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LOMartin
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Posted: 9/17/2010 11:12:10 PM

THE IMAGE ABOVE IS A PAID ADVERTISEMENT
Originally Posted By PATCH5:
Its friday! Hoping for an update, its been a rough week


hawkeye180
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Posted: 9/17/2010 11:26:15 PM
Come on man!
I love talking about nothing for it is the only thing I know anything about.
-Oscar Wilde
JPD158
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Posted: 9/18/2010 12:32:11 AM
[Last Edit: 10/22/2010 12:55:09 PM by JPD158]
Chapter Six: We're From The Government And We're Here To Help
September 30, 2011
Day 4

Everyone is emotionally spent after the mornings ordeal and very little is said over the next few hours. Mattie informs us that Vanessa took it hard and is blaming Stephen for getting Paul killed. She left Holly, the new girl, over to help her out. Holly said she had been a student counselor in college and had dealt with several cases of students losing family. With that, Mattie lays down on the couch and falls asleep. In an attempt to stay busy, I help Dan fire up Stephens orange 8000 watt Generac generator, which can power a good portion of the house. The only problem is that it's pretty loud and the noise draws in Zombies. After it is running for a mere fifteen minutes we see a rapid increase of incoming Zombies and are forced to turn it off. Dan, after missing the morning shootouts, took it upon himself to help put down all of the new targets, and stood at the front of the driveway in full view, firing his suppressed AR-15 until the last Zombie was finally motionless. None got closer than 25 yards to the house, so Dan and I decide to maybe run it in the morning for some hot showers. It would probably serve as a moral booster and would be worth the trouble involved. With the refrigerator not working, Dan next empties the ice from the freezer door into a cooler and ices down the rest of our beer, remarking how cold beer is soon to become a rare luxury. I agree and hand out a cold Miller Lite to everyone, saying we all could use a couple after a day like today.

Waking Mattie up from her hour nap the five of us sit up in Stephen’s office finishing off the beers while Dan handles the watch. Dan mentions that Rob is the only man left at Vanessa’s house and there is now three women and three children there as well and something will have to be switched up. Mattie agrees to take the night watch at their place tonight as a short term solution. She then wonders aloud if her sister Liz in Kankakee is ok or even still alive. I can see the worry in her eyes as she thinks about it and I want to tell her that I'm sure she is fine but we both know after what we have seen that there is no way to know for sure. Mattie keeps catching Dan staring at her chest and finally says "My eyes are up here Dan!"
"I know.." Is his only awkward reply.
She just shakes her head and rolls her eyes as she continues to talk about her sister. This eventually gets us all talking about family and I am reminded how small mine is. My dad is the only family I have and I spent most of my time as a kid hiding from him. He was an over the road trucker and loved to drink. He also was a mean drunk and drove my mother to an early grave, god rest her soul. He still drives truck and I don't really care where he ended up at when this all went down. Dan has a brother Dave who lives in southern Illinois, I don't recall where exactly. But Dan does not seem overly concerned, saying Dave can take care of himself. Chris's parents, he mentions, live in a condo in Florida. By the time he had a chance to call, the phones were already down. Stephen had the most family of all of us. His parents and younger brother Clay live in Wisconsin, not far from Stephen's property where they had just been camping a few days prior. I ponder how that now seems like a lifetime ago, and how it was so sparsely populated out there that they might not even know how bad it has gotten everywhere else. Stephen's baby brother Karl was Active Duty Army, part of the 4'th Infantry Division out of Fort Carson Colorado. He was currently deployed to Afghanistan, which we all got a laugh out of agreeing was probably a lot safer than the States at this point.

After we finished off the dozen or so beers we had left, Mattie makes dinner, which is ham and cheese sandwiches and soup. Stephen always kept his deep freezer full of 2 liter soda bottles that he filled with water. This would allow us several days of use out of it as a cooler for what little perishables we had left. It is nearly dark after dinner and Stephen takes Chris and Mattie to the basement to help him reload the rest of the .223 components he has saved up in the basement. Stephen has his Eaton UPS running and the LED Christmas lights do an out standing job. I am further impressed as in a matter of 4 hours they load us an extra 1000 rounds of .223 55gr FMJ. We have been burning through our supply at a steady rate. And an extra 1000 brings our group total to somewhere just under 8000, not to shabby. I spend the time arranging our gear and cleaning everyone's weapons after the days fight.

* ** * * * * *

The next morning I am awaken early by Mattie who tells me that Robert has decided to take everyone from Vanessa's house in his Tahoe to the safe zone. His wife wanted to go and had been pleading since hearing of it on the TV. Vanessa and Holly wanted to go as well, stating they would feel a lot safer there. Robert wanted to stay but also knew that they did not have the proper weapons or supplies for a sustained run, and that they would all just be a burden, draining from our limited supplies. I know he is right and give him a hand shake as we load their truck with their remaining supplies, so they don't show up empty handed. Troy Lundell is still broadcasting on 98.3 FM and they are up and running at the safe zone, but are still in need of personnel and supplies. At least Robert brings a gun and some common sense to the fight. The drive is maybe eight or nine miles and shouldn't be to bad, at least not yet.

As the Tahoe leaves I come to grips with the fact that we will probably have to bug out shortly as well. In preparation we spend the day outfitting the school bus for the trip. Stephen and Dan pull security as we strip the seats from the bus, leaving only the drivers seat and two front benches. A pile of school bus seats is left in Stephen's front yard, but I don't think the home owners association is going to care at this point. It is exhausting work loading all of Stephen's supplies and food stuffs, which fills the entire back of the short bus, floor to ceiling. The Ambulance we set up as kind of a camper, with more day to day gear and some MRE's for a quick meal, along with most of the ammunition. Chris's truck gets loaded with what supplies he brought as well as the preps that I brought in the ambulance from my house. This fills the entire bed of his truck.
"We have a lot of Shit!" I remark as we are bringing up yet more 5 gallon buckets of rice from the basement to the bus.
"We also have company." Dan says dryly as I reach the front yard.

He motions with is head as I look and see what must be several hundred Zombies approaching from what ends up being all four directions. Attracted by all the noise we were making outside, they were making a direct line for us, human flesh, which must be becoming harder for them to find. They are not moving fast, but at a steady pace, undeterred by the fact that Stephen and Dan have already dropped several from their midst. Dan's suppressed rifle silently ventilating skulls while the report of Stephen's rifle barks across the quiet neighborhood. Mattie, Chris and I are forced inside as the Zombie's reach the yard. We grab our AR-15's and get into the fight.
"Chris, take the back yard with Mattie!" I yell... "I'll cover the front!"
"Roger that!" Chris characteristically replies as he slides open the glass patio door and immediately fires at several Zombies who have crashed through the cedar fence somehow and have made it into the backyard. The sound of gunfire is deafening as hundreds of rifle rounds are fired through windows from inside the house. The smell of cordite fills the room as I run between the two front widows of the house firing at the closest targets. Several go down from well placed shots upstairs, just as I line them up. Having the loaded magazines pre-positioned is paying off as I hear empty mags hitting the floor and fresh 30 rounder's being slapped home. Suddenly Mattie is standing beside me with my Bushmaster, firing at two Zombie's who have come around from the front of the school bus which is backed into the driveway. Having never shot an AR-15 before this week, she has taken to it rather well and appears to be a natural.
"We got the back cleared out!" She yells, continuing to fire at a steady pace. "They are mostly hitting us from the front of the house now!"

Thirty minutes and several hundred dead Zombies later, the attack slows to the point that Dan's suppressed AR can keep up, which should lessen the noise and hopefully break contact for a bit if we can remain quiet.
"There is no way we are going to be able to hold here much longer!" Stephen says, stating the obvious.
"After we get cleaned up and get some food, we need to come to an agreement on what to do." Stephen continues. "First I want to set up my truck though."

Stephen had purposely left out enough gear to load his Chevrolet Colorado which was parked in the third stall of his garage. He wanted to set it up as an emergency fall back vehicle and leave it at his residence. I helped him as we loaded 3 jerry cans of gasoline into the back, along with six cases of MRE's. Two large Rubber Maid containers with locking lids and holding assorted camping gear was also thrown into the back, next to three six gallon plastic water jugs and two cases of bottled water. In the back seat we put extra back packs containing boots, clothing and hygiene products, first aid, sleeping bags and two tents. This mostly filled the truck, and after a long thought, Stephen also put his Polish AK47 and 2000 rounds in the truck along with his SIG 229 9mm and 500 rounds for it. We made sure the trucks gas tank was topped off as well as checked the oil and fluids. Stephen's bag containing Jumper cables, tow rope, extra fluids, windshield wipers and tools was also left under the back seat. Confident that he had a well stocked BOV ready, he hid the keys under the freezer in the garage and headed inside. It was dark again and we were all tired from the days work. We agreed to figure out our next move in the morning and to run short two hour guard shifts over night as there was a slow but steady trickle of Zombies now roaming around, in eyesight of our watch position. I agreed to go first and had shot twenty-one with Dan's suppressed AR by the time I was relieved by Mattie. I couldn't be sure but I think one of them was Paul.

It was a relief for me to follow Dan down into Stephen's basement to get on the Ham Radio. The HAM was still powered by Stephen’s UPS and also had separate 12V batteries for transport. The mood upstairs was gloomy and Dan wanted to forget about some of the things that had happened lately. As Dan started to fire up Stephen's Ham radio he reminisced back to the nights when he could make dozens of contacts using the radio. He would talk to people he was meeting for the first time and also people he had talked to many times. He liked the idea of not having to see the people face to face. He was always amazed that people would sit there and listen to his stories of his life experiences, hardly ever interrupting him, unlike the guys at work. Well things have sure changed, he was hoping to at least make one contact tonight, Phil from up in Chicago. The last time he talked to Phil things weren't looking too good for him and his small band of holdouts in the city. As Dan sat there giving his call sign he expected to here Phil give his call sign in return and they would start the usual back and forth sharing of information and ideas. Instead, Dan heard a very frantic reply come over the radio. Phil wasn't using the normal protocol, it was more of a scream for help.
"Dan we need help bad, we have lost all of the house's in the block except ours and I don't think we can hold them much longer" Dan tried to reply but Phil walked over his transmission. " You need to get us help fast, we are not going to make it. Our ammunition is nearly spent and there is only six of us left. We are trying to secure the house but I think it may be to late!"
In the back ground of Phil’s transmission I could hear what sounded like a medieval battle, along with one or two shots. I can see Dan didn’t know what to do. He had gotten to know Phil from the nights of talking with him on the radio, and I could tell that for the first time this was personal for Dan, who was now headed up the stairs.
"I need a vehicle and some gas I am going to go help Phil." Dan Calmly stated more than asked. “How about the Colorado?
Stephen and I both just looked at Dan as if he just asked to borrow the Starship Enterprise.
"Are you out of our mind, that is a one way ticket and you will do no one any good.“ I responded. “You will just end up dead!"
Stephen said basically the same thing and tried to reason with Dan. Of course Dan was never very good at listening to reason and started outside, carrying his rifle and his backpack that looked heavy with ammo.

The next thing Dan felt was getting tackled by Brian Urlacher, AKA me...He tried to move but with both Stephen and I on top of him it was impossible. Dan struggled for a while but finally came to his senses.
"I know you want to go help Phil but it is too late.” I said. “They are not going to make it and you can’t stop it. It’s way to far and there may be a million Zombies between us. If you really want to help someone make it, stay here and help us."
The more Dan thought about it the more I could see that he knew Stephen and I were right.
"Damn you guys, I think you might have broken some ribs." Dan barked.
"Well we had to get your attention,” Stephen replied. “You old stubborn bastard."
Dan asked one favor of Stephen and I. "If you guys aren’t going to let me go help Phil, you are going to have to come down and listen to his last broadcast. As we walked back into the house and down the stairs we got some weird looks from Mattie and Chris, especially with the dirt and grass still plastered on Dan’s face. When we got to the radio Dan keyed up the microphone and called for Phil’s call sign. When Phil responded we could hear it in his voice that the fight was over.
"I understand why you couldn’t come help, It was way to far!” Phil calmly stated. “Don’t take on that responsibility, its not your fault and always remember friend................... “
And that was it, just before the transmission ended we heard the sound of something all too familiar to us, the sound of someone getting the back of their neck bitten off by a Zombie.
As the three of us stood there looking at the radio Dan was the first to speak. "Boys that will never happen again! If we find someone needs our help, are deserving of it, and we can make it happen, by God we are going to give it a shot."

As Dan was saying those words he turned the scanning feature that the radio has on. As the radio was scanning the different 2 meter frequencies, Stephen and I started to walk away. Dan was sitting on the bar stool that was in front of Stephen’s radio when it stopped on a frequency, catching the end of a transmission. He stopped the radio from scanning and sat there listening. The frequency it stopped at was not from a repeater, but from a frequency that Dan’s brother and Sgt. Ogle had used to talk about hunting, fishing and women. Dan didn’t think he would ever hear something come across that frequency again, but certainly didn’t want to miss a transmission from whoever was talking. The silence finally got the best of him.
"KC9@#@ calling ANYONE" As Dan sat there he almost fell off his stool when the response was "KC9@#@ this is KC7@%# how the hell are you" It was Tom Ogle.
Dan yelled up to Stephen and I just as we were reaching the top of the stairs and I thought, ‘Now what?’

Dan keyed up the microphone and asked Tom how he was holding up, and he told Dan all about his trip down to the hunting cabin, telling him how he went home and filled his Bronco with gear, his wife and kids and headed toward Peoria. He explained how the interstate was pretty rough traveling and they came across several groups of Zombies. After exploding yet another Zombie head off of the three inch steel pipe that made up his home made brush guard, he turned to his wife and said "Not so much a waste of money now!" Of course she just rolled her eyes and gave him a look like we have all seen, if your married.

Tom went on to explain that once he got down to the hunting cabin he found everything in order. The orchards were still there along with what was left of his garden from this summer. He told Dan that they where set up pretty good. And with the two deer and three turkeys he shot in the last few days, they had some meat to dehydrate. As Ogle was explaining all this Dan heard someone in the background say, "Hey dumb ass what about me?". That is when Tom said "Oh yea I found someone sneaking around the property and almost shot him. I am not sure if I am glad that I didn’t. Its your younger brother Dave.”
There was a grin on Dan’s face from ear to ear that only Stephen and I could see.
Of course Dan’s reply was "Ok, but tell me more about dehydrating the deer."
Just then Dave grabbed the mike from Tom Ogle and said "Nice to hear from you too asshole!" And now everyone was grinning.

********

The crackling static of the emergency FM radio the next morning cancelled out the voice coming from it until Stephen tuned it in better. We were all up and listening to the broadcast. There it was again, young Troy Lundell, quickly becoming the official voice of the Zombie Apocalypse, making his broadcast from the "FEMA" safe zone at Joliet West High School. After a breakfast of PB&J sandwiches, we debated our favorite fallback spots. Currently the five of us are not all on the same page as to what to do. Stephen and Chris want to leave the city and head for the hills, possibly for Stephen's place in Wisconsin. Mattie thinks we should head to the "Safe Zone" to help out. I think if we do try for the city safe zone we need a back up plan if we cannot reach it. Dan would prefer we head to his buddy Toms by Peoria, were his brother is also staying. But he really doesn’t care all that much where we go. As long as he can kill some infected for ruining his place and stare at Mattie’s chest, he is happy.

As we continue to listen to the broadcast, we hear they are asking for people to bring any and all firearms, food, water, and medical supplies.
“You see guys? They need our help. Look there are five police officers here in this room. We have the knowledge and skills to bring a huge boost to the operations of this "Safe Zone". Just think of the poor people, who we swore an oath to help, and depend on us! That doesn’t stop just because of some sort of pandemic!” Mattie pleaded.
Dan snorted in disagreement. “Well when that pandemic causes people to feed on the flesh and organs of other humans! I think the oath can go pound sand. I don‘t want to end up in a refugee camp!”
I stand up and address the group. “Listen up gang, for one if the Z’s ever put up a real determined attack here, we would be over run without much effort, could have happened yesterday. I think there is safety in numbers, and if this safe zone has more like minded peeps then we will be better off fighting a large scale attack.”
“I agree.” Chris chimes in. “We have enough supplies loaded into that school bus we commandeered to last us a long time, but that wont do us any good if we are dead. I vote for the safe zone but also we need a fall back location if it doesn’t workout.”
“It appears that we have taken a vote of sorts. I'm in.” Stephen said “Let’s gets some rest today and make sure we are ready to go at sunrise tomorrow.
“Until then, everyone think of a possible fallback location in case this so called safe zone doesn’t pan out.

