Mission Rescue Moira- Part 2
Moira Rescue Mission: Part II
A secret self-organized unit within the ZSC received the Urgent call for help from Moira Jones and sprang into action. Although the city is awash with walkers, these brave souls put together a mission plan on hearing Moira’s plight. Exactly what we expect from Zombie Survival Crew members. Below is a brief mission recap, then a continuation of the field reports pouring in.
MISSION: Rescue one Moira Jones from 6th floor of over run hospital.
OBJECTIVE: Search for and rescue Moira Jones and bring to safety.
STRATEGY: Rendezvous with fellow members of the ZSC and use skill sets to bring Moira Jones to safety.
Norman Reedus – Blue Brigade Commander
Michael Rooker – Head of Special Forces
Tiffany, Rebecca, Apryl, Emma, Jessica, and Eve – A ragtag group of ZSC members from different brigades that are going to come together to ensure Moira is rescued and brought to safety. (@MacabreKiss, @RebeccaMStarr, @FlaneryGrl, @Emmabookworm, @Jessadorkadon, and @Catella_Snape)
Norman and I split off from the group and made our way silently toward the eastern staircase. Aside from the big group we’d encountered when we first entered the building, we weren’t seeing many walkers. We only took down five before we made it to the door that opened into the stairwell.
“This seems a bit too easy.” Norman spoke almost too softly for me to hear and I wasn’t sure if he was talking to me or thinking aloud.
I remained quiet and kept my eyes focused on the door.
“You okay, Eve?” I looked over to see him watching me. I fought the urge to have a fan girl moment and looked away quickly as I felt my cheeks begin to burn.
“Stay focused, Eve-Marie!” I scolded myself internally. “Moira needs you!”
“Yes, I’m fine.” I tossed him a quick glance and added, “I’m worried about Moira. That message from Sean has me a bit freaked out.”
“Yeah, me too.” Norman stepped forward to peek in the window of the stairwell door.
He leapt back immediately as a grotesque face slammed against the glass.
“Damn!” He studied the walker for a moment. We could hear more of them shuffling around behind the door.
“So much for this being easy.” I pulled my hunting knife out of its sheath and held it backwards in my right hand so that the blade ran along my forearm. My left hand gripped my compound bow, to which I nocked an arrow held between my right middle and forefinger, leaving my two other fingers and thumb wrapped tightly around the hilt of my knife. I turned and covered the hallway behind us while he prepped his weapons.
Norman pulled back the string on his crossbow until he heard it lock. He slid a bolt in place and pulled a silenced 9mm Glock out of his waistband. He pulled the slide back and made sure there was one in the chamber before flipping off the safety. He grabbed his walkie and gave the code for all clear and announced that we were entering the stairwell.
“You all set?” He asked.
I turned to face the door and raised my bow. “Yes, sir.”
He made a face at my response and took hold of the door handle.
“Here goes!” He yanked the door open and stepped to the side as I loosed an arrow into the group that had amassed there.
My arrow went through three skulls before lodging into the fourth, not quite penetrating the creature’s brain.
Norman jumped over the three fallen and began working his way through the dozen or so other undead that crowded eagerly toward him.
I took the flat of my palm and shoved the arrow through the skull of the fourth zombie before sending a second arrow flying to take another out just as it lunged for Norman’s back.
As I stepped over the bodies into the bottom of the stairwell, I found the area far too constricted to use my bow practically. I slung it and focused on my knife work.
After dispatching my third zombie, I turned to see if Norman needed help. There were still three left and he stood between me and them. He too had slung his ranged weapon.
I watched him take two quick steps forward, swing his right arm up plunging his knife into one’s throat at an angle effectively piercing its brainstem. He simultaneously brought his left hand up and quickly dropped the other two with expertly aimed shots from his 9mm. I was awed by the fluidity of his movement and the ease with which he disabled the trio.
He straightened and faced me, swiping his knife against his pants to clean the gore from it.
He gestured to the stairs behind me with a nod of his head and used his hands to signal that he wanted me to go first, he would be right behind me. Fortunately this area was still dimly lit by the red tinged emergency lights and we were able to make it up the two flights to the third floor.
Norman studied the map as we stood near the door.
“Right. It should be a straight shot past this nurse’s station then we head left and the next set of stairs should be just down this hallway. There are,” he did a quick count of the small rooms off the hallway, “only 12 rooms, six on each side, between us and the stairs. We’ll assume they were all occupied when it all went down. Of course there are 48 rooms total in this wing so we should be prepared for worst case scenario.”
He reloaded his gun and crossbow as I double checked my guns.
As he pushed the handle down, the emergency lights failed throwing us into a sudden pitch blackness.
“Holy crap!” I whispered. “I can’t see anything!”
“Where are you?” His voice sounded tense.
“I’m directly to your right.” I reached out blindly toward where I had last seen him.
I felt his hand brush against my bosom before it grasped my arm.
It sounded like he was trying not to laugh as he whispered, “Sorry!”
I knew it had been an honest accident but I felt myself blushing as I pulled my go bag around so I could dig my flashlights out.
“Here,” I tapped one of the flashlights against his hand and he took it. I swung my bag back around, the other flashlight in my hand.
I felt breath on the back of my neck; my heart constricted and goosebumps rose all up and down my arms. This breath was cold and it reeked of rotting flesh. I whirled around and smashed my flashlight against its face before tripping on Norman’s shoe. I fell against the railing, my right foot slipped off the edge of the top stair and I tumbled down a few more before coming to a stop on my back a few feet below. My flashlight rolled down to the landing and flickered on spreading an eerie light up the wall.
I couldn’t breathe and my ankle was throbbing.
“Sh*t! How do you turn this thing on?” Norman sounded frantic. “Eve?”
“Sh-,” I tried to instruct him. I pulled myself up a bit and tried again, “Sh-shake it.”
I saw the light above me and heard Norman growl as he stabbed his knife into the thing’s forehead.
I tried to get up and felt sharp pain stab through my ankle. I sucked a breath in through my teeth to keep from crying out. Tears pricked my eyes as I flopped back down.
I heard Norman’s feet on the stairs as he rushed down. He came into view on my left side.
He took hold of my hand.
“Are you okay? Are you hurt?” Concern was etched into his fine features. His stormy blue eyes were locked on to mine.
“It didn’t bite me.” I wanted that to be very clear. “I hurt my ankle when I fell. I don’t think I can walk on it.”
He looked down at my ankle and grimaced. I knew it had to be bad.
“It’s already swollen and dark. It looks awful.” He carefully lifted my leg by putting one hand under my calf and one under my heel.
“I’ll have to help you walk.” He decided after even the tiniest pressure on the joint made me wince.
“Norman, there’s no time for that! You need to get to Moira. I’ll only slow you down and put you in dang…” I didn’t get to finish my thought as he interrupted me.
“I am NOT leaving you behind! I have to make sure you get back to your little girl!” There was a finality to his words and I knew there would be no valid argument.
“I need a way to stabilize it. A splint or something. All I have is an ace bandage and some gauze in my first aid kit. Then maybe I can put some weight on it and I won’t be cumbersome to you.” I tried to pull my toes up which earned me a wave of hot pain that cascaded up my leg from my ankle.
“Hey!” Norman reached into his back pocket and pulled the map back out. “There’s a medical supplies closet just past the nurse’s station. Think there’s something there we could use?”
I shrugged and frowned at him. “I don’t think you should go in there by yourself.”
“Come here.” He helped me to my feet and guided me to the top of the stairs.
He had me sit against the wall, facing the door. He jogged back down the stairs and grabbed my flashlight.
“I’ll be right back, okay?” He pointed to my guns, “Keep those handy.”
I took them both out and rested them on my lap. “Be careful in there.”
He nodded then slipped through the door.
The silence in that darkened stairwell was deafening. As I waited, I kept having to fight back tears. I was worried that he would get hurt. I was worried that we wouldn’t get to Moira in time. I was worried that I would never see Michelle again. And what would I say to Mingus if his dad couldn’t come back to him? The longer I sat there, the greater those worries became.
At one point one of the walkers inadvertently leaned against the door which had failed to latch behind Norman. I took it and the four that followed down quickly. Their bodies kept the door wide open but I couldn’t move them.
So I trained my guns on the room and struggled against the panic that threatened to overtake me.
I saw a zombie fly backwards, an arrow embedded in its skull and breathed a sigh of relief as Norman came into view.
He shoved the mass of bodies out of the way and shut the door behind him. He showed me the stiff ankle brace and walking boot that he’d found in the supply closet as he knelt beside me.
He took the bandage from my kit and carefully wrapped my ankle first. Then he fitted the brace over that and finally the walking boot. He stood and reached down for my hands and helped me to my feet.
I took a tentative step and while there was still a great deal of pain, it was manageable . I nodded at him. “This will work.”
He reached into his pocket and withdrew a pill bottle. “Thought these might help, too.”
Vicodin. I’ve always hated taking narcotic drugs but if it would help me survive and ensure I could watch Norman’s back then I’d have to.
I downed two pills with water from my canteen and prepared to enter the wing.
The cardiac ward. Most of these people had at one point been someone’s grandparents, husbands, wives. Norman had single-handedly taken care of the majority of them. Bodies littered the floor as we made our way to the stair case that would take us to the sixth floor.
We were nearly there when a walker launched itself from behind a curtain and latched on to Norman’s arm. “Son of a…” He fell backwards, as it gnawed frantically at him.
I limped forward as quickly as I could and drove the blade of my hunting knife to the hilt into the base of its skull.
Norman was panting, his eyes wide. I took hold of his arm and pulled back his sleeve. I examined it carefully with my flashlight. There were indentations in his skin where the teeth had tried to penetrate but it remained unbroken.
“Thank God!” I whispered. “I guess you and Daryl don’t share the same luck when it comes to sleeves.”
“Ha!” He smiled and shook his head.
