On the road to Town A, 10 hours after Inbreak, 4:45PM, The Doctor
Travelling with an insane boy, brainwashed by violence, and a slightly less insane Keeper, hardened and emotionless, was more trying then I had once expected. But, I told myself, it was to find The Professor. I huddled downstairs like the useless little girl I was. I felt cold, alone and afraid. To tell the truth, I was all of those things. But I tried to comfort myself.
I wasn’t useless. I had saved The Human Lands almost single handedly! Still, though, it made me miss that nice other girl who had saved the town. She was at least sane. She was good company. Unlike the guy that had pointed the sword to my throat.
The Keeper was nice, though. He looked after me and protected me. I related to him more than the person who had took my only means of defense and threatened my life… though I supposed he did save it first.
My first sign that something was wrong was the constant sounds of battle than resonated from the top floor. A never ending spray of bullets came from over head, with the occasional sword swipe taking a few out. A heard crashing and smashing, and hoped that they were alright. Despite not liking the boy, I still needed him. The Keeper, I both liked and needed. I don’t mean to say I only hoped that they would survive because I needed them, but they would be important if I were to get out of this alive.
When the sounds of violence dissipated, I heard a long period of silence. I was thinking of my Professor, where he might be, how I might find him, when I heard the creaking of a metal door opening. I thought back to my childhood.
The Professor had always had a room upstairs which was used to carry materials that I wasn’t supposed to use. He had sealed it with a metal door. Is it possible that he fled the house, and that when zombies invaded they could have gotten into the dangerous materials he kept in that room, and then been mutated?
It was a long shot, and probably not true though. I was still trying to go through scenarios to decide how these zombies were mutated. When the sounds of battle resumed, I decided to help, even if that meant prying back my friend’s gun from that boy’s hands. It simply made no sense for them to be risking their lives while I hide downstairs like a little girl! I was going to get that gun back, even if just for a little bit.
I started up the stairs quickly, hoping they were still alive. I was a bit startled to see The Keeper coming down the stairs from the other way. “The idiot released a bunch of super zombies! We need to run!”
“Hold on, is he still in there!? We need to get him!”
“NO! NO WE NEED TO RUN! I know when to stand my ground, and I know when to flee, AND THIS SEEMS LIKE A REALLY GOOD TIME TO FLEE!”
“But your motto-”
“Screw the motto, let’s go!”
I sighed. “He… he did save my life you know.”
“Did you miss the part where he then threatened you immediately afterwards!?”
“Look,” I said, approaching him and looking up at his eyes. He was almost a foot taller than me and it was hard to get a good look at him. “YOU may be too scared to go after him and stop his death, but I’m not.”
“That’s suicide! You don’t even have a weapon!”
“I don’t. You do.”
“I’m not giving you my freaking gun! It won’t work on vampire zombies, and those things in there look even WORSE than vampire zombies!”
“You said you’d protect me. And I think that if I were to walk into a storm of zombies, then you would be forced to protect me, right?”
“THIS IS BLACKMAIL!”
“C’mon, before it’s too late!”
I hurried down the hall to the source of the conflict, leaping over the messy remains of the dozens of dead zombies which now littered the ground. I was defenseless at the moment, but that wouldn’t mean that I couldn’t help.
As I ran down the hallway, I thought about how I was saved, barely conscious, from that monstrosity in the shop. I think it’s time to return the favor.
I slid into the room, as the musty smell overwhelmed my senses. A great metal door, one that I hadn’t seen before when I lived with my professor, was broken open on its hinges. I heard clanging, smashing and squishing coming from the inside. “IS THAT THE BEST YOU’VE GOT!?” came the boy’s half-crazed yell over the sounds of violence that resonated from the inside of the room.
“Don’t you see? He inflicted this upon himself! Let’s get out of here!”
“And leave him to die!? I don’t know about you, but I can’t live with that on my conscience.”
“Oh God… we’re going to die. You’re going to kill all of three of us.”
