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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 10:58 pm 
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This forum has been so busy lately that I've missed half the threads I've been following. i just get overwhelmed by the 5-8 pages of updates daily.

Glad to see the story is still around even if one of our protagonists might not be.

p.s. Thank you for killing that rancid bitch!!

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If you guys bring an old t-shirt or two each it would also be beneficial (maybe something you don't mind being perforated with bullets and then thrown out?)

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.25 ACP. It took down Zombie Reaper and he's a bad a** motherf****r


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 12:31 am 
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I stand by my original post - bring on the 3some! :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 4:27 am 
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Wait, what?

2 updates? With yet another cliffhanger ending? GAAH!!!

More please?

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I was saving that technique for after I win the lottery and have purchased my yak. I will saddle him and ride him drunk all across the property with spear and shield terrorizing the local squirrels and running trespassers off the land !


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 6:39 pm 
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The road was long and straight. Even with the falling snow they could see the cluster of vehicles in the middle of the roadway with people seeming to be rushing around them, their motions erratic and jerking when seen through the falling snow. There were figures lying on the ground, and one of the vehicles puffed smoke from under the hood, making a thick black cloud that seemed to hang over the area. Even though they were still more than half a mile away, Jesse started telling everyone to get ready to bailout. They could all see the situation ahead was dire, and needed little encouragement; the tension in the air was thick and close. The radio started crackling with panicked voices as they got closer. The voice kept calling for a “dust off” which Jesse knew from his own military days meant there were wounded on the ground and they were probably hit hard. He wondered just what had happened in the span of time between stopping for gas and his arrival. He hoped that one of the people had not gotten bitten and the aftermath was now running around and infecting the remnants of the party.

Grasping his AR, Jesse felt that old familiar sensation of getting ready ride into battle. He had been in Desert Storm and that other debacle in Africa, the feeling of impending combat was one he liked and sometimes missed. He felt himself grow calm; knowing that he had a job to do and people to help made him grin. It must have been a frightening grin since one of the Highlanders saw the expression on his face and after a shocked look, glanced away. The Hummer roared closer and Jesse put his hand on the door latch.

“Get ready to roll. We’ve got people down and they need our help.”

One of the Highlanders slapped the seat and pointed out the windshield. “What the fuck’s that?”

Jesse peered where the woman had pointed. There was a large box truck rolling through the snow toward them to the area where the other vehicles were sitting. He could just make out a small car in front of the truck, both had been painted garish colors and Jesse knew by the paint scheme that they were not a part of the Lodge or Emma’s crew. None of the vehicles that had been sent out looked anything like those that were plowing through the deepening snow at that moment. Jesse surmised that someone was using the tire tracks left by the convoy to track them to the Lodge. A convoy of their size would be a gold mine to someone who were running out of supplies as they were. It was a good thing that the convoy was now at the Lodge and under the protective guns of those living there. He hoped that by now the vehicles had all been unloaded and were now parked in the appropriate spots. He peered at the two vehicles, trying to see them as well as he could through the snow. He could discern nothing from the nearly frontal angle presented. They might not be hostile, but they had to be open for all possibilities. As they closed the distance, in the rear of the hummer, the woman began to curse a low stream as they got closer to the vehicles where everyone was now looking for cover. Jesse asked her what her problem was.

“Those fuckin’ vans? Those are the fuckin’ ones that came up on us at the granary.”

“You sure?” demanded Jesse.

“Fuckin’ right I’m sure,” she spat. “I was in the fuckin’ tail guard there and I recognize them. It was that fuckin’ whore that tried to kill all them people at her house that we got last fuckin’ time out.”

Marshall, recalled Jesse. He wondered what had happened to them. Jesse remembered that she and her husband had tried to kill off Cole, or had talked about it. “That must mean they got jumped when they stopped to gas up the last van. Get ready for a fight, people.”

“Fuckin’ was born ready,” muttered the woman. Jesse gave her a quick glance. Under all the coverings to stay warm she might have been cute, she was defiantly young, and with her blue-blue eyes hard under unruly bangs, it was almost hard to take her cursing seriously. He bit back a laugh and nodded back out the window as the Hummer came to a sliding stop next to the Hummer of Emma’s.

“Those other vehicles,” said Jesse, “they are to be considered hostile until proven otherwise. If they make a fuckin’ stupid move, don’t stop until they no longer move, got it?”

The response was a hearty yes.

The HumVee’s came to a violent stop and the people in them all were in the snow with rifles ready even as the tires bit into the snow covered road and came to a standstill. Jesse felt the colder air bite his lungs as he hit the roadway, his rifle up and pointing at the shape that appeared in front of him. It was one of the Highlanders.

“We’ve got three down, and they need to be stabilized before we can move them!” She shouted.

“Show me,“ growled Jesse, fully aware that they needed to deal with the new problem of the other vehicles, but wanting to be sure that the people were savable before they simply stopped in the middle of the road to try and rescue people who were not going to live anyway. She led him over to where there were three people laying the lee of one of the vehicles. Emma was there as well, knelt between two of them while the Highland medic worked furiously on one of the people, trauma dressings and packaging lay around him on the snow, as he looked for a vein to start an IV. One of the people already had an IV started and someone else was holding the IV bag against their chest under their coat to keep the fluid from being too cold and lowering body temperature in addition to fighting the wounds they had received.

