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Northway A Normal Day I woke up early today, the light caught my eye as it poured in through the window. It was 7:47 A.M., just thirteen minutes earlier than my alarm. I hated that, waking up just before the alarm, at least I knew I was able to rest thirteen minutes more. I later awoke to my startling alarm, I soundly went to sleep about 4 minutes before its designated time. Today was January the twenty-seventh, it had to be a Monday of all days. The night before I had gone to the bar, this hangover definitely wasn't going to help my Monday. As I got up I took a warm shower that went cold about half way through, damn the plumbing in my apartment complex, the landlord never takes care of the building. After mumbling to myself about the messed up plumbing I realized I didn't have enough time to fix breakfast, another day starving at work. I hopped in my 1997 used GMC Yukon, it wasn't pretty, but it got me to where I needed to go. On the way to work I peered outside my window at the electronics store. The news stations were all ranting about the past few murders and disappearances all pointing at cannibalism. Missing limbs, bite marks in corpses, and huge pools of blood where a corpse should be. News stations are blaming the government, gangs, terrorists, and the supernatural. I shrugged it off, murder happens everyday, the world was all kinds of fucked up before, and will be after. At work I lazily trudged over to my desk, I work at the Northway mall. I manage the stores profits, and take the money they owe on their leases. At least I don’t sit at a desk all day, but with this hangover walking around is gonna kill me. I stopped by the pharmacy in the mall, pain killers and alka seltzer were a necessity to get through the day. By the time I clocked in, I was ten minutes over the start of my shift. Typically for other people ten minutes is fine, but not if you have the asshole of a boss here. I sat down at my desk pouring a bottle of water into a mug I keep at my desk, I dropped the two alka seltzer, and downed it quickly when it dissolved. My boss Ruth Waters walked up holding my punch card, he quickly shoved it in front of my face. “You wanna explain the lateness Jeff?,” exclaimed Ruth. “I had to pick some things up before I could clock in,” I explained tiredly. “You've been out drinking again you fucking drunk! You've got a hangover, and you’re all kinds of fucked up!,” yelled Ruth. “Mr. Waters please calm down, I... I just had a bad night alright,” I explained. “I don’t give two shits about your bad night! One more fucking hangover, and you've got no future here!” He stormed off pissed, I never understood his deal with me, since day one of being here he's always had a distaste for me, the rest of my co-workers were fairly friendly, hell even the shop owners and workers liked me. Either way it was probably best I move on from his little outburst to work. While grabbing the peoples owes on the lease I stopped at the newsstand in the mall talking to Ted Miller, a nice guy who owned the newsstand, and let mall employees have discounts. “You hear about that new diseases they got in southern America?,” he quizzed. “No, what’s wrong?,” I replied. “They say there's some new form of the Spanish flu, its killing people like crazy down there, especially in slum towns. They say its surfaced here in America. Recent reports say its near Northway,” the shakiness in his voice was more than enough to tell me he was a little frightened. “Don’t worry Ted, its probably some fuckin’ cold, and will have a vaccination in a week.” Ted was a bit of a conspiracist, kinda like Jesse Ventura, but toned down. Though he was still a nice guy, pleasant to be around if you didn't get him talking about the government or Al-Queda. As I was walking away from his newsstand he handed me the latest issue, told me to look at “The Plague” article that was on page 3. I sat down at my desk finally after walking through the slew of people at the mall. I unfolded the newspaper, and began reading from front to back. I read “The Plague” article, it was about that new form of Spanish Flu’s new name which was E62k, scientists and their weird names, it also spoke about how it has spread to almost every nation around the world. Scientists were puzzled by the disease, and how it mutated, and stayed prominent even after the hosts death. I figured it was some kind of durable diseases that mother nature didn’t want getting fucked around with a vaccine so easily. I finished reading the paper that was filled with politics that didn't make much senses considering politics now were full of power hungry agenda serving asses that didn't care about the people. Besides, discussing politics makes people dislike each other. After