There was an eerie little pause as all of the Vocaloids stared at Len with a stupefied expression, momentarily forgetting about the carcass bleeding on the floor.
Rin forced a tiny laugh, causing everybody to wince at the sudden sound. "Th-that's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard," she stuttered, her desperation to sound confident failing miserably. "Zombies don't exist, obviously. Len, I didn't know you were that mischievous by yourself!"
Her twin blinked slowly at her, and he didn't seem like he was kidding.
"I-I mean," she continued, "isn't this all just a prank by you and Gumi? Isn't it? I didn't know you close enough to think of that great of trick. A-and it wasn't even that great!" She looked over to the body, smiling weakly. "I've sung songs scarier than this!" She nudged Gumi's head with her foot to show her point. The body's milky green eyeballs rolled out of her skull like marbles roll from a child's hand.
Luka screamed, and then proceeded to collapse onto the tile floor. Meiko shot her a look that said really, while Miku herself yelped and knelt down to make sure Luka was all right.
Kaito's eyes widened, backing up so far he was up against the wall. "Wh-wh-what do we do?" he practically whimpered. "This… this is the real deal we're talking about!" He shuddered, closing his eyes.
Len shook his head, his eyes cast downward. "I've seen a lot of zombie movies and played a lot of games," he admitted, trying to recall the plots of those raging, bloody nightmares. "Usually the main hero tries to fight them off and find help."
"There is no way I'm going out there where there are more of those things," Miku said, Luka's blue face in her lap. "You guys can, go right ahead. I'll stay right here where it's safe, thanks."
Rin and Kaito nodded their heads in agreement. Len pursed his lips. "I remember seeing movies like that, too," he went on, "but, either way, they always ended up being bitten."
Kaito opened one eye, cocking his head. "Bitten?" he repeated, puzzled. "Umm, what d-does that mean, exactly?" Miku seemed at a loss as well.
"Oh." Len put a slender finger to his lip, thinking. "Well, you know how all a zombie wants to do is eat your brains?"
The group nodded, except for Luka (who was still unconscious) and Gakupo (who had turned a shade of pale that matched his outfit).
"Well, a zombie will either eat you whole, or only take a nip at you. If one bites you, you're infected, and you become a zombie." He nodded his head, assuring himself that that was the right answer. "I think. I don't know, it varies from movie to movie and game to game."
If you were there, you could see the light bulb appear over all of their heads as the awful reality of what was going to happened dawned on them. Slowly, they turned their heads to the samurai, who was rubbing the wound in his shoulder.
He stared back at them, dumbstruck fear apparent in his eyes.
"That means…" Miku began.
"Looks like Gakupo is the first to go," Meiko deadpanned as if she were discussing the weather.
Gakupo leapt back, bloody sword in front of his face. "It's just a flesh wound," he proclaimed, brushing off the oozing puss with his free hand. "I'm fine… it just grazed the skin. More of a scratch, really." He laughed triumphantly, but it didn't convince anyone, especially himself.
"Hold it," Miku muttered, holding up her hands. The indecisive eyes panned to her. "Isn't it a bit too early to be drawing conclusions? I mean, we don't even know if she was a… zombie or not. This whole thing could be a big misunderstanding." Some people hummed, mulling this over.
"Misunderstanding or no, we still just murdered Gumi and Gakupo has a giant hole in his shoulder," Meiko pointed out.
"You're not helping."
"Well, I think Miku is right," Kaito agreed. Meiko sent him one of her best shut-your-trap-before-I-shut-it-for-you-girly-man glares. Despite this, he continued on, overcome with a new sense of bravery. "We should go somewhere quiet, think this through, and then decide what we should do. Calm down for a bit."
The twins nodded in agreement. Meiko sighed in defeat. "Fine, where are we going to go?"
Miku pondered this for a second before her face lit up. "I've got just the place~!" she chimed innocently. She stood up, letting Luka's head drop to the floor, and began skipping up a winding stairway. "Follow moi!"
