Here it is in its entirety. Well the first section at least.
Part One-When Worlds Collide
“We have several plagued moving in on our position!” Screamed a man through the loud speaker, the men manning the checkpoint ran to their position brandishing what ever weapons they had, i made my way to the top of the gate, lined the bead on one of their chests and fired. the crack of my high powered hunting rifle nearly split my ear drums, the sun bearing down over this bleak waste land made is hard to see the former man fall to his knees as blood was bubbling out of his chest. I worked the lever back and fired again, missing but by now my colleagues had convinced the plagued to turn around. Out of no where i hear classical music in my head.
I awoke in a cold sweat, I haven't guarded the checkpoints in years and i still cant sleep well. I awake to look out and see my fair city Seattle, or at least the downtown section the rest of seattle has been fenced off and is a Green Zone, but the Plagued do get through occasionally, people out there fend for themselves, but that's where the money is, You can make quite the buck guarding a merchant through the wastelands, through the marauders and the legions of undead known as the plagued. Well I walk out of my “apartment” which is no more than a former office cubicle that has the desk removed and a sleeping bag placed there, power is limited to running water and radio transmission in the Smith tower do to the fact that the only viable source for power is solar seeing as we ran out of fossil fuel many seasons ago.
As i walk out through the filthy streets i walk into the local pub trying to look for a job. ”Hey hear about any jobs lately Dex?” I ask, “ Yeah Seattle’s militia is planning a raid on Astoria next week, were running low timber,” Dex replied, “Well im not looking for military work, i had enough during my service during the Faction Wars, plus i just cant attack another city and leave it vulnerable to the plague, how about any merchants needing an escort?” “Nope sorry, but that Naydden girl is always looking for an “escort” from you,” “Sorry not interested in any woman that shares your figure,” “Fuck you man,”
I walk out and head down to the Food stores to redeem a few of my dwindling food ration tickets. I purchase several different so called “foods” but it mostly consists of ground up herring and rice. I nearly puke when i see maggots at the bottom of my bowl. I decide to head out into the green zone to see if i can get some work.
I head back to my apartment and open my locker and take my 30. 06 and trusty hunting knife with me. As i start heading to the green zone gate i look through the chain link and razor wire and see how squalid it is out there, the overcast skies only seem to compliment the all ready depressing sights of people shivering on the gray pavement huddled around a fire in a fifty five gallon drum as if moths to a flame.
The men guarding the checkpoint looked like they were barely fifteen, obviously the defense force was stretched thin with that raid coming up. “Please state your reason for going into green zone, and I.D.?” The boy said, “Looking for work,” I hand him my I.D. “ You may pass.” Through the gate my adrenaline starts to trickle knowing that im in the Green Zone, even though they are “mostly safe” from the plague, there are no Militia patrols out here so its anything goes. So i head down to the bazaar, there's always work to be made there. On my way their i find a man passed out, i search him and only find a slight amount of Detatrin, the newest drug out there, it makes you immune to the plague but in the process does the equivalent of sticking your brain into a microwave oven for three minutes on high. I drag him behind a dumpster so he doesn't get stabbed in his sleep.
Walking out the alley where i let the man sleep i am confronted by three younger men with short spiked black hair, face piercing and a jet black robe, so by the looks of it they were with Shatirs clan. “Gives us your food rations old man and maybe you wont join the plagued,” The leader says slyly. I just smile and walk off, my hand on my knife, the leader puts his hand on my shoulder i pull my knife spin around cut his stomach open grabbed him and held the knife to the throat as the others pulled out handguns, i use the leader as a human shield, one of the bastards fire but misses, I throw the knife, it finds its home in one of the knee caps of my muggers, he pulls the knife out and starts bleeding profusely and drops the knife, i pull the pistol out of the leaders holster and shoot the other man right on the wrist, they all run off, the cut on the leader wasn't deep and he had a fair chance of survival if he made it back to the clan home quickly.
The bazaar reeked of various body excrement's and burning flesh, i fought my way through the crowds trying to over hear some conversation where a man needed help. I don't hear anything, i barely make it back to the checkpoint to the Blue Zone where i reside before they locked the gate for night I walk back to Dex’s bar. “So who do i talk to for this militia operation?” I ask Dex, “Well just go over to the head quarters tomorrow,” “Hey thanks Dex,” “Hey you want a drink,” “Naw, i have to save my rations im pretty low right now,” “Nah its on me and you see that brunette over there,” he points and sees a girl, that instantly I could tell there was something different about her.,” Her name is Sarah and i can tell she has been eyeballing you since ya walked in,” I walk up to take a closer look, She looked as if she was about 5’5, skinny but nice wide hips, shoulder length hair, not exactly big bosoms but those sapphire eyes made up for it. “Well are you going to stand there and ogle me or are you going to come over and talk?” she said with a grin as she sips her drink. I sid down across from her. “Well I hear your looking for work?” She inquires. “Yes i am, why do you have something in mind?” I reply. “ I need safe passage to Phoenix,” “When do you need to leave,?” “Sometime in the next three week,” “Well I have another job this week, but i think i can fit you in.” “Meet me here in two mondays,” She says then walks off, I finish my drink and walk out the door.
