Tags

, , ,

Sectoids – XCOM Enemy Unknown

No one expected that the zombie apocalypse would be started by aliens. Dr. Vivian Grey remembered little about the invasion.

Well if you wanted to call it an invasion.

Speculation was that the aliens had either engineered this virus for the humans to turn them into zombies or they had engineered it to wipe out human life on Earth, but underestimated the humans, or humans were more resilient than they had expected or previously encountered in other races.

Dr. Grey knew that they had encountered other alien races because the aliens weren’t just one race themselves. She had performed the autopsies. She’d read the notes from Area 51, and yes, a spacecraft had crashed there in fifties. The problem was if the government had known the aliens’ intent, they’d have done a better job of preparing humanity.

She described the attack as a laser fog. Others described it as an aurora borealis on the ground. Dr. Grey had been walking towards an office building that housed her OB-GYN. She vaguely remembered looking into the decorative pond in the courtyard. The bottom was a mirror, and it reflected the sky. The fountain wasn’t working that day, and the pond was empty.

She had seen the reflection of the ships in the pond. By the time it dawned on her she was looking at an armada of alien spacecraft, and she actually looked up instead of the reflection of the ships’ red and purple flashing lights the virus was already being released.

The laser was white, and the cloud around it was also white, a steam mist. She had tried to run into the office building but she tripped and fell. The laser moved across her legs and she thought that it was going to sever them off at the shin, but she didn’t feel anything and her legs were intact. Her last conscious thought before passing out was her husband, Spence, and that she was there to confirm if she was pregnant or not.

When Dr. Grey awoke she was in an underground bunker of some sort. She called for her husband and had to accept comfort from Commander Hawkins instead. He was the one who had informed her that Spence was a zombie. Something she didn’t want to accept, because clearly they had been attacked by aliens. Then he’d taken her topside and shown her the lumbering undead.

She didn’t see Spence among them, but the Commander informed her that he’d been spotted as one. She had questions and the Commander didn’t have all the answers. They did have work for her. Dr. Vivian Grey was microbiologist, normally she checked blood and urine samples at a children’s hospital, now she was hell bent on a cure for the virus that made half the population into zombies.

In her research she discovered that the virus had been designed to attack those who were Rh positive. Dr. Grey hadn’t been affected by it because she was O negative. Spence, was AB positive. So the virus was engineered to attack a certain blood type. Well airborne she discovered it attacked Rh positives, but if you get bitten by a zombie, it was transmitted like rabies, and it didn’t matter what your blood type, you became one.

She was searching for a cure for the virus, but Commander Hawkins, a middle aged gentlemen, actually he rather reminded her of a militant Spence, but he’d always been softened towards her. If she wasn’t so hell bent on finding a cure for Spence, she didn’t doubt that she would’ve been attracted to the Commander.

That was where Commander Hawkins and she disagreed. She wanted a cure for the virus, he just wanted a vaccine against the zombie bite. He reassured her that once they were inoculated against the bite, they could successfully start taking the fight to the aliens and she would have all the time in the world to work on a cure.

In her opinion Commander Hawkins was blind to seeing that as time went on some of the zombies were continuing to decay and soon they were nothing more than blackened flesh covered skeletons, as if someone with third degree burns was out there running around.

Another difference between the fresh zombies and the skeletons was that the zombies staggered, the skeletons ran.

“No, Doctor, I don’t have time to go collect more “test subjects” for you. I know why you are asking for more zombies. You’re hoping they’ll return with your husband,” Commander Hawkins stated and Dr. Grey wondered if she was that transparent. She always needed a fresh supply of fleshy zombies for tissue samples and to test her cure on, but yes, he was right. She had checked every single zombie that had come to her to see if any were her husband.

“Commander, please,” she begged. He was a middle aged man, brown hair, graying goatee, and dressed in army fatigues, even though Dr. Grey wasn’t exactly sure which branch of the military he was from, or if was just a boy playing soldier and by the attack of the aliens and now zombies had been lucky enough to lead a command of survivors.