Emma glanced up at Jesse’s arrival. He could see that she was fighting tears and the set of her jaw told him if one more thing went wrong, she was going to loss control. “It’s Cole and Owen both. That woman, Marshall’s wife, she shot them. They shot them, I shot her.”

Jesse nodded as another ran up to them.

“Those other fuckin’ vehicles have stopped.” It was the girl from the HumVee.

“What other vehicles, Tess?” asked Emma.

“Fuckin’ new comers, Boss,” informed Tess. Jesse was almost surprised when Emma rolled her eyes at Tess. He had to admit, Emma knew when it was time to bee Emma, and when it was time to be The Boss.

“You know, I liked you better when you weren’t trying to swear every third word--,”

“Sorry, Boss,” muttered Tess.

“Give me more information, please?” she asked even as she helped to steady Owen’s arm for the tape to keep the IV from pulling out.

“Two vehicles painted up like fuckin’, sorry Boss, like circus trucks.”

“And?”

“And that’s all--,” admitted Tess.

Grabbing Tess by the arm, Jesse nodded at the downed men. “I got this; you get them stable for movin’.”

He herded Tess toward the new comers, who were just starting to disembark from their rides. Jesse hurriedly gathered up more shooters as he jogged through the snow at them. The van that had been smoking was now showing the bright color of flame against the snow and the smell of the burning hoses and wires was strong in the air. The thick smoke drifted out into the field, marking their location to whomever might be watching or following. Jesse knew they had to get this over with and be gone soon, or they might have more visitors. He was glad for the snow in one way; at least it was starting to cover their tracks, but the burning van was so close to the lodge he was afraid if there were more people following the tracks, the tell tale wreckage would lead the people to the logical conclusion of the Lodge, if they knew the area at all. He was glad that when they first took over the place they had removed all the signage that directed people to the resort.

Once they cleared the wreckage, they formed up a skirmish line to block the injured from the new comers, and the people from the truck slowly raised their hands. Three of the Highlanders were already covering the car with one of the Hummers and the .50 caliber on the turret as backup. Jesse took stock of what he could see, taking in their clothing and the paint job on the truck, which was a rather large box truck painted red with a mural on the side, It had obviously been done after the fall of civilization; the words were uneven and the mural’s characters were oddly sized. It had a big moon with a happy face on it, a cow was jumping over the happy moon and there was cat dressed in boots with a large hat on playing a fiddle while a dish and a spoon danced in front of the cat. The legend painted above the mural bore the words; “HEART OF THE MOON”. In smaller letters it said “Irish Punk and Folk Stories Within”. The people who came out of the truck looked like they had just stepped out of a renaissance festival. They wore leather leggings, tunics, shawls, and God Forbid, kilts. Jesse felt himself groan at the sight of the men in kilts.

He pointed his rifle at the man who seemed to be staring at them with equal curiosity. The man raised his hands higher than they already were and stuttered; “Dude, we’re with the band, man.”

“What?” Jesse heard himself ask.

A thumb was pointed at the truck without lowering the arm. “The band, Man; The Heart of the Moon. We’re like here to play for you.”

He could find nothing to say really, other than, “Are ya shittin’ me?”

“No, dude. Not at all.”

“Tess,” snapped Jesse. “Get these fuckers patted down--.”

“Whoa, we’re none violent for the most part,” protested the speaker. “And we’ve got a doctor--.”

Stopping Tess from roughly grabbing the man, Jesse had him repeat what he had said.

“Yeah, man, like our bass player is a doctor, for real.”

“Where is this doctor?” Jesse shook his head as the man started to answer. “Forget it, get him.”

The man made a motion to put down his hands, Jesse nodded. He did so as did the rest of the people who were standing under the guns of the Highlanders. They all looked to be slightly scared at the reception they were getting and probably having second thoughts. The speaker disappeared in to the cab of the truck for a long moment while they waited in the cold, wondering if he were going to come out shooting or with the fabled doctor. He returned with a man who looked like anything a doctor; a tall man wearing a pair of skin tight leather pants, a heavy fleece shirt under an oversized leather vest. He was carrying a large backpack that reminded Jesse of the field surgical kits he had seen in the military, only this one was bright orange with a white cross on it.

“Where are the patients?” he inquired in a voice that was deep and gravelly, more like a bikers than a doctors, Jesse thought. Jesse directed Tess to take him over to Emma and the rest. He himself was going to try and get more information from the “band”.

He got the attention of the speaker again. “You in charge?”

“No, dude, I’m like just the rhythm guitarist. Shannon’s in charge.”

“Jesus Christ,” growled Jesse. “Don’t fuckin’ make me pull it out of ya, where the fuck’s Shannon?”

He thumbed another motion at the car where several of the Highlanders were pointing rifles at the occupants to keep them in their place. Stomping over to the car, Jesse leaned over and tapped on the drivers window. The window rolled down, letting out the warmer air of the interior which was tinged with the smell of marijuana and sweat. The driver stared at him for a long moment while the window rolled down, and then swallowed hard before speaking.

