Author's note: I've been disappointed that no body really talks about how the apocalypse started and so this is kind of my take on how it could have happened. I'm not entirely sure where I'm going to go with this story, right now it's just kind of an idea. I don't think I'm going to involve the characters of the Walking Dead. This story starts way before theirs and depending on the reaction of you guys it may go on during theirs, just not really entwined for the most part, seeing as Melody is from California… Anyways, hope you like it!
"Come on man. Stay with me. Don't close your eyes." I slapped Chief Walters in the face. "You can do this, don't be a pussy."
Chief Walters rolled his head to the other side and grumbled something. If he was in better health he would rip me a new one for talking to him like that, him being an E-7 and me being an E-3. But his life depended on me now and he didn't have the luxury of telling me what to do, that was all mine.
Chief Walters was a man in his mid 30's. He'd been serving in the United States Navy for 15 years. This was a man that could survive anything, nonetheless and IED. He weighed at least 250 lbs. He was solid muscle with a mean face and an even meaner personality. But that didn't mean I wanted him to die. I'd do everything I could do save him. And that's what I did.
His right leg had completely blown off. All that was left of it was a little stump with about 3 inches of bone sticking out and some loose flesh. He was losing blood too quickly. That'd have to be the first thing I addressed. Everything else could wait.
I made a tourniquet above the stump to stem the bleeding. The rest would have to be amputated but that wasn't something I could do. I was just a medic. The surgeon was getting here as soon as he could. He was held up.
We'd been attacked just a few days ago and so he's been going non stop since then. None of us have slept in days. Everyone we have has been working. We've been doing things more advanced than the training we've been giving and people are getting desperate.
That's why I was doing what I could for Chief Walters even though I didn't know much about the more technical things. But I knew enough to maybe save his life.
Once I had the bleeding in his right leg slowed down I paid attention to the left leg. He was cut up pretty badly but it was nothing that couldn't be bandaged and eventually healed. I set to that, searching the small room for antiseptics and bandages. I'd already taken care of the antibiotics, that was given to him upon his arrival, while I was still with another patient.
I cleaned his leg then bandaged it up. The rest of his body was scraped up as well but he should consider himself fortunate. Even though he lost a leg, IED's kill people. They could even take out full humvee's at times. So yes, he was quite lucky. I'm sure he didn't believe that, though.
The doctor finally arrived and I was sent to tend to another patient. I found it hard to even walk in the state I was in. I tried to think back to the last time I slept but it escaped me. It had to be Monday night. Because the attack occurred Tuesday morning, around 2 AM. I remember being rushed over in the middle of the night. But I don't recall actually sleeping that night.
The hours ticked away, dashing from patient to patient. We were running low on supplies. We were running low on patients. The staff was beginning to get snappy at each other, barking over little things, like leaving a light on, not wrapping the bandage quickly enough. They finally let the crew that had been working the night of the attack to go home and go to sleep. The rest of us would have to wait our turn. We would be going in shifts now that the initial wave of casualties has passed through. Most of them have been stabilized. But we lost a lot of good people. People who deserved to have died fighting. I was glad I was not assigned to the crew that removed the bodies from the hospital. They would be dressed then sent home. But I'd imagine it's slow going. With so many people dead, they're going to be backed up for days.
I tried not to imagine the mothers who would be given that damned folded flag. I tried not to imagine my mother, were that my flag. Obama's attempt to pull back the war on terror back fired and our boys are being killed by the hundreds. Good men, men of courage, men of honor. Men who deserved to go out fighting rather than being taken out by some stupid contraption that took them off guard.
When it was finally my turn to retire, I had logged a solid 92 hours. Not quite 4 days. It felt like an eternity. And it was difficult to sleep knowing there were still people who needed help.
I lived about half an hour away from the hospital, in a little apartment on the out skirts of San Diego. I was in the mountains, not on the coast. The coast was too crowded, too expensive. You couldn't go out to get a taco without paying a fortune. My apartment was small and cozy. I didn't own much. I didn't need much. I'd been moved from base to base so much, I didn't really have the luxury of meaningless stuff. But I did have a small collection.
I collected swords. Lots of different swords. I was particularly fond of Samurai Swords because of their grace and elegance but also because of the history behind them. When other kids my age had taken Karate and Jujutsu, I took sparring. I learned the ancient art of sword fighting. I knew it wouldn't come in handy as much as karate but I learned how to handle a knife and I could protect myself. I did it more for the exercise than anything else.
Despite my misgivings I was able to sleep. In fact, I don't remember if I reached my bed. After having to climb the three sets of stairs to get to my apartment I think I just blacked out. It didn't seem like I slept a wink though, when my alarm went off the next morning telling me it was my shift.
