Sunday, December 13, 2009

Get off the computer and go out and play...

"It's a nice day you should be outside."

"Why don't you go over to the playground."

Not listening to the news can lead to nasty surprises as shown in this lovely image by Jason Chan.



Check out the full sized image at Jason's gallery here.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

SWEEP OF SECTOR 36 BEGUN

Smuggled out of the department of post-human resources by Alastair Robertson.

EVIDENCE OF MORE SURVIVORS FOUND.

ITEM 1: Expended ammunition.
ITEM 2: A Journal, author unknown.

== Transcript Start ==

 There’s three days left of food for five people.

 A week for two.

 Enough for one to stay here until help came but I’d get lonely, go crazy.  Though it would be nice to be away from the sounds, the smells, the sight of these idiots and back-stabbers. The only ones who aren’t conspiring are the ones who are too naive to do so. Following that stupid handsome bastard into this concrete box just because it has two doors, a fence, and fridge in one room.

 They all felt safe in here because the doors lock from the inside but I think all of us would sometimes rather be locked out there with The Turned than here among the social animals. Some cattle, some wolves.

 They look up to rugged young Paul who feigns his good intentions and concern for all. He has no idea what he’s doing. His plan ended the minute he lead us into the neighbourhood Rec centre. He says he was a counsellor here but more likely he was the janitor, cleaning up after the oh-so-troubled suburban youth. Obviously he wasn’t much of a janitor either ‘cause the place looks like hell. Boards on the windows and all that.

 He didn’t even know that girl was bitten. Such a great leader, bringing the infection into our supposed sanctuary just because he’s a sucker for lost puppies and damaged goods. And now he’s too “compassionate” (see; weak) to finish her off. So in the basement she stays. Growling, sometimes scratching at the door. Rex will do it soon. He’ll have to. After all, she is his daughter. Better he does it himself than let Jacob have his way.

 Make Paul do it. Kill that last bit of humanity in him and he’ll finally be useful.

 MAKE PAUL DO IT.


3 MONTHS SINCE THIS STARTED. DAY 5 IN REC CENTRE.

 Mary is crying again.

 Mary who lets Paul do all the thinking for her, Mary who doesn’t own any sensible shoes, Mary a scared little girl with daddy issues. Always cuddling up to the supposed leader so he’ll protect her, so she’ll have his ear, so she can sway him while looking so innocent... maybe she’s no better than the rest after all. I would like nothing more than to be free of them. But that would just leave Jacob.

 I’d rather be alone in the basement.

 Rex has a death wish. Or is so filled with rage now he’s become a ridiculous action junkie, who’s only qualification is having shot enough guns in his life to not knock himself down when the rifle kicks back. How did I know what to expect? I was raised by a pharmacist and his star patient in a house with a dining room while he and his slack-jawed clan of possum eaters thought indoor plumbing was the work of the devil. I wouldn’t even have to kill him; I could just turn him loose outside and let those damn ghouls take care of him. Paul would stop him though. Weak, caring Paul. Whose best hope without Rex would be hugging me the zombies to death. death. DEATH.

 I’ve used the word so many times now it doesn’t look right anymore. DEATH. DEATH.

 They’re staring... I must have been mumbling again.

3rd MONTH SINCE IT BEGAN. DAY 6 IN REC CENTRE.

 With Paul out of the picture Rex would take orders from me, it’s all he knows how to do. Unless that conniving temptress got to him first.  No, no, with Paul gone Mary would gravitate to me as the next natural leader. With a woman at my side and Rex to wield like a knife I would have no problem dealing with Jacob.

 I shouldn’t have a problem with killing, that’s weakness talking. After all this is about food. This is about basic survival. Just because our surroundings once looked like a city doesn’t mean they’re any less wild now.

 Tomorrow is day 7.

 It’s time.

== Transcript End ==

SWEEP OF SECTOR 36 COMPLETED.  1 SURVIVOR FOUND.
NAME:
JACOB.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Civil Defense... Sort of

Here is a little Gem I found out there in CyberSpace.

And I used to wonder why we are loosing the war :-)

Enjoy
KJ

Friday, October 16, 2009

Phalanx Hearings Evidence File #62485:

Sent text messages recovered from Blackberry found in deserted home of Phalanx executive #17

Transcript by JEB
----

You okay? Heard phones down over there.

Glad your heading to safety. Kiss my nephew n keep him safe.

Not leaving yet. Tim not back. No word since last night. Killing me with worry. Besides, whole family had shots. We’ll be okay. TC.

