Note: Hello, all you devils! This is my first story after 7 years or more of only following and reading on this site. As you can imagine I'm rather nervous about doing this, since a. I'm not a writer, just an amateur, and b. Well, this is the first time I publish anything.
Things you need to know: I'm going to section the storyline into different titled stories. Prequel goes in one, Season 2 into the second, Season 3 into the third, and so one and so forth. I do this because I don't want to have a story with 100 chapters. When I see fics that long, it just makes me too lazy to read them. I almost have the prequel finished, there are still some changes at the end that I'm rewriting. The prequel is more of an introduction to my OC (background and such) and to establish a connection with Rick which will be used later on.
Second thing you need to know: I'm going to combine the comics with the tv show because, let's face it, the comics have more story and development and the tv show is progressing too slow for my tastes.
Third thing: This is not a RickXOC story, if you came here for that, sorry. This is actually going to progress into DarylXOC. (I can't help the feels for that Georgia crossbow-totting man)
For now this is all I have to announce, so the only thing left to say is, Enjoy!
All characters (except for my OC's) belong to AMC's TWD and to Robert Kirkman.
The news fragment belongs to Tom Savini's version of Romero's 'Night of the Living Dead'. I have no claims over it. (I used it because it seemed rather fitting)
Driving along the countryside was never as boring as now.
A sigh resounded in the black Chevrolet Tahoe. There was a woman behind the wheel looking blankly at the road ahead. She still had kilometers to go until she reached Charleston.
"Hey Marshal, I need to take a piss."
The afternoon light bounced off her dark rounded sunglasses as she looked in the rear-view mirror at the twenty something year old young man in the backseat. He was her recently caught fugitive to be taken back into custody.
"We'll reach Charleston in half an hour. Hold it in."
"Oh come on." The man whined and shifted in his seat. "I'm gonna piss myself until then."
"Do that, and you'll be pissing thru a straw for the rest of your life." The woman told him coldly. She'll personally shoot him in the groin if he ruined the backseat of her car.
The man cursed her and went back to watching the scenery with a scowl.
She didn't get paid enough for doing things like this. Driving half the state in search for this idiot and then having to run thru a muddy forest to catch him. The fool thought he could lose her this way. He only ended up tumbling down a slope and spraining his ankle.
The woman looked down at her fine leather boots. They were caked in muck and dead leaves and gods knows what else. The leather was most likely ruined.
"Can you at least turn on the radio? You talk as much as my mute grandpa."
A heavy breath escaped from between her pursed lips. He seriously complained too much. "Will it make you shut up?"
"Yeah." He mockingly replied.
The Marshal pushed the button on the radio and searched for a music channel. Almost every station was broadcasting news. Giving up, she let it be. It was about the virus again.
"…The scientific community is focusing on the phenomenon, specifically on that trance like state that seems to characterize the assailants. Clearly a behavioral disorder, but what could've caused so widespread and dramatic condition as the one we're facing tonight. We've heard speculation, on everything from the Ozone layer and chemical weapons, to uh..." The news caster laughs softly. "…voodoo mysticism and organisms from space."
The woman blinked. What?
"The fuck? Did he say aliens?" The man leaned forward to hear better. His face was scrunched up in confusion mixed with slight fear.
"Get back." Annoyed, her elbow came towards him in gesture. The man scrambled back to avoid the blow. He already had his foot in a brace, he didn't need his face bandaged.
"A biologist in Stockton, California, has released reports, stating the uh...bodies, of the recently dead, are returning to life. Driven by an unknown force which enables the brain to continue to function."
The woman stared at the radio with wide eyes. What the hell did he just say? Dead returning to life?
"He's joking, right?" The man's fear was blatant in his insecure tone.
That's impossible, the woman thought. This virus was like rabies, right? Dead coming back was—ludicrous.
"Doctors at the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, reject that theory, calling it preposterous beyond belief. They feel that the only reasonable explanation is a virus that has a mind altering effect on its victims. Though how such a virus could've been spread so quickly and across such a vast area, does remain a mystery."
