"One Hundred Days" Chapter 1, Rated MA, TK, JKat Jun 16, 2009 20:05:16 GMT -5
Post by suesamuels on Jun 16, 2009 20:05:16 GMT -5
One Hundred Days
Written by: Sue Samuels
Summary: Humanities final hour begins Saturday, August 9, 2009 at 8:30 AM.
Rating: R for graphic violence, language, and gore
Timeline: Everything through Power Rangers: RPM is canon, but the years since we seen our characters are our own interpretations of their lives post being Rangers.
Warning: This will be a very graphic, intense novel. I am not kidding. This will not be for the faint of heart.
Characters: Tommy and Kimberly Oliver, Jason Lee Scott, Katherine Hillard, Dana Mitchell, Wes Collins, Kira Ford, Connor McKnight, Cassandra Chan, and Merrick Baliton.
Side Note: For those of you not familiar with some of the characters, I suggest going to www.rangercentral.com/main-database.htm for background info on Tommy, Kim, Jason, and Katherine (MMPR-Zeo) Dana Mitchel (Lightspeed Rescue) Wes Collins (Time Force) Kira Ford and Connor McKnight (Dino Thunder) Cassandra Chan (Power Rangers in Space) and Merrick Baliton (Wild Force) – Ranger Central is a amazing resource for any PR author or fan who wants to get into a story featuring characters from a PR show they didn't watch.
Final Notes: All locations will be based on accurate information of their real-life counterparts. All of the characters back-stories will be explained within the story. My intent is to take you on a wild, insane roller-coaster ride of surprises and intense action. All the while scaring your pants off. Sit back and enjoy. But you might want to keep the lights on.
“How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on, when in your heart you begin to understand: there is no going back? There are some things that time cannot mend; some hurts that go too deep, that have taken hold”
University Park Campus
College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences
(USC) University of Southern California
Saturday, August 9, 2009 8:30 AM
Los Angeles, CA 90089
This was an epic headache.
Stephen considered that mental declaration over and over as he tried to concentrate and take notes in his Archeology lecture. Unfortunately for him, the room was spinning like the worst hangover he'd ever had. On second hand, scratch that. This felt much worse.
A lightweight to begin with at one hundred and fifty pounds, Stephen wasn't that much of a drinker. Being a two-years removed Cancer survivor and having a very strict father who he lived with didn't help his social life in the least. And he certainly hadn't indulged in the spirits last night despite it being Friday.
Study, study, study so that one day he could land a ultra high-paying job like his genetic scientist father was his mantra.
As if he ever wanted to be like his dad. Being obsessed, coffee-addicted, and uncaring weren't goals in his life. Especially lately. The old man's been in a rare mood for the last couple of weeks. Working on, in his words, the project that would define his legacy. Whatever, Stephen thought while twisting a hand through his sandy blond hair. He would follow his own path just as soon as his finances allowed him to escape the hell that was his home-life.
Speaking of hell, it felt as if a rusty spike were being slowly driven into his skull. The steady throbbing gnawed away at him. His head dipped low while taking notes, hoping that the four extra strength Tylenol he took a few minutes ago would finally kick in. To make matters worse, his stomach began to ache.
“Just push through this early morning lecture and then crash for the rest of the day,” he chanted silently to himself while shutting his eyes. Outside of the headache he woke up with he was perfectly fine until he reached class. It was all down hill after that.
Feeling a bit light-headed, he swore under his breath. Blurry vision wasn't a good
sign. Neither was the nausea slowly taking hold.
“... world prehistory from the time of our earliest known human ancestors five million years ago to the rise of state-level societies, as exemplified by the civilizations of ancient Mesopotamia and Mesoamerica.”
Dammit, he still had another hour of this boring lecture to go.
Attempting to will himself through this, Stephen tried to remember if he ate anything last night that could have upset his stomach. A DijGorno Ultimate frozen pizza for dinner was exactly healthy, but the expiration date hadn't gone past on it either. Outside of that he hadn't eaten anything else. Hadn't drank anything stronger than a Pepsi. He had tried to watch some of the Dodgers game with his dad the sole time the elder Vanston man entered the living room, but he was too lost in his private lab to be bothered. No surprise there.
Professor Hall continued on, touring the massive lecture hall in his typically animated
fashion. Stephen blinked hard upon staring down at his paper. Shockingly enough, his hand writing had turned... erratic. His head was pounding still, and now his throat felt dry.
Truthfully, he couldn't recall the last time he'd felt this bad. Minutes later he felt hot as if a fever had suddenly rushed over him. His gray t-shirt began clinging to his skin, darkening with sweat. He ran a hand over his brow and felt the slickness of perspiration.
His stomach began roiling painfully. Something was terribly wrong.
Rising to his feet, note book in hand, Stephen rushed up the stairs and out of the lecture hall amidst the stares of his classmates and professor. The twin entrance doors swung powerfully when he burst through them. They were afterthoughts as he raced towards the nearest rest room, nearly tore the door off rushing inside, and hit the very first stall before the contents of his stomach emptied violently.
He heaved and heaved until the sheer force of his vomiting saw him down on one
knee. Tremors began hurtling through his body as he kept both hands braced on the porcelain God while throwing up. His head swam with painful throbbing.
“OH God...” he muttered nervously upon noting the swirly green contents of the toilet mixed with.. blood. Thick, dark blood. Suddenly, a second equally violent eruption tore from his throat.
“Dude, Pamela is so fine I'd drink her bath water,” Vic joked upon entering the bathroom with his buddy Brandon. The USC nose tackle was grinning from ear to ear, having finally gotten a date with the current girl of his dreams. “I'd give ten years of my life for one night with...” Horrid sounds of someone very ill caught their attention. He shared a cautious glance with his friend. The groaning was animalistic in nature.“Maybe we should call security?”
Brandon blew it off, hitting the first urinal. “Someones always popping a pill or drinking too much around here. That's what you get for...” The straining, loud gasps of pain caught the words in his throat. He suddenly worried that this was very serious. He'd never heard anyone sound like that before.
Not wasting another moment, Vic slowly approached the bathroom stall. “Hey man, you need help? You sound really fucked up.”
Brandon closed in behind him. “You need us to call someone, man?” He reached for his cell phone.