“I can’t afford to put any more men in danger because you can’t accept that your husband is gone.” Commander Hawkins couldn’t have hurt her more if he’d slapped her across the face. Seeing the wounded look on her, he immediately tried to recant. “I’m sorry Vivian, I really am, but we really should work on protecting the survivors before we go and try to save the dead.”

She watched him climb into a jeep, not military issue, they were using any 4×4 vehicle they could get their hands on at the moment, and be driven away from her.

Dr. Grey sat in her lab and held her locket in her hands. It contained a photo of Spence with his brown curls, even cropped short they were unruly. He’d been wearing a suit in the photo, even though all that could be seen of it was the tops of the shoulders, it had been a dark blue suit. Spence was a professor at the local university. She had snort, he was an anthropologist, but he had dabbled secretly in the fact that human evolution may have been slightly guided by extra-terrestrials.

“Aliens, baby, you’d have been so thrilled,” she whispered to the photo in her locket, “Shame they turned out to be hostile assholes.” She glanced at the black bag on the steel table in her lab. It was the remains of one of the aliens. One of the ‘Greys’ as they were called, because they were grey skinned, naked, with large heads and big black eyes. They had noses and mouths, but they were tiny, from what Dr. Grey could discern they were only for breathing and eating. She assumed the Greys were telepathic.

Dr. Grey closed the locket and dropped it back into her shirt. Her hand fell to her flat belly. She had miscarried Spence’s child. It had to do with the blood types. Dr. Grey was Rh negative and her child most likely Rh positive and her body attacked it like a foreign body. This often occurred with mothers and babies who were Rh opposites. There were drugs now that could stop it, and an Rh negative mother could give birth to a healthy Rh positive child without any problems, but when she awoke, Commander Hawkins had told her that she had already miscarried.

“Oh Spence,” she whispered and stood from the stool. She was going to find her husband, even if she had to become a zombie herself to do so.

While she had access to a full medical facility with what had been state-of-the-art equipment, she had secretly gone to the engineering facilities where they mostly made bullets and bombs and body armor for the soldier survivors that were trying to do their own small part against the aliens and zombies.

She unrolled the padded pack on one of the desks. It was filled with thirty darts that looked like average tranquilizers, silver tubes each tipped with a needle at one and pink flights. In order to understand the zombies, she unfortunately had to dissect a couple.

They were technically dead, their hearts didn’t beat, blood didn’t flow, but for some reason the nervous system and brain still operated. Except that the brain seemed to only function on a primordial level. Basically they just fed.

The zombies could be starved, it would also seem the reason they needed to feed was because the bodies stopped renewing itself. To stay alive, they had to consume fresh matter, in other words, the living. They didn’t digest so much as absorb the tissue they ate. The brain was highly prized because it would appear that by eating brains, for a short period of time, they would actually gain some higher brain function. Dr. Grey couldn’t go as far as to say she could give them morals, but she had in fact designed a serum that if injected into the spine or brain or stomach, could make the zombies stop being zombies, because it injected the enzymes into their system that they were eating the brains for.

In fact they turned into something akin to autistic children, becoming fixated on things that could be repeated, like the spinning of a wheel, an audio loop of music, a checkered pattern. When Dr. Grey had needed more specimens, they had successfully tested her serum, and had walked complacent zombies to the holding pen.

The survivors of her city lived on a military base, but unfortunately most of the military were gone, and the soldiers that were guarding the fences, once chain link, now replaced with brick and metal, were civilian volunteers.

Dr. Grey wasn’t sure how she was going to sneak out into the city. The only people who were allowed off the compound were the soldiers. She was a non-combatant. However, she was determined to save Spence before he became a skeleton, even if it meant keeping him quiescent on the enzyme until she could find the cure.

She loaded her things into one of the cars that were only used to move about the base because it wasn’t four wheel drive. She looked over her shoulder as she removed a vial of ketamine from her lab coat and a pair of syringes from the other. Without the manufacture of medicines, she had informed the soldiers when they raided the city for supplies to not overlook veterinary clinics.

