The Last Bastion

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 4 (v.1) - Beginnings

Submitted: July 13, 2012

Reads: 172

A A A | A A A

Submitted: July 13, 2012

A A A

A A A

Chapter 4 - Beginnings

It was noon. The sun was beaming in through the windows. Summer had officially begun and here she was. Sat in her room again playing the same old pc games she had played a thoussand times before. She reached for her soda but it was empty. Getting a new one would proove to be difficult at this time. She had just begun an arena match and they had the upper hand.

”Concentrate on their healer” A voice came through her headphones. It was a mans voice. It belonged to a person she only knew by the name ”Invocator”. She shifted her focus and started attacking the healer as it was. The tv was running in the background. The news were on.

And now to local news” She took a hold of the remote and switched it off. The other one on the enemy team was attacking her.

”Dude can you get this guy off me so I can CC”

Invocator complied. He swooped in for the rescue and started battering the enemy who had attacked Hannah. She ran to the side and got off a croud control spell. The enemy attacker was turned into a sheep. They finished off the healer and switched to the attacker. Within seconds they had won the match.

”You wanna go for another one?” Invocator asked.

”No Im capp..” She was interrupted by a knock on the door.

”My pizzas here” she got out of her chair and opened the door. The pizza delivery guy was stood there. A handsome young arab with a slight beard going. He handed her the pizza.

”6.99”

Hannah got out her wallet and paid him. He turned around and left. She closed the door and went back in front of the computer. She could hear a tv going in Invocators background.

”What you watching” She took a bite of pizza.

”Turn on the news”

”But its local its never anything interesting”

”No you need to turn on the news”

She grunted and reached for the remote. The tv flashed and a news speaker came on.

What is known about this disease?” The reporter was interviewing some scientist.

”What is this? A new birdflu scare?” She ate away at the pizza.

”No...” Invocator sounded serious.

Well its a highly infectious contagion that seems to shut down a person completely. We have had 7 accounts of infected within very few hours and hospitals all over town are reporting more and more infected”

Can you tell us abit about the symptoms and ways of contracting this disease”

It is unknown at the moment. The infected are quarantined and there is no need to be frightened. The CDC are on their way to Rotham to take samples. The full scale of this is unknown but I wouldnt be scared. Its just a few cases of outbreak within the city limits and..:” The reporter cut him off.

Is there something that youre not telling us?” He looked at the scientist very inquisitively

All I can say is that there is no need to be startled. As always in theese kinds of situations it seems like everything is out of control but the government will have everything under control within the next 24 hours. There is no need to be panicking”

Id like to show you something we put on abit earlier before you came on. I trust you were watching from the waiting room before you went on?”

No actually I was in contact with the rest of the CDC to see if they had anything new on the subject”

Well look at this”

They rolled some news footage. It showed a plain street and a reporter interviewing someone about the increase in drug related crimes. The reporter talked over it.

Well here we are in Rotham Lower East doing what we thought we would be covering tonight”

A scream was heard over the interview. The camera panned and tried to regain focus. It was very blurry but it showed a man bend over another man who was lying on the ground. He was screaming and people were running away from the incident. The cameraman started running towards the incident but stopped within a few meters of the assailant. It was some guy with a bare chest and a rather sizeable bite wound on the neck. He was slumped over another man and it looked like he was eating him. The camera man muttered something that sounded like ”Oh My God” and then turned around to run away while screaming. ”Andy.. ANDY.. WE NEED TO GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE” The transmission ended. The reporter came back online and looked at the scientist.

As you can clearly see and tell from eyewitness reports that man was clearly infected by this suppossedly ”harmless” disease” The scientist had a big sip of his drink and looked into the table. He was trying to formulate a response.

Well.... we dont know for sure that they are related, but there has been reports of infected with the characteristics of what looks like bite marks on their bodies”

Anything else youre not telling us?”

Im sorry” The scientist got out of his chair. The reporter struck out to the sides with both of his arms. ”This interview is over, Im very sorry” The scientist walked off set. The reporter turned his attention to the camera.

Well folks keep an eye on this channel as we report further on what is happening. To all the people of Rotham we can only say this. Stay inside your homes and dont go out. The infected are delirious and possibly dangerous. Keep an eye out for anything suspicious and warn the police. I repeat. Keep inside until this blows over. Im sure its nothing but just in case keep an eye out. Be safe”

Hannah turned off the news. She sat for a moment in silence and tried to regain her focus. Invocators voice was heard over the headset.

”Well?”

”What the hell did I just watch?” She already knew the answer.

”Its happening... The end....” He sounded awfully cheery.

”No... The CDC will contain the situation and keep a lid on things. Itll all be allright soon” She took another slice of pizza.

”Yeah I guess youre right. Same with the birdflu. But it looks alot like a bunch of movies Ive seen before”

”Well the dead arent rising to be exact. Could just be some kind of crazy person running around biting people”

”Then why are they saying that the victims are infected?”

”He could have some kind of disease thats very contagious”

”Yeah but the news footage was shot this morning. And the victims are already showing signs of high fever”

Hannah didnt know what to reply. It was around evening. 6 pm to be exact.

”Well...” She was clueless about what to say. They had been joking around with this before. Swapped stories of what they would do in case of such an outbreak. But it seemed so far away. Rotham was almost at the other end of the country.

”Well what?” Invocators seemed to be triumphant in this debate. Hannah reached for the remote and turned on the channel again. They had gone back to regular programming.

”Well its not on anymore so it cant be anything big”

”Really?” Invocator started rummaging around with something.
”I guess they have”

Hannah flipped through the channels. Noone spoke of this. Then she turned on the news network. A red sign with a biohazard icon on it was to the left of the screen.

