Apocalypse Empire (Book 1): Apocalypse Origins (2 page)

BOOK: Apocalypse Empire (Book 1): Apocalypse Origins
11.75Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

And Michael began stirring again. Greg shook his head. How
was this possible? He delivered a solid kick to Michael's head just as he made
it to all fours. The blow sent him back down but he still wasn't out.

"Here," Carol said.

Greg turned to Carol who was holding the butcher knife they
kept in the break room.

"I don't think he's gonna stop," she
said fearfully.

Greg nodded. Already Michael was coming around. There was
only one way to finish this. He wouldn't stop until one of them was dead. Greg
took the knife from Carol and plunged it into Michael's throat.

Greg washed his hands again. This was the fourth time but he
still saw traces of blood. He looked in the mirror and saw the same face he
viewed every day. Shouldn't there be some sign of his ordeal? He'd just killed
a man. Yes, it was self-defense but surely there should be some sign of

He wasn't upset. In fact, he felt...satisfaction. Yes, that
was it. Satisfaction that he had kept Carol and himself safe. If he was upset
at all it was more because he wasn't bothered. Greg finished washing his
hands and sighed. He'd have to deal with his feelings later. He left the
bathroom and saw Carol sitting at her desk. She shook her head.

"Can't get through," she said.

Greg sighed. "I guess we keep trying." Greg wasn't
really worried about getting in trouble. This was clearly self-defense. Maybe
he'd feel differently if Carol hadn't been there. 

Greg and Carol looked towards the front of the office as
someone started pounding on the door. They went to investigate and saw a middle
aged man in a disheveled suit beating on their glass door. He looked
terrified and was breathing heavily as if he had been running from something.
He was clearly in trouble.

"We're closed for the day," Greg said. 

"Please," the man begged, "you have to help
me. Rick went crazy and started attacking people. Then they got up and starting
going after people too!"

That sounded just like what had happened with Mr. Ramsey.
Was this the sickness they were talking about on the news? Did it make people
aggressive? He said the people attacked got back up. Did he know how it spread?
"Alright," Greg said, "I'll let you in." Greg spied
movement down the hallway and saw a figure wandering around. It noticed the
man's frantic beating of the door and let out a piercing howl.

The man looked behind him and screamed. "It's one of
them! You gotta let me in!"

"You have to move," Greg said. "The door
opens out." The creature started sprinting towards them, spittle flying
from its mouth.  

The man nodded quickly and stepped back. Greg unlocked the
door and shoved it open. Grabbing the man by his jacket, he hurriedly pulled
him into the room. He turned towards the door but Carol was already pulling it
shut. She locked the door and stepped back just as the creature ran full speed
into the door. There was a loud thump and the glass in the door shook, but

Carol dropped the blind down and moved away from the door.
She flinched as the infected hit the door again.

"Greg, I don't know if the door is going to hold,"
she said nervously.

"Alright. I'll get some furniture in front of it."
He left the man who was currently on the floor curled up in the fetal position.
The occasional whimper could be heard from him.

There were two couches in their waiting area. The longer one
could hold three or four while the second one was basically a love seat. Greg
wasn't sure how to go about this. Their office door opened outward, so blocking
the door wouldn't work.

He maneuvered the long couch in front of the door and placed
the shorter one on top of that, forming a t shape. They had to get out of here.
The furniture would only slow that thing down for a few seconds at best. Greg
walked over to the window and looked outside. The fire escape! He opened the
window to get a closer look and frowned when he saw its condition.

It was rusted all over. The bolts that attached it to the
building looked as if they were ready to crumble to dust at the slightest
breeze but it was the only way out if he didn't want to deal with that thing at
the door. Greg remembered what the man had said about the people who had
gotten attacked. He didn't know how many of those creatures were running around
in the building. The fire escape was the best option. Another thump reminded
him he only had a few moments to figure this out.