The man took a deep breath, before continuing. "It's being called "Judgment Day" by religious leaders—"
The occupants of the car never got to listen to the rest of the broadcast. Because in that moment, with her eyes glued to the radio, the Marshal didn't notice the person standing in the middle of the road.
"Look out!" The man bellowed.
A sudden collision and loud crash jarred the woman out of her trance. She let out a curse and heard something heavy roll over the roof of the car. She knew in that instant that she hit something breathing. Taking control of the steering wheel she tried to maneuver the car to stay on the road and not run into the ditch on the side of the street. Planting both her feet on the break, the tires let out a longwinded screech before finally stopping.
A heartbeat later, her fingers unclenched from the steering wheel and she checked the rear-view mirror. There was a human shape sprawled on the pavement with his limbs akimbo.
"Holy shit, you just ran someone over." The man let out a disbelieving breath, before letting out a thrilled hoot. "Hey Marshal, maybe they'll give you a jail cell next to mine."
A fist in his face was his reward.
"Fuck! You goddamn bitch! When I get out of these cuffs I'm gonna kill you!"
Opening the side door, the woman climbed out of the car and watched with dread the form on the ground. She couldn't believe this. Out of all the times, now she had to kill someone. Unintentionally, even.
The woman approached the figure while digging thru her jean pockets for her cell phone. Something was off. She hadn't been driving so fast that the body would be so…destroyed. Broken yes, but not head to toe bloody.
Dialing 911, she scowled when she heard the monotone recording. "I'm sorry, our lines are busy. Would you hold the line please? I'm sorry, our lines are—"
Closing her phone, she closed up on the body and crouched beside it. Her fingers searched for his pulse. Nothing. Dead. The woman ran her fingers thru her hair. She had been in the wrong, she knew that. She wasn't looking where she was driving, and so she hit the bastard. What was he doing in the middle of the road, anyways? Why didn't he yell out when he saw the car or get out of the way?
The Marshal rose up with a deep frown. This was very wrong.
Looking around she saw something on the side of the road that stopped her line of questioning. There was the tail end of a car sticking out of the side ditch. She headed towards the car in case there was anyone else inside. It wasn't like she could do anything else for the man on the road. Once up close, her frown deepened. The windshield was in pieces; fragments of glass still attached were caked in blood. There was a body inside.
The woman's lips molded into a grimace. Her palm was placed over her mouth and nose, the stench being that unbearable. You'd think whoever died had been there for weeks. Her eyes widened in revulsion. The body…there was barely anything left of it. Bloodied bones, torn flesh and organs were draped over the passenger seat. The flesh…it looked like something had chewed it. She had seen the results of unfortunate infantry men getting hit by RPG's or stepping on landmines, but she'd never seen anyone…eaten, before. This looked like a frenzied animal attack.
Upholstering her Glock, the Marshal looked around, her eyes cautiously scrutinizing the surrounding area. If whatever did this was still around, she needed to be careful.
Groan. Squelch. Thump.
The woman froze. Her head slowly turned towards the road and watched a sight that would soon become all too familiar. The corpse's arm was twitching. At first, the woman thought she saw wrong, but then the arm twitched again. And then the leg. And then the whole body stirred.
…The cadaver…was moving…
She blinked. What. The. Fuck?
Her eyes were glued to the scene with macabre interest. The corpse twisted its limbs and attempted to get up on both its broken legs only to fall over again. This was the first direct encounter with the disease the Marshal had and it shocked her to the core.
The ghastly thing turned its head towards her and grinded its bloodied, yellow teeth. She flinched in dread and horror at the sight. It didn't even look like a man anymore, just clumps of grey flesh stitched together. Its mouth was painted red, and the blood looked fresh. Her gaze turned towards the car. The corpse looked fresh and had bite marks. It didn't take a genius to realize what had happened; who or what had done it.
A memory abruptly came to the forefront of her mind. A story her grandmother had told her when she was a child to try and spook her. And terrify her it did.
Wendigo. Humans turned into cannibalistic monsters.
Her pupils dilated in primitive fear. The newscaster said—
The dead coming back.
Letting out a blood curling snarl, the thing dragged her out of her thoughts and started to crawl towards her, its translucent white eyes scorching her soul. This monster was watching her like prey.