I looked around me, trying to get myself oriented. Looked like I did manage to make it to my bed last night. My utility belt was strewn across the floor but aside from that my room was in a state of pristine neatness, a habit drilled into me through basic training. It was hard to remember myself as a teenager just 3 short years ago, my room always in a state of chaos. I didn't have much to worry about besides myself. No body depended on me. I didn't have to be responsible for anything. Now it seemed I was responsible for everything and every body. Blood was on my hands. I failed to save people before. They were my responsibility.
I'd definitely grown since then. Boy, how I'd grown. But it was for the better. I was finally doing my part for society. Making something of myself. My parents would be proud to call me theirs. They always would, even if I ended up a druggie in a ditch. They'd always be proud of me.
I finally snapped out of my thought process which had almost drawn me back to sleep and started to get ready to go back. I'd slept in my uniform so it was in a state of disarray. But my superiors wouldn't care. Everyone was in a state. They had more important things to do than harp on me about my appearance. I did, however, take the time to brush my teeth and comb my hair. I grabbed a protein shake and checked my weapons before heading out. That was routine. That was my life. I actually took comfort in doing something familiar before heading back to unfamiliar territory in the ER.
I knew something was wrong as I pulled up. It wasn't just the fact that the building was on fire. It was more than that. There was a smell. It smelled like death, like something more rotten than anything I'd ever experienced. It caused chills down my spine. But I pulled up to the gate anyways. No body was in the booth. Radio devices were dangling from the counter and static was coming through so loud I couldn't hear myself think. Then suddenly, my own radio went off inside my car.
"THIS MESSAGE GOES OUT TO ALL AVAILABLE UNITS. THERE WAS AN ATTACK ON NAVAL HOSPITAL PENDLETON. FEW SURVIVORS. BACK UP NEEDED."
The radio went silent for a few seconds then the message repeated itself. I couldn't place the voice. It sounded familiar but I just couldn't remember. That thought was at the back of my mind though. The thought at the front was to go and help.
The gate was open. Something that never happened on this base. Something major had happened here. And it didn't feel like the usual attack. I drove through the gate and up to the entrance of the hospital. Someone came limping out. Great! A survivor. I jumped out of my car to go help them and that's when the smell hit me in full force: death.
On closer inspection of the person, they didn't look right. It was a man. I didn't recognize him. He had black hair and tan skin. It was the kin that terrified me. It was torn apart. His mouth had been cut back to reveal most of his jaw and a lot of the skin was missing on the left side of his body.
The smell overwhelmed me and I had to put my sleeve over my mouth in order to breathe. My eyes watered and I drew my gun as he got closer.
"Sir! Are you alright? What's going on in there?" I called. At the sound of my voice he made this desperate moaning sounds and shuffled towards me faster. I took a few steps back and he kept coming at me. He must have been out of his mind. Maybe PTSD. Whatever it was, I knew he was dangerous.
I killed me to do it but I raised my gun, pointing it at him. "Stop! Don't come any closer!" He acted as if he couldn't understand me and only shuffled faster and faster until he was almost at a dead run. He was on me in seconds and looked as if he wanted to EAT ME! I panicked. I pulled the trigger. I hit him square in the chest. He didn't even blink. He didn't bleed. He didn't pause. I did though. And he was on top of me. He grabbed my hair and lunged for my face. I shot him again, this time in the head. He went down. Black blood oozed out of his skull. It wasn't human blood. Or at least it wasn't any more.
There was something seriously wrong here.
The sound of the gunshot seemed to have drawn more people because they began clambering out of the entrance, climbing over one another to get to me. I didn't know what to do. They were people. But they weren't. There was something wrong with them. They were sick or something. They were dead. As they got closer I saw people I recognized, people I knew were dead. People who had been killed by IED's, people who had been shot. And yet there they were, walking towards me.
Their skin was dead, their bodies were dead. But their eyes were not. Their eyes were a milky white color with a black ring around the iris. There was no pupil, no color. Just crazed dead eyes. Eyes that were getting closer to me. Eyes that looked at me like they were starving and I was a tender stake.
It was that moment when I made up my mind. I raised my gun and fired. I aimed for their heads. I wasn't an expert shot. I didn't hit every single one of them. Some took a couple tries. I was going to slow. They were coming too fast. And before I knew it I was out of ammo. I had more packs in my belt but I didn't have the time to reload. I ran. I got back in the car and I drove back out the gate. They ran after me and I raced into the booth to press the button to close the gate. It was moving too slowly.