“What, you gonna turn tail and hide? I am an unarmed woman. The only zombie I’ve ever seen has been on television. I’m a doctor, not a zombie killer, and yet I have more drive than you to save this man!”
He splurged out random words through barely concealed rage, until he mumbled something under his breath and spoke again.
“I watched my squad die today. I don’t want to see another person die.”
“You don’t have to! But we need to stop discussing, and start helping!”
The Keeper nodded. I had convinced him. We leaped into the room and saw the boy with dozens of dead zombies around him. I gagged, the smell being even worse in here. The boy was currently wrapped up in a fight with five vampire zombies, miraculously still alive, though not for long.
A single vampire zombie had nearly killed me, and murdered two Keepers. Yet this boy was keeping them at bay- albeit, barely. The Keeper was instantly pounced on by a huge, vicious zombie with snapping teeth. The boy drew his gun to fire at a nearby flying zombie- one with horrible bat wings. I had no idea how these things could’ve been created, but one thing was for sure: this wasn’t a natural mutation.
These things were twisted to become better killing machines, better than the average zombies. Whatever the reason, I didn’t have time to think. “GIVE ME THE GUN!”I yelled to the boy, across the room.
“SCREW OFF!” he yelled back, narrowly avoiding the unlethargic lunge of a vampire zombie that had gotten too close. “I CAN HELP! THROW ME THE-”
“SO YOU CAN KILL ME THE NEXT CHANCE YOU GET!? NO! I’D RATHER GET KILLED BY THE ZOMBIES THEN GIVE YOU THE SATISFACTION!” Why the hell was he so paranoid!? Before he could dodge another lunge, he was slammed against the wall, sending the entire wooden frame rattling up and down. He groaned and as he did the vampire zombies descended upon him.
Suddenly, from outside my line of sight, The Keeper jumped in with his arms outstretched. He pried off one zombie and threw him out of the way. I rushed up to get a better view and kicked one who had scraped the punk’s face with his fang. I hoped that it wasn’t contagious from the tooth, but it was impossible to be sure.
As I pried one off, it pounced at me, pulling me to the ground. For a moment, my life flashed before my eyes as its head reared back, ready to strike. And then I was saved, The Keeper coming to my rescue again with a swift boot the stomach. He took out his hunting knife and decapitated the zombie. We both rushed to punk’s aid, trying to hurry him out of the room as the zombies closed in on us. He was woozy after getting knocked to the ground, but still functional.
He steadied himself as we gave him support, saying he didn’t need our help and that he could handle the rest himself. We ignored him, making our way outside. The remaining zombies chased after us.
They were running, and we were slowed by the burden of the boy. We weren’t going to make it. For both of us, carrying him would mean our death; all of our deaths. A horrible thought went through my mind: throw the boy to the zombies. It was the only way to survi-
What the hell am I thinking!? I may be about to die, but at least I can say that when the going got tough I didn’t resort to murder. The Keeper was no doubt thinking the same thing, and might have thrown him to the zombies if I hadn’t given him an angry glare. Controlling a Keeper: weird.
We hurried down the stairs, the racing of a dozen undead footsteps in hot pursuit. Our legs ached but we pushed through the pain, running faster and harder than we had ever in our lives. In desperation, The Keeper flung his helmet at the super zombies, knowing it wouldn’t be much use against the powerful jaws of one super zombie with a large shark head. The helmet tripped up some zombies, but most were completely unaffected, such as the flying ones.
As I looked at The Keeper’s face, I noticed something nice for a change: underneath that helmet lay a thick set of dark hair which spread over his eyes. He was quite handsome, which was something I never noticed before with his helm over his eyes; odd that I was taking so much notice to it though, what with the imminent death approaching.