I head back to my apartment with my new firearm that i procured from the Shantirs member. I stick everything in the locker and for the first time in years the reason for my insomnia is not the Faction wars or manning the border, it’s Sarah, there was just something so intoxication about her. I haven't felt this way for ten years about anyone especially someone i just met, but soon enough the sweet release of sleep kicks in.
“EYES ON TARGET,” the sergeant barks at us, the Target being an escaped elephant that had been succumbed to the plague, we threw everything we had at it and it still was charging. Men started to flee in terror down the city street that we were sweeping. The chill from the snow was counteracted by flow of adrenaline, several men were trampled. I break into a shop and find the stair well to the top, waiting for the plagued elephants next pass. I climb a top the stores roof. I was at eye level with the elephant. As it thunders by i run and bound of the ledge i sink my kite into its back to hold on, which only sends the beast into even more of a frenzy. As i was trying to climb so i could actually get a decent chance of severing its spinal column with my knife, it makes an abrupt turn and i nearly fly off, i manage to make my way up back on its back, i crawl forward and stab several times right at its neck, at this point the beast was at full speed it toppled me over throwing me off, i break my leg, and i start to hear classical again.
I awake with a cold sweat.
I leave my “apartment” and start to head through the crowded streets, it begins to rain as soon as i entered into the Militia Office. “Ma I help you?” asked a woman of dwarf proportions and annoying voice. “Yeah, I heard the Militia was planning an assault on Astoria?”, “Yes that's true I’ll send you over to Major Johnston,” She points in the direction of a ill lit stair case. “Down the stairs first left,” “Ok”. I head down stairs and sit out side of Major Johnston's office for a half hour as he chewed out a seventeen year old kid who had accidentally fired his weapon.
“Come on in,” The Major said “So I hear you want to join the raid of Astoria, What experience have you had?” He asks then takes a drag off his cigarette. “Well I guarded Checkpoints over by the Cascades making sure most of Western Washington stayed a green zone, and I fought in the Faction wars.” “Hmmm well, what kind of weapons do you have?” “Well I have a 30.06 and a hunting knife that my father gave to me before he died.” “Well, we don’t have any ammunition for the 30.06 but we could lend you an M4 Carbine for the mission we have a few of those lying around”” SOunds wonderful, when do we head out?” “Actually were gearing up right now, we have the boats packed you will be the last one aboard.” “all right, but i thought it was next week?” “False intelligence just to throw off any spies here.”
The Major leads me to the dock we find an old fishing boat packed with about a hundred men. The seas were particularly rough so many people lost there meal. The boat chugs down and gets to Astoria in one of the worst days of my life. The boat drops us off at a dock in the middle of town. Surprisingly we met no resistance as we got to the lumber stores, we carried as much as we can to the second fishing boat that we brought with us. We filled it up, and not one sign of anyone living. I put together a squad of men who were willing to go search the city. We looked around for hours and found nothing, no bodies, no sign of life, we found the cites liquor and tobacco cache, we had our arms and bags full, when we heard them.
I dropped my bag of my little treasures and drew my Carbine, I fired and dropped several of the Undead as they charged me, three of the men were killed. “FORM UP” I scream. We made a firing line and did a leap frog retreat, I shot the three men who shortly before were dead but decided to rejoin the living. We caught sight of the second party coming back with as much lumber as they could get on there carts. Of course they made some new friends who didn't want them to leave. So i ordered my men to stand there ground and cover both of them. Shot after shot magazine after magazine they kept coming, they looked like they were fresh plagued still nice and fat. I noticed on the streets there was a river of blood flowing. The lumber men got behind us and we continued our retreat. I hear dogs barking, oh shit. One runs straight for me pounces on me and knocks me over, its trying to bight me anywhere i manage to get my hands around its neck and i begin to squeeze as hard as i can. a minute passes and it falls over. I kick its head to the ground, grab my rifle and start firing again. I start sprinting for the boat. i hear the engines starting up im the last one out. there's fire coming from the deck cutting down the plagued. One catches up with me i throw my elbow back and it connects with its face. I dive for the deck and i make it. The boat is pulling away and the bastards are still coming. Several jump on the deck before we pull away. We quickly dispatched them and threw there bodies overboard.
