--------------------(2: “When the Time Comes”) ----------------
(Interrogator): “Did you have any other family members or friends that you were worried about?”
(Paul Stone): “I tried – my mother was the last closest person to me that I knew… she lived outside the town – in Mosant – about twenty minutes away from Bieremont. We went all of the way there to find out that her town was also overrun by the virus. We searched her house – we couldn't find her. We searched at her neighbor’s houses...(He sighs) She was gone. We drove through the town – People were ravaging what was left of stores – it was the fastest I have ever seen anything spread.”
(Interrogator): “What was?
(Paul Stone): “Both the infection and the paranoia – it all spread so fast… too fast. That was about the time the government finally stepped in. The next morning, they had helicopters and people in these suits with freaking machine guns… they had the United States Army coming in. But it was too late – they came too late… but I do not place too much blame on them because it was new, it was unexpected, how could they learn about it any faster than they did. They did their job, but the problem was, and I place all the blame on them for this part, they were horrible at doing their job. They were lazy. They let it get out of hand. They didn't place evacuations on chart or anything like that. Two days after the initial outbreak we learned that the infection was in the North-East too. By the second week of the infection, it was all over the country. I believe they could have stopped it, but they didn't. Nobody stood a chance, we all relied on our government, they were supposed to be the most powerful thing on the planet, but they let us down, and let the virus rape us all. We've all seen the movies – and it is just like it, except way more gruesome, and way more painful. When you watch a zombie movie, you think “Aim for the head!” “Shoot that damn gun!” “You got the guns; shoot them all, it’s not that hard!” “It is not like that at all. Everything we thought we knew about our greatest fear was false.”
(Interrogator): “Okay Paul, you are not here to tell us the statistics, you’re here to tell us your story. Now continue on.”
(Paul Stone): “After my mind cleared up – after I got through most of the pain of the loss of my wife and mother – I studied the maps – the news – the media. They were saying this thing was everywhere, nowhere is safe. The United States was quarantined…but it had already had spread into Mexico – into Canada. I thought of my options… I thought of Islands. They were our best chance. There was this one island – off the coast of Mexico – this small little island. There were about five other islands that were closer by that I thought of at the time, but none seemed as good and as underpopulated as that one island. It would be a long trip, we would have to go through a lot – a lot to survive. We might even die trying to get there. It was survival… everything turned into survival. When it began to spread through the livestock and cattle – that is when all hell broke loose. Infected meat products spread all over the country – the globe. There was no safe haven – New York City was on the news on the third week… I thought I had seen the worst back at home – but they were talking about MILLIONS of those things... millions infected millions turning into billions and billions… the whole country fell apart – it died. “
(Interrogator): “Okay, let me slow you down a little bit again, what happened after you left your home town, you started this so-called journey? Did you know if the island you were heading to was even safe?”
(Paul Stone): “No, all I had were my hopes that it was not infected. It seemed our only chance. We heard on the radio… and it shocked us both… news reports saying they could “Swim”… “They could breathe under water.” "They don't die when you destroy their heart. “WHAT THE HELL?” “Eventually I started believing that it was the second coming, and God would be the cure. I still believe that it was the second coming. Within the first week of the infection, we had only gotten about three hours away from Bieremont… the traffic… it was literally at a dead stop. The interstates were deadly. It took us such a long time just to get an hour away. It was unimaginable. My main thought was to get as far away from Los Angeles as possible. We had a half a tank of gas left in our truck.”
(Interrogator): “Just to know, what kind of truck were you driving?”
(Paul Stone): “A Chevrolet Exance – I thought of gas… itcouldn'tall be gone yet…But I was completely wrong, I waited to late… we must’ve went by at least fifty gas stations, all were either blown up or destroyed, or siphoned dry.”
(Interrogator): “Did you stop any – for food or for restroom breaks?”
(Paul Stone): “Wedidn't. We stopped a couple of times, not completely, when George or I had to get sick and throw up, I just rolled down the window. I told him just to use a bottle or something when he had to go to the bathroom, I did not want to take any risks.”
(Interrogator): “What about when he had to make a bowel movement?”