Commander Hawkins should’ve been happy to have her, lucky that a microbiologist survived, and should’ve been willing to search for her husband. She knew how to cook penicillin, so when the prepared drugs finally ran out, they wouldn’t be without antibiotics.

She filled the syringes to the proper dosages of ketamine for two adult 140 lbs males, and replaced the caps, putting them in her lab coat. Dr. Grey took a deep breath and got behind the wheel of the car. Commander Hawkins was away, having gone on an alien hunting mission. She didn’t want to have to drive through the gates and leave the base vulnerable to zombie attack, but she would if she had to. Vivian would sacrifice every life on the base to feel the touch of her husband’s caress one more time.

Dr. Grey drove the car as calmly as she could, but she was white knuckling the wheel to keep her hands from shaking. She had a syringe in each pocket of her lab coat. She knew they would as her to get out of the car, and she knew there were two guards on the gate.

It was a double gate like a prison; you had to wait for the inner gate to close before the outer gate would open. It was to keep the zombies out that clamored at the gates. She was going to have to mow them over but Dr. Grey had spent all morning pretending she wanted shooting lessons with one of the young soldiers and they were using the zombies as target practice. She spent all morning making sure that none at the gates were Spence.

A soldier, they weren’t all in fatigues anymore, jeans and tee shirts were more or less the current urban camouflage. They were carrying assault rifles. Dr. Grey was not familiar with makes and models, all she knew is they fired a lot of bullets really fast.

The soldier stepped in front of her car to make her stop.

“Dr. Grey,” began one who approached her door. She opened it and got out. “You can’t leave the compound.”

“No, see you’re the ones I wanted to talk to,” she wasn’t sure if she was trying or not trying to look nervous. She was doing a good job of looking nervous, she had been so strong lately for Spence, for the hope that she could cure him, but lately she realized that she was running out of strength as she was running out of hope of his still being freshly undead that she could save him.

“Come on, Dr. Grey,” said the one who stood in front of the car, “I’ll walk you back to your lab.”

Just like she expected, one moved to get into the car, one moved to take her by the arm. She reached into her pockets and her heart was pounding in her chest. She thumbed the safety caps off the syringes and jabbed both men, getting one in the thigh and one in the ass. She pressed the plungers and though they tried to shout and grab at her, they soon became disoriented and groggy. She leapt over one of them and pressed the big red button that opened the inner gate.

Dr. Grey then had to leap over the guy that was getting into the car and she threw it drive and with a shower of gravel thrown from her front tires as she plunged the accelerator to the floor. The poor four cylinder tried to let out a scream that sounded more like a soft fart as it lurched forward. It burst through the fence and mowed over several of the zombies milling there.

Driving in the city was almost as dangerous as walking. If she walked she had to deal with zombies tracking her scent. She had discovered they hunted better than bloodhounds when it came to tracking the living. Unlike bloodhounds they couldn’t exactly be trained to follow a certain scent.

The roads were clogged with abandoned cars or other various debris and not to mention the weeds were starting to choke out the asphalt. She’d banged up the front end of the car pretty good before it started to hiss and steam poured from under the hood. Dr. Grey had an idea about cars, her husband, Spence was the polymath, and he knew a little or rather a lot about everything.

She had punctured the radiator and the car had limped her as far as it was going to go. She got out, slipped her pistol into her lab pocket and loaded the tranq gun with a dart. She only had about thirty darts, but she also had about two vials of the concentrated enzyme. She could keep Spence… sedated, she didn’t like that term. It would bring him around to a higher brain function and he would be less inclined to eat her, but actually she had had a close call in the lab.

The enzyme did pacify their desire to eat living flesh, but sometimes the primordial brain was powerful.

Her first place to look for Spence was the university where he would’ve been while she was getting her pregnancy test. She felt the pang of loss from the miscarriage. If she could cure her husband, and if they had any hope of winning against the aliens who had done this to her, ruining her life, her marriage, her future, then she might be able to get her life back where it was supposed to be.