Possible outbreak of an unknown virus seems to be happening in Rotham. We have received news of atleast 16 victims of an unknown assailaint. All showing signs of high fever. Six of them are getting treated at Rotham county hospital while ten are being sent to different hospitals specialized in theese kinds of th.....” The reporter paused for a minute.

This just in. We have now recieved word that the assailaint has been apprehended. He seeemed delirious and in the grip of some kind of fever. From what our sources are reporting he lunged at an officer and apparently and this is the weird part... He bit the officer in the neck... The officer is on his way to the hospital and the assailaint was shot repeatedly. We will report more on this when we have more information. Now Darlene about thoose Bulls are they gonna take home the trophy?”

Hannah zoned out. She had heard the news and it had an omnious ring to it.

”Theyre shipping people out to different hospitals”

Invocator gasped. ”Are they fucking stupid? They dont know nothing about this disease and now theyre shipping people out to different hospitals”

”Im sure theyre quarantined on the planes. Theyre just moving them closer to the CDC officials I guess”

”Yeah... Oh well I gotta boost, gotta get ready for the party tonight”

”You going out?” She had a slight bit of envy in her voice.

”Yeah... Got a couple of mates coming over in about an hour. Were gonna be drinking and playing Munchkin. But ill talk to you tomorrow”

”Okay.. Well you have fun Im gonna keep an eye on the situation and tell you tomorrow. Im sure its nothing”

”Well okay sweetie... Ill see you later alright”

”Yeah.. See you tomorrow”

Invocator logged off. The call ended. Hannah turned off her game and focused on the pizza. She didnt know what she had heard on the news but she knew it wasnt good. She quickly navigated towards the CDC's site. Nothing was on there. No alerts no nothing. She let out a sigh of relief.
”Well atleast thats handled then”

She finished off her pizza while watching the news. They were repeating the broadcast over and over. She guessed that she would know more in the morning.

With a loud and angry noise the alarm clock beeped. She looked up from the pillow and slapped it on the head. Even though she had nothing to do on a weekday she still wanted to get up early. But it was always hard.

10 am. She turned it off and tried to get back to the sleep but was interrupted by a knock on the door.

”Oh fuck off” she muttered to herself. She sat up straight in bed and looked for her bra. The knock was heard again more insistingly this time.

”Yeah Yeah Im coming”

She quickly abandoned the search for it and got a t-shirt on quick. A black one with a band logo on it. It was dirty but it would have to do. She quickly donned a pair of jogging pants and went to the door while yawning.

Outside was a post officer. He had a brown box in his hand and a little console with a pen attached to it.

”Hannah James?”

”Yeah thats me”

”Sign here please”

He handed her the console and she wrote off on it. He then gave her the box and they went their seperate ways.

”Now wonder what this could be” but she already knew the answer. Her Xbox had been off for repairs for weeks now and the box matched its specifications. She unwrapped it and sure enough it was her Xbox. There was a note attached to it.

Dear Mrs James. We regret to inform you that your hardware was beyond repair. We have refitted it with a new motherboard. We have enclosed a check for 250 dollars to be paid before the 10th”

”Oh fucking great” She threw down the empty box on her bed and started hooking up her Xbox. She hadnt played in a while and she was anxious to get going on a game she had bought a few days before it broke down.

Dead Rising 2 it was called. It was an old game but she had a thing for zombie survival games and Invocator had recommended it to her on numerous occassions while stating that she was abit lazy for not getting in on it earlier.

The title screen flashed on. She went to her fridge while the game loaded. Got out a couple of sodas and went to sit in her bed. She reached for a controller and started flipping through the menus. The news from yesterday seemed like a bad dream and she hadnt thought of it before the game started. There she was. A lone survivor pitted against the hordes of the undead having to care for her little daughter. It was all fictional at this point but something about the whole ”reassignment to different hospitals” didnt seem right. She paused the game and went to her computer. Browsed to a news site and reached for her cigarettes. There was alot of news about how the Bulls had taken home the trophy but there didnt seem to be anything about the possible outbreak. She was about to leave the page when something caught her eye. A tiny side note link to a news article. She clicked it.

Outbreak in Melville, New Haven and Jamestown”

She stopped reading. Jamestown was right next to New Nottingham. What if. She frantically flipped through the page.

Hospitals in Melville, New Haven and Jamestown are under strict quarantine orders from the CDC. Yesterday 10 victims of a madman in Rotham were sent to the trauma units on each of theese hospitals. All were showing signs of an unknown disease. Police have been stationed at every exit and officials from the CDC are on their way. The situation in Rotham is still unknown”

She had a hunch. Theese national news papers had a thing about not reporting from the small towns around the country. She googled Rotham Daily and quickly found a page. The headline made her drop her jaw.

Rotham lower and upper east side quarantined”

So it was really happening. She quickly went back to her television and flipped the channels. She found the news network.

quarantined. Situation is unknown but as you can see Richard police are positioned outside”

Thanks Lin, now on to the weather”

The image had shown a bunch of police cars positioned outside a hospital in an unknown city. A reporter was standing in front of the impromptu barricade.

”Well fuck me” Hannah went back to her computer. She navigated to Skype and checked who was online. Invocator was set as away.

”You there” she typed. Took another cigarette. A few minutes passed but they seemed to go on for hours. Finally he replied

”Yeah whats up”

”They have quarantined three hospitals. One right next to me”

”....”

She looked at his response. It all seemed so unreal. Like a dream. An ember from her cigarette fell off and trickled down her fingers onto her hand. It burned.

