The lights are on
Power Member - Level 10
Ok was busy the past week or so but I finally have some breathing space to get it in. I'm trying something new with dialogue so please tell me if it doesn't work. Please excuse the language and some scenes may suggest graphic themes. Other than that enjoy!
Day 20, year 1 P.C.E.
It's been twenty days since all this *** started, feels like forever. Cars pilled up in the street, any windows on bottom levels of buildings smashed in, and the worse of it, bodies littered everywhere. Just took twenty effin days for Jersey to be a place between vacancy and chaos, and who knows about the rest of the world!
Becky: "Mark are you ok?"
My wife Becky. We're traveling up to Trenton from the Pine Barrens and from there, up northwest to Bass River. We thought that getting the farthest away from civilization would be the safest for us. We weren't wrong, it's just that the Barrens was a bad choice. All the swamp slowed us way down making us easy targets and the cats absolutely would not touch it making us carry them, slowing us down more. The Barrens broke their final straw when Bella started sinking. That was about ten days ago. "Yeah babe, just thinking about what we have to do when we reach Trenton."
Becky: "Like what?"
It's a long list but I'll just give her the basics. "Well we should probably see what we can salvage from whatever nearby, find food for our rations, food for the animals, and probably find a safe place to hole up for the night. How far out are we miss navigator?"
Becky: "About eight miles left until we reach the edge. See you can already see the city pretty well from here."
She was right. We could see the whole city before us, a place formally full of energy and light now cold and seemingly lifeless.
We've been in the city for a couple of hours now. We found more stuff around than we expected to; two full clips of ammo that would work for our three pistols, a tarp, two bows (a recurve and a crossbow), 11 bolts for the crossbow (some had to be retrieved from body parts of the fallen), 4 arrows (no idea why I couldn't find more), a bowie knife, a handfull of lighters we raided an empty gas station for, and best of all, FOOD! Sure not all of it was the healthiest but it keep our rations going until we reach Bass River.
Becky: "Hey Mark, it's starting to get dark."
She was right, and the two of us wouldn't be able to defend ourselves if we can't see. "Yeah, lets find our home for the night."
Becky: "Okay. Come on guys, lets go." [three mini-daschunds run up behind her]
Our children as she likes to call them. Hoover, Bella, and Kuntzler really are like family and have helped us survive this so far and are excellent guards despite their size. [Hoover runs up ahead, stops suddenly and starts growling]
Becky: "What is it Markus?"
"Hold on I'll take a peak." I sneak up ahead and look in the direction Hoover is growling at and a chill goes down my spine. "Hoover, ssshhh come." I walk back and he follows.
Becky: "Well what is it?"
Becky: "Oh ***."
Just to clarify, we're not talking about an actual tank. Twenty days into this and we already have new meaning for words. Here's our situation, something broke out; a plague, a virus, an infection, something. Rumors are that it started as animal testing and one of the animals bit someone, human trials gone wrong, bio-terrorism, or the biblical answer that those infected were sinners damned to their current state. Only facts I KNOW are these: one, an infected person loses their higher functioning becoming primal with more of an animal drive wanting to fill the needs eating, sleeping, and reproducing; two, they lose the ability to speak words and only grunt, growl ,or yell; three, it seems to spread through biting or sexual contact or some form of an infected's DNA entering some sort of opening; four, as of now I have them sorted into three types; Crawlers: the weakest people who became infected (usually the elderly, physically disabled, or sickly people. easiest to evade/kill), Runners: Most average people turn into this (faster and most abundant so far), and Tanks: formerly mildly to severely obese people who became infected they have learned to walk in a similar way to a gorillia forming strong arm muscles and hardened knuckles (have short bursts of speed, strongest type, sometimes leads packs of the other two). And we're stuck with the later of the three before us.
Becky: "What do we do?"
"We might be able to sneak by. He's preoccupied right now."
Becky: "What do you... [a girl screams out] Oh no!"
The reality of what is going on around the corner hits her. She starts to cry and the dogs automatically start licking her face. It kills me to see her cry but the scene around the corner makes me sick to my very core.