As the morning progressed, ideas began to be floated. Dan’s suggestion was the National Guard Armory in Joliet, near where I used to live. It was not a bad idea and we could check it out on our way to the safe zone to see if it was still intact. Chris liked the idea of the Armory as well since he was in the Guard himself, and had been attached to that very Armory. He and I probably could work on any vehicles that were parked there as well. Mattie, who seemed to trust in people too much, didn’t think we would need to go anywhere other than the safe zone to ride out this Pandemic or whatever it was.

Stephen had the best idea of any; and as soon as he said where it was we all knew it was perfect. The old abandoned Collins Street State Prison. It has been closed for several years, but the place was huge, made of large limestone blocks that were quarried here in Joliet in the 1850's. The prison had been made famous by its use in the Blues Brothers movie as well as season one of the Fox show "Prison Break." It would take a lot of work to get it into livable shape but it was easily defendable against Zombies and living people who might have ill intentions towards us or our supplies.
After Stephen mentioned the prison, Dan and Chris also agreed that place would be freaking awesome as our base camp. Since most of our stuff was already loaded in the ambulance, GMC 2500, and school bus, we did not have much else to do and decided to leave immediately.

Shortly after 12 noon we set out. I lead the way driving the ambulance, as it was best suited for pushing stranded vehicles with its sheer size and could drive over any Zombies that didn’t get the hint to move out of the way. Stephen rode shotgun with me in the ambulance, with Buddy the beagle hanging his head out the window. Behind me was Chris & Mattie with his big GMC pickup also loaded for bear. Bringing up the rear was Dan, riding solo in the big school bus packed to the roof with supplies. As we drove deeper into the city, the signs of Zombies and the sheer size of destruction around was grim to behold. After what seemed the 100th burned out vehicle shell was pushed to the side, I was determined to bolt on some heavy steel to the front of the ambulance, to act as a ram to help push stuff from the road. Many of the stores and business’ we saw were either a burned out shell or had windows all smashed out and looted. Unreal how quickly civilization is torn down and reverts us to scavengers.

Up ahead I can see that the road is a literal parking lot. I slow down to take a look at my options and they are not too good.
I could ram my way through but will probably get stuck or disable my ride. I could cut through the Super Wal-Mart parking lot to try to make it over to Rt.59. The only problem is that there seems to be a huge crowd of Zombies in front of the building. As I got closer, I could see the hundreds if not thousands of hungry hate filled, yet at the same time dead eyes turn and stare at me from the noise I made.
I radioed back to the others via the Motorola 2-way radios that we all have to coordinate our path.
“Hang back guys, I need to carve a path through this mob and try to make it over to Rt.59.” I said.
Hearing the 10-4 and affirmative from Chris and Dan, I ease a stranded Toyota Corolla out of the way with my bumper and picked up some speed. The crowd of Zombies heading my way is a lot thicker than I thought. I can see from the back that its about 150 feet deep!
The thuds of mindless minions impacting on the front of the truck makes me glad I am not in my squad car again. Laughing I give the truck some more power and step on the accelerator.
The howls of the mob actually drown out the roar of the big diesel, but there are not enough to slow me down as I plow a bloody, and bumpy path to the west side of the parking lot to Rt.59.
If I was to take the psych test for the police department again I would probably fail big time. Some bookworm liberal psychiatrist would fail me for not having remorse, because I feel none as I chug the ambulance through the mob of infected. I even aim for them, picking out and targeting individual Zombies based on a physical characteristic.
Breaking through the large pack I wheel the truck around and head back to the significantly reduced zombie mob. Eventually I reduce the current hoard into a gooey, bone shard filled speed bump.

I radio back to the group and wait for them to catch up. Taking the lead again we creep through the next traffic bottle neck at Rt.59 and black road. Of course the current road construction didn’t help matters any when all hell broke loose, damn road has been under construction for years and will not ever get done now. Taking a look, I see if we pass around the west side of the intersection, we can cut across Rt.59 and into the Gas City fuel station. and fro there back over onto Black road. Using the big truck (poor thing) to push stalled cars out of the way, we make it into the parking lot. It’s big enough of a lot to hold all of our little caravan of trucks. Stephen and I decide to check out the store, the rest can pull guard duty outside and protect our vehicles.

I see that Stephen has his EoTech topped mid-length AR15 with him today, as well as God knows how many magazines and back up pistols. Me; I decide to save ammo and go with my trusty aluminum bat and ballistic shield. I also bring my holstered Colt 1911 and my two heavy knives…just in case.
The electric doors have frozen in the open position. I pull down my Oakley goggles to protect my eyes from any Zombie splatter. Last thing I need is to catch whatever it is from a errant splash of goo into my eyes. I put in my earplugs as well. Inside as I follow Stephen’s lead, I see that the store was in the process of being looted when it was overrun realizing this due to the fact that the fat white Zombie coming at me from around the register counter wearing a Chicago Bears jersey has Slim Jims and candy bars sticking out of its pockets.
I step up and swing for the bleachers and whack him upside his moaning and blood soaked head. The fat man tumbles to the side, knocking over a display of cheap sunglasses which scatter across the floor. Walking over to him I whack him again for good measure.
Behind me I hear Stephen engage a target, good thing I had my earplugs, for that man really must like having his muzzle right next to my head when he shoots.
At least the hot brass didn’t go down the back of my shirt again.
“Grab what ever is salvageable Mike.” Stephen said.
Nodding I vault over the register counter and begin opening the cabinet doors checking for what I really want.
Finally I hit pay dirt.
I grab the two boxes inside and set them on the counter and start looking through them.
What I have here is about forty rolls of assorted brands of chewing tobacco!
Next I begin loading cartons of cigarettes and cigars. Stephen comes walking over to see what I am doing.
“Mike, what the hell are you doing?”
“Bro, in about six months from now, if we are still alive; this shit will be worth more than gold. Items your preps were seriously lacking!”
“Good point. Get it loaded. We have a lot here to take with.” Stephen said.
I take a moment to open a fresh can of Copenhagen and put a dip in. God, that is the shit!
I toss in the boxes all of the lighters and matches that I could find. Picking up some of the tobacco products I walk around the counter with an armload of smokes and chew towards the door, pausing to spit a big wad of tobacco juice on the dead zombie I crushed. I notice another turnstile display that has maps on it. I grab all that was there and head out to the vehicles. I toss the tobacco onto the bus and hand Dan a cheap cigar. His nose crinkles when he sees the crappy brand it is but then shrugs and pops it into his mouth.
As I turn to head back in Dan stops me with a warning.
“Hey sunshine, you two take any longer and we are going to have company.” As he points his cigar at a new zombie hoard, weaving their way toward us through the traffic jam at a steady, relentless pace.
“We can kill them now or later. Makes no difference to me, but I prefer to kill them as we find them. Your call boss man.”
Dan calmly clicks his AR15 from safe to semi setting and settles in for a wait. I look at him and his unlit cigar sticking out of his mouth.
“You want a light for that?” I ask.
“You want a punch in the teeth?” He replied.
Chuckling I put my hands up in surrender. “Save it for the Zombies tough guy.”
Dan chuckles as well.
“Anyways don’t worry bout these new infected bunch. While you all were inside I seen them coming and set up a bit of a welcome mat for them.”
I stared at him in confusion and before I could ask, Dan held his hand up.
“I got the idea from what Stephen said he did a while back…just on a grander scale is all.” He said.
Over at the store I see that Stephen has Mattie and Chris helping load cases of bottled drinks and boxes of beef jerky along with other snack foods.
I chirp the others over the radio and tell them we have incoming from the North West.
Stephen radios back that they have loaded what they wanted, and were on the way out to repel the infected.
Dan chirps “Hold your fire ladies; I have a surprise for them. Just stay back from the road.”
Dan sights down his rifle towards the much larger and closer zombie mob roaring their eternal hunger at us. Dan takes a peek over at me and says “Just watch and learn boy.”
Not wanting to correct him that I am older and quit calling me boy, I see that he isn’t aiming for the Zombies but at the stalled vehicles near and around them.
Kind of getting the idea what he is about to do, I slide to the left and take cover behind the large bus next to me.
The custom AR15 bucks gently in his hands as he squeezes off controlled precise shots through the mass of non-living beings and into his intended targets.
The moment I duck behind the front fender of the bus, an incredibly huge fireball roars skyward, sending chunks of zombie and pieces of vehicle wreckage soaring.
”Hoo-rah mother fuckers!” Dan screams with glee.
As I shield my head from the smoldering body parts raining down, Dan calmly reaches down and picks up the arm of a zombie that had landed next to him, which has a piece of a shirt sleeve attached, still on fire.
Using the disgusting arm as a brand, Dan casually lights his cigar and tosses it aside.
“Well, close your mouth before you swallow a bug and let’s move out.” He said, and climbed into the truck whistling a merry sounding tune.
‘The man has a slight grip on sanity’ I think and shake my head.
Stephen on the other hand doesn’t see the humor in blowing up several dozen Zombies.
“What the hell is wrong with you two?” He yelled. ”Now every infected for a square mile knows we are here!”
I point over my shoulder at Dan with my thumb and say “Better not let him know or he will want to stay and barbeque them as well.”
Stephen looks at the zombie fueled bonfires and stalks off towards the ambulance, and throws his hands up in the air in defeat.

We have a pretty much uneventful trip clear to the National Guard Armory. Upon arrival we see that it appears to have been seriously looted. Several holes have been carved through the chain link fence where vehicles had been driven. The front glass doors and windows to the lobby have been smashed out and looks as if looters tried to set the building on fire, maybe out of frustration. Chris informs us that he is actually assigned to this company and the majority of the gear and vehicles were still in route back from Afghanistan. Looks like they will probably never make it now. We did however discover that the place had a diesel fueling station buried underground that could come in handy someday if we could get power to the pumps. From the Armory it is only a six or seven block drive to the safe zone and it looks as though Highway 52, which leads from the Armory to Larkin Ave. has been cleared by heavy equipment. The safe zone is only a few blocks North of Route 52 on Larkin Ave. Perhaps the safe zone personnel themselves looted the Armory, looking for supplies? We arrive at the safe zone and are greeted by a flurry of activity not seen since the crises first began. It is alive with living, breathing people! And it could almost give a person a sense of hope after all we have been through. Almost.......................

The high school campus is like most every other high school in the country. A large football field with bleacher seating, baseball diamonds, tennis courts, and a way overpriced, architecture’s fantasy of a school building. All compliments of the tax payers. Seems those school boards can’t have normal buildings anymore, they need some fancy liberals’ dream workplace. I don’t think they imagined the armed guards with rifles that I see on the roof. I guess none of that matters anymore under current conditions. The perimeter of the large parking lot has a fence of a sort. Someone has taken surrounding stalled cars and lined the edge of the property, and stacked those two and in some places three vehicles on top one another. They must have used a large front end loader or forklift of some sort. The City of Joliet owns quite a few and I think I hear one running now in the distance. I can also make out several dozen people walking on the other side, all looking like they have somewhere important that they needed to be five minutes ago.

Slowing down at the ‘gate’ the convoy pulls to a stop. The gate basically consists of a small ‘short’ bus that they jockey back and forth. Guess it works, but I would want a better permanent fixture for long term.
The size of our caravan has gathered a bit of a crowd, which I can see forming over the vehicle wall. Several subjects with firearms stop at the gate; and I see a thin white male who hops over the wall and approaches my driver’s window. He cautiously walks up to the ambulance as if I was a new type of zombie that can drive.
I roll the window down and tell him we are here to enter the safe zone we keep hearing about.
“You folks have anyone injured, that may have been bitten?” He asks.
“Negative, and there are five total in my group.” I tell him.
After a bit more questioning he tells me to drive inside once the gate opens and stop near the tennis courts for a medical inspection as a safety precaution.
I tell him I understand their concerns, and as he waves me through, I radio back to the group what we are to do once inside.

They direct us to a vehicle parking area and we get out and are led to the fenced in tennis court that they have set up as an intake, separated from the rest of the facility by chain link fence, where a medical technician takes our temp and a few other tests and writes the results on a clip board.
While Dan, Chris and I were waiting for Stephen and Mattie to get cleared, we looked around the area, and a few things we noticed stood out. Several squad cars, fire dept trucks and ambulances were on scene. As well as the portable light towers belonging to the city. I also spot a WCCQ 98.3 FM white panel van. Well that’s a good sign; maybe more of the city services made it than i originally thought. And I would hate to have to fight Zombies in the dark. With the power being out, it gets real dark without street lights.
Chris, who is also looking, sees something that makes him stop in his tracks.
“Be right back Mike.” He said and walked toward a fire truck.
As Chris neared the truck, he could see that the front passenger side was all dented and scratched with white paint transfer on it. Looking around he locates a group of firemen nearby.
“Hey guys, whose truck is this?” He asked pointing with his thumb.
One of the guys replies “It is mine. Why do you ask?”
“This truck almost ran my ass over on Gardner Street, and destroyed my squad when it fled the area at the highway accident.”
The man’s face turned white. “Oh man, I am so sorry. Things went to shit so fast, we got scared and took off. We didn’t even see you.”
Chris had wanted to hit someone, but at the man’s heartfelt apology, he couldn’t muster the energy to be angry.
“Don’t sweat it bro, it turned out alright. No hard feelings.” Chris surprised himself by saying.
After shaking hands with him and the man’s friends Chris walked back over to where I was standing and again told me the story of nearly being run over. Once we all had been medically cleared and back at our vehicles,

I scan the crowd and soon spot a familiar face. Robert Anderson sees me at the same time and jogs over to say hello. He states they had no problem making it to the safe zone in his Tahoe, and only had to run over a few Zombies along the way. Due to his police experience he had immediately been assigned to the perimeter, and had pulled a shift last night. He would like to get a gig going out on scavenging runs using his truck and has already volunteered for it. Holly made herself busy immediately as well, setting up a counseling center in an old classroom, helping people who were having a hard time dealing with losing family and friends, and everyone here has lost someone close. Even Vanessa has realized that she is not the only one who has suffered and is starting to snap out of it. He also goes on to tell me that the living arrangements suck, he is stuck in a gymnasium that is full of beds, along with several hundred other people, similar to what you saw on TV after hurricane Katrina in 2005. It seems if you are a buddy of the councilman however, you get to use an old classroom as private living quarters. The food is not bad though, considering. There was a lot of food stuffs in the cafeteria and the school generator has provided power for cooking. He ends by saying he needs to go check on his wife and kids, who are helping organize activities for the children on the campus, and will look me up later.