Vic Carlson had never seen anything move as fast as whatever leapt through that bathroom stall. Its weight shoved him against the wall, and then it clamped over his throat and wrenched, tearing so much flesh he saw his blood draining out over his chest before he crumbled to the ground dead.
“JESUS!!” Brandon backed away, and turned, but felt that thing throw itself over his back. “Aweee!!! Fuck, help me!!! HELP ME!!!” Teeth bit and raked at his shoulder blade, ripping skin away, sinking its teeth into him. Somehow with the last of his strength he shoved the thing off him at the window above the sink. The force of his throw cracked and splintered the glass.
'It' was dressed like a human, but its ash-colored skin and gruesome blood-drenched mouth spoke otherwise. 'It' growled a unholy noise at its victim, who quickly raced out the bathroom.
Mindless, aching with need for food... it gave fierce pursuit.
Meanwhile, as terrified screams tore through the hallways of USC... something began moving in the bathroom. Something that was once dead... now lived again.
The Oliver Household
Boyle Heights, CA 90023
Saturday, August 9, 2009 10:15 AM
As a general rule, Kimberly didn’t work on Saturday mornings unless it was an absolute must.
She’d long since paid her dues, having spent many a day, including holidays, working toward not only her degree, but being able to purchase a small enough store front near Santa Monica beach to open her own art gallery. Heck of an accomplishment for someone her age, though bought and paid for with tons of hard work and a little bit of luck.
But when Wendy, her weekend assistant called and told her that they’d gotten a shipment of Egyptian art that was over a week late in that very morning, she knew she had to go in and at least make some semblance of order out of it. Glancing over at the California king size bed that took up most of the master bedroom, she felt a smile curling her lips. Tommy had rolled over, his body now crossways on the bed with her pillow hugged to his chest. Most of his body was covered by navy blue sheets, but she was treated to the lovely view of his very muscular calves and shoulders. She couldn't help but to think that having an amazingly sexy husband was a very nice thing to be able to come home to.
Speaking of Mr. Oliver, he was still sound asleep like she longed to be. Jealousy bubbled, and then faded. Their bed was far too comfortable. Not to mention he looked good enough to devour, but those kinds of thoughts had to be tucked away until later. She had to get going.
Like her, his work schedule during the week saw him up and out of the house before seven every morning, heading for his teaching job at USC’s University Park Campus. Saturday and Sunday were usually the two days they were home together; one day for chores, the other for lazing about.
Their private joke was that they never saw the sun. Early mornings, late evenings, and real life intruded far to often.
Carefully setting her black brush back on their dresser, she checked her ponytail in the mirror before turning and creeping toward the bed. Knowing her beloved husband, he’d sleep for at least another half hour before getting up. He’d check his email to see if anything interesting came in; usually by this time Rocky had sent something or another that was bound to bring a few chuckles, then he’d get started on his around the house chores. Kneeling carefully next to the bed, she reached out and brushed his bangs out of his face. Without the mountains of hair gel to spike the strands up, they were sticking out every which way because of sleep. He looked so damn innocent, as if the burdens he’d carried for so many years didn’t bother him anymore. She knew that was the farthest thing from the truth, but it was nice to see he was at least sleeping peacefully.
Grinning, she leaned in and kissed his cheek softly. The caress had the desired effect – his eyes slowly fluttered open. “I’m leaving for work,” she told him, leaning forward to press a kiss on his lips.
Yawning through a long stretch, Tommy asked, “Why?”
“That Egyptian shipment I’ve been waiting for finally came in,” she explained, cupping his cheek with her hand. She really, really wanted to crawl back into bed. “I should be home sometime around two or three, provided all goes well.”
Nodding, Tommy leaned in to kiss her again. “Safe drive, Beautiful.”
“As you wish, Handsome.” Even at age thirty, with fifteen years passed since he gave her that nickname, a feminine part of her still fluttered each time he said it. Granted, she was a strong, mature, confident woman who could more than take care of herself, but it didn’t matter. She’d never tire of hearing that nickname. It was hers, and it was special. “Don’t sleep all day. I have plans for us this afternoon,” she winked before moving away from the bed. He was gonna love that little thing she picked up at Victoria's Secret earlier this week. He grumbled a weak little reply. It sounded cute to her for some reason.
One last glance at him from their bedroom door had her grinning before she headed down to grab her gear.
Fifteen minutes later, she was pulling out of the Winchell’s coffee shop at S. Soto and E. 8th street, heading for the Pamona Fwy west ramp. While she waited at a stop light, she switched on the radio. “This just in. KIIS FM has learned of some crazy news-reports coming in from the USC University Park Campus. Details are still pretty sketchy, so rumors are flying that it’s everything from a some sort of riot to a terrorist act on campus. Right now, LAPD advises steering clear of the area if at all possible until they get things under control. Stick with KIIS FM and we’ll keep you updated on the situation.”
“Its a good thing the hubby didn't have to go in today. I hope no ones hurt,” Kimberly noted to herself, and then swore under her breath as she drove her mustang onto the freeway on ramp. Unfortunately for her, she had to take the Santa Monica FWY right past the USC campus to get to work. With a sigh, she pulled out her phone to call Wendy and let her know she was probably going to be late.
“Wendy, it’s me. Listen, there’s something going on up at USC, so traffic’s going to be a bitch today. I might not get there until eleven or so. Can you handle it till I do?”
“I saw something about that on the news before I got into work today too. No worries, Kim. I’ve got everything under control. You just be careful driving.”
“Always am. Talk to you in a bit.”
Less than ten minutes later had Kimberly swearing as her mustang came to a stop in the middle of the Santa Monica Fwy. It was wall-to-wall grid lock traffic as far as the eye could see. Rolling her eyes, Kim grabbed her blackberry and sat back to send out a few text messages. Her first one went to Wendy at the gallery, to update her to the traffic situation. Her next one went to Tommy. It was something a little flirty, a promise of what she had planned for them that night when she got home. She snickered quietly over the email that she got from Aisha, which prompted her to start writing back. Because she’d never liked the silence, which was saying something being stuck in the middle of heavy morning traffic. She flipped her radio stations until she landed back on KIIS FM.