”What the fuck is going on” Invocator replied.

”Ive just been on the local paper and theyre talking about everyday stuff” he seemed concerned.

Sorry to break you off there Trevor but we appear to have a situation in Jamestown. On to you Lin”

Hannah rushed over to her tv.

Thank you Richard. Two minutes ago. There were gunshots from within the building. The police officers have gone inside and asked us to keep out. It seems like the situation is und..... wait... what?”

The hand of the cameraman was in the picture. He was pointing behind the reporter. She turned around. There was a man shambling out of the hospital. His patient robe drenched in blood. The reporter went towards him

Sir... you have just come from within the hospital what can you tell... sir? I dont think he can hear....”

The man started lunging himself at the reporter. She was kicking and screaming and beating with her microphone at the man. The man seemed to be biting her.

”You are not gonna believe whats happening”

Invocator was slow to respond. ”What?”

”A guy just came out of the hospital and assaulted the reporter. He was biting her”

”Shit......... Fuck..... Girl you have to get far away from Jamestown”

”This isnt anything serious yet... The police will have it under control”

There was a beep from the tv. Hannah went over there and turned it around so it was facing her computer. They had the technical difficulties sign on.

”No... Not yet.... But if the movies are anything to go by then this thing will get out of control quick and how far away from you is Jamestown?”

”Only like four kilometers”

”So itll take them about... An hour to get to you.. Listen to me... You need to get out....”

The transmission came back on. A concerned Richard was trying to keep a straight face.

We seem to have lost connection to Lin. Hang on as we try to get it back”

”The police can contain it Im sure. Itll die down within the hour”

”I hope youre right.......... Maaaaaaaaaaan do I have a hangover”

”Thatll teach you to drink”

The chat remained low key.

Hours had passed and there were no news about the incidents. Hannah had checked every available source but they all said the same. She had been to the shops. Gotten a few things she needed and then gone back to her appartment. People outside seemed blissfully unaware of the incidents taking place in Jamestown. Somwhere in the distance a siren was heard.

She flipped on the news network again. A new broadcast was starting.

Hello and welcome to todays news I am Richard Adams and I am here to bring you up to scratch” He paused and turned to a different camera. The biohazard sign came up in the left side again

A recent outbreak leading to quarantine in three major cities have now turned into something more serious. It seems that a disease of unknown character is sweeping the nation. It all started yesterday in Rotham where a crazed man bit up to 16 victims before he was finally apprehended. The man was taken into custody but had to be shot in his cell this morning as he attacked yet again. Now it seems that the quarantined hospitals we reported on earlier this morning have lost control of their patients” Footage from a news helicopter came up on the screen. It showed about five people walking aimlessly in the streets attacking civilians

As you can see here the assumed infected are attacking everything that moves. Police are trying to quarantine the suspects and get everything under control. So far were reporting massive casualties. Later we have an interview with a doctor who escaped the mayhem at Melville Central, one of the few hospitals that were evacuated as the assumed infected became increasingly violent. More on that later. What we know so far...”

She turned the channel. This was depressing. It seemed Invocator had been right. But so far there were no signs of the dead actually rising from their graves. Just a bunch of crazed lunatics running around in a fever infecting other people. Another siren was heard. This time alot of them. Hannah tried to beat it down and started browsing the net for info. She found nothing of use. She already knew all the facts.

It was about 6pm and time for the evening news. She had had her tv on all day and checked up on the situation occasionally but so far they were all saying the same. She had her dinner ready. A simple microwave lasagna, it did the trick, she wasnt much for cooking.

Hello and welcome to the 6 o clock news. Im a Kirk Reitman and theese are your top stories”

He went through the headlines. The outbreak was a number one priority. Then something about an election in the middle east and some random headlines that were of no interest at this moment.

Following yesterdays report on an outbreak of an unknown virus in Rotham South we now bring you startling news. Some of the infected were brought to Jamestown for further treatment due to sustaining severe trauma. The hospital was quarantined this morning and then police had to respond to what seems like an altercation within the hospital. It seems now that the spread has moved to New Nottingham. Earlier today police and ambulance crew responded to numerous reports of assailaints attacking other people and biting them. The reports of the assailaints match the reports weve been getting from Rotham and Jamestown about the infected. There is no reason to panic the police have called in help from around the county and the situation is as of now seemingly under control we will be re.....”

He touched his ear and seemed worried.

The police and city officials in Jamestown have just issued a state of emergency. It seems the spread of the unknown virus is moving rapidly. We will ofcourse continue to report on the matter. Earlier today we did an interview with a doctor of Jamestown Central Hospital about the disease. He had this to say”

They switched to a map of the area. There was a little pin on it that seemed to be marking Jamestown Central Hospital. A picture of a doctor and the reporter were on each side of the screen

So what can you tell us of what happened at your hospital this morning”

Well Kirk it all went really fast. We got a few of the diseased in yesterday around midnight and proceeded to operate on them throughout the night. We then moved them to quarantine areas within the hospital and this morning I received word that all patients had died”

So what went wrong. You say they all died”

Yes Kirk. They were all pronounced dead this morning around 9am and then.. well I dont know how to tell you this. We were moving a patient to the morgue when all of a sudden he started moving. A nurse went to do CPR on him and he just... he just lashed out at her and bit her in the arm”

He... bit her??? The dead patient?”