“Hey, man, like we’re with the band, you know?”

“No, shit?” asked Jesse. “Which one of ya’s Shannon?”

The driver thumbed his hand over his shoulder at the backseat where the passenger was leaned against the window, seemingly asleep. From what Jesse could see, Shannon was a rather tall woman dressed in a wool coat and leggings with a large nightshirt and that was about it. Shannon seemed to be enjoying all the activity, while she puffed on a joint and wiggled something behind the seat. It was then that Jesse saw she had a very nasty looking sawed-off shotgun pointed at him from behind the door frame of the driver’s seat. He saw that the passenger in front also had a sawed off something pointed at him.

“Caught you with the pants down?” asked Shannon. She had a husky voice that Jesse found himself liking very much. He pushed the voice out of his mind with a shake of his head.

“It was the whole ‘we’re with the band’ thing--,” admitted Jesse.

“It was supposed to,” agreed Shannon. “So what’s up?”

“Can we talk without the shotgun at my balls?” asked Jesse.

“Can we talk without the rifles in our faces?”

Grinning, Jesse nodded and signaled for the Highlanders to stand down. “Start gettin’ all the shit we need to get back to the Lodge,” ordered Jesse.

“What about the vans?” asked one of them as they slowly edged away.

“Get what ya can out of the one that is burnin’,” Jesse told him as he stepped back so that Shannon could get out of the car. “Leave the other since it still looks drivable. We’ll just take it with us.”

He turned back to Shannon. “Sorry about that, but you can’t be too careful. How did you find us?”

She took a hit off the joint and exhaled before answering. “Well, we were in Mount Vernon for a bit, there’s a small group of survivors at the Nazarene college there and another bunch who’ve holed up in a bunch of houses. We tried to go to Gambier, you know Kenyon, ‘cause our bass player went to school there, but they’ve blocked all the roads and you can’t get there without like an invite or something.” She took another hit. “So we headed north, against logic, and saw tire tracks in the snow. We followed them and here we are.”

“The rhythm guitarist said you were here to play for us--.”

There was the sound of a shot and a shout. In the cold air, Jesse heard the word Zombie and searched to see if he could find the source of the warning. Across the field staggered several undead, drawn to them probably by the sound of the shooting between Emma’s crew and Marshall’s wife. He looked back at Shannon who had spoken as if they had not been interrupted.

“We play for everybody that will pay us, you know?”

“You had no clue we were here?” He asked still looking to be sure that all was well with his own people.

“Sitting in the middle of the road?” asked Shannon. “How would we know that? I’m not even sure where ‘here’ is, dude. Like I said we followed the tire tracks in the snow and hoped, you know?”

One of the Highlanders came running up to Jesse. “The Doc says we’re ready to move them; he says they are a stable as they are going to get, whatever that means.”

Turning to the man, Jesse saw that his ride was already turning and racing in the snow toward the direction of the Lodge. “Got it. Go and lets get out of here before something else happens.” He turned back to Shannon. “Here is where we live. And where you’ll be guests.” Jesse motioned to the car and for Shannon to get in as the vehicles around him began to roar to life. “I’m riding with you, I guess. Tell your people to follow.”

Shannon held out the joint to Jesse as she made a circle motion in the air with her other hand. Jesse laughed and took it from her.

“What the hell?” he asked no one in particular as he ducked into the back of the car.

The garishly painted car and truck spun tires and then followed the long line of HumVee’s and the van in the direction of the Lodge. In their wake, the few undead which had been reeling across the field suddenly stopped in their tracks, the objects of their quest no longer in their frame of reference. The zombies stopped and seemingly stared at the falling snow, disoriented by the sudden quiet that had fallen over the fields.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 6:58 pm 
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aaahahhhhhhhhh!!!! I gotta know ... I gotta ... I gotta!!!

I don't know whether to laugh because I'm so tickled you got me again or scream 'cause now I have to wait for the next update. :roll:

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:36 pm 
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Owen must be magnetised or something. He just can't help but take another helping of lead, can he? :(

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 6:58 am 
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It's the protagonist genes, they act as a bullet magnet...

Moar please?

(I will not post on ZS drunk, I will not post on ZS drunk, I will not post on ZS drunk...anymore :oops: )

tenhigh

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bonanacrom wrote:
I was saving that technique for after I win the lottery and have purchased my yak. I will saddle him and ride him drunk all across the property with spear and shield terrorizing the local squirrels and running trespassers off the land !


Last edited by tenhigh on Fri Dec 19, 2008 11:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 8:33 am 
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Dammit! I go offline (again - *sigh*) for a few weeks and I miss new Cole (now with 100% more Owen :twisted:)...

...now that I'm all caught up again there must be MOAR!


Moar please?

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 11:23 am 
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Okay, so I'm not going to get this done before Christmas. But, I do have the next part started and hope to post here in a couple days.

Life must go on....

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 1:51 pm 
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doc66 wrote:
Okay, so I'm not going to get this done before Christmas. But, I do have the next part started and hope to post here in a couple days.

