Chapter 1 Cutting Edge Everything

Breathe. Breathe again. What’s that? It’s OK. Just the ventilation readjusting itself. Breathe. Slow my heart beat down, calm down by slowly breathing. Just like Jennifer used to say. Jennifer? Where is she?

OK. Get to the gun room and man up. Making it to this underground facility is only the first step. They’ll never find me down here and I have enough supplies to last 50 nuclear winters. What were they? Get to the fucking gun room man!

That’s it, walk. Down this corridor into the early automobile collection space. Walk by my gleaming collection of 63 automobiles dating right back to the Piper and Tinker Steam buggy. That cost me a pretty penny. Look at them they’re so beautiful.

Walk! You idiot! You do not have time for this! Jesus. I am thirsty. Must have a drink. There’s the fridge. Grab a diet cola. That’s much better.

What time is it? What happened? Where did they come from? There were thousands of the bastards lurching mindlessly through the night, staggering through the woods surrounding the house. How the fuck did they get here? I built this place in the middle of nowhere. My own private SuperMan fortress of solitude.

This place is impregnable.

Walk! Now into the sports cars collection showroom. Look at them. 94 gleaming modern classics. Ferraris. Bugattis. Lambos. Maseratis. Jag E-Types. Walk past them into the motor-cycle showroom. No time to linger, have to take a left into the gun room.

Thank God for American gun laws. Just look at them, categorised in waist high glass cases. All the assault rifles, grenades, handguns, sniper rifles and custom made combinations of death I’ll ever need. Not forgetting all the ammunition to blow the fuck out of every one of those mindless bastards up on ground level. Better arm up.

Need to eat. There’s another fridge. Grab a pizza, sling it in the microwave. Ding! Have another diet cola. My doctor tells me I need to eat better food. I tell him my body is used to this. Years of long nights developing financial software have immunized me to the stuff. To my body a microwave pizza is like a fresh tomato or some of that other organic shit Jennifer try’s to feed me. Jennifer.

It was a long time ago and I haven’t written code in decades so I guess I could have switched to healthier options. Shut up! That’s the diabetes getting hold of me. Grab a shot from the fridge and man up!

OK. Armed now. Like a fucking SWAT team. Prepare to kill some of those freaks. If they ever find me. Which they won’t. Only I have the codes and the steel doors are used in banks for fuck sake. So good luck to them all up there. Fuckers.

What happened to Jennifer?

This place cost me four times the price of the house to build. The architect thought I was crazy. Maybe I was. It has cutting edge everything. Reinforced concrete throughout its 3 levels, same ventilation systems used by NASA, body activated lighting, climate control, UV lounge, media systems. Media! Get to a screen! Find out what is going on!

Click! No signal? How can that be? Nothing.

I can remember Jennifer saying something. She had heard a local news report. Something about thousands attacking randomly. Something about a virus. Why didn’t I listen closer? I was too busy kissing her neck and groping her beautiful breasts to pay attention. Idiot!

Did she make it? She went to the bathroom after we fucked and screamed at me.

‘Jesus! What are they? Ted? Look!’

I could hear the fear in her voice, rushed to her side and looked out. Thousands of them, emerging from the woods. Silent, the heat from their bodies misting the night air.

I told her to grab her jewellery and pack quickly. I told her to meet me at the secret entrance to the underground facility in two minutes. I dressed quickly and ran to the larder, keyed in the code on the freezer and it slid sideways revealing the metal steps going down, the automatic lighting turning on to a welcoming golden glow.

She wasn’t there. I waited. No sign of her. I heard windows breaking. As I walked down the golden lit steps I flicked the switch to close the door. It slid back into place and I knew that the freezer camouflaged the entrance on the other side. I was safe. Hopefully Jennifer was too. But I think she’s dead. Whoever those maniacs are they look like they are here for blood. Thank God I demanded sound proofing for this whole facility. It would hurt to hear her screams.

Virus? Did she say virus? Impossible. Stupid girl has seen too many of those undead movies. Stupid girl has seen way too many movies, soap operas, and fakementories on Bigfoot or Aliens or the latest pandemic to wipe out mankind. Man? Kind? Odd combination there. Nothing kind about business!

