On the road to Town A, 11 hours after Inbreak, 5:02PM, The Doctor
“It is not as if I want to threaten your life, my dear,” he said, twisting the gun into my side, “but I can’t have you telling this to The Keepers. I don’t expect you to understand.”
“How could you do something like this?” I said, on my knees, defeated and dejected. “What have you become?”
“Better. Stronger. More advanced than any human could ever hope to be. And you too could ascend with me. Evolve with me, into something far greater than this entire measly race. We would be immortal gods among a perfect world.”
“We would also be dead.”
“You think too small. You can’t see beyond small things like that, because they blind you from the greater things that can be achieved with this gene.”
“You’re talking about the extinction of the human race, you monster!”
“Look, my dear. I love you. Ever since I found you all those years ago, I’ve loved you. When your parents were overrun by zombies, I decided to carry you on and save your life. I decided to raise you with everything you know today. I am proud of you, and I want you to join me. The zombie part of me wants to pull this trigger. When I kill people, like The Keeper said, I do technically get a rush of ecstasy. But this can be controlled! As much as I want to, I also know that killing you would also be destroying my pride and joy; my last reason to live.
So while the zombie part of me wants to kill you, the human part of me can’t right now. I will if you refuse this offer, make no mistake about that, but if you accept… well, if you accept I promise to make you a queen. A queen of an entire world!”
“The queen of a dead world. The queen of a world that I helped destroy. No, I’d rather you kill me right here!”
“Now you listen to me, young lady! This world would not be dead! It would have more life than ever before! And if you can’t understand that, then let me explain why I killed The Keeper. Remember that game of chess we played all those years ago when you asked me how to fight? Remember what the first thing to do was?”
“…neutralize your biggest threats. You didn’t keep me alive because you loved me… it’s just The Keeper was a bigger threat!? THIS IS ALL SOME CHESS GAME TO YOU!?”
“I took the knight guarding the king. I believe you are now in, what I at least, would call checkmate. There is no escape. Now I expect you to give me an answer in ten seconds, or I will shoot. Ten. Nine. Eight.”
As he counted, I noticed his eyes fixed on me. My hand slowly reached over to the dead Keeper’s hunting knife which was spiraled forwards on the floor. My fist locked around the handle. “Three. Two. One. Goodby-AAARGH!”
In a flash, I had jabbed the knife into his arm. I doubted he felt pain; the scream was more of a yell of anger than of hurt. I got to my feet as he dislodged the knife and aimed his gun at me.
The bullet narrowly missed my cheek as I bolted back through the corridor, completely defenseless. The dark, musty room quickly turned back into the corridor where he had lead us from. “You’ve forced me to do this! You’ve brought it upon yourself!”
The bullet, this time at least, missed once more. I frantically reached the door, silently praying to myself as I managed to pry it open and ran out into the front room with the pile of flesh. I heard the footsteps of my professor behind me. Like a tape recording, I heard the next piece of advice he gave me during that chess match. “Sometimes your best option is to retreat and hide,” he had said all those years ago. I looked at the pile of dead flesh in the center of the room and knew it would be my only option.
I plunged in, holding my breath for as long as possible. The squishy, grimy and rubbery human remains oozed repulsiveness and forced its ungodly scent up my nose. I had smelt some terrible things on my mission to this area, but this was by far the worst. I writhed, spilling up whatever was left in my stomach, vomiting and vomiting until there was nothing left. Then I heard the professor talk.
“Come out wherever you are, love. I promise I’ll make it quick.” For a moment, I stood there in silence, coated in the slime of the human remains. At last, my lungs were about the burst, and I literally could not hope to breathe in any of the air that currently surrounded me. I burst out of the pile of flesh and noticed that the pane glass window from before was broken. The professor noticed me.
The bullets miraculously missed once more as I propelled myself out the window. It was lucky that it had broken or else-
Suddenly, I noticed the pile of blood and bones on the ground. The bones and blood had a piece shirt torn up next to it. The shirt of that punk. So he had died here after all. In that moment of shock, the professor noticed me from outside the window. He pointed his gun once more at me, and I had nowhere to run. POW!
With a nearby trash can’s lid I used it as a shield to deflect the bullet. Luckily, the bullet wasn’t strong enough to pierce the hard metallic covering of the trash can, and it rebounded with a small flash to the ground. I would be able to use this as a shield for a bit, I thought. I took off into the streets, now fully exposed, down the dark and moody streets. I wasn’t sure where I was going, but I knew I had to put as much distance between me and The Professor as possible. I was lucky that the super zombies that killed the punk had gone somewhere else now, so it wouldn’t attack me in a new attempt for meat At least without them, I stood a fighting a chance.