He needed a weapon though. His eyes fell on Mr. Ramsey's
body that they had covered with a table cloth. The knife was still over there.
Greg walked over and pulled the sheet back. He grabbed the knife and spent a
few moments wiping it clean on the table cloth then put it into his belt.
"Carol," he said, "We need to take the fire escape."

The sound of breaking glass drew his attention and Greg
watched as the love seat was shoved to the floor. To his surprise, there were
three of those things there. All the noise must have drawn their attention.
Right now they were all trying to get through the door at once but Greg was
sure they'd figure it out soon enough. "Go, Carol!"

Carol ran for the window and quickly made her way outside.
Greg heard the fire escape groan at the weight but it held. Hopefully it would
hold up long enough for them all to get down. The creatures managed to sort
themselves out and began scrambling over the couch, one by one. Greg ran
forward and planted a kick in the first one's chest went sent it crashing into
its friends. That bought him a few seconds to run to the window where the man
they'd let in was making his way out onto the fire escape.

He climbed through the window and started making his way
down. Growls behind him told him the creatures were close on his heels. He made
it down the first set of stairs when the fire escape started shaking. Looking
up, he saw the creatures making their way outside. He heard the screech of
metal and hoped the fire escape would last just a few more minutes. He took
off, taking the stairs three at a time. He thought about jumping all the way
down a flight but didn't want to fall with those creatures close behind.

The fire escape groaned again and began pulling away from
the building. It wasn't gonna hold! Greg saw that he'd made to the second floor
and considered going through the window but the fire escape pulled free with a
final screech before he could act on it. There was nothing he could do but hold
on. He closed his eyes and held on tight. This was going to hurt. There was
a sensation of free fall and Greg heard screaming and roaring but didn't know
who it was. There was a loud crash that nearly shook Greg loose but he managed
to hold on. Opening his eyes he saw that he wasn't on the ground.

The top of the fire escape had hit the building next door.
It was a good thing space was so hard to come by in the city. If the buildings
had been further apart, the fire escape would have crashed to the ground. He
wasn't sure if he'd be able to walk away from that. He looked up and only saw
one creature remaining. The roaring must have been the others falling from the
crash. Who made that scream then? Was Carol okay?

"Carol?" He looked down but couldn't see much of
the lower area of the fire escape.


"I'm okay," came her reply, "just a bit

"Good," Greg said as he sighed in relief.
"What happened? I heard a scream."

"That was the other guy. He fell when we crashed
against the other building."

Greg shook his head. That was a shame. To survive the horror
in the building only to fall...

Movement at the end of the alley caught his eye. Two of
those things were making their way towards them. The crash must have drawn
their attention. Screaming for Carol probably hadn't helped either.

"Carol," he began calmly, "you need to make
your way back to top me.

"Alright. I'm on my way."

Good Greg thought. She didn't waste time asking why. He
looked up. With those creatures down below their best bet was to try and get
into the neighboring building. He'd just have to deal with the one creature
left up top. He reached for the knife and was glad to feel the handle. He
hadn't lost it.

He started making his way up. He couldn't use the stairs
with the fire escape leaning as it was. He had to use the railing as a make
shift stair. He had to be careful. The gap in the railing was large enough that
a misstep would see him joining that other man on the ground. Greg approached
the creature and it immediately roared and lunged towards him. Unfortunately,
it didn't have the wherewithal to pay attention to its footing and
one leg fell through the gap in the railing. Greg quickly took advantage and
stabbed the creature in the neck. He withdrew the knife and used a foot to send
the creature crashing to the ground below. He continued up the fire escape
until he reached a window. It was locked so he launched a series of kicks to
break the glass, careful not to cut himself. Once it broke, he used the knife
to clear the remaining glass from the frame and slipped inside.

He found himself in a storage room. There were various
office supplies arranged on the shelves. Noise from outside alerted him to
Carol's approach and he turned to the window and saw she had reached the end of
the fire escape. He held out his hand and helped her navigate through the
window. Screams from bellow reached their ears. Carol shook and Greg took
her in his arms. The two creatures must have found the man from the office.
Shame that he survived that fall only to be attacked by those things. Stepping
back he looked at Carol.