As soon as Rob leaves, what looks like a paper pusher type carrying a clip board and another guard who has a pump shotgun standing with him. I walk towards them and the clip board man begins to attempt to give me orders.
“Ok, you are the new arrivals I have heard about, correct? What we need you to do is unload all of your food and water supplies over near the large tent to the south. All gear and related things will be stacked, in an orderly fashion mind you, near the semi trailer next to it. Next, the vehicles you have brought into the safe zone will be confiscated for official security and safe zone use. Last but not least all personal and whatever additional firearms, ammo, and weapons this group has will be turned over immediately to safe zone security personnel.”
I just stared at this idiot like he just called me an asshole, thinking ’Wait till Stephen hears this!’
Several moments ticked by which made the man uncomfortable.
“Sir, uh….I said...” He stuttered.
“I heard what you said,” I interrupted.
“Let me give you a bit of advice,” I continued. “Never order a man to turn over his guns unless you are prepared to take them by force.”
Mr. Clip Board seemed unsure of himself. Probably never had anyone tell him ‘no’ before.
“But my orders…you have to...” He began.
“You and your orders can go fuck off.” I tell him.
The guard, who clearly had no idea what he was doing, said “You better do as ordered or we will detain you.”
Now I had to laugh. This dork who looks like he just started this line of work today is threatening me…in a ‘safe’ zone?
“Why don’t you go with clip board man here and have a three way with his orders?” I tell him. “My entire group is all cops, and no one is detaining anybody!”
I hear my comrades’ step up behind me, most likely investigating the raised voices of my verbal altercation.
Stephen slides up next to me. “What’s the problem Mike?”
“This jerk off is telling me we got to turn over our supplies, gear, vehicles and all of our guns to divvy up to the rest of the guards .” I say.
“WHAT? You folks are out of your fucking minds if you think we will do that.” Stephen yells.
More guards show up as the argument looks like it could turn physical. Just then a voice cuts through and quiets us down.
“What seems to be the cause for this ruckus?”
I turn and look at a familiar looking thin white male wearing a freaking suit of all things.
The guards snap to attention and salute the Suit.
“Sir, these subjects refuse to follow orders and turn over items per Safe Zone directives.” The original guard said.
Suit looks at me and then scans the rest of my friends.
“Is this true?” he asks.
“Hell yea it is true. Your radio broadcasts said nothing about turning over all our shit once inside your safe zone!” I said.
“Well son, these are desperate times which call for desperate measures. So if it seems I trample on some constitutional rights in order to save my city, so be it. It is important for the common good of my citizens here that those who can afford to give do so.” He said.
I look around at the other occupants of the safe zone. There appeared to be seven to eight hundred people inside the encampment. Looking closely, I see a huge majority doing nothing but sitting on their ass. With minimal subjects pulling guard duty or doing manual labor of some sort.
“Yea, I see how well your redistribution of our supplies and firearms would benefit your people here by letting them get fatter off our food. If you folks need stuff I suggest you to put together supply runs by going out and scavenge up more of what you need.” I say.
Chris butts in “Hey, aren’t you Councilman Lewis?”
The Suit straightens up and brushes off his sleeves,” Why yes I am,” he says, “I am also Director of Northern Will County Safe Zone authorized by Homeland Security.”
“I thought so.” Chris said.
Chris turns to us and says “This is the tool who always votes against our police contracts and budgets.”
Councilman Lewis’ face began to turn red from anger. “I had very good reasons for why I voted how I did.” He looked around and chuckled to his guards and said, “Besides, it’s not like you cops helped matters with this epidemic.”
The guards all began to laugh.
Dan walked up to the Councilman and leaned forward with a scowl on his face. “We all lost a lot of friends and loved ones to this crisis scumbag. So shut your mouth before I do it for you. As far as taking my weapons, you see, I love them like they were family.”
His scowl was making his ugly facial scar turn white and twist like a snake.
“Now if some deranged idiot was to try and take a family member of mine…well I am not sure what I would do.”
I am not sure if it was his pretty speech or the fact that Dan actually kissed his home build AR15 while staring Councilman Lewis in the eye the entire time.
Lewis took a step back, clearly rattled. “Guards, put these people on perimeter duty as soon as possible.”

Lewis didn’t wait for a reply and spun around and stalked away in anger with the sound of the newcomers chuckling at his retreating back.
Councilman Lewis opened the door to the office that functioned as the safe zone command center. Slamming the door he walked to his desk and sat down. Inside a desk drawer he pulled out a bottle of Jack Daniels that he acquired from a recent seizure for ‘redistribution’. He poured himself a shot.
“Who do those clowns think they are?” He said aloud to the empty office.
They did not seem impressed one bit! Well that just shows what kind of imbeciles they were. I’ve almost won election for mayor three times! He thought.
Throwing down another shot, he felt his anger rise.
However this epidemic was the best thing to ever happen to his career. The sickness has killed every councilman and the mayor, which by default makes him top dog in this city! Without anyone to say otherwise, his word is basically law in this crisis! That was true until those five assholes showed up today.
Lewis was so mad it was a few moments before he realized his hands hurt. Looking down he saw that he was gripping the whiskey bottle so hard he was surprised the bottle did not break. Taking several deep breaths he reigned in his rage and slowly set the bottle onto the desk.
Wow, I haven’t been that angry in years! He thought. Not since my mother committed suicide.
It was also the fault of law enforcement! They arrested Charlie Kettle my brother, and the ensuing trial with all those dirty women’s testimonies that broke his mother’s heart and in a bout of depression, killed herself.
Lewis throws down another shot of liquid fire.
He was unable to return home for he was out in California at the time in college at the great liberal school of Berkley.
Poor Charlie! He thought.
Sure he had a problem, but he hasn’t tortured animals in years and all those women he supposedly sexually assaulted, well they were all in it for the money. The resulting law suit had paid out millions and bankrupted the church Charlie created and preached at.
Charlie had moved from one maximum security prison to another for several years, until ultimately stopping at Statesville Correctional Facility just outside of Joliet.
Lewis could never visit him either. It would devastate is political career if anyone found out he was related to Charlie. It was only for the fact that they shared the same mother but different fathers, and having different last names, kept anyone for knowing they shared blood.
Now he will never know if his brother is alive or dead now from this virus!
“And that jackass cop wonders why I vote against the police!”
Downing yet another shot he coughs and pours another just as fast.
Most of the subjects inside his Safe Zone here are just like sheep. Tell them to do something and they do it. They like someone making their decisions for them. But this new group, they need watching.
Walking over to the office window, Lewis cracks the blinds and looks out at the new group. They appeared to be gathering gear for a shift at perimeter duty. The big guy…Mike was his name? He was stacking some gear next to the ambulance. He saw a piece of gear that made his blood pressure soar. A ballistic shield with big white lettering that stated ‘POLICE’.
Fucking cops!
Yes they definitely deserved to be watched closely.

I had the guard I first met, Jack; give me a tour of the security measures for the perimeter while the rest unloaded whatever gear they might need. I find that the perimeter basically was a line of stacked vehicles and semi flatbed trailers. At least they were adding to it as I watch a few men drive a large front end loader up to the wall and stack new vehicles on top of the lower layers which they previously flattened. Other than the wall, they had very few actual armed guards providing protection for the people inside. I had seen a few on the roof but I wonder what good they would even do from there. I point that I in fact point out to Jack.
“Yes I do know that we are way undermanned. But the Councilman refuses to arm the majority of people here because he doesn’t think that a hundred armed guys will take orders when they need to be followed.”
“But you will never survive a concentrated assault if you had to.” I tell him.
“Preaching to the choir my friend”, He said tiredly, “Look I used to be a manager at Best Buy. I never even shot a gun up till a week ago. Now I am in charge of security and am in way over my head.”
“Relax bro, if we can help out we will. We have a few guys in my group including myself with prior military experience, and are all police officers as well.” I say.
“I will gladly take any help or advice you got to give. Hell you can have my job if you want it.” Jack said.
“I will pass friend. After this afternoon’s run in with that dork that is in charge, I don’t think that would be a good idea.”
Jack chuckled at my comment and proceeded to show me the rest of the safe zone. I give him my first impressions and ideas on what he could do to make it more secure. First they needed more manpower patrolling the wall. Maybe standing on raised platforms that are spread out over the entire length. To do this, go out into the people sitting on their ass and order them to pull their weight or get their stuff and leave. Maybe set up six or eight hour shifts. Next, there needs to be at least two bodies in each patrol group. No one works alone. Sanitation is next. Designate an area for showers, toilets and laundry. Assign people to set that up and oversee that it is done properly. Again no option, don’t like it they are out. Set up a mess hall, they food and water they had taken needs to be distributed as meals otherwise they will eat themselves dry within days. Jack shakes my hand and promises to get it done pronto and heads off to see to it. At my return the others ask how it went.
“The guard in charge, Jack, is a good guy. He is just way over matched under current circumstances is all.”
The conversation then turns to who wants what shift.

Chris and Dan volunteer for the remainder of the current shift and grab their rifles and head off for the wall. Seems those two have become close friends.
Mattie tells Stephen and I that she would like to help out the medics that they had on site. They were way under staffed and she had some medical training as a EMT and would like to help out. We agreed that would be a good idea.
“Well looks like we got the night shift. Lets try to grab some shut eye.” I tell Stephen.
Before we get a chance to do so, Stephen fills me in that a few guys from the police force were here at the safe zone. The guys that were here however were the ‘coward’ types. The type you could not depend on when your back was against the wall. Every department has them. It seems that the day it all started to break loose, these guys were in the police station doing nothing, or hiding while fellow officers were dying. I did not hide my displeasure at hearing this bit of news.
“Oh it gets better. Seems out of all the people to die; the one grease ball to live and make it to that press conference is walking up behind you as I speak.” Stephen said.
I stopped dragging out my sleeping bag and turn to see a familiar figure saunters our way. A fat man with greasy receding hair, parked his largeness in front of Stephen and I.
Sgt. Henderson looked at us with a look of self importance.
“I see you two are making friends. Lucky for you guys that making a complaint against you will do no good.”
“And I see you haven’t missed any meals other than what is spilled on your shirt.” I say pointing at the several large stains on his shirt. I can’t believe he is still wearing his uniform.
“I have had enough of your insubordination Officer Thorson; I want you to apologize to Councilman Lewis right away. He is an important man who we are blessed to have lead us through these dark days.”
Blessed? I look over at Stephen, who never did like Sgt. Henderson.
“Did you hear something Stephen? Sounded like a suck ass doing what he does best.”
Stephen let out a roaring laugh.
Sgt. Henderson’s face turned purple with rage.” Why you little…” He began.
I stood up and got my nose inches from his face.
“You got something you want to tell me fat man? I say in a quiet voice. “I would like to know how it is that we never saw you at all throughout that entire day we were fighting for our life. Not once did any of us here you on the radio. Your whole career all you did was hide behind others whenever things got physical. You have been a coward ever since I’ve known you and most likely still are. You cannot hide behind your badge anymore because these Zombies don’t give a fuck who you are. Now that the police department safety blanket you had is gone, you now suck up to Councilman Lewis. Go back to your master fat man. Stay out of my sight and leave the fighting for the real men.”
Sgt. Henderson tried to shout more orders but gave up as I unrolled my sleeping bag and climbed in closing my eyes. Finally he gave up and fast walked back towards the school.
Stephen said once he was gone, “Things are not what we thought it would be here. We might want to think of preparing to leave for the prison.”
“Lets give it a week.” I said. “If it doesn’t get better, we can pull up stakes and head out.”
“Sounds good. Whose idea was it to come here again?” He asked.
“Mattie’s.”
“Guess we were blinded by her hotness.” He said.
“She is too hot for her own good.” I say.
Laughing, Stephen could only agree as we tried to get some sleep.

The next couple days pass without much backlash from Councilman Lewis or Sgt. Henderson. Stephen and I did agree to let some of our reserve firearms be distributed to the group. Our revolvers and Stephen’s bolt action 30-06 and Double barreled 12Ga as well as the ammunition for them. I have noticed that the contact with the random infected has increased dramatically over the last few days and the guns were put in good hands and right to use. Given to charity, Stephen even donated some of his food supplies to the safe zone to help out. Included in this was a stash of multi-vitamins for the kids.
The new security measures I have offered and others that my group added has made the security section of the safe zone run much smoother. Also the sanitation area lessened the stench of hundreds of bodies a lot as well. It also gave the guards a punishment to dish out as needed for those who get caught fighting or stealing supplies. Reward for such behavior is burning the shit from the latrines. Failure to comply is automatic expulsion from the compound. After enforced a few times there is remarkably few infractions.

The only thing that the person in charge failed to implement is to set up supply runs on a daily basis. Robert Anderson had gone out on a couple runs and had very good results, securing food, fuel and generators for the safe zone. The reason Councilman Lewis was shying away from more runs was that he recently had sent out a truck that was armed with one bolt action rifle and a .38 revolver. The truck never made it back in the two hour time frame it was given. When a plume of smoke was spotted in the distance, I rounded up my guys in the ambulance and went to investigate. Again I had to argue with the gate guard with the threat I would ram it open because I didn’t have clearance to leave.
When we arrived we found the still burning truck along with dozens of undead milling around. Plus their ranks were increased by two as we could see the driver and passenger stumbling after us obviously dead and infected.
Returning to the safe zone, we had to man the walls as a very large group of Zombies had attacked from the south in our absence. Pulling right up to the wall once inside; my guys meet Mattie in the heat of the battle. Whipping her hair back from her face with a shake of her head, she began giving me hell.
“Don’t you dare leave me here with these idiots ever again!” She yelled as she blasted a Zombie in the face with what is now her new Bushmaster AR15 complete with EoTech. She has become quite fond of it and without missing a beat replaces an empty magazine and resumes firing.

My apology was lost in the thunder of my groups’ added firepower as we unleashed carnage among the enemy. We were again turning the tide in our favor. The cries and the blood were becoming all to common place.
Shortly after, with few remaining, I called for a cease fire. The gun fire trickled to a halt, and the guards looked at me confused, for there were still Zombies to be killed. To show them that they could kill without wasting precious ammo at times, I grabbed my bat and hopped down and headed for the few left that turned and came my way. The few guards on the wall stared as if I grew a second head.
“You see guys, you don’t always need a gun to kill these.” I say and bash the first to reach me in the melon.
“In fact, this is actually quite fun.” The second goes down after another swing of the bat snaps the infected bastards’ neck as the impact slams into its head.
“Move aside assholes.” I hear Dan growl.
He leaps down from the platform of a semi trailer with a shovel in his hands and joins in. Together we make short work with the remaining Zombies and hop back onto our vehicle wall.
I see Jack walk my way shaking his head in disbelief.
“You are one crazy bastard Mike, but I will make all guards from now on carry a blunt weapon of some type. We can raid the school sports equipment room of all their baseball bats.”
“Good idea, but you have a bigger problem. I am told most of your guys ran away from the battle after it started.”
Jack’s face twisted in a grimace when I said this.
“I am well aware of what happened and it will be addressed immediately.” He said, patting me on the shoulder while walking off looking for the deserters.

I see most of the guys nearby and call for a meeting in the ambulance. As they walked over to the truck I see Mattie sitting on a vehicle’s trunk with her knees pulled up to her chest.
“You alright Mattie?” I asked.
“He was just a kid.” She whispered.
Looking around, not seeing a kid, I asked what she meant.
“The first one I shot before you got back. He was just a kid.” She said as she looked at me with tears in her eyes.
“Damn…sorry girl, but these creatures are not human anymore. He would have killed you without any remorse. No more than stepping on a bug.” I said.
“I know that, but it still fucks with your head, you know?” she replied.
Putting my arm around her shoulder I told her not to hold it in.
“Let it out girl, or it will eat you up from the inside.”
Mattie laid her head into my chest and cried for a few minutes quietly.
Telling me she is now ok, she wiped her eyes. “Don’t tell the others I broke down please.”
“You might be surprised but I bet everyone here has broke down since this shit started at some point.” I said reassuring.
“Even you?”
“No I haven’t yet, but then again I am a asshole.” I joked.
Laughing she punches me in my arm. “Let’s go meet the others.”
Inside the ambulance, which was cramped but secure, for our meeting.
“What’s up Mike?” Chris said.
“I don’t like how this fight went today.” I started. “Mattie tells me that most ran off once the fighting started. They don’t fight as a group; it is all ‘every man for himself’ stuff.”
“I agree.” Stephen said. “It was not encouraging to see. Plus they haven’t had to many new people arrive at the safe zone since we have been here.”
“They also haven’t had but a few successful supply run yet. I swear they must go hide around the block and come right back.” Chris added.
I look around at each of their faces. “I think it is time we sent someone to secure our fallback location, the prison. Whoever we send needs to secure it for the rest of us and prepare it for our arrival.”
Dan raises his hand. “I will go.” He said. “I need to get some fresh air anyways.”
More like he needs to get away from all the angry women here at the compound he has pissed off with his blunt sexually oriented remarks and occasional groping incidents.
Chris also wished to get out of here. “I don’t trust that councilman nor do I trust Sgt. Henderson and his boys. I’ve kept my eye on them, but they have been staying out of our way as of late.”