Yeah.. He bit her... She is now quarantined aswell but it isnt looking good. Her family has been notified but at the moment we dont know the full scale of this outbreak. All of the deceased patients woke up again. Following our experiences with the first patient we alarmed the police who all went inside the building. Shooting occured but the patients.. the patients they just wouldnt go down. They took multiple shots to the body and didnt seem to flinge. They just kept moving. Numerous police officers were injured and are now pronounced dead. But heres the thing. If this disease follows a pattern dead is not the end of the line. It seems to... wait a minute.... I got to go...”

There were loud screams and noises in the background. The call ended. They went back to the reporter.

A very frightening call. The fate of the doctor is as of now still unknown but our thoughts goes out to the families of the afflicted. We tried to get the CDC to comment but they werent available. I repeat what I said earlier. No need to panic. Everything is under control. A police official we talked to earlier assured us that the police are taking no chances with the afflicted. Heres what he had to say”

They went back out to a similar screen with a map and two pictures.

I want to assure the citizens of New Nottingham that there is nothing to fear. As of now we have a zero tolerance policy based on our reports from the hospital. Allow me to say this clear and once and for all. The police have everything under control. We have called in heavy support units from around the county and we want to avoid any widespread panic. Looting and rioting will NOT be tolerated and perpetrators, afflicted or not. WILL be shot on sight”

Thats harsh dont you think”

The situation could spin wildly out of control if people succumbed to fear. We believe that our course of action will act as a deterrent for any possible law breaking individuals”

They went back to the reporter again.

So there you have folks. Nothing to fear, stay in your homes. From what we can gather you should be wary of anyone showing signs of being afflicted. The symptoms seem to be high fever and deliriousness. It sounds implausible but the dead are rising from their graves”

He turned to face another camera.
”In other news”

Hannah turned off the tv. This was not something she was willing to deal with. All the jokes she had previously made with Invocator now seemed frighteningly real. She would have to either trust law enforcement or get ready for the worst. She took out her wallet and counted her money. Enough to buy supplies, enough to hit the road. But for now she would be resting in her appartment and would put her trust in the city officials.

It was around 9am the following day. The alarm clock hadnt gone off but the sound of something moving through the streets had awoken her. She quickly went to her balcony that overlooked the street. She couldnt believe her eyes. Military vechiles were moving in all around the city. Apparently the situation had escalated overnight.

She quickly went to her tv and turned it on. The local channel had what seemed like a constant broadcast on right now.

Reporting live from New Nottingham I am Kirk Reitman and this is the situation so far”

Military vechiles from the national guard have moved into both New Nottingham and Jamestown. A state of emergency has been declared by the city officials in both cities. The military are taking no chances and are setting up blockades all around the city. From what I can gather we are not quarantined but the situation seems severe. Overnight multiple accounts of breakouts have occured and multiple accounts of the dead rising against the living.... I cant believe Im saying this. For gods sake dont attempt to contact loved ones. Stay in your homes and use the internet and your phones.....”

This just in... Upper East side has been quarantined and martial law has been declared. Multiple reports of looting and a major outbreak has come to our attention. So far 15 civilians have been shot dead. We dont yet know which ones of theese were infected or not. All regular programming has ceased as we continue to cover this event. The CDC informed us earlier today that they are on yellow alert, working around the clock to contain the situation. If you think that you have been infected then seek towards the nearest hospital where makeshift containment zones have been erected”

Hannah rubbed her eyes. Was this really happening? She looked at her watch. The stores were probably open by now. She quickly put on some clothes and went down there.

The store was open. Only a few people had made their way down there to buy stuff. But the people there all seemed to have the same mindset. She quickly went to the canned foods aisle and started filling her basket with the basics. Beans and stuff like that. She then went instictively towards the candy aisle. Most of the canned foods were gone but the candy aisle was untouched. She quickly got a few bags of crisps. Then went to get water and soda. Frozen meals were a priority aswell.

She quickly filled up her basket and went to the register. A young man was behind the counter. He looked at her like she was crazy.

”Someones having a party eh?”

”Havent you heard?”

”Heard what?”

”About the quarantine and yellow alert from the CDC”

”No I havent... Will there be anything else?”

”Yeah.. Two cartons of red L&M”

He gave her a funny look then gave her what she asked for. She quickly filled it all into some bags and exited the store. This situation might be under control according to the police but she was preparing for the worst.

She got back in and shut the door. Took a pack of cigarettes and sat on her balcony. The national guard was erecting a makeshift blockade at the end of the street facing the highway. She could see as far as the quarantined area. There was smoke billowing out of a few houses. Possibly the CDC containing the situation, possibly the panicking citizens going out of control.

She went to her computer. Noone was online at this time. Invocator should be up by now she thought. He had a rigourous schedule of staying up all night playing games then waking up early to resume his antics. But he wasnt there.

The news were reporting the same story they had been reporting a few minutes ago. Nothing new.

She navigated to the CDC website and saw a headline that said.

In case of high fever seek medical aid immediately. Quarantine issued”

Below was a list of areas that had been quarantined. It included the cities where the victims had been flown and some of the cities adjacent to them. A little icon flashed. Invocator had come online. A message popped up.

”Are you allright?” Invocator seemed worried.

”Yeah.. Can we talk?”

”Sure”

A menu popped up and the familiar skype call waiting sound was heard. She pressed accept and was put through to Invocator.

”So whats going on out there. The news network says that the CDC has quarantined parts of your city”

”I know, its crazy. I bought a ton of supplies. Got no money left. If this blows over Im screwed”

”Trust me girl. It wont blow over”

”I dont know. It seems out of control”

The sound of shooting was heard.

”What the hell was that” Invocator seemed more worried than before.