I helped him up and we walked over to the door that would lead to our Moira. He signaled with the walkie talkie that our wing was clear and we were heading up the final 3 flights.
“God, I hope she’s alright.” Norman breathed.
“Me too.” I answered as he opened the door and we began our ascent.
“While I was on the line with her something happened, it sounded like glass breaking and I think something grabbed her. I couldn’t make out much more before the line went dead.” Those words from Commander Flanery kept echoing in my head. My heart was beating a bit fast, I admit, I was scared. Scared for all of us, for a split second I questioned if we could make it in time and even if we did, would we make it back out? I know I shouldn’t think about stuff like that, we had made it this far. But what if we were too late? What had grabbed our girl? I shake my head, “No” I said to myself, I couldn’t think that way. Moira was counting on us and we were going to get her to safety, no questions asked.
Michael and I had broken away from the group and were now making our way through the 5th floor. I was leading, my katana was quieter than Micheal’s HK417 chambered 7.62 millimeter. We were entering the Burn Unit, so the mix of burnt and rotting flesh attacked my nose, I choke a bit. I could hear the faint gunshots of the others as mine and Micheal’s boots stomped along the dingy floor.
I feel Micheal’s arm come around my waist and pull me back into a dark corner. I look over my shoulder and see him put a finger to his lips. He points over my shoulder, towards five walkers shambling down a near by hallway. He motions for me to take the two on the left, he would get the three on the right. I nod and on three we charge from the hallway, running towards the walkers.
I thrust one of my Katana’s forward, running it through both walkers, pinning them to the wall. They growl, claw and snap at me. They must have been burn victims, judging by the singed flesh hanging from their bodies. Without a second thought I run the blade of my second katana through their heads. I cring a bit, but I knew it had to be done.
I let the bodies hit the floor before pulling my blades from them. I shake the blood from my blades as Michael drops the last walker with a shot to the head. We both look at each other and nod, I admit, I felt safer knowing Michael had my back.
“You ok, Kid?” Michael asks.
“Yeah.” I say softly.
“Let’s move out.” He says.
I nod, Michael was now leading the way, back down the hallway. That’s when I heard it, growling and shuffling. I lift my head to see Michael and I surrounded by walkers. Ever direction, there was a drooling, rotting mouth snapping at me. We couldn’t go back down the hallway, we’d be trapped. I mumble a few curse words and press my back up against Micheal’s. He looks over his shoulder at me.
“Ain’t afraid of these bone heads are ya?” He said.
“Of course not.” I say.
“Good.” He says.
He fires his gun, I swing my katana, sending flesh and blood splattering everywhere. One walker tried to snap at me, just as he did I rammed my katana blade into it’s throat. I swing the other, decapitating another walker. It seemed like there were more coming. For every one that dropped, two more came in it’s place. I kept telling myself, think of Moira. She needed us and no walkers were going to stop me from getting to her.
Micheal’s gun shots echo, silencing the skin, heads and blood splattering around us. My clothes were wet with walker blood, but it didn’t matter right now, I’d swim an ocean full if I had to to save Moira. Michael and I continue cutting a blood soaked path to the stairway. We were almost at the end, one more floor and we’d meet up with the others.
Of course, with my luck, I feel an arm grab me. I thought it was Michael, until I felt blood trickle down my arm. “CRAP!” I thought trying to jerk my hand away. I didn’t know if I was bit or not. I didn’t feel any pain, but that could be my body running on adrenaline. I jerk my hand away, the forcing causing me to drop one of my katana’s. I feel something grab my ankle, before I knew it I was being pulled down, my head smacking hard against the floor. I knew I was mumbling words that rhymed with duck, I couldn’t help it.
I felt myself getting dizzy, but I knew I had to get up. On the floor was the worst position I could be in with a horde of walkers. I roll over, kicking at the walker who was trying to bite my leg. My head was killing me, felt like it may fall off my neck and roll away.
I manage to grab my other katana and swing it up, slicing through the abdomen of a walker, cringing as blood and gore spilled onto my jeans and down my arm. I heard Michael yell “Kid! Get up!” but I was struggling. I hard Michael take a few more shots, then feel him, at least I hoped it was him, grab me by the ankle. Before I knew it, I was being dragged towards the door. I manage to grab the pistol form the waist of my pants and fire at a few walkers that were behind us, nailing them in the head.
Michael drags me, leaving carnage behind us. I feel him stop, quickly grab my by the wrist and pull me to my feet. Michael and I both turn, shooting the last four remaining walkers as we back out the door leading to the stairwell. Michael slams the door shut and I lean back against it to catch my breath. If this were a cartoon, my heart would be beating three feet out of my chest.
Michael looks at me, I now realize why he was looking, I feel the warm liquid running down the side of my face. I touch the side of my head, I flinch. “Sh*t” I say, Michael shines his flashlight in my face, checking out the wound. He fishes in his back pocket, pulling out a black and red bandana. He wipes the blood off my face and inspects the cut, which was on the right side of my head right along my hairline.
“Damn kid, they got ya good. You didn’t git bit nowhere, did ya?” He asks.
“No, I’m pretty sure I didn’t.” I say.
Michael nods, wrapping the bandana around my head to protect the cut. He asks me how many fingers he was holding up, what my name was, who he was. Once he was satisfied with my answers he steps back. I regroup myself, shaking off the dizzy spell. I try and ignore the pain in my head, and get ready to charge up the steps with Michael.I reach for my walkie talkie first, needed to give a status report.
“Team Rooker, just left the burn unit. Squirrel!!” I say.
“Good, Eve and I are on our way up. All’s clear on our end.” Commander Reedus comes across.
“All’s squirrelly over here” I hear Em respond.
“Squirrel!!” Jessica now comes across.
“Alright then, everyone, let’s get our behinds up to that floor and get out girl. FOR MOIRA!!” I yell.
Michael and I charge the steps, I pushed myself onward, I had no choice. Even as the pain in my head increased, Michael kept telling me to move my butt. Once we reach the top of the stairs we look at each and procceed to kick the doors open.
Jessica’s POV (With Rebecca)
Rebecca, Luna, and I slowly started making our way toward the hallway directly in front of us. Rebecca was a new recruit in the Red Brigade of the Zombie Survival Crew. She was incredibly grateful that her machete had arrived in time for this rescue mission. She had ordered a special-made Billhook Machete and was also brandishing her desert eagle with silencer. I was carrying my cast iron skillet and a sword that I’d had made, and also a gun with a silencer. Luna had her unmatched keen senses of smell, hearing and sight even in the dark, and of course, her fangs and powerful bite! We were making our way down the hall when all of the sudden Luna stopped in her tracks and let out a soft growl.
“Jess, I see something down there in the hall.” Rebecca said, tightening her grip on her machete.
I squinted my eyes and I could make out a dark figure that was, what looked like kneeling, over another dark figure. We inched closer and I could hear the sounds of slurping and crunching. This was definitely a walker enjoying a meal.
“I got this.” Rebecca said as she moved forward.
As she approached the walker, it lifted its head up and smelled the air. Before it could even turn around, I heard the machete swing through the air, and then I heard the thud of the walkers head as it smacked against the wall. I moved closer and Rebecca smiled and said, “Four!”.
“I’d say that would have been a hole in one, right there.” I joked. Surprisingly that was the only walker that we saw in that hallway. We made it to a set of stairs.
“Rebecca and Jess, squirrel, and we are at the stairs.” I paused for a minute.
Something just didn’t feel right about how quickly we had gotten to the stairs, we had one run in with a walker, and that was it? “We are heading up.” I put the walkie talkie back in my pocket and Rebecca, Luna and I started making our way up the stairs. I just had this horrible feeling that we were about to encounter something horrible…I mean how could we have gotten to the stairs so fast? There had to be a reason why there weren’t more walkers scavenging for food around here. We made it to the top of the stairs and started walking down the hallway. We came to a door, and we pushed it open and walked through. We both froze.
“Oh my God”, Rebecca said.
I felt my eyes stinging with tears and I knew that there was no way I was going to be able to keep them from pouring down my face. Rebecca and I embraced one another and were both sobbing quietly. Then we heard a very soft and very tiny snarl.
We pulled away from each other and the tears fell even harder as we moved toward the sound. There it was, in an incubator. It probably wasn’t even a week old when it had been bitten. It was missing its whole left arm and part of its face had been scratched off. It snarled as loudly as it could which was barely louder than a whisper. Rebecca and I looked at each other with tear filled eyes and we knew what we had to do, but it was heart breaking. I lifted up my cast iron skillet over its tiny body and as I was about to bring it down to end its suffering we heard more tiny snarls. My heart shattered and I fell to my knees and wept. Rebecca crouched down and we tried to comfort each other, but it was the most heart wrenching thing we had ever witnessed.
Rebecca pulled me back to my feet and we looked around the room that was now filled with tiny growls and snarls. There were probably 20 infant walkers in incubators. Helplessly they all reached up hoping for something to satisfy their longing. Rebecca and I looked each other in the eyes and said at the same time, “They are not alive.” Almost as if we could read the other’s mind, we looked around the room, and knew what needed to be done. We had to end their suffering. I lifted my cast iron skillet over the first one we had come up to, and with the tears falling down my face, I brought it down. I heard and felt the sound of the skillet crushing the tiny body. Then I moved over the next incubator. Rebecca watched with tears flowing and then she stepped toward a snarling little body. She pulled up her machete and brought it down and ended its suffering. Our crying never ceased as we made our ways around the room, and before we knew it the room was silent. My hands were trembling as I looked around the room at the mangled and cut up bodies.
“We had to do it, Jess” Rebecca said, tears still flowing down her cheeks.
“I know, but…” my voice trailed off, and we heard a noise coming from the hallway.
We wiped the tears from our eyes and moved slowly toward the door that led to the hall. We pressed against the doors to listen and heard the shuffling of feet. Slowly I pulled the door open, and Rebecca, Luna and I slipped through into the hall. We stayed against the wall and moved slowly down the hall. I felt something grab and pull my leg, and I fell to the floor hard.