“KIIS listeners, keep it locked here. We’re getting tons of calls from drivers stuck on the Santa Monica FWY, so here's the latest news we have on the situation at USC. We’ve been in touch with the police department, but as of right now, they aren’t confirming anything. Callers are saying there’s a riot going on at USC and that LAPD has the freeway exits blocked. Gunshots have been reported, so use extreme caution if you are in the area. News helicopters are circling the campus, so as soon as they start broadcasting we'll let you know. What we do know for a fact is that USC and its surrounding area should be avoided at all costs. We’ll keep you posted.”
Kim muttered a worried curse, shaking her head. Suddenly the radio began to pulse with static. She frowned, but continued texting Aisha to keep her mind off the traffic and whatever was happening at her husband's campus. She jumped in surprise when her radio, without warning, went dead at the same moment her phone started ringing. Sighing, she caught sight of the familiar caller-ID. “Sweetheart, something weird is going on.”
“Where are you?” he frantically asked through the static buzzing in her ear, his tone coming off very tense.
“Tommy?” Her eyes narrowed when she heard the phone cut in and out. “Sitting in traffic on the Santa Monica Fwy, why?” she sighed in exasperation.
“Take a deep breath and get out of the car now, Kim. Abandon it and start heading back this way on foot as fast as you can run.” His voice was urgent and had a ball of dread curling in her stomach.
“Tommy, what’s wrong?” she demanded.
“GET OUT OF THE CAR!” he all but shouted, though it was rather weak because her phone was still cutting out. “Something strange is going on nearby. There were news reports on every station before the television went out. People were being attacked by other people. I couldn't make out what the newscaster was saying, but the footage was showing five and six people ganging up on people all over the place. There are confirmed deaths and fighting with the LAPD and USC campus security. I want you to get out of your car and start coming back this way. Traffic isn't going to get better.”
Cold fear speared through Kimberly. Tommy wouldn’t be reacting this way if it wasn’t deadly serious. “Okay, alright, I’ll meet you at Winchell’s. Be safe.”
“You too. Don't stop for anything!”
“Gotcha.” Her heart jumped into her throat when her phone suddenly went dead. Up ahead of her, other drivers and passengers were beginning to get out of their cars. People shouting at each other while others were calmly discussing the news reports coming in over their
radios. Some were running with their children in their arms.
Gritting her teeth, Kim reached across her seat, grabbed her backpack with her laptop in it and grabbed her purse. Hopping out of the car, she noticed more and more people were starting to come back toward her car at a fast pace. Scrambling, she popped the trunk on her car and grabbed her gym bag, somehow knowing she was going need what was inside. With a last look, she began heading east on the freeway, back toward home. She was about five feet from her car when an roaring explosion rocked the air, pounding her ear drums.
Spinning around, breath whooshed out of her chest when her gaze turned skyward at the large, fiery cloud that suddenly shot up in the distance. The sound was still ringing in her ears, while the thick, dark smoke billowed into the heavens “Fuck,” she growled before she turned, hefted her bag over her shoulder, and took off running.
Her hope soared a little when she saw the off ramp, 16 A, and took it to get off the freeway. Behind her she could hear people screaming and running, some following her down onto Lawrence St. She ran on instinct, her mind quickly flipping through the streets she needed to take to get to where she knew her husband would be. She didn’t think, didn’t stop; her legs just kept pumping as she wove her way through the streets around other abandoned cars. She could hear shouts from people as she passed, children crying, but her mind was dead set on reaching her destination because whatever was behind her wasn't good. It took her nearly twenty minutes amidst the chaos, but she finally found herself in front of the Winchell’s she’d visited earlier. She didn’t stop until she got to the large, silver H2 Hummer sitting with the motor idallying and the windows rolled up. She yanked open the passenger side back door and threw her things into the seat before she quickly climbed up into the seat next to her very disturbed looking husband.
“Okay, what the FUCK is going on? The Santa Monica Fwy is gridlocked and people are running for their lives. I heard a loud explosions just a little while ago, and I just ran twenty minutes straight like I fucking had ninja powers again, which I don’t! Not to mention, I LEFT MY CAR!” she punctuated the last word with an irritated tone to her voice. She looked over at Tommy, who was sitting quietly in the driver’s seat. He was as pale as she had ever seen him, and her venom quickly faded. “Tommy?”
“I don’t know what’s going on,” he quietly told her as he quickly put the truck in reverse and pulled out of the space. He ran the first two Stop signs he encountered, mindful of the people in the streets, but needing to get his wife far away from here. “Television, radio, and phones are all static. My cell phones dead. I got the computer to turn on for about five minutes, but the net isn’t working. The power is out for our entire block.”
Nodding, Kim took a deep breath and attempted to calm down. Street lights and storefront signs were still lit around them, but for how long? “Have you been able to contact anyone?”
“I tried my parents and your dad and brother before we lost the cell phones. Our land-lines went out next.” Tommy shook his head as he maneuvered their car out onto the street and headed east fast, sticking to the side streets. “Something big is going on and I don’t like it.”
“Right now, I want to get as far as possible out of the city. Before the television. went out there were reports of some sort of virus being spread around the USC campus.”
“Terrorist biological weapon?” Kim questioned.
“They don't know and weren’t saying much. Only that LAPD had sealed off the campus and shut down the freeway. But people were reporting some kind of sickness going around at the campus.”
Trembling, Kimberly tried her cell phone again. “Dammit, nothing” The drive to get to her father, his parents, or her brother would be impossible if they took the streets. And even they were filling up big-time. She reached out and took his free hand, twining their fingers
together. “Did you bring weapons?”
“Our guns, yeah. And extra ammunition. And three of my swords. I pray that was just me being way too paranoid. You know how I am.”
Her husband was often right when it came to seeing bad times ahead. “So I guess this means we’re going to try and contact some of the others once we get to somewhere safe?”
“Billy’s GPS device is in the center console here. You’d better turn it on,” he told her, watching her take the small device out and turn it off autopilot and on to active. It wasn’t much bigger than her blackberry. Billy built them for every living Rangers from every team so that in the event of a cataclysmic event, they would all be able to find each other.