The moment the monster started towards her, was when the shock melted off, replaced with hyperaware senses. All her body functions went into overdrive, propelling the fight or flight instincts to go rampant.
She raised her gun and aimed at the monster.
"Stop or I'll…shoot." Gods, why was she even talking to it?
The thing didn't or couldn't hear her; it kept advancing. When the monster was just a foot away from her, she pulled the trigger. The bullet ran thru its shoulder.
Nothing. It kept advancing.
The Marshal took a step back and adjusted her aim.
The second bullet hit its forehead.
This time he went down, hit the concrete with a sickening squash.
The Marshal stood there, breathing heavily. Behind the dark shades, her eyes were wide and brewing with barely contained panic. Her mind couldn't produce any coherent thought.
Distant thuds broke thru the fog. Her head turned towards the car and saw it shake slightly. The detainee inside knocked himself against the window again and she could hear his muffled shouts.
The Marshal ignored him in favor of approaching the cadaver, gun still aimed at it.
No movement. She nudged it with her foot and still nothing.
Letting out a shaky breath, the woman re-holstered her weapon and sidestepped the monster. She backed away still watching it, wary.
The Marshal tried to dial 911 again, but got the same recording. Taking one last look at the thing, she climbed back into her car.
"You killed that guy! Is that how you deal with a hit and run, Marshal? You finish them off?" The man asked in rapid successions. He kept looking out the rear window at the now dead body.
She didn't respond to his questions. She just started the car and drove off, watching the carcass from the rear-view mirror until it became nothing but a speck in the horizon.
The woman's eyes returned to the road. She was gripping the steering wheel with white knuckles. There was nothing in her expression that could decipher the emotional rollercoaster she just went thru not a minute ago, and was still experiencing.
There was only one thought that kept repeating itself over and over in her head.
One month, four weeks and three days.
That's how long it's been since the world ended.
And how long it's been surviving in this new merciless one.
The Georgia sun was setting, engulfing the farm and its surrounding vegetation in an orange and crimson hue. There was a slight breeze in the air creating a wave-like effect in the wild, uncut grass. If the farm's current occupant had been a poet, she would have said that it was a breathtaking sight and that the coming night would be showered with tiny sparkling diamonds. As a poet, she would have been left breathless.
But as it is, she wasn't.
The setting sun just meant that very soon there would be limited visibility of impending threats. It would take a while to spot if any of those wendigos shuffled near the property even with night goggles. And those undead bastards weren't even the most immediate threat. The living have always been more dangerous than the dead...
A sigh echoed in the darkness of the bedroom. The woman was sitting vigil in front of the window overseeing the road with a Remington 700 PSS sniper rifle leaning against the side of the wooden chair and a can of pears in her lap. She was eating with slow movements, her pale green eyes trained on the lush field for any ripples in the green 'ocean'. There was a Border Collie curled around her feet, happily chewing on a bone.
The ocular pair moved over to the driveway and long stretch of rapidly cooling pavement. There was no movement except for the slight disturbance from the summer breeze.
Another sigh left her lips. She seemed to be doing that a lot lately, but then again she had valid reasons. The world had gone to shit faster than Usain Bolt at the Olympics. She had always thought than if the world would end it would be either nuclear war or a large meteor hitting the planet causing the extinction of human life just like the huge reptilian ancestors. But no, the gods decided that having the dead come back to life and gnaw on the living was a much fitting end.
The gods are cruel indeed… Either that, or they have one twisted sense of humor.
After her first brush with the wendigo on the West Virginia outskirts, she had listened to further broadcasts. They all said the same thing.
One bite. Fever hits. You die. And then you rise as one of them.
Destroying the brain is the only way to kill them permanently.
…It all sounded like some B-rated horror movie with witch doctors.
She had waited home for as long as she had been able. But once the situation got worse—as in the military enforced martial law—she had packed her things and raced towards New York. Her husband was there. The stubborn man had refused to leave his work, saying that the virus was just something passing. He had been so wrong…
She never reached New York. There had been nothing left to reach.
Days stretched into weeks.