I felt a hand almost grab my collar, scraping the back of my neck narrowly. I gasped, flinging it away and pushing myself forwards. We came to the large room where we had entered: the room with the large pane glass window and the heap of human flesh, as if disassembled tactically. My professor wasn’t here, and now we were all going to die. The boy had dropped his sword when he was knocked to the ground, and his gun on the run to this room. Now he was as defenseless as I was. Heh. Funny how things turned out, eh? And here I was thinking the irony would be lost on me just because I was about to get ripped apart by a thousand prying teeth.
We wanted to run out the door, but the zombies quickly blocked off that exit. We were completely and utterly trapped now, no escape, no possible way of success. “Well,” said The Keeper, rubbing his forehead to get his sweaty, matted hair out of his face, “Why don’t we go out fighting?”
The zombies closed in on us. “Be-because we don’t have any weapons left. And your gun is useless, moron,” spurted the boy who was now writhing from the fang mark on his cheek. It looked like the fang’s scratch was poisonous after all, but probably not fatal. It was a miracle he managed to fend off all those zombies for more than a few seconds and only get a scratch.
“You want to go- go out fighting?” he said, readying his fists. “Lez go out fighting.” He spoke as if drunk, swaying from side to side. In the time it took him to say those few words, we were already surrounded by zombies. The Keeper put his gun in front of himself and began firing, hopeless bullets into an endless crowd. A tear trickled down my face which erupted suddenly into a sob. I would never see my professor again. I was going to die.
And suddenly, just as I thought that, I heard the creaking of a door opening. “Get in!” said a far away, wheezing voice from behind the zombie horde. “Quick!”
On the road to Town A, 10 hours after Inbreak, 4:52PM, The First Guy
The poison from the scratch on my cheek was working its way through my body, but it seemed as if it was simply numbing me instead of transforming me. While a regular zombie’s bite is meant to transfer the disease, it would appear as if the vampire zombie’s bite is meant to make the victim easier to catch.
We learned in class that the zombie was basically the incarnate of a virus: kill, infect, and repeat. But these zombies weren’t created to spread the virus. They were made to kill, and kill is what they did. Already I could feel myself slowing down. It wouldn’t kill me; it would just make me an easier target for the super zombies.
Just then, I heard a door creak open, a voice call out from the distance. The voice sounded like it belonged to an extremely old man, or at least someone who’s not the personification of health. I payed it no mind; this would be my final moment. The moment where I take out as many zombies as I can right as I die, just like Ivanis Cravalok did in his last movie. This is my time to shine.
The zombies swarmed us. I punched one right in the face as hard as I could. It barely reacted, and responded by throttling me against the pane glass window. It slammed me once into it, then twice into it until I heard the glass breaking. Then it dug its teeth into my flesh.
“I’LL KILL YOU!” I screamed, giving it a hook to the face again. It barely reacted. The other’s, smelling blood, swarmed towards me. I felt another bite into my shoulder and another into my knee. My entire body was surrounded by teeth. Surrounded by pain. My arm might have fallen off, I wouldn’t know. My leg might be broken, I don’t know.
As the zombies thrust me against the window again, it broke. I fell out with every zombie in the room on top of me. My first thought was at least when I died, two others died with me. However, out of the corner of my eye, over a zombie digging into my head, over three bat wings that hovered over me, over six decaying corpses, I saw The Keeper and the woman were escaping.
The zombies had all came for me so-
On the road to Town A, 10 hours after Inbreak, 4:53PM, The Keeper
I shouldn’t be crying. I am a forty year old man. I am a Keeper. I must not cry.
And yet a kept becoming overwhelmed with emotions as I left the boy to die. Failure. Loser. Can’t protect a life. Outshined by civilians. Outshined by children. Blech.
Though I couldn’t ignore the facts. The zombies were out of the way. The boy was dead- if not dead now, he would be in a few seconds. And if we didn’t move soon they would be back.
An old man wearing glasses was standing next to a metal door, like the one that held the zombies, motioning for us to enter the room he was in. The Doctor became overjoyed for some reason and ran towards the door, seemingly not noticing the demise of the punk. She didn’t see him fall out the window; she heard the crash, but she didn’t see. Now, there was only one vampire zombie left, one that didn’t go out the window.