Raising babies with Spence.

There always aliens scrounging around in the cities. They’d brought her the corpses, the sectoids, the one they called the Greys, the crysalids, the outsiders, the thin men, the floaters and the mutons. For some reason, the zombies paid absolutely no mind to the aliens. They walked freely among them, even the mutons knocking them out of the way, the crysalids who looked like spiders that had decided to walk on four legs and the rest of the body was upright, would eat them. The sectoids would mind control them. You could tell it was mind control because then the zombies would do more clever things.

Dr. Grey slung the tranq gun over her shoulder and lifted the assault rifle. She realized how silly she must look. Her glasses, her dark blonde hair in a messy bun, and her white lab coat. The rifle was heavy, she carried it really if she came into any contact with aliens, but the tranq gun was for coming into contact with zombies.

Her car had died at the intersection not far from her husband’s university, she could see it, its towers rose high above the surrounding buildings, the cooper roofs were tarnished green. She was going to have to go five blocks to get there and still manage to search the university. She had no idea if her husband was in class or not when virus was released.

She had no combat or military training and if it hadn’t been for the squealing and snapping of bones, she’d had never known the crysaild was right around the corner. Dr. Grey had made it a block before the sounds made her pause. The street was absent of zombie activity, which surprised her because normally her just being in the city would have alerted them to start coming after her.

Were the zombies learning? Did they know that the crysalids ate them?

If that were the truth then wouldn’t they know not to attack armed humans then? Dr. Grey’s analytical brain was always working, but it had to shut up so she could concentrate. She looked around her. Dr. Grey was familiar with the streets around the university because she’d visited her husband on occasion at work. Most buildings were dorms or fast food restaurants or offices of various campus related businesses.

She backtracked quickly, and began trying doors until she found one that was open. She let herself into a restaurant and was immediately bowled over by the smell of rotting food. It was a little cafeteria and the food on the line was rotted and beyond maggot filled.

Dr. Grey coughed as she placed her hand over her mouth. She wanted to vomit so badly. She didn’t see any zombies milling in the cafeteria, but that didn’t mean there weren’t any crawling around and the skeletons, they could hide easily in the darkness.

The crysalids had hard tips on the ends of their legs they actually made a tapping noise, like someone walking in tap shoes when they walked. She heard the tapping and immediately came around to the backside of the cafeteria, and she tried not to look at the food all molded and kinda reminded her of her kitchen when she first met Spence in college. Dr. Grey couldn’t be bothered to clean up, but Spence, he was the tidy one. He was the “polished” one, he was old money and new ideas.

She could see it through the windows of the cafeteria, it was looking around moving its small insect head almost in a circular motion.

Was it looking for her?

This was actually a good opportunity to watch the creature outside of the lab. She’d just been brought corpses to autopsy and test on to find their weaknesses.

Suddenly a hand clamped over her mouth and she gave a muffled scream through it. It smelled of man sweat and dirt and grease. She was dragged backwards into what she assumed the kitchen of the cafeteria.

“Shhhhh,” she heard in her ear and she stopped struggling since zombies didn’t go, ‘Shhhhhh.’

She watched through the murky windows of the cafeteria kitchen door as the crysalid tried to figure out how to work the door to the cafeteria. The doors opened out, and the crysalid didn’t have hands, its arms and legs just ended in hard points. Even with the hand clamped over her mouth she was amazed as it tried hooking one of its arms into the door handle and pull the door open.

The more Dr. Grey looked at it, the more she was reminded of a person on horseback trying to open and close a gate without getting off the horse and the horse wasn’t cooperating.

“We need to move,” whispered the voice in her ear. It was a man’s harsh, but a whisper. He removed his hand from her face and she slowly turned to see who had grabbed her.

The man was maybe mid-thirties, blonde hair that had once been shortly cropped and a beard. His clothes were dirty and patched. He carried a compound bow in one hand and a quiver of arrows on his back.