Life must go on....


The best laid plans of mice and men .... 8)

I try and avoid deadlines because I have a terrible habit of missing them. :lol:

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 2:04 pm 
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Nice update Doc! Keep em' coming.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 7:02 pm 
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doc66 wrote:
Okay, so I'm not going to get this done before Christmas of 2015. But, I do have the next part started and hope to post here in a couple days after Easter.

Life must go on....


fixed.

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LOL

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Organized chaos was a term that had been used a lot to describe many situations that were not really in any shape or form, either organized or chaotic. Sometimes there was organization and sometimes there was confusion, but rarely did the two come together as often as people wanted to believe. If you had organization, you rarely had anything that resembled chaos. Jesse looked around at the people scrambling to make one of the board rooms into a surgery, and finally understood what people meant by Organized Chaos. There were a lot of people running around, running into each other and accomplishing the task set before them. It was mildly chaotic, mostly confusing, but, Jesse imagined, that was mainly because he was watching the proceeds from the safety of the hallway, and was, in fact, slightly stoned. They had taken one of the stainless tables from the kitchen and disinfected it, which involved a large amount of bleach and hot water, and the smell of the bleach was so very strong in the air that it was almost like being in the indoor pool at the Lodge, which was currently being used as more of a community bath house than a swimming pool in an effort to save the chemicals down at the pump house and make them last longer.

Jesse found himself wandering in the mind like that a lot since partaking of Shannon’s joint. It had been so long since he had smoked, he had forgotten how much he liked it. Hank had smelled the herbal aroma as soon as the truck had rolled into the parking lot it seemed, and the bearded hippy-friend of Owen’s was now making himself “useful” to the band. No doubt by the time they were ready to leave, Hank will have procured a large amount of either product or seed for the Lodges own resources. So far the marijuana at the Lodge was only for medicinal purposes, prescribed by the physicians assistant, Nolan. Nolan was consulting with the other doctor—the bass player—and they were dressed in pajama-looking clothing that was not hospital regulation, but would do in a pinch, which is what they were in. The nurses, there were about five of them, were all scrubbing as much as they could to get the room ready to act as a surgery, and the maintenance people were trying to rig as much lighting as they could to help out with the surgery. The generator had been ordered to run for as long as it took for the surgeries, which was a boon to those at the Lodge, normally, it was a two hours in the morning and two hours at night restriction to save on fuel.

The furnace was cranked as high as it would go as well to chase off the cold in the Lodge, another rarity. Four hours of running a day just kept the ice from forming on the windows, it never made it warm. Jesse knew that he should be doing something, but was unsure of what to do. That was the part that most people thought of as Chaos, the inability to do anything in a stressful situation. Jesse just let it happen; there was nothing he could do about it anyway. He could see Billy and his brother Allen huddled with Hannah as they waited the word on when the surgery was going to start. Chelsea was there with her, her small face too serious for a 10 year old as she patted Hannah’s back while she listened to whatever the adults were saying. Chelsea saw Jesse and gave him a quick smile, knowing that he would come over when he was ready to. Chelsea sometimes understood more than a child should. Hannah’s friend Stacy was there as well, as was Isaac, Stacy’s bedfriend. Jesse felt that he should be over there, but felt a little guilty for having noticed that they were not at the Lodge to begin with, and then not making it to their location to help them before it went south on them.

Hannah motioned to him when she saw him look over. He sighed and pushed off the wall, willing himself to walk over to her. When he reached her, she threw her arms around him with a little sob escaping her throat. Jess gathered her up in his arms, absently patting her hair, laughing to himself at the feel of her developing child between them.

“I’m sorry,” said Jesse to the top of her head.

“For what?” asked Hannah into his chest.

“Not getting there on time--.”

“To do what?” she demanded. “Get shot yourself? I couldn’t handled it if you got shot too, Jesse. You’re the last friend I have from when all this started. You helped me stay alive, even when I was mad at you.”

They felt another set of arms at their waist and He looked down to see Chelsea there, trying to add to the comfort. Jesse opened up his stance so that the girl could join them, as did Hannah and the three of them stood together like family.

“Jesse,” said Chelsea. “What’s going to happen to Owen and Cole?”

“I don’t know, little girl,” admitted Jesse. “I hope that they’ll fix what’s wrong with them and they’ll be okay. I just can’t say for sure.”

“It would suck if they weren’t alive,” muttered Chelsea.

“It would at that.”

One of the nurses came banging out of the room and looked at the gathered. “We need someone to go down to the medical records that Nolan keeps and look for Type O Negative donors. We’re going to need blood. How many Type O people do we have? We need them here.”

“I’ll go down,” volunteered Jesse. “Where’s Nolan, anyway, why can’t he do it?”

“He’s sterile, he can’t.” She tossed Jesse a set of keys. “Hurry up, we’re getting started.”

Jesse gave the two girls a quick hug and motioned to Isaac. “Com’on, We’ll have to get the names and split up to go get them.”

“What about the ones on duty right now?”