So excited. Tim just txtd. Coming home via Morocco. Mobs at airport. His flight nearly last plane out.

Old folks worrying for cows. Glad Tim is coming. He will have a plan.

Heading to airport now. Two checkpoints so far. Guards say safe zones precaution only. Still glad your in one now.

Tim looks awful. Says Africa was overrun. Barely got out in one piece. Good thing we’re in good old NA. Can’t happen here between vaccine program n local militias.

Six checkpoints coming back. Guards all cranky, dogs lunging at car. Shades of Abu Ghraib. Be good to reach farm. Tim needs rest.

Sorry camp accommodations so cramped. Keep chin up. Not long til your area is safe again. Putting extra milk in freezer for you in case of shortages.

Yes, can keep you half a beef too. Poor Tim gone through such horror to get home and own dog snarled at him.

Dog’s just edgy, was in fight yesterday. Can dogs get Z-bit by each other? Can you ask somebody there?

Tx re dog. Must be picking up our worry. Got to make a plan asap. Tim needs nap first. Really jet-lagged.

Tim’s dad heard they make you pay to get into safe camp. True?

Tx re pay. Tim really a wreck. Ruined his leather jacket in airport mob, shoulder all scraped from fight to reach plane. Major disinfecting because you never know in Africa, esp now.

They’re cutting off your tv news? More military over-reaction. Sorry, nothing for sure on supper news. Better you stay put for now.

Local radio says evac. Stream of cars already. Tim taking us to company’s refuge after supper. What should I pack?

Tx re list. Hadn’t thought paper prescriptions altho since we’re going to a drug company compound… First thing there will get Tim seen by staff dr as he must have picked up a bug in Africa.

Yes he has a fever. Why?

WHAT DO YOU MEAN THEY DON’T LET IN ANYONE WITH FEVER???

Maybe true for govt refuges but Tim went to Af for work. The Co will look after him. Maybe it’s malaria.

Tx for nothing. Tim won’t go if even a chance he’ll hold up our getting in. Wants me to leave him here alone to look after livestock when he can hardly stand up.

Still here over Tim’s protests. Sent old folks on ahead. Company asshole said Tim can come tomorrow if fever breaks. So quiet around here now dog gone.

Sorry no news. Curfew has tv off air. Will pass on anything I hear.

Help! Tim raving with fever. Thinks he’s turning into THEM despite vaccine. Asked for medi-evac from Co but no idea when.

Tx asprin might be helping. Tim asleep at last. Co jerk says not safe for chopper til morning. Long night ahead, not even radio now.

Tim sleeping so hard he’s barely breathing. Wish I had phoned an emerg med line since Co no help, but no phones now. Wonder text still works.

Co jerk not answernig texts. I’ll sue the bloody Co, I swear. Need a nap but afraid he’ll die before help arrives.

Your prob asleep but I feel so alone. No house lights for miles. Love you.

End of messages.

End Text Evidence file.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Chico Wins the Race

By Kevin Jepson

Drop Dinner

The mess-hall line is a buzz of excited voices, exclamations of delight, whoops of "Right on!" and "That's what I'm talkin’ about!"

The supply drop has had an unexpected windfall for Pony Express Station 4.

Steak!

From a cow.

From a cow that was alive not more than a month ago.

Not the shoe leather like jerky from some government stockpile collected in the 80s (back when all we had to worry about was nuclear winter) but thick, fresh, juicy, red beef. Steak that still looks, smells and tastes like we remember steak tasting.

Ahhhh, man! The simple pleasures.

The buzz dies down as everybody tucks in.  Soon there is only the clatter of 15 sets of knives, forks, plates and glasses as the Riders and Guardsmen of Pony Express Station 4 enjoy a well earned treat.

I'm back at Station 4 for the first time in six months, and now I'm in the middle of the hall doing my best to keep up. The flavour of this beef is amazing.  I don't ever remember it tasting this good...ever. But then, the last time I had a steak was before the Great Panic, back in the far off days of The Way It Used To Be.

When I'm mostly done, I carefully select a nice chunk of red luscious steak, wrap it in my napkin and stuff it into my pocket.  Chico will like that.

"Saving that for later?" says Hamilton Frances III, known to us as Hami.

"Nope, saving it for a buddy of mine I'll be seeing in a couple of days."

"That's right, you are continuing your run tomorrow.  Isn't this just the most amazing feast!  My chef never made anything that tasted this good."