And he was standing between us and the doorway. I picked up my gun from off of the ground and rammed into it, sending it backwards. I had no hunting knife, and I was prepared to do what I had to do. I positioned my hands on its head and began to heave upwards.
For a moment, it looked at me with a stupefied grin as it snapped its teeth idiotically at me. Then I heard a snapping, followed by a ripping, followed by an enormous tear. I was holding the vampire zombie’s head in my hands and The Doctor and entered the room with the mysterious man (author’s note: I WONDER WHO THE MYSTERIOUS MAN IS. IT COULD BE AAAAAANYBODY! Yeah, The Keeper’s not the brightest guy around. Gotta give him credit though, he can rip off a zombie’s head pretty well)
I ran towards the door, but felt something grab my foot. The super zombies were back. One clambered through the window, its mouth filled with the blood of the boy I didn’t protect. Another, its misshapen jaws snapped open, had a bone dangling out of its mouth. I knew whose bone it belonged to. I gagged. I tried to free myself from the grip of the zombies, but I was getting overwhelmed. I began to drag myself towards the door, and reached out my hand. I thought I had done it in vain, but to my luck The Doctor grabbed my hand and pulled me in at the last second. I heard a loud slam of the metal door and a sealing sound. Immediately, I heard pounding on the door. “Quickly. Follow my voice.” The zombie smell hadn’t gotten better, even though we had put some distance between us and the zombies. Though, at this point I probably smelled more like zombie than this old man did, so I wasn’t one to judge.
We followed him through twists, turns and dark rooms. We were all running, until we got to another room with a good amount of lighting, a few chairs and test tubes scattered everywhere. The old man finally turned around and I could see his face: a balding old man with large bags under his eyes, a pair of spectacles that were broken and strapped to his face, and a large smile on his face, fondly regarding The Doctor for some reason.
The Doctor and the old man looked at each other for a few moments until he finally whispered: “Welcome home.” The Doctor began to sob again, and threw her arms around the old man. I don’t know how she managed to though; he smelt terrible. But it seemed as though they were having a moment, so I let it pass.
“Guys,” she said as if the punk was still here, “This is my professor.”
So he was alive after all! Tears of joy fell from her face, but her smile dispersed a bit when she looked beside me, noticing the punk was not here. “Where… where’s that boy?” she said, with her tone suddenly dropping. She knew, somewhere in the back of her mind, what had happened. It looked like she was trying to suppress it. “He...” I started. “He… he didn’t…” Her expression had dramatically gone down, and began sobbing again. I couldn’t let her be so sad over the death of that jerk that put a sword to her throat. I wouldn’t.
“He- He didn’t come with us. He said that he’d lead the zombies away from us, and get home safely. I didn’t see all of it, but I noticed that he had a large head start on the zombies.”
“WHAT!? And we didn’t go after him!? I’m sorry Professor, I’ll be back right away. Do you have any weapon? We need to leave!”
“No! No, there’s no need for that. He said… er, he said not to follow him!”
“You know how he is, when he says ‘don’t follow me’ he really means ‘please follow me or else I’ll die!’”
“He said… he said that the scratch would make him immune to attracting zombies! Because he has the scent of the undead on him! And besides, the other Keepers are probably already here, right? Chances are a million to one that he won’t run into at least one of them! So, what’s the point in risking out lives for that punk anyways? C’mon, he’s fine. I promise.” I gave her a reassuring smile, which was somewhat twitching due to the overwhelming lie.
She looked at me and sighed. “Okay. If you’re sure he’s fine, then I suppose there’s no use in running after him.” She turned to her professor and began speaking to the professor. “I’m afraid we have to reunite under such… circumstances, my dear,” he said in a ratty voice. “And I see you’ve brought a friend?”
“Yes, he’s a Keeper. He’s been protecting me. Watching over me.”
“A Keeper, eh? Why is he here?”