“Oh, crap!” I said as I felt a sharp pain in my side. I had fallen right onto my sword and it impaled me.
“Luna get it!” I said as I tried to kick at what was holding onto my leg. I heard Luna snarling and growling as she attacked my attacker. She bit into it and I could hear the flesh tearing. Then I heard the sickening crunch as her teeth bit down on its rotting skull, and the grip was released from my leg.
“Jess! Oh my gosh, are you ok?” Rebecca knelt down beside me.
“Yeah, just kinda stabbed myself.” I said feeling like a fool.
Rebecca reached into my backpack and found some first aid items to mend my wound.
“You’re going to have to do it.” I said.
Rebecca’s eyes widened as she looked at me, and she knew what I meant by that. I needed her to pull the sword out of my side. “Bite down on this” she said as she handed me a towel from my bag. I closed my eyes tightly as I felt her grip the handle of the sword. I pictured Moira. I saw her fighting off walkers. I saw her trapped in a room, with little to no provisions. I felt anger build up in me, I felt fear for her safety, and I felt no pain as Rebecca pulled the sword from my side. Rebecca quickly bandaged me up and helped me to my feet. We pressed on and came to some more stairs. I pulled the walkie talkie out of my pocket, “This is Rebecca and Jess, squirrel, and we are about to head up another set of stairs.”
I turned my flashlight on for a second to read the sign that was posted by the stairs.
It said: “Take these stairs to get to the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th floors.” I left my flashlight shining on the words “6th floors”. I looked at Rebecca and she looked back at me.
“You ready for this?” I asked already knowing the answer.
“Hell yeah, I am!” she responded “Are you?”
“Here we come, Moira, here we come!” I said and we started up the long flight of stairs to the 6th floor.
Emma’s POV (With Apryl)
Excitement, apprehension, determination, and adrenaline flowed through each of us as we moved slowly through the darkened hospital. I tried to steady my frayed nerves and ordered myself to get a grip. The ability to think under the most pressing and overwhelming of situations was a specialty of the Purple Brigade, and I would have to be on top of my game for this mission. Even if I had forgotten my go-bag in my haste to get to the hotel. Luckily, Jess had remembered hers and so I had been able to receive a bit more information from the Purple Brigade leader, the Oracle.
No one had been able to give an exact number of how many walkers there were, but, going from what little information had been gathered, there were rumored to be ‘a lot.’ The situation wasn’t looking good. The walkers had easy prey in a hospital, and since there were no reports of anyone making it out alive…the situation was really beginning to become less and less appealing. Not to mention there had been a day or two of delay, waiting for everyone to arrive. The reason being an increase in walker activity, making progress difficult and dangerous. That didn’t matter now, though. We were all together, and what’s more, we had made it into the hospital. Another encouraging factor in our favor was the fact that we had two of the best walker killers out there: Blue Brigade Leader Norman Reedus and the Leader of Special Forces, Michael Rooker. With them leading us, the situation was a lot more encouraging. Still, Norman and Michael had made it clear that we had to move as fast as we could. Each wasted moment brought Moira closer to danger, and there were so many questions that none of us could answer that made the matter all the more pressing. Was she all right? Was she still in ward six? Was she hurt? If she was, how bad? Were there other survivors with her? Was she alone? Or-and we all shuddered at this thought and refused to voice it aloud-was she bitten?
I shook my head, clearing these thoughts from my mind. There was no point in thinking all of this, I told myself. I just had to make sure we got the first level clear before we could really begin looking for Moira. To be honest, I was incredibly nervous about all of this. Out of the whole group I was probably the newest and greenest when it came to this sort of thing. Sure, I had had plenty of tussles with walkers before, but nothing of this magnitude. Michael and Norman alone had dispatched eight walkers apiece almost as soon as we had entered the hospital. Frankly, in terms of how skilled I was in combat, I was probably lower than Luna, Jess’s zombie-killing dog. Still, if need be, I could hold my own. All the same, however, I was glad I was paired with Apryl. The woman was an impressive fighter, and could wield those Desert Eagles like no one’s business. She had made that clear when she had taken out a walker reaching for Norman by firing an impressive shot right over his shoulder and directly into its head.
I tightened my grip on my full Tang 440, twenty-inch blade. At least I was fairly decent with it. It was light, agile, easy to swing, and razor-sharp. I could get a few good hits with it, I was certain.
There was no way we were getting in and out without a fight. Our entrance alone had made that quite clear. As we made our way slowly down the wide, eerily quiet corridor, all of us kept our eyes and ears peeled for any sign of the walkers. Luckily, it looked like our little welcoming committee that we had just taken out were the only ones in this ward. Michael, walking slightly ahead of Tiffany, me, and Apryl suddenly stopped and raised his hand. We all stopped obediently, eyes riveted on him. Michael turned around, lifting his H&K 417 to his shoulder and standing at ease. We had split apart from Norman, Eve, Jess and Luna, and Rebecca after clearing out the first walkers to keep from getting in each other’s way. There wasn’t enough room for large groups to go moving around too quickly, and if we got into a fight, it would be difficult to get a clear shot without injuring a teammate, so Norman’s team would take the east wing, we would take the west wing and clear out as many walkers as possible in our search for a way up to the sixth ward.
“All right people,” he whispered, loud enough for us to hear but quiet enough to keep any nearby walker from hearing us, “you all know what to do. You still have your walkie-talkies, so don’t forget to keep us informed as to where you are. We can’t help you if you get pinned down by walkers and we don’t know where you are, and we’re not going to go running all over the hospital looking for you when we’re trying to find Moira, got it?”
We all nodded. We had gone over all this in detail back at the hotel, but it did help to have a reminder. He looked each of us in the eye, and I held his gaze, drawing encouragement from his determination. The transformation that had come over all of us was sobering. Usually all of us women were light-hearted and cheerful, especially amongst each other, but now we were all dead serious and focused. Even Michael, normally a jovial, joking personality had transformed into the grim, focused man standing before us. And Norman, the gentle, quiet one, had had his brow knit in worry and he had been holding his crossbow incredibly tightly the last time I had seen him. Finally Michael gave a satisfied nod.
“All right, people,” he said, a slight smirk coming to his face, “let’s go get her. Just remember to watch your partner’s back, and if one of you gets bit…well, you know what to do.”
I swallowed and glanced at Apryl, who nodded to Michael. I knew that if Apryl got bitten, I would have to put her down, but I wasn’t sure if I could bring myself to do it.
‘Cross that bridge if you come to it.’ I told myself.
“Take out any walker you see as quietly as you can, if it’s in your way.” Michael whispered, lowering his weapon again, “And don’t forget, we’re headed for the sixth floor, ward six. If you find her before the rest of us, let us know and we’ll hurry up there.”
We all nodded again.
“Okay, Tiffany,” he motioned to her, “you’re with me. Everyone else, you know who your partners are and you know where to go.”
Immediately everyone began to split off into their respective groups: Michael and Tiffany, and Apryl and me. But as we started to move apart, spreading out, our phones suddenly crackled to life and we all stopped short, looking at each other, then hurriedly each of us scrambled to answer. There was only one possible explanation for all of the phones going off at once: news from HQ. The ZSC had managed to set up a fairly stable system of communication that allowed a single call to be made to up to sixteen people, so I had no doubt that Norman’s crew were receiving the same call.
“You have Rooker, Tiffany, Apryl and Emma,” Michael said into his phone, “go ahead.”
“And you have Norman, Eve, Jess and Rebecca. Go ahead.” Norman’s voice came in over the phone, quiet and stealthy, and slightly distorted with static, but still audible.
“Rescue team, this is Yellow First Lieutenant Sean Patrick Flanery.”
Each of us looked sharply at each other. A sense of foreboding settled itself into the pit of my stomach but I tried not to give in to it.
“We’re reading you, Flanery,” Rooker said, “go ahead, what’s the problem?”
“ZSC HQ just received a call from Moira.” Sean responded, and I felt my breath suddenly cut itself off. Moira had called?!? She was alive! She was all right!
“Moira contacted HQ?” Norman asked, sounding as relieved as I felt, “Is she all right?”
“I don’t know.” Sean said, I could hear the tenseness in his voice, which made me worried. He wasn’t one to get worried easily. Something had happened. Something not good.
“What happened?” Rooker asked, “Is she in a secure location?”
“She said she was, but now I’m not so sure. While I was on the line with her something happened, it sounded like glass breaking and I think something grabbed her. I couldn’t make out much more before the line went dead.”
I felt the blood drain from my face and I struggled to not let my hand tremble as I held the phone. No one said a word. Finally Norman spoke, softly, but determinedly.
“We’re going after her, anyway.” He said, “Did she give you a position?”
“She said she was still on the sixth floor, and she said the only way up was the stairs.”
We all looked at each other, and in the darkness I could tell Michael had that set, determined look in his face. He was filled with the same resolve as Norman. A resolve we all shared now.
“Then we’re taking the stairs.” Michael said, “Can you give us any more info?
“Sorry, that’s all I got before the line went dead.” He answered.
A heavy silence followed. ‘Wish he hadn’t said the word dead.’ I thought, and I think he realized the poor choice as well because he took a deep breath.
“You guys hurry,” he said, “we can’t afford to lose much time on this. Stay safe. Flanery out.”
He hung up and we all slid our phones back into our pockets.
“The plan hasn’t changed, folks,” Rooker said, “it just got made a lot more urgent. You get your tails up to the sixth floor as fast as possible, you got it?”
We all nodded.
“Then get going,” he said, “and good luck.”
Once again, we all split up and hurried off in different directions while I conjured up in my mind the map of the hospital Jess had given us. The nearest stairwell that laid to the west was just beyond the critical care ward, through another hall, then we would bank to the right and there would be one at the end of that hallway. Apryl unsheathed her hunting knife and I readied my blade as we fell into step beside each other, both of us periodically looking over our shoulders just to be sure there were no other unexpected visitors.