(Paul Stone): “He had a lunch box... I told him to use that. He used it twice, and we ended up throwing it out the window. For hunger and thirst… We were starving… we were dehydrated. On the third day… about seven hours away from Bieremont… We stopped at this 7/11 gas station in this little town. I grabbed the assault rifle, gave George the Glock, and we both got out and went it. We were starving, wecouldn'ttake it anymore. There were four of those things in there -- we seen them… they darted for us. They were pretty fast. Theyweren'texactly running, but they were trying. One tried to go for George, the other three went for me. It all ended pretty quickly, I killed them all off, but what worried me was the gun shots. I thought back to the old zombie movies, and just said to myself in my head “There will be more coming.” We went into the small little gas station, there was barely anything left. There was some bread – some energy drinks, a carton of eggs… that’s about it. We took everything we could and loaded it into the truck. I had found these large water containment jugs… they had no water in them, but I figured that we could use them to piss in. They would last us a while. George had never shot a gun before… and I did not know when I would have the time or mind to teach him how to.”
(Interrogator): “You mean that after all that you had went through, how many times you gave George the gun, and hedidn'teven know how to shoot one!?”
(Paul Stone): “Yep, but at least hewasn'tscared to carry one. He knew guns were dangerous, he knew they were alright. I taught him his whole life about gun safety – I was going to let him shoot his first gun for his thirteenth birthday. But when the gun law passed that year, a promise became unfulfilled. He asked me once while we were on the journey – “Dad, when are you going to teach me how to shoot this?” I told him – I promised him that I would teach him.”
(Interrogator): “Did you lose faith in God at any point?”
(Paul Stone): “No, but I did lose faith in America, in humanity. I believed that God would come in some way or another. Near the end of the third day of our journey, about ten hours or somewhat away from Bieremont, we had run out of gas. We were in the middle of nowhere, next to some farms and fields. We had to abandon the car. My son’s backpack and a few bags was all that we had to carry things with. We brought the guns, we brought what was left of the rationed food… we brought what money we had left just because you never know what you might need that costs money, even without humans such as gas and things. I felt like I was turning into an animal. George and I both needed clean clothes. The sun was blazing hot. We were only about ten percent of the way through our journey and we had to walk the rest of the way… that was the turning point… the ultimate test of our faith… our endurance. Ihadn'tslept one second since the outbreak, Georgehadn'teither, although he slept a couple hours in the car. But now neither of us could sleep. We had to keep moving, we had no energy left at all, we were out of food, we were dehydrated. We were about to die. Then we saw this house – this farm house, it was half burned to the ground, there did not seem to be any infected inside or around it. I thought about checking through the house, but I was not concentrating on the house… there was this underground storm shelter in the field by that house… it was quite decent, the door was made of heavy metal. My greatest hopes were that there would be food inside, and finally, there was… about a year’s worth of water and food, batteries, there was a couple of gas tanks… although we had left the car behind long ago. It was nice… everything seemed perfect… there was no one in or around it… it was ours."
(Interrogator): “Nobody had found it yet?”
(Paul Stone): “Oh, not at all. We drank and ate all that we felt the need to have. We healed ourselves best that we could with the med-kits that were in there… finally… we had the chance to lie down, rest, sleep... mourn. There was this really old television; it used a crank for power. It was such an awesome feeling to find that. Neither my son nor I had seen news, well, it felt like the longest time, but in reality it had only been about six days. There were only a few channels that were on air at that time, all of them were news stations. We picked up five of them. We saw the devastation and the scenes from New York. It was near the end of the sixth day since the start of the infection, that we heard the President address the nation.
(Interrogator): “Okay, Paul, we are going to pause you for a moment. We will get back to your story in a minute. Now, we are going to be asking more in depth questions than before. We are going to be a little harsher on you. Paul, would you like a cigarette or a cigar?” (Paul sighs and takes a deep breath)
(Paul Stone): “No thank you, I don’t smoke – Can I ask you what your name is sir?”
(Interrogator): “No, you are not allowed to be told that information.”
(Paul Stone): “But you’re allowed to hear mine?”
(Interrogator): “That’s right.” (The interrogator lights up a Marlboro Light) “Alright, let’s get back to the story. Now Paul, you stayed in this shelter for quite a while, am I correct?”
(Paul Stone): “Why leave?”
(Interrogator): “You said the President addressed the nation? What did he say – What was it like for you – for George?”
(Paul Stone): “It spun my gut. George was actually asleep at the time. I was eating a small piece of bread. It came on the television.”
(Interrogator): “There were a lot of places still unaffected by the virus,weren'tthere?”
(Paul Stone): “Some, but not a whole lot. The President of the United States was freaking surrendering! There was no hope at all left. Our country had failed. All it took really was one little tiny tiny virus to break our country into pieces.”
(Interrogator): “It was the paranoia,wasn'tit?”
(Paul Stone): “Yes, it was. When one person panics, all the people around that person panic. Then, the whole entire state panics, causing all of the states around it to panic, and then eventually the whole entire freaking country panics, leading to world panic. I sat there and watched the President of our Country fail and back down... it made me sick. The room that we were in was damp and wet and it smelled like a basement. George and I were both getting sick. Wehadn'tseen any sunlight in about three days; we could barely take it anymore.”