“I wish Billy was here. Now isn’t such a great time for him to be on Aquitar for a visit, is it?” Kim quipped, turning to look up at him. He watched her eyes widen in what could only be described as absolute shock.
“What the FUCK are those?” she declared, pointing at the thick sea of humanity attacking each other in the middle of a busy street. Turning in his seat, Tommy looked to his left and saw what appeared to be a group of racing toward their vehicle. They looked
crazy, stumbling into each other erratically. “Tommy?”
He blinked. Blinked again. Blinked a third time, and still couldn’t believe what he was
seeing. “I don’t know, but... Backseat, Glock 9.”
“Tommy, they’re getting closer!” Kim didn't think, she reacted, grabbing the pistol. She made sure it was loaded. Her hand slamming down on the power locks to the hummer’s doors.
The Hummer was suddenly surrounded by... There were so many of them... They all looked dead! Ashen skinned faces, their clothes torn... Beating their bloody fists on the hood and windows. Some of them had hideous bites on faces. Others had gaping wounds on their necks, arms, and chests that made Kim gag back the bile that rose in her throat at the sight of them.
“Shit!” the former Ranger leader hissed as the people on the outside began angrily banging on the windows and windshield. More and more of them surrounded the vehicle, inhuman sounds spewing from their gnarled mouths. What little either of them could see past the group around them, was filled with the vision of more and more people running toward the SUV. “HANG ON!” he shouted as he gritted his teeth and stomped on the gas. The car lurched forward, jolting the pair as it ran into and over three bodies, causing husband and wife to wince
As Tommy put his former racing skills to the test, Kimberly whipped her head around and looked back out the back window, watching as the people they’d just run over got back up and began chasing them along with twenty others. “I may be losing my mind, but they looked like zombies.”
“Load my gun and track the nearest Ranger to us.”
“Drive through the park ahead,” Kim ordered while reaching into the back seat. “Hit the nearest gas station if it looks clear.”
“And after that?”
Behind them, Kim saw dozens zombies veering off the road lunging at other cars and people running by. They were violently attacking anyone they could get their hands on, dragging them to the ground and... they couldn't be... “I don't know, Tommy. This looks like hell on Earth.”
(C.I.A) Central Intelligence Agency
Private Training Facility
915 2nd Ave
Cafeteria - 2nd floor
Saturday, August 9, 2009 4:50 PM
Wes couldn't believe what he was witnessing
“... horrific scenes of what can only be described as cannibalistic violence on a scale never seen before have rampaged Los Angeles, California and the mayhem is spreading fast . The attackers act like mindless animals, hurling themselves in front of fast moving cars and directly at police officers with their weapons trained on them. They appear gravely injured themselves, and yet prey with a overly-aggressive single-mindedness to feed off of other seemingly uninfected people. They seem to have no concept of thought or care for their own well-being. I have never seen anything like this before...”
Standing amidst a shocked crowd of two dozen in the main cafeteria, Wes watched the CNN broadcast on one of the four 35'inch Hi-Definition televisions mounted on the back
wall. Gasps and quiet prayers echoed around him as the footage aired. Creatures, for lack of a better term... or one they were too terrified to use just yet were viciously attacking anyone they could find. News helicopters caught the madness from above as fires broke out all over the city. The vile images of flesh being torn from bodies turned his stomach, though he kept his composure as best he could.
This didn't look like the onset of an invasion from the world of his “previous life.” At least not on the surface. He was sure other ex-Rangers from around the world were watching today's unbelievable events and wondering the same thing he was.
“... last four and a half hours saw the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Center for Disease Control call the emerging virus 'Plague 847'. No reason was given for the title, but we now have video coverage of its deadly and highly contagious threat. As you can see here, when this elderly woman is attacked and presumably killed by three of the infected attackers, the time stamp on the street camera reads 1:24 PM. When we fast forward barely five minutes we see her slowly rising to her feet despite the bloody gaping bite wounds across her neck. We apologize for the graphic nature of this broadcast, but as journalist we must show the truth. Whatever infected the elderly woman's attackers spread through her system in less than five minutes. The time stamp before the woman leaves the camera's range is 1:30 PM.”
“Wes, are you seeing what I'm seeing?”
Unable to steal his gaze away from the television, Wes declined answering Marcus, one of his fellow agents and a very close friend. The streets of L.A. could only be described as a blood-bath of unimaginable chaos that was rapidly spreading to its suburbs and surrounding
cities. But what was worse was that news reports were now saying two other outbreaks of 'Plague 847' were being reported. One in Nevada and the other...
Out of nowhere blaring building alarms went off all around them. “CODE RED EVACUATION. PLEASE EXIT THE BUILDING IMMEDIETLY! THIS IS NOT A DRILL!” was repeated over and over through the building's emergency broadcast system.
“I got a bad feeling about this,” Marcus noted, slapping his back-hand over Wes' shoulder to draw him out of his apparent shock. The sixty-two year old African-American CIA agent whipped out his cell-phone, quickly trying to reach his wife, and then his daughter. Nothing but static. Fingers coursed nervously over his graying beard. “Wes, let's go. NOW!”
Shaking himself free, Wes followed his friend towards the staircase, leaving the elevators for the terrified civilian staff and visitors. What he'd just seen resembled the outbreak of a terrible viral attack. He caught the name of the other city where zombie activity was being reported just before the alarms sounded. Seattle was next. “This doesn't seem like some kind of terrorist biological attack. Anthrax, ricin, botulinum toxin, and aflatoxin don't produce those kinds of effects.”
“With your past Wes, I think you know better than most how there's always something new around the corner.” Ever thankful that the young man trusted him enough to share his Ranger past, Marcus always felt a certain kinship with Wes. They shared the kind of trust necessary for a effective partnership. And a close friendship.
The two men hit the first floor running, barreling down two flights of stairs. They weaved through the chaotic scene towards the front entrance, both stopped dead in their tracks and reached for their Beretta Px4 9MM hand guns.
The entire front sidewalk of the building was thick with bloodied, battered zombie-like creatures who were waiting for those trying to leave to attack them. The unfortunate ones already outside were gang-tackled to the ground and eaten alive. Their cries for help died nearly as quickly as they did.