“Someone’ll have to relieve them,” returned Jesse as he led the way to the small office that Nolan used as his medical room. It was a converted are, like most of the spaces in the Lodge, one that Nolan used as both an exam room and lab. When they switched on the lights, they were greeted by the interior of what looked to be much like Dr. Frankenstein’s lab. There were tubes and vials, racks of bottles, ancient equipment and modern computers and homemade boxes. Jesse looked at all of it and spied a file cabinet in a corner next to a small desk that was covered with sheaves of paper.

“I hope to fuck that’s where he keeps the records,” muttered Jesse. “’Cause I know dick about computers.”

“I can turn one on, if that helps,” said Isaac.

They reached the file cabinet and Jesse found that it was locked. He inserted a likely looking key and on the second try, snapped the lock open. Jesse started pulling open drawers until he found something that looked like it might be medical files.

“Aren’t there some kind of rules about us looking through these?’ asked Isaac as Jesse began to toss the files on the already littered desk.

“Yeah, the rule right now is we’re lookin’ for people with Type O Negative blood. Whatever else applies to all of this we can worry about when the Doctor’s Union shows up.”

Isaac began to search through the files, setting them aside as he came across the blood types. As he looked he was talking, while Jesse started on his pile of people. There were over a hundred files to look through and thankfully Nolan, despite the condition of the office, was organized about his paperwork.

“So what if were giving blood to some one and they have a bad reaction to the blood?” asked Isaac as he worked. “What if the mixing of the blood is like what makes people turn? You know we really don’t know what the cause of this is yet, and I’d be fucking paranoid to get blood from someone who is like a carrier of this shit and we don’t know it and their blood make me in to a fucking zombie.”

Jesse stopped looking at the papers. “Jesus Christ, Isaac, why’d you have to go and fuckin’ say that? Now, we’re gonna have to have someone standby in the surgery with a fuckin’ pistol to make sure if that does happen, they get dead before they can cause too much damage.”

“I was just thinking out loud--,” defended Isaac.

“Stop it.” Turning back to the files, Jesse found one with O Negative. He set it aside and kept going through the files. “You find anyone yet?’

“Two,” said Isaac. He stopped and seemed to be looking at the wall for a short time before going back to looking. His expression made Jesse wonder just what the hell else the kid was thinking. Against his better judgment, he asked Isaac what had made him stop.

“I was thinking back to my science and health crap from high school and college,” said Isaac. “I think that something like 20 percent of the population is O Negative, so that means that out of the hundred and fifty or so people we have there should statistically have about thirty people who are at least type O.”

“At least you weren’t trying to figure out how many people were gonna to turn into zombies because of this.”

“Hard to say until we try it, isn’t it?”

Jesse opened another file. “Do me a favor, Isaac, shut the fuck up until we’re done with this shit, okay?”

“Silence is golden,” agreed Isaac.

They found seven people, which was better than Jesse had thought was possible. They left the files where they were and with the names scribbled on a piece of paper, ran back upstairs to the common area to find runners to get the people they needed. The Mayor, Dan was there with a few of the council members. Off in one of the corners, Jesse could see that the band was setting up their instruments. He was stopped by Dan who wanted an update as to what was happening. Jesse gave him a brief run down before going off to the surgery area. He smiled and nodded to Hannah before boldly opening the door to the OR after seeing that Nolan was there, checking on something on one of the tables which had been set up to hold instruments. The nurses saw him and began to yell at him for violating the room. Jesse ignored them and went up to Nolan.

“We gotta talk,” growled Jesse. His buzz was wearing off, and he could feel a slight headache coming on.

“I’m in the middle of something,” said an exasperated Nolan, waving an hand at the table.

“Yeah, well, something ahs been brought to my attention, and we need to talk about it.”

Glancing at the nurses, Nolan waved a hand at a far corner. They passed by where Owen and Cole were laid out on the tables and the bass player was checking vital signs and beginning to probe wounds with something long and evil looking. Jesse absently wondered just how far back in time medicine had fallen over the last five months.

“What is so damn important that it couldn’t wait?”

Jesse looked over at the nurses and then at the other doctor. He leaned in next to Nolan. “What if they turn?”

“We’ve thought of that,” said Nolan, patting his hip where Jesse saw he had a small revolver in a holster.

“Well, okay, but what if this blood we’re giving them is tainted and it makes them turn, without them dying?”

Nolan nodded. “You come up with that on your own?”

“I got the idea,” was all Jesse would say.

“Jesse, we’re all infected.”

It took a moment to sink in. Jesse shook his head. “But we haven’t been bit,” he stammered.

“I was going to try and find a different way of telling everyone this—my tests show that we’re all infected—we all have the virus that makes us turn already in our blood. We’re all infected.” Nolan sighed and motioned to the two men on the operating tables. “We don’t know what this will do, but I do know that we are all carriers of this plague, it’s kind of like small pox in the 1400’s. The Spanish were carriers because they were living with it as already there. When they introduced it to the new world, it brought its own set of problems. We’re already living with it, we just didn’t know it. We don’t know what will happen when we introduce other people s blood into someone’s system, but it’s a risk we have to take, if we want to try and save their lives. We have a new set of problems and we have to find a way to deal with it.”