So there it was. Dan and Chris will leave soon as we exit the ambulance. In order to make it look good so the safe zone refugees don’t freak out when a bus and truck both loaded with supplies leave, we decided to stage a little fake fight.
Stephen opens the back doors, apologizes to Dan quietly, then yells in fake rage and boldly throws him from the back of the ambulance.
The rest of us pretend to hold Stephen back from continuing the fight. Chris got out holding Dan back.
“If you don’t like how things are being handled here Dan, you can just fucking leave!” Stephen yelled.
“Damn straight I will leave. You all are in a hurry to die here!” Dan yelled back. “Well not me, I am for the road. You all can go to hell!”
Dan got into the bus and started it up.
Chris also said loudly, “I am leaving too, you guys are assholes.” He also ran for his truck and pulled in behind Dan who stopped at the gate.
“You better open that gate or I will shoot you dead where you stand.” He screamed out the window as he leveled his AR-15 at the nearest guard.
The guards scramble to get it open as quickly as possible.
As we watch the bus and truck leave and head down the road to the prison, I turn and see that we had drew a crowd of onlookers.
Most were shocked at what happened, and quite a few ladies were actually crying as they watched Dan’s vehicle fade in the distance.
Guess some women liked to be treated like shit.
Shaking my head in wonder, I walk over to Stephen and Mattie. “Well looks like it worked.”
Just then a group of several women walked up to Stephen. “You sir are an asshole. Dan was the sweetest man we have ever met.” One of them said. The rest just agreed and nodded their heads yes. They all walked away with moist eyes.
“Wow. Maybe I better leave too,” Stephen said, “safer out there with the Zombies.”
We looked at each other and laughed.
Mattie says just then behind us with a total straight face, “I do not find any humor in that guys.”
Which only made me and Stephen laugh all the harder.
That night Stephen and I set up sleeping quarters on top of the ambulance roof…

********

Pulling up to the main gate of the Collin street prison, Dan and Chris exited there vehicles.
“Never heard of breaking into a prison before.” Dan said.
“Well it is a good thing we stopped by that automotive garage on the way for some tools.” Chris said as he retrieved a cutting torch and tanks from his truck. Carrying the torch up to the gate, Chris began prepping it for operation while Dan pulled guard duty.
“This place should be empty inside. It has been shut down for years.” Chris said while he worked.
“We got company.” Dan said moments later, alerted by Buddy growling from the cab of the truck. Buddy had been sleeping in the truck and was forced to make the trip with Chris. Chris looked up. Only seeing a half dozen or so shuffling their way, he didn’t seem too concerned as they were still a ways off.
“You got this?” he said.
“Oh hell yea.” Dan said and walked out to meet them while Chris began cutting through the gate locking mechanism with the cutting torch.

As the hot flame cut through the metal, sending molten steel dripping onto the ground with sparks flying, Chris could hear the soft thumping of Dan’s suppressed rifle. The lack of a report was once again paying dividends. After a few minutes, Dan comes walking back to the gate just as Chris cuts through the lock. Swinging the gate open, Chris walks back and throws the torch into the truck. Stopping suddenly, some movement catches his eye. Looking that way Chris sees about twenty infected moving his direction.
“Hey, I thought you took care of these Dan?” Chris yelled to Dan.
Dan drops what he was doing and walks over to Chris.
“I did waste them.” Dan said and lit his ever present cigar.” These are new brain eaters.”
“We should get the trucks inside.” Chris said.
Dan hawked up a good one and launched it towards the undead staggering to them, then turned and hopped into the converted school bus.
Once inside the gate, Chris runs back with a length of chain and a padlock which he used to secure the gate.
Turning off the loud diesels, they both slowly spun and took in the view of their new home.

Built in the mid 1800’s the Collins street state prison was housing prisoners up until as recent as 7 or 8 years ago. Citing overhead, maintenance costs and budget shortfalls, the Dept. of Corrections closed it down and transferred the prisoners all over the state. Several businesses had grand ideas of what to do with the huge complex, but money was always a sticking point and they all fell through.

Each of the eight foot thick and forty foot tall walls of solid limestone ran a length of 300 yards. The towers, cell blocks, etc were made up of the same yellowish stone. It was all quarried here in town, across the street, in what is now a 5 acre lake, hidden in a small forest preserve. Most likely prisoner labor was used to cut the blocks… No small task indeed!
Now as the two survivors explore the immediate buildings, they see that years of neglect and exposure to the elements took obvious toll on the structure. Large chunks of mortar were missing in building walls. Even the roof had partially collapsed at some point, making the Wardens area and the administration offices open to the sky. Water damage and birds nest filling the top floor. The cell blocks were not too bad. Paint had peeled off in huge thick chunks with the smell of rust and mold in the air.
Mike won’t stay in here with his allergies.” Chris said. “Let’s keep looking.”
Outside breathing fresh air again, they could see the signs of Nature taking back its territory. Weeds grew unchecked and small trees had sprouted in the cracked cement of the exercise yard.
The sheer size of the prison complex was impressive. It was basically like a medieval fortress and the architecture was built to mirror that.
As the late afternoon sun began its trek downward, the shadows slowly crept across the empty yard.
“I think we have seen enough for today. How about we find a place to set up camp for the night?” Chris said.
Dan creaked his neck around while he was in mid stretch.
“What do you think of the old prison fire station?” he asked.

They walked over to the two story structure and quickly cleared it. As they finished clearing the second story, Chris knew this was exactly what he was looking for. It was in surprisingly good shape, besides the ever present peeling paint, had a large second floor and a narrow stairwell that one person could barricade and hold forever. The garage door was intact and still could be opened from the inside, The walls inside has outlines where the various axes, picks and shovels would have been stored while the prison was open. This made it easy for the guards to make sure nothing was missing. The tools were now long gone.

Dropping their rucksacks, they both went exploring for something to use for their fire pit, and ended up settling for a heavy metal trash can. They found a large supply of scrap lumber inside a warehouse sized building which was used for a work shop area for prisoners. Taking several trips they amassed a large pile to last throughout the night. A short while later with a fire going, they had a couple cans of Campbell’s Chunky soup heating up on top of a metal grate Dan had found. After a meal to fill their bellies, they broke out some baby wipes to take a whore bath. Soon both were asleep, leaving Buddy to wander the yard on a sort of patrol, knowing they were now in the safest place in the city.

********

Two days later finds me giving a demonstration of how to fight these Zombies to a large group of guards. The ranks of the guards has swollen of late with new recruits being added at my prodding. Councilman Lewis just did not want to give up the guns! Even Troy Lundell, the young reporter wanted to sit in. Jack was hoping to have me to offer up any new tactics or insights on how to fight the Zombies more effectively.
I started my lecture by telling them that the infected are no longer thinking human beings.
“If you hesitate because your target is a female or a child, or a elderly subject….you will die.” I said.
“After they eat their fill, if there is enough of your flesh left, you will then rise and try to eat the rest of us yourselves."
I noticed I am starting to pace back and forth, and anger is in my voice.
“Any who can’t stomach what needs to be done can just leave now. The infected will stop at nothing to get into the safe zone.”
I point to the wall behind me where there were already a few moaning, trying to scale the wrecked vehicles that made up the perimeter wall. Several attempts to reinforce the barrier have met with mixed results over the past few days. Mostly it is still stacked, crushed cars.
”Once they find you they will not leave unless they are led away by another meal.”
“Only major head trauma seems to stop them. If you run out of ammo, a rifle can become a blunt instrument in a pinch. But I would not recommend it unless your life is in danger. Because who wants to hold a bloody rifle after you bash in a skull with it?”
“This is why everyone here was issued a baseball bat, or shovel. Like I said, don’t hesitate to swing, one bite from them is all it takes to turn you into one of them it seems.”
Still pacing back and forth I continue, “I do not know how long it takes to turn, but if you do get bit, just be assured I will not hesitate.”
“My friends and I have traveled a long way battling these Zombies every inch and I will not get eaten because someone else does some dumb shit that gets us all killed...." Stopping for effect, I then continue my lecture. "Another thing I have learned is sound attracts them as well... Also, when one show up it is like they send out a signal that food is to be had and more show up by the scores..... perhaps by smell or something.”
I can see the mood of the group has been growing more tense. I turn and lift my AR15 in one move and fire three quick shots, taking three Zombies, all in the skull. The infected dropped in mid moan and remain still.
The one remaining infected didn’t even try to escape.
I point at three new guards. “You three, go bash its head in. You folks need to see what it takes to do it by hand.”

All three paled visibly, but did as told and climbed onto the hood of an old Chevy Caprice and began whacking wildly at the zombie. What they lacked in skill they more than made up in enthusiasm. After both of its arms were broken in several places, and most of its teeth knocked out, they managed to inflict enough head damage to destroy whatever makes it function. Breathing hard, they all turned back with shit eating grins and giving others high five’s.
“A little messy but I like your dedication of finishing the job. Now do it again.” As I point to the several dozen creatures that are coming right for us walking in the roadway…...

Across the safe zone life for many survivors has become a bit of a routine. Maybe too comfortable of one. There was even a touch football game that morning. Fireman could be seen washing their trucks and a poker game had been running for 16 hours strait in one of the gymnasiums. Not nearly enough security and supply work was being done, and this was worrying Stephen. with so much work to be done, now was not the time for fun....................
Mattie throws the items she held in her hands down in frustration.
“I don’t know what to pack!” She says.
Stephen leans over and picks up the backpack and spare clothing that she threw down.
“Listen, all you need to pack is whatever you think you might need to use over a three day span.”
“Why only three days?” She asked.
“A Bug out Bag or B.O.B. was designed for if you needed to flee your home, with the idea that your destination should be within a radius of how far you could go in three days. Hoping that whatever made you leave was not as bad as where you were trying to get to.”
“That makes sense I guess." She replied. "But it won’t take three days to reach the prison.”
Stephen shakes his head no. “We don’t know that. The draw bridges over the river might be up, or we might have to hole up somewhere. The Zombie hoard might be too thick to make it and we may have to go elsewhere for now.”
‘I see, so a lot of food, water and ammo.” She stated.
“Basically yes, throw in a change of clothes and personal hygiene stuff.” Stephen suggested.

Since most of their personal belongings and weapons were loaded onto the school bus Dan took with, they didn’t have much in the way of personal property left. As Mattie began to rattle on about how horrible this all was and if anyone we worked with made it out alive....blah blah blah…
Stephen cannot remember a word she said because he had a most excellent view down her shirt, and as luck would have it, that’s all she had on up top. That is besides a little gold locket that was resting in the most perfect location. Mattie paused after she realized she was doing all the talking and looked at Stephen, who didn’t notice she had gone silent. A few seconds ticked by and it finally dawned on Stephen that she was watching him look down her shirt and that he had been busted red handed. And this was after busting out Dan for the same thing several times.
Stephen gave a little cough, “Ah, I got to go help Mike with his demonstration.” At that he quickly exited from the truck and then ran even faster when her laughter followed him out the doors.

Watching the infected come into decent rifle range, I tell Jack to give the order for those that were good shots to start thinning the herd.
Shots cracked out and echoed off into the distance. The shuffling hoard continued to slowly made its way closer, forever undeterred.
Clicking the selector switch to ‘semi’, I begin helping out. Quickly I burn through the first magazine of thirty rounds. As I slap the bolt forward on the next, I see Stephen has joined the party.
“I miss anything Mike?” He asked.
I looked over at him over the stock of my rifle. “Yea while you were gone, a terrible virus began to turn people into mindless cannibals.” I said sarcastically.”
“Very funny asshole.” He said, and began taking head shots; trying to match my tally of infected before they were all decimated.
Finally as the last went down, a ragged cheer went up. Jack was walking our way with a huge smile, when it quickly turned into a frown as two familiar figures intercepted him.
“A fantastic victory Captain.” Councilman Lewis said.
Sgt Henderson, slightly out of breath from the brisk walk pulls up his falling pants, “Yes indeed, fine victory.”
Jack stops and shakes his hand. “It would have been rough if Mike and Stephen had not shown the men their knowledge of the zombie warfare tactics. I think we would have been finished days ago.”
Lewis frowned, “Well we are fortunate to have them aren’t we?” He looked around at everyone but us. “Keep up the good work men.”
Lewis did an about face and almost collided with Sgt Henderson who was right behind him.
“Will you get out of my way you idiot? He said through clenched teeth.
Lewis stalked off with Sgt Henderson in tow.
“I think your boss is stuck with the idea that he is running for office not fighting for his life.” I tell Jack who shakes his head in frustration.
I take hold of his shoulder and stop him from leaving.
“Listen up; you are soon going to have a real problem on your hands.”
“Great, what now?” He asked.
I point out into the killing field at the pile of fresh corpses. “If the infected keep coming at us, it will not be long until the pile of bodies begin to make a ramp for them to walk right up and into our perimeter.”
Jack’s face went white as he could now see what I was talking about.
“Oh shit! Any ideas?” He asked.
“What about the front end loader?” I asked. “With it we could scoop the corpses up and pile them elsewhere for disposal. To stop disease alone this should have already been done.”
“Sadly that is not an option. We ran out of diesel today and Councilman Lewis refused to authorize a fuel run.”
I looked at Jack in shock. “You have got to be kidding me?
“No I am afraid not friend. Since your group arrived, Lewis has been acting really weird." He replied. "As if you were trying to oust him from his position of authority.”
“I’ll get to the bottom of this. Where is he now?”
“He is probably in his office with his cronies, where it is safe.” Jack said. “They spend a lot of time up there and keep all the best food and other goodies for themselves. Have him hand over more ammo, and firearms as well. We are low on both.”

I nodded as I turned and jogged over to the ambulance where Stephen and Mattie joking about Stephen's hasty retreat.
“Heads up you two, you might have to head back to the barrier wall sooner than you want to. There has been a steady stream of those infected bastards all day!” I said. "Appears to be picking up again already."
“How bad is it?” Stephen asked.
“Worse than you think. And we need more of everything around here!”
I then went into detail on how the ammo supply is low with the main bulk of it under Lewis’ control. I also fill him in about the corpses piling up and the front end loader being out of fuel. As the list went on Stephen’s eyes just got bigger with disbelief.
“What the hell is that idiot thinking? He is playing politics with people’s lives. Remember all that diesel sitting at the Armory a few blocks away?"
“Don’t we all.” I said sadly. "Like all dictators, he is willing to trade lives for power."

Jogging down the hall I notice three or four of the cops I used to work with outside of Lewis’ office. They are all smoking cigarettes and get real quiet as I walk up. As I attempt to enter the office, the oldest one named Marvin put a hand on my chest to stop me. Looking first down at his pudgy hand I then look him in the eye.
“You might want to be moving your hand." I growl at him.
“Um..... sorry Mike.... you can’t go…” he began.
“Save it Marvin, now move or I will open the door with your face.”
For a old man, Marvin can jump.
I shove the door open and see Sgt. Henderson reclining in a chair with his feet on the desk next to him.
Lewis is reading a report of some sort trying to look busy.
“Jack needs more ammo, and hand out firearms to the refugees, we really need the extra help.” I tell him.
“Absolutely not. I will not have a bunch of trigger happy rednecks shooting at everything that moves.” He yelled. "The perimeter has been holding fine."
Glancing over his shoulder I see a supply room, that was once a teachers lounge, with some of supplies I needed stacked up in neat rows..
“I don’t have time for this bullshit.” I say and start to move around the desk.
Lewis, face purple with rage at my not caring for his authority, begins to stand in protest.
“You are going nowhere assho…!”
That’s as far as he got when my fist was introduced to the spot between his eyes.
The sound of crackling nose cartilage and him slamming back into his seat hard enough to spill him over backwards was sweet indeed.
Sgt. Henderson made as far as to get up to intervene, but sat back down as I turned to him.
“Just sit there and make sure he doesn’t choke on his own blood.” I tell him because Lewis looks knocked the fuck out.

I bolt into the next room and grab two large .50 cal ammo cans and start for the outer door. Seeing Marvin, I shove the cans into his hands and tell him to take them out to Jack at the perimeter. Not waiting for a reply I run back and grab two more of the large metal cans. looking around I see that Lewis has managed to save a lot of the good stuff for himself. High end liquor, cigars and food stuffs all set aside for himself. I will have to deal with this later.