“EVERYBODY BACK INTO THE BUILDING. IF YOU CAN'T LEAVE OUT THE REAR EXIT BARACADE YOURSELVES IN THE UPPER FLOOR OFFICES!” Wes shouted, sharing a intense look with Marcus before sea of zombies began loudly beating and pummeling the windows and swivel doors of the building until decomposed hands and arms burst through. Skin tore disgustingly from their limbs, but they didn't seem to consider the pain. They were relentless in their pursuit, slamming their heads into the glass, tearing new wounds so that they could reach their targets.
“Jesus, what the hell are they?” Marcus swore under his breath, soon flanked by four armed security guards. He settled himself, the senior officer her at the moment. “There are people still coming down from the upper floors. I'm sure agents and other security personnel are mobilizing as we speak. For now we gotta buy our people some time. We have to hold the line here.”
Booming thuds pounded a primal war drum as the zombies finally broke through the massive sheets of glass when two of them battered a third against the window plain until it finally cracked and shattered. They howled as they poured in – some running, others dragging their broken bodies - none possessing even a hint of humanity or recognition of intelligence.
“STOP!” Wes shouted as he would normally when an assailant approached, but wasted no time nailing one male zombie in the head. The bullet bit into its skull, an explosion of blood splattered on the one behind it. Warning shots were useless here. “AIM FOR THE HEADS AND DON'T WASTE A SHOT! DO NOT LET THEIR BLOOD GET ON YOU!”
Marcus's pulse pounded in his temples. “I'm getting to old for this shit!”
Wes barely cracked a grin. “Quoting Lethal Weapon lines in your old age, boss?”
“Nah, just your cracked sense of humor rubbing off on me.”
Soon the entrance area filled with the sounds of rapid gunfire as the zombies were just to many. For every four that were killed, five more stumbled right over their wretched bodies. Wes nailed a tall, lanky zombie with a decaying mouth in the jaw, splintering bone from its face. Two more were hit with head shots as hitting them anywhere else only seemed to stagger them. He backed away, firing with Marcus on his right. The six men held the undead at bay before their numbers grew to great. Zombies dropped and got right back up, arms raised, the rotting scent of them filling the agents nostrils.
For some reason it dawned on Wes the wise, older C.I.A. Agent that took him under his wing two years ago was set to retire next week. His storied career couldn't end like this. “I bet you wish you would have retired to Florida last year like I told you too, huh.”
“Don't make me shoot you, Wes.”
The former Time Force Red Ranger shoved his sarcastic side away as their situation grew
grim. “Marcus, get that back emergency door open! We'll hold the line here!”
“Keep your eyes open, kid!” Shooting behind him, Marcus raced around a corner and down a empty long hall. He found the door already open, whispering a silent prayer to himself. The parking lot was empty of the undead. “LET'S MOVE!!” he yelled at the top of his lungs.
Firing at a fire extinguisher on the far wall, the sudden burst of flame repellent drew the zombies attention just long enough for Wes to turn and race with the other four guards. Sadly, two of them were taken down from behind. As the zombies swarmed on the fallen men, Wes had no choice but to make his escape. He exchanged a empty clip for a new one, grimacing at the horrid sounds of the men begging for rescue.
They were infected and lost. Wes kept running.
“MOVE YOUR ASS, WES!” Marcus shouted at his protégé while providing cover fire, snapping the necks back of two fast-moving zombies. When Wes and the two guards exited the building, Marcus slammed shut the door and then with the help of a exhausted security guard drug a long trash metal bin in front of the door. Continuous banging came from the other side soon after. “That won't hold them for long. Get to your cars and get the hell out of here!”
“What the hell are we supposed to do?” the young security guard said, nearly in tears, his gun trembling in his hand.
Marcus shook his head, moving toward his own car. “Get to your family. Get them safe and leave the city. Now go!”
“Stay safe, Marcus.” Wes shouted over his shoulder. He heard a “You too,” as he ran for his black 2007 Nissan Maxima only to catch sight of the billowing dark smoke resulting from a three-car crash at the parking lots exit. All three vehicles were devoid of drivers. No doubt zombie victims who were turned and now seeking flesh. “Dammit!” No one was getting out by car unless those could be moved, and he didn't see any way that would happen before they were overrun.
Survival instinct took over.
Breaking for his car, Wes reached it seconds later. Popping the trunk, he stuffed several clips of ammunition in a gym bag, and then began running non-stop east towards the nearest police station – seven long downtown city blocks away. No matter, he pushed himself hard. This was life or death. More guns and possible communication and air-lift rescue were there. It was the best idea he could come up with on short.
When Wesley Collins leaped a chain-link fence and reached the street of Exposition Blvd all that he could exhale was, “God almighty.”
Armageddon had come to Seattle, Washington!
Raging fires from wrecked cars and wide-open storefronts filled the air with thick dark
smoke. Throngs of people ran for their lives around him in all directions. Downtown Seattle streets were littered with empty cars tainted with blood. Screams of terror and desperate pleading for help came from all around him as he ran as fast as he could. The violence was so catastrophic he couldn't comprehend where to start helping.
Zombies piled into restaurants and apartment buildings, trapping their prey. People fought back with tire irons, baseball bats, sticks, guns, anything they could get their hands on... the fierce fighting all around him looked doomed.
There were just to many zombies. It looked like the human race was being exterminated.
Running hard down the street, firing shots here and there, killing five zombies along the way, Wes thought of his beloved Jen. Girlfriends had come and gone since her, but none took her place in his heart. He longed for her still. So many years ago he lost her, and now as he faced the loss of his own life he thought of her and how cruel fate had been to them.
If these were his last thoughts he wanted them to be of her.
“No!” he found the inner strength to voice, gripping his hand gun tighter. “No way.” Wes wasn't about to give up no matter the hell that surrounded him. He tried his cell phone... dead as the things attacking the city. Street sights were out. So were store signs. It looked as if the electricity was shut off. His heart beat so loud in his chest from exertion that he needed to stop even though he knew that he couldn't.
Sirens blared from all over the city. Helicopters flew overhead, and he knew the military had to be assessing things before moving in. That was a good sign. Now he knew he had to survive until he could be evacuated. Until then his ex-Ranger thinking took over. Each ex-Ranger kept a survival bag in their homes and the trunks of their cars. All that was in it was the modified GPS tracker created by William Cranston, the original Blue Ranger. If the worse was to happen all Rangers would be able to track down each other individually no matter where they were in the world. All of them linked by a private cloaked satellite in space, built by the ex-Rangers themselves in case of a catastrophic event.