“So we were always infected?’ asked Jesse, the news coming like a physical blow that made him weak kneed and his mind reeling.

“No, we weren’t but what ever happened, however it got into our systems, it’s there now. I don’t know how that happened, we may never know,” admitted Nolan. “But the fact is, we all have the potential to become zombies, undead.”

“Jesus.” He glanced back over at the others and as he did so, an awful thought hit him. “What about Hannah’s baby?”

“Good question. I don’t know. The baby, so far as I can tell with what we have around here, is normal.”

“Normal as in uninfected?”

“I don’t know, Jesse. I won’t know until I can run blood tests on the baby.” He nodded at the door. “Now, do me a favor, and keep your mouth shut. I have things to do and thankfully I have someone who has done them before helping me. Can you leave so we can get started?”

Still dazed, Jesse walked out the door followed by one of the nurses. She was happy to find that the Type O Negative donors were waiting for her. Calling to one of the others, they began to prep the donors incase they were needed.

Hannah came up to Jesse, concern on her face. “You okay? Everything in there okay?”

Jesse managed to snap out of it and nodded. “Yeah, we’re fine. Everything is fine.”

“What happened in there?”

“I told those two idiot doctor-wanna-be’s that if they fucked this up, I was gonna to shoot ‘em, that’s all,” lied Jesse. He pulled Hannah in close and held her. “That ‘s all.”

They stayed that way for a long time while inside the other room, the doctors and nurses began to operate on the two men.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:47 pm 
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WE HAVE UPDATE!!!! WE HAVE UPDATE!!!!

And what an update it is too. Doc, you aren't going to make us wait until Juvember to find out if they live right?! Right?! :shock: :shock:

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:55 pm 
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Kathy in FL wrote:
Doc, you aren't going to make us wait until Juvember to find out if they live right?! Right?! :shock: :shock:


He'd better not... :x

jk, great update, but don't leave us hanging!

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:43 pm 
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Nice update. Keep em coming :D

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In his small office, crowded with all the junk of his trade, Nolan sat down in the swivel chair and poured a drink of bourbon. Jesse wondered what the man was going to do when the booze ran out. So far, though, Nolan seemed to have an inexhaustible supply. He was probably trading it to individuals for services or drugs—at the moment Jesse just didn’t care, as long as Nolan was sharing it with him. They both drained the tumblers and Nolan poured another round. The surgeries were over and the results were that the patients had lived—so far. According to the other doctor, whose name Jesse still didn’t know, they were still in the woods and anything could happen with the primitive conditions they were working in. The nice thing about the surgeries was that they had heat, lights and very hot water. Jesse had bet that everyone in the Lodge had taken at least one very long shower that day. Laundry had been done in the big washers that were in the service areas of every floor, sheets washed, clothing and towels. For once there were no piles of “slightly” dirty clothing hanging around in rooms and piled in corners. The lodge itself had been vacuumed, mopped, windows washed, and toilets and showers cleaned. He almost wished that it was spring so that the doors and windows could be opened to let in fresh air; as it was, the place already smelled much better than it had in a month.

The eight hour run of the generator had put a dent in the fuel supply, but thankfully their little foray into Loudonville had topped off the tanks enough to last them for a while long as soon as they got back to rationing. Jesse hoped that there were not going to be any more injured that would require the need for surgery. As it was, they had five people in the infirmary area with wounds severe enough to keep them out of work for perhaps months to come.

Setting his glass on top of the medical files which Isaac and Jesse had not replaced, Nolan sighed at the mess they had made and opened the drawer, carefully putting the files back into their places.

“So tell me about the whole virus-thing,” said Jesse. “Who else knows?”

“Me, you, Doctor Mrinmoy,” Nolan smiled at the man’s name. “You get to talk a lot in surgery and do you know what his name means? It’s Bengali for ‘Made out of Mud’. Isn’t that amusing? Here in the States we’re lucky to know who our great-grandparents are and he knows what his name means. Anyway, the three of us and Sparky and that’s it so far. I’ve been waiting to tell anyone else.”

“Sparky?’ asked Jesse.

“The man who Hannah is dating.”

“Cole.”

“Whatever.

Jesse let the man’s words drop between them and asked his next question; “So what can you tell me about it?”

“I seem to have remembered having this conversation with Sparky in this very room, over another bottle of bourbon,” mused Nolan. “Let me give you almost a word for word break down of what I know about the virus. Everyone remembers that the plague started supposedly in Mobambu, Africa. The thinking at the time was that it was transmitted by a pest borne bite, more specifically a fly, somewhat similar to the fruit fly scare of the 1980’s. Remember that one? You’re certainly old enough.”

“My age has nothing to do with this,” prowled Jesse, more because he remembered the fly-scare and didn’t like to be reminded about how old he was getting. He felt it enough every morning when he got out of bed and his sore muscles protested at him.