So far so good.
Both of us jumped when our walkie-talkies suddenly came to life and Norman’s voice quietly murmured: “Norman and Eve, entering east wing.”
The fact that he didn’t give an all clear sign made me worried and I looked at Apryl, frowning in apprehension. I swallowed. I suppose they were in the same boat as Apryl and I, though. The power had gone out in the building, and because of the thick clouds outside and the fact that dusk had long been settled, very little light illuminated our path. The darkened offices and hospital rooms we passed were nearly pitch-black. We watched them closely as we passed, ready to strike if we saw any movement or heard any moaning. The sickly gray light made everything feel that much more eerie and tense. There were darks smears of blood on the walls and on the floor. I could dimly make out what looked like dismembered limbs, littered across the cold marble floor, and occasionally I spotted a shredded corpse.
Whenever Apryl and I spotted one, we were always careful to make sure it wasn’t one of the turned, but luckily the corpses in the corridor had been feasted upon by the walkers that had attacked us upon our entrance, so there was no chance of them rising again. They were gone. I was a bit taken aback by how this sight didn’t appall me as it had the first time I had witnessed such a horrible sight. Was this the way things were now? This kind of violence was just commonplace? The dead regenerating was the norm?
Undoubtedly. This was what the world was now. And-I couldn’t help but shudder at this thought-what was around us, this eerie quiet, this sense of foreboding, this feeling of apprehension, of being hunted, this was the future. Unless, of course we could stop the outbreaks. That was what the Purple Brigade was working on. If Jess and I could make it out of this alive, we would have a good field report to make back to The Oracle. We might even be able to get started trying to figure out how the outbreak had started.
‘One step at a time.’ I reminded myself. Moira was our top priority now.
We reached the doors to the critical care ward and paused, listening to the hall that lay beyond it. We couldn’t hear anything, so Apryl looked at me and made a motion that asked me if I was ready.
I nodded, tightening my grip on my blade. She held up one finger and raised one of her Desert Eagles (she had fitted them both with suppressors at the hotel), and switched the safety off. Two. I grabbed the door handle and tensed. Three. I jerked the door open and we both rushed into the critical ward, and I could sense that even Apryl was taken aback by what we saw.
We had both been through a lot, and I had fancied that my ability to not be recoiled by putrid, rotting filth had been significantly increased since this whole thing had started. But I felt my stomach churn at the sight before us.
I had never seen such carnage before. Ever. Blood, guts, flesh, it was all caked on the walls and floor, and strips of what I didn’t care to know hung from the ceiling.
Blood was dripping from the ceiling tiles as well. Because the lights were gone, except for a single light-bulb at the end of the hall that flickered and refused to completely die, the emergency exit lighting glowed red, making the whole place seem to be nothing but blood. The stench was unbearable. The smell of rotten flesh, of death, wafted through the air and I wrinkled my noise in disdain, swallowing to keep my stomach under control.
“Oh, man.” Apryl muttered quietly.
Bodies of patients and doctors alike littered the floor, most torn apart, their intestines strewn across the cold floor, their muscles and organs exposed. Through it all waded fourteen walkers.
The one closest to us, missing an arm and an eye, lifted its head and looked at us, a guttural hiss emitting from its disfigured face. The others all turned to look at us too. Their soulless, lifeless eyes bored straight through us, the unnatural glint of an insatiable hunger glinting in their eyes as they spotted new prey.
Apryl nodded. Together, we rushed the walkers. She took down the one missing an arm with a clean shot through the head, while I swung my sword through the neck of what had been a doctor.
His body crumpled, but his head was still clacking its jaws together as it tried to get a bite of my boot. I stomped down, feeling the sickening crunch of bones being snapped, and then turned my attention back to the walkers as Apryl felled two more as they approached. I took down two patients and a nurse as Apryl marched forward, duel wielding her Desert Eagles now, putting a walker down with each shot. She took down four more. I got another two, but as I was sweeping my arm back from a stroke, I lost my footing on the slick, blood-covered floor and stumbled against a walker. It grabbed hold of my arms and growled, preventing me from being able to raise my sword and I quickly tried to jerk free, but it wasn’t letting go of its food so easily. I pulled against it, harder this time, trying to kick myself free at the same time. It wasn’t working.
“Down!” Apryl barked and I obediently lowered my head as the walker spread its mouth wide and came at my face.
Blood and bone fragments splattered all over my face as the walker suddenly dropped, shot through the head. There was no time to wipe my face or thank Apryl. I quickly drove my blade into the face of another nurse and then pulled it free and spun, sword outstretched, and swiped off the head of another’s head. I stood panting as the sliced head fell off of the walker’s body. That had been a close call. Very close. I turned to Apryl, shaken, but alive.
“Thanks.” I said, wiping the blood off. “Are you okay?” She nodded, but looked me over worriedly as she approached.
“Are you?” she asked, and I nodded.
No bites on either of us, but that close call had put me on edge. I had to step up my game if I was going to get through this. There were a lot more walkers to deal with and I couldn’t let such an amateurish mistake put the both of us in jeopardy. Doing that would take away a significant chance of getting Moira to safety. Apryl gave a sigh of relief and pulled me into a hug.
“You had me worried there for a sec,” she said, patting me in a motherly way, “but you did good.”
“You’re not so bad, yourself.” I said with a laugh, squeezing her affectionately, and then pulling back.
I looked down at the walkers we had just put down and then heard Apryl take out her walkie-talkie and speak into it.
“Apryl and Emma,” she said, “in the critical ward. Squirrel.”
We grinned at each other and then turned back down the hall and hurried down it. Some of my confidence was restored, and as we made our way down the corridor, the other teams continued to check in, and not one had given the ‘Oreo’ alert, much to my relief. I kept reassuring myself that we would find Moira, and she would be fine, but at the same time I was still worried about her. That had been a lot of walkers back there, and if there were even more in the main entrance…
‘You’re not going to the main entrance.’ I reminded myself, ‘You’re going to the stairwell, so don’t worry.’
This was the last time I would let my worry get to me, I determined, and stepped up the pace, turning the corner to go down the next hallway. As I rounded the corner, without missing a beat, I swung my sword through the head of a walker that had been making its slow way towards us. There were more walkers in this hallway, but not as many as had been in the previous one, so I let Apryl handle it and instead pictured in my mind the layout of the hospital once again, placing our teams in the wards and corridors they had last radioed in from. We were all still on the first floor, but judging from where Jess, Luna, and Rebecca had last radioed in from, they were fast moving up. Good, that was good, we were making headway.
I sped up as Apryl finished putting down the walkers and we both bolted for the door to the stairwell, trying to run as quietly as possible.
We paused by the door, listening, and we heard slow shuffling, so I nodded to Apryl and she stepped up to the door. She gave a quick, powerful kick and the door slammed back, straight into two walkers that had been shambling around in the dark. While they were dazed, she unsheathed her knife and took them out. They had been patients. Young patients, not much older than me from the looks of them, and I swallowed. The poor things. They hadn’t seen it coming. No one had. It was pitiful, really, how unprepared some people were.
“Apryl and Emma, entering a stairwell. Squirrel so far, we’re going up.” Apryl said into her walkie-talkie.
We looked at each other and I took a deep breath before looking up. It looked like there was some debris blocking most of the doors, so we would be doing a bit of climbing to get over it, but it wasn’t anything we couldn’t handle.
We started up the stairs and I prayed the dim light we had would last a little longer. It was settling rapidly into night, and trying to spot a walker in the dark would make the going that much slower. It wasn’t a good idea, heading out this close to nighttime, in fact it technically was night. Walker activity always picked up at night, but we had already lost so much time that as soon as Michael and Norman had put together a plan we had left.
“Michael and Tiffany,” Michael’s voice came through the walkie-talkie, “squirrel. We’re heading up.”
Good. We wouldn’t be alone.
I conjured up the map of the hospital in my mind. They were in the next ward over, so, depending on how fast we could move, we might meet up at the same time. After a few minutes, Norman and Eve radioed in the same thing, and Jess and Rebecca had already radioed in that they were headed up a little while ago, while Apryl had been dealing with the walkers. The higher we climbed, the darker it became, and soon we were in almost complete darkness. Night had decisively fallen.
“We can work around this.” I murmured to Apryl as I heard her stumble over a piece of debris.
We were having to slow our pace down. “We’re to the third floor I think, so we’re half way there.”
“I’m all right,” she said as I felt her recover and match my pace, “it’s just annoying. We need to move faster. I’m worried sick about Moira.”
“I know,” I answered, trying to see her in the darkness, “I think we could try and go a little-”
I was cut off when something suddenly grabbed my leg and a growl emitted in the darkness. I gave a startled yelp and fell back, banging my head against a stair.
“What?” Apryl called out, “Where is it?”
I was still dazed and could feel the walker tugging on my leg. “Left leg!” I called out, trying to pull free from its grip, and surprisingly, my leg lifted it up, so it was a small walker, at least.
Apryl rushed over and lashed out with her knife, but missed, and slashed my leg. I clenched my teeth to keep from crying out as I felt the skin split apart and instead I reached for my own knife.
“I got it!” I told her, and slammed my leg back down.
The walker growled but let go as I heard its skin smack against the floor and I unsheathed my knife and drove it into its head.
“Are you okay?” Apryl asked, rushing to my side.
“Y-Yeah,” I assured her, wincing at the stinging pain in my leg and covering the wound with my hand, “I’m okay. Could you reach into my bag and get out the bandages? I think you cut me.”
She quickly obeyed and I wrapped it around the wound as best as I could, hoping that the scent wouldn’t alert any walkers or leave a trail for them to follow. I pulled out my flashlight and flipped it on to take a quick look at the walker, to make sure it was dead.
“Oh my-” Apryl breathed and I stared at what was lying on the stair, black blood oozing from the wound I had left in its head.