Wes had his GPS tracker with him, but for now had to get to safety. Reach a destination that could be defended until help arrived. The police station was his best bet.
All of a sudden noise from down the street to his right caught his attention. Screams for help. He responded.
Beretta trained high, he eased down the road until he saw a woman with three kids inside a locked blue Toyota Camry that ran into a light pole. Three zombies were pounding their fists at the windshield. Soon it would break.
Wes didn't think, he acted. Killing them was easy. He was a damn good shot and their backs were turned, attention focused elsewhere. Their blood exploded behind them, away from the car doors. Their mutilated bodies crumbled to the pavement.
He raced to the driver's side of the car where the mother was hysterical, crying against her steering wheel. The children were terrified in the backseat, screaming. Reaching for his badge, Wes motioned for her to roll down her window. “Ma'am, I know you're scared and I can't explain everything that's going on right now. But you need to try and start your car. Please, Ma'am.”
Stepping away, Wes waited while keeping an eye out. She tried starting the car twice, screaming for it to start, and then on the third try the engine turned on.
Gasping for air, the mother offered, “Thank you, sir. Thank you so much. You saved our lives.”
“Save your own, now. Get out of Seattle. Stay off the major highways. Use side streets. If you don't have a full tank of gas just drive as far as you can until you're almost on empty, then find a gas station. Do not stop this car for anything.”
She nodded, still crying, but determined to get her family out of the city. Pulling off the light pole while losing her front bumper, she sharply turned onto the street and burned rubber.
Wes took off running again until more pleas for help drew his attention. This time a Starbucks was over-run by zombies. Madness ensued inside, with far to many of them and him with only one gun. Those trapped inside were as good as dead and there wasn't as damn thing he could do about.
He could only walk away, conserving his ammunition for fights he had a hope of winning.
Five minutes of non-stop running saw him reach the police station. His heart fell into the pit of his stomach. “FUCK!”
The police station was in flames and overrun by zombies. There was not a officer in sight. At least not an uninfected one.
The blaze was to such a degree he felt the sweltering heat half a block away. His one hope for salvation, with Hell itself behind him and the dead on his heels left him nearly lost with grief. His head swam as he looked around, trying to decide what to do next. Zombies were near by and if he stayed stationary he was a goner.
Down the street he saw hope in the form of what looked like a empty CTA bus stalled in a inter-section. He ran for it, thinking of its size and ability to carry many people. He was sure those inside either ran for their lives, or were turned on board and fled to feed.
He couldn't care about the whys right now. Noise turned his head. Two zombies roared from inside a auto customizing shop, raging after him.. He dropped the first quickly with two shots to the head, but the second was on him to fast.
Wes dove out of the way when it attempted to lunge at him. Out of bullets and with no time to reload, he ran for the auto shop. Just inside the door found a heavy car jack. As soon as he spun around he crushed it against the zombie's head, sending it falling backwards. He reloaded and three quick shots to its head... it finally stopped writhing.
“Stay dead!” Wes was on the run, pushing himself toward the CTA bus. He reached it, carefully climbing on board while looking out for blood. Thankfully, no bodies were present. Even more lucky, the keys were still in the ignition.
Unluckily however, down the streets a absolute mob of zombies were gunning his way! Dozens of them!
Stepping behind the wheel, Wes had every intention of using this bus as a weapon. Having been trained in defensive driving of just about every type of vehicle that existed, he started the bus, slammed on the gas, locked the doors, and drove towards the mass of undead in a seventy miles per hour battering ram. “And to think, I thought losing the love of my life to time travel was the worst thing that could happen to me. Son of a bitch!”
3rd Floor - Trauma Center
San Francisco General Hospital
1001 Potrero Ave
San Francisco, CA 94110
Saturday August 9, 2009 5:30 PM
The screams are what tore at her the most.
Before the zombie ambush began they’d managed to get as many patients as they could onto the floor, barricading the I.C.U. doors to keep the....things....out....but she could still hear the pleading screams echoing up from the stairwell. People were being slaughtered and there was nothing she could do to help. As a doctor, and former Power Ranger, that feeling of helplessness was horribly new to her. Her military and doctor’s training had prepared her how to react to any situation, medical or otherwise, to save someone’s life. As a Ranger, her training had taught her to take control of any situation, and that the needs of the many outweighed the needs of the few.
It didn’t make this any easier.
Nothing before this day had prepared her for this.
Swallowing hard, Dana clenched her eyes closed and leaned her head back against the wall. What she saw on the lower floors had been horrific, something she knew she’d never forget. There were actual flesh-eating zombies running around outside and on the lower levels of the hospital, eating people alive and turning others into mindless, flesh-craving drones. She and four other doctors had managed to help hospital security seal off the third floor, but it wouldn’t be much longer now before even they had to flee.
The question was, where the hell were they gonna go?
Coming down the long, empty hall toward her was Dr. Skip Evans, the attending physician of the hospital. In fact, he’d been in the O.R. with her an hour before operating on two patients who’d been brought into the E.R. with massive head trauma from a three car accident on the Golden Gate Bridge. “What now?” she helplessly uttered.
“Wayne’s got an idea, about how we can escape, but we want to run it by you,” Skip explained, reaching for her hand to pull her to her feet. It had been praying on her mind as well; they were on the third floor with zombies at all their exits. Sooner or later, the zombies were gonna get through their barricade and they needed a way to get out. The elevators were obviously out of the question, which left the right hall stairwell. Only problem was, the stairwell was beyond the barricaded doors. “You okay?” he asked as they began heading back down the hallway toward the nurse’s station.
“I’m exhausted, to be honest,” she blew out a breath and reached up to push her long blond hair out of her face. She’d been at work since four that morning, and hadn’t eaten since about eleven. Add in the hours of surgery and now dealing with this unbelievable event, she wasn’t feeling so great. “Okay guys, what’s this brilliant plan?” she asked when she and Skip stepped up to the desk, where the three other doctors – Wayne Majors, Anika Marlene and Scott Stokes stood.