Nolan just laughed at him. “Anyway, once that was found to be not possible, researchers assumed it was a mutation of the Avian Flu. The problem was that the virus by this time was mutating so fast that they were having a hard time keeping track of it and its forms. The final virus, H66N7, is supposed to be the offspring as it were, of the original Avian Flu. When all the shit went down, I was working in the ER at MedCentral. It hit us fast. The CDC kept putting out bulletins about how to treat and what to do, but in the end, they didn’t know what to do either.” Nolan poured more from the bottle. Jesse wondered if the man wasn’t an alcoholic. Not that it mattered, as long as he could continue to take care of the population of the Lodge, that was. “When it hit Mansfield, we went under in about thirty hours. From start to finish, it was about a day or so. I can’t prove it, but I don’t think it is. I think that the virus was developed as is, not mutated.”

“Developed,” Jesse found himself repeating. “As in some rouge government had a scientist cooking up this shit in a lab somewhere?”

“Right, man made biological warfare germs. It’s purely conjecture on my part, but I can’t see something like this developing this quickly into what we’ve got now. Nothing else makes sense. I think that it is actually something man made, something that was developed by a rogue lab in Africa, a place where the controls for experimenting are non-existent or can be circumvented for the right money to the right people. I don’t know what you know about Mobambu, but it was only about seven years old, and the government was corrupt beyond our imagination. Recent coups had made the place so unstable that anything could happen there. Think of this, you need a place that has very little controls and a government that needs cash. What better place to set up a biological lab?” Nolan seemed excited to be able to talk about his theory. “Put the lab in some shithole in Africa that no one cares about and just let the mad men do their thing. When you have it developed, voila, you have a weapon that you can lord over your enemies.”

“What if it was a cure for somethin’ that got out of control?”

“A cure for what?”

“Death.”

“You can’t cure death,” scoffed Nolan.

Jesse shrugged and took the bottle from the man. “What if you could?”

“There’d be no reason to fuck and have babies.”

“Or certain people, rich, influential people could pay millions to extend their lives,” pointed out Jesse.

“There’s not enough rich people out there to make the process worth while.”

“Or you could feed it to armies and they’d never die in combat, you could have a division of Eternal Warriors ready to do battle and never have to worry about trainin’ replacements.”

“Unless they’re shot in the head--.”

Jesse nodded his agreement.

“Interesting thought….”

“So what does that have to do with all of us being infected?”

“I think it got out of control and escaped. Now it’s airborne, and we’re all fucked.”

“That simple?”

“Pretty much that simple. If you recall, back when all this started, it jumped Africa and into India. All the while China was denying having any problems, even before India had it. I think it’s Chinese, and they were working the lab in Mobambu.”

“I’ve never know the Chinese to be interested in Africia in anyway at all—,“ doubted Jesse.

“So it’s the perfect cover, don’t you think?”

Not having an answer to the question, or statement, for that was really what it was, Jesse settled for handing the bottle back to Nolan. “What do we do now?”

“Do?” asked Nolan. “We do nothing. We do what we are doing now; we live.”

“For how long?”

“as long as it takes,” said Nolan. “Somewhere out there, there has to be a group of scientists working on a cure, a way to beat this. If it is man made, they have to have been working on a way to control it as well. There was a vaccine for it, or what was supposed to be a vaccine, called Protoblood,” Nolan paused as Jesse let the fact that there had been attempts at curing the virus before continuing. “It didn’t work.”

“How do you know?”

“I got the shot, I have the Protoblood coursing through my veins even as we speak, but it was a placebo, a nothing. Those of us who got the shot died just like everyone else,” said Nolan. “Or they sort of died. I saw one of the doctors who got bit change right before my very eyes. The Protoblood was a farce. I imagine that whoever was hoping that would work is still trying to get it right, in some lab deep in a bunker somewhere—or at least I hope so.”

“You think there’s any thing like a government left out there?” wondered Jesse.

“Sure,” responded Nolan. “We might not see them this year, or next, but there has to be something left; we were too big to not have something left.”

They drank and thought about the possibility of something being left. Jesse hoped that there was, not that he was a great supporter of anything that had to do with organized politics, but he knew there had to be something to hold the framework of society together, even though he himself had been one to work against the rules of society at times. He finished the last of his drink and placed the glass down on the desk by Nolan’s elbow.

“Thanks for the drink,” said Jesse.

“What are you going to tell them?” asked Nolan.

“Who? The Mayor, the council, the people—what are you going to tell them about all of this?” wondered Nolan, waving his hand at the makeshift lab the man was the center of and indicating by reference his discovery that they were all in a manner of speaking, undead.

“Nothing,” said Jesse. “It’s not my place to tell them.”

“Is it mine?” pondered Nolan, pouring the last of the bottle.

“I don’t know, Nolan, I really don’t know.”

Nolan said nothing else as Jesse closed the door behind him.



“It’s a jungle out there, disorder and confusion everywhere—“

The words kept going, making the people laugh and dance and sing.

