Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Part 2

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

The second installment of the exciting adventure of the oddly named Jose, and his rag-tag family just trying to survive the apocalypse... that he may or may not have started.

 Chapter 5

For those of you that contend that there is no excuse for domestic abuse, my fiancé would argue that one too many shushes is a perfectly valid excuse. I learned this fact first hand upon regaining consciousness. Apparently the newly discovered existence of a once extinct creature still did not warrant or excuse a second shushing in a 24-hour period.

Don't worry I am fully aware of the fact that I am burying the lead here. Fucking dinosaurs!... Regardless of being aware of this for some time I remain the proud owner of a throbbing erection every time the fact reoccurs to me.

Apparently, I was not out for long as the topic of conversation had not moved far.

From my resting place on the ground I heard Tyrone end a pastry-based tirade by saying, “Dad! No one cares about the damn Twinkies! Jack, how the hell do know all this?”

“You guys have a general idea of what I do in the marines right?” He responded.

I sat up and said, “Yeah, you sit behind a huge gun and guard nukes and shit.”

“It's a little more involved than that, but you hit the key part. I guard shit. That large warm blooded reptile outside is an example of the shit I guard. Mostly though, I guard a group of scientists. They are an odd group of guys. Huge nerds!”

“Yeah... they're scientists. That is the eventual result of a lifelong walk down the path of nerdom.” I remarked perhaps a bit smugly.

“Granted, but these guys doubled down on the nerd hand they were dealt. Apparently, in the mid-90’s a group of scientists that also identified with the growing nerd culture of the time, got together, and started a group whose main goal was to create processes that helped bring the plots of their favorite science fiction titles to reality. Long story short… it worked and we are all fucked.”

“Jack! Language!” His wife scolded.

“Yes dear… Fine we are all being forcefully penetrated”

Charlie, always the voice of skepticism, remarked, “So you are really going to glaze over all of the here-to-fore impossible science involved in creating dinosaurs, zombies, and who the shit knows all what else, with a simple, ‘long story short?’ I mean seriously?!?!”

“Charlie… Looking lovely as always by the way. What you need to understand is that, in this situation, I was little more than a low-level grunt for hire. I am not a scientist, and that being the case, would have no idea how the science behind this would work. Secondly, when it comes down to it, wouldn’t you rather enjoy the delicious sausage than hear about the process by which it was made?”

Tyrone and I with the synconicity that can only come from 20+ years of tag team mockery said, “Yeah you love that sausage, don’t you?”

The object of our epically clever punmanship merely looked at us and pointed at his obviously pregnant wife. The implication was quite clear.

“All jokes aside,” I said magnanimously, “Jack is right. Who cares about how or why something is? Isn’t it just better to roll with the fact that it is? That being a rhetorical question, in no way requiring a response, I will move on. So, to recap… zombies, dinosaurs, world ending plague, we are in a remote location in the north woods of Minnesota, Jack can somehow drive an 18-wheeler, and loves sausage. The thing we should be dealing with now is not how hilarious I am, but rather what do we do now?”

“It seems to me,” Sarah said, “having a more complete understanding of our situation might be a good thing.”

Jack, in the least condescending tone he could muster (which was still pretty damn condescending) said, “You must have not heard. I already explained the situation. Most of the world dead, zombies and the like…”

Charlie, never one to leave a sister-in-law hanging said, “Oh, well that’s reassuring. So, what are the exact numbers of zombies ‘and the like’ within, oh say… a 20-mile radius of our location? Also, how many gas stations are still up and running? While we are at it, these numbers and percentages you quoted; what kind of margin for error did the scientists expect? Call me naive, but as we are dealing with numbers exceeding 7 billion, I would like to be as accurate as possible.”

“Well…” Jack said, with all the confidence of an Arizona snowman, “… point taken.”

I saw this as the moment when I should take charge of the situation. After all I had been planning for something of this sort to go down for several years. Of course, by planning I mean that I have read S.M. Sterling’s “Dies the Fire” and thought it was super cool. “First and foremost, Charlie, I have never loved you more than I do at this moment. Second, I think we have one overarching goal: survival. There are going to be factors that contribute to this goal. The main three that I can see are food, shelter, and defense. Mom where do we stand on the food front?”

“We brought pop tarts, pancake mix, various snacks, and shore lunch. Enough to last us the weekend anyways. We were planning on eating whatever fish you guys caught as our main meals, hence the shore lunch.”

“We also have 3 bottles of whiskey, 2 of vodka, 5 cases of beer, and 7 bottles of wine.” Tyrone interjected.

“I like where your head is at Tyrone,” I said “So our food situation is covered for a bit, but we will need to address that soonish. As for shelter, the cabin has plenty of room for all of us, and is sandwiched between a large clearing in the front, and a steep hill down to the lake in the rear. Assuming this zombie threat is legit, we should have ample warning before they reach the cabin. This, more or less, leads to defense. Tyrone and Jack, I will assume you have come loaded down with your usual assortment of bladed paraphernalia? Of course you did. Why am I even asking? What else do we have? Any projectile weapons?”

“I brought my shotgun. Mostly birdshot shells though. I was just planning to shoot a little skeet.” My dad said.

Tyrone, not to be outdone, said, “I brought my gloc. I brought about 100 rounds. You never know when you will need to protect your family after all.”

I desperately wanted to point out the right-wing gun nut idiocy of his words, but given the situation I had to concede to his misplaced preparedness.

“What about you Jack? I am assuming, if you were able to smuggle a fucking dinosaur out of a guarded military outpost, some munitions could not have been out of the question.” I asked.

“Yeah… about that. First, yes, I was able to grab a few things on my way out. Not a bunch, but what I did grab were things that I figured we would not be able to get at your local sporting goods store. Second, who said I smuggled one dinosaur?”

