Read Dead Life (Book 3) Online

Authors: D. Harrison Schleicher

Tags: #zombies

Dead Life (Book 3) (5 page)

BOOK: Dead Life (Book 3)
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              The work went fast but there was a lot of fence to be run. Towers were being hastily erected between the lines of fence. Each tower had a machine gun turret placed on top. Work that normally would have taken weeks to complete was being finished in a day. Flights from the airfield were departing and arriving the entire time. National Guard units were being deployed from A.P. Hill to all parts of the nation. Men and women with little or no training were being called on to defend their country from the impending infestation. The men working with me were nervous. I could see it in their eyes. Word was slowly leaking out as to exactly what we were facing and most of the soldiers that were remaining at A.P. Hill were glad to be here. They assumed that a military base would be safe during an attack. Which was probably true. As long as the fences held.

              Work had progressed swiftly and by night fall all that remained was for the gates to be installed. The Colonel sent a driver to take me to Headquarters. I was glad to get away for a while and hoped I would find an opportunity to call Dad later that night. The driver dropped me off and said he would be waiting when I was done. I went in and found the General and Colonel seated together in a conference room at a large round table. I was reminded of a scene from the movie “Dr. Strangelove.” High ranking officials from all branches of the military were seated around the table. Several monitors were placed around the table and a film crew was there also. It looked like we would be participating in a video conference. General Simmons caught my eye and motioned me over to him.

              “We assume, due to your work at the NSA, that you have somewhat of a grasp as to the situation,” the General said.

              “That's correct sir.”

              “When the conference starts we'll be clearing the room. You and the camera crew will be the only non-participants in attendance. Your job will be to hand out the information packets. I also want you to make sure everyone has whatever they need during the conference. You already know most of the story. If you're going to be my aide it's time you got the whole story.”

              “Yes sir.” Great, now I was the General's personal man servant. The main screen facing General Simmons came on-line and then the rest of the monitors came on. The face of the Secretary of Defense  came into view.

              “Gentlemen, let's get right to it.” The Secretary hesitated to let the room clear. “The infection has made the United States. Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, Boston, and Atlanta have all reported cases of the virus. The major airports in all five cities have fallen to the infection. The outbreak is spreading to the streets. Hospitals in these cities are overwhelmed with casualties.”

              “It is almost certain the virus has spread from these five cities to other locations in the U.S. We shouldn't have brought those diplomats back from Europe. For the past three days we've screened every passenger entering the U.S. Somehow someone decided we didn't want to offend our foreign diplomats. So we didn't screen the passengers on those flights. That's how the virus got into the country.”

              “Experts say it was inevitable. No matter what we did the virus would make it's way into our country. We were hoping for a few more days to prepare. All essential White House staff including the President and Vice-President have been moved to an aircraft carrier off the coast of Washington D.C. Our government will be run from there. As you know, your staff from the Pentagon will be arriving shortly to your location. A defense plan has been agreed upon. The specifics of which you have there.” The General nodded to me and I began handing out the packets. “Units from all branches of the service are being deployed to select cities across the country as we speak. Safe zones will be established and troops will be taking to the streets to defend our citizens.”

              “Gentlemen, now is the time for all branches of the armed forces of the United States military to stand together. There is a part for all of us in these trying times. We can and we will work together to preserve this great nation. Gentlemen, good night.”

              With that the screen went blank. I wondered how many bases around the country had watched the same broadcast.

              “Captain I want you to attend to refreshments for everyone at the table. Then I want you to take the camera crew and go. Get some rest. Your day is going to start early. Our guests from the Pentagon will be arriving tomorrow.”

              “Yes sir.  I'll make sure everyone has what they need.” I got everyone fresh drinks and placed a tray of sandwiches out for them. I hoped no one saw me take one of the information packets when I left.

              The Colonel's driver was waiting for me when I got outside the building. He took me to the barracks where the rest of my unit was billeted. I went to my room and got the sat phone from my rucksack. It was going to be risky but I was going to have to call my dad from the base. I went outside the barracks and called Dad. There wasn't much to add to what I'd already told him. Most important  was that the virus was already in the country. I told him some of what was going on in India and advised him again to get out of the city. I was glad to hear Dad had found someone to help him. The guy was ex-military and already knew what was going on. I felt better about Dad's chances of survival. We said our good-byes and I went back to my room.

              Before going to bed, I read the information pack from the meeting. I should have read it before I'd called Dad.






Chapter 7


              Les had almost made it all the way home in the plane he'd “borrowed” from a small airport near Columbia.  We were only a few miles from his house so Al put him on the radio and he told us his story on the way there.  His daughter, Connie, was a freshman at the University of Missouri in Columbia.  Les owned his own crop dusting business, worked from home, and had a wife and another younger daughter.  On the first day of the outbreak, Les realized what was happening and boarded up the lower level of the house.  He then headed to Columbia to get Connie.  Getting there wasn't a problem.  The roads had been clear the first day of the outbreak.  The problems began when he got to the college. 

              Being a freshman, Connie lived in the dorms on campus.  The infection had spread quickly through the college.  All these kids living close together in the dorms made a perfect breeding ground for the virus.  Les had told Connie to lock herself in her room and not let anybody in for any reason.  The trip to the university had taken less than an hour.  When Les got there, things had been eerily quiet.  He went straight to Connie's dorm.  The building appeared to be empty when he went in.  The normally busy foyer area was quiet.  Connie was on the second floor so Les took the stairs and went straight to her room.

              Les knocked on her door and called out to Connie.  After a few seconds hesitation, Connie opened the door and let him in.  She was in tears.  Earlier, people had been at the door trying to get in and fortunately had moved on when she remained quiet and not gone to the door.  Les had Connie gather a few of her belongings and headed out.  In the hall, they encountered their first zombie.  It was one of the girls living in the dorm.