”Two seconds let me check”

She went to the window. There was nothing to see. The gunshots seemed so close by. Maybe she was imagining things. She scanned the street and then she saw it. A dead body on the ground and a military man standing over it. There were a bunch of bags strewn over the pavement. She went back to her computer.

”The national guard shot someone”
”Why?”

”He must have been looting. They said everyone who loots or riots will be shot along with the infected”

”This thing is spreading unnaturally fast dont you think” There was an omnious ring to Invocators message.

”Do you think it might be airborne?”

”No... I watched the news... The infected got bit by that guy in Rotham and it spread from there”

”But the first victims didnt die until this morning”

”It could be mutating at an exponetial rate”

Im sorry to cut you off there Angela but we are receiving word now from the military” Hannah turned her attention to the tv. The reporter was reading a note he had just been handed from the side.

It seems containment is prooving difficult for the military. They have issued a quarantine for the entire city of New Nottingham. Noone is allowed to leave the city at this moment in time. Furthermore as supplies will be scarce there is now rationing being implemented. All stores are being shut down and citizens can go to the military posts being set up in each section of the city. The sections are as follows”

He listed each city section and its appropriate collection place. Hannah waited for New Nottingham South to be listed and wrote down the adress. It was at a nearby school. The same school she went to when she had to vote. The post would open at 6pm. It was still hours away but she'd better get there early to see what the military was issuing.

”So we are quarantined Invo”

”What?”

”Yeah... the entire city is on lockdown. Noone is allowed to leave. I reckon they will shoot us if we try”

There was a few minutes of complete silence. She muted the tv and put on some music. It calmed her as she was starting to get agitated. This whole situation had escalated way too fast and the military seemed to be handling it poorly.

The call menu came up on the screen. It was Invocator.

”Hey you” she said trying to sound like she wasnt deeply affected. She took out a cigarette and lit it.

”Ive been looking at it. I live pretty close to Melville and the situation there is similar to Jamestown. Only the police in that area are better armed so as far as I can tell it hasnt spread”

”Oh lucky you”

”Yeah well heres what worries me. There are theese huge friggin woods all around Melville and the infected could easily slip into them and walk across to my town”

”Invo?” her voice was almost a whisper.

”Yeah?”

”Whats your name?”

There was a brief moment of silence.

”Charles... Why do you want to know?”

”It just seems like.. you know..... Its like dying a virgin. I cant face the end of the world not knowing your real name. It just never seemed important before”

”Yeah I know.... Yours is?”

”Hannah” she took another drag on her cigarette and let out the smoke. It hung in the air for a moment painting a picture of snakes streams entertwining. Then it started disolving and rose to the ceiling.

”Far better than your ingame name Id say” He laughed.

”HEY... Whats wrong with Grace?”

”Nothing.... All power to the Graces... After all you showed me the joys of Grace Perry”

She remembered that night. They had pulled an all nighter switching between a few different games. They had been playing versus other players and listened and shared music. Invocator or Charles was, the same as she, big on metal but always seemed to fail to follow the latest bands. She had told her about a great new band called Landmine Marathon and he had instantly taken to them. It all seemed so far away. Like a distant memory from a past long gone. She heard sirens. But they werent coming from her side of the mic. It was on Charles end.

”Whats going on In.. Charles?”

”The cops are going crazy.... I think we might have been hit”

She could hear him turning on his tv. She quickly navigated to a site for the papers of the Melville region. There was stories about the outbreak and the CDC warning. But nothing about a possible outbreak outside of Melville.

”Whats the name of your town?”

”Shitville” he laughed.

”Nah.... I live in Clarkston”

”I have friends in Clarkston” She quickly navigated to facebook. People were going about their daily business. A few were commenting on the situation and a few had even messaged her to ask if she was alright. She ignored them. All of a sudden people were interested, yet three days ago noone cared about her at all. It was the classic pretend to care game and she had no time for it. Her friends had all abandoned her in favor of careers and family. They all grew apart. Charles was different. He was a year older than her and seemed to be fine with his station in life. In fact he seemed to enjoy the no strings attached. He was on a pension plan due to suffering from long term mental illness. Much like her. Only she hadnt been approved for a pension yet. She searched for a Maria Calwell and found her page. She was online. Hannah quickly messaged her.
”Maria are you there?”

The response was instant.
”Yeah... Long time no see.. Whats up?”

”This might sound strange... Is there anything unusal going on where you live?”

”Funny you should say that. The cops are shooting like crazy here. Im on the outskirts at a friends house”

”Shooting?”

”Yeah they came racing by and then started shooting. Dont know what theyre shooting at. How are you”

”Maria you need to get out of town as quick as possible. New Nottingham has been quarantined by the military and the CDC. Some sort of outbreak is going on”

”Get out of town? U serious?”

”Yeah.... Get far away from there until things calm down. Take your parents and your sister with you”

”Oh my god Hannah you are always so dramatic”

”Im serious. This is bad”

”Whatever... Have a nice life”

Hannah stared at the screen. Clearly frustrated.

”Well that was fun”

Charles quickly replied.
”What?”

”I tried to warn an old friend from Clarkston but she basically spat in my face”

”People theese days. Do you want to go for a few quick games?”

”Yeah sure. Anything to take my mind off of theese things”

It was about 5pm. They had been playing a load of games. Most of them they had turned out the victors. They werent too bad and their synnergy was good.

”Well Charles. The food handout opens in about an hour. Its about a 20 minute walk”

”Yeah.. You better head down there and get some stuff”
”Yeah.. Ill be back in about an hour and a half if all goes well”

”Cool.. Will keep an eye on the situation. Can I have your number?”