“Okay, basic major observation, these things want untainted blood,” Wayne declared, motioning the group to follow him to the end of the side hallway, where a large bank of windows were. The five looked down on the chaotic streets below, watching those already infected attack those who obviously weren’t in their cars and all over the parking lot. It was utter carnage on the streets, and they all knew the lower levels of the hospital were the same. “The walkie talkies have been going off like mad; an air ambulance is being rerouted from an accident scene to us. They should be here in about twenty minutes. That's our ticket out of here.”
“That’s four floors we’re going to have to climb while praying the zombies aren't already there. How are we going to get to the stairs?” Dana demanded. “We’ve barricaded the doors?”
Scott motioned for the group to follow him to a set of beds where the two head trauma deceased patients were, covered in sheets. “We’re going to try an experiment, and pray to every God known to man that it works.”
The former Lightspeed Ranger felt her stomach churn; these were the two people she and Skip had fought to save an hour before, but the heart monitors showed her that in the time it had taken them to seal off the floor the pair had died. Bags of Type O blood that were to be used to help save them were now sitting on a nearby instrument table. Dana felt like she was going to be sick, looking at the instruments of their ‘experiment’. “You think we can use those bodies to distract the zombies long enough to get to the stairwell?”
Anika reached out and gripped Dana’s hand. “That and the bags of uninfected blood. These things aren’t going after their own; once someone’s been infected, they don’t fight with them, they go after those not uninfected. If we can distract them with the bodies and the uninfected blood, we give ourselves a fighting chance at reaching the rooftop heli-pad.”
“Once we get to the roof,” Wayne broke in, holding out a metal rod that looked very much like the ones that held I.V. bags for patients. “We lock the door with this. It’ll buy us enough time, I hope, to get on the chopper and get air-lifted out of here.”
Dana just stood there for a moment, her mind and heart battling back and forth. Every cell of her body screamed for her to fight, to survive, even while she fought off the guilt. Closing her eyes, she forced back the panic. Images of her father, brother, and Carter flashed across the inside of her eyelids. All three of them were in Najaf, Iraq with the U.S. military. If she didn’t survive this, she’d never see any of them again. Opening her eyes, she looked down at her left hand; he gaze locked on the engagement ring there. The life she wanted wasn't to be given up so easily. Her head lifted, her mind made up, she nodded. “How much time do we have?”
“Fifteen minutes tops,” Skip murmured. “And we need a lot of luck.”
“Let’s move.” Turning away from the bodies, Dana grabbed the bag of blood and a pair of scissors. The others quickly armed themselves with I.V. poles or anything they could get their hands on. Skip and Wayne began to wheel the two gurneys toward the doors. “We’ve got to move fast. Don’t stop to try and help each other, just get your asses up to the roof.”
As they were maneuvering into position, the two male security guards at the doors were looking nervously between them and the barricade they’d made. “Too bad we’ve got no way to contact the Aquabase,” Scott teased. It was known fact that Dana had been a Ranger, but his joke didn’t go over so well with the former Pink Ranger; she merely glared at him.
“Even if we could, they wouldn’t be coming to help us, with obviously other things that would be more important right now,” she icily retorted, watching him shrink back from her. The closer they got to the doors, the louder shrieks sounding in the hallway beyond. Dana winced when she heard the screeches, the moans, and what sounded like nails being scratching at the doors. They were truly trapped with a merciless enemy that saw them as cattle.
Gritting her teeth, Dana took a deep breath and said a silent prayer as the guards leaned against the doors to brace them even as Skip and Wayne unblocked the handles. This was it. Once those doors opened hell was gonna pour in. God help them all.
Zombies rattled and shook against the barricaded door with arms, fists, and even their heads as violent thuds pounded against the door. Dana, flanked by all those in the room as armed as they could be, counted to three and then swung one side of the door open. In her left hand, a slender metal pipe was swung with all her might, cracking over the head of the nearest zombie. As soon as its decrepit body reeled back, she threw one open IV bag of uninfected blood as far down the hall as she could. Drops of the blood fell over the zombies as they reacted so quickly, racing after the bag like dogs after a thrown baseball. “Go!” Dana shouted.
Anita and Scott began throwing other bags of blood before they raced toward the stairwell doors, followed by the two security guards. Dana continued to swing the I.V. pole while Wayne and Skip, each facing a different direction, pushed the gurneys with the dead bodies down the hallway as far as they could. Those zombies not fighting for the bags of blood began to run for the gurneys, as if sensing the unaffected flesh. It gave Dana, Wayne and Skip enough time to reach for the stairs as they ran for their lives.
The three burst through the doors and made a mad dash up the remaining four flights of stairs to the helicopter pad. Legs churning, hearts racing, all pushed past their pain and fear to reach salvation above. Wayne stumbled going up the stairs, and Dana, not following her own advice, tried to help him up until one of the zombies appeared out of nowhere and grabbed at his leg.
“FUCK! HELP!” Wayne screamed, rolling over to push them off him only to have them began tearing at his face. Dana swallowed and spun around on the landing, climbing the stairs faster. She shook her head and tried to block out the sounds of Wayne being eaten alive from her ears.
“Wayne!” Anika shouted.
“We can’t help him! KEEP GOING!” Dana ordered. She didn’t glance back as the group continued the climb. Her fist gripped her pipe harder.
When they reached the top, they swept through the doors. The helicopter hadn’t landed yet, so they quickly searched for something to brace the door with. Using the I.V. pole, they stuck it into the handle of the door, knowing it wouldn’t last long, but hoping it would by them enough time until the helicopter arrived.
“Christ,” Skip muttered when he and Dana leaned against the doors. The others were bent over at the waist, hands on their knees, trying to catch their breaths. The stair climb exhausted them all. When the loud banging on the door started, both Dana and Skip jumped and began to push back against it, hoping to add another layer of strength to it.
“That damn helicopter better get here soon or we're all dead!” Scott growled.
“There it is!” Anika shouted, pointing to the north where the barely visible air-ambulance was coming closer through the clouds that were beginning to go gray. The wind began kicking up as it got closer, blowing both Dana and Anika’s hair around their faces while the guys struggled with ties and lab coats. Around them the city they so loved burned as day descended into twilight.