"You okay?" he asked.

"Yea, I'm fine now that I'm out of that
deathtrap." She sighed and used an arm to wipe sweat from her eyes.

"Good. Sorry I didn't lend a hand. Had to deal with
another one of those things so we could get in here."

"That's fine. Look, I know I don't have a chance of
surviving this craziness without you but I'm not completely helpless. I can
keep up."

"I'm not complaining," he said shaking his head,
"and I don't think you're helpless."

Carol smiled. Carol looked around the room. "So what's
next? How are we gonna get out of here?"

"First, I want to see if there's anything we can use in
here. Anything we can use as a weapon. All I've got is this knife."

Carol nodded and began looking at the shelves. There didn't
appear to be much that would be of use. She saw pens, paper, staples, binder
clips and so on. She was just about to give up when she noticed a mop sitting
in the corner.

"How about that mop?" she asked. "It's not
much but better than nothing maybe."

Greg walked over and looked at the mop. She was right. It
wasn't much at all but they didn't really have anything else at hand. He
supposed he could take that mop part off, that'd leave him with a staff of
sorts. The mop was really fragile though, it wasn't designed to be used as
weapon. Maybe he could get a few hits out of it before it broke.

"It'll have to do," he said as he began removing
the mop head. He had a sudden inspiration. The mop was nearly useless as a
bludgeoning tool, but maybe he could make a serviceable spear out of it.
"See if you can find some duct tape or something like that he said. I'll
try and make a spear."

"Okay," Carol replied. A few minutes later she
found the desired item hiding at the bottom of a shelf. "Found

Greg took the knife and held the handle to end of the stick.
"Take the tape and wrap it around. Make sure you get it really

Carol nodded and set to work. "How much tape should I

"A lot. I don't want to lose the knife when I use

"Alright, how's that?"

Greg tested the knife and it seemed pretty sturdy. It
wouldn't last indefinitely, but it would give him some reach if he had to face
any more of those things.

"Not bad," he said. "Alright, time to get out
of here. Stay close to me alright?"

Carol nodded. "I'll be right behind you."

Greg nodded and moved over to the door. He wasn't sure if
any of those things were loose in this building so he turned the handle as
quietly as he could and cracked the door. He took a moment to listen. He
couldn't hear anything. Maybe no one was in the building. Only one way to find
out though he supposed. Greg quietly opened the door and stepped out into
the hallway. It was carpeted so that would muffle their footsteps. If anyone
was hear they shouldn't be able to hear them coming. The closet they were in
was situated at the end of a hallway. They could only go to the right. He
looked back into the closet and motioned for Carol to follow him.

He quietly made his way down the hallway, spear at the
ready. The hallway opened up into a larger room. There were a number of
cubicles which fortunately, only came up to his chest. He could easily see that
the room was empty. Halfway down one wall Greg could see an elevator. Greg's
hand was halfway to the button when Carol stopped him.

"Wait," she whispered.

Greg looked at her. "What's wrong?" he whispered

"What if one of those things is downstairs?"

Greg thought for a moment. She was right. If one of those
things was downstairs it might be on them before they could get the doors
closed again.

"You're right," he responded, "let's look for
the stairs."

Crossing the room brought them to another hallway. Looking
to his right, Greg saw several doors in that direction. Probably offices. To
his left, he saw their goal. He approached the steel door and opened it as
quietly as he could. He checked behind to make sure Carol was still with him,
at her nod he started down the stairs. Greg paused at the first floor
landing. It was probably fine but he didn't want to be surprised. He still
couldn't hear anything though. Maybe the building was empty after all. He
continued down the stairs and paused when he reached the door. Opening the door
would reveal his position so he placed his ear to it and listened. Still
nothing. He quietly turned the handle and opened the door.

BOOK: Apocalypse Empire (Book 1): Apocalypse Origins
11.75Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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