She blushed slightly. It was just a precaution she was sure but still noone had asked for her number in a while. She wrote it down and sent it to him.

”Thanks. Ill keep you updated about the situation and see what I can figure out”
”Still no news about Clarkston?”

”Nope.. But I guess the 6 o clock news will reveal something”

”Okay... Well Ill see you when I get back”

She ended the call. Grabbed two packs of cigarettes and got her coat.

The walk to the school had been uneventful. She had passed a bunch of guys looting from electronics stores but the cops had responded fast. She had thought it best to hurry away from the scene and after she had left she heard shots being fired. This was all crazy. The town was disintegrating in a very short amount of time and all because of some silly outbreak.

The school was void of people. Noone had bothered to show up early for the food handout and she took a seat with her back against the door. She was playing music on her phone while contemplating her next move. The sound decreased in volume for a slight second letting her know that a text message had arrived. It was from an unknown number.

”Did you find the school allright?”

She realized that it was from Charles.

”Yeah... there were some looters going crazy”

”Damn.. What is this world coming to”

There was a rustling of some trash cans behind the school. She sat up straight. It had been loud enough for her to hear. With a beating heart she rose from her seat and carefully moved towards the end of the building. There were sounds of something scraping against the ground but she couldnt hear what. She approached the corner slowly.

A man turned around. His eyes were white and he was sort of dragging his feet. His clothes were drenched in blood and he was ridden with bullet holes. Hannah didnt want to find out what his intentions were. She knew perfectly well what he was. She quickly turned around on her feet and started running towards the front door of the school. Her heart pounding faster than it ought to be.

She pounded her fists against the door. Screaming for help. Noone came to her aid. She looked after the man and he was slowly but steadily making his way towards her. Groaning like a wild animal.
”HELP FOR GODS SAKE HELP” She started kicking the door. The lock turned and a man in a military uniform opened the door.
”What?”
She pointed towards the man making his way towards her. The military man shoved her aside and took a hold of his firearm.
”GET INSIDE NOW” She did as she was told. A few shots were heard and then a large thud. She looked over the shoulder of the military man and saw how he had shot what appeared to be a dead guy.

”Follow me” The military man closed the door and locked it. He started walking towards a great hall that was being fitted to be a food handout. He went to a basket full of water bottles and handed her one.
”Are you alright Ms?” His name plague revelealed that he was a J. Grant.

”Yes fine mr... Grant”
He smiled at her.

”Look were not supposed to hand out food until 6 o clock” He looked around. There were nobody in the hall except for a few people stockpiling food. All in military uniforms.

”I can give you a basic kit and then send you on your way” He picked up a walkie attached to his belt.

”This is Sergeant Grant. We have a situation outside”

A voice at the other end asked him to proceed.

”An infected was attacking a young female citizen. She doesnt appear to have any bites or showing signs of infection. Requesting permission to fit her with a care package”

”Request confirmed. Go ahead and we'll send someone out to secure the perimeter”

He went over to a stack of crates with all sorts of goods in them. He handed her one and smiled.

”Be careful out there......?”

”Hannah”

”Be careful Hannah. Go straight home and dont try to be a hero”

She smiled shyly at him.

”Will things be okay again?”

”Cant comment. But the military has everything under control”

He followed her to the door. Went outside to confirm that everything was clear. A few armed guards had been stationed outside.

”See you when your supplies run out Hannah”

”Thanks Sarge” She sat the crate down on the floor and jokingly saluted him. He smiled at her and went back inside the school.

As she had walked home from the school more and more people were coming her way. People with their children, elderly and even a news van. All of them looked at her with despair in their eyes. Who knew what they had seen in theese past days. Some of them might have had their lives torn apart by this disease. Some might have had to get the police to intervene when their friends and relatives became ill.

It was a cool summers breeze. The sun was poking through holes in the sky and the smell of something burning was in the air. Possibly the CDC and military containing certain areas of the city. In the distance towards the east end she could see thick smoke rising towards the sky.

She put down the crate and unlocked her door. A few text messages had ticked in but her hands had been full. The trip home had been uneventful at best. The looting had subsided as people were heading to the food handouts and then home to watch the news for information on what to do.

She sat behind the computer and opened skype. Invocator was still online.

”Im back again”

She pressed the call icon and within seconds he had pressed accept.

”So what did you get?”

She took the crate into her lap and started laying out the contents on the table.

”A bag of pasta, some assorted greens, rice, two packs of different meats, some candy bars, sugar, flour, you know the basics”

”Nice of them to hand out candy” He laughed at the other end of the line

”Isnt that what the military does... You always see them riding on tanks through Afghanistan passing out candy to the kids”

”True that”

It was almost 6pm. She reached for her remote and flipped on the tv. They were in the middle of their reruns of the news feed that had been on all day.

”So whats next?” Charles seemed worried.

”What do you mean?”

”Well what are you gonna do? Stay at home until the city becomes overrun or make a break for it?”

She had tried to give it as little thought as possible. The idea of the city being overrun seemed like a joke. In theese perfect days of civilization it would surely be hard for the authorities to let it happen. She took out a cigarette and thought about it for a while. Staying at home seemed like the perfect solution. The military would have it sorted within a matter of days and then it would be back to normal.

But what if they didnt get it under control. What if... What would happen if it was exactly like in the movies. What would happen if society deteriorated and the corpses overran the streets. There were already a lot of them and it seemed like the military had enough problems with trying to contain the situation and dealing with frantic looters.

”I dont know... I cant get out of town”

”Why not?”

”The military said that noone is allowed to leave. Theyll shoot me”

”Its worth a shot isnt it?”