finish pretty much all of my work I stared at the name bar on my desk that read, “Jeff Rodgers.” Work came to an end at around 8:30 P.M., I found me playing solitaire up til’ the point. I clocked out, and walked to the car garage pass all the stores locking up shop for the night. On the way home I heard the radio talking about how the new disease E62k (I’ll never get used to saying it like that) was airborne, and everyone was infected. I didn't like the idea of being infected with a disease that was killing people, nor did I like the idea of being infected at all, but I showed no signs so hopefully I wasn't ill. I got home at about 9:00, I began to fix dinner, and watched the news on the T.V. The news stations began speaking about how the National Guard was being mobilized to keep people in FEMA camps, I knew FEMA camps were a hassle, you go in, get scanned, show some little sign of infection, and become their lab rat as they attempt to “cure” you. Damn, Ted’s paranoia must be rubbing off on me. The Beginning I woke up this morning at 2:00 A.M. to screams in the apartment next door, there lived the Freuters, a retired German couple. It was strange because they’re usually quiet, and don’t bother people, but tonight it was odd. I opened my door, and peered down the corridor, I obviously wasn’t the only one to hear it as the hall had a few people peering out. My fat bastard of a landlord trudged down the hall telling people to go back to bed. He had a pot belly, and was overweight. He had balding, and was about 40 or so. He banged on the door, “Quiet the fuck down Freuters! You’re waking the whole fucking block!” He raised his hand unlocking the door walking in. He yelled with fright, and fell down in the hall. A second later Mr. Freuter appeared from the door looking sickly skinny stumbled on-top of the land lord. Mr. Freuter began digging his teeth into the side of the landlords neck ripping chunks out of him. The man across from my apartment rushed to his aid pulling Mr. Freuter off of him. Mr. Freuter was fighting like crazy against him, he had gone totally berserk. Mr. Freuter lunged at the man biting his shoulder. The man threw Mr. Freuter to the ground falling on-top of the land lord who was currently bleeding out on the ground with his throat literally ripped out. One of my friends Oliver Pheller a former U.S. Marine down the hall retreated to his apartment grabbing his shotgun. He came out stepping on-top of Mr. Freuters chest resting the barrel of the gun on his head. When he pulled the trigger, bits of brain matter, and gore were thrusted all over the floor, and onto the gun and friend. “Fuck!” He exclaimed as he shook the flesh stuck to him off. Black ooze leaked out of Mr. Freuters head leaving a pool forming where his head used to be. “Jeff, call 911.” I nodded without a word retreating to my bedside grabbing my cell phone. I dialed 911, but was answered by an annoying “911 is too busy” message. Screams outside of the building could be heard, and around the complex. I came back out of my apartment still draped in my bed wear attire looking at Oliver. Oliver jogged down the hall down past the people attempting to assist the landlord and man. I followed behind him into the lobby of the apartment building, we peered through the glass door of the complex into the streets. Outside of the glass door it was pandemonium, these walking creatures some with chunks ripped out of them were stumbling down the road attempting to eat whatever live thing crossed its path. Cops arrived on scene shortly after a few people had been taken down by these walking horrors. The cops fired upon these horrid abominations of mother nature, but were not able to kill them even though the shots connected. “What the fuck is going on?” Oliver exclaimed. “Holy shit...” I replied, dumbfounded on how to respond. Oliver ran back up the steps going to his apartment to grab whatever other firearms he had. I followed behind going into my apartment getting dressed in jeans, sneakers, and a black t-shirt with a grey jacket. I walked back out into the hall, the others in the apartment complex saw, and began to do the same. Oliver walked out dressed in jeans, black combat boots, a black leather jacket, and an ACU camo’d MOLLE Rucksack with his Remington 870 in one hand and a Colt 1911 in the other hand. He handed me the Colt 1911, “You’re gonna need this, I know you’ve never fired a gun before, but you’re gonna have to learn.” “Oliver, where the hell do we go? Theres people eating each other out there?!” Oliver leaned against the wall for a bit, “I don’t know, military’s rolling through, they’ve set up a FEMA camp somewhere, it’s the surest place to go.” I stood there for a minute as people passed us to leave the complex, some carrying children. “We