(Interrogator): “Paul, would you like some beer?”
(Paul Stone): “No, I don’t drink either.”
(Interrogator): “Continue on then.”
(Paul Stone): “I figured that we could either stay in that room and slowly wither away and die, or we could keep going on our journey. At least the shelter we were in housed baseball bats, a couple of other lethal tools – such as a shovel, an axe. It was the best we could do then.”
(Interrogator): “Paul do you believe that if the American government would have not taken all of the weapons and firearms away from civilians, that the infection could have been more easily stopped?”
(Paul Stone): “Definitely, if they had not have passed that law, I bet you a million dollars we could've stopped it right then and there. But sadly, Americadidn'thave a chance."
------------------(3: “Everything Dies Eventually”) -------------
(Paul Stone): “America has always been on a very slow decline ever since the beginning, no one likes to admit it, but it is true. The day came that they eventually went too far, and that one slip up caused the entire planet to fail. Humanity collapsed because of one mistake made by the American government. Everybody turned to scientists to figure it out, but I knew that theydidn'tknow what to do. It takes years to get a cure just for a regular flu virus… but an alien-like engineered masterpiece… I knew it would be at least ten years until they even found a cure, and I’m sure all those scientists knew that as well.”
(Interrogator): “So you did not believe in a cure?”
(Paul Stone): “No, not at all. I also knew that the worst was yet to come. The paranoia and the infection itself was bad, yes, but when half of the planet’s nuclear power plants and facilities are left unattended for more than three weeks… Nuclear hell… We had five freaking nuclear power plants around us, and we were not going to survive the results where we were. I thought to myself then about how the nuclear radiation would affect the virus – the infected people when it all went down. I knew that every single second we waited in that bunker meant each second we were getting closer to our deaths. We had to keep going, get out of the possibility of danger. So, I started plotting out our route, our statistics, and our rations.”
(Interrogator): “Can you tell us what you were worried about then?”
(Paul Stone): “I was worried... about my son, how we could make it, what would happen when we made it. I was worried about... humanity… we can survive anything right?
(Silence fills the room for a short moment. Paul takes out his Glock pistol and sits it on the desk in front of him. It is covered in stains and scratches)
(Paul Stone): "This little buddy saved my life. It had never really even let me down once, asides from human errors. This one gun saved my life, now just imagine how many other lives would have of been saved if that gun law did not pass. Think of five billion people with guns... why? Humanity has come this far--learned so much--but for what? What is the point of humanity if God just wipes us out?"
(Interrogator): "Keep it clean Paul."
(Paul Stone): "I sat to myself in that cold, damp room, wondering if humanity would survive, wondering where every poor soul that died went, and about all of those poorer souls that didn't die... mindlessly roaming the Earth in pain and hopelessness...in...nothing. I wrote a poem this one day while we were in that shelter. Would you like to hear it."
(Interrogator): "Sure, go for it."
(Paul Stone): "One day gone by, two days gone by. The fish they still swim -- while everyone dies. A world of pain and anguish is what I see in their eyes. One week gone by, two weeks gone by -- the fish -- they still feed, while everybody dies. A path of destruction and devastation is what I see in their eyes. One month gone by, two months gone by -- the fish -- they are dead -- while everything dies. The last of the mad starve to death. The smell of meat and rot is what I smell on their breath. The ground they walk on -- it crawls with death, and every single day, I get sick of running, and I run out of breath."