”I gues..” She was interrupted by the news jingle.

Welcome to this edition of the 6 o clock news on this lovely June evening. I am Kirk Reitman and I will run you through our headlines”

”Its starting so Im gonna go real quiet” She put her headphones down and turned her attention to the tv.

CDC officials are calling it the new bird flu... A highly potent virus that infects through contact with an already infected and spreads quickly in your body. The symptoms are deliriousness and high fever. It started out rather slowly but the CDC have now issued a warning not to contact anyone who is believed to be a carrier. The CDC wouldnt do an interview with us but we talked to a retired CDC scientist who broke the wall of silence that is sorrounding the CDC theese days”

There was a short intermission and a jingle before they cut to footage shot earlier that day. Reitman was sat at one end of the table and at the other there was an old man. Around his 70'ies. He had white hair and a pair of glasses on the tip of his nose.

So Mr Madsen what can you tell us of this disease?”

Well not much Kirk. The CDC arent letting me help out with the program and arent answering my questions. I conducted a few studies based on the eye witness reports and some of my own field work in Jamestown. This is what I came up with.” He paused and took a sip of whatever beverage was in his cup.

Basically the virus is a fast acting agent. It shuts down vital organs within a few hours of contraction and there seems to be little to no incubation period. It seems to be very individual on when you will succumb to this but as of now there is no recorded cure and its gone from a question of if to a question of when”

Well that is a startling discovery Mr Madsen. What more can you tell us. How should our viewers prepare?”

Now hang on there Kirk. The agent was slow at first. The initial infected succumbed not to the disease but to the trauma they sustained from their injuries. The virus seems to have mutated in a very short period of time. From what I could gather when visiting the hospital it seems to me that victims die to a mix of high fever and injuries sustained. The virus is now working within a matter of minutes and quickly shuts down your vital organs. I witnessed it myself while in Jamestown. A young man was attacked by four of theese infected and died shortly thereafter. I did my best but his injuries were too serious. He then reanimated an...”

There was a black screen followed by a loud beep.

”Charles?”

”Yeah?”

”Somethings going on here. The broadcast was cut”

”Probably the military. I could hear parts of it. You need to get out”

The broadcast came back on the air.

I am sorry for that, but we seem to be experiencing technical problems. The military has issued the following statement”

All civilians are to remain calm. Dont attempt to contact people within the containment zones and dont attempt to flee the city. This will cause furthers spread of the disease and people attempting to leave the city limits will be apprehended or shot at”

Kirk looked like he didnt believe what he had just read. The screen went black again. She tried flipping the channels. The news network was still on air.

Twitter feed. ”Dear viewers. Our broadcasting has been shut down. Save yourselves” and this is from Kirk Reitman of the local Jamestown county news channel. Well this is taking on a life of its own. This is what we know so far”

The broadcaster went through a bulletin boards of the events that had unfolded so far. Hannah heard screams in the streets below and loud explosions coming from across the city. She ran to her window and saw fire rising towards the sky from the initially quarantined area of town. Fighter jets were circling the skies.

Below her appartment on the streets people were running towards the military blockade. The personel at the blockade had raised their guns and were taking aim. She went back to her computer and picked up the headset.

”Dude...”

”What?”

”Theyre fucking shooting and bombing the city now”

”Hannah... Listen to me.. Pack your things right now and leave...”

”No... Im gonna wait till nightfall. Do it at around 2 am when its really dark” Her decision shocked her. In a matter of seconds she had decided on a course of action.

”Okay.. Listen.. Im getting out of here tonight aswell. We need to find a place to meet up”

”Yeah... How about on the outskirts of Union City?”

Shots were fired in the street below.

”This is so surreal. Here we are making plans for escaping and its all gone to hell in like 24 hours” She took out a cigarette.

”Yeah I know. I guess Romero wasnt wrong after all. The fabric of society will melt down pretty quickly in theese kinds of situations”

”Union City then?”

Charles had a moment to think.

”Yeah. My grandparents live in a big friggin mansion right outside of the city. Ill head towards that and barricade myself in there”

”Okay..... So what do we do now. Theres still hours to go before its dark enough”

”I guess we wait?” Charles sounded muffled. He was obviously drinking something.

”Ill bring my cell phone I have a battery charger for it. Check yours every day at around noon. Ill be texting you with my progress until the network shuts down”

There was another explosion heard and numerous gunshots.

”This is crazy” She took a big drag on her cigarette.

”Completely crazy. Im gonna go by car. You have to stay off the roads. The military will probably be all around New Nottingham and they WILL shoot on sight it seems”

”Yeah.... Im gonna get packing make some food and then go”

”Me too... Listen Hannah.. If we dont make it out of this alive I just want to say to you that I have enjoyed our time together”

”Stop that... We WILL make it out alive. I guarantee you”

”I hope youre right. Dear god I hope youre right”
”Well see you whenever I reach Union City”

”Yeah.... Catch ya later girl”

The call ended. It was around 7pm. Still hours to go before she would be able to sneak out of the city. But she wanted to know for sure that the situation was out of control. She gathered up some cigarettes. Her phone and headphones then went out the door.

The air was cool. The streets were littered with dead people and the military was cleaning it all up when she went outside. She wanted to head to the west side of town. It was clear that the quarantined east side was lost but the west side of town was further away and she wanted to see if the outbreak had been contained within the east.