could go t-,” my words were cut off as a humvee rolled through with a megaphone blaring, “Report your nearest FEMA camp at the Northway Mall!” Closely following was gunfire. “Jeff, grab your keys, you’ve got the SUV, I’ll grab supplies.” I stood perplexed, going to get my car meant I had to go outside with those things, out into a war zone between living, and the horrors that now walked outside my front door. I eventually made my way out of the complex heading towards my car. My GMC stood parked across the street, one of those things that used to be a functional person was now in my path of the car. I rose the gun ready to fire, I pulled the trigger only to feel the hammer not smack to the firing pin. As the thing stumbled my way I panicked smacking the gun with my other hand hoping a miracle would make it work. As the thing was four feet in-front of me the gun never made the successful click of the hammer hitting the firing pin. I panicked as it was in range, I kicked it square in the chest knocking it down the ground. It attempted to clumsily climb back up I put my foot on its chest holding it down. It grabbed my leg with the intent to take a chunk out of me like the poor bastard he still had bits of flesh in his mouth from. I turned the gun around holding the barrel, and began bashing its brains out as blood splattered on the ground and on myself. Black goo oozed out of its head onto the pavement as the skull was encaved with a chunk of the brain outside of its skull. I looked at the gun that was now dirtied with the parting gift of the things skull, the safety was clicked on. I flicked it off, and started up the SUV. I pulled around to front of the complex waiting for Oliver. A shotgun blast rang out from the complex, and Oliver quickly came out of the building shotgun in one hand the other with another bag clanking with cans. I opened the door, and he hopped in closing the door tossing the bag of cans in the back. “Drive now! That landlord fuck came back alive, I put a shell through his head on my way out, don’t need another one of these fuckers coming back.” I started up the car, and began heading towards Northway Mall. Day One On the way to the mall we passed several poor bastards having their innards torn out and eaten by several, and some people who weren’t lucky enough to have any mode of transportation except by feet running away from the things. As we came up to the mall we saw military checkpoints at all entrances of the mall, and a makeshift wire fencing with razor wire at the top. Despite of all the terror around it was baffling at how quickly they made the camp. We sat in the traffic looking behind us as people were rushing in from all over. A truck whipped out of the line, and made a rush to the razor wire fence, it had busted through the fence and stopped. The man stepped out raising his hands to his head, his family sat in the back seat scared to death. Military converged on his position firing on him putting several rounds in his head make a red mist pop out from the back of his head. His family watched helplessly in the back seat watching their father be shot. As the military approached the car they began firing relentlessly into the back seat pumping rounds into the family, blood splattered onto the back window. I was spared seeing the gruesome details of the families fate. “Jesus Christ, Oliver, are you sure you wanna continue to the FEMA camp? At this rate those things will be at our car in no time.” I exclaimed scared and angry. “Shit, I don’t know, don’t you have keys to the mall?” He asked. “Yeah, but they probably have security around here 24/7 right?” I answered. “I’m not sure, I might have been in the military, but nothing like this ever happened, not like we expected it to.” He replied. He sat there thinking for a minute about our options, “We can set up in this building, and wait for things to die down. Maybe things will clear up tomorrow.” I pulled out of the lines, and drove down the median, I pulled into an alley next to the building we planned to set up in. As we approached the front of the building from the alley we could see a wave of the things gore splattered and ripped apart stumbling down the road towards the bright and loud FEMA camp. “Shit, we have to get inside now!” I mumbled. We approached the front doors to the building, they were unlocked, blood and bits of gore were scattered around the room. A detached arm was lying on the ground. We approached the rooms with caution, the building was an apartment complex, it was liable there were some of these things in here scattered about. We searched the building, it was void of life, but there were still cans of food lying around that people had dropped in a scramble to get away from what was happening outside. We decided to stay