By the time I get the ammo out to the perimeter I am puffing out of breath. Man I hate to run! Never liked it; whenever a criminal ran from me I at least tried to keep him in sight and call out his location on the radio. Cannot out run Motorola!
I drop the ammo cans next to Jack and he looks at me. “You know you are bleeding?”
Looking down I dismiss the blood and wipe it on my pants. “It isn’t mine.”
Jack waits for an answer but shrugs after he doesn’t get one. “Thanks Mike I will see to it this gets handed out right away.”
With no rest for the wicked, I am back in the fight. The new ammunition is having the desired effect and the shooting is beginning to pick up. Soon I am awash in a sea of blood as a stream of Zombies continues to arrive. They are a cross section of former America. I try not too, but if you look at their clothing you can often tell a lot about their former lives. I have shot former McDonalds employees walking along still wearing a drive through headsets. Mechanics still covered in grease. Garbage men and nurses. A car wash attendant and construction workers still wearing tool belts. School children and nursing home residents who before couldn't walk from arthritis but now can.

The battle has been slowly intensifying and I stop to take a breather and twist open the cap of a bottle of water. As my head is tilted back I notice that daylight is fading. There is also a very dark storm front moving in very fast from the west that is making night fall much sooner. Faint rumblings of thunder could be heard in between the cracks of rifle fire and shouts from the people fighting on the barrier wall.
That damned moaning sound is getting annoying as hell.
How long have we been at this? At least several hours, probably longer!

I grab Stephen as he hurries to deliver some ammo. This work has been made more difficult than it needs to be due to the fact that Sgt. Henderson never bothered to sort the ammunition. Most of it had been taken from Gander Mountain and Wal-Marts and just thrown into cans. There was .270 mixed in with .243, 30-06, 30/30 and 7mm Win mag. The pistol ammo cans were not any better. Boxes of .380, 9mm .40 and .45 all mixed in the same cans. Some calibers were running so short that Stephen had even donated most of his remaining 7.62x39 to a group of guys manning a particularly hot spot in the wall who were using Ruger Mini-30 Ranch Rifles.
“Hey!” I tell Stephen. “The sun is going down soon and there is a thunder storm moving in. We need to get the portable lights up and running soon! Go tell Jack to get someone on it a.s.a.p.”
Stephen yells for me to go do naughty things with my mother but I know he will get it done. I head back to my personal ambulance that we have been living out of to grab my carbine, bat and shield. Inside the rear of the shadow filled ambulance I grab my carbine and bat. Now where is that damned shield?
Cursing under my breath, outside I can hear the steady gunfire and shouts for help on the line. Then a cry of pain...Sounds like someone got bitten! In the background I hear now several portable light plants engines fire up. There must have been one nearby start up for there was a sudden increase of light that lit up the back. Now seeing a corner of the shield poking out from under my backpack, I grab both and hop out of the ambulance. The wind had picked up in the few minutes I was in my truck. Smoke from the gunfire began to whip away from the killing fields and mix in with a refuse pile that was being burnt in a corner of the safe zone.

With the wind came a sharp temperature drop. Running to the wall I hop on top of a flat bed semi trailer to see what we were up against.
Dropping my rucksack and bat with shield onto it, I looked out and down Glenwood Street to the west of our location.
Something did not sit right. You see the wind, that had picked up, is now making large trees bend and creak. ‘And it had brought something else with it as well.’ I can not help but think.
I cannot place my finger on what made my ‘cop hunch’ scream in warning. The crash of thunder in the distance was slowly getting closer, as did the number of Zombies that were assaulting our wall.
To conserve ammo I let the others shoot while I cleaned up any stragglers that got through to the wall with the bat.
Now as dusk fell and with the approaching storm now overhead, rain began to lightly fall and slowly picked up into a steady downpour.
Wind pushing the rain at a decent angle made for a slippery footing on top of the vehicles we stood on.
Finally, the current wave of infected was destroyed. Standing there catching my breath as others reloaded magazines and rifles while they could; I tilted my head back to let the rain quench my thirst.

Looking down the line I see that everyone that was willing to fight was now on the frontline, manning the barricades that surrounded the safe zone. You could feel the urgency of the situation at hand. You could see it in their faces, they knew this moment was coming since they had arrived here, little by little, person by person, over the last week. I was proud of the fight many were putting up on such short notice in the worst of circumstances. Even Holly, the liberal we had rescued at Aldi's was now standing on the roof of a old Ford Expedition, holding a Ruger 10-22. Robert Anderson was there as well, shotgun at the ready.
‘Still.’ I mused.... ‘many hundreds more just waited, in the relative safety of the school buildings itself, for someone else to save them.’
I’m sure that is what Lewis and Henderson are doing right now......
There is was again.
That loud roaring of thunder clouds that seemed closer than ever only had one problem; where the fuck was the flashes of lightning?
The adrenaline dump that hit my body felt like a kick in the balls. My head snapped forward and I looked out into the darkness. The lights we had could not shine very far out due to the driving rain. Now as I struggled to see past the edge of the lights, shadows began to form.
Where they bushes moving from the wind?
I shout for the others around me to be quite.
As silence fell the storm churned and flowed above us. Thunder now seemed right on top of us.
Where again were the bolts of lightning to make the thunder?
It dawned on me that this was not sounds of the storm we heard.
Then it hit me.
What we heard was the roar of our death coming from the throats of thousands of undead.
I felt my blood run cold as out of the darkness a hoard of undead thousands strong rolled into sight.
Fuck me…
We all got it commin kid.......
JPD158
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Posted: 9/18/2010 2:25:54 AM
[Last Edit: 9/18/2010 2:26:37 AM by JPD158]
Sorry for the slight delay... long day at work, I wanted to have it up by 2200. Should be able to get the next one up before my shift next Friday. At least I know someone is reading, so thanks!
We all got it commin kid.......
Gripy
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Posted: 9/18/2010 4:35:21 AM
"fuck me..."

Great read, keep it up.
cwm1150
Down with the sickness.........
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Posted: 9/18/2010 5:20:52 AM
[Last Edit: 9/18/2010 5:22:15 AM by cwm1150]
Excellant update, thanks for writing this. Maybe u should look into publishing it..........

The visual of lighting a cigar with a burning zombie arm, rules!!
Join the NRA, our way of life depends on it!

Gary_P
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Posted: 9/18/2010 8:30:22 AM
thank you!
Originally Posted By GumbyTM:
Dear fucking Hajis,

Welcome to America where you are free to adopt our ways of freedom.
If you expect us to alter our way of life to accommodate you please go fuck yourself and die.
PATCH5
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Posted: 9/18/2010 12:25:47 PM
thanks for the update!
00z28
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Posted: 9/18/2010 1:27:38 PM
Keep up the good work! Great story!
ferretray
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Posted: 9/18/2010 8:43:24 PM
Absolutely Badass! Thanks for sharing.
BroncoMafia
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Posted: 9/18/2010 10:18:19 PM
Holy shit . . .
I hope the next chapter is almost ready because making us wait right now is really gonna suck.
cougargnw
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Posted: 9/19/2010 6:31:10 PM
Excellent story!!!
combatcanin08
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Posted: 9/20/2010 12:30:19 AM
Hell ya

Nice cant wait for a update.
2T2_Crash
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Posted: 9/20/2010 9:30:39 AM
awesome cliff hanger!
Proud Member Of Ranstad's Militia
zack991
Wife say's i should do the Christan thing and invite them in, I told her its like inviting a child molester to a kids party. Someone is bound to get fucked up over it.
Hulka73
heh heh you said member
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Posted: 9/23/2010 9:04:19 AM
I can't believe I put reading this off.....dude great story!! I was just looking at pictures of the prison online, lol.


MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
PACK LaRue
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Posted: 9/24/2010 2:17:11 PM
[Last Edit: 11/5/2010 12:26:34 AM by JPD158]
Chapter Seven: Acts of Betrayal
October 8, 2011
Day 12

Dark and turbulent clouds raced in from the west. Slowly the wind picked up. At first it was a slight breeze that quickly began to bend small trees and toss around loose garbage strewn in the deserted streets.
In a shadowy alley in the downtown area of Joliet, a piece of darkness split away and emerged as a human figure. Pausing next to a boarded up old building the figure looked around to make sure he was alone. Looking up at the dilapidated structure and then the front door he moved forward and took hold of a weather beaten board barring the entrance. With a crack of wood and the protesting squeal of nails, the board was ripped free. The man then reared back and booted the door open. Pieces of the door jamb scattered onto the landing on which he stood and was swept away from the approaching storms winds. Checking again to make sure the noise did not attract attention; he turned and made a hand gesture towards the dark alley. Soon, several figures quickly and stealthily approached and entered the now open doorway. Once all were inside, the door was closed, shutting out the stiff wind whipping into the building. Turning, the figure told the others not to move. Walking with sure and confident steps the figure walked to a nearby cabinet and opened a drawer. Within moments the scraping sound of a match was heard followed by the light of a candle being lit. Slowly the light filled the immediate area. The others now took a look around and could see that they were all in an old and vacant church.
One of the men stepped forward. “Mr. Kettle, is this the church you spoke of?”
Mr. Kettle looked at the speaker and then at the rest of the group. There were eight in all; and every one of them a natural born killer.
“Yes,” Kettle said, “It has been a very long time since my departure. As you can see what happens to the soul when left outside of God’s healing touch, it begins to wilt and decay. The same has happened to this church in my absence.”
Kettle begins to walk toward the altar at the other end of the church.
Kettle looked over his shoulder as he went “Make yourself comfortable; I have to retrieve a few belongings.”
Passing the altar, Kettle went into the rear of the dusty church after pausing to light a few candles on the altar first. Into his old personal room where he lived, Kettle stopped as old memories assailed him.
It was as if several years never had passed and he was still a respectable member of this city.

Walking over to a small altar that was for his personal area to pray to his God, he momentarily hesitated to look at the large unremarkable cross that was on it. Reaching down he gave the entire thing a shove and pushed it to the side, sending the cross clattering to the floor.
Ignoring the object of his faith, Kettle crouches down into the thick dust and spider webs that have collected over several years. Fingers searching for the familiar grooves that he knew like the back of his hands quickly were located. Prying up the loose floorboard Kettle realized his hands shook with anticipation. Reaching into the void underneath, Kettle pulled out a 12 gauge shotgun wrapped in cloth along with two boxes of 00 buckshot. Next was a bundle of clothing. Picking up the bundle as well as the shotgun, Kettle walked to the bed and tossed them both onto it. Unfolding the bundle, Kettle shook off what little dust had gotten onto them. Kettle looked at his old preacher attire with a mixture of joy and anticipation. Slipping the robes over his head he then moved back to the hole and pulled out an old tattered book. Moving back to his bed, Kettle sat upon it and slowly rubbed his fingertips along the cover of the book.
Opening the book with almost holy reverence, Kettle gazes down upon pages of pictures and newspaper articles placed inside.
Page after page he turns, each filled with photos of women, some older, most disturbingly quite young, criminally young.
Kettle looks at each and remembered what each photo meant to him.
The first was when he was just out of seminary school, he recalled as he looked at the woman’s picture. She was so full of bad thoughts and she needed and even pleaded for him to purge her of those evil thoughts.
Shocking what a discovery it was to find that doing the Lord’s work was so gratifying!
As weeks and months went by, he carefully picked out the weak and vulnerable females of his congregation for a more personal ‘prayer’ sessions. Sometimes they would resist, but only briefly.
Kettle gave a little chuckle thinking how he so easily talked respectable women into his bed by playing on their faith. It isn’t like they didn’t want it to happen; they were all dirty whores and will burn in hell anyways.
Next came the newspaper headlines, taking up the greater bulk of the entries of the book.
“Preacher arrested on sexual assault charges.” The next article stated, “Dozens of women come forward regarding the church sex scandal.” “Several minor girls discovered to be victimized by local preacher.”
As Kettle sat there reading the stories, in his mind he could still hear the cries for forgiveness from his blessed subjects….

********

Was it the roar of the huge zombie hoard that shook the makeshift barrier wall which we stood on, or was it the heavy rains and wind that made it shudder and sway?
Regardless of what did it, there were so many infected flowing at us from the West that it covered the entire cleared killing fields in front of us. The portable light towers provided just enough light to make out the ghoulish figures descending upon us, but obscuring the faces of all but the very close.
Jack screamed “Fire at will!”
At that, the dark night ripped open to the much louder sound, that of thousands of rounds of ammunition ripping into the screaming undead nightmare that descended on us.

The first wave is pulverized in a red mist that reminds me of how a Civil War Battle must have looked, with the long line of soldiers walking right into a wall of steel and lead. Like the stone wall at Fredericksburg that saw charge after charge of Federal soldiers fail to break the line. Immediately after the first wave fell, their place was filled by a new target. The Zombie hoard closes the remaining 50 yards of open space in what seemed like mere seconds and crashed into the wall with tremendous force. Several wood platforms had been raised behind the wall as guard towers of sort, there is not nearly enough however, and many including myself are forced to stand on the vehicle barrier itself in order to have a shooting lane. Several guards to my left and right were unprepared and lose their balance, falling screaming into the hoard and are instantly devoured. With the Zombies now at point blank range, head shots are much easier to make. I quickly notice however that most of our guards, who are not armed with semi-automatic magazine fed weapons, have to stop to reload weapons and the rate of fire slowed dramatically after the first volley. Bolt actions and pumps can be heard working as I reach for a fresh 30 round mag from my web gear and slam it home into my Colt and slap the bolt release. The Trijicon Reflex scope allows me to quickly put the orange triangle on the heard of a Zombie and pull the trigger with such speed that my magazine is empty again in seconds. Making a quick transition to my Glock 17, I drop several Zombies who had come dangerously close to overwhelming the guy to my immediate left who is reloading a Smith & Wesson Model 10 .38 revolver. The man gives me an acknowledging nod and quickly resumes firing. There is just so many Zombies and I again curse the fact that we never could get the manpower to build any sort of trench around the perimeter, with steep banks and maybe filled with fuel.

The majority of the Zombies for what ever reason were hitting from the West, the group wrapping around the entire West end of the safe zone. Apparently Stephen had realized this and had pulled many of the guards from the East perimeter and had formed a reserve in the center rear of our lines. I have to give him credit as our short interior lines will allow him to quickly deploy reserves to the weak spots. Looking back at the newly acquired reserve units that were basically everyone who could fire a gun or swing a bat, I am actually proud that they have not run off for the false shelter of the school. Maybe they also realize that if we don’t hold here that they are done for. Even little children run back and forth re-supplying the men and women on the front line with more ammunition and water. We are burning up the ammo way faster that it can be replaced and all too soon many are resorting to hand to hand fighting.
Our weakest part of the perimeter, at the front gate, begins to be overwhelmed and I watch Stephen send in a dozen fresh people from the reserve. Along with the help of his AR-15 they are able to seal it back off and they drive two trucks up to the gate to reinforce it further.

