Characters are from TWD. I am just writing for fun :)
Alice Lane had never truly been unprepared for anything her whole life. Sure, there were unexpected minor hurtles throughout her life, but it wasn't anything her or her family couldn't handle.
For example, the day her teacher told her mom that she had dyslexia, a reading tutor was hired instantly to meet with her every single day until she could read better than any other kid in her lower school class. Since then, she knew that she had to be prepared for any obstacle thrown her way. She left lower school with a newfound sense of determination and ambition that followed her throughout middle school, high school, college, and medical school. The Lane family, including Alice, were a tough bunch of people.
She had been prepared for every single exam, evaluation, and test she had encountered over her 7 years as an MD-PhD student. Before medical school, when she actually had time to watch TV in college, Alice binged watched Big Brother, where contestants had to "expect the unexpected." Similarly, Alice had to be prepared to be unprepared for difficult patient cases or strange experimental outcomes.
So yeah, Dr. Alice Lane had her shit together. She knew what she was doing, when she would be doing it, and how she would be doing it. That's why she had graduated in the top of her undergraduate class, been accepted to a top MD-PhD program, aced her Boards Exams, and now that's why she was now excelling at one of the best neurosurgery residency programs in the States.
However, nothing really could have prepared her for the Zombie Apocalypse. In a moment's notice, she watched her whole life crumble into pieces.
She was visiting her parents who had retired down in Florida when she first began to hear strange reports about cannibalism on the news. The reporters had chalked it up to drugs. Her parents shook their heads in horror and switched their attention back to the Tennis Channel.
A few days later when Alice began to hear news of people getting sick due to some mysterious flu going around, she knew that something was not right. She had a PhD in Immunology—she had dedicated years of her life to biomedical research. She had also just finished her first year as a neurosurgery resident, but it didn't take a scientist to know that something was amiss. A midnight call from her boyfriend confirmed that this wasn't just a common cold.
"Derrick? Do you have any idea what time it is?" she grumbled into her phone, annoyed that she had forgotten to put it on silent.
"It's an emergency...Oh GOD, it's a fucking emergency."
It took less than a second for Alice to be fully awake and fully aware of the gravity of the situation. Derrick was the calmest, most levelheaded person she had ever met, and he never swore. If he was panicking, then something terrible had just happened.
"I'm listening, what's wrong?"
Even as she asked the question, Alice was already dreading the answer.
"Dr. Pruitt called me couple of hours ago— he tells me to come into lab, that it's urgent. He had just received some samples into the lab, from a colleague, at least according to him, but he didn't say what they were for…he just asked me to run some tests with him—and SHIT, Alice, it's real."
At hearing the work "lab" Alice felt her heart sink. Derrick was researcher over at Johns Hopkins, and he specialized in the study of infectious disease. If the emergency were linked in any sort of way to the work in his lab, it would be a colossal emergency. As he continued speaking, she felt all the blood drain from her face.
"Alright, Derrick, explain, what's real."
"Have you been watching the news? Those "druggies" eating each other? All these people getting sick? Something is causing people to do that… you've been missing what's happening here in the clinics— people are getting coming in sick and we don't know what it is…The doctors are trying to keep everyone calm, but it is something and whatever it is, it's contagious…"
There was a pause, and then Derrick continued, "You should have seen Dr. Pruitt when I showed him some of the results... He was scared, Alice. He was fucking terrified. He told me to pack my stuff and leave. He thinks this is serious—we don't know what is infecting people. And he doesn't think it's safe here anymore. The most renowned specialist in infectious disease is leaving the lab so he can avoid becoming infected, and he tells me to leave too...He's gonna go to the CDC."
There was silence on Derrick's line.
"The scariest part is that no one knows what to do. Dr. Pruitt has been getting calls from everyone—mostly from the CDC, but they don't know what it is either."
"Derrick, you can stay with my family. We will figure this out. We can stay safe… together, like always, yeah? I'll book you a flight right now. We will meet up and then we will go the CDC. It's gonna be alright. You and me."
