I wrote this a while ago, and typed it up for my "Zombie Vegas" ebook. It's going to be relevant in the storyline I have planned, so I decided to use it to open this fic.

Week 16

As the Caddy barreled down the freeway, Little Rock stretched out on the back seat, channel-surfing and trying to ignore the muffled sounds still coming from the rear. She raised her head a little, and flipped back a channel. "Columbus! Wichita! Tal! You have to see this!"

Tal parked on the shoulder, and they all watched the TV. "... da governor of California, and da acting president of da United States. And we are all in some seriously * up *."

"Yeah," said Wichita, who watched with her chin resting on the top of the seat, "starting with you being in charge."

"Hey!" said Little Rock. "Be nice to the Governator."

"And people made a big deal out of where Obama was born," Columbus mused.

"I am holding dis position only in a de facto capacity, until an eligible American-born citizen is found or appointed. At dis time, da president, vice president, attorney general and secretaries of State, Defense, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Health, Transportation, Education and Veterans' Affairs are confirmed dead. All oders in da line of succession are missing or incommunicado. Da remnants of da military and government need a civilian leader. For now, I'm it. I'm no happier about dis dan any of you."

"That's unlikely," muttered Wichita.

"You will have heard stories of places unaffected by the HPNE virus. Whatever da specifics, dere is no trood to it. It is absolutely confirmed dat every region, every state, every major city in da United States, Mexico and Canada has been reached by da virus. Do not attempt to relocate based on a rumor.

"Do not attempt to seek long-term shelter in a private residence, no matter how safe it appears. If you stay in one place long enough, da infected will find you, and you can't fight off dem all. If you are alone or in a small group, your best option is to stay on da move. Arm and equip yourselves, but stick wid what you know you can use. On da run isn't da time to try out bigger and better. And remember, better cars and bigger guns are no substitute for a good plan."

"Or a plot," Wichita said.

"Do not attempt to reach refugee camps. All of dem have been evacuated and shut down, where dey were not already overrun. Do not seek shelter in military facilities, even where it is confirmed dey are functional. All military personnel are under standing orders not to assist individual civilians. But, dey are still working for you, by protecting and maintaining core assets: power plants, water plants, oil wells and refineries, fields and factories. Dey can't help you, but dey are giving you da best chance you have to help yourselves.

"And help each oder, too! No matter your location and situation, you are not alone. Dere are communities of hundreds, dousands, still functioning, supporting themselves and fighting off da infected. Find dem! Be careful, do not make yourself too vulnerable without establishing intentions. But if you see oders who can help you, or who you can help, don't be afraid to reach out to dem.

Wherever dere are people helping each oder, dere is America!

"It may seem da virus has won. But da infected won't live forever, dey are already dying. Don't listen to da voices of despair and selfishness. It's time to show da world- we will be back!"

Little Rock cheered, and Columbus gave her a high-five. Tal wiped tears from his eyes.