on the top floor, it seemed the most sensible as we had access to the room to look around, and we could easily jump to the other building which was store with a large apartment located within the upper floors. We were also able to scrounge out some clothes roughly our size, some backpacks, and sleeping bags. After we finally got situated screams and shouts alike came from the nearby mall now FEMA camp that later led to gunfire. It seemed the horde of them finally got to them. Sleeping wasn’t viable now, not with hearing the poor bastards outside getting torn into, and gunshots popping off some even hitting the building. I turned to Oliver, he had fallen asleep, though with him doing his tour in Afghanistan I don’t doubt he hasn’t done this before, minus the walking corpses though. When the sun crested over the building pouring light into our room, I got up, and flicked on the lights. We had power, for now at least. I opened the fridge to see what perishables we had, there was milk, bologna, and eggs. It seemed sensible to eat that first then the canned goods we had. I tucked away the 1911 in between my pants and my back. I grabbed a pan from one of the cupboards, and laid it on the stove. I began cooking the food, enough for two at least when the power cut off. The light from the sun was enough, I just hoped the stove would stay hot enough to keep cooking at least. Lucky I was able to cook everything I needed to in the pan. Oliver woke up about the time I got done. I fixed him some food on one of the plates I had got out, they were plastic so we had the intention of keeping them. We quickly ate what amount of breakfast I had made. I peered at the clock, 9:08 A.M.. We made our way to the roof of the apartment, and looked out to the mall. The sight was a wreck, the walking corpses lay in our path to the mall, luckily it seemed the building was holed up, maybe survivors. The fences that amazed me before were trampled, the razor wire at the top now lie against the pavement with tattered clothing on it from those who attempted to climb over it. We made our way out of the building, and checked on the SUV. Luckily it was still where we left, no one decided to make off with it, not like they could unless they could hotwire. We decided to check the miniature version of “DICKS Sporting Goods” store across the road for more weapons. Scrounging around we found two hatchets, three aluminum baseball bats, sharpening tool, three boxes of shells for the shotgun, and four boxes of .45 ammo. We also found some thermal clothing, hotplates, batteries, flashlights, and thermal blankets. Luckily we were one of the first to loot the building. We made our way out of the store, and back to our safe haven in the apartment complex. We sat on the roof for a while figuring out a way to the mall safely. It had a gun store, restaurant, pharmacy, and several construction sites that would have building supplies. It’d be the perfect place to get supplies. We sat pondering at the mall some more storming up a master plan, but it looked locked up pretty tight. The metal gates on the large entrance had been shut, the only way would be through a backway I have keys to. We agreed that’d it’d be the best point of entry because its unlikely anyone else would have the keys. Though one possibility we ran through our mind was what if the camp was still occupied by the soldiers, no doubt they have a shoot on sight policy for invaders. We figured it was now or never, and we definitely weren’t going to travel during the night. “Alright you ready?” Oliver said loading a shell into his shotgun, I nodded, “Yeah, lets just get in, and get out.” We exited the apartment building, a few walking corpses here and there, but the mall looked fairly deserted of them. It looks like the bastards got their fill, and walked off looking for more. Though the corpses littered across the ground with throats ripped out, entrails half eaten, and skulls turned into dining bowls didn’t fill my thoughts with glee either. Infact if these things do come back no doubt there will be another horde when they get up. After cracking, and slashing a few skulls here and there we made it to a back entrance to the mall, the one I always use for getting in, and out of work quickly without going through the main entrance. As we opened the door the air was dry, and filled with a slight tint of death to it as there had been some kind of horrid things going on. “Shit, I don’t like this...” Oliver said weary, “Yeah, its empty, and there’s that bad news alarm going off in my head.” I replied. Oliver had the shotgun so he entered the room first clearing it tactically as he had learned in his days in the Marines. I entered with the 1911 raised, the room was surprisingly empty, I had figured to see blood lining