Alice woke up her parents, and told them the news. Immediately, her parents went into overdrive. Her mother called her older sister, Nancy. Flights were immediately booked for Nancy and Derrick to fly to Atlanta. Alice and her parents would drive to meet them from Florida with supplies. All together they would meet at the airport and make their away over to the CDC. She and her mother began to pack clothes, food, and other supplies and her dad immediately began loading their bags into their car. In less than an hour they were ready to go.
As they ran towards the front door, Alice grabbed a photograph that was sitting on her bedside table. She tucked it under her arm and ran with her parents towards the car.
She had actually thought that they could prepare for this. They had time to plan—they knew about the outbreak… they had time before the panic set in. She had thought that Derrick would fly down to Florida. That she would see him again. She had thought that she would meet him and Nancy at the airport with her parents, and together they would drive down to the CDC to figure this out. She had been so wrong.
Leaving Tampa hadn't been so bad. The traffic was heavier than usual, but nothing extraordinary. Alice had actually thought that maybe it was actually going to be alright. A couple of hours into the trip, Nancy called her mom. Nancy was on a flight now, on her way to Atlanta. Everything seemed to be working out. A few hours later, she received a call from Derrick. Everything went to hell after that.
There was a loud bang outside the car door. They had been standing in standstill traffic for an hour now. Planes were flying low overhead and her mother was speaking frantically to her father.
"Alice, get out of the car," her mother yelled over the noise. Her mom grabbed a duffle bag and grabbed hold of Alice's arm. Alice reluctantly went with her mother. She knew that she should feel something as her father handed her a bag, but she just felt numb inside. She would never hear Derrick's voice again.
Alice jumped as something exploded outside. She shook her head, trying to stifle the sobs that were threating to escape. She didn't have time to mourn her boyfriend's death. As they ran away from the cars, Alice could see people panicking around her. Up ahead she could see why there had been a standstill. The road was covered in debris from blown-up buildings and cars. There were pieces of metal and wood scattered along the sides of the highway. Then she noticed the dead bodies. Alice sat on her knees and stared wide eyed at the carnage before her. She felt her father yank her to her feet. They ran around the loose asphalt and dead bodies. She wiped her eyes with the back of her hand as the tears started to stream down her face. Her vision blurred, but she was still able to see that some of the corpses were moving. Derrick had been right. The undead were alive.
Three months later, Alice still felt like she was in hell. Alice had only four people she loved and trusted unconditionally—her parents, her sister, and Derrick. She was now down to one person. She was desperate to reach the CDC. It was her only chance at seeing the last person on this Godforsaken earth that mattered—Nancy. She didn't even know if she had made it off of the plane in Atlanta. She didn't even know if she was alive, but it was all she had left. After she lost her parents, she had been a wreck. When she was a freshman in college, her dog had died unexpectedly, and she had cried for months. Even today, when she saw the same breed of dog, she would tear up. But nothing compared to the pain of having to witness her parents' death. They were everything to her, and now she was alone for the first time in her life. Three months was not enough time to process the loss of her parents and grieve, at least not when humanity was crumbling around her.
Alice had to adapt fast to her new surroundings. She had spent 7 years at Johns Hopkins, and she constantly complained to her parents about Baltimore. She had even joked with them that Baltimore could only be described as an apocalyptic city. But obviously, she had never seen a true apocalyptic city. Now, she was living in one. And that wasn't even her main concern. The zombies were only the start of her problems. The other concern was her fellow survivors. She learned very fast that she could trust no one. She had also learned this lesson the hard way. Now, all she had left was the backpack on her back, a metal baseball bat in one hand, and a wooden shield she had obtained from a history museum on a supply run a few weeks ago.
She didn't want to think about how many walkers she had whacked over the head with that bat. It became second nature to her. At this point, she had a routine going—kill walkers, find food, find shelter, avoid people, survive, reach the CDC, try to find Nancy.
Her whole routine was thrown off when she met two brothers on the edge of Atlanta.