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Chapter I

I Didn't Know What Hit Me

"Move along," ordered Chief of Police Emmett Kissinger to the gathering crowd, "Nothing to see here!"

The crowd departed, murmuring among themselves about the scene in question. Kissinger watched them leave, when they got to a comfortable distance he rejoined the crime scene supervisor who was checking on his clipboard, "Okay," said Kissinger, "So what happened here?"

It was a small apartment building, somewhere around the border point between downtown and the suburbs of Faraday City. Several police squad cars and ambulances were parked on the street, their warning lights flashing with their sirens turned off. Several police officers wondered around to guard the area as a few other cops walked into the apartment building to search for clues, the paramedics pulled the gurneys out of the ambulances and pushed them up. Several Herdiers stayed put near their trainers, their eyes scanned the place for anything unusual. The temperature was somewhere around 7 degrees Celsius, not cold enough to freeze, but cold enough to make the world seem peaceful.

To Kissinger, this was just another ordinary day on the job. Well, actually it was night. He had been Chief of Police for 3 months now, so far his new responsibilities weren't getting the better of him. Some days he merely supervise, other days he did the conventional work on pulling people over for minor traffic violations. Crime was at an all time low, resulting in the massive budget cut for law enforcement. Kissinger saw this as a no big deal, because law enforcement was over-funded to begin with was for dealing with a single outlaw. Kissinger don't want to remember that reason, it was too personal for him and his family.

"We got ourselves a shooting case," said the supervisor, "An adult male in his forties had shot and killed his wife and son, he also shot his son's Pachirisu before turning the gun on himself. The neighbor phoned police at least an hour ago saying they heard gunshots, police arrived 5 minutes later and discovered the father lying on the living room floor as all the other bodies were stowed away in the back room."

"Conclusion?"

"Suicide murder, yet there's no motive. We haven't ID'd anyone yet."

"Keep me posted."

"Yes, sir."

As the supervisor walked off, the nearby street lamps came on, illuminating the street more than the flashing lights of the emergency vehicles. It was enough for Kissinger to see a few faces at several windows of the apartment building, but not enough to see further detail. He turned his attention back towards the entrance where they were beginning to remove the bodies, The doctor must had declared them officially dead now. Kissinger thought.

It was another case of a sad ending to life, Kissinger new. Whatever the reason, a mother, son, and a Pokémon's lives were snuffed out. They didn't deserve it, but why did it happen? The world wasn't really a peaceful place, which was why there are police officers, fire fighters, and paramedics. People get hurt, others need a hero. Someone have to answer the call of duty, Kissinger was one of those people.

Somewhere nearby, he saw a Faraday City News team setting up their equipment. They fine tune their equipment and checked to see if everything's working, repeating a tradition that goes back since video cameras came to the scene. Since there's little to no crime in Faraday City, there was always a few news teams that come to the scene when crime does happen. If it was daytime around noon, this place would be crawling with more newsies than cops. Thankfully it was almost midnight, and since there wasn't much happening on Faraday Island the major news networks, such as CNN, won't come around to cover the incident. This should be a more local news coverage, which was fine with Kissinger.

"Do we have the murder weapon?" he called out to his fellow police officers.

"We got it," said Adrian, a fellow rookie who was only in the force for just a couple of months now, "It's sealed in a sterile bag and we're prepping it to be shipped over to the forensics lab."

Kissinger walked over to Adrian, who was busy packing a few things in the back of the squad car, "What kind is it?"

"Double-barreled shotgun," said Adrian, "He was using buck-shot shells, fired at point-blank range."

"How bad's the mess in there?"

"A lot of blood and guts, I never seen anything quite like it."

The news people began their coverage of the scene, the news anchor, a twenty-something woman, spoke the usual words in a reassuring manner. The camera guy kept the news camera trained on her, making sure it doesn't wobble accidentally. Kissinger's eyes drifted back towards the apartment entrance where they struggled to get the gurney moving. One of the wheels must be stuck, and the paramedics were having a hard time getting it to move as they made sure one of the bodies don't move in the process.