Becky: "Help her Mark, please." [half sobbing quietly]
"Ok." I can't deny her when shes like this, even though it goes against my survival instinct of now risking my life or ammo. I take the crossbow off of her. I need to make this as quiet as possible or risk drawing alot more onto us. As I round the corner I get sick again. Acts like this were unspeakable before everything happened and are even worse now when the one doing it has an animal's brain and no compassion. I round the corner again as a small herd of gorrilia come down the block drawing the tank's attention.
Becky: "What's going on?"
"Gorillias are coming down the block."
Now tanks are very territorial and when they smell that it's a male encroaching, it pisses them off. I peek around the corner to watch. The gorillias continue the walk unaffected by what the tank is doing, the tank makes a roar getting off the girl and moving her aside. He charges the alpha gorillia who beats his chest and charges back. They tangle up and a battle ensues giving me the chance i need to rescue the girl. I run over to where shes curled up sobbing half her clothes tor off. "Can you walk at all?"
[girl]: "No he broke my knee." [sobbing some more]
I tried to avoid looking at her entire lower half so I didn't notice before but it was severely out of place. I pick her up and run her back to Becky. I'd rather that she not see this but that's the only place that I know it's safe where we can get this girl some new clothes. "Where's your people at?"
[Girl]: "My dad, he died trying to save me from him. [crying] Why are you two helping me? You know what I'll become now!"
Becky: "We're still human and will continue being that until we die! Even if that means we risk our own lives in the process."
Shes so serious, definitely not that same easy-going girl she was just a few weeks ago. She's been trying to stay that girl for so long but I knew it couldn't last forever. Reality finally caught up with us.
We spent that night on the fifteenth floor of an office building, baracading all the doors and setting up a rope by a broken window for a quick escape if we need it. It was a warm moonlit night which made me grateful. Jenny, the girl we rescued, asked us to take her with us and do what needs to be done when the time comes because she doesn't want to be like "them." I watched that gorillia win that fight earlier, breaking the tank's back. It lasted a little longer than I thought it would with the tank putting up a decent fight until the tank pissed it off with a foot to the groin. After they left I salvaged the arrows from the tank's back that Jenny's dad put in defending her.
I ran over to see Jenny on the ground twitching in pain centered mostly around her lower abdomen. The transformation always seems to cause alot of pain starting at the point of origin slowly working its way to the brain, and Jenny was in for a lot of pain because of it.
Jenny: "Markus, remember your promise. Ahh. Please do it before I can't control the pain and screaming. Grrr."
"Try to fight it Jenny! I don't want to kill you!" Her jaw is bleeding and her teeth are cracking from the pressure of trying to keep quiet. I know what must be done but I can't bring myself to do it.
Jenny: "Raaaww. You promisssseesd guh, that you wouldn't let me become one of them! Shhaww." [her breathing becoming more erratic] "Please!'
Becky: "Please she's in so much pain Markus."
Becky is crying into Cusack's (one of our cats) fur looking as if she might start bawling at any moment. I swallow my fear, take a deep breath, and pull the trigger of the crossbow as my eyes start to well up with tears.
Jenny: "Thank you." [her body is jolted back as the bolt hits her heart]
We spent most of last night crying in each other's arms holding onto all 7 of our animals and eventually ended up falling asleep that way. When morning came we unbaracaded the doors and fanned the smell of Jenny's body and blood to lure "them" in. It didn't take long for a swarm of thirty or so of them to charge through the lower levels fighting amongst themselves screaming and yelling. I strapped on the rucksack of all our supplies and food while Becky strapped on the two backpacks to carry the animals in and we made our way down the rope. When we reached the bottom we set the lower level on fire and ran from the building. We killed dozens of them and the fire drew in countless more, giving us the opportunity to escape the city. We reached the road that would take us to Bass River in around a half hour leaving Jenny's tower behind us as a sign that we are alive, we can fight back, and that there is hope amongst pain.
Day 21, Year 1 P.C.E.
End. thanks for reading