The radio reports she heard only crushed more of her hope. Atlanta, where the CDC was, fell within the first two weeks of the global outbreak. The rest of the country fell within a month.
America reverted back to no man's land.
In this course, the virus spread all over Europe and Africa. Asia was starting to experience signs of the virus. It was just a matter of time now before the whole world was gone.
On one particular day it almost made her give up entirely. She learned, via some thieves that managed to steal her Chevrolet Tahoe, that there was no going back to the old days. They would all soon become one of them. No matter how they died...
With each day she felt hope chipping away bit by bit, and resignation to her situation settling in. It was beginning to get clear with each day that life will not return to normal. She just didn't want to admit it.
She had found a black 1970 El Camino parked near an abandoned warehouse and hotwired it. She had always wanted to be behind the wheel of another muscle car. She had owned a beat-up old Mustang when she had been a teenager. The day she had to sell it had been a truly sad one.
It wasn't easy finding clear roads, a lot of times she came upon abandoned cars jamming the highway with the risen dead shambling around. She had to backtrack and follow back-roads, which usually had her spinning in circles before finding the right way.
It was worse when she stumbled upon people. She had never been the social type and the world coming to an end didn't improve her people skills at all. She never stayed with them for more than a few hours to hear any information they might have. Some were more desperate and wretched looking than others, but there was nothing she could do about it. It was a dog-eat-dog world now. There was no time for sympathy.
She decided to head south, maybe Texas or Georgia. The heat would slow down the wendigos, maybe speed up the decomposing process.
Once she and her furry companion entered Georgia territory, the woman was forced to stagnate at the farm that she had been currently inhabiting for a week now. She needed to recover before heading back out. The Camino had been parked behind the house as to not arouse the attention of any passing travelers.
Her eyes turned to her wristwatch, the numbers showing that it was close to eight. Night will fully set in about twenty minutes according to her past observations, which meant that she needed to do her last round outside the house before settling in for the night.
Placing the now empty pear can on the floor and rolling her shoulders to get rid of the stiffness, she picked up her sniper rifle and slung it over her right shoulder. With a low command, the dog also rose and ran ahead of her. Leaving the room, she descended the stair as lightly as possible, knowing that the house was rather old and inclined to creak at every opportunity.
The outside was uneventful. The same stillness as the day she arrived here. Some would find it comforting. The woman was not one of those people. The quiet only unnerved her.
The Collie seemed to enjoy it though. He was prancing around happily, his tail wagging.
They soon returned back inside the house and the woman spent another few hours watching the scenery, before finally surrendering to the call of slumber.
Sleep didn't come peacefully to her. Hasn't for a long time.
A man in a sheriff's uniform was silently running up the road and cursing his foolhardiness.
It was stupid, running in the dark. Rick knew that. But he didn't have a choice. The car broke down several miles back and the undead started appearing in the vicinity of his car. He couldn't have stayed. He thanked whatever god was still out there that the night sky was clear and the moon shone bright, leaving him with some visibility in the quiet darkness.
But he almost cursed out loud at the weight of the gun bag. It was seriously starting to hurt his back and shoulder.
The trip from Kentucky to Georgia was proving to be more strenuous than he initially thought. Rick had expected that it would take a few days at most, but it's been weeks now. The highways were the worst, always blocked at one point or another. The maps didn't help either. He would sometimes find himself lost and heading in the wrong direction.
But he had to keep going. His family was waiting for him in Atlanta. And he had already traversed the length of two states, he only had to go another 200 km and they would be reunited.
Within minutes, Rick almost cried in relief when he saw the outline of a house not too far ahead. He picked up the pace and soon was at the front gate of the little farm. He cautiously walked the perimeter; his eyes squinted in the darkness for any movements.
Reaching the porch stairs, he gently placed his foot on the steps. The house looked old, abandoned, and most likely prone to creak. He didn't want any of those undead hearing him and descending on his location. Once he reached the top of the stairs, he had failed to notice—it being dark—that there was an indent in the boards and stepped in it. With eyes wide, Rick almost fell over but managed to steady himself just at the last moment. But that didn't stop the old floors from groaning in protest.