If I could just-POW- manage to get to The Keepers-POW!- before they-POW!
Every ounce of adrenaline I had was now being used to propel my feet forwards. I was alone, and on my last legs, but I knew that I could do this. I looked behind me. The professor was more able bodied then he looked, travelling after me with ease and rhythmically firing bullets in my direction. It was a miracle that I was still alive.
As if to make me eat my words, another gunshot was heard from behind me. But this time it hit.
The bullet entered through my wrist and came out the other side, making me drop my garbage lid shield and fall to the ground. As I struggled to get up, I was kicked in the chest, dropping to the ground. The professor pointed the gun to my head. “You put up a good fight. I can admire that. But it’s over now.”
“W-wait,” I said, “Before you kill me… tell me, one last time, about how you modified the virus gene.”
“Ah! I see your scientific yearning for knowledge hasn’t dissipated, even at the end of your life! Well, you see, I studied the protein coat around the-”
“Professor?” I coughed, “I couldn’t care less. I was just stalling until she could get in range.”
“Now what are you talking about? Delusional about your imminent death?”
That was when the voice rang out.
“Get your hands off of her, you son of a wonderful person!”
The woman came as fast as lightning, kicking the professor off with a swift smash to the stomach. As he attempted to get up she whacked him down again, trying to break his jaw. I had a lot of questions for her, but for now we needed to kill this thing.
“You came back? Why?”
“I get killed off in the second draft of this book! It’s okay if I make a heroic rescue here if it’s easy to erase and rewrite later!”
“This… this really isn’t the time to break the fourth wall. I mean, this is the very climax of the book so you’re kind of ruining the atmosphere here.”
“Hey, I get eaten by freaking vampire zombies when this gets rewritten! This isn’t going to make it into the final draft of the book so I can basically do anything, provided it doesn’t interfere with the ending in anyway.”
“…wait. If you don’t interfere with the plot, then aren’t you just going to-”
The Professor bolted up once more and clamped his hands around the throat of the girl who had just come to my rescue. “This… is… not… a comedy! We had a good tone going! We had a serious vibe! And you had to ruin it with your self-awareness!”
The woman slumped to the ground in an unconscious heap, but she was still breathing and gave me time to get to my feet. I promptly forgot about her for the convenience of rewriting this part and the story was set back to its original tone.
I began to run again, though every bone in my body ached and I was all out of adrenaline. The bullet in my wrist made unbearable pain shoot throughout my body whenever I moved my hand. If I didn’t get help soon, I would be dead. My shield was gone too, and if I stopped for even a second I risked getting shot again.
I didn’t have time to reflect on past events, on the cruelty of this world or the death of my friends. All I could do was put one foot in front of the other, praying silently that the next shot doesn’t hit.
Once again though, I was safe. All I needed to do was wait until he ran out of bullets, or find The Keepers. I sprinted around another bend, rhythmically moving my arms and legs and sucking in the largest amount of air I could. The dirt path eventually melted into road, seamlessly transforming from dust and soil into the street. I knew I was getting close to the Keepers. I just needed to-
“Augh!” I screamed, as the bullet sank into my heel. It was only a matter of time now. I wouldn’t be able to run anymore. But just then, I saw a figure approaching from the distance. Besides the figure were three others, walking besides it. Behind those ones were five more figures. As they walked into sight, I realized something.
They were Keepers!
I began to run, without putting any pressure on my heel. Limping towards them I raised my hands in the air and flailed them, yelling for help. One of The Keepers noticed me and motioned the others to run towards me. I looked back. The Professor seemed to not see The Keepers as he advanced towards me in a bloodrage, his gun outstretched towards me.
I yelled out, telling them to come faster. The Professor was now easily gaining on me, as before I managed to run much faster than his dead, old form. Now though, the tables were turned. I limped towards my safe haven. I was so close.
I reached the closest Keeper, who had been sprinting towards me. “Don’t worry, ma’am,” said the closest Keeper, “We’ve cleared out and quarantined the other towns, and we’re here to do the same with this one. You’re safe now.”
“NO!” I yelled, “You don’t understand! There’s a man in there! He’s responsible for everything that’s been happening! He modified the strain, and killed that Keeper, and-”
That one went through my lungs.
Three bullet shots turned out to be what it would take to kill me. One to the wrist, to make me lose my defense. One in the heel to make me lose my speed. And finally, one in the lungs to make me lose my life. I collapsed to the ground, turned towards the advancing form of My Professor.