It was a toddler. Or, had been a toddler. Its neck had a gaping hole in it, and part of its leg bore the marks of having been chewed on. It had been a little girl, with pretty, long brunette hair that was now caked with blood. Her little hands were dirty and covered in blood as well and I felt myself starting to choke up so I quickly turned off the flashlight. Neither Apryl nor I spoke for several minutes, and then, mutely, she reached down and helped me back to my feet. We started back up the stairs, now on full alert. She tried to get me to lean on her, which was very sweet, but I assured her I could walk just fine, and so we continued mounting the stairs.
“Are you sure you’re okay?” she asked as we neared the top, and I nodded in the darkness.
“I didn’t get bitten,” I said, “so no worries there. I just hope this doesn’t attract any walkers. I don’t think I’m bleeding out too much though.”
“I’m really sorry about that.” I patted her on the shoulder, smiling.
“I’m just glad you have my back, you reacted really quick, that’s good. You did your job, and that’s all I can ask of you. I’m surprised you came that close to it, it’s so hard to see in here.”
“I need to be more careful.” She said, still sounding disappointed in herself, and I laughed. I couldn’t help it, she was so sweet.
“You did fine.” I assured her, “I’m not in any pain, so don’t feel bad.”
We finally made it up to the sixth floor and approached the door, relieved, but wary. Doubtless there would be a lot more walkers on the other side, so we both unsheathed and slid our weapons out of their holsters in preparation.
Apryl went first, and since I couldn’t see if she was counting down or not, I waited expectantly for her to open the door. There was an odd sound as she yanked on it, and then she gave a sort of chuckle and whispered; “You have to push it open.”
I laughed a little at this as well, and then waited for her to push it open, but something was wrong. I could hear her grunting as she shoved against it as hard as she could, but the door wasn’t opening.
“Give me a hand.” She whispered, and I obediently went over and shoved against it with her. It was no use, the door wouldn’t budge.
“Oh you have go to be kidding me!” she growled, annoyed, and I gave a grunt. I wasn’t much happier about the situation, either.
“I guess they locked it,” I said, “or barricaded it. We’ll have to go back down and try the fifth floor.”
“Such a waste of time.” Apryl said as we started back down. I nodded, not that she could see me, but she had expressed my sentiments exactly. If this door was barricaded, I was worried the fifth floor door would be the same way. Really I was worried we’d end up having to double back and find another stairwell, which would cost us a lot of time. Time we didn’t have.
Both Apryl and I rushed back down to the fifth floor door and tried it. It too, was barricaded, but it gave way a little as Apryl leant against it, so I helped her and together we shoved against it as hard as we could.
After shoving and grunting for several minutes, we managed to push the door open wide enough to squeeze through and we found ourselves in a ward. For a moment, I thought we were alone, and had somehow stumbled across an area that didn’t have any walkers, but just as Apryl started to reach for her walkie-talkie, we heard it. A sickly groan came from one of the rooms and slowly, a walker in a hospital gown emerged, staring at us. Apryl started to go for it, nonplussed, but I caught her arm and stopped her as more walkers started to emerge from the other rooms. Their moans grew steadily louder as more and more began to issue forth. I swallowed and frowned. We had expected something like this, and now that I was finally faced with it, it wasn’t as bad as dreading it, and I found myself more annoyed with them than afraid.
“We’ve got this.” Apryl murmured, raising her two Desert Eagles while I unsheathed my blade.
The thought that one of these things might be trying to get to Moira filled me with disgust and anger.
‘We’re coming,’ I thought, ‘we’re coming, Moira. Just sit tight. We have a slight problem to get through.’
“You take the left side, I’ll get the right, okay?” Apryl said, and I nodded, then we both rushed forward, Walkers falling with every bullet Apryl fired, and with every swing of my blade.
We’re not going to let these things stop us. They’ve taken enough from us already: our families, our homes, and our security. We’re not about to let them take Moira, too.
ZSC Communications log: Updated status on Moira
OFFICIAL ZSC COMMAND COMMUNICATIONS RECORD
First Lieutenant SEAN FLANERY/Yellow Brigade
MOIRA JONES/Blue Brigade
Signal Acquired - 22:14
FLANERY: ZSC Command. First Lieutenant Flanery. State your name and brigade.
JONES: Oh my gosh IT WORKS!!! THE PHONE WORKS!!!
FLANERY: Name and brigade?
FLANERY: Hello? I can’t hear you.
JONES: …me! It’s Moira!!!
FLANERY: MOIRA? Thank god. Are you alright?
JONES: I think so. I need your help!
FLANERY: Commander Reedus and Rooker have already put together a retrieval team. They’re on the way.They should be to you soon. Just hang on.
FLANERY: Moira? Are you OK?
FLANERY: Have you been bitten or scratched?
JONES: No, but
FLANERY: Say again?
JONES: I said I’m scared.
FLANERY: Oh kid. That’s OK. Hell, if you weren’t scared I’d be worried about you.
JONES: I wish Donut was here.
FLANERY: She says stay Dixon strong.
JONES: Will you stay on the phone with me until the rescue team gets here?
FLANERY: Of course I will. We just need to make sure you’re as safe as possible. Are you in a contained space? Can the walkers get to you?
JONES: I don’t think so. The only way up to the sixth floor now is the stairs, and I blocked the door. I don’t think they can get through.
FLANERY: Good. Now what we need to do next is
JONES: Oh no.
FLANERY: Oh no what?
FLANERY: Moira? Are you still there?
JONES: LET GO OF ME!!
Loss of Signal - 22:30
END OF RECORD
Mission: Rescue Moira- Part 1
Rescue one Moira Jones from 6th floor of over run hospital.
Search for and rescue Moira Jones and bring to saftey.
Rendezvous with fellow members of the ZSC and use skill sets to bring Moira Jones to safety.
Those Involved In Rescue Mission:
Norman Reedus – Moira’s Brigade Commander. The one who sent out Moira’s message in hopes of gathering reinforcements.
Michael Rooker – Head of Special Forces.
Rebecca, Jessica, Emma, Eve, Tiffany and Apryl – A ragtag group of ZSC members from different brigades that are going to come together to ensure Moira is rescued and brought to safety.
I sit perched in an old chair inside an abandoned house. The cold evening air howled, it was raining and the roof of this house was leaking. I sit facing the boarded up door, a black handled katana, with an eleven inch blade sits on my lap, I have another within my reach. My eyes were tired, my long black hair was matted and dirty. I tap the toe of my heavy black leather boot on the floor as I stare at the door. I wasn’t expecting company, but I was gonna make sure I was ready should someone decide to “drop by.” I was dressed in all black, and wrapped up in my long black leather duster jacket. I was well hidden in the shadows, ready to pounce.
I’m a member of the ZSC Orange Brigade, we are the ones one step ahead. We are the oddballs lurking in the shadows, the ones you are unable to read because we are so full of surprises. We’re the thinkers, the ones who plan ahead, ready for anything. I’ve perfected moving without being seen, it’s how I stayed alive the day the world went crazy and the dead started walking. It was a normal day, I remember it like it was yesterday. I was restocking my go bag, you know, just in case. I was home alone when I spotted my neighbor, Ms. Newman wondering around my backyard. She looked beat up, bloody, and lost. I rushed outside to her side, when she turned around reality slapped me in the face. She was a walker. I thought maybe I was dreaming, maybe I was seeing things. I was prepared for this, which is why when Ms. Newman lunged for me I grabbed a near by shovel and disposed of her.
I ran for my house and went for my phone. Sure enough there was an alert, D-Day was here. I was quick to react, contacting my fellow brigade members and my brigade buddy, I told them I was here and alive and I was going to make my way to a designated location. So here I am now, slowly trying to make my way to a safe zone. I was cut off by a horde of walkers right outside of the city. They chased me to my present location and here is where I wait till I can be sure it’s safe. I reach for my go bag, I pull out a fruit and nut bar and quietly eat while I sit.
I have been able to contact others from others brigades. Eve, Rebecca, Em, Jessica and Apryl. Sure they are from different brigades, but we are all fighting for the same cause. My phone echoes through darkness and I’m quick to grab it, I hit buttons and see it’s a message from my first lieutenant David Della Rocco. He got an urgent message from Blue Commander, Norman Reedus requesting help in rescuing one Moira Jones, she was trapped in a hospital over run by walkers. Norman was trying to rally brigade members for this mission, but was unable to contact some. He had reached out to his good friend Rocco for help. Moira didn’t have much time, she was low on resources and needed our help ASAP.
I let Rocco know I was on my way and I’m going to bring reinforcements. I get to my feet and hurry to collect my supplies, holster my swords to my back. I look over my shoulder and motion to someone. From the shadows steps another ZSC member, Apryl. I met her right inside the city, she was running from a walker and she is the one who found the house. She too was dressed in all black with a matching black duster jacket. I felt a connection to this girl, we were both oddballs, which made things perfect because we seemed to be able to fend off the horde as one cohesive unit.
“Moira’s in trouble, she’s trapped on the sixth floor of the hospital and it’s been over run by walkers. She’s running low on supplies, we have to help her, she doesn’t have much time!” I tell her
Apryl nods and pulls out two desert eagles mark XIX’s and nods.
“Let’s go save Moira!” She says.
We turn towards the door and take a deep breath, this was for Moira, she was worth facing what ever laid on the other side of the door. I quickly contact Rebecca and tell her what’s going on. I tell her the dire situation, tell her to grab her go bag and we were going to rendezvous with the other members of our little alliance. I send her the coordinates of where the hospital is and the nearest hotel to the hospital. I send this out down the chain to Eve, Em and Jessica as well.
“You ready for this?!” I turn and ask Apryl.
“Heck Yeah! To Moira!” She says.
I nod, I had faith that with all our skills combined, Moira would be safe with us in no time. I sent out the alert to the special forces, attention one Michael Rooker, we were going to need him. I stuff my phone in my pocket and look at Apryl before we kick the door open and run out into the darkness. We were coming together for the good one a member on trouble. Hang on Moira we’re on our way!!