“More importantly,” I said, butting in to their conversation, “Where is ‘here’ anyways?”
We were in a dingy study that smelled musty and terrible. There was a bookshelf and few couches scattered around the room, a door leading to an unknown room that was currently bolted shut and another door leading back off from where we came. A filthy sofa was propped up against a wall with an assortment of books scattered on it.
“Excuse me,” said the old man, adjusting his spectacles. “We are in my private studies. My laboratory is just down the halls over there, where I was hard at work.”
“Hard at work you say? During the middle of an inbreak!? Didn’t you notice the carnage and mayhem from outside!?”
“Stop being so hostile!” said the Doctor, jumping in front of us. She hugged her professor again. “He is a man of work, and this lab is sound proof so that he’s not disturbed while researching and experimenting. He wouldn’t hear anything that’s been going on.”
“…which bring me back to my first point. What is this Keeper doing here?”
“The Siren,” I replied bluntly. “Your ‘daughter’ here rang The Siren, but I suppose you wouldn’t have heard that in the safety of your lab, eh?”
The woman glared at me and I decided to be less hostile, especially after all the good things she said about him. I turned back to apologize for my hostility, but noticed that he seemed upset for some reason. When I apologized he waved me off and sat down. The woman kneeled down to his side. “What’s wrong professor?”
“Nothing my sweet, nothing. Are you sure the door is closed?”
“Yes, it’s closed. The zombies won’t get in, don’t you worry.” The professor smiled at the girl, but something seemed off about the smile. Something not right. Nevertheless, I apologized. “Sorry for my hostility before. It’s just… I’m a bit stressed out right now. But it looks like this place is secure. We have electricity, and probably food if you could survive down here for this entire ordeal. All we need to do is wait for the other Keepers to arrive, and-”
“Hm? Is there a problem?”
“No… no, of course not.” The professor got up, paced around a bit and adjusted his spectacles again. I decided to pry this a bit more: the subject was getting him anxious, and I wanted to know why. No matter how much the Doctor liked this man, I didn’t. And I was going to find out why.
On the road to Town A, 10 hours after Inbreak, 4:58PM, The Keeper
He was alive. The man who had raised me from birth, who had saved my life from zombies when my parents were killed, who had taught me everything I knew, was alive. For a moment, everything was alright. For a moment, I knew that we would be safe. But the constant pounding of zombies on the metal door made me question how long the metal gate would last. And the way The Keeper was looking at my professor, I knew he didn’t trust him yet.
Then again, he didn’t trust anyone at first. He immediately wanted to do the opposite of everything that I did at first, and hated that boy with the sword when they first met… though I don’t suppose that sword pointing at my neck did him any favors. I’m sure the Keeper would warm up to him eventually.
“There’s so much to catch up on, Professor! What have you been up to since I left?” The professor smiled and put his arm around me. “I’ve gotten so much done since you’ve been gone, but I’ve missed you so much. I can’t believe how long it’s been. You’re almost a woman now, aren’t you?”
“Almost?” I smiled, “I’m thirty-five!”
“Thirty-five?” he laughed. “I guess I’m getting a bit old myself. I’ll be sixty-five this month.”
“As much as I love idle conversation, there’s a zombie apocalypse going on out there. We should find a hiding area in case the
zombies break down the door.”
“I wouldn’t worry about that,” said The Professor. “I can assure you that I won’t be in any danger.”
“I wasn’t thinking of you, old man. Those zombies are- different. They can rip through flesh, know exactly where to strike, some might even be able to tear through my armor. And you know what? The highest concentration of them was in the top floor of your house. Respond to that one.”
“STOP!” I screamed, getting in front of them again. I wouldn’t let The Keeper do anything to my professor after all this time, and that included interrogations. “He obviously doesn’t know about the zombies in his house! He’s been working hard on the lab ever since this whole ordeal started! Isn’t that right, professor?”
“Well… perhaps I should explain myself.”