"Are we just going to leave Miss Megurine here?" Gakupo asked, eyeing the sleeping figure of the girl with unease.
Miku turned around and bobbed her head. "A-yup."
"…With the dead body?"
"A-yup. She'll find us eventually, when she comes to." Her eyes narrowed. "Unless you'd like to carry her, Mr. Infection. Perhaps she'd be the next victim, if you truly are contaminated."
This struck a nerve. Gakupo flinched, before heading up the stairs himself. He wouldn't be able to live with himself if he let Luka get infected.
Meiko, Kaito, and the twins didn't find it that awful to leave the poor pink-haired woman there either, for they trailed after Miku like puppies after their mother. The stairway wound and wound up into the heavens, the red, plush carpet becoming thicker with every step they took. After a few million steps, Kaito drew to a halt.
"M-M-M-Miku?" he said quietly, peering into a room with an open doorway. The rest of the group stopped and turned to him.
"What?" Miku asked, irritated. "If you're tired, don't worry. We're almost there, after all."
"That's not it." Hesitantly, he took a step into the dusty old room, coughing as he made his way inside. "You better take a look at this…"
Miku rolled her eyes, following him in. The rest of the group shuffled after. The old room was full of old chests and wardrobes as well as photographs thrown astray and askew. The only sources of light were a single flickering light bulb and a great window, showing the dreary day outlined with ruffled pink curtains. Kaito was intent on staring out it, and after closer inspection, Miku saw why.
Thousands of them.
Of course, it was impossible to decipher what they were exactly from far away. All they could tell was that it was a mighty rainbow correlation of scarves, hats, jackets, and miniskirts, all of their wearers staggering and limping this way and that. Some fell, others dragged themselves, but the majority were standing. At first, the great wave seemed to be going in no specific direction. But, after a while at gazing at their putrid, squirming little bodies, it was clear that they were slowly but surely making their way towards the house.
"Oh crap," Miss Captain Obvious, Rin, murmured what everyone was thinking. "Those are zombies all right."
"No they're not!" Miku snapped, feeling cold sweat start to drip down her face. She shook her head, trying to clear her mind. "Besides, zombies don't have any sense of direction."
"Actually," Len cut in, "zombies usually have excellent senses of smell. Why, some zombies are even sentient."
"You're not helping either!" Miku spat. "Come on, let's keep going…" She whipped around and dashed up and away, wanting to get out of that musky little room.
After catching up with her, they all stopped at yet another doorway. Miku was standing in the middle of this one, her chest heaving up and down. She snapped out of her little daze, and quickly scavenged around the room for something unknown to the rest of the singers.
"Here," she breathed, finding what she was looking for in a steel-tinted chest, the same robotic color the rest of the room was painted. It was a long, skinny object, whatever it was – covered in an old tan rag and caked in a fine layer of dust. Gently, the lead Vocaloid unraveled the material.
A rifle revealed itself, making Rin and Len back up self-consciously. Miku sighed at their startled reactions. "This was a prop for one of my music videos," she explained. "The producers told me to go on keep it. It's an actual gun – I remember having to fire it for that one video. I've got some handguns here too—ah, here they are." She pulled two black, dusty guns out of the pit of the chest, inspecting them with a keen eye. "That's three guns… I don't think I have any more. I've got blunt objects and knives obviously… er, Len?"
The boy jumped a bit at hearing his name. "Uh, yeah?"
"How do you kill a zombie?" The words spewing out of their mouths were getting weirder and weirder every second.
"Uh… oh, I know." He pointed a finger up to the ceiling. "Destroying the brain, so you should hit them over the head with something, or shoot them in the forehead."
Miku hummed, setting down the revolvers onto the floor and rubbing her hand over the rifle. "I guess that's why Gumi went down as soon as Gakupo hit her with his sword." She glanced up at the samurai. "Let's see, that's four weapons – these guns and a katana. Anybody want to be resourceful and come up with another weapon?"