Hami was once one of the richest men in America. He had probably eaten more steak than most of the people in this room had even dreamt about. Now he's chowing down with the rest of us in the back of beyond. It's odd how circumstances can make even simple things like a piece of beef, cooked and prepared like it would have been at any old Sunday BBQ, seem like the greatest gourmet meal.

"So who’s the lucky recipient of that tidbit?" Hami asks.

Another odd thing is that Hami's question is serious. He is not making simple small talk.  In the old days, back before the dead started walking, people spent a lot of time actually trying to avoid knowing anything about each other. Even the people next door were studiously ignored. Nowadays we want to know about those around us, we need to know.  It's how we keep tabs on each other, how we see that the other is still OK. It is how we have something to remember if they don't come back from a run.

Hami and I are "riders", part of the re-formed "Pony Express".  Our job is to hand deliver messages across the length and breadth of what used to be the Mid West States of the good old USA.  The pony bit is just for effect.  We mostly use "Shanks Mare" these days. Horses freak whenever they get even a whiff that Zack is anywhere within a couple of miles, and in these parts that's everywhere. The roads are clogged with dead vehicles, some loaded with Zack still buckled into the seats. Besides, Zack treats the sound of a motorized vehicle like a house cat does the sound of a can opener.   So we hoof it across country trying to move as cautiously as we can, staying out of Zack's reach and trying to make sure the messages get delivered somehow.

"It's for my little buddy Chico," I say.

"Chico?"

"Yup. The feistiest little bundle of skin and bones you ever did see. Six pounds if he's an ounce and smart like an old long-service grunt."

I pull out my pics and hand him the one of Chico, sitting all bright eyed and alert, by the door of the Johnsons’ old farmhouse up in the valley beyond Farnsworth.

"Well I'll be... A Chihuahua! And a pure bred one at that, if I am not mistaken," says Hami, staring at the little beige lump with the big ears and shiny eyes.  Hami knows his dog breeds. Hami knows a lot of things like that. Comes from moving in big circles in the old days.

"Looks like a nice place. When was the picture taken?"

"I took that picture last fall just before winter."

"No way! There is no place that looks like that anymore, at least not this side of the Rockies."

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Tell-tale Heart

By Kevin Jepson

He stands in the back of the hall with his arms crossed.

Middle-aged, weather- and care-worn, like the rest of us, I suppose.  He came in with the "instructor" as guard or companion, or just curious as to what the current state of the war on the Undead is. He doesn't seem to be listening though, like he's heard it all before.

The instructor is talking, droning on to be precise.

"Remember, Zack does not behave anything like us anymore..." yadda yadda yadda. The usual stuff. Necessary for the young ones just joined but, for most of us, stating the brutally obvious. Instead of listening I watch Him, the guy in the back with his arms crossed. Something about him is different, a coolness, a calmness... What exactly I can't really say, but definitely different.

The instructor keeps going on about the physiology of Zack, how he moves, how he targets his victims, how he calls in others to the kill.  Still the guy in the back stands, stock still, arms crossed, watching. Waiting, maybe?

Until, that is, the instructor says, "Although Zack may look human, he is not. There is nothing of the pre-infected person there, only a blank instinctual drive to grab a living human and bite them...".

The guy in the back suddenly uncrosses his arms, turns and walks out. No big sign of disagreement, no words, no snorts, no real change of expression even, just turning and walking back out of the room.  I don't think anyone else noticed. The instructor certainly never skipped a beat, continuing to drone on about how to kill Zack, how to avoid Zack, how to move when Zack out numbers us.  All the latest info on dealing with the walking dead.

The lecture goes on for what seems like hours and then we are dismissed.

As I walk back to the bunkhouse, I see the guy from the back, sitting on a bench against the wall. Eyes closed, legs stretched out like he is asleep.  I know he isn't sleeping. Nobody sleeps like that anymore, not out in the open, even inside a redoubt like ours.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Tales to tell...

Welcome to "Life in Zack's World".

Zack (n.) The military slang for Zombie used during World War Z.

Here I will be collecting and telling tales, stories and anecdotes from life in a world where the Undead Rule.

A world where Zombies, victims of a plague caused by the Solanum virus,  roam at will, ever ready to attack and consume any animal that crosses their path.  Especially living humans.  A world at war with an enemy that does not sleep, does not need to eat or even breathe.  An enemy that has none of the human military requirements to be "bred, fed and led".

Friday, September 11, 2009

Coming Soon.

I've collected some notes, journals and diaries and am trying to read them to maybe get them into some sort of coherent narrative.

It's tough when every piece of paper has bloodstains on it...

KJ