********

Sgt. Henderson bursts into Councilman Lewis’ office in a panic.
“Boss, we have a major problem!” He said out of breath.
Lewis just sat there at his desk still holding his bloody nose in a handkerchief while Henderson gasped for air.
“Well do you plan on telling me what has you so worked up Sergeant?” Lewis finally responds.
Sgt Henderson wiped the sweat rolling into his eyes away and blurted out “There is an unbelievably huge Zombie mob at the wall! I don’t think we can push them back this time!”
Lewis stood and walked to his window where he could watch the battle for himself. True to Henderson’s word, there was indeed a disgustingly large number of these “Zombies”, more than he had ever seen in fact, attacking the barrier. As it was, up to this point Lewis had never even been within one hundred yards of one of these infected beasts himself.
“Sgt... send out the back up supply of ammunition.” Lewis ordered. "And make sure all your buddies outside my office get off their asses get outside and do something for a change."
“Sorry Boss, but that hot head Mike took most of the remaining ammo after he struck you in the head the other day.” Henderson replied. "And there is nobody outside your office just now?"
Lewis stood there and looked at his reflection in the window and ran his finger along his nose. The break would heal badly and was beginning to turn purple with bruising, which had spread to both of his eyes
'That asshole!' Lewis cursed under his breath. 'It's payback time! Time for my little ace in the hole.'
Turning from the window, Lewis walked over to his locked document cabinet and fished out his keys, unlocking it, he retrieved the AT&T Terrestar Genus Hybrid satellite phone that was included with the supplies that had been delivered by the 182’nd Illinois Air Lift Wing out of Peoria. Powering it up he hit the send button that gave him a direct line to the 183rd Fighter Wing of the Illinois Air National Guard based out of Springfield Illinois. They had at their disposal an Air Wing of fifteen F-16 Falcons. He had been instructed by Capt. Marshall on the necessary protocol if he needed to call in air support for the safe zone.
Once Lewis heard the operator at the other end, he gave the proper identification and authorization codes necessary to call in the strike. Once he was put in direct contact on the other end with the person in charge , he began to fabricate a story of how the safe zone, designated India-Lima-Sierra-Zulu-Zero-Niner by FEMA had fallen. All civilians were evacuated and accounted for at this time. He requested that they do a direct air strike on the safe zone itself as it was heavily infested, a heavy target rich environment, and the strike would allow him to get the civilians away safely.
After the operator got the call back and again verified his name, and location ( 41 31' 46.46" N x 88 07' 36.14" W ) as well as again confirming that all civilians were safely away did he confirm the strike, saying the jets would be scrambled.
Lewis paused after the line went dead and then smashed the phone onto the tile floor.
With the fate of the safe zone now sealed, Lewis looked at Henderson and dryly stated “Follow me.”
Lewis led Sgt. Henderson down a long hallway, away from the heavy fighting, towards the east side of the property. They descended a staircase to ground level and Lewis walked over to a locked Janitor's closet. All along the wide hallway that led to various class rooms were pallets of FEMA MRE's and medical gear, none of which Councilman Lewis had bothered distributing. Pulling out his keys he unlocked the closet and proceed to remove a large OD green canvass army bag full of supplies.
Cutting through the utility area of the school that contained the furnace and boiler rooms, Lewis and Sgt. Henderson reached the loading dock, as far removed from the fighting as possible. Lewis peered out through the small glass window in the door at the landscape outside. This area of the school had only the one entrance and the parkway was narrow, so no perimeter wall was built, the brick building itself being the only barrier. There were several of the infected bastards roaming around even here! Lewis was deciding what his course of action should be as Sgt. Henderson stood next to him gulping air from the short jog.
“Say Sgt...how fast do you think a F-16 could cover the 160 miles from here to Springfield?” Lewis asked as he opened the doors and stepped outside.
Sgt Henderson followed Lewis with a bewildered look on his face.
“Um… I am not sure Boss. Why do you ask?”
“I would say pretty damn fast, and these infected are in our way. We need a distraction.” Lewis said as the infected began to converge on them.
Lewis put out his hand, “Sgt. give me your firearm!” He ordered.
Puzzled, Henderson drew his pistol and hands it to Lewis.
“Okay, here is how we are going to distract the zombies.” Lewis says as he turns and shoots Henderson in the right leg.
Henderson screams and grabs at the bloody wound as the 9mm Speer Gold Dot hollow point tears through his flabby leg. Lewis fires a second shot into the same leg for effect.
“That a boy, scream your lungs out; plus now we can’t have you hobbling back for help.” Lewis sneers, as the service door closes and automatically locks behind them.
Henderson falls to the ground now, unable to walk as blood flowed heavily from the bullet wounds.
As Lewis backed away he turned and shot the two closest Zombies to him and made his escape into a residential neighborhood. He laughed as he turned and saw that all the infected now made a straight line for the doomed Sgt. who was fulfilling his role as a screaming zombie snack…..

********

Lieutenant Powell went through his pre flight check list while sitting in the cockpit of his F-16 preparing for his latest mission. Orders had come down granting an air strike at another fallen safe zone, this one in Joliet. Finishing his list he again thinks how he did not think he would be bombing American cities when he signed up for the Air National Guard. Sighing, Lt. Powell runs his hand through his hair and tries to wipe the sleepiness from his eyes. the last 36 hours has seen several such runs and he wonders how many safe zones in the state are still intact? It certainly can't be many.
Looking over to the F-16 parked next to his, he sees Captain Trevino going through his flight check as well.
Capt. Trevino, feeling like he is being watched, glances up and see's Powell looking his way.
"Looks like we lost another one!" Trevino yells.
Lt. Powell, who is now watching the ordnance crews finish loading the payload remarks "Yeah and there must be a shit ton of infected where we are headed, cause we are loaded for bear today.
Trevino nods his head in agreement and they both finish up there pre-flight duties. He notes that a storm has moved into the target area and visibility is low.
Within minutes both F-16's fire up their powerful GE F110-IPE engines and scream into the night sky, afterburners lit, heading north towards their current intended target with a full ordinance payload.
As Lt. Powell’s metallic bird lifts into the sky, he sees a large amount of Zombies in the area around the airbase. "looks like we are going to have our hands full here as well." He reports to command, while quietly hoping he is back in time for a hot shower and a nap before breakfast is served. Cold powdered eggs are disgusting…

********

Kettle closes up his bedroom for the last time and rests his head on the door. The reality of the fact that he is back at his old church and not still facing a life term in the prison for all of his convicted crimes still amazes him. The crimes committed in the civilian world got him 25 years, but the convict that he killed behind bars gave him life without parole. Apparently the man he killed was the brother of one of the ladies he ‘saved’ at his church.
However he was blessed with a very persuasive, conniving personality. His brother always said he would have made a perfect car salesman. After years of working on the female guards that worked his area in the prison, he basically had them brainwashed and in love with him. Also he had built quite a following among the general prison population as the prison chaplain.
The Lord works in mysterious ways indeed! When Kettle saw the news video on his TV inside his tiny cell, he knew it was a sign and sent his plans into motion. Shortly thereafter, the prison had gone on lockdown and refused to let faculty leave, and he knew it was just a matter of time before the guards themselves would revolt in order to leave and check on their families. Kettle just had to bid his time and plant doubts into the guards minds whenever possible.
When it did happen, it went down fast. Kettle moved quickly so as not to miss his one opportunity. should it have been squandered, Kettle knew he would have simply starved to death in his cell.
The ugly female guard that was fanatically in love with him after years of working on her, Susan Jackson, was convinced to help him and several of his ‘followers’ escape in all the confusion. She had been smuggling Kettle contraband for years and had even once given herself to him in a closet located near the prison chapel. She was so ugly that she repulsed Kettle, but the act had sealed their bond and now was the time for the dumb bitch to return the favor. With several guards trying to leave to make it home to their families, a fight broke out between them and guards trying to keep them inside. Of course the thousands of screaming inmates just added to the confusion and a full scale riot broke out. As hundreds of people swarmed the exits into the prison yard, Kettle and his followers were able to slip out to Susan’s full sized van parked in the employee’s parking lot. Driving to safety they heard Rifle fire as guards turned on prisoners and each other.

A short time later and a few miles down the road; Susan was brutally raped several times, first by Kettle and then by the rest of his men. Her throat then slit, Susan's body was dumped onto the side of the road as her vehicle continued south into Joliet.
Kettle and his men had to abandon the van shortly thereafter and walk the last two miles due to stalled vehicles on the road. They were able to avoid the infected people that were seen wandering the streets and finally arrived at Kettle's old church.
Walking back out into the main area, Kettle’s men were resting and talking in excited voices. They should be excited. Every one of them was never to have seen freedom again serving multiple life terms for heinous crimes.
‘Now they belong to me body and soul.’ He thought.
Kettle stood in front of the altar and began preaching about the prophetic turn of events that led them to be here at this time.
As his honeyed words flowed over them, they stared at him in hypnotic rapture…

********


Stephen ran past several other guards and finally located Mattie at the far northwestern edge of the barrier wall fighting on top of a flatbed trailer. She was frantically firing into the seemingly endless mob of Zombies in front of her. When she paused to reload, two other guards stepped in to fire at the closest creatures with their pump shotguns. Even combined they were just not keeping up with the damage that was be inflicted with one AR-15 rifle. Mattie took a few precious moments to take a couple deep breaths, but before she was able to get into the fight Stephen grabbed her pant leg. Mattie, already on edge, didn’t know it was him and thinking a Zombie had gotten behind them, spun her rifle around and nearly shot Stephen in the head.
“Whoa Mattie it is me!” Stephen said throwing his hands up.
“Stephen what the hell are you doing? Can’t you see I am a little busy?”
Stephen waved her questions away and grabbed her again.
“Have someone else take over here. I think we need to stay close together, this is not looking good. If we need to evacuate at least we will not be separated.
Mattie yelled at a fellow guard to take over and then hopped down and followed Stephen to the center of the line where the fighting was just as bad if not worse. She could see that several are already out of ammunition and fighting hand to hand with bats and makeshift clubs. She again is grateful for having run into Stephen and Mike with all their preps.
Suddenly right in front of her, on top of the hood of a Chevy Caprice, Mattie sees a man getting pulled down by his ankles, into the grabbing hands of the hungry hoard. Screams for help quickly turn to pain then taper off as the man is pulled under like he was in quicksand. As it appears that this weak spot would be overrun, Mike who must have been nearby, lands in the breach and kicks a zombie back into the crowd. Then he opens up a burst of full automatic gun fire into the teeth of the hoard. His rifle quickly runs dry and she sees him sling his rifle and pull out his aluminum bat that was slid across the back of his rucksack straps and begin to swing for the fences at the many craniums that presented themselves to him.
Stephen and Mattie climbed aboard the wall and into the gore and spent casings that cover the makeshift barrier, and assisted Mike. Stephen, using his Bushmaster to great effect cuts down several Zombies that had managed to climb onto the car next to them. His rifle running dry again, he manages to keep the truck roof clear with his Beretta M9 until two men can climb up and begin shooting with semi-automatic handguns. With their added help, as well as from the remaining reservists, they were able to stabilize the line.

The three of us stood back to catch our breath and reload empty guns as others took over
“This is not good; there is no end in sight.” I said as I looked out over the battlefield.
It was true, as far as the portable light plants shined out; it was a solid mass of hungry biting zombies.
I looked at them both quickly, “Good, I see that you both have your packs. We might have to think about getting the Hell out of hear, I think this place is doomed!”
Mattie slaps me in the face. “Quit being so damned negative! You should never underestimate the power of human determination!”
I stood and stared at her in the pouring rain. She was madder at the horrible odds that we faced than at me, and most likely needed to vent her frustrations. It probably wouldn’t make her happy if I reached out and brushed away the wet hair that had fallen in her face.
Probably shouldn’t tell her either that wearing a white t-shirt in the chilly pouring rain was making it hard in more ways than one to keep my eyes on our current problem.

Right as I was about to agree with her, the barrier to the southwest suddenly tipped over inward from the enormous pressing combined weight of thousands of Zombies. The guards that could run did so, even knocking one another over to get away. As they retreat a few Zombies manage to climb over the fallen wall and into the perimeter. The former grocery store worker, from the looks of his uniform anyway, almost seems to recognize the fact that they have reached victory, as he momentarily stops and lets out a savage howl. The trickle of Zombies then turns into a flood of death.

More screams from behind us make us turn and look as Zombies overrun the position Mattie was just at. There it looked like the dead had piled up just like I was afraid would happen, and the zombies had a nice little ramp of fallen comrades to walk up to and then over the wall. Small rings of guards are firing into both breaches but from the looks of things it will not last. At that moment I realize that Robert Anderson is also standing next to me, still holding his now empty shotgun.
"It's time to go Rob." I state as fact.
Rob just shakes his head with a determined look on his face. "My wife and kids are inside, I have to reach them, I'll see you at the prison." At that he is running to the school gymnasium. At that moment the perimeter lights start to fail and then go dark. Now we are left with just the darkness and the rain.

Chaos soon followed. Stephen grabbed Mattie and I and shoved us ahead of him and we ran East to the other end of the safe zone. He turned and emptied a full mag into the nearest bunch of Zombies before turning to follow. Hundreds of civilians ran for the school entrances as a last stand area. Knowing that it would be a death trap, we fought against the flood of people streaming to get inside building and made our way towards the ambulance. Finally we make it to edge of the crowd, and I see Jack trying to direct people into the school as hundreds of Zombies now inside the perimeter fell upon the poor bastards in the rear of the crowd and quickly started tearing into them. No longer were there any guards on the perimeter and it would be mere minutes before it was all over.
"Almost like the deck of the Titanic!" Stephen would later remark.
Grabbing Jack by the arm I yell at him. “Follow us Jack! This place is done for! We have a fallback position picked out to head too!”
Jack fights me for a second or two and then sees the thousands of zombies filling the safe zone.
“Don’t be a hero Jack.” I say. “Come with us if you want to live.”
Jack stands there a second with tears in his eyes then gives in and follows me, clutching the SIG 220 given to him by Stephen, as I take off after Stephen and Mattie who have about fifty yards on us now.
I see them reach the ambulance just as the Joliet Police Mobile Command Center roars past me towards the gate. It seems like Marvin and the rest of his cronies are making a break for it. As the glorified motor home reaches the gate it is unable to make the sharp turn needed and veers off course, clips a parked squad car and crashes into the perimeter wall, coming to a stop blocking the only way out by vehicle, but not before letting in more undead. I hear gunshots and screams for help as it is quickly engulfed. A large gash had been ripped into the command centers side and it was filling with Zombies. The flashing red and blue lights come on suddenly and cast an eerie light show in the wind and rain.
"The ambulance is out! we are on foot from here!" I say as I reach Stephen and Mattie with Jack in tow. "Head to the barrier wall on the North East side of the parking lot perimeter!"
They again reach our destination first and begin to engage the few zombies that were on that side. Although there are quite a few, there are not nearly the amount that came from the West, and we only need to cut a path out, not hold a line.
Finally I reach the barrier and I clamber over it. I am tired as hell as I have been running on empty for the last few hours of solid combat. Jack is not faring much better but he has never been a physically active person up until recently and is starting to lag behind a bit.
Glancing back to make sure Jack was still with us I can see other civilians have followed us and are crossing over the wall that is now sixty to seventy yards back.
'Well maybe some others will survive after all!' I allow myself to think.
Up ahead I see Stephen and Mattie run past Larkin Street and eastbound down Glenwood Avenue away from this cluster fuck.
Stephen, being an avid runner, and Mattie being seventy five pounds lighter than me do not seem like they are too worried that my old white ass is falling farther back.
'God I hate running!'

********

At 10,000 feet the F-16’s vector their flight path toward the target’s location. Visibility is low and they will be relying on interments for the bomb run.
Lt. Powell radios Central Command that he and Capt. Trevino are in position.
"This is command.....You are clear to engage the target......”
Lt. Powell acknowledges and begins to input the final GPS coordinates for the two 2000 pound JDAM GBU-31 bomb that he carried. The massive bombs would destroy the entire campus and all of the Zombies in it.
“Bombs Away and on target.“ Lt. Powell responds as he unloads his bombs. Capt. Trevino would follow at a much lower altitude with his payload of four 1000 pound CBU-87 cluster bombs, in an attempt clear the entire area of anything that might survive his salvo.
Saying a quick prayer, Lt. Powell watches on his screen as the Bombs reach there target and deploy with devastating effect. He hopes this will allow survivors a chance at escape as he pulls up and away from the explosion.
Shortly after, Lt. Powell hears Capt. Trevino state that he unloaded his ordinance as well.
The F-16’s veers away and begin their trek back to base. Command radio’s that they need to high tale it back to base and try to use their 20mm cannons to stem a Zombie assault on the base. Lt. Powell hits the afterburners and the F-16's crack the sound barrier, as he realizes that he may not have a base to land at when he returns........