Kissinger jumped when he heard several bird Pokémon squawk nearby, he turned around and saw several of them taking off in the nearby park. Just small blobs of darkness cluttered together in a small mass flew off into the night, within moments their cries ceased altogether. The Chief of Police blinked twice and tried to calm down, that spooked the crap out of him. Not that he had a problem with birds in all.

Next he saw some of the Herdiers ears perked, they started to whine, then barking loudly. They shot to various directions and started barking like crazy, getting on the cops nerves, "What's gotten into them?" a police officer asked.

"Come on boy," said another cop, "Quiet, you'll wake up the neighborhood!"

The Herdiers began to whine at their masters, trying to tell them something. Some of them walked over to the grass where they scraped their paw on the ground. Others sniffed around a bit and struck similar places, one of the Loyal Dog Pokémon walked over to the bodies as the paramedics were fixing the gurney and began barking at that."

"Shush, Herdier!" yelled one of the paramedics.

"I wonder what's gotten into them," said Adrian, he zipped up his duffel bag and pressed it straight to the back of the trunk, "It isn't like them."

"They only do that when something's amidst," said Kissinger as he stared at the Herdier barking at the gurney, "Something seemed... Unusual tonight."

"Like what?"

"I don't know, but the Herdiers aren't alone. The wild birds are acting up as well."

"The Pidgeys? They always act up."

"But not by their sheer numbers, keep your eyes sharp for anything suspicious. It may be nothing, but this isn't something we should ignore."

"Now that you mention it, the air seemed a bit stale. Barely any wind. And look at that moon, it's huge."

Kissinger looked up and saw the moon, it was tan and appeared bigger than normal, "Looks like a supermoon."

"Super what?"

"Supermoon, its when the moon is at its closest on its orbit around the planet a while it's at full moon. I heard it was going to occur tonight, quite a spectacle."

"Is that what's getting the Herdiers' acting up?"

"They're more focused on the ground than the sky."

Adrian shut the trunk door shut, then took a sip from his thermos, "Can we please wrap this up soon," he asked, "My wife wants be back home before midnight."

"Only when we get those bodies to the morgue." said Kissinger.

Commotion was starting to stir over at the apartment entrance, Kissinger turned to see one of the bodies was heavily twitching. The paramedics' eyes went big as other police officers stood there dumbfounded, a paramedic pulled out his stethoscope and checked the body's heart. His face went pale, "What's going on!?" Kissinger called out.

"The bodies are starting to move," said the paramedic, "They seem alive but... I don't know."

"They're moving on the freaken gurney?" Adrian asked.

The Herdiers barks became louder, all of them started to growl at the bodies as they all shift and twitch. The paramedics removed the straps and tried to get a better understanding on what's happening, a paramedic tried to check on the man who was twitching the most. Within seconds, the man rose his head and bit the paramedic on the neck.

"Ahh!" the paramedic screamed as he shot back, knocking over several colleagues in the process.

"He's getting up," cried a cop, "He's getting up!"

The man slowly sat up and got off the gurney, Kissinger's brain tried to make sense of it all when he saw the man's eyes. They were bright red, and glowing. Glowing so bright, he couldn't see the iris or pupils. His skin was gray with a greenish tint, Kissinger recognized it as a sign of decomposition. The wound that killed the man was prevalent, a gunshot wound to the chest. The blood around it was reddish-black, staining the man's shirt heavily.

The paramedic who got bit placed a bloody hand over the wound, as the other paramedics pulled him to safety police officers drew their handguns and aimed it at the man. Cops who were close by backed off before drawing their guns, keeping a respectable distance from the man. Their eyes were filled with terror from what they'd just seen. The suspect just glared at the FCPD, with lips oozing with the paramedic's blood. He just stood there, as if he was taking his pick on who to maul first, "Hands on your head pal!" called out a cop.

"Hands up!" another called out.

The man held up his hands, but not straight up in the air. He had them spread out with elbows bent, then let out a loud alien moan before stepping forward, "Stop right there!" cried another cop, "We'll shoot!"

"How is he walking," cried the doctor, completely petrified in fear, "He was dead, he had no pulse!"

