicole is right. We need more information.”

“What? This is crazy!” Josh exclaimed.

“What if there’s a cure or something, Josh? A way to protect ourselves against whatever has infected everyone else? This girl might be the key to stopping it all or maybe shedding some light on how we can keep ourselves safe. We owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to explore that possibility.”

“Fine,” Josh sighed and shook his head. There was no winning the argument and continuing to state his opinion was futile. “You guys do what you want but when you get infected by the Trojan horse, don’t come crying to me.” He stalked off in the direction of his room, leaving the others to handle the fate of their new friend.

“Where is she?” Matthew asked.

“Cellblock C,” James replied.

“JC, can you and Theresa go and give Natalie a hand in the infirmary, please? James, Katrina, Nicole Sophia, and I will go and have a chat with…”

“Sumiko,” Theresa said.

“Right.”

Sumiko sighed as she was once again tied down to a chair in the center of the day room. “Why don’t we start with your full name?” Matthew began.

“Fujikawa Sumiko,” Sumiko responded.

“And where did you come from? Why did you jump into our truck” he continued.

“I was here on vacation with my parents. I’d just been accepted to Oxford and as a gift, my parents brought me to America to visit the sites on my traveler’s list; places I’d always wanted to see. But something happened. While we were in New York, one of the passengers on our ferry became ill and bit someone.”

“I saw that video!” Nicole said. “Before it was taken down from YouTube!”

“We were taken back to the shore and examined by a physician before being released. Our trip was cut short and we started home with a layover here but…the infection had already spread and the airport was quickly overrun. Everything was chaos. After my parents and I became separated, I found myself alone. I didn’t know anyone here or where I could go for help. I’ve been by myself ever since. Doing whatever I could to survive.” Sumiko said.

“How long ago were you bitten?” Matthew asked, motioning toward the scar on her lower arm.

“I’d gone into a convenience store to try and find some water but, there were three of those dead things in there. I was able to bring down two of them but the third caught me by surprise and before I could hit him, he grabbed my arm and bit me. I managed to escape and get back to my hiding place and care for it,” Sumiko explained. “That was two weeks ago.”

“Are you telling us you were bitten two weeks ago and not turned?” Matthew asked in surprise. “Have you shown any signs of illness? Been sick at all or have some weird symptoms?”

“No,” she replied. “It was just a bite that’s healed over time.”

“How is that possible?”

“I don’t know,” Sumiko said. “This one was two weeks ago, however, the first time I was bitten was on the ferry in New York…three years ago.”

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Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Day 08: New Information


“What the fuck is this?” Troy asked, finally shutting the door. “Who are those men?”

“They work as part of a militia,” Pete said. “They broke into the store and were rifling through my stuff. I waited until they split up and one-by-one I attacked them and got them subdued.”     
  
“You took them down by yourself?” Dominic asked. Pete nodded. “Were there any others? They don’t usually move without groups.”

“As far as I know it was only those two. I-I didn’t want you to see. I was hoping the zombies would take care of them.”

“Yeah they don’t appear too interested in your hostages but I know someone who might be,” Troy replied.

“What are you thinking?” Dominic asked.
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Monday, October 7, 2019

Day 07: Decisions


“They have this building surrounded.” Cristian announced once David and Liz rejoined them in the lobby.

“What? How? We were being careful,” Liz replied, taking a peek out of the windows to confirm what she’d heard.

“My guess: it’s the same thing that happened when we went to the fire station and corner clinic. Someone is doing this,” Cristian replied. “There is no other explanation.”

“Who would cause a horde of zombies to come after us? Why?” she continued, trying to figure out how they would get out of this mass of undead.

“Have you not been paying attention? The world is a different place these days. Any number of survivor factions could be after us to loot our stash. It’s a competition for survival. If you don’t beat the others to the last remaining can of peaches then prepare for war.”
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Sunday, October 6, 2019

Day 06: Splintered


“We have to go back!” Aisha declared as Portia checked her rearview.

“Hold on,” Portia said, performing a quick U-turn and gunning it back toward the alley.

Matthew pushed at the mob of undead, swinging and slashing with his knife, he severed fingers, ears and even a nose. The blade met true with a few skulls but he hesitated to really reach into the group for fear of being scratched or worse, bitten. Deciding it best to run for cover and wait for help to arrive, he turned up the alley and ran, gaining much needed distance between himself and the horde behind him. The sound of their ravenous moaning fell into sync with the beating of his own heart as his feet pounded the pavement. Turning down another corner of the alley he was abruptly faced by a dead-end as the pack of rancid zombies grew steadily closer behind him.
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