the walls as if it were wall paper, and bodies to be ceiling high. It was calming at first, but the gnawing feeling in the back of my head didn’t let that calming feeling last long. We cleared office by office until we came up onto a trail of dried blood. “Looks like its maybe 7 hours old. Exactly the time this place was overrun.” Oliver said without skipping a beat. This didn’t seem good, but we followed the trail of blood to a pile of corpses draped in National Guard uniforms. “Those fucks out there back from the dead didn’t do this, someone over threw this camp,” Oliver stated, “Oh god, who would do this?” I stated petrified. “You saw what they did to that family that toppled the fence with their truck, I can’t say I blame them for stacking their bodies like this.” Oliver replied with a slight tint of anger in his voice. I can’t say I didn’t agree with him, I wanted to shoot the National Guard too when I saw them gun down that family. The bodies were stripped their magazines, side arms, and rifles. We approached the main halls of the mall that were littered with store’s some blocked by a fence, others filled with corpses and pools of dried blood. The sight wasn’t pretty, and bodies were piled in useless stores like a laundry mat and such. All with bullet holes in their heads. Some looked infected, others didn’t. Subtlety a song came to play over the intercom, after awhile I remembered the song, “Strangers in the Night” by Frank Sinatra. We looked around the mall, it definitely didn’t give us a good feeling. Slowly Diving Into Insanity We stepped out into the main hall of the mall, we looked around as the song subtly started playing. Oliver mumbled, “Someones here, and they’re in an administrative part of the building.” I nodded in agreement worried about what would happen next, my legs wanted to take off running out the door dragging Oliver with me, but my brain was curious. Curiosity killed the cat, but I don’t wanna die, not yet, not this way, but damn if we didn’t need the stuff in here. We took our walk slowly and steadily. We didn’t need to be jumped so we took our time slowly clearing the mall taking out any monstrosity nearby store by store, we didn’t loot it yet just in-case, we had to be sure. After clearing the stores we moved into the administrative part of the building, we began slowly clearing office, cubicle, and every other room. We came up to the door leading into the security intercoms room. “I’m gonna open the door, and I want you to check the left corner, and then I’ll check the left, got it?” Oliver said. I nodded, “Yeah, got it.” We busted through the door, I took my left corner pistol raised, he took the left shotgun raised. The room was.... Empty. How did the music come on? How was it turned on? Someone had to have turned it on, I don’t understand. Oliver looked around, and then at the console. There it said it, “Now Playing, Frank Sinatra - Strangers in the Night.” What the hell were the last words passing through my head as I fell unconscious due to the butt of a rifle hitting the back of my skull. I had a splitting head ache, my head hurt like hell. My eyes are blurry, and getting all watery. That blow to the head really must’ve fucked with me. I couldn’t see anything, and I couldn’t focus due to the pain. I tried to wipe my eyes, but my hands were tied. I looked around the room dazed at the hazy sunlight that passed through the foggy glass pane window. The smell of sawdust was in the air, and I could taste it. I was tied up in the construction part of the mall. The mall had been renovating for more stores for a while now. After my eyes had cleared I peered around, the sun was going down, the shutters were being shut closing up the main doors and windows. How long had I been out? I looked around the room searching for Oliver, he was gone, I didn’t see him. Was he the one who knocked me out? I sat here for thirty minutes trying to piece together what had happened. Was it other looters? Other survivors? The people who killed the soldiers? A thousand thoughts ran through my head, and piecing them together with the scene didn’t help my sanity either. An hour later a metal door opened, and out step a man draped in a military officer uniform with the sleeves rolled up dragging oliver by his t-shirt. Oliver had been stripped down to his pants and t-shirt. Oliver was completely limp, his face battered and bruised. I wanted to shout and scream, but anger filled my body instead. “What the fuck did you do!?” I shouted. “Calm down ya’ little boy scout, I didn’t hurt your fuck buddy here if thats what you’re asking.” I stared at the officer staring intently, his tag read “Major Cooper.” “What the hell do you want?” I asked getting more angry by the minute. “I wanna know what the hell you’re doing on