“Perhaps you should. And just to let you know, if you had anything to do with this little ‘incident’ then I will not hesitate to lock you up for the rest of your short, miserable life.”
“Professor, it’s okay. You don’t have to-”
“No my child, it’s okay. This man has been quite aggressive about the situation, and I find it only fitting to comply with what he asks. Though, before I begin, may I ask that you both take a seat?”
I sighed and motioned for The Keeper to sit down. He was making this harder then it needed to be, seeing as we just needed to wait until the rest of The Keepers came, which should be in a few minutes anyways. “Look, it’s really okay. Those zombies could’ve been in anybody’s house.”
“I know. I’m sorry. I got a bit carried away there. Let’s just wait for the other Keepers to show up.”
“…yes, let’s. Before they arrive, could I offer you some tea, Mr.Keeper?”
“I’m good, thanks,” he said rudely. I buried my face in my hands, embarrassed for his sake. “So. Tell me, how did you activate The Siren? The wire was cut.”
“Yes, it was quite a ride! You see, I had to- wait, how did you know the wire was cut?”
“I… I saw it from… I didn’t.” The Keeper jumped up. This was the opportunity he was waiting for. “I knew it! I knew you were up to something! Explain everything right now, or I swear to God I will riddle you with bullets!”
“Oh no you don’t,” I yelled, trying to get between him and the professor. It was too late though, as he already had his gun out, pointing straight at the professor. He shoved me out of the way. “You’re jumping to conclusions! You have no proof!” He grimaced and said “Part of protecting you means that I need to point out things you’re too blind to see. You may not be able to put two and two together right now because you love him too much, but I can. The highest concentration of zombies in the affected inbreak area is in this town. The highest concentration of zombies in this town is in this house. And furthermore, all of these ‘new breeds’ of ‘mutant zombies’ are held in one form or another upstairs! Besides, how the hell did you know that the wire was cut!?” He pointed the gun at the chest of my professor. “NO!” I yelled, clawing at him helplessly. “ NO! YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING! YOU IDIOT! YOU PARANOID FOOL!” He held me back with one hand and pointed his weapon with the other. “Start talking.”
“Hm. You know, I never figured you for a smart one. You seemed a bit dim, and you probably are, eh Mr.Keeper? Yet somehow, my prodigy over there, the most brilliant woman in the entire Human Lands hasn’t figured it out yet, while a boorish oaf like you has. It shows you what compassion can do to the human brain, eh? But I’m above that now.”
What? “What are you talking about, professor? Please, put the gun down, let’s just wait a few minutes and we can sort this out when The Keepers get here.”
“I will explain everything, though it won’t matter to you, I’m sure. I’ve been doing some… experiments recently. Experiments on the undead.”
I clasped a hand to my mouth. “Oh my God…” I said. “Oh my God.”
“I knew it. You’re the reason behind this, aren’t you? Aren’t you!?”
“For the love of God, please stop this!! Don’t kill him!” I was crying now. “He didn’t mean to! It’s not his fault, whatever it is! It was an accident, or it got out of control, or-”
“I have a feeling It was no accident,” said The Keeper, jabbing his gun into my professor’s stomach. “Continue.”
“I snuck into the Dead Lands, and got a sample tissue of a zombie. I did testing on the tissue, to try to see if I could find a cure.”
“DON’T YOU SEE!? He didn’t mean for any of this to happen! He was trying to cure this plague, not spread it!”
“I did rigorous testing, gene splicing, and applied scientific knowledge that would make even the information we had before the first zombies appeared pale in comparison. I got animal tissue and tested the zombie gene on it. The disease did not spread to the animal tissue. I knew that there was something to it. I would need a sample. A human sample.”
“I’m glad you can be so honest with the person about to arrest you,” smiled The Keeper triumphantly.
“Oh, it won’t matter in a few minutes. Where was I? Ah, yes. I tore off some of my flesh and began testing. The flesh was not living, but it was human and I was seeing some drastic improvements! I was learning more information in a few hours then this entire paranoid civilization had learnt in thirty years!”