The world went to hell so quickly and I was so unprepared. As a member of the ZSC Light Blue brigade I should have known better but I never expected the worst disaster in history to take place so soon! When the call came in from my commander, Anthony, that the apocalypse had begun all I could do was stand there staring at my phone for a long while.
When I heard a few shots fired close to my house I was pulled back to the here and now and was able to focus.
I quickly strapped my double thigh holsters on and my calf sheath for my hunting knife. I slid the knife in place and loaded clips into my twin 9mm Taurus 917Cs and fitted silencers onto the end of each barrel. I slid them into their holsters and grabbed my compound bow and quiver.
Despite the terror driven adrenaline surging through my system, I was able to get my daughter and grandma into the car with essential supplies in a matter of minutes. I set my bow and quiver on the front passenger seat and moved to open the garage door. I grabbed one of my silenced twin 9s out of it’s holster and gave grandma a thumbs up. She nodded and watched me in the rear-view mirror. My grandmother had made fun of me on many occasions for what she felt were ridiculous preparations. Today as I looked into her fear filled eyes I knew that she understood.
I pulled the garage door open in one quick movement and took down the 3 walkers who had been loitering around in front of our house. I hopped in the car and told my grandmother to head to my uncle’s house. We made it there with little incident and were able to get everyone barricaded inside safely.
I was talking with my uncle about supplies and how long we could ration out food before a run would become necessary when my phone rang. My sister, Jess, was calling and I was relieved to hear her voice.
“Are you safe? Is everything okay?” Jessica replied that she was fine but that we had a problem.
“What is it?” I asked as I felt a surge of worry rush through me.
“It’s Moira, Eve. She sent out a distress call through ZSC. She’s stuck in her hospital, alone, barricaded on the sixth floor. She’s not injured but she’s running low on food and she needs our help.” Jess sounded worried.
“Alright, let’s meet up at my work then we can head out from there. We can’t leave Moira defenseless like that!” I fought back tears as I thought of her stuck in the hospital alone.
“Okay, see you there!”
I explained to my daughter that I had to go and that she would be safe with my uncle to protect her. I also told her to keep an eye on grandma and make sure she stayed out of trouble.
She gave me a stiff nod, a serious expression on her face. I pulled her into a hug, my tough little girl, and kissed her on the forehead before grabbing my go-bag and leaving the house.
Jessica and I met up and planned a quick route to the abandoned hotel a short distance from Moira’s hospital where we were suppose to meet the others.
I pulled my phone out and dialed the number of the last member of our small but close group of tough as nails gals who were members of various brigades within the ZSC and listened to it ring.
I felt my heart tighten as it continued to ring and I worried that she hadn’t received her warning in time.
“Hello?” Emma’s voice sounded on the other end.
Oh thank God! I thought.
“Emma! I thought you would never answer! Are you okay?” I could hear the tremble in my voice as I looked over at Jess who was watching the parking lot with focused intensity.
“Sure,” She hesitated for a moment before adding, “Nothing I can’t handle. What’s wrong?”
Again the thought of Moira, who had been through so much and was tougher and sweeter than any young girl I’d ever known, alone and scared brought tears to my eyes and my throat tightened as I tried not to cry.
“Eve, what’s wrong?” Emma asked again, I could hear worry building in her voice.
“It…” I took a deep breath to steady my voice, “It’s Moira.”
“What?” Emma was beginning to panic, I could sense it. “What’s happened to Moira?”
“She’s okay, for now” I said before Emma could work her way into a full panic. “We just got word that her hospital has been overrun with Walkers, she’s pinned down and needs help, fast.”
“Thank God,” I could barely hear her and could picture her standing there with a hand over her heart, relieved that Moira was still alive.
“Jess, Rebecca, Tiffany, Apryl and I are putting together a rescue team,” Jess threw me a quick glance, a “hell yeah” grin on her face. “We’re going to get her. You in?”
“What kind of a question is that? You know I am!” She said and I could just hear the implied “DUH!”
“Good,” I said, smirking at her eagerness, “we’re meeting at the abandoned hotel close by the hospital, we’re going to formulate a plan of action from there, okay?”
“Okay.” She paused for a moment, “Just give me a minute to take care of something and I’ll be right over.”
“Be careful,” I could feel my chest constricting again at the thought of Emma making her way to our rendezvous by herself. I wished I was there to make sure she stayed safe.
“I will if you will.” She sounded like she was smiling, I assumed over my overprotective mother hen statement, “I’ll be over in just a little while.”
We hung up and Jess turned to me. I inhaled deeply and gave her a soft punch on the arm. “You ready for this, Jess?”
She smiled and patted her dog, Luna on the head. “Those walkers don’t stand a chance. Let’s go save Moira!”
We took off for the abandoned hotel to meet up with the others who would help us save that little girl.
The cold wind still managed to cut through the thick hoodie, pea-coat, and flannel shirt I was wearing as I walked along the cracked and crumbled sidewalk, and I couldn’t help but shiver and duck my head down in an effort to keep it at bay.
It seemed I always was cold these days. The power in the abandoned library I was living in had finally gotten turned off and at night the cold was almost unbearable. During the daytime wasn’t much better thanks to the heavy gray clouds covering the sky for miles in all directions.
Another problem I had with the gray clouds was it just made everything feel so much more depressing. Sure, the city wasn’t deserted, not yet, but several apartment complexes and quite a few stores had been abandoned when the first outbreak had occurred, mostly because people wanted to be with their families and so had packed up and moved off to be with them.
Looters had been a big problem at first, but even that had died down. No one ventured outside anymore, not for long, anyway. The gray clouds were always a kind of symbol of that for me, in a weird way. They had this feeling of expectancy, of waiting. You could feel the tension in the air, you knew the clouds wanted to break and shower the city with rain, sleet, whatever it was up there, but it kept itself contained, and that’s kind of the way things were now.
Any day now, something, I’m not sure anyone knows for sure what it is, but something is going to snap, and when it does, it will be Hell on earth.
I touched the grip of my Colt 1911 as if expecting Hell to break out right there, but it didn’t, so I relaxed a bit and instead tried to concentrate on keeping my teeth from chattering.
The first outbreak had been a little over three months ago, and that had sent everyone into a panic, and there had been smaller ones ever since, all over the place. Whenever someone dropped dead it was just a matter of time before they were walking around again. Everyone had come to expect this, but that didn’t make it any less frightening.
I have it a bit easier than most, though, I don’t have any family to take care of, not really. I have a sort of ‘family’ with the rest of the Zombie Survival Crew, but no one to be obligated to. I miss that, though.
See, I had been living with my little brother and my uncle, and then my brother, Todd, had turned. He was one of the first ones to turn, actually. Just six years old…anyway, after that my uncle had taken off, I don’t know where to, and I don’t really care.
Everyone in our apartment building had left to go find shelter deeper in the city or find the rest of their family and friends. I think we all knew that the first outbreak was just the tip of the iceberg.
I had left too, taking as much food as I could and a few blankets, and moved into the public library closer to downtown.
To be honest, I’m kind of surprised no one had thought to go there. I mean, the doors are heavy wood, easy to barricade with bookshelves, there’s entertainment, and as along as you have enough food and warmth, it would be perfect. The two exits are easy to keep an eye on too.
Oh well, I guess I’m the only one to think of it, because that’s where I’ve been living the past few months.
Right now I was on my way to the abandoned supermarket just a few blocks down. I was running a little low on canned food and if I was lucky, I would be able to find a few cans that hadn’t been grabbed already.
As I walked, I looked up, brushing back some of my windswept hair out of my face, and saw a group of four coming towards me, so I stopped, my hand immediately going to my gun grip. They stopped too, though, and I saw that they were alive.
They had reached for their weapons too, and eyed me with suspicion and distrust. I dropped my hand to show them I wasn’t going to draw my weapon if they weren’t, and they started to move, but still kept their hands close to their weapons as they crossed the street, watching me the whole time, and then moved off.
I started walking again, making sure they wouldn’t try anything when I turned my back, and only after I rounded a corner did I relax.
You couldn’t be too careful now. It wasn’t just the dead you had to fear, you never knew what other people were planning, either.
The Walkers aren’t really a huge threat in this area, not yet, anyway. It’s only a matter of time, though, everyone knows that. You can’t stop people from dying, and you can’t stop them from coming back, either. Not yet. No matter how many times you hear the broadcasts swearing up and down that a cure is right around the corner. That;s complete bull crap.
The city had been sectioned off. A little military squad was presiding over the border, making sure the concrete wall was protecting us from the Walkers, but there were more and more Walkers cropping up on this side, more reports were coming in every week, which was why not many people ventured outside anymore.
Fear was the ruling power now.
I breathed a sigh of relief when I spotted the darkened windows of the supermarket up ahead. Half the trip was over, but I didn’t feel safe, no one felt safe anymore. It didn’t help that I was in the same area where a small herd of Walkers had been spotted only a few days ago.
The military couldn’t keep a handle on this thing, I don’t know who they think they’re kidding.
To be on the safe side, I slid my gun out from my belt and switched the safety off before double-checking to be sure a round was in the chamber. Satisfied, I moved a bit more quickly up the sidewalk and to the broken automated doors and peered inside, trying to quiet my breathing so I could hear better.
I was always nervous about entering a dark area, still, I didn’t hear any shuffling or moaning, in fact I didn’t hear anything at all, so I eased inside and waited for my eyes to adjust to the darkness.
I had brought a torch with me, but I didn’t want to use it (a) because I didn’t know how long the batteries would last, and there was a shortage of batteries now ever since the power outages had started happening more and more frequently, and (b) because I didn’t know if there was a Walker in here or not and I didn’t want to risk one spotting the light. True, running blindly into one wasn’t appealing either, but I hoped it wouldn’t come to that.
I blinked a few times to be sure I could make out the shelves, and then eased my way towards wall farthest to the back. I had been in here a few times with better lighting and knew that if there were any canned goods, they would be back there.