my base in this warzone fuck nugget?” He said sternly kicking Oliver in the side. “YOU TELL ME WHAT I WANT TO KNOW AND I WON’T PULL EVERY GOD DAMN TEETH OUT OF BOTH OF YOUR FUCKING MOUTHS, AND SHOVE THEM UP YOUR GODDAMN ASSHOLE!” “We came here looking for supplies! We were hoping maybe there would be enough here after things settled down.” I yelled. “Thats more like it fuck face... Corporal Derrick and Specialist Stevens, come keep watch over our guests.” Two National Guard soldiers dressed in fatigues step in draped with an standard issue M4A1 battle rifle, and Beretta M9’s strapped to their thighs. One tied Oliver up to the post across from me, and returned to his post at the door. After a while Oliver came to, he coughed up blood on the floor in between us. “Je- Je- Jef-....” Oliver’s head rolled back, and his eyes rolled into the back of his head. Shit, shit, shit, hes going into shock now. “Hey, tweedle dee and tweedle dumb fuck! Hes going into shock, do something!” The Specialist walked over, his boots clacking the floor every step grabbed Oliver’s head, and pulled it straight to look at him. Oliver was convulsing at this point having a seizure. Oliver was my friend, and I could help him unless I could get free. I looked around for a sharp object to cut the bindings with. I found a rusty box cutter, and tried to get it with my foot stealthily. I wrangled my foot over, and began to drag it over. I drug it over to me, and kicked it towards my hands. I picked up the box cutter, and fooled around with it for a second trying to figure it out. The Specialist was still checking on Oliver as he was convulsing. The Corporal walked over towards Oliver peering down at him as the Specialist continued surveying him. I began to cut the ropes until I had sawn all the way through. I had free’d my hands, and looked around for another weapon. I found a screwdriver laying just a few feet away. I strafed over stealthily as they were busy with Oliver peering to be dying. I picked up the screwdriver, and held both weapons firmly in my hands. What were once used as tools would be the destruction of these two. I quickly ran over to the two stabbing the kneeled Specialist in the back of the neck with the screwdriver with a sickening crunch and squish sound getting it stuck. I then spun around to the Corporal swinging my box cutter coming close to cutting his throat open, but he leaned back fast enough to dodge my swing. He pushed me away making me stumble back. He fell into some boards leaned up against the wall covering him. I recovered quicker than him, and sprinted after with my box cutter in hand. I then jutted it into his throat a sickening lurching and the sound of him choking to death on his own blood. I then pulled up ripping a hole in his throat with a terrible ripping sound. I sat there holding it in making sure he died as he weakly grasped at my hands trying to pull the blade out. I let go of the blade, it fell into the dead soldiers lap. I then stumbled back towards Oliver, and collapsed in front of him. The adrenalin was now wearing off, I felt tired, weak, and shaky. I had just murdered two soldiers. Oliver sat there convulsing surely going to die. I looked around the room everything shaky and spinning. Soldier slumped over Oliver bleeding on him from the back of his neck. Oliver stopped convulsing, and sat there slumped over. I slowly faded in and out of consciousness. The fight had took a lot out of me. I knew they’d kill me on the spot if they found me in between two of their men dead. The Escape I faded back into consciousness, and looked around the room. I felt sick to my stomach, I probably killed two innocent souls just following orders. My heart should feel heavy, I should feel sad, but I didn’t. I just feel sick. I got up from the slump of dust I had just been laying in, and walked over to the Specialists corpse. I put my foot on his back, and grasped the screwdriver. I yanked hard, and pulled the screwdriver with a popping noise ringing out in the room. I flipped him over, and picked up his M4A1 and slung it around my shoulder. I removed his thigh holster, and attached the holster to my own thigh. I walked over to the other corpse, and grabbed his weapons. I then untied Oliver, and hoisted him under my shoulder dragging him along beside me. I wasn’t gonna let him die here, I couldn’t. Not here with this mad fuck. I opened the door, and dragged him outside into an administrative cubicle as we entered an office section. I layed him down in the cubicle, and shut the door behind us. I then peered up above the small half walls surrounding the cubicle. There were two guards standing up near a door that leads out into the main mall area. It was apparently obvious this section of the mall was low security, they must have