The Keeper looked towards my collapsed form in disbelief, then at the person who had shot me. The Professor had a look of ecstasy on his face, as if shooting me had filled him with unbridled joy and pleasure. The Keeper spat in disgust. “Gun him down boys!”
The Professor didn’t have any time to react. The nine back-up Keepers instantly took their positions, and fired. A hail of bullets sprayed the shell of a body that used to be My Professor. While normal bullets wouldn’t kill him, the hundreds of pieces of lead that were now spraying him were ripping off pieces of bone and flesh.
Lying on my side, in a pile of my own blood, I saw his face melt and disfigure under the weight of all the bullets. Then, his still conscious and undying body was knocked backwards, and one of his legs was pulled off. The bullets kept coming though, smashing through one side of his body in a cascade of flung skin and bursting through the other side, carrying bits of useless organs and bones with them as they careened all the way through his body.
Two Keepers came to my aid and the rest stopped firing. The motionless body of my professor lay in the distance. “She may be infected, there’s no way to be sure,” said one. I wanted to say something, but I couldn’t; I was too weak to do anything right now, and I could hardly bleed. My lung had been pierced. Unless I got medical attention soon, I would die. “Give her that liquid. It should stop her from dying from the shots. If she dies by the time we come back for her, then she was bitten. If not, she should be alive for medical attention when we’re done clearing out the town.”
A Keeper stooped down and injected something into my neck. I felt the liquid coursing through my veins, empowering me. Instantly, the pain from my gunshots began to dissipate. I had done it, then. I had survived the Inbreak, and saved The Human Lands. I didn’t feel very happy though.
I watched the man who raised me undergo a startling transformation and get gunned down, my protector die in front of my eyes, and almost died so many times I can’t even count them all. I didn’t feel accomplished. I felt sad.
But all I could do was let out a dying groan as the Keepers left me in the rain.
On the road to Town A, 11 hours after Inbreak, 5:20PM, The Doctor
I had been laying there for a while, feeling in amazement how my wounds were knitting themselves up thanks to the blue liquid that the Keepers had injected into my skin. I suppose I understood them leaving me here in this state; if I were infected and they brought me back I could undo all of the work that they’ve done so far.
I still couldn’t walk though, my lung was pierced and my heel still pained. I was staring at the body of my professor for a while when I saw something odd.
The legless body of my professor, who was laying face down in the street after being shot with hundreds of bullets began to stir.
On the road to Town A, 11 hours after Inbreak, 5:20PM, The Professor
So foolish and idiotic. Failing to see the logic in any situations. Failing to realize that I was still alive.
Aheheh, but I suppose technically I’m not still alive, now am I? No, I think the term ‘alive’ should be rethought .Oh well.
My legs had been shot off, as well as a good portion of my brain! I wouldn’t be able to speak from now on , but I could think, and thought was good. Thought was all that kept me company these past years.
And I had killed all the witnesses. That felt good. I was hoping my prodigy would be intelligent enough to surpass the human standard for fear of progression, but even she fell into the trap most humans get themselves into. Pathetic idiot.
But now she was dead, and I was still functioning. She was lying in a pile of her own blood, while I live to rebuild my army more powerful than ever! And because nobody will ever find out that I was behind it all along, NOBODY WILL EVER SUSPECT IT WHEN I DO IT AGAIN! Ah, the legs may be a problem, but I would find a way around it. I always did.
The Keepers seemed to have gone. I moved around, trying to drag myself away. They’d never find the body and would assume that I had been eaten by flies, or some idiotic notion like that. But as I moved, I noticed something from across the street.
The body of my pupil began to stir.
On the road to Town A, 11 hours after Inbreak, 5:20PM, The Doctor
Still alive? STILL ALIVE!? After all of this hardship, all of this pain, all of this suffering, my Professor was still alive!? What would it take to finally put his threat to an end? What would I need to do if I was to make sure he would never threaten The Human Lands again?
I would have to kill him, but how? He survived all of those gunshots, shrugged them off like they were nothing! Sure, the surefire way to kill any zombie is decapitation, but I was unarmed! Still, though, I had to try.
I tried to get up, but couldn’t. It was as if my body was saying You just got shot three times, you’re not going anywhere. But my mind was working furiously, in an effort to figure out a way of reaching my professor. If he managed to crawl away, he would be able to find his way to the main city and infect even more people. I couldn’t let that happen.