********

Kettle looks out over his small group of hardened killers and criminals and begins to speak to them in a fiery sermon to strengthen his hold over them. “Revelation 9:6… the star opened the abyss, and the smoke pour out of it, like smoke from a large furnace, and the sunlight and the air were darkened from it. Locust came down out of the smoke upon the earth and were given the power of a scorpion. They were told not to harm the grass or plants. They could only harm those who did not have the mark of God’s seal on their foreheads. The locusts, like these zombies roaming the land, were not allowed to kill people, but torture them for five months. During these five months mankind will seek death but not find it. They will want to die but death will flee them.”
Kettle looks back into their eyes and can see the glimmer of fanaticism reflect back like the many candles that are lit around him.
Like clay in my hands to be molded, he thought, and began reading once again…

********

Inside the safe zone chaos ruled. Hundreds of people crushed one another trying to get past the narrow entrance as scores are pulled down by the ravenous zombies in the rear. Here and there, small children are left crying alone by parents and adults who were separated by the crushing crowds or pulled down by the infected. Inside the school, prayers are whispered as other parents huddle with their children. Outside screams of pain rip through the air as more are fed upon by the increasing number of zombies. Pleas for mercy or help are ignored by human and Zombie alike. Throughout it all the ever present moaning and growls of the zombies dominate the rain soaked night. Several try to rally others to fight back, only to be quickly overran as they tried to hold a line. Many, realizing hope was lost, shot themselves in the head to avoid becoming Zombies. Still, many were safe inside the school for a moment and may have had a chance.
Above the doomed safe zone, the stabilizer fins of the two JDAM bombs make small adjustments to keep itself on target according to the readings of its GPS units.

Like a bolt of lightning the two JDAM’s strike the Safe zone school building from the dark turbulent sky like the Hand of God.
The resulting explosion pulverizes the building in hundreds of tons of twisted steel, concrete and glass. Scores of vehicles are also shredded into deadly shrapnel that shred civilian and zombie alike.....

********

Son of a bitch! I seem to have a cramp inside a cramp that is ripping my spleen out as I try to catch up to Stephen and Mattie. As bad as I feel right now, it looks worse for Jack. I think I heard his puke a minute ago.
Up ahead I see them finally come to a halt and turn to wait for us. It is very dark without the lights from the portable generators of the safe zone, but enough light is reaching that I can dimly see their outline up ahead of us. The storm has finally broken and the rain is beginning to let up.
At least I got that going for me as my lead heavy legs plod their way to them.............

In the first moments of the explosion I can see Stephen from the light of the flash, staring open mouthed in amazement while Mattie instinctively covers her eyes.
I begin to slow up to see what new development just happened behind me and hear Jack scream as a thunderous boom deafens me and the following shockwave hits me like a truck and tosses me several feet up onto the porch of a house. My head slams into the front door and fireworks explode in my head as I groggily turn over onto my back and see that Jack has a piece of a what looks like a car bumper sticking from his chest.
Damn…

********

Kettle was in a zone giving his sermon to his followers! Pacing back and forth in front of the altar while his people screamed ‘yes’ and ‘praise God’ and fell to their knees. He tore into more verses and altered them to cement his hold over his men.
“Revelations continues with the following warnings we must heed!” He yelled.
“The first Angel went and poured out his bowl and terrible and painful sores appeared on those who had the mark of the beast.”
“Just like the hoards of evil beings we have seen attack those on our way here to the church!”
Kettle now caught up in his tirade had bits of spit foaming on his lips began again his twisted verses…
“Satan will bring all of his cursed and wretched peoples and armies together for battle, as many as the grains of sand on the sea shores. They spread out over the earth and surround the camp of God’s people…”

Kettle reaching a momentous peak closes his bible and stretches his arms straight out to the side and tilts his head back screaming verses to the ceiling.
“My friends, the time of reckoning is near!” He said. “The dead have risen to punish the evil and weak among us. So says the bible that the sea and the world will give up the dead to be judged! Then the death and world of the dead will be thrown into a lake of fire!”
As Kettle stood there with arms thrown out to the side, the massive explosion from the JDAM’s sent a massive wave of light that made its way through the dirt stained glass window of the dilapidated church. The picture on the window was of a cross. With the light shining through, for a few seconds, it sent a shadow of a cross that lined up exactly where Kettle stood which appeared to the fanatical people inside that he appeared to be Christ himself crucified on the cross…

********

Ouch…someone tell whoever his beating my skull with a 2x4 to knock it off. With my vision spinning I can see that other that I have ended up on someone’s ‘welcome’ mat on their front porch I am not injured too bad. Looking over at Jack’s cooling corpse with the large piece of car part in his chest; I decide it could have been a lot worse.
It didn’t take Murphy ’s Law long to prove how much worse it could get.
The night again explodes in a violent series of concussions and brilliant flashes as the 808 combined effect bombs contained in the 4 CBU-87 cluster bombs leave a footprint of 400 x 800 yards, covering what once was a high school and the surrounding area. They Quickly rip to shreds any unlucky living or un-living subject in the kill zone.

From my prone position still on my back, I shield my eyes and wince in pain as the sound from multiple explosions’ rock my ears and make my vision spin again as shrapnel pepper the surrounding area. Looking back in awe towards what was minutes ago our safe zone, now is a smoldering, smoking crater, my wobbling vision sees a bright bouncing object rapidly heading my way. I can only grimace in soon to be gotten pain as I can finally see it is a large burning truck tire with apparently my name on it. The tire hits Jack’s corpse and sends it up and passes over my head so close I can read the Goodyear brand name on it.
What do you know; it didn’t have my name after all…..
The breath I was holding escapes my lips and I lay my head back looking up at the ceiling of the porch. 'Maybe for once something can go right for me?' I think, as I then have my thoughts interrupted by the sudden creaks and groaning sounds wood makes. Lifting my head up, I realize with a glance that the truck tire has ripped away the support beams of the porch I am under as it passed. I am still looking at the sagging porch roof when with a crack of breaking wood and protesting squeaks of nails it gives way; I can’t even finish saying “fuck me” as everything goes dark when it collapses on me…

Mattie picks herself up off the pavement where she landed when the shockwave from the blast hit her. She reaches down and pulls a small flashlight from her cargo pocket and shines the beam around. Dust and smoke fill the air which makes it hard to get a lock on her location. Hearing a grunt of pain to her right she looks and sees Stephen sit up and grab his bad knee.
“Are you alright Stephen?” She asked.
“Yea, but I re-injured my fucking knee again. I think a brick hit it.” He answered.
Mattie looked around some more, “Where is Mike? He was behind us when the explosion went off.”
Stephen looked around as he answered and she could see a trickle of blood on his forehead, “I am not sure, we need to find him fast in case all of the zombies were not destroyed in the blast.”
Walking back a bit they discover a body lying on the grass near a home with a burning tire stuck in a flower bed.
Mattie stomach dropped as she feared it was Mike’s corpse with a large chunk of metal punched through his torso.
Turning the body over she learned it wasn’t Mike but Jack that was dead. Knowing that Jack was with Mike, she knew he had to be close.
Moments later she hears Stephen.
“Mattie come quick, I found him!”
Hurrying over she finds Stephen struggling as he pulled large chunks of a collapsed porch off Mike’s unconscious bleeding form. As they carefully dragged him out of the rubble Mattie checked Mike’s wounds.
“Other than minor cuts and bruises he seems physically ok, no broken bones. It appears he was knocked out from a blow to the head.” Mattie said.
“Had to of been a big one to knock out that fucker,” Stephen joked, “his skull is mostly all bone. Anywhere else might have actually hurt him.”
Mattie slapped Stephen on the arm, “What are we going to do?”
Stephen tried to stand and only could slowly limp with his injured knee.
“You are going to have to carry him, I can hardly walk.” He responded.
“I will provide cover and carry his gear while you drag the Neanderthal.”

Mattie considered herself in very good shape. While not as strong as Mike or Stephen, she could hold her own in physical situations. As she grabbed a hold of Mike and tried to get him across her shoulders with Stephen’s help, she thought of Mike’s workout motto “Pick up heavy stuff. Put it down. Repeat.”.
Mattie giggled to herself as she groaned under Mike’s dead weight as she stood.
“What’s so funny?” Stephen said as he picked his rifle back up and hopped a little on his good leg.
“Nothing,” She grunted. “Lets get moving before any zombies left decide to have us for dessert.”
Stephen nodded and limped off away from the wreckage followed by Mattie staggering along behind him. It was not a planned escape by any means but one has to adapt with the hand they are dealt.

After about a block or two, Mattie calls to Stephen for a rest break.
“I am not sure how much farther I can go.” She said weakly.
Stephen looks around and spots a large brick home. Turning back he looks at Mattie slowly catching up to him.
“I am surprised you made it this far." He responded. "Let me check out this house and maybe we can rest there and bandage our wounds.”
Mattie nods and lays Mike on the front steps as Stephen enters the home. A short while later he returns.
“Looks like whoever left here did so in a hurry." Stephen concluded. "There is plenty of food and stuff we can use while we are here.”
Together they manage to drag Mike’s limp body into the house and fortify the front and back doors. Tossing Mike onto the couch Mattie collapses into the nearby chair. Totally exhausted she didn’t even know she had fallen asleep until Stephen shook her awake by the shoulder.
“Be very quite, there are several zombie wandering around outside." He whispered. "I am not sure how they found us, but I don’t think they know for sure that we are in here.”
True to his word, when she crawled to the window she could see several figures wandering around outside in the yard and street in the faint dawn’s light.
“How long was I asleep?” she asked.
Stephen slid onto the floor next to the window, exhaustion clearly etched on his face. “I am not sure, several hours at least.”
“Well, you get some rest now.” Mattie ordered. “We can worry about getting to the prison after you get some sleep. I'll keep watch.”
“While you were asleep, I got a hold of Dan and Chris on my portable ham radio. They are going to come pick us up. We got to give those lazy bastards something to do.” Stephen chuckled when he said that last part.

As they sat their silently, a low drawn out groan broke the quite setting. Stephen had his Beretta M9 out in a blur. Climbing to his feet, wincing in pain of his knee, he scanned for the zombie that must have made it inside. In the darkened room Stephen scanned and saw something move over by the couch! Again a growl cut through the room.
Stephen motioned for Mattie to stay back as he sees she has drawn her Glock as well. ‘Good girl’ he thought.
Limping over to where Mike laid on the couch, Stephen clears the room. Standing on the other side of the room now, he has not found the zombie he swore that he heard. Where did it go?
Behind him a loud groan makes him spin, slowly because of the bad knee, and sees that is Mike that is making the noise.
“Oh fuck, Mike is one of them!” Stephen said in a rasping voice, “He must have been bitten escaping the safe zone and didn’t tell us!”
“Noooo!” Mattie wailed. “It cannot be true!”
As they stood over Mike lying on the couch, they watch as his arm slides up and into his shirt pocket while Stephen’s gun is shaking, pointing at his friend. Mike grunts and sits up a little bit and supports himself on his left arm while his right hand pulls out a can of Copenhagen. He slowly puts in a dip and sighs in satisfaction and slowly puts it away.
“Ooooo that’s the good stuff.” Mike said.
Mattie cheers in happiness and tackles Mike back down onto the couch.
“I am so happy you are awake and ok!” Mattie said while lying on top of me with her arms around my neck.
“Yea everything seems to be fine except this throbbing headache I have.” I tell her.
Mattie looks at me with a mischievous grin, “That’s not all that appears to be awake and throbbing.” She says with a giggle.
That’s when I realize I had to piss badly, and we all know what happens when a man wakes up in the morning and has to piss; and now there it was tapping out in Morse code on her abdomen that it had to go…
Pushing her off with a groan, I sit up and wonder where the hell we are as Stephen tells me where the bathroom was when I asked.
As I try to talk my lower appendage down so I could pee, they fill me in as to what happened.
“That blast was way too big to be anything the people at the safe zone could have put together. Something on that scale had to be military. Hopefully someone survived.” I say as I finally finished my duties at the toilet.
"Definitely an air strike!" Stephen offers, then adds, "With a cluster bomb at the end."
Exiting the bathroom, they tell me of finding Jack’s body and me under the wreckage of the porch. Then Stephen says that Mattie had carried my pasty old ass two blocks until we reached our current location.
“Not how you imagined getting all sweaty underneath me huh?” I said jokingly.

She punched me in the arm with a laugh and Stephen tells me that Dan and Chris are going to come pick us up, we just need to sit back and rest until they get here as it could take a little while. Stephen had let them know that we were secure in the brick two-flat for now, and had plenty of supplies. He was also informed by Dan that he and Chris had their hands full at the moment with incoming refugees and the task of securing and cleaning up our new home. Dan agreed to keep in contact over the radio and took down the address the small group was holed up in. The big red brick house in the 800 block of Mason Ave, North side of the street. The storm has passed and all is quiet outside. So for now all we can do is sit and wait.

********

“Let’s go chowder head.” Dan snarled as he fired up the mini school bus that they had retrofitted for hauling supplies as well as people.
“I’m coming!” Chris yelled back.
“That’s what she said, now move your ass!” Dan replied yelling around his cigar that was clenched in his teeth.
Dan looked out the driver’s window at the buxom Hispanic female that they have rescued along with dozens of others since they arrived here at the prison. She was wearing a purple sweater that showed curves in all the right places.
Dan gives the woman a sly wink as he puts the bus into gear when Chris climbs aboard. She giggles and turns her head slightly and blushes.
Yes sir, he thought, I still got it.
Dan yells at the male Hispanic near the closed gate. “Open sesame amigo, we got some buddies to go rescue!”
Looking back to the woman, Dan leans out and she gives him a kiss.
“My sister and I cannot wait for your return Dan.” She says sadly as the bus lurches forwards.
Dan sits back into his seat and notices Chris staring at him in amazement.
“You got something you want to say?” Dan growls.
Laughing, Chris says "No" but can only wonder how the hell Dan does it.

Thinking back over the last couple days, Chris realizes how far they have come since arriving at the prison. Stephen had informed them that they were in good shape and that they could take their time and make sure things were running smooth before they risked leaving the sanctuary. Stephen and Mike would be pleased he figured. It had taken them a few days but things were starting to fall into place. Much time was spent putting people in charge of various tasks, supplying them and showing them how to operate day to day stuff. Most of the refugees were terribly unprepared and did not have the slightest bit of survival knowledge among them. Lastly he guesses Buddy will be glad to see his master. Damn dog has been grouchy all week.
Maneuvering the bus around stalled vehicles, Dan managed to get through the cluttered streets and prepares to drive across the downtown area and cross the Des Plaines river that essentially cut Joliet into a east side and west side.
Driving down Jackson Street, Dan abruptly stops the vehicle.
“I think we got a problem Chris.” Dan said without looking away from the street.
Chris, who was pulling security to the side of the bus, walks forward to look out the windshield. Ahead there appears to be a roadblock at the railroad viaduct that the road passes under near Scott street.
Several armed people stood on the other side with their weapons trained on them, and they didn’t look friendly.
“Back up slowly; don’t do anything to spook them.” Chris warned.
Dan did so and back up to where he could safely turn the bus around.
“Who they hell were they?” Dan asked
“I have no idea,” Chris said, “But they didn’t look like they wanted to be our friends.”
“It looks like we will have to find another bridge to cross.” Dan said.
It took a good hour, a few hundred rounds and related zombie kills to cross the Cass Street Bridge. Approaching the bridge, Dan abruptly stops in front of a small brick store front.
The sign said “Champions Pawn Shop”.
Dan frantically fished inside his pockets and pulled out a piece of paper.
“That’s where that my bitch girlfriend pawned my grand pappy’s pistol!” He yelled. "She was back on the dope for sure if she pawned it on the East Side of Joliet.
Dan threw the bus in park and would have ran out of the bus and into the store until Chris grabbed his arm and stopped him.
“Dan, we have to go get the others." Chris said. "If your gun is inside then it will still be there when we get back. I will even help you get it later.”
Dan looked longingly at the building and muttered to himself, “I knew she was back doing drugs, thieving whore! ”
Dan angrily closed the bus door and threw himself in the seat.
“You had better give me your word we will come back!” Dan said pointing his finger into Chris’s face, “The city can burn for all I care!”
Putting the bus into gear Dan slammed down the accelerator and sped away and across the bridge.