There was no reply.
"Well, this is just great," Meiko scoffed, arms folded across her chest. "There are seven of us… well, six, if you don't count Luka, and only three guns. Gakupo is bitten, and we're surrounded by millions of zombies with musical moans. We're so screwed."
Gakupo brushed his bite, knitting his eyebrows together. "How long does it take for one to become a… zombie?" he inquired.
"Depends on the story," Len answered, seeming to enjoy basking in the limelight of being asked for help. "For some, it's automatic. For others, it's a matter of hours or days. I've even seen one where somebody went two whole years without being transformed." He glanced off to the side. "Most boring zombie movie ever, by the way."
There was a pause. "So, basically, we don't know when he'll try to eat us?" Meiko voiced.
Hesitantly, Kaito spoke up. "I thought we went up here to cool off…?" he asked, poking his index fingers together. "You know, discuss our options… think things over rationally…"
"That's right," Miku said, nodding. She coughed into her fist, made herself stand up tall, and began to address the posse with her most official voice. "We are in quite a predicament. We don't know that much about our current situation… all we know is that we are in jeopardy. Gumi, a friend we all know and hold dear, showed up today with the intent to kill us. We had to… put her to an end to save our lives." She paused to take a breath. "We don't know what came over her, but… if it's true that she is a zombie… we will have no choice but to—"
A scream interrupted her speech. A loud, womanly scream, that all of them recognized intertwined with that awful, ear-piercing note. Except, this time, there were multiple. The exact number was difficult to place, but this time it sounded like thousands of cats dying and millions of goats being slaughtered.
"Luka!" Miku cried, eyes growing large. Hastily standing up and dropping the rifle, she sprinted out of the room and down the stairs. Gakupo, also frantic and terrified, followed her in pursuit, hand on the sword at his waist.
The main room came into view, and Miku stopped dead in her tracks. The floors were swamped with a mass of rotting limbs and decaying faces of people she knew, at the very back of her mind. Her eyes searched frantically around, but no signs of her friend remained. The zombies had burst open the door – they were much closer than she thought. One of them noticed her – someone who used to have flowing yellow hair in a large ponytail and a pretty schoolgirl uniform similar to her own. The screech grew louder as her buddies also began to notice, and started to hobble up the stairs.
Gakupo's self-trained eyes landed on the hoard, and his voice went raspy. "Where's Luka?" he asked, voice barely audible. There still wasn't hide nor hair of the woman they had grown so attached to. "Luka? Luka?" His grip on his weapon tightened and tightened until his knuckles turned a pasty shade of white.
Taking hurried steps back, Miku called out for her colleague. "Run, Gakupo! It's no use, just get out of there!" But her pleas were swallowed by the muddled musical montage, and never got through.
She didn't even have a chance to grab him. In an instant, Gakupo leapt from the stairway and into the mass, drawing his blade. The awful figures reached out for him with their long, bony fingers – their painted nails clawing and tearing at his skin. Miku turned away, closing her eyes. If the samurai was in pain, he did not make a sound. But she could hear the note falter as gnawing, hungry mouths were busy with other things. She ran up the steps, not daring to look behind her.
And thus Victim Number Two lost themselves to the zombies. That bite never posed a problem, after all.
Her party soon bumped into her, all panting and sweating. "Wh-what happened?" Rin dared to ask, eyes large and frightened.
Miku sucked in a breath, before her eyebrows knitted together. "We're the only ones left."
A/N: asdfghjkl i've been distracted with a lot of other things, like what I'm going to be for Halloween. (I'm going as Ghostbusters with some of my friends, thanks for asking.) I'm also on fall break, and am going to Disneyland in two days. I didn't have the time to really edit this that well, as you can tell.
Well, that was fun. Now there's only the Alice of Human Sacrifice group yet. Yay~.