He had no legs, but he could still move. And that’s when it hit me. I would move too! I put on hand out in front of myself, and dragged myself across the street. Why are you doing this? my body seemed to say, Why don’t you just stay down and heal?
But I ignored the aching discomfort I was in and continued to crawl towards that monster that had killed so many. One hand in front of the other, I dragged myself across the street like a horizontal rock climbing session. My stomach was scraped from the side of the road, but at this point I didn’t care. I continued my way towards him.
On the road to Town A, 11 hours after Inbreak, 5:20PM, The Professor
Ahahahaha! What an idiot!
She had the option to just stay down and quietly die. Hell, those idiot Keepers were at least smart enough to inject her with that new healing chemical. Maybe if they studied zombies more than gunshots, they wouldn’t have these types of problems right now. Problems like me.
The struggling worm in front of me slowly made her way towards my crippled body, not seeming to notice she was quite crippling herself. I may have been missing my legs, but at the moment she was far worse off than me. But there was one thing she seemed to forget, though.
I still had my gun.
On the road to Town A, 11 hours after Inbreak, 5:20PM, The Doctor
The Professor pointed the gun at me. I had noticed it beside him before. He smiled at me, flashing the toothy grin of a psychopath. He found something funny. So did I. I smiled back at him.
For a moment, his smile disappeared. Perhaps he was wondering what reason I had to be smiling. But he was a diligent man and aimed his gun straight at my forehead. At this angle, it would be impossible to miss. And yet I did not slow down my crawl towards him; instead I sped up. Faster and faster I scraped myself over the dreary landscape until I could almost reach him.
He pointed the gun to my temple, savoring every last moment of this. But there was something it seemed he hadn’t realized. The gun he was carrying was a very distinctive type. One that had a magazine of twelve bullets.
And he had fired twelve shots.
No bullets left. Idiot.
His expression changed into frown of dismay, and rammed the gun harder into my forehead.
CLICK! CLICK! CLICK! CLICK! CLICK!
He desperately slammed down the trigger button; as if he hit it hard enough it would suddenly start to work. He threw the gun to the ground, and tried to crawl away.
I grabbed the mutilated corpse by the husk of what used to be its waist, pulling it towards me. He used the momentum to get an advantage on me, rearing himself up and flashing his horrible molars, rotting out of his mouth. I would have no Keepers to help me, no helpful boys and no reclusive women. I would have to do this on my own for once.
I ducked out of the way of his teeth, which narrowly missed me. He instead got a taste of asphalt, so I shoved him off of my bleeding body. He made it quite clear his weapon of choice would be his teeth; mine was not yet decided. He was a biological killing machine, built specifically around my destruction, and I was but a fragile human.
A fragile human, but not a dead one. Not yet.
This was an odd battle, one that took place entirely on the ground, with neither of us being able to get up, and both of us wanting each other dead. How did it come to this? How could this man have been transformed into something so terrible? I began crawling towards him, a snarl on my face. There would be no time for witty banter, or questioning. This would be a silent battle to the death.
I managed to hit him on the head, hoping to sever his neck. Instead he simply looked at me with malice and dragged himself en route for my jugular. I rolled out of the way, and punched him again, this time harder than ever before. The seams of his neck began to unravel, and dead, useless blood began to pour out of him.
His hand clamped around my neck, and another one soon followed. As I was being choked, he moved his mouth towards my cheek. I could feel his breath on my face when I reached in desperation for a fragment of his own bone that was sticking out of his leg. I grabbed it.
Wrenching out that bone was like shoving a toothpick into my heart. I wiggled it out, and used the brunt of it to whack him on the head. His mouth jolted forwards, and instead of biting my flesh he ripped off a chunk of my sleeve. I dropped the bone, now free of his grasp and pounced on him.
His first arm went for me. I pinned it down. His second arm went for me. I pinned it down. He snarled at me, his eyes transfixed with rage as saliva frothed from his mouth. This was not my professor. This was a zombie. And I had defeated it.
The blue liquid had seemed to disintegrate after the fight, and I felt my wounds harder than ever before. It was now or never; if I didn’t kill him now, I would die soon after. I placed one hand on the left side of his head, and the other hand on the right side of his head, pinning his hands down with my knees. He silently thrashed his mouth at me, scowling at me all the way. I began to pull.
My hands pulled back, as hard as they could. Already, I was feeling weak, the blue liquid already wearing off. Looks like I wasn’t supposed to move right after they injected me with it. I pulled harder and harder until his I could see his neck become lose, his dry and dead neck bone desperately trying to keep himself together.