There was a man in front of her sitting at a desk. It was summer time and the windows were open wide. But even then, more was needed. Sitting on the desk was a miniature ventilator, its small propellers creating a cool breeze in the room. The man was hunched over, apparently enraptured in the plans he was sketching.
This was Hell. Again and again dreams like these haunted her since the world ended. She never could get close to him; the more she tried the further away she found herself to be. So, she soon decided to not try anymore and just watch. He never turned around, never acknowledged that she was there. It was like there was an invisible barrier between them, where sound didn't traverse. No matter how much she screamed.
She thought that she deserved this. That this was her Hell. She would endure an eternity of this. Of being unheard, unseen, always watching, never touching. Suffering in this absolute silence.
This is what she preferred, wasn't it? To be alone, always walking to her own beat, others didn't matter…What a fool she was. Whoever said 'you don't know what you have until it's gone' was right. She had always taken him for granted, thinking that he would always be there by her side. Until one day he wasn't.
Until one day that he left her to the silence of an empty void inside her.
Eyelids pried opened abruptly revealing unfocused pale green eyes.
The dog was next to her, head lowered and spine arched. He was growling lowly.
The woman rose up immediately from her reclined position on the dusty bed, nerves going off like fireworks. Her hearing sharpened to such lengths that she swore she could hear a pin drop.
Then she heard it. The click of a doorknob slowly turning.
She hushed the dog, and silently rose from the bed, took the muffled gun from her thigh holster and took the night vision goggles next to her. Putting them on, she activated them and soon the world was basked in green light.
The woman stealthily reached the window to see if there were any cars near the house. She needed to get an idea of how many people she would be dealing with. When she found none, she came to the conclusion that whoever they were or was had been on foot. And this one knew enough not to make any unnecessary noise if he couldn't help it. Thank the gods that the porch stairs were as old as time itself. They made a great alarm system.
But she couldn't praise him for walking in the middle of the night. That was stupid.
Knowing that the house had only one entrance, she left the room and walked towards the edge of the wall where the second story stairs were. The dog trotted alongside her, his paws barely making any noise. If anyone was going to come inside, they only had one way. The house was utterly without light, the woman having placed thick blankets over the windows. So it was perfect for her. She could see in the dark and whoever was trying to get in couldn't.
The door slowly opened, letting in the dim light of the moon engulf the entrance of the house. A man, by the looks of it, was her trespasser. He was wearing a dark jacket and what apparently looked like a county sheriff hat on his head, and a large duffle bag leaning down on his back. She could see that behind him was another duffle bag, this one smaller. The woman smirked at the man's get-up and watched as he cautiously entered the house, gun at ready. The man reached at his belt and produced a flashlight. The bright light had her looking away as to not burn her eyes. When the light beam moved from the stairs, the woman looked over the edge of the wall and watched what the presumed sheriff was doing. The man was slowly making his way into the living room on her right.
It was then that she moved. She crept down the stairs with precision, knowing which stairs to avoid and where to place her feet. The dog followed as commanded. Once at the bottom, she rounded the corner and watched his back to get a clearer view of the contents of the bag. She immediately tensed when she saw several riffle barrels protruding from inside the duffle bag.
She mentally whistled. This man was packing.
The woman raised her muffled gun and pointed it at the back of his head. With slow steps she approached him. She wouldn't take any chances with someone that was armed to the teeth, and from the looks of his getup, knew how to use them.
With a deliberate step on a shoddy floorboard she announced her 'guest' that he wasn't alone.
Rick checked the interior of the living room with strained eyes, making sure that nothing was left uncovered. If he wanted to spend the night here, he didn't need a surprise to jump up and bite him in the face.
Unluckily for him, it wasn't the dead he had to watch out for here.
All thoughts vanished from his mind the moment he heard the creak of a floorboard right behind him, and not a second later, felt the barrel of a gun touching the back of his head.
"Move, and I'll kill you."
There you go, the first chapter of the prequel. Hope it piqued your interest.
Foot Note: Constructive criticism is always welcomed (gods know, I need it). Reviews as well. No flamers please, I will neither respond to nor tolerate them.
I will update next week or sooner.
See you next time!