(The room goes awkwardly silent for a moment)
(Paul Stone): "Alright, so back to the story now. It was about the sixth day since the start of the infection when we had left that shelter. I grabbed all of the food that we could carry -- all of the materials that we needed, and packed it all up and got ready to leave. I got George up; he grabbed what he could and this steel baseball bat for his protection. I took out my pistol, put my back pack on, and unhinged the door, telling George to get ready just in case. I pushed... The door didn't budge, we couldn't get out. I had pushed and pushed but the door didn't budge. I did not want to kick it open, because I did not want to attract any attention to ourselves on our way out. I didn't know what was blocking the door, and I really did not want to know. The door was heavy enough to open itself. I knew something was in the way of the door, it was not just stuck. George sat back down and I had begun to lose hope of leaving. But then, magically, George said he "felt" something. I walked over to him and he said "look". There was a crease in the corner of the room on the floor. I dusted off the floor to unveil a second door. It didn't have a handle so we had to do some work to get it open, but we eventually got it open. When we opened it, cold and moist air and the smell of wet dirt and ash filled the room. Itmustn'tled up to the house -- I should've known. George and I picked our stuff back up and I turned on the flash-light and aimed it down there. It looked clear, although I could see very little, but I knew we didn't really have a choice, it was our only way out. The sound of flies buzzing around frantically caught my attention. "Best be really careful" I said to George. We both slowly crawled down into the hole, and I slowly aimed my flashlight in front, George stood behind me.There were four dead bodies. Two of them looked likeMorbids-- full on -- and the other two looked like the owners of the house. They were elderly; they looked defenseless, even if the old man was holding a revolver in his hand. I did not touch it, there appeared to be blood all over the gun. I told George to just walk slow and stick by me. We both covered our mouths as we stepped over the bodies. I had pictured the whole incident in my head. The old man and his wife were watching the television. They see the news of the infection, but are not bothered by it because of their isolated location. Then, one day, they hear the sound of one of their windows breaking -- the old man gets up and grabs his gun and then his wife. They go down to the cellar -- while twoMorbidsbreak into their house -- tear open the wooden cellar door leading into the tunnel. They chase after the elderly couple. The infected then tackle them -- one takes down his wife -- the husband shoots the one infected off of his wife -- then shoots the one infected trying to go for him. His wife turns -- he shoots her. He has one bullet left -- he shoots himself."
(Interrogator): "Wow, you have a very interesting mind, Paul."
(Paul Stone): "After all of the hell and inhumanity that I have seen and went through, yes I do. We opened up the broken wooden entrance, and came up into the house. The old house creaked with our weight. It was night-time. We could see holes in the walls and ceilings throughout the house from the fire that had burnt through it. It was amazing that it was still standing. Large holes in the wall created an awkward airflow in the building. I peered out a large hole in the wall and my instant reaction was to grab my son and get down to the floor. I covered his mouth to stop him from making any possible noise. I quickly gave him the signal to tell him that there was an infected out there."
(Paul Stone): "Yes, uh, George and I made this sign up to quietly tell each-other if there was an infected nearby. It was, uh, the pinkie finger and the ring finger would be bent downward as to represent legs walking, and the index finger and the middle finger would be held out straight and parallel to each-other to depict a walking person -- in this case, a zombie." (Paul makes this sign with his hand as showing to the interrogator)
(Interrogator): "So you signaled George that there was an infected... and?"
(Paul Stone): "George quickly slipped me the Glock pistol. He got down and covered his head as I slowly rose up. I shot the bastard three times. Two in the head and one in the chest. He fell to the ground with a squish. From the ear-piercing gun shots rolled in an eerie silence, with a howling wind blowing past my face, sending a chill down my spine. It was at least midnight, and the night sky was covered with ghostly grey clouds with a bright white full moon lighting them up. The air was moist, almost irritating to the touch, but it was warm, probably in the 80's. I felt the mosquitoes out, and the air was mostly filled with mist and dew produced by the fields and weeds around us, creating a low-lying layer of fog."
(Interrogator): "Did you ever figure out why you could not get out of the cellar?"
(Paul Stone): "Yeah, uh, there was an infected nibbling on a rotting dead cow that lay on the cellar door."
(Interrogator): "Go on."
(Paul Stone): "Well, I signaled George again to tell him that everything was alright and that he could come out. He ran out of the burnt farm house. We headed for the road. Once we had reached the road, we had felt we were pretty much safe, well, as safe as you could get in the situation where we were in. About thirty minutes of walking later and we had struck jackpot once again. It was an overtaken army roadblock, or more of barricade, because they had more than just the roads blocked off. Approaching it, spike-strips lay scattered around the barricade. There was a burned out tank, two Humvee, and a dirt-bike which I can not really explain, but it was pretty much useless as well. On the ground, scattered around, lay five dead masked men in containment suits. One more I found in the Humvee on the left side of the barricade. I wanted to check it out, but I could not take the risk. Blood and bodily fluids were all over the inside of the Humvee. Besides, there was another chance, another Humvee on the right that I could check out. The Humvee on my right appeared clean, so I decided to look through it. I checked the front seat and I found another flashlight, an area map, a dead radio, and a note, which I will get to in a minute."
(Paul Stone): "In the back seat lay a few camouflaged jackets, a pair of pants, someM16clips, and a bullet proof vest, which I had taken and put on rather quickly. But the real victor was of what was in the trunk. A decked out M16 assault rifle and all of the pistol ammo that I could carry, and a beautiful chrome encrusted Desert Eagle pistol. I gave it to George, and put the Glock in the backpack. I asked hi (TO BE CONTINUED)