              Les was a big man and was able to keep the much smaller girl from injuring them.  He finally had to hit her over the head with the pistol he had brought along.  Les told Connie to stay calm and quiet as they crept down the stairs.  When they got to the lobby, they found several zombies wandering around.  They tried to sneak out of the lobby but were spotted by the zombies.  Les was forced to shoot their way out of the building.  His gun emptied just as they'd made it to the door and they were able to make it outside.

              When they got out of the dorm, Les' truck was surrounded by zombies.  They were probably attracted by the sounds the engine made as it cooled down.  All the extra ammunition for the gun was in the truck so they were stuck.  They were going to have to make it out on foot.  Les and Connie had spent the last several days hiding from zombies and trying to find a way out of the city.  They were eventually able to make their way to a small landing field Les knew of, steal a plane, and make their way home.  The plane they took was low on fuel but Les was hopeful it had enough to get them home.  Once in the air, he had been able to reach his wife on the radio and let her know they were safe.  That was when he found out his home was surrounded.  Five minutes before he'd run out of fuel, Les lost contact with his wife.

              They'd been able to set the plane down safely on the highway and Les had barely been able to bring the plane to a stop before hitting the Greyhound bus blocking the road.  When they came to a stop, the bus emptied of zombies.  They'd been trapped in the plane for about fifteen minutes when we showed up.

              We were on a gravel road headed to Les' house when we spotted the first zombie.  There was a steady stream of them headed down the road towards the house.  Cindy was shooting out the window at the ones Al wasn't able to run down.  Gina joined her and we were able to kill every zombie on the road.  We got to where we could see the house.  There were dozens of zombies in the yard and the front door was open.  We could see Les' wife on the second story roof with their other daughter.  She had a long pole in her hands and was pushing zombies off the roof as they came out the window beside them.  They would tumble down the roof, fall into the yard, and either get back up and head back in or crawl to the door to try to make it back onto the roof.  We got out of the vehicles and stood surveying the situation.

              “Rick, I want you to stay here with Connie and watch the road.”  Al said.  “Cindy, you and Gina  get shotguns and pistols and clear the zombies from outside.  Steve, you and Les come with me.  We'll clear the house and get them off the roof.  Rick, make sure the safety is off and try not to shoot yourself.”

              I could hear Rick mumble something to himself but I don't think Al heard him.  I was pretty sure I heard “fuck off” in there somewhere.  Al fixed Les up with a 9mm.  I had my sword and two 9s on my waist.  Al had his pistol and carried a sawed off shotgun.  Al got Connie a shotgun and told her to wait at the truck with Rick.  We started for the house making as much noise as possible to draw the zombies to us and away from the house.  Al opened fire first. 

              “Girls, go to the right.  Shoot any that come your way.  Steve, Les, we're going straight for the door.”  Al shouted.

              It turned out Les was a pretty good shot.  He concentrated on the zombies to our left.  Al and I went straight at them.  Al was so fast, I was hardly able to get a shot off before he would drop the ones coming right at me.  Just as I got to the porch, a zombie fell to the ground right in front of me.  I shot it in the head and looked up to the roof.  Les' wife waved down to me and shrugged her shoulders.  There were several zombies trying to crawl onto the porch.  Having broken their legs falling from the roof, they still tried to get to the prize waiting inside.  I shot all five of them and went onto the porch.  The smell coming from the zombies was horrible.  Their rotted flesh was crawling with maggots.  Al and Les joined me on the porch and we started in.

              “Les, go left.  Steve, take the right.”

              Les went in to the left and I started to the right.  We both ejected our magazines and slapped in new ones.  The stairway was about ten feet in and right in front of us.  A zombie was crawling up the steps.  He was about half way up and blocking the progress of the five behind him.  One stepped on its back and started climbing over.  Al shot it in the head.  “No butting in line.”  He said.  The zombie fell back into the other four and they all tumbled down the steps.  Al walked up to the tangled bodies and shot them all.

              “Steve, clear the ground floor.  Les, come with me.  We're going up.” 

              Al climbed over the dead bodies lying at the base of the steps and started up.  He shot the one crawling on the stairs and climbed over.  Les was right behind him.  I looked around the room.  It looked to be clear.  There was a hallway after the stairs so I started down.  There was a door to my left and one on the right.  The door to the left was closed so I went to the one on the right.  It was a bedroom.  I eased my way in and looked around.  Someone was standing at the window looking out into the yard.  I cleared my throat to get his attention and the zombie looked back over his shoulder and growled at me.  Before he could turn to come at me, I shot him in the head.  Blood, bone, and brains splattered the wall behind it.

              The rest of the room was clear so I went back into the hallway.  I opened the closed door and looked in.  It was the bathroom.  There was a zombie in there.  He was sitting on the toilet.  It was one of the strangest things I had ever seen.  The lid was down, his pants were up, and he was just sitting there.  “I'm sorry.”  I said.  “I didn't know this bathroom was occupied.”  Then I shot him in the head, closed the door, and headed down the hallway.  The kitchen was in front of me.  A zombie stood at the refrigerator looking at the closed door.  He heard me come in, turned, and came at me.   I holstered my pistol, drew my sword, and stabbed him through the eye.  There was a doorway leading off the kitchen that led to the dining room.  Sitting at the dining room table was a zombie.  Man, these zombies were sure doing civilized things.  His back was to me and he didn't hear me come up behind him.  I pulled the sword back and brought it down on the top of his head.  I cleaved his head in two and he dropped to the ground beside the chair.

BOOK: Dead Life (Book 3)
3.41Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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