I sit down, I check my magazine, i had one round left. “God that is so weird shooting them, I mean we knew some of these people,” One of the men starts on the fishing boat. “Well after guarding the borders at the cascades you get used to it, though there is one thing i will never forget I had to shoot this little girl who had just got infected right in front of her dad, she was running towards me, man i still have nightmares about that,” I add. “And what the hell was up with no one in that town, looks like they just disappeared.” “I bet it was those Shantirs clan faggots, probably found a plagued and snuck it in and let it loose,” Some older gruff male adds “ I say when we get back we go in there and kill everyone of those creepy faggots when we get back.” A few of the men grumbled in agreement, but most likely this wont happen.
I managed to snag on the retreat my bag full of my little treasures, I open a pack of an obscure brand of cigarets pull it out and light it. “Hey buddy can i get one of those?” A man asked. I looked out into the sea took a drag off my cigarette and handed him one. “Thanks.” I exhale and the smoke just blends with the night air filled with diesel smoke from the fishing boat. After indulging my vice i go into the bowels of the boat and find a corner to sleep in.
The hot arizona sun was searing my skin as i led my men through the desert, to the town of Folly Ridge. Nothing more than a little town with an infestation of the plagued. We were to go in there and clear it up and set up a check point for traveling merchants from Mexico. “Ok you know the drill we split up into two teams and leave Harrison and Maclean here for sniper support, Rodriguez, Lewis, and Kilgore you're with me, the rest of you wait for my signal,” I said. I pull my squad towards the south end of the town,whereas my other team was at the north end, while my snipers were to the west in a hill over looking the town, i couldn't even see them, they did a nice job with the camouflage. I had my squad hide in the ditch. “Maclean, what do you see?” I ask over the radio. “Looks like seven of them just out in the street a few of them are trying to eat each other, do you want me to engage?” He asked. “No, wait until we engage them we don't want them running after you,” I reply. “okay were going in,” i say to my squad. We all stand up, i shoulder my Mp5, we start walking towards the gas station, keeping an eye on the plagued. A tumbleweed rolls over the desert road. I fire into the plagued, one of them drops and loses his leg, and starts crawling for me. I hear two loud cracks of a sniper rifle, two of the plagued heads explode into a chunky mist. Thank god for snipers. the squad to the north comes in and starts searching the few houses up there. “Stack up at the gas station,” i command to my squad. They all get in position for a breaching maneuver. I kick the door down and find two dogs eating a plagued man. I fired, the dogs were no longer among the legions of the undead along with the man. When the dust settled i go behind the counter and grab a pack of smokes. I looked down and saw a gruesome sight, a person was lying there his throat and chest were completely ripped open and it looked like most of his innards were gone. I head outside to the police station we repeat the same maneuver, except when we get inside we find a man, alive. “GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE, YOU’RE ONE OF THEM!!!” he screams and pumps the pump action on his shotgun and points it at Rodriquez, who had taken point, “Easy there pal, were here to help we’re with faction of Pacifica, we’re here to set up a checkpoint,” rodriguez said. THe man didn't listen and the man shot Rodriguez arm off. “AWW FUCK!!” rodriguez screamed as he fell to the floor grabbing at where his former arm was. Needles to say i double tapped the Mp5 and put six rounds down range into that bastards head. I start to hear classical music, i look at my arm, it started to pulsate, the veins started turn black, my vision started to bur.
I awoke to see some fifteen year old kid rummaging through my bag, i pull my knife out and say “You sure that's a good idea?” THe kid scampers off. Needless to say the rest of the trip passed uneventfully. WE start to get to close to seattle, I start to get excited, just thinking about that girl Sarah and the off chance that i might see her before next monday.
I get to my “apartment” drop my stuff off and sleep for the first time no nightmare of the faction wars or the border patrols. I dream of her, the most intoxicating person i ever met. I awakened for the first time in along time completely awakened. I go to the locker and grab my bag, my knife and pistol. I head to Dex’s bar its about happy hour over there. “Hey Dex how's it going?” I ask. “Oh not bad , so was the militia job?” “IM still here, and i got you something,” I say and open my bag and show Dex my liquor supply, Dex nearly fainted,”Is that Jack Daniel's?” “Yes it is,” “I haven't seen any of that in years we have to stick with this home brewed shit, how much do you want for it?” “Well a months worth of food tickets and a free drink anytime i come in,” I reply. “Deal,” “Nice doing business with you,” “So have you seen Sarah at all?” I inquire. “Yeah she is been here a couple times, just had a drink and