The Herdiers began barking at the man, trying to get his attention. But he was locked on at the police officers, the man just ignored the Herdiers' barks. Kissinger saw the mother and son were beginning to get up off their gurneys, causing the paramedics to scramble out back towards the cops. Their eyes were also red and skin just as rotten as the man's. Seeing the danger, Kissinger jogged back towards his squad car and grabbed his Mossberg 500 from the plexiglass screen mount in the back. He cocked the shotgun, then fished out another shell from his pocket and insert it into the loading chamber.

"There getting up too!" cried Adrian, struggling to keep his 9mm handgun up. He never fired his gun in the line of duty before.

"K," screamed the supervisor, "What do we do!?"

The entire family limped towards the cops with arms stretched out, they moan and snarl as they stepped closer. The Herdiers backed off and tried to growl back, but their courage was already waning. Kissinger aimed his shotgun at the man, whose blank stare had locked on him. Seeing that he had no intention in stopping, Kissinger made his decision, "Open fire!"

Adrian and the other police officers began firing away at the man and his supposing murdered family. Kissinger felt his sweat freeze when he saw the rounds struck their bodies, spraying puffs of blood into the air. It caused them to stagger, but it didn't stop them. They just kept on walking, oblivious to the direct hits they're taking to their legs and torso, the FCN team had their camera trained as the news anchor stepped back. She had her own pistol drawn, but she didn't use it. The look on her face means either a story of a lifetime or full-blown horror, maybe both in this circumstance, "He's not going down," cried an officer in sheer panic, "They're not going down!"

Kissinger fired his shotgun at the man's stomach, the blast knocked the man backwards and he collapsed to the ground. A couple of seconds later, the man rose his head and stunned the cops as he got back to his feet. Kissinger tried not to wet himself when he saw the man's intestines drop to the pavement, spreading blood and excrement everywhere. He didn't notice the mortal wound, didn't even flinched at the sensation, he was more focused on Kissinger than anything else.

"How did he survive that?" Adrian asked as he regrouped with Kissinger.

"Maybe he doesn't need it anymore." said Kissinger as he stared at the man's disemboweled intestines.

"What do you mean?"

"Maybe he's still dead..."

Is that it, he thought, He's still dead?

With that thought in mind, Kissinger raised the shotgun and aimed it at the man's forehead. He took a deep breath before pulling the trigger. The man's head exploded into a red mess, he gurgled and moaned before dropping to the ground over his intestines. Kissinger stared at the corpse for a moment as it oozed bodily fluids, he wasn't getting back up anytime soon.

Damn.

Kissinger turned towards the mother and son, who weren't fazed by the fact that he killed their relative. They were still coming after the cops, not stopping for anything. If a headshot stopped the man cold, maybe that would stop the others for sure.

"Aim for the head!" the Chief of Police ordered.

The police adjust their aim and continue firing, one by one the mother and son took a bullet to the head and they flop to the pavement. Just when things started to cool down, the son's Pachirisu ran out into the open. It's eyes were also bright red, and they were pointed straight at the nearest Herdier. That Herdier fired a Shadow Ball at the Pachirisu and knocked him back with great force, the Pachirisu snarled and growled as it scrambled back up and took off after the Herdier again. Kissinger quickly took aim and blew the Pachirisu's head off with one shot, the Pokémon tripped and drop down for the count.

With the danger over, Kissinger flipped the safety back on his shotgun, "Get those bodies to the morgue," he ordered, "Someone get that paramedic to the hospital, fast!"

The paramedics moved in and put the bodies back on the gurneys, they made sure they're strapped down tight before loading them into the backs of the ambulances. The injured paramedic was helped into a squad car and a cop drove him out of the scene. The Herdiers started to whine and bark in panic, having no idea what to do. Several cops began ranting info into their radios, informing HQ on what happened. The news team recorded the aftermath panic, making sure not a single detail was left out.

"This is madness," Kissinger thought out loud, "What is going on here?"

The ground churn and a hand popped out, then another, and another. Right in the yard of the apartment building, Kissinger watched rotted humanoid figures climb out of the ground. Their eyes were also bright red, but they were all heavily decomposed and reeked with death. Their faces had a more skeletal look, since half the flesh was gone. All that remained was bone. They all moan and gurgled as their arms reached towards the police officers.

"Everyone get a bigger gun," Kissinger ordered, "We have to defend this place!"