Dana jolted again when a dent appeared in the door right next to her head. “Everybody get ready!” she commanded even as the helicopter swiveled for a landing. The others nodded, each with a determined look on their faces. The second it landed, the six rushed toward it. The door was torn off its hinges as zombies poured onto the rooftop, roaring after them.
The closer Dana and the others got to the helicopter, the more the wind whipped up, causing their clothes to blow about them, hair to blow in their faces, and it kicked up any dust or dirt that had been on the roof. When the doors opened, one of the paramedics on board began to climb out.
“GET BACK INSIDE! TELL THE PILOT TO TAKE OFF NOW!” Anika shouted, pushing him back as hard and as fast as she could. He peered over her shoulder, swore, and backed off.
“LIFT OFF NOW!” Dana screamed, her heart slamming into her ribcage, frantically pushing the four people in front of her into the helicopter. She was just pulling herself up and in when the mob of raging zombies reached them. Skip was right behind her as the pilot began to take the ambulance up, and had to grab onto the side of the doors to hang on. “SKIP!” she cried out, grabbing his hands. He was kicking his legs furiously as the zombies grabbed at him, his teeth gritted so as not to shout out his distress. Scott sucked in a breath, grunted, and helped her pull him up into the cabin while the pilots shot the helicopter towards San Francisco Bay.
Several zombies fell off the rooftop while reaching at the helicopter. Their bodes fell like sacks of potatoes, bursting upon hitting the ground in pools of dark blood.
Still out of breath, they all dropped down into seats. Dana bent over in hers, her forehead touching her legs and fought back the tears. Her lungs heaved for air. She could still smell the zombies... Now that they were sufficiently safe, she felt her whole body tremble from suppressed fear and anxiety. They’d almost not made it. Another two seconds, and those zombies would have weighed down the helicopter, or worse...
Across from her, Skip groaned and rested his head back against the seat. He reached up to wipe the sweat from his brow with shaky hands. Anika, Scott and both the security guards were mumbling to themselves while the paramedics on board continued to check their patients. “What the hell is going on down there?” one of the medics demanded, his voice quaking with fear of what he’d seen on that roof.
“Where the fuck have you been the last couple of hours?” Scott shot back, his voice not quite stable. “Haven’t you fucking been paying attention? The entire damn city is being overrun by ZOMBIES! Flesh eating, blood craving zombies!” he all but shouted, his hands gesturing to the city spread out around the bay.
Outside the window... San Francisco burned as if Hell had reached Earth at last.
The medic look horrified as he shook his head before heading back to his patient. Dana’s eyes slowly lifted while the others began talking amongst themselves. Her instincts had her taking stalk of her co-workers and fellow survivors. Anika seemed to be leaning against Scott, still shivering from head to toe. Scott was trying to calm her down while he was talking heatedly with the two security guards about contacting the National Guard or any branch of the military. Skip, who was shifting restlessly in the seat across from her, was moaning still, as if he’d hurt himself. She was about to ask him if he was okay when her eyes latched onto his left leg. The pants leg was torn, and what’s worse, she looked at the skin above his loafers. Seeping through the brown socks was a suspiciously dark substance – blood.
“Skip?” Dana began, her voice quiet over pure steel as she looked at him. Beads of perspiration broke out all over his face and neck, while his skin paled rapidly. “Skip?” she bit out more forcefully.
His head throbbed worse than he had ever felt before, and then the contents of his belly emptied all over his feet. A ghastly roar erupted from the pit of his stomach.
“Man, what is wrong with you?” Scott grumbled, getting up from his seat to take a closer look at the man in question. “FUCK ME!” he grunted in shock when Skip lunged forward and bit off a chunk of his cheek. “GET HIM OFF!” he cried out in anguish, trying to push away. Skip continued to claw, to bite at his prey.
Dana bolted upward even as the others moved to the doors to throw them open. “PILOT, WE'VE GOT TO GO DOWN NOW!” Everyone was shouting and screaming for someone to do something while they themselves were paralyzed by fear. In a moment of unconscious thought, Dana swallowed her fear and extended her leg, kicking both Skip and Scott to the right side. When the helicopter jolted to the right even more, she managed to fall back into her chair even as they went tumbling toward the open doors. The movement of the helicopter didn’t do much. Skip was already pouncing on Anika, the woman’s screams and shrieks for help sounding so far away to Dana’s ears. The brunette clawed at Skip’s upper body, her legs flailing as she tried to get him off her. Dana’s stomach turned as she saw the blood gushing down between the two of them.
Turning her head, she saw Scott had begun to attack one of the security guards, who was cursing and yelling and trying to fight him off while his partner beat at Scott’s back. The virus seemed to be moving faster now, unless some of them were unknowingly infected just before they got on the chopper. Dana managed to upright herself and using all her strength, she kicked both Scott and the Security guard out of the open doors. The pair went flying, the security guard screaming bloody murder while Scott clawed at him still, not caring that they were falling through the air toward the murky depths of the bay. Dana said a prayer before turning her attention to Anika and the other security guard. The other security guard was beating Anika with his fists and feet, trying to keep her away from him or get her toward the door. Already, the infection was taking over the once quiet woman.
Skip had moved to attack the pilots, but Dana saw through the open door it was already too late to try and save them. The helicopter had begun to spin madly in the air as it plummeted toward the water below, sending the former Ranger smashing into one of the seats head first. Shaking her head to clear it, she watched Anika and the other security guard fall out the open doors, both howling as they flew through the air. Turning her eyes to the cockpit, she watched Skip turn and start coming toward her. Fear filled her as she deftly dodged dodged his advance.
There was no time to think, only act. With one last frantic breath Dana flung herself out the open door, free-falling rapidly straight into the cold waters of the bay below.
Seconds later, the out-of-control helicopter slammed into the water right where she’d landed, and exploded in a tumbling, fiery wreckage in the middle of San Francisco Bay.
The End of Episode 1:
Things to come... Jason and Katherine struggle to escape the undead in Sin City. Kira makes two incredible discoveries as she fights for her life. Kim and Tommy frantically search for a missing Connor. Cassie watches the City of Angels go up in flames.....