“I need to get to the university,” she whispered at him as he tried to drag her through the kitchen by her arm.

“Nothing there but zombies, sweetheart. I don’t know how you managed to survive this long, but if we don’t move we’ll both be bug lunch,” he whispered with urgency and she finally nodded and followed him out the back of the cafeteria.

She followed him almost blindly until she realized he was leading her away from the university and she stopped in an alley. The assault rifle gripped in her hands, and her arms were tired from holding it.

“Stop,” she said. They had moved through buildings and across alleys. He stopped and turned after a few steps. He looked angry and she found herself gripping the assault rifle tighter.

“We have to keep moving, that bug will track your scent,” he insisted and she shook her head.

“I have to get to the university. I have to save my husband,” she said to him and turned to move the other direction down the alley. She heard shuffling and groaning. Coming around the corner were three zombies. Two were male, one was a woman.

They were in the tatters of clothing, dirty, bloody, the woman, her skin seemed to be falling off, revealing the black skeleton. This would be the perfect time to test if her enzyme worked on someone so long dead. The man notched an arrow to his bow and drew back.

“No!” Dr. Grey shoved his bow aside and the arrow flew wide, sparking as it moved down the side of the brick wall.

“What the hell?” He asked in anger and surprise. She was shoving her assault rifle into his arms and unslinging the tranq gun from her shoulder. The tranq gun was an air gun, using compressed air to fire the dart.

She aimed and realized she’d never shot it before. Still, she just had to get the dart into the spine, head or stomach. She aimed for the stomach and pulled the trigger. The dart embedded into the woman’s abdomen. Dr. Grey already had two more darts out, she put one in her mouth, and moved the bolt to load the second.

She fired again, opened the slide and placed in the third dart.

“Seriously, you’re trying to tranquilize them?” Asked the man in surprise.

“No, this serum makes them docile, sort of. Give them higher brain function. Look,” she pointed. The darts worked almost instantly. The three shuffling zombies were now walking and looking around as if they’d never been in an alley before and everything was new.

“Okay, I’ll say that is impressive, but we need to leave. There is still a bug after us,” he offered her the assault rifle back.

“No. I won’t go with you. I am going to the university to find my husband,” she said vehemently.

“Fine, I’ll take you to the university,” he acquiesced, but Dr. Grey hadn’t asked for his help. He’d just appeared and now that she thought about it, she’d never seen him at the compound and she pretty much saw everyone. She seemed to have been one of the few who had any lick of medical training that had survived the virus or the zombie attacks.

“Who are you?” She asked warily. “How come I’ve never seen you at the compound?” He gave a shrug of the shoulders as they approached the pacified zombies. He was more wary than she was. He seemed to be expecting them to lurch forward any moment and grab them.

“Name’s Whip, and I don’t know anything about a compound.”

“Whip?” She questioned the odd name and gave another shrug. “Dr. Vivian Grey,” she introduced herself.

“Doctor, eh? Should’ve known, you’ve got the lab coat and everything. I keep trying to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming.” They were finally past the three milling zombies. One had found a broken toy car and once he began to spin the only working wheel on it, he just sat there and spun it, repeatedly. “How long will they be like that?”

“Couple of hours, unfortunately it wears off. I only supply them with the enzyme they get from eating brains. With enough enzymes you could keep them like that forever I suppose, but I’d rather cure them than just make them semi-autistic and completely introverted.”

“Your husband? He’s at the university and you plan to keep him snowed with brain food until you can cure him?” Whip asked.

“Yes, that is what I plan to do.”

Dr. Grey supposed there would’ve been more conversation if it had been for the fact the crysalid found them again and they had to make a run for it. The crysalid clacked along after them.

Tired and weak, her arms starting to burn from the weight of the assault rifle, and she realized that rather than running from it. She should’ve just turned and fired at it. Granted they have a hard carapace, but a few good shots at the joints in the legs and they were immobilized.