not planned for us to escape. The two guards began talking about the disease, apparently they weren’t well debriefed, at least the two grunts weren’t. They started coming up with theories like, “What if this is all some government ploy, to test us n’ shit,” “You’re fucking dumb Alex, this shits obviously some powerful wrath of God, we fucked up obviously,” “Maybe, but what i-,” a large crash came from the room behind us. That soldier I stabbed in the neck must’ve got back up, I thought I had killed him? No time to think about that, the two guards are coming to check on the room. I ducked into the cubicle, and heard their footsteps get louder, they were approaching the room. I pulled Oliver and myself under the desk, we were well hidden enough at least. They knocked on the door, “Stevens, Derrick, you guys alright,” silence pursued their concern. After a minute they banged on the door louder, “Stevens, Derrick, say something, you’re freaking me out.” Their words fell on deaf ears, well maybe not deaf, but dead ears. After a minute you could hear another rustle, and then a sickening crunching and slurping sound. “The fuck is goi-,” they opened the door, and what they saw was a sickening picture, I saw it as well between their legs. The Corporal whose throat I had just gouged came back, and was feasting on his friends corpse who I had stabbed. He began feasting on his spinal cord around the ribs. The two soldiers ran into the room and raised their rifles. I got out from my hiding spot, and slammed the door behind them, then pushing a filing cabinet and a desk behind it barricading them in with it. The soldiers fired rounds, but they were muffled through the doors. The last thing I remember hearing was one of them screaming that they got bit. I dragged Oliver with me through the office and into the next room. It was completely abandoned. The only thing I wanted to do was get far away from this place, away from this fucking insanity called Earth now. The only thing I could think was, “Move, keep going, don’t stop or else you’re dead and so is your friend and everything you’ve done is in vain.” So thats what I did, I kept pushing myself past my limit, I wasn’t very physically fit, never a track star, but I pushed myself farther than I thought I could go. After sneaking past a hallway filled with two off duty Guardsmen we snuck into the parking garage. A noticeable rotting stench had return, the smell of decomposing bodies. I looked around, but all I could see were parked Humvees, no bodies or deads around. I peeked down into the second level of the parking garage, and thats when I saw it. Piles of bodies, after piles of bodies all men, women, and children. This image will stay with me for the rest of my life, it was a mass genocide, to prevent the infection they mass murdered hundreds of people. Some of them not even really dead, but returned because of the disease but stuck under the weight of the bodies, they wailed and flailed helplessly as their bodies were crushed under well, more bodies. I turned away, and started dragging Oliver quickly towards the exit, the gate was as you can tell shut, but not locked, manually at least. I eventually kicked in the door to the guard room for the gate, the computers were on due to the emergency power. I signed into the computer with my bosses access, I knew his information because he had it written on a notepad in his office, he was a forgetful bastard, but now I could thank him for something. I raised the gate, and began dragging Oliver out into the main parking lot. As I drug him up the sloped paved way I heard shouting coming from the garage, “Those fuckers went this way!” I hurried my dragging, and made it to my GMC. Luckily it was untouched, everything still inside. Due to it just being car keys they didn’t remove them from me when they searched us, I guess they never planned ahead that far. I loaded Oliver into the back seat, after getting him settled I saw him cough up blood, it was dark red, thats a good sign right, at least he’s still living? As I put the SUV in drive I saw in the rearview mirror the soldiers lining up with their M4s. I saw Major Cooper standing to the side of the Squad, and the last thing I remember hearing as I pulled away was, “Fire.” The End I woke up in a daze, and halfway out of my car. Apparently as I drove away as the guards fired I swerved into a ditch into the road. They shot my back left tire out which caused me to spin out. I peaked over the embankment to look out, the soldiers were sending a four man fire team to check the crash site. I spun around and slid down the hill blood trickling down my forehead, I must’ve smashed my head into the steering wheel. I pulled open the drivers door of my GMC and grabbed one of the M4A1 carbines out of the