As several officers scrambled to get their shotguns and assault rifles from their squad cars, some stuck with their service pistols and began to fight back. Kissinger timed his shots carefully and blast the monster's heads off, they all dropped almost as fast as they climbed out of the earth. As Kissinger reloaded his shotgun, he couldn't believe there were more coming out of the apartment complex's yard.

"What in the world are these things!?" cried Adrian.

"I don't know," said Kissinger, "But they used to be human."

Within minutes, there were at least a couple dozen creatures popping out of the earth with plenty more on the way. This time they didn't walk, but somewhat jogged. They flung their arms in the air and let out loud moans as they swarm a couple of cops, they scream as the monsters rip them apart with their hands and teeth. Kissinger watched as they ripped off the limbs of his downed comrades and ate them, blood started to collect everytime someone goes down. The news team played it smart and packed up their camera in the back of their van, then drove out of dodge.

The Herdiers panicked and fled, but a few were taken down by the creatures. The Loyal Dog Pokémon yelped and screamed as they were being eaten alive, just like their masters. Kissinger realize they can't stay here, grossly outnumbered by these... Things, they must fall back.

"Retreat," Kissinger ordered, "Everyone get back to HQ! Forget about the squad cars, we're going on foot!"

All the cops gathered around Kissinger and they ran out of the area, leaving behind fallen comrades who quickly became the creature's meal.

. . .

With the scene abandoned, the Undead took their time to feast on newly captured pray. Whatever kind of force that caused them to regain some form of life, it wasn't stable. Every undead creature couldn't feel nor think, not even self-aware. All they had was desire, this desire was ironically the only thing that kept them functioning in their former lives: The need to feed.

But it can't be ordinary food, it must be fresh and raw with the blood still flowing. Even though the prefer the former, they go after other creatures for a last resort. For these undead creatures, they were in luck. There was fresh meat to go around, and it was just a few minutes old. The Undead bit into the limbs and organs of the police officers and rip chunks off, then chew them up like savages before swallowing. For those Undead who couldn't find a spot to feast on the bodies, they moved on to the Herdiers and ate them. They don't taste the same, but they're still fresh meat. Pokémon meat will have to do in the meantime.

An hour later, the Undead finished their meals and got back to their feet. As they wander off to search for their next victim, they left behind a horribly butchered carcasses. They no longer looked like who they once were, just scrap from mindless beings' meal. In due time, the bodies will reanimate and become undead themselves. They don't need organs, limbs, or even sensory to live. All they need is a functioning brain to be a living dead, preferably one that's intact. A crippled Undead won't mind being crippled, even though they might not get a hold of fresh meat for the rest of their existence.

Unbeknownst to the horde, there was still some live meat around. Luke Natas sat at one of the apartment windows and saw the whole thing unfold. He didn't react to the massacre that just happened earlier, nor did he even flinch when he saw the undead child get shot by the cops. From where he had been throughout his 45 years of life, he had seen all there was to see in the world. But what he had just seen was new and somewhat original, even though the concept was embedded in popular media for a few decades now.

With the coast clear, Natas left his apartment and walked out into the yard of the slaughter. The squad cars left behind still had their warning lights flashing, they'll keep flashing until the car battery runs out of power or someone comes by to turn it off. Not that it mattered or anything.

Natas knew where to look, he approached Adrian's squad car and opened up the trunk. The rookie didn't close it properly, the strap of a bag prevented that. Natas opened up the trunk and grabbed the unusual large duffel bag, he unzipped it and looked inside. Low and behold, the double-barreled shotgun that his neighbor used to kill his wife, son, and that annoying squirrel Pokémon. He picked it up and removed it from its plastic bag, he held the weapons in his hands and checked the sights, just to see if it can be used.

Yes, he thought, This will work.

A few boxes of the required shells for the shotgun sat in the duffel bag, Natas grabbed a couple of shells and loaded it. Since the double-barreled shotgun had a gun sling attached, Natas strapped the gun to his back and picked up the duffel bag. He carried the bag back to his apartment where he began to prepare for a seemingly endless day and night survival. When the sun comes up to greet the other half of the world, everyone is going to wake up to find themselves trapped in a dream they can't wake out of.

Of course, that's always expected in a situation like this.

TO BE CONTINUED...