“You idiot! There’s a reason we don’t let people use samples of the zombies virus! It’s dangerous, wildly unpredictable, and possibly airborne! Why the hell do you think we wear mouth pieces!?”
“I realized that the amount of information that I could achieve would skyrocket if I could somehow have a living subject to study on. But I knew that the gene was very rampant and would completely overtake me if I used it on myself. So I did some morally questionable things.”
“Define ‘morally questionable’, please.”
“I kidnapped someone. Locked him in my basement. Transferred the gene to him. Studied. Learnt.”
I couldn’t believe anything that was being said. I didn’t want to. Part of me thought he was lying, that this was all some big joke. Part of me knew it wasn’t.
“That’s it, we have you for more than just life in prison now. We’re going to stage a public execution for the endangerment of hundreds of thousands of lives and kidnapping.”
“No you’re not. And please, don’t interrupt me while I’m telling a story. You shouldn’t interrupt old men while they’re rambling, especially when they’ve had nobody to tell their story to for so long.”
“You’ve morbidly peeked my curiosity. I’m wondering what other heinous crimes that you’ve committed. Were you the one responsible for the notorious zombie spotting in this town a few years ago?”
“Shush, let me continue. I found out amazing new things about their biology, and learnt fascinating new details. My lust and desire to learn had been satisfied, and replaced with a new desire. I now had all the necessary knowledge to… improve myself.
I realized something during my work. I noticed something funny, which turned my perception about the world upside-down.
You see, I was a young man when that first outbreak started all those years ago. I remember when the Earth was being tainted by man’s blight, and I can still recall the days where we clogged up this planet, polluting its oceans in our billions and billions, destroying its land, sucking its nutrients out of it like mosquitoes would to us.
We robbed this world of its bounty, extincting thousands of species, murdering each other and, more importantly, the environment around us. If not stopped, we would have destroyed all life in the planet besides ours, and moved on to another planet to strip it bare as well. Like a virus, destroying one man and travelling to another, we too would destroy this planet only to a move on to another. Infect, reproduce, and repeat, until there is nothing left.
That’s when I discovered something. Something odd. The zombies weren’t the plague. The zombie were the cure. We were the plague. We were the cancer for this wonderful planet. We were the tumor that resided on it, poisoning every corner of it. The zombies fixed that, cleansing us off the Earth without killing the animals. But their job is not complete.
A pocket of us still remains, and if it goes unchecked it will spread again. Like a therapy to remove a cancer, some of it will remain, and form new tumors even worse than before. And so, I set off on my plan- to destroy The Human Lands.”
“You sick monster…” gasped The Keeper. I silently cried to myself, but knew I had to stop. If my professor was serious, this wasn’t the man I loved. This was someone completely different.
“Using my test subject, I got back to work, even harder and stronger than before. I soon learned how to modify myself to gain the benefits of the zombie gene without it overwriting what made me human. It was a long shot, but it had a chance of working.
So, I tested a modified strand of the gene on myself. Using my specific version of this virus I managed to retain my intelligence, keep my skin together, and achieve immortality.” “It sounds like you’ve watched one too many Ivanis Cravalok movies, old man. You’re going senile. What you’re describing is impossible; if a bit of the zombie gene gets into your system, it’s going to take over eventually. No matter how modified it is.”
“My skin was dead and my nerves didn’t function, yet I could still think. My teeth rotted, and while my body was essentially dead, my mind was still alive. I could still think, work and move like an actual human. The only difference was zombies would recognize me as one of them, and wouldn’t attack me. I had achieved the next logical evolution of man. But I couldn’t show this to anyone, as they’d lock me up for being insane! So, I began experimenting on super zombies.
Vampire zombies were the first ones. I thought of how they could be improved, and took a few examples from Ivanis Cravalok movies. I removed the stiffening of the joins upon death, and, after meticulously getting a few more test subjects I managed to get the blood to stop coagulating and removed the stiffness of the joins. For some zombies I simply tweaked the virus so much that it could be considered an entirely new thing altogether. I noticed that there were a few parts to the zombie’s equation that I could improve upon.