His eyes were still functioning, and he tried in vain to snap at my hands. I bent my arms back, and using his body for leverage, gave one final pull.
I was holding the head of my professor in my hands. His eyes were closed, his body slumped to the ground, his neckbone fell on his corpse, I dropped the head to the floor, and I finally collapsed, passing out without knowing if I would wake up ever again.
A frigid gust of wind blew through the multi colored trees, rustling their leaves off of their branches and settling them to the ground. Gently, another gust picked them up, rolling them past the road.
For the first time in a while, the sun was shining. It had seemed like the world was in an endless night until now. The rain had stopped for once, allowing the citizens of the Lands to finally be happy once more.
The leaves were picked off of the ground, swirling around and landing onto the road, to be swept away by one of the dozen Keepers that had surrounded the quarantined area. The dozens and dozens of Keepers that had been sent to the shady suburb had put the townsfolk’s weary minds at rest; after the ordeal they had went through, they deserved a break.
No matter how hard they tried, The Keepers couldn’t cover this up. The media was all over it, demanding press releases, media coverage, and twenty-four seven filming and interviews. They were all excited to see how the so-called “impenetrable” Gate had failed, and how the entire Human Lands had been at risk.
There was a large, barbed wire fence around the four affected towns now, though nobody seemed to mind. Only one man had actually eluded The Keepers, and he was soon caught, captured, and eventually put down once he turned. The rest of the world returned to normal, though not without a few changes to the system.
The Keepers didn’t know how the zombies got in The Human Lands. They just knew that, with the combined effort of a few people, the threat managed to get stopped. The only clue to where this all started was unreachable… though, we’ll get into that later.
The street was a shade of red not seen since the first outbreak all those years ago. Four towns were in chaos, and the rest of The Human Lands were in a panic. Though they all have to recognize the hero of the Lands, the one who cleared out a town single handedly, who activated The Siren, who stopped the world’s greatest threat, and who managed to save The Human Lands from sure destruction.
That wasn’t the official truth, but it was the one everyone chose to believe. They believe Ivanis Cravalok heroically rode into town on horseback, dispatching all of the zombies with ease. They believe that he was the one that held back the zombies while some random blond haired woman pressed The Siren.
This warped truth made one girl very unhappy as she stood on the corner of a gravestone with bouquet of flowers. The cemetery had recently been created after the incident, to bury the dozens of dead people who had lost their lives to the scourge of zombies. After all she had been through, it seemed bittersweet to still be alive; to have cleared out a town of zombies and get no glory.
But glory wasn’t what she wanted, she thought as she stood in front of the gravestone. She had hid all her life, and what she wanted wasn’t glory. It for this gravestone to not be here. A tear fell from her eye and onto the ground.
“I’m… sorry. I should’ve been there for you.”
That was all she had to say. She rested the bouquet of flowers on the grave, and left without another word.
The day was hot, and the Keepers were still swarming the streets, clearing off the dead zombies’ remains and guts, making sure nobody had been bitten or was being kept in people’s basements, and more importantly, that no zombies managed to get out of the suburb. The girl didn’t care. She brushed her two bangs out of her face, trying not to cry as she made her way to the hospital.
Reflection was all she had to keep her company lately. She reflected on her brother’s death. She reflected on that mystery man. She reflected on her clearing out the town. And she reflected on her near death at hands of the vampire zombie. All blamed on Ivanis, she thought, spitting on the ground. She came to the great white gates of the hospital and went up the stairs.
She threw open the door and sat down next to the convulsing body. It was the body of a friend of hers. “How are you feeling?”
It was the body of a woman. She had blonde hair reaching down to the middle of her back. She was aged, and looked in pain. She was not feeling good, though she didn’t say it. “Fine. Ignoring the bullets, of course. I’ll recover though. Eventually.”
The girl sighed and sat back. “You know they’re blaming Ivanis Cravalok for all of this now?”
“I heard. I don’t even care anymore. I’m just glad I’m alive. I’m sorry about your brother.”
“…me too. I’m sorry about your professor.”
It was now the woman’s turn to sigh, though she did so over a fit of coughs. “Me too.”
They sat in silence for a moment, the girl listening to the quivering spasms and fits of pain the woman was in. Surprisingly, she was doing better than before.
Suddenly, the girl laughed. The woman didn’t understand what was so funny. There was nothing funny about this situation, nothing funny about what had just happened to the town. “Why’re you laughing?”
The girl looked up with sheepish brown eyes. “I… heh, I was just thinking.”
“I never got your name.”
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