She stopped running, which surprised Whip when he realized she wasn’t behind him or it was the sound of the assault rifle. Dr. Grey wasn’t ready for the kick of the weapon and it suddenly went upwards before she could get a grip on it.

The crysalid was almost upon her before the first bullet finally hit it in the leg and it tripped. She kept firing anyway and she had two legs out from under it and it was trying to drag itself along with two arms to compensate for the two destroyed legs.

“What are you doing?” Whip demanded as he tried to wrestle the gun from her hands and drag her away from the crawling crysalid.

“In the joints! Shoot it in the joints and it can’t chase us!” She exclaimed. Whip suddenly traded her the bow for the assault rifle and he brought it to his shoulder and he scared her.

Whip had spookily accurate shot. He seemed to flip it from firing a bunch of bullets with the squeeze of the trigger to the only firing one at a time. He just…

BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM!

He only fired six shots and suddenly the crysalid was immobile, it couldn’t even crawl across the ground. Whip approached it, his face completely impassive, put the barrel of the assault rifle in its mandibles and pulled the trigger one last time.

BAM! It fell over in a slump, dead.

“That was incredible! The compound could really use someone like you,” she complimented but his accuracy was scary.

“What is this compound you keep talking about?”

“You really don’t know? It is a group of survivors, we fight the aliens, search for a cure, you know, try to survive. They’ve been foraging in the city for months looking for anyone who survived and killing any aliens… and zombies,” she added dejectedly, “They find.”

“Fight the good fight?” Whip asked as he continued down his haphazard route to the university.

“It is the only fight,” she replied not understanding why it would seem that Whip didn’t want to rejoin society, what little they were calling society at the moment.

“And you?” He asked as he led her through buildings, upstairs, across planks between them leading her from one building to anther but she noticed they were making progress, slow progress with all the doubling back. It would seem that Whip had this aversion to taking a straight path and giving a straight answer. “You’re not a combatant. You wanna rescue your husband and yet you had to come out here and do it yourself?”

Dr. Grey gave a shrug of her shoulders. She felt beaten almost. She was tired, her feet were beginning to hurt and though she was still carrying the bow, which was lighter than the assault rifle, she still had the tranq gun slung over her shoulder.

“I was told once we won against the aliens, then they would go out and look for Spence,” she said honestly. They were back on the street again and almost to the gates of the university.

“If he’s a skel, can you save him?” Whip asked.

“Skel?” She asked.

“The black things the zombies turn into,” Whip explained. Dr. Grey didn’t answer him. She didn’t want to think of her Spence, who was a mountain of a man, tall, broad shoulders, but had this uncanny ability to crouch down to be eye level with people when he spoke to them. For Spence who was 6’4” that was most people. Dr. Grey caught herself wiping a tear away as she thought of him. She looked up at Whip who was looking down at her and pushed past him.

Surprisingly the university was crawling with zombies. Of course as soon as they entered the campus, the undead began to shuffle towards them. They were in various stages of decay, with bites in various places that were the result of being bitten by others, the ones that were most decayed but bite free were the oldest, the ones that were turned when the aliens released their virus.

Whip wanted to kill them, but she insisted that they be given the enzyme. If she found a cure, they could’ve killed someone who was the son or daughter or someone who survived. They were on a college campus; most of the zombies coming after them were lower twenties in age.

“His office is in that wing, on the fourth floor,” she pointed across the grassy lawn that was now waist tall with grass. Ivy that had originally been grown on the building for decoration was now out of control no longer being trimmed back from the windows.

They jogged across the lawn. Halfway across, she had to stop. She couldn’t go any further without taking a rest. Whip doubled back for her, gripping her by the upper arm.

“What is wrong with you?” He asked trying to pull her towards the nearest building.

“I don’t know. I’ve been really weak lately,” she replied honestly to him. She was panting and stumbling in his grasp. Her heart was pounding in her chest, and her vision was blinking to nothingness before returning to normal.

Once Whip practically dragged to the ivy covered building, she leaned against it. “Thank you,” she said to him.