There was the desire to kill, which could be skyrocketed to insane levels with the virus. There was the hunger, which was the driving force of the eating. The eating was essential to carry on the virus, because there was also the form of transmission. For regular zombies, the form of transmission is a simple bite. I realized that I did not want this to spread; I simply wanted all humans- with the exception of me and my lovely assistant over here- dead.
So I removed the transmission of the super zombies, spliced in some more test subjects until I got about ten regular zombies, completed with many other super zombies which I stored in my attic, and released them upon the populace. It worked like a charm. But I knew that if the Keepers came and killed off my beauties before they could spread and kill enough then all my hard work over the years would be undone. So I cut the wires.”
“There’s a reason we don’t give the general public information about zombies, but as a Keeper I know more about them then you do. So, I’m going to let you in on some classified information, seeing as we’re probably going to execute you as soon as we get the chance, and you’ve been so kind in confessing all of the horrible crimes to me, so I find it’s only fair.
Let’s say, hypothetically, that this gene transfer was possible, and you really are a half-zombie. As soon as the gene enters your system, no matter how modified the gene is, it will activate a nerve impulse in your brain.”
“Yes, really. The impulse sends a pulse of endorphins at the sight or feel of someone dying. It’s what drives the zombie to continue killing and killing and killing in an undying rage. In layman’s terms: it makes you addicted to murder. And this part of the gene is literally impossible to detect, and even more so to change. So something tells me you kidnapped and murdered those people for a little more than just science. You have an addiction. An insatiable urge. We’ve seen the effects before. And though I doubt anything you just said is true, we still need to take it up with the judge. Put your hands behind your back.”
My professor- or, rather, the man that used to be my professor- grabbed a pistol from under the table and examined it momentarily. “I don’t think I’m going to do that, Mr.Keeper. I’ve been working on this project for quite a while now, and I can’t let you go and ruin it like that.”
“Look around you! It’s already ruined, you sick fool! Your pets are dead; nine Keepers are probably already clearing out the town by now! Put your hands up, and drop the gun, now! I know the disease has tainted your brain, but surely you’re not stupid enough to think that the measly pistol you have there is enough to kill me, a fully armed keeper with an enormous gun used to mow down twenty zombies at a time?”
“No. But I don’t think you’ve been listening. And you’re not fully armed, are you? You’re missing your helmet.”
“That is it!”
I was helpless to watch as The Keeper raised his gun with two hands and unleashed a barrage of bullets into my professor. The torrent of lead entered his body with many sickening crashes and his flesh dropped off here and there. When the firing subsided and the smoke cleared, I saw only one thing.
My mouth dropped, and so did The Keeper’s. My professor was still standing. I didn’t know whether to be overjoyed or horrified.
“Obviously,” said The Professor, brushing off a piece of dead skin and removing a bullet from his gut, “You didn’t listen. I am immortal. You can’t kill me. You, however?” He raised his pistol and pointed it at The Keeper’s eye. “You are quite fragile.”
He fired a single shot. It whizzed through the air and straight into his eye. An accurate, powerful shot. The Keeper’s arms jolted forwards in pain, and his leg jumped up as he spiraled backwards, dead on the ground. His gun fell and his hunting knife landed beside him.
This wasn’t happening. The Keeper was fine. He had to be. I ran to his side. “No…” I whispered. “NO!”
“I’m sorry you had to see that,” said The Professor. “But it had to be done. We don’t want anyone finding out about this little incident, now do we?”
“What… how… HOW COULD YOU!? HE WAS MY FRIEND!”
“My dear, I’m offering you a choice. Join me, splice yourself with my modified strain of virus, and ascend with me as we watch the world flourish for an eternity without the blight of man. Or? You have a second option.”
He pointed the pistol me. “Die.”
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Book / Horror
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