Trying my best not to make a sound, I finally made it over and was just starting to make my way down the aisle, when it happened. I made a noise.
I should have been testing the ground better, I know that, but it was too late. My foot hit a basket someone had left in the middle of the aisle and it went clattering across the floor.
Gasping, I immediately froze and waited for the echo of metal clattering on the floor to cease. As it died away, there was another sound that made my heart stop, then immediately begin hammering at my ribcage in fear.
Slow, shuffling footsteps were coming from somewhere, but it was impossible to tell where.
I whirled around and inhaled deeply. I would hopefully smell it before it got too close, or I would hear it, whatever it was, and be able to stop it before it got me. I couldn’t stay put though, it would be suicide to, so the smartest thing to do would be to keep moving and I did.
This time I made sure there was nothing in my way before I stepped and when I estimated I had reached the canned goods section, I reached out and started feeling for cans. It didn’t matter what I picked up, I’m not a picky eater, I was just happy when my hand touched the cold aluminum and I started snatching up cans and shoving them into the canvas shoulder bag I had carried with me, trying not to let them clink against the extra ammo clips I had in there.
Satisfied I had enough for another week or two, I started for the exit, which was always the easiest part since you could see the light coming in from outside, when- “Uhhhhhhhhhhh…”
The moan seemed to come right at my elbow and I whirled, my arm smacking into cold, clammy, rotten flesh.
How could I have not noticed a Walker getting that close? The sound of cans clicking together had probably distracted me but that was no excuse. I had to do better than that.
I raised my gun blindly at where my arm had met flesh, then thought better of it and with my other hand reached down and pulled free the Army Scout knife I kept strapped to my leg and swung.
I felt the blade rip into soft tissue and there was an angry growl from the darkness before a heavy body stumbled against me.
“Get off!” I shouted, shoving it back as hard as I could and I swung again, aiming up towards the source of all the moaning.
“GAH!” The Walker moaned as the blade dug into thick bone. I had hit the skull, but hadn’t penetrated to the bone. I quickly jerked it free, using my foot against the zombie as leverage, then pulled back, and then brought the knife down as hard as I could.
It plowed into the zombie’s skull and I felt a disgusting, cold liquid squirt against my hand, doubtless blood and brain.
The zombie fell at my feet, dead once and for all, and then I hurriedly pulled my knife free, wiped it clean on the nearby shelf, re-sheathed it and my gun, and bolted for the door.
I didn’t stop running until I was halfway down the sidewalk and well on my way back to the library.
‘That was close.’ I thought, ‘Too close. Pay more attention next time.’
Still, it was satisfying to be alive, in spite of the gray, gooey slime on my left hand that I would have to wait to wipe off, and best of all, I had at least seven cans in my bag, and I patted the bag appreciatively.
As I walked, a noise off to my right made me stop and I reached for the blade once again, deciding it would be best to keep noise to a minimum. A dog, a terrier it looked like, very dirty looking, padded out of the alley up ahead and I stopped short.
I hadn’t seen an animal in ages, except for crows of course. All of the pets had disappeared, either locked inside with their owners, run off, or eaten was what I could figure out.
“Hey, puppy,” I crooned, offering my hand in a sign of friendliness, “you all alone? Come on, I won’t hurt you.” I inched forward, careful not to look threatening, and the dog stopped, ears uplifted in alert.
Those big, innocent brown eyes tore at my heart and I bit my lip to fight off the wave of sorrow that swept over me. The poor thing! There was no telling what the poor thing had gone through.
I smooched my lips, begging it come with me.
“Come on,” I pleaded, “I won’t hurt you, I promise.”
The dog whimpered, then cautiously trotted forward, staying as far away as possible, and then cautiously sniffed my hand. I tried my luck and slowly uncurled my fingers and touched the rough fur on his head. He backed away, but then I clicked my tongue at him and he approached again.
I managed to gently stroke his fur, and, very slowly, his drooping tail began to sweep back and forth. That’s what I love about dogs. They can go through the worst things and still be willing to love if shown affection.
“There we go.” I murmured approvingly, stroking under his chin when I saw it made his tail wag faster.
“Now just come home with me and we’ll-”
The dog’s head suddenly jerked back towards the alley and he gave a startled yelp before turning and darting away.
“No, wait!” I called, getting to my feet, “Don’t go!”
Then a clattering from the alley grabbed my attention and I drew my knife out of its sheath. Doubtless the little dog had heard something in the alley before I had. Maybe a Walker had been following him?
I eased forward, ready for anything now.
Sure enough, another Walker appeared from the mouth of the alley, moaning and shambling forward unsteadily.
I pulled back and drove my knife into the side of its head, pushing over against the wall, it struggled for a moment, so I twisted the embedded knife, making sure I destroyed the brain, and then jerked it free and watched the zombie crumple at my feet, fighting off a wave of nausea.
It was a woman this time, with dirty, long blond hair. She couldn’t have been dead very long, because her color wasn’t as bad as I had seen before, it was still a bit pink, though fast changing to gray.
“Mwaaaaaaahh!” the moan came from the alley and I whirled, my knife ready to go into the head of another Walker, but then I stopped short.
“Oh crap.” I whispered, not believing what I was seeing.
The alley was filled with Walkers, all coming at me, arms outstretched, their voice joining together in a grisly, low howl of the hunt.
I knew I couldn’t take them all down at once, so I did the smart thing and ran. I bolted for the library, arms and legs pumping as my feet smacked the pavement, the moans behind me getting louder as the Walkers started after me at an odd, loping gait.
The library was just up ahead, I would have to barricade myself in for a day or so. Eventually they would lose interest and leave. At least, I hoped they would.
I charged through the front doors and then slammed them shut, panting, and hastily tipped the heavy bookcase I had designated as the barricade in front of it, and, after pushing against it as hard as I could, managed to get it up against the door.
The other exits and windows I had already blocked off. There was no way they were getting in.
In a few minutes I heard the sound of their moans, and then the slow, spine tingly scratch of their nails against the wooden door, thumping against them in vain.
I nodded in satisfaction and started towards my little sleeping spot in the back corner, a good vantage point from which I could see every entrance and exit, when suddenly my pocket vibrated and the musical jingle of a ring tone floated up to me.
I quickly scrambled for the phone. The phone was only ever used by other Zombie Survival Crew members, all of which were formidable fighters. If they called, it was a dire emergency.
We had been lucky so far to find a stable connection.
I pulled it free and looked at the caller ID and raised my eyebrows in surprise. It was Eve!
“Hello?” I said after pushing the ‘accept’ button and putting the phone to my ear. The line was filled with static, but I could still manage to hear her.
“Emma!” she said in relief, “I thought you would never answer, are you okay?”
I glanced at the doors as the Walkers continued to thump and moan outside.
“Sure,” I said, “nothing I can’t handle. What’s wrong?”
There was a pause, and I frowned. Whatever it was, it was bad.
“Eve, what’s wrong?” I asked, a bit more loudly, beginning to get worried.
“It-It’s Moira.” She said quietly, and my heart stopped. Moira? No, not Moira, it couldn’t be. A sick, terrifying feeling of dread filled me from head to toe and I felt myself start to tremble a little.
‘Please God,’ I thought desperately, ‘not Moira. Please!’
“What?” I asked, my voice rising in panic in spite of my efforts to control it, “What’s happened to Moira?”
“She’s okay,” Eve said hurriedly, “for now. We just got word that her hospital has been overrun with Walkers, she’s pinned down and needs help, fast.”
I ran my hand through my hair.
“Thank God.” I whispered. True, her situation was less than appealing, but as long as she was still alive, I was glad.
“Jess, Rebecca, Tiffany, Apryl and I are putting together a rescue team,” Eve continued, “we’re going to get her. You in?”
“What kind of a question is that?” I asked, “You know I am!”
“Good,” she said, “we’re meeting at the abandoned hotel close by the hospital, we’re going to formulate a plan of action from there, okay?”
“Okay.” I said, looking again at the door and pulling my gun free from my belt, “Just give me a minute to take care of something and I’ll be right over.”
“Be careful.” She said. I smiled, she was like a surrogate mother and big sister rolled into one.
“I will if you will.” I said, “I’ll be over in just a little while.”
I hung up and slid the phone back into my pocket before walking over to my corner and reaching under my pillow for the rest of the ammo I kept stashed there, and for something else, my sword.
I emptied the cans onto my bedroll, I figured I wouldn’t need them anyway, and then loaded up with the extra ammo, and bits of jerky that I could take with me, bandages, an extra knife, and some pain pills and antibiotic ointment I’d been lucky enough to find, before I strapped on my sword and stood up, heading for the side door, hoping the Walker hadn’t gone around back.
I took a deep breath and kept my sword at the ready, just in case, and pushed the bookshelf barricade out of the way before pushing through the door and onto the sidewalk.
Quickly I looked around, and, satisfied there were no Walkers, I closed the side door and, hoping no Walkers would find their way in while I was gone, I turned my attention to the horizon.
Out of the multitude of buildings I picked out the one I knew was the hospital. It was quite a hike away, and doubtless wouldn’t be an easy way, but I didn’t care. This was Moira we were talking about, Moira. The strong one, the one we all looked up to and admired.
There was no way I was going to let some stinkin’ Walker get his filthy, diseased hands on her. I would rather cut off my own first.
I swallowed the lump in my throat at thought of how scared she must be, then clenched my jaw in determination. With Eve, Jess, Apryl, Tiffany and Rebecca helping me, there was no way were going to let anything happen to her.
‘Hang on, Moira,’ I thought, breaking into a jog, still clutching my sword, ‘help is on the way.’
“We are going to need more supplies.” I said, looking at the shelves that were almost empty.
My mother, little sister, step-dad, and fiancé were staying in my house. We had all the doors and windows barricaded.