While it was closing I took the time to reload my gun. I fumbled around a bit because I was shaking a dropped a few of my bullets. Eventually I was able to get it loaded and put back together. But it took me too long. I always thought in a crisis I would be able to keep my head, do what I needed. But this wasn't like that. I didn't know what to think. I didn't know what to do. I was killing my fellow soldiers. They were coming after me. I didn't understand what was going on.
I'd watched many zombie movies in my time but I never expected it to be like this, to start in a military hospital of all places. I always thought that someone would have gone crazy and started eating people because of like bath salts or some shit like that. And that'd turn into a zombie apocalypse. This is not what I had in mind.
The gate was nearly closed but it wasn't enough. A couple zombies had gotten through. They couldn't get out. It had to be contained. I left the booth and shot the ones that had gotten out in the head before they could get any further. Then I turned back toward the gate and began shooting. I was nearly out of ammo when back up finally showed up. The first to arrive was the Marines. That could have been made into a terrible military joke if any of us had been in a joking mood. But today was not the day. Men jumped out of the large SUV and raised their weapons.
"What the hell is going on here?" One of them yelled to me. He looked at me then he looked at the zombies. "Shit," was all he said before firing his gun.
"I don't know how it happened. I was here not even 24 hours ago and everything was fine." I explained as I unloaded a clip into the pack of zombies. There was just so many of them and they were tearing off their own limbs trying to get trough the fence. A couple of them were more intelligent than the others and attempted to climb the fence but they were shot down quickly. "I came back for my shift and was met with this. Did you get the message that was sent out?" I asked.
"Yeah, was that you?" He answered.
"No. I think there are survivors in there. Probably holed up in one of the rooms. We have to get to them." I told him. He was already shaking his head before I even finished.
"No. We need to take care of all this before we can have any chance of getting through. And we need to secure the perimeter. How many entrances are there?"
I shook my head. I couldn't believe I hadn't thought about that. "No, there are several, and if this is anything to go by, they're not secure."
"What do you mean?" He asked.
"This gate was open when I came through. The other ones can be open as well."
"Shit." Was his response. "Wade, take Johnson and Karr around the perimeter. Secure the premises. No zombies get out. Got it?"
"Yes, sir." Was the response of the three men next to us. They ran to the SUV and drove off.
"We're in deep shit, sailor." He said as he brought his focus back to the gate. He didn't need to tell me twice.
When I'd finally ran out of ammo, the Marine passed me a couple clips out of his belt. "We're not going to be able to go much longer without back up. Where the hell is everybody? Everybody should have gotten that call. We can't have been the only response team that got it." He said after a while.
"I know. My crew isn't here either. Maybe they're still sleeping. I just can't imagine what's going on with everybody."
"And where the hell are Wade and his men? I sent them out two hours ago." Things were just getting out of hand. Between the two of us and the three of his men that hadn't left with Wade, we only had a couple bullets left between all of us. And the zombies were climbing over each other to get over the fence. We couldn't take them down fast enough and soon they were over the fence.
By this point we had drawn the attention of the civilians in the nearest neighborhoods and I could hear car engines as people approached us. We checked and none of them was back up. The Marine sent one of his men to go warn them away. That left us with even fewer people. I couldn't think of anything else to do.
And then there was a huge explosion and half of the hospital crumbled. That sparked an idea.
"Do any of you have a lighter?" I called to the men who were left.
"Yeah. I do." One of them tossed a small lighter to me. I raced to my car, crushing the skull of a zombie with the butt of my gun in the process. I dug around my medical kit to find what I needed. I scrounged together a redneck bomb, or in technical terms and IED. I was able to make four of them with the supplies I had.
"Sailor!" The Marine called after a while. "What the fuck are you doing? They're coming through!"
When I brought out the IED's he understood. They took them and held them out for me to light then chucked them over the fence. One after the other, they exploded and they put a big dent in them but the zombies kept coming.
"Shit! How many people were in your hospital?" The Marine asked.
"Hundreds. We just had a huge attack the other day and our hospitals booked over the maximum."
"Do you think this was a terrorist attack? They got you all in one place and then unleashed… whatever did… that?" He asked.
"I don't know. Could be. I don't know anything at this point. I'm killing my comrades. My teammates. People that had my back. I was supposed to have theirs." The Marine just looked at me, not knowing what to say. None of us did. None of us saw this coming. This was a different kind of war. Something none of us were prepared for.
We'd all run out of ammo and we just couldn't keep the zombies from going. It was time to make a decision. I left that up to the Marine. I wasn't a leader. I was just a medic. But he was, he'd been barking orders all day.
"What's your call Marine?" I asked. He bashed the head of a zombie in and stared at it for a second thinking.
Finally he sighed. "We can't stop them. We have to go warn people, get them out of here. And then try to find back up. Get some more weapons."