To quote a Mr. Mike Meyers and a Mr. Dana Carvey, “Shwing!”

I wiped what I could only assume was a metric ton of drool from my face and asked, “How many… what kind…gender… life will find a way… SHOW ME!!”

Jack smiled smugly and said, “Yeah, I thought you might like that. First comes the Pachycephalosaur, or a we call her, Pachy. For those of you that are not Dinophiles that would be the big horned sheep of the dinosaur world. About 6 feet tall 15 feet long and with an extremely dense skull cap used for ramming shit. Last, but certainly not least is the sole carnivore in our rag tag team of dinos the Allosaur, or as we call her Ally. Once again for those of you not up to date on your dinosaur lore, think T-Rex only smaller, and with arms that give a much better chance to do push-up than its puny-armed brethren”

I stood there in a near comatose state, trying to take in this information, when my Jenny on the spot fiancé chimed in, “Give Joe a minute to change in pants, and then we can proceed.”

She was obviously exaggerating, but not by much. Regardless, this jibe had been the catalyst I needed to regain my senses. “Okay, so obviously that is awesome. I already have some ideas as to what functional use those ladies can be put. Now as to the weaponry?”

“I was able to snag about 200 grenades, 50 flash bang, 50 incendiaries, and 100 frag; 2 RPG launchers with a total of 10 rounds, and just for Joe a Barret .50 cal sniper rifle. Obviously when I say just for you, I of course mean just for you to stare at longingly. You have never used a weapon this powerful, and thusly cannot be trusted with its use before extensive training is undertaken. That should not be a problem as I brought about 5,000 rounds.”

“That’s my boy! Always thinking ahead!” Our father announced.

“Not to throw cold water onto Jacks obviously engorged ego,” I cut in, “and I mean that. Well done getting anything, much less the very things that we would be unable to get through normal means. There are a few things that we lack. Namely any kind of midrange weapon. Specifically, the kind that, if shooting something for eventual consumption, would not disintegrate that thing. I am thinking some mid to long range normal people rifles. Ya know .308 or .22. Mostly the not-people-killing sort of weapon. For these, as well as a better sense of what we are dealing with as far as the outside world is concerned, I am afraid we will have to make a trip into town.”

“Also, call me a pessimist, but I would rather not rely on our fishing prowess to feed us indefinitely,” Tyrone added. “It might be a good idea to pick up some non-perishables while we are out.”

Charlie, ever the pragmatist pointed something out that had, to that point escaped my notice. “A thought… Didn’t you say there was some kind of doomsday virus out there killing like… all the people? We being people and all, I thought it might be worth addressing.”

“Oh shit!” Jack said smacking himself on the head for effect, “Yeah we don’t have to worry about that.”

My mom seeming to come back to the conversation all at once said, “Wait, what now?”

“Yeah, see… here’s the thing… I may or not be patient zero.”

Chapter 6

It is important to note that the stereotype about mother bears being exceptionally vicious while protecting their cubs did, in fact, originate with an actual member of that species. Start the trend, they may have, but it did not see it’s true and terrible potential realized until my, quite human, mother bared (no pun intended) her bloody fangs. I point this out to explain, and perhaps justify her reaction to the news that my youngest brother, her baby, had been subjected to a virus that according to him, had killed off all but a negligible fraction of human kind.

“Who the shit fuck did what now?” She said in a low icy tone that belied her nonsensical use of profanity.

New to being the object of such terrifying scrutiny (he is the baby after all) young Jack, nonetheless, jumped so quickly on the defensive you never would have guessed that he had been the recipient of blatant favoritism for the majority of his life. “Whoa whoa whoa… It’s not what it sounds like. It’s not that I was the first infected with the virus. It’s more that the virus was created based on my, and therefore our DNA. That being the case our families’ DNA contains some sort of sciencey thingamawhatsit that makes us immune.”

“A ‘sciencey thingamawhatsit’ you say,” Sarah said. “This thingamawhatsit is based on your DNA? So, people who share your DNA are immune, but what of those of us who do not share your DNA. Namely the three significant other type people here?”

“Also, not an issue.” Jack said with the confidence known only to the young, stupid, or Marine Corps. Jack being, in some sense, all three… this made sense. “Remember those apples I sent home a couple months back. The ones with the note telling you they were the best apples in the world, and that if you didn’t eat at least one you would ‘regret it for the rest of your inevitably short life’?” He put the last part in air quotes, which I thought lent it a certain panache.

“Yeah, I remember,” Charlie said, “They were good, but hardly worth the oddly threatening praise you heaped upon them.”

“Well, my dear, those apples contained a vaccine synthesized from my DNA.”

Kayla took this opportunity to speak up, a bit of a rarity in and amongst itself, “So you’re saying there is a vaccine? Why is the infection rate so high then? Wouldn’t the vaccine have been distributed already?”

I was pretty sure I knew the answer to this already, “A doomsday virus wouldn’t do much good as a weapon if everyone was already vaccinated against it.”

Jack’s face took on a somber expression as he said, “Just so…”

Noticing that we had hit on a bit of a buzz kill subject on what was, for me at least, a very exciting day (dinosaurs trump apocalypse every time) I brought us back to the task at hand, “Seems to me that our recon and supply gathering just became a bit easier, now that we don’t have to worry about infection. Despite the world falling apart around us, I still think we need to ready ourselves for what may be quite the lengthy camping trip. Jack and Charlie, you’re with me. We are headed into town to see what we can see and gather supplies. Mom, Dad Tyrone, Sarah, and Kayla see what you can do with what we have here.”

“What does that even mean?” Tyrone asked.

“Fuck if I know…it’s my first apocalypse too.”

Submitted: April 25, 2017

© Copyright 2022 Wally Birch. All rights reserved.

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