The trek was uneventful. A few people were hurrying back into their homes. The streets were basically void of people and the closer she went to the west side the more empty the streets became. Doors to house were left open and in some gardens people were lying dead on their lawns. It was shocking to see. The smell of burnt wood was all around her. She went around for a while and finally found a military outpost. It had been abandoned. A lone solider was lying dead in the street. His stomach had been ripped open and he looked as if he was in a progressing state of decay. A bird was sat on top of him picking at his insides. She turned around and started heading back to her appartment. It was all to much. The screeching of tires was heard. In the distance she saw a military vechile head her way. She instinctively went into a garden and hid in some bushes. The vechile hadnt spotted her as it continued to the outpost and stopped. About three soldiers went outside and started examining the outpost.

”Johnson!”

A soldier came over to the man who had called his name.

”Yes sir”

”Search the sorroundings for supplies. Kill anyone you meet. We are gonna get out of here this instance”
”Yes sir”

Johnson took a hold of his rifle and went across the street from where Hannah had been. She wasnt gonna stick around to hear more. She snuck from the bushes into the house hoping to escape through the garden.

The military didnt seem keen on containing the situation at all so she thought it best to follow their example and dissapear fast.

The house was small. There was blood all over the entry way and she smelled something burning. She went into the kitchen to find a startling discovery. Food was on the stove and smoke was rising from it. The crates that had been handed out was sat on the counter and in front of it was a man. He must have been around 40. He was wearing shorts and a hawaian shirt with palm patterns on it. She went to stand next to him. He had several shots to the chest and one to the head. His skin was pale and on the forearm he had a pretty serious bite wound.

She turned off the stove and started examining the rest of the house. She could hear the military outside and through the window she saw them systematically carry crates out into the street.

There was two bedrooms. One was the master one and one was for the kids. The kid was nowhere to be found but the room was a mess. All around shelves and cabinets had been knocked over. There must have been some sort of serious fighting going on in here and she wasnt gonna stick around to figure out what had happened. She quickly hurried into the yard. On the lawn was what looked like a police officer. He was lying down and he seemed to be seriously injured. She went over besides him. He had a bite wound in the chest and to the side of his head blood had spurted out. In his hand he had a standard issue police pistol. She crouched in front of him and tore the gun from his hands. She checked the magazine. It had about ten rounds in it. He must have shot himself after being bitten. She stopped for a moment. Not sure if she had heard a sound or not. She turned around and looked towards the door to the house. There was nothing there. She stood up straight and went towards the door. Could it be the military men coming in to scavenge? She carefully stepped inside the door. Her gun ready to fire if she needed to. There was noone there. She turned around to head towards the hedges and escape into the garden next door. But then she felt someone grabbing on to her leg. She turned around and her leg was pulled out from under her. She fell down with a loud thud and looked a kid square into the eyes.

It was a girl. Around 8 years old. Her face was pale and her mouth was covered in blood. She was quickly climbing on top of Hannah while groaning. Hannah could see a large bite wound on the kids neck. The kid lunged further forward. Her small hands was grabbing a hold of Hannahs stomach. Hannah screamed

”Whats wrong with you?”

The kid didnt reply. Hannah raised her gun. She knew perfectly well what had happened here. No need to get all touchy feely. The kid was no longer alive. Hannah took aim and fired a round into the little girls head. She stopped her attack and slumped over on Hannahs lower body. She could hear shouting in the street. Probably the military men coming for her. Hannah quickly threw the kid aside and ran towards the hedge. There was no fencing. She took a deep breath and jumped onto the hedge. It couldnt support her weight and she fell down into the next door garden. The military men were hot on her trail.
”WE GOT A LIVE ONE” One of them shouted. The next moment she heard shots being fired at her. She quickly ran through the backdoor to the house in the garden she had entered. No time to stop and think. She ran towards the entrance and quickly burst out onto the street. Once on the street she made a break for it. A military man had come outside of the house and was shooting at her, not very skillfully but he was still shooting at her.

She ran. Gave it her all. She wasnt much of a fitness type person but she could run fast when she had to. In her hand she was clenching onto the gun she had found. Her grey and white camouflage pants were messy from dirt and blood. She hit the main street and started heading towards her home. When she had the feeling that noone was following her she paused for a moment to breathe. She was sweating profusely and her heart was pounding. There was no danger here but the feeling of an anxiety attack coming on was sat in her body. She quickly hid the gun in a pocket and tried to regain composure. The walk home would be short and then she knew exactly what she had to do. Get her things and go to Union City.

”Hey” She heard the sound of someone shouting at her. She turned around to see a military officer walking towards her. It was the same guy who had given her the food earlier.

”You shouldnt be out here its too dangerous”

She tried to calm down her breathing before answering. ”No shit”

”Look... the situation is....... hey its Hannah isnt it?”

She nodded and got out a cigarette.

”I wouldnt tell you this but I like you and I dont want to see you hurt okay”

She nodded again. The cigarette might not have been the worlds best idea.

”Get out of town as fast as you can. A relief center is being set up in Union City”

”But arent we not supposed to leave the city?”

”Yeah... But its apparent to everyone that the situation is out of control. You need to get out of here instantly. The military plan on bombing the entire city”

”You think that will help?”

”No... The infected have been sighted on the freeway. Theyre everywhere”
She looked at him for a minute. Grateful of the information he had just given her.

”Where were you headed?” she pointed towards the military vechile parked a few meters away from them.

”To check up on the outposts”

”Look.. Dont head to west side. Theres a couple of lunatics looting and shooting at everything that moves”

He had a concerned look on his face.

”Good to know. Ill request reinforcements. In the meantime you need to make yourself scarce”

He turned around on his heel and went towards the vechile.

”Hey... Sarge”

He turned around and looked at her.

”Thank you”


© Copyright 2020 KasperHorndrup. All rights reserved.

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