I could do with a drink. Help me work out an escape plan. Here we go. 50 year old whiskey, ice, crystal glass, add some diet cola. Perfect. Yum. Julie bought me the glasses when we had this place built. An anniversary gift. They don’t make them anymore. Rare crystal and fine whiskey. Armed like a marauding marine and in my underground bunker. Safe. Doesn’t get better than this.

Must have fallen asleep. What is going on up there…I am a fucking idiot! Of course the security system will give me all the information I need right now. OK, I walk through the RV collection display space to the security room. I love RV’s and these are cutting edge. There it is! Open the door and sit down before the banks of screens in front of me. This is a twin of the panic room I had installed in the main house.

Five outside camera and two cameras in every room feeding into a wall of screens. Sit down at the console and now let’s see what is going on. Just flick this switch and hey prest…

Fuck! These are off too! What is happening? How did this happen? I asked for an impregnable system and even the fucking TV is fucked!

What am I going to do? What time is it? Cell phone! Quick! No signal! Fuck! No signal? Really? Yes, no signal. When this is over I am going to fucking destroy that installation company. At least I now know the time and date; 4:14 am July 14th.

I need a plan to get out of here. I cannot be cooped up in here indefinitely. I have a meeting with the shareholders in two days.

I could get out using the RV lift. Drive to the nearest town…fuck that…the nearest army base…they’ll know what is going on. OK Ted. Now you’re using your brains. Get back to the RV space. The latest edition might just fit the bill. Armoured and comfortable. Heavy but surprisingly fast. Comfortable too. OK Ted! Do it!

Into the RV, sit on the cream leather driver’s seat. Start the engine and drive it onto the elevator platform.

I got this from the same guys who supply NASA’s hydraulics. Cutting edge. It can lift three RVs if I want it to. Fucking beautiful feat of engineering. Fingers crossed the RV remote is working…YAHOO! Fucking excellent! Now, get the engine started, rev it to fuck and drive over the remaining fuckers up there to freedom.

Let’s do it!

The platform is rising to ground level, look up to see the stars and there’s pink glow of sunrise. This was a stroke of genius. Impregnable underground fortress and luxury, motorised escape route. Genius. Here we go! Gun the engine!

What the…?

The house is on fire! Everything is on fire! And…the road out is blocked by pickup trucks. Nearly at the right level now and the headlights shine on a loan naked figure in the road. Jennifer. She is shaking, nodding and then pointing at me. She doesn’t quite smile but she does look relieved.

Then they appear out of the darkness and slowly walk towards my RV. I grab my Uzi and run to the door. Fucking pychos are going to regret this! Animals! I walk to the door and prepare to fire. The RV begins to tilt? It is being tilted on its side and I am falling down. Fuck!

The RV crashes onto its side and before I can make sense of where I am the door is opened and those animals are panting and screaming and clawing at me. They drag me up and push me out the door and throw me to the ground. I am surrounded by them and they edge closer.

I open my eyes and finally look up. Afraid of seeing their dead eyes, their teeth, their hunger. But I look up. Wait! They are not zombies.

There’s that dumbass store owner. His wife died of cancer last year. And there’s that local militia-man-tea-party-tax-hating-prick. Isn’t she the local teacher? They all look towards her and she slowly nods. They’re grabbing me, pulling me to my feet, pushing me.

I look around at Jennifer and see her being wrapped in a blanket. Fucking bitch must have sold me out. How else would they know how to disable the surveillance and entertainment system. How else would they know about the RV lift? It is totally camouflaged! In-fucking-visible.

They push, kick, punch and jostle me towards the pickup in the middle of the road. I could have driven over that fucker. Why didn’t I just drive over Jennifer, crash through the truck to freedom? We’re nearing the pickup now and then I see it.

I have never seen a real one before. But I recognise it immediately. My hands are being tied behind my back. They are punching me. Spitting at me. Jeering me. Punching me toward the towering structure on the back of the truck. Lit by the fire from my home and the rising sun.

I stumble. I beg. I cry. I try to push away from the truck but there are too many forcing me forward and up.

Help me! Help me! I scream but they gag me with a filthy rag and now only my eyes can plead. I stare down at them and see their hate. Feeling their hate. They go quiet and I am forced to lie down under the blade of the guillotine.

My last thought is ‘They are not zombies. They are not zombies.’




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