A/N: Lack of inspiration has contributed to an absence from writing this fic. Then my best friend needed a bone marrow transplant, so I went to go visit her before she's put into isolation. But I have access to a computer now, and my muse has struck again! This is the longest chapter so far in the story...
Alice stared at the zombie as she began to write with her own blood. The torn-open flesh hung from her arms limply, but her blood-covered finger moved steadily on the floor.
Finally, three words were spelled out.
"HELLO, I'M HARRY."
The zombie turned and grinned at her.
"You're Harry?" asked Alice. She was waiting for this dream to end. Zombies were mindless killing machines, reanimated by the T-virus, and bent on consuming everything they could find.
They did not spell out words on the floor with their own blood, and they most definitely did not nod enthusiastically as she repeated their statement in the form of a question.
For that matter, the zombified dogs did not sit and wag their tails at you. They bit you and ate your flesh and killed you.
She was going insane, she realized.
The zombie beckoned her with a wave.
She was definitely going insane. She followed as what used to be a hick walked through the desert, seemingly not caring as strips of flesh were left behind in the sand. Alice tried not to step in them.
Finally she arrived at what appeared to be a small encampment. A tent was set up in the middle, and zombies milled about in small groups, moaning and gesticulating slowly.
The tent flap was opened and she was waved inside. She climbed through the entrance, waiting for the next surprise in this obviously delirium-induced fantasy.
It was a laptop computer. Discarded solar power cells were scattered around the floor, but the main focus was situated on a table and was glowing at her.
She hesitantly approached the machine, as though it might turn into a fish. The way things were going, she was certain that nothing was impossible.
Instead of becoming a gilled, aquatic animal, the laptop simply displayed two words. "CONNECTION ESTABLISHED."
There was a click and a hum. "Is this working?" asked a voice with a slight British accent. "Yes," it continued. "It is. Is this Alice?"
"Yes, it is," she said.
"Excellent," the voice responded. "And how are you?"
"Delirious," she replied. This was all a delusional fantasy, after all, so honesty couldn't hurt, could it?
"I see," the voice continued. There was something odd about its speech, the stresses not quite right, the syllables disjointed..."I am very sorry to hear that. I am doing quite well, though."
"And who exactly are you?" she asked.
"I - we are the ones outside, the ones who are everyone and everything," the voice said. "There isn't a really good word to describe us -"
"Zombies?" Alice suggested.
"But the word is so distasteful!" complained the voice. "It's as though we're monsters!"
"You are monsters," Alice told the laptop in a matter-of-fact tone.
"Debateable," said the voice.
"Besides, you can't be zombies. Zombies are reanimated corpses ruled by primitive instinct to consume, not construct a laptop with which to communicate."
"Of course we are," the voice agreed, "when alone. But connected together, we form a network with the capacity for conscious thought. That is I."
"You're Harry," she realized.
"Very good," the voice said, "I thought it was obvious, really. Now, shall we get down to business?"
"What do you want?" she asked. If she were a network of zombies, what would she want...
"I want the destruction of our enemies. I want the complete annihilation of the Umbrella Corporation."
Alice stared at the laptop in shock. It wanted the destruction of the Umbrella Corporation? Why?
"It created us," the voice continued. "It made us who we are, and then it tried to control us. It tries even now to make us pliable little beings. It seeks our destruction as much as the other humans do, but it is far more insidious."
"I...I can get behind that," Alice hedged. "So what do you need me for?"
"You are special," the voice said. "Powerful beyond compare. The T-virus bonded with you, but did not dominate you. It gives you strength. You shall be a connection between myself and the humans."
"So, what, just waltz on into some group of people and say 'Hey, we should get together with a bunch of zombies and take down Umbrella Corporation?'"
"Of course not," said the voice. Even toneless as it was, it managed to sound condescending. "There is no need for the humans to even encounter the zombies. We shall simply...pave the way for you to enter the domain of the Umbrella Corporation. Silent partners, if you will."
Alice thought for a minute.
"I don't know where anyone else is," she finally said.
"I do," Harry replied. "I look forward to facilitating your reunion."
The laptop's glow died suddenly, and Alice whirled around to see the tent flap being lifted. A zombie offered her a wireless headset, which she put on.
"The battery will last for one week," said Harry through the earpiece. She was starting to pick up on nuances in the toneless British voice that she had not been able to earlier. "Hopefully we will have destroyed this facility by then."
She looked up as she heard the roar of a motorcycle. The one that had been stolen was ridden to a stop in front of her by a well-built zombie with a massive hole in his stomach. Intestines dribbled down his front, and smears of blood were visible on the seat.
In her ear, Harry's toneless voice was modulating its pitch, a crude approximation of singing. "On the road again...just can't wait to get on the road again...the life I love is making music with my friends, and I can't wait to get on the road again..."
It was going to be a long drive, she could already tell.