First Day of Work
It's been two weeks since we landed here at Destin. Ravenport is about twenty miles away, and Navajo is even further, about forty. The people here at the Academy have stored Rebekah's body in a giant freezer. Steve and I are going to ask for a car to drive to Cherry Hill and bury her there. Apparently, the Black Moons have been using a parking garage to store abandoned vehicles that they've found during field missions, as well as enough gasoline to start a second fire in New York City, one large enough to consume the rest of it.
We're in Missouri, well, what's left of it. Some of my fellow soldiers have given me their sides of the story. Oh, it started in California where some dipshit in a bio-lab let a virus escape into the public. Oh no, it happened in Vegas where some stripper caught something from an Arabian man. Oh, no, man, it started down in Ozark County. Something got into the food supply. Dr. Rodriguez and I have been trying to tell people that everyone's infected, and it doesn't matter how you die, you come back. But, no, they won't listen to us. I bet they won't believe it until they see it for themselves. I haven't yet, but I know it's true. It seems like no one really knows what really happened. The only thing that everyone can agree on is that overnight the world went to shit. Society and government collapsed, allowing groups like the Black Moons to rise up and help those in need. It also brought forth lawlessness. Without police or the Army to protect people, they just lost it. Went insane. Looting was the first thing to start. Then, people, not Crazies, though they were a threat, began to harm each other. Even kill each other. Panic consumed entire cities and towns, even countries. A guy here named Dan saw that plane go down in Cricket Lake. He saw burning bodies emerge from what part of the jet had survived the impact, swimming toward shore. Other bodies, dead bodies, just floated. Body parts for the most part, after all, it had been a fiery explosion.
I don't know anyone who hasn't lost a loved one due to all this. I lost my family, Grace as well. Steve lost his girlfriend, Matt and Donna their relatives and friends, Zoe told me about her sisters, Jaeden her parents and uncle, Tyrone his mother, Monroe, he's the worst. He's tried to protect four groups since this started, trying to get to the Black Moon HQ here at the Academy, overall he tried to protect forty-nine people. All of them, including his wife, were killed by the Crazies. His wife had been pregnant. She died pregnant, the Crazies ripping into her stomach and yanking the baby right out of here, eating it. His descriptions were so vivid and dark, evil even. The thought scares me. Poor man, at first I thought he was a jackass. But now, I realize that he's human. We all are. We are a handful of the last remaining human beings, living human beings, on the face of the Earth. And now I remember watching a NASA shuttle go into space, about three weeks before the apocalypse began. There are astronauts stranded in space, slowly dying. How long would it take for their food supply to run out, there aren't any deliveries being made up there, are there? It's awful, that we all have to be put through this. Maybe it's a test, to see how humanity would handle a situation like this. I've realized that us as a species have had hard times throughout our history. The bubonic plague, war, the Ice Age. And somehow, through all that pain and suffering and darkness, we've managed to pull through. We've survived the impossible countless times. We have managed to do what we all thought couldn't be done. Survive. A man on the street a few years back held a sign that said, Humanity is resilient. We manage to survive in situations that seem nearly impossible. Even in the end of days, humanity will come together and will continue to be resilient and survive.
That man is the smartest man I know. I don't even know if he's alive. Probably not. He's probably dead, or undead as I should probably put it. He's probably eating a random survivor right now, not even thinking before he decided to bite down on the poor bastard's arm.
If he is alive, he deserves to be our leader. Our guide through this. Our savior. Our light shining through the dark. Our day that battles the night.
This is my story, and I know no one will ever be able to know what goes through my mind, except for flesh-hungry Crazies, but this is what I'm thinking. There are a million people left in the world. Probably less now. The United States is but a shell of its former self right now. We have no leader, only the Black Moons, who are responsible for the deaths of six innocent people and four guilty terrorists. They might have made a mistake, but to me they seem like heroes. And now, I've been recruited by them to help in their effort to reestablish order and security in the world. To try to take out our enemy, the Crazies, who have killed most of the world's population. Maria told me in my nightmare that the real enemy is the evil that is stored up inside me. I don't believe that, not for one second. I think she's trying to trick me, Renee as well. My wife lied to me before she died, and I'm sure she does it now. The evil inside me is not the enemy, she is. She's a lying bitch, I'm positive she is.
Right now I'm on a chopper. Zoe, Tyrone, Monroe, that girl Kat, Grace, Matt, Jaeden, Toshi, and a few other soldiers are with me. It's my first day. Matt and Grace also became soldiers. It suits them as well. We're going to a town just south of Meadville called Wenterson. Before the shit hit the fan it had a population of about two-hundred. Now only Crazies inhabit it, walking the streets like creepers in dark allies. How do we know there aren't any survivors there? Because Monroe and his so-called Delta Squad had searched every building for survivors. No one, not one living soul. Delta Squad was wiped out the day that the choppers came to the hospital.
A female soldier by the name of Tyra is sitting next to me, she carries a machine gun, a Minimi. She has no expression on her face, as if she feels like death is upon her. I ask the soldier to my right, "What's with her?"
To this, he replies, "Who, Tyra? Oh, man, she has stage four stomach cancer. She's not gonna last much longer. But, boy, is she a fighter. She's battled it for years now, and she's damn lucky. When she was diagnosed, her doctor said that she only had six months to live. She proved that bastard wrong." I laugh, "She's a brave woman." "Indeed."
Tyra looks at me, "It's alright," she says, "I've had a good life. If I die today, I'd go out knowing I did. But I do want you to know something."
"If I'm swarmed by those Crazies, you'll put a bullet in my brain."
I nod, her words scaring me. Matt and Grace sit behind me, their Minimis resting in their laps. "So, Scott," Zoe says to me, "How does it feel to be going out in the field for the first time?"
The noise in the chopper is loud, so I have to speak up, "It's exhilarating. I can't wait to waste those fuckers in Wenterson!" She laughs, "I think we're all looking forward to it!"
We fly for what seems like hours, but in reality it's only like forty-five minutes. The choppers go really fast. We approach Wenterson. I can see the water-tower, the black words stating the town's name have rusted slightly. In blood on the tower's metallic surface is the word SOS. I cringe at the sight of it. Someone had been staying up there. There is a tent and what looks like to be a radio sitting beside it. And, a few feet away, is a body. I look away. Grace points to a building with a helipad, "I bet that's where we're landing."
Zoe replies, "Right on the nose, Grace."