“Thank me once you climb four flights of stairs,” Whip stated. “Cause I’m not looking forward to carrying you.”

“You could carry me to my husband?”

“What you said about a cure? You think you can actually make one?” She gave a weak nod while she sucked in gulps of air.

“Well I’d rather you use your husband as the guinea pig before I ask you to try it on my daughter,” Whip confessed and Dr. Grey had to give a slight smile.

“How old?” She asked.

“Six.”

Inside the university, it was pretty much zombie free. There were the occasional lone shuffler that seemed to have gotten lost or trapped. Dr. Grey showed Whip to the stairwell and they began their ascent. She was full of butterflies as they neared her husband’s office. The chance he was actually in it was small, he could’ve wandered anyway in the city, but this was the first place to look for him.

She saw a shadow pass over the university. Whip suddenly made her crouch down next to the wall below the windows. He peeked but she could tell by the rumble and the size of the shadow. One of the alien ships had arrived and stopped over the university.

“What would they want with the university?” Dr. Grey asked Whip in a whisper.

“I don’t think they want anything with the university, I think they’re here for you,” he stated calmly and Dr. Grey wished she had that kind of control over her emotions.

“Me? Why me?” Whip gave her an incredulous look.

“Because you’re the only thing that is different about this place and you left a trail of placid zombies on the way here. If they know you might come up with a cure to their virus, I would hell bent to find the person that could ruin their invasion,” Whip explained to her.

“It doesn’t matter, I’m going to find Spence,” she said defiantly and moved from under the window to the door across from it. Taking a deep breath and against Whip’s protests that she should remain hidden, she opened the door to her husband’s office.

She stood, spellbound. He was there. Against all logic that he should have wandered away at least to feed, but there he was. His back to her, in the same suit that she had last seen him in.

“Spence,” she breathed his name and her knees went all weak. She was so happy to have found him, to see him alive; well he wasn’t a skeleton yet. She didn’t notice that is may have been odd that he wasn’t shuffling towards her trying to bite her.

Instead, he gave slow deliberate turn, as if he wasn’t a zombie at all but himself. He actually had a hand in one pocket, his other was holding something. He looked undead. His skin was pasty white, like he’d been coated in glue, his eyes were red rimmed, bloodshot and milky unlike the dark brown she remembered. He actually seemed free of damage. His suit was rumbled from months of wearing it, his tie was loosened, and his clothing was dirty. His brown curls, now being sprinkled with gray, and his goatee were longer, his nails were yellowed and like claws, but he was actually rather clean for a zombie. No blood stains on his clothing or his skin.

“Spence,” she whispered his name again and she did the dumbest thing in her entire life. She moved into the room and threw her arms around his neck. Dr. Grey didn’t care, she just wanted to be with her husband, even if he was zombie, and even it meant he’d turn her into one. She had miscarried their child and she hadn’t even gotten to tell him that she was pregnant.

Dr. Grey had such tunnel vision on finding her husband that she didn’t even hear the sounds of the assault rifle from the hall or Whip shouting her name.

She was where she was supposed to be. She was in Spence’s arms once again. Dr. Grey had been so long without their embrace and Spence had slowly curled his arms around her. She could feel the bristles of his unkempt whiskers brush down her cheek and ear. He pulled her upwards, higher into his arms and she buried her face in his neck, tears of joy, and tears of sadness. She had found him, and she waited for him to bite her. To pass on the virus to her.

Dr. Grey could feel the breath on her neck and shoulder but it seemed like he was being deliberately slow. She could feel him tensing and relaxing next to her as if he was struggling with himself. She finally leaned back from his embrace to look at him in the eyes. He was still holding her, and slowly let her down from his grasp. Tears had dribbled down his cheeks. His mouth kept opening and closing, like he was biting the air.

“Oh my God, Spence!” It finally dawned on her that Spence was being mind-controlled. She dug into her pockets and quickly jabbed him in the neck with a syringe filled with the enzyme. She hoped this would break him free of it.

Then for her everything went black.

Advertisements