“I will drive to the store and see if there is anything left.” Unfortunately, people didn’t always take what they NEEDED…most of the stuff was taken whether it was needed or not, and that left barely anything for the rest of us.
We were down to a few cans of vegetables, a box and a half of cereal, and 5 bottles of water. That would simply not last very long. A trip to the store was in high demand. Not to mention, we were almost out of medical supplies. A couple of band-aids, not even half a tube of Antibiotic ointment, one wrap, and about 25 Ibuprofen pills.
I put on my homemade weapon’s belt, I grabbed my cast iron skillet and put it in the holster designed for it, then I grabbed my twin Desert Eagles with silencers, my army knife, and my 3 daggers.
Then I grabbed my coat off of the hook and as I put it on, I said, “Come here, Luna”. Fortunately, I had taken the time to get Luna properly trained by Sean Patrick Flanery and Donut, and she was a zombie killing machine. With her, I was always a bit more calm, because I knew that she had my back.
Luna and I headed for the door, “Don’t forget your phone!” mom called out, and tossed my phone to me.
“Thanks!”, I said with a little smirk, and I turned and walked out the door.
Luna and I got into the car and we headed to the store. When we got there, there was a group of living people standing outside.
“What the heck is this?” I asked Luna, and I pulled into a parking space and got out and started walking toward the store.
The group of men looked like they meant business as they stood there. One guy was holding a baseball bat and was thumping it against his hand, and another guy had his hand resting on the handle of a machete. Then there were two guys that were holding crowbars. I stopped for a minute and assessed the situation. I looked over each one of them carefully, I did not see any guns. I took a couple more steps toward the doors. “Don’t take another step.” The biggest guy warned. “We run this place, and if you want to come in, you’ll need to pay.”
Pay? I thought to myself. Right…we’ll see who will be paying.
I took another step. “I am warning you!” he shouted. “You need to give us some weapons if you want to come in here!”
I couldn’t help it, I felt the giggles building up in my stomach, and I let out a huge roll of laughter. They were just amusing to me, and I couldn’t help but laugh. Did they not know? Well, of course they had no idea that I was in the Purple Brigade of the Zombie Survival Crew and I was properly trained to handle any and every situation that might arise, and they were simply wasting my time.
“What are you laughing at, hoe?” asked the smallest guy of them all.
I went from laughing to serious in a millisecond. Oh no they didn’t, I thought to myself.
I stepped back, not taking my eyes off of them, and I opened the car door. Luna stepped out, her lips curled back in a snarl. She bared her fangs and her heckles were up all down her back. She stood there and stared at them.
“What did you call me?” I asked. “What was it that you said? I don’t think my dog heard you quite right.” I said taking a few steps closer, Luna keeping in step with me, but not taking her eyes off of them.
“I called you a HOE!” the little guy said, emphasizing the word.
“That’s what I thought you said”. I smiled.
With one swoop, I pulled the three daggers from their holster and whipped them toward the men, they went into the legs of three of them, leaving the little guy standing.
While the three men fell to the ground in pain, Luna lunged at the little guy and took him down to the ground.
I walked past the men who were writhing in pain on the cold, wet concrete, and said, “I wouldn’t move if I were you. Luna doesn’t take jokes very well, and that’s all you guys are…A JOKE!”.
I walked into the store and grabbed a few things that I knew we needed. A few more cans of food, some more medicine, and some dog food.
When I walked back out, the four grown men were sitting there with terrified looks on their faces, and one of them had actually peed himself.
“Keep the daggers”, I said with a grin. “There’s plenty more where they came from. Come on, Luna”, I called to her and we got in the car and headed back to the house.
On the way to the house my phone rang. It was LK Gardner-Griffie, my commander. She informed me that someone was in distress, that a fellow member needed help. She couldn’t get away, as their group of people were barricaded in a building. They were safe, but they couldn’t get out to help anyone at the time. “I’ll take care of it.” I assured her.
“It’s Moira”, I heard my commander say the name, and I felt my heart sink in my chest.
“She’s trapped in her hospital room, almost out of supplies, and all of her assistants are dead.” She informed me.
The words stung like a million bees and burned like I was standing at the gates of hell. “I will get a group together to help her”, I promised.
As soon as I hung up with my commander, I called my sister, Eve.
Without even saying hello, she asked, “Are you safe? Is everything okay?”
I assured her that I was fine, but told her that we had a problem.
“What is it?” she asked, desperation in her voice.
“It’s Moira, Eve. She sent out a distress call through ZSC. She’s stuck in her hospital, alone, barricaded on the sixth floor. She’s not injured but she’s running low on food and she needs our help”. I told her, I could feel the panic rising up inside me.
“Alright, let’s meet up at my work then we can head out from there. We can’t leave Moira defenseless like that!”, Eve said, sounding like she was about to start crying.
“Okay, see you there!”, I said. Then I got to the house and unloaded everything and informed everyone that I had important business to tend to and that a very sweet young lady needed help. I said goodbye to everyone and took a few supplies and my weapons and Luna and I loaded up in the car.
I headed to Eve’s work and she got in the car.
We figured out our quickest route to get to the hospital. Then Eve pulled out her phone to call Emma.
I listened to the conversation, and when Eve said that we were pulling together a team to go help Moira and asked if Em was in, I gave my best ‘Hell Yeah, let’s do this’ grin at my sister.
When Eve hung up with Emma, she looked over at me and gave me a soft punch in the arm, and asked, “You ready for this, Jess?”
I smiled and patted Luna on the head and said, “Those walkers don’t stand a chance. Let’s go save Moira!”
We took off to the hospital.
I thought to myself, ‘Just sit tight, Moira. Help is on the way’.
Once we all arrive, we gathered in room 12. The stench of death filled the air, the moans of the walkers echoed in the distance. Apryl, Jessica, Rebecca, Emma, Eve and I all stand discussing strategies. Some how Jessica got us a map of the hospital, she wouldn’t tell us how. A knock on the door causes us to jump, Walkers couldn’t knock! We all draw our guns and swords, ready for a fight. Eve grabs the door handle and on three swings it open.
We lower our weapons, standing in the door was was Michael and Norman, they had received our mission and coordinates. We hurry them inside and close the door. From there we laid out a plan, who would go where and how we were going to work our way through the hospital. We were going to have to clear it out in order to reach Moira.
Michael tosses his bag down on the bed and pulls out walkie talkies, he gives us each one and explains how we will stay in contact at all times. We establish a safe word when one of us clears a path. We were all going to meet on the sixth floor.
“Squirrel” was going to be the code for all clear. “Oreo” meant pretty much get your butt to my location I am in need of assistance.
We all glance around, this was going to be tricky but we all knew Moira was worth it. Her bravery was legendary, she had the courage of an army of millions and right now we need to draw that into us and go get our girl.
We head out, ready to stomp Walker butt and save our little chick-a-dee.
We all stand outside the hospital, it was quiet, maybe too quiet. We were a bit shaken, but still set in what we had to do. Michael was going to lead the team of myself, Apryl and Emma. Norman had Eve, Rebecca and Jessica. Once we cleared the first level, we would break apart once more. Norman and Eve, Michael and I, Apryl and Emma, and Jessica and Rebecca. Then we would all meet on the 6th floor. We all look at each other, say a pray and charge the hospital sword drawn, guns blazing!
“TO MOIRA!!!” We all yell, we were looking for a fight and this was going to be one hell of a night!!
Urgent Letter from Moira
TO: ZSC Command
FROM: Moira Jones – BLUE BRIGADE
I’m not supposed to be here.
I’m supposed to be doing normal stuff like sitting in math learning things I will never ever need again and wondering if Griffin is ever going to notice me. I’m not supposed to be hiding on ward six, silent, terrified, with ‘is this the day I get eaten?’ running on a loop through my mind.
I’m not supposed to be here.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind being in the hospital. Well, not that much. Everyone’s nice here. My doctor takes good care of me. Everything smells like oranges and there’s a endless supply of popsicles. Things are quiet.
But there’s nothing normal about this. Not anymore.
The busloads came five days ago. Someone had collapsed at a hockey game and the entire arena had been exposed to something. Sure it was meningitis, Doctor Bell told me not to worry. And I didn’t worry. Until people started dying.
Lunchtime. The hospital loudspeaker came on with a hiss and a pop. “Good day. This is Doctor Harris, the dean of medicine. It is hospital policy that in case of unknown contagion, no patients, visitors or staff will be permitted to enter or exit the building until the outbreak has been contained.”
At this, every person in the building came to a stop. Total silence. The entire lobby watched as a man walked up to the door and carefully tried to open it. Then not so carefully. He pounded on the glass. He turned and I saw his face. He looked like a scared animal.
“It’s locked. We can’t leave.”
I slid down behind the door and tried not to listen to the noise. Screams. Thuds and crunches as people tried to get out.
Nurse Shane came to get me when the fighting started.
“All right Moira. Time to go.”
Nurse Shane grabbed my hand, pulled me to my feet and hauled me out the door. We hit the hallway at a run.
“Stay with me Moira.”
“Where are we going?”
“Up to the sixth floor.”
We headed down the corridor toward the stairs—and the smell hit us. No more oranges. Just vomit and pennies. I gagged.
“What is that SMELL?”
Shane didn’t answer, just stood still staring in shock into the ICU.
The screaming started. Screaming and howling. I ran to the window and saw it. The people who had died were coming back to life and eating the hospital staff. I couldn’t even see Doctor Bell anymore. Just blood. So much blood.
Sorry I couldn’t help you Doctor Bell.
I turned and bolted for the stairs trying not to listen to what was happening behind me. I made it. Shane didn’t.
I’m so sorry Shane.
I made it to the sixth floor and blocked off the stairs. Cabinets and beds. They don’t seem to be able to push through. I’m out of oreos and the vending machine’s almost out of food. I’m going to have to go look for more food soon but I’ll wait as long as I can. There’s too many of them to go out until I have to.
I’m not supposed to be here.
Please send help.
~ Blue Brigade