July 29th, 2005


(no subject)

Creech had the chopper fired up and was trying to lift us off the ground, but it wasn't working.

"We're too heavy," I said.

"Cut McKinley loose."

"But he'll die!"

"He's dead already."

I hesitated. McKinley had saved my ass more than once.

Creech looked me dead in the eye. "Cut him loose, or I'm shoving you out the hatch instead."

I cut the straps holding Mckinley's stretcher to the rail. The look in his eyes was pure hatred but he couldn't move, strapped in to the stretcher. I looked away.
The zombies were close, too close. I kicked McKinley into the waiting horde and watched as he tried to scream. Creech got us airborne, but one of the zombies had latched on to the rail. We dragged his body across the tarmac, and I kicked at the fingers that were holding on to the landing skid, trying to make it let loose.

Zombies aren't like us. They don't feel pain. The creature kept trying to climb even as I mashed its fingers into a bloody pulp with the heel of my boot. I could hear screaming as I stomped on the things head over and over, obliterating what was once a face, and it finally dropped. The sreaming had been me. I vomited out the door as we soared into the sky.

"Fuck. We're gonna have to go through decon now," said Creech. "Pain in the ass."

I just stared at him. All I could think about was the look in McKinley's eyes as I fed him to the monsters.

Creech softened a bit. "McKinley was dead, Hanes. He just didn't know it yet. He wouldn't have made it back to the Ridge."

"He was alive when I cut him loose."

Creech didn't say anything, he just turned back to watch out the windscreen of the chopper. Neither one of us talked for the rest of the ride back to the Ridge.

(no subject)

Nobody knew how it started really. The closest that the scientists could guess was that somebody had been experimenting with the regeneration of nervous system tissue, and had latched onto a retrovirus as the carrier. It looks like it worked, but the retrovirus mutated into something that was as the docs called it "really, really bad". And somehow, it got loose.

Contagion swept through the countryside like a wildfire. If you caught the virus, you turned into one of these things. We called 'em zombies, like from the movies, but it wasn't all like that. In the movies, the zombies moved real slow, and were easy to kill. These things moved. The docs said that it was like the nervous systems were jacked up, like it created a superhighway where there had once been only country roads. It screwed up your brain, kind of short-circuiting parts of it, and it made you into something a lot like an animal, only much, much worse. And you didn't feel pain anymore, or at least you didn't react to it.

You see, pain is the thing that makes us human. Pain is the thing that keeps you from hurting yourself. Pain is the thing that keeps you from lifting the car over your head and throwing it at your neighbor when his dog takes a dump on your lawn. If there was no pain, you could try to lift up a building until your arms ripped out of their sockets. And you might actually get somewhere; the docs told us that your muscles were capable of lifting something like ten times what we normally used 'em for before the tissue was actually destroyed.

The zombies don't feel pain. They don't stop when they're trying to get to you. A zombie could literally tear itself apart and it would keep coming. You could cut the damn things into pieces, and the pieces would still keep coming.

And they weren't the walking dead. Dead was still dead. They were alive, in a sense; you could kill them, but the only way that we knew that would definitely work was to burn the fuckers until there was nothing left but ash.

They ate everything. Everything and everyone. Animals, plants, you name it. They'd even eat themselves if they were hungry enough. The docs had captured some of the creatures early on to try and learn from them. They showed us movies. And it's something that they never tell you: watching your Aunt Martha eat her own arms changes you in a fundamental way. There is no going back.

The virus mutates, and it's transmitted mostly by bodily fluids. In that way it's a lot like HIV. Unfortunately it's also transmitted via bugs, like ticks and mosquitoes. They constantly spray around the Ridge with these propane foggers until it smells like a chemical factory. I don't think any of us remember what fresh air smells like anymore. They say it's a cancer risk, but between the two I'd take good ol' cancer any day. At least cancer doesn't try to make you eat your friends.

At first we thought things were going to be okay. The zombies mostly attacked and ate each other, and we figured that all we had to do was wait 'em out and they'd die off. But then the docs noticed that they had started forming packs, like wild dogs, and they hunted. It's like they were getting smarter.

Now it's war. With an enemy that you can't negotiate with, that doesn't surrender, that never gives up. The only thing that we have going for us is technology, and brains. It's still a waiting game; eventually they will all die out.

Let's just hope to God that they never learn to reproduce.

(no subject)

In case you missed it, today seems to be zombie writing day. No clue why, other than being triggered by a late-morning dream about helicopters and zombies. Everything else just kinda flowed out of that.

It feels good to write again. It's like I've been crunched for so long and finally let up enough to breathe.

It's not like I've had a reprieve. I'm still working my ass off on things that are molto
, but something seems to have happened to give me the realization that I am in reprieve, that I'm not harvesting any deadlines except my own.

It might be the vitamins. Or surviving the chicken incident. Or the weekend finally being here in glory. Or it could be some bizarre form of zombie synchronicity. Whatever it is, it's a welcome change.

I think that in the relatively near future, I'm going to be ordering some Dragon Skin silicone from Smooth-On. It's for the Yogurt puppet. Bear in mind that I've never made a hand puppet out of silicone so I'm not entirely sure what to expect, but this stuff has a shore 10 hardness, and that's pretty much as soft as you can get without becoming a gel. And an easy 1:1 mix makes me happy.

(no subject)

For the "What Happened to Operation:Frostbite" information.

I know that a lot of people worked on this ahead of time getting everything ready and doing the decorating and all. I know that ethel put a lot of money into it that is now wasted, and I suspect others did, too.

I'm still ponying up the money for the keg so she won't be taking as big of a crunch, but it's still a completely shitty thing for someone to have done.