"How do you suppose we go about doing that?" I asked.
"I don't know. Drive through the neighborhood. Tell them to get away." He said, as if he knew it wouldn't work but thought he'd say it anyways.
"The nearest neighborhood is only a ten minute drive away from here, by the time we get there and actually start talking to people, nonetheless actually convincing them to leave the zombies will be on top of them already."
"Well then what do you suggest we do Sailor?" He spat.
I hadn't wanted to do this, I hadn't wanted to make decisions, because then their lives become my responsibility and I knew I wouldn't be able to protect them. I didn't need more lives on my hands. But I didn't really have a choice now.
"We need to get back up first. Let somebody else warn the people." I said.
"Who's going to warn the people?" He asked, already not liking my plan.
"The news stations. We'll call them and tell them to warn people, it'll go a lot faster than us going by foot." I answered.
"And who says they're actually going to believe us. We might as well call in and tell them we saw Big Foot."
I had to think about this for a second. I hadn't really considered that they wouldn't believe us but of course. People running around screaming zombies? Forget about it.
"We'll send them a video! Come on, we don't have time to keep arguing!" I stated as I beat another zombie to death. I ran back to my car and grabbed my phone. I pulled up a video call to one of the stations and faced the Marine who was beating a zombie. The operator picked up and informed me that I had reached KFMB and that I was recording. I called to him, "We're live!"
"Shit, I don't have time for that!" Was his response as he beat another zombie to the ground.
"Just tell them what the hell is going on!" I told him.
"Why don't you? I'm a little busy right now." He was leaning over a zombie on the ground that was still thrashing despite it's lack of body from the torso down when suddenly another one came above him and jumped onto his back.
"Shit!" I called and dropped the phone and ran over to kick the zombie in the head. His skull crushed in and he fell limp on top of the Marine. One of his guys picked up the phone and was talking to it. I couldn't hear what he was saying as I rolled the dead zombie off the Marine.
"Thanks Sailor," He said as I gave him a hand up. By the time we'd turn back the other Marine was done of the phone.
"Are we good?" I asked him. "Yeah, we need to go."
I nodded and we raised to my car, zombies grabbing at our clothes. We made it inside and I started the car and peeled out. "We need to go check for your other guys and check the other entrances." I told the Marine who was sitting in the passenger seat. He shook his head.
"No, we just need to go." He said, teeth gritted.
"Fuck that. You can't leave your men behind." I said, driving around the side of the hospital.
"They're already dead! And we're just going to die with them on a stupid rescue mission!"
"You don't know that." Was all I said as I pressed down on the gas. Zombies had gotten out. They were all over the side of the hill. I ran quite a few of them over. The next three entrances were shut. Wade and the men had obviously got to them because there were dead zombies hung over the sides of the gates. However, the entrance at the back made us stop.
"Looks like that's what happened to all our back up." The Marine said after a few seconds. I was speechless. Hundreds of vehicles, humvee's, SUV's, tanks, fire trucks, police cruisers, helicopters, they were all there. Most of them were on fire. The wreckage of vehicles was nothing compared to the bodies. Thousands of bodies. They had to have had every soldier but us over here fighting.
"I think we may have missed the real battle." I said, emotionless. "Why hadn't they called us sooner?"
It took the Marine a second to answer. "I don't know. Maybe they thought they had it covered. Maybe they thought they had already called every body. My team was just getting back from the harbor. We came in last night but stayed there to get some sleep before reporting in."
"I was sleeping." It wasn't much of an excuse. It wasn't an excuse at all. But the Marine nodded.
"They probably thought they'd spare you. What difference does one person make?"
"A big one when there are a lot of one persons."
"That made no sense." He said.
I just shook my head. "I could have helped." I kicked the ground in frustration.
"You did." He said. "Now we need to get out of here and get some heavier artillery."
I nodded and put the car in reverse. But just then another car pulled up behind me, a big shiny black SUV, not the one that took the Marines, that one was currently on fire 30 yards in front of us. No this one looked like it belonged to a Beverly Hills House Wife or something.
They pulled along side of us and rolled down a window. It wasn't a house wife. It was an old man with 4 stars on his epaulets. No, it wasn't a housewife. It was my boss. It was my boss's, boss's, boss's boss. And he did not look happy.
"Get in." He spat. I think I was more afraid of him than of the zombies. However, I was a soldier. And soldiers followed orders.
"Yes, sir." I said as I got out of the car.
"You too." He looked at the Marines. They followed. We climbed into the back seat of the car then as soon as we had the doors shut we sped away.
I'd like to hear what you guys have to say! Do you like the plot? What do you think of Melody? Tell me where you guys want me to take this because I really don't know yet! Thanks :)