floorboard. I whipped back around just in time to catch one of the National Guard’s men peering at the crash site, I raised my rifle, and popped off two shots. The first shot skimmed his head taking his left earlobe off with a chunk of neck as well. The second pierced through his eye creating a horrid spluttering sound as it soared through his skull emitting a pink mist at the back of his skull. I heard the shuffle of boats begin to climb down the embankment behind me. I turned around just in time to catch another one of them stumbling down, and fire again two more shots. The first missed completely, the second hitting his right hand taking off his pointer and middle finger completely rendering his trigger hand useless. He fell onto the ground with a blood curdling scream, blood squirting out of his hand keeping pace with his elevated heart rate. A cracking shot zooms by my head causing me to slam into the truck for cover. Several more shots zoom inches above my head. If I attempt to move I’m dead, if I stay, I’m dead. I peer into my cracked side mirror, and get a glimpse of my attackers. The other two National Guard’s men are firing from the road at me and the corpse of my car. I hold my rifle through the drivers window and fire blindly through at them. The shots miss by miles, but at least it gives me an opportunity to move. I rush out from behind my SUV, and sprint to a nearby tree thick enough to hide my body. The National Guard’s men peer back at the crash site, and continue firing. I need to escape this place, but I left Oliver in the back seats. I couldn’t leave Oliver behind, not after I had rescued him, and he could possibly be alive. I pop from around the tree, and fire concentrated shots at the soldiers. One round hits one of the soldiers in the neck tearing through artery, esophagus, and trachea causing him to go down choking as blood fills his lungs. The other soldier whips around firing on me. I take cover behind the tree, but a bullet penetrates and strikes my thigh. My eyes roll into the back of my head temporarily. The pain is unbearable, I peer down at my wound, and blood begins to soak into my jeans. I slide down with my back against the tree, and breathe slowly. I begin to count to ten, “Ten, nine, eight-” the shots ringing around me become louder, “seven, six, five-” the pain seeps back into my mind, “four, three, two-” I have to move, and take him out, “one.” I stumble out from behind the tree firing at the soldier at the top of the road, I begin to see more of them rush out to the site, I have to act quickly. I keep firing as I move, and score a lucky shot into the soldiers knee. He falls over in a heap attempting to fire at me, but the bullet is lodged causing too much pain for him to continue. I drag my left leg, and reach the SUV. I open the back door, and see Oliver rolled over into the floorboard his breathing slow, but still there at least. I grab his arm, and drag him out of the car and onto the dirt. I lift his arm around my shoulders, and hoist him up. My left leg screams in pain with the bullet wound, but I press on dragging Oliver with me. We dive into the trees moving at a moderate pace, but with all things considered the only thing preventing us from dying was the thick foliage that shielded us from the soldiers. I drug Oliver out through the woods for a while not stopping for the fear of getting caught. We eventually reached another road which led up to a small grouping of three houses. I dragged me and Oliver to a white house by itself on one of the road sides. I kicked in a window next to the door, and waited, listening for anything inside. Once I deemed it clear, I reached in and unlocked the door. I dragged Oliver into the house, and shut the door locking it back. I began to stumble around the house checking the rooms. The house was devoid of life, but carried a few supplies that could keep us here enough to get things together. It was a small little old rancher house, two bathrooms, three bedrooms, one kitchen, one living room, and luckily a basement and attic. I carried Oliver into the basement and laid him down. I then dragged two mattresses from the bedrooms into the basement. The pain resurfaced in my leg causing me to fall down the stairs while carrying the mattresses. I laid there for what seemed to be an eternity passed out, an assault rifle dangling from a chest, a bullet wound in the thigh, and a mattress on my back. What happened to me, and more importantly what the hell had happened to the world? (I decided to write a little bit of fan fiction about Northway, and how it got the way it was. I was bored, and stayed up all night so I figured I'd do something productive. I've practically already wrote four pages and a half of work on this, and I'm hoping its not too bad.)