********

Councilman Lewis was hungry. He was also thirsty but he still had a bit of water left over. Things had not gone very well for him since he had the safe zone destroyed by the Air Force, but it was satisfying knowing that he had killed several law enforcement officers in the process.
After the jets had bombed the place, he traveled South for several blocks before being surrounded by another large group of zombies. Only after using all of his ammo from Sgt. Henderson’s firearm was he able to punch through the zombies and take refuge in this small one story building.
The door didn’t slow them for shit, but he was able to climb up into the attic and pull the retractable stairs up behind him. He was safe for the time being, but trapped as well.
After three days of sitting up here he has burned through all the food and most of his water from his emergency bag that he brought with.
Either he tries to fight his way out or wait until they get bored and leave.
But do zombies ever get bored? Plus that damned screaming and moaning is driving him crazy.
Running his hands across his stubbly facial hair, he ponders what to do next…

********

The few days of rest from constant fighting did the three of us a world of good. Looking over at Mattie’s sleeping form on the couch, and then over to Stephen who was cleaning his weapons for the third time today I decide that they both seem to be holding up very well considering the horrors they have seen the last few weeks. Staring out the small front door window at the increasing number of those damned infected bastards, I can’t help but think that the longer this goes on, the less of humanity is left to fight back.
It seems that they can track by sound and possibly scent as well, and once one discovers you, others zero in and swarm your location in minutes. That is why the front yard of the house is littered with bloated stinking corpses with crushed skulls.
We try not to use our firearms, which would just bring more. Stephen or Mattie would get their attention, and I would sneak out the back and dispatch them with my bat. It is messy but effective and good exercise.
“Hey Stephen, check on Dan and Chris’ progress. They should be here soon and if they are close we might want to clear out the Zombies out front.”
Stephen nods and pulls out his Yaesu FT-60R HAM from his rucksack.
As I continue my watch I unconsciously listen to Stephen’s conversation.
“Dan this is Stephen, you copy?”
I can’t hear Dan’s reply but Stephen answers, “Yea Mattie is fine, and no I will not tell you what she is wearing…”
Stephen sighs in frustration, “Listen up, are you two close or what?”
This time I definitely can hear Dan’s reply of several curse words. A few of them cause me to arch an eyebrow in shock and mentally file them away for my own use at a later date.
The verbal lashing goes on for two minutes straight.
When the radio falls silent, Stephen keys up “10-4”.
Stephen looks up, “Dan says they should be here within the hour. They had to make a lot of detours and the infected are quite thick in many places.”
“He has a way with words doesn’t he?” I said with a chuckle.
Laughing Stephen agreed with me and stood up.
“Take over watch,” I said, “I need to go ‘burn a mule’ before we do any type of running or it will get messy on my part.”

After a very satisfying session, I flush the toilet with a bucket of water I liberated from the previous home owners fish tank. Walking back out into the main living room I see Mattie is sitting up rubbing sleep from her eyes.
“Phew, what is that stink?” She said.
“Zombies.” I said with a shrug.
Getting our things together take a bit of time, considering the previous owner also left us a lot of goods. Stephen makes the comment that eventually we are going to have to go house to house, clearing them of Zombies and gathering supplies, especially ammunition, which is being eaten up quickly.
"That's going to take a long time." I remark, stacking another box containing Ramen noodles. "To bad this guy must have left with all his guns."

By the time Dan’s bus comes rolling around the corner, the three of us are sitting outside like kids going to school.
Dan’s bus screeches to a stop next to us and opens the boarding doors.
“Hey folks, you all need a lift?” He said.
Mattie cheerfully steps onto the bus and gives Dan a hug and a peck on the cheek.
“I am so glad you guys alright, I missed you both!” Mattie said with happiness as she boarded the Bus with the first load.
Dan watched her ass in the bus mirror as she walked down the aisle.
“Yea we sure missed you too Mattie.” Dan said while he was looking and started to close the bus door while Stephen and I were still outside!
Bastard would have done it if I hadn’t stuck my arm into the way to keep it from closing.
He even gave the door lever a few more forceful pulls, then he tried to act all surprised when I cleared my throat.
“Oh sorry fella’s I didn’t see you standing there; missed you too.” He said with a grin and popped a fresh cigar into his mouth.
It takes a few minutes to throw in the new supplies, but now with us all loaded, he closed the doors and turned the bus around.
“We would have been here a lot sooner, but there is a group of survivors inside the downtown area that has a lot of it barricaded.” Chris said.
“Yea, they didn’t look very friendly." Dan added. "Just mean mugged us with guns pointed our way.”
While Dan backtracked the bus the route he came, Stephen and Mattie filled them in on what happened at the safe zone and how it was destroyed after they left for the prison.
Both Dan and Chris whistled at the explosion part of the story.
“You say they were multiple large scale explosions?” Chris asked.
When Mattie nodded her head yes, Chris added “Then most likely it was military ordinance, maybe JDAM's that caused the explosion. That doesn’t answer who sent them though, or why?”
Chris started asking me detailed questions, and I cut him off by holding my hand up.
“You are asking the wrong one Chris, I was busy getting my brains scrambled by a door and a falling porch at that time.” I said, all the while pointing at the ugly bruise still on my head.

Soon we crossed over the river and made a stop at the Bridge Tenders building. After pounding on the door for several minutes I am greeted by Frank, who was overjoyed and very surprised to see me! This time it took no convincing at all to get him to come with back to the prison. He had used up most of his food and had been running out of options and more importantly hope. Frank was all smiles as he boarded the school bus and shook everyone's hand, including a reluctant Dan.
"Told you I would come back for ya!" I chided.
"I still just can't believe it! Frank stammered. I thought I was a goner." Shortly thereafter we came across the area that has been barricaded.
Stephen tells Dan to stop to check it out, as we could see several people on the other side.
“I am going to go talk to them.” He said. "Cover me."
“You sure that is a good idea?” Chris asked.
“We need to see what they are up to.” Stephen answered. “Like it or not we may need their help or need to trade for supplies with one day.”
Exiting the bus with his hands held out to the sides, Stephen approached the barricade cautiously.
A guard on the other side told him to halt and demanded to know what he wanted.
“Just wanted to introduce ourselves is all. We have a compound to the north of here and wanted to talk to whoever is in charge to see if we can help each other.”
The guard said something to the man next to him, who hopped into a truck and drove away northbound.
“You would be wanting to speak with Father Kettle. He should be here in a bit.”
Stephen tried to make small talk with the guard but he just said "wait for Father Kettle" each time he tried and was ignored.

Soon the truck returned and a man dressed in clergy robes exited the vehicle and approached him. The man spoke a few words to the guard who replied and nodded his head towards Stephen. The man touched the guard on the shoulder and stepped passed him and walked up to Stephen.
“Greetings good Sir, what is it I can do for you? My name is Father Kettle.” The man said.
“My name is Stephen, and we wanted to introduce ourselves and see if we can work together for protection and supply purposes.”
Father Kettle nodded and looked passed him to the bus.
“An unusual mode of transportation, but in these biblical times we must make do with what we can. I take it you have companions inside, yes?” He asked. “Well then, bring them out; I would love to meet them.”
Stephen turned and called out the others to come forth to his location.
Stephen introduced Chris to Kettle, and then me.
I tried not to crush his hand but a man can tell a lot about another by the way he shakes hands.
Kettle had the grip of a girl, all limp and weak.
As I let go I could see a glimmer of hatred in his eyes.
When Dan was introduced, Dan just stared at Kettle for a few seconds.
“Do I know you from somewhere?” Dan asked still not shaking hands.
Father Kettle seemed surprised, “I do not believe so young man. I am not from this area and have only settled down here due to the current tragedy that has plagued mankind due to his evil ways.”
Dan’s eyes narrowed, “I don’t forget a face, and I know I seen yours someplace.” He said.
“Could be that you have seen me on TV giving sermons. I am after all a man of the cloth.”
“Doubt it was that.” Dan said, “Only TV I watch is Fox News or porn. So which one did I see you on?”
Kettle seemed disturbed at that, “You need to come to my sermon son, every night at St. Joseph’s cathedral. You definitely need it.”
When Kettle gazed upon Mattie, the man’s demeanor abruptly changed.
He went from a seemingly kindly priestly man; to something slightly off kilter.
“Oh my, what a beauty you are my dear.” Kettle said as he held Mattie’s hand with both of his.
"Thank you Father.” Mattie replied.
Kettle’s eyes slowly scanned down Mattie’s physique, drinking in her shapely body.
Stephen decided it was a good time to butt in. “Well we must be going, it was a pleasure meeting you. We will have to stop by for a visit later on.”
Kettle was still staring at Mattie and holding her hand.
“Yes indeed it was a pleasure. You are definitely invited to return to join me personally for a private session.” He said while staring into Mattie’s eyes.
Kettle suddenly let go of her hand and stepped back. “You all are welcome to join with us in prayer at our church or even join forces with us here. It is quite safe and secure.”
I reached over and slowly pulled Mattie behind me, as Kettle continued to stare at her.
“Thank you, you have been most kind, but we need to see to our other group members and talk it over with them and see what they want to do.”

As we piled onto the bus and drove away, we all tried to talk at once. I said he shook hands like a sissy, Dan tried to guess where he seen Kettle before, coming up with one wrong guess after another. Mattie said she was totally freaked out by him; Stephen gave us a detailed description of the weapons the guards were using, the one having a PTR-91, and Chris said he was hungry and didn't give a shit about the freak. The matter was quickly forgotten by us all as the large stone prison came into view 10 minutes later.
"Home sweet home!" I told Mattie, with a gentle rub of her shoulder.

********

Later back at the church in his personal quarters, Kettle turned to the five hard looking men standing before him.
“I want you five to follow them, study their compound and learn their strengths and weaknesses. Most of all, when you get the opportunity, I want you to bring the female Mattie to me. Do not harm a hair on her head. I want to purge her of her evil unclean thoughts. After I am finished with her you five can do with her as you please. The five men all wore wicked evil grins at the thought as they knelt before Kettle for their blessings before embarking on their mission.
Finishing the blessings they stood and as they filed out the door, Kettle calls out an order to the last man.
“Send in the redhead that was brought in yesterday.”
As the struggling female was dragged into his bedchambers and thrown onto the bed. The young woman began to cry and plead for mercy as she was tied to the bed posts.
"What is your name, young lady?" Kettle asked with a soothing voice. "Don't be afraid dear, I am here to pray with you."
"My name is Holly sir...." The beautiful young thing replies. "Please don't hurt me?"
Kettle immediately began to feel aroused as he approached the bed and stroked the whimpering woman’s bare leg.
‘Yes’ he thought, ‘so many sinful women to be purged of their wicked ways. It was a sign from God that he was spared death to save them all. Mattie was so full of sin, it was all he could do not to take her right there in the street.’
As Kettle prepared to cleanse the sobbing woman, in his mind’s eye all he could see was Mattie… 'Yes...' he thought. 'I must have her....!'

********

Matvei sat there, expressionless for a moment, but on the inside he was full of turmoil. He was safe in his Arizona compound with 200 of his best men, but had for the third time this week, just awakened from a nightmare where he was surrounded by flesh-eating lunatics. He tried escaping them down a dark and narrow hallway, but just when he thought he had reached safety in a secured room, he heard a strange gurgling noise behind him. He turned around and was face to face with a sickly, gruesomely deformed Javier. They exchanged no dialogue but Matvei was overwhelmed with fear…fear of what he knew was coming, his death. He awoke from his dream before the attack, but as he sat there he could not shake the growing tide of guilt deep in the pit of his stomach. Had he really turned them into those terrifying creatures?

Tamera noticed he was awake and slowly sat up, still sleepy eyed. After a few moments, she kissed him lightly and asked if everything was okay. He did not respond. “Are you having trouble sleeping, baby?” Still, there was no response. She noticed his skin was clammy and he seemed to be lost in a trance. “Did you have a bad dream? Come on, baby, lay back down. I promise I’ll make it better.” He wasn’t even listening but all of a sudden he felt her warm mouth on him. He looked down and saw her beautiful dark hair shining in the dim light, her mouth and tongue waking him up and getting his full attention. She knew just how to touch him, how to stroke it and how to move. It was the primary reason he couldn’t get rid of her, the sex was just too damn good. She had an amazing sexual appetite and always allowed him to have his way with her.

Matvei tried to resist but felt his dick grow harder. As his toes curled, he grabbed the back of her head and began working it up and down faster on his cock, thrusting himself deeper into her mouth, until he could feel her fight back the gagging. He roughly grabbed her by the hair and snatched her head up and threw her down on her back. She let out a sharp exhale as he flung her legs up over his shoulders, placing his hands tightly over her thighs and pulling them to his torso. As he fucked her, Tamera’s breathing became more exasperated and she began to moan. But with that, Matvei began to hear groaning in his head, becoming louder and louder and accompanied by images from his nightmare. “Shut the fuck up!” he yelled. Pounding harder and harder, Tamera’s moans turned into screams of sadistic pleasure. Her sounds began to drown everything else out and he felt darkness slip away right as he ejaculated deep inside her. He could feel her finger nails finally let up from his back while he still trembled from the incredible release.

Smoking a cigarette in bed Matvei tries again to clear his thoughts. Tamera is now asleep again, her nakedness covered by a thin sheet. Over the last week his hand has been forced yet again. It seems that the crew of the ship he had waiting of the coast of Mexico has split for God only knows where. Probably to save their own families after the Virus went global thanks to his former bosses. With that fallback option now gone, he would have to be even more careful. Matvei had learned again that although a good leader, his physical presence is often necessary to keep everything together. Several hours earlier he received word that his command had reached the outskirts of Dallas and had split into three groups to gather supplies and survivors. The first was located in Mesquite, the second in Hutchins, and the third in Duncanville. All three had dug in defensive perimeters and sent out recon and raiding parties.

They were beginning to receive heavy contact from the infected and Matvei could tell the men were on edge from the tone of their voice, and he knew he could not afford to make another mistake. Yes, he would have to fly to Texas and oversee the coming operation himself. He would leave the men at the ranch behind for safety. Matvei's compound was stocked with enough weapons and supplies to last him a lifetime and must be protected at all cost. The ranch, located outside of Burch Arizona, was in a sparsely populated area and there had only been contact with a few Zombies. They had been taken care of at the distance of one mile by Matvei's sniper teams and their Barrett M82 .50 caliber rifles fitted with AN/PVS-10 Day/Night optics. Matvei wanted to keep the Zombies a very long ways off from his property.

The flight would not be easy and would take 8 hours in his Bell UH-1 Huey helicopter. They would have to stop several times for fuel, at designated remote spots, marked by GPS and containing hidden cache's of fuel. But the trip was vital Matvei was convinced. His plans of absolute power over a vast new empire depended on this operation. He needed people to rule over and to help rebuild. It must succeed! He would leave today, shortly after dawn, and with luck could be back home in a week. Finishing his cigarette, Matvei looks over at Tamera, who's supple breast are now uncovered, as he hears the distant bark of a Barrett .50 cal.
We all got it commin kid.......
kaiserworks
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Posted: 9/24/2010 4:16:25 PM
Excellent!
Hulka73
heh heh you said member
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Posted: 9/24/2010 7:41:35 PM
more?


great story man
PACK LaRue
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Posted: 9/24/2010 10:44:13 PM
2T2_Crash
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Posted: 9/25/2010 5:06:16 AM
awesome! the band of filth (prisoners) is a good addition/concern for the group.
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zack991
Wife say's i should do the Christan thing and invite them in, I told her its like inviting a child molester to a kids party. Someone is bound to get fucked up over it.
cwm1150
Down with the sickness.........
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Posted: 9/26/2010 10:44:38 AM
outstanding!!!!! more please
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combatcanin08
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Posted: 9/27/2010 4:03:19 AM
Nice
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Posted: 9/27/2010 2:23:03 PM
excellent so far, keep it up
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Hulka73
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Posted: 10/1/2010 8:58:19 AM


anything?
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Posted: 10/1/2010 5:13:57 PM
Chapter will be up tonight, but it will be late. It is getting it's finishing touches now but I won't be home to post it till later on........
It's a pretty good one however!
We all got it commin kid.......
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