The music was loud, which was what they needed. Loud, raucous noise that drove away the night and the world outside of the walls of the Lodge, if only for a night, a brief moment in time. The band, Heart of the Moon, played with abandon, the doctor, Made out of Mud, thumped the stand up bass and the guitar jangled away as the fiddle sawed, the drums beat and the piano banged. A harmonica wailed over the rest of the band as Shannon paused in her fiddle playing long enough to call out steps for the dance, call out for crowd response and sang songs that Jesse had never heard, had never thought he’d hear played in such a manner, or laughed that they even attempted. The booze was flowing, a rare thing in a place where everything that was not horded in a closet was rationed. The Mayor had declared a Holiday, and so they drank, and smoked, tobacco and marijuana with equal fervor, as if they would never have a night like this again.

People came in and out of his vision, danced with him and everyone was happy, or attempting to be happy. The Highlanders were dancing with kilts bouncing and shouting the fake Scottish or Irish accents they affected, the Lodge residents joined them in their wildness, twirling and laughing, drinking and drinking. Jesse smiled at Shannon, who smiled back. It was good to be alive. It was good to be alive, he thought.

Hannah pushed up next to him and he slipped his arm around her shoulders, quickly stubbing out the joint he held and making her laugh.

“Cole’s awake,” she shouted at him above the din.

It took a moment to register, but when it did, he let her lead him to the recovery room; not everyone was dancing on this night; there was still work to be done, walls to be guarded and patients to be cared for. Jesse was just glad that he had not drawn the short stick on this night. The nurse nodded to them and told them to not tire the man out before she left to check on her other patients. Both Cole and Owen were still hooked up to IV fluids, some of the precious little they had left, and Owen was still in the woods. At Owen’s bedside, Emma lay with her head on his lap, asleep. She had not left him since he’d come out of the surgery. They were quiet and eased up to Cole’s bedside, trying not to disturb the sleeping couple.

Cole managed to smile at them through the pain. They didn’t have many pain killers, what they had was being rationed.

“Hey,” he croaked.

“Hey yourself,” murmured Hannah, taking the chair that Jesse drew up for her. She grabbed the water glass and helped Cole sip through the straw. “How do you feel?”

“Like shit,” responded Cole. “They tell me I got shot.”

“Twice, apparently,” supplied Jesse. “You were just too stupid to know it when you took the bite from Owen’s dumb dog.”

“How is that stupid mutt?’ asked Cole weakly. “I hope it’s happy I saved its life. Emma was gonna shoot it.”

“She still might,” said Hannah. “But for now, she’s taking care of him. You need to rest, though. Don’t worry about the dog.”

“How’s Owen?” asked Cole.

“Still out. He was shot pretty bad,” whispered Hannah. “We just don’t know what’s going to happen to him--.”

“He’s still alive right?” asked Cole.

“Yes.”

“He’ll make it.”

Hannah looked over at Jesse who said nothing, he thought it was better since he couldn’t trust what he was saying with all the smoking he’d done and the alcohol he’d drank. It was better to stay silent. Looking back at Cole, Hannah wiped his brow with a hand.

“I’m glad you’re okay.”

“Me too,” sighed Cole. “Is that music?”

“There a band,” Hannah told him. “They’re awful. They’ll play anything, and if they don’t know it, they’ll say ‘hum a few bars’, and make it up from there.”

Cole managed a smile for her. “Sounds like fun.”

Jesse, feeling that he was in the way, reached down and patted Cole’s good leg. “I’m going back to the party. You get better.”

“Yeah, there’s a fiddle player he’s hoping to bed,” teased Hannah.

Confused, Cole looked at Jesse. “You’re getting married? How long have I been out?”

“Bed, B-E-D, not wed,” assured Jesse quickly. “God help me if I get married.”

“Oh, well, have fun, sounds like it is.”

“I will,” Jesse hugged Hannah and left the room, leaving the two of them alone.

Hannah watched Cole as he seemed to drift in and out of consciousness. Cole woke again and smiled when he saw her. “So what’s next?’

“You get better, I have a baby, and we live.”

“Is that something we do together?” he asked.

“I hope so.”

Cole closed his eyes. “What about Emma, is she going to wait on Owen?”

“She’s talking about sending the Highlanders on and staying, if Owen looks like he’s going to make it,” Hannah managed to tell him. Cole’s eyes opened and searched her face.

“Is it that bad?”

“It’s not good,” she told him. “With all of the other injuries he’s suffered, he’s really beat himself up.”

“What will happen if he doesn’t make it?”

Looking over at the bed where the man still lay unmoving and Emma still slept. “I don’t know what she’ll do.”

“But we’re here, right?” asked Cole.

“We are--,” confirmed Hannah.

He managed a smile. “What do we name the baby?”

Smiling, Hannah took Cole’s hand. “This is someone else’s baby--.”

“Yeah, a dead someone, big deal. I don’t care who the father is so why not just say its mine and call it good? I think that there will be a lot of babies like this in the new world. And frankly, Hannah, I don’t care who the father was, I just want to be a part of you, and since you’re having a baby, a part of the baby,” stress Cole, his voice growing angry with each word. The little speech seeming to wear him out and Hannah was about to stop him, keep him from being stressed and angry when he shook his head. “It’s not about whose the father, it’s about being with you. Don’t you get it?”

“Yeah, Cole, I get it. I really do. Thank you.”

“It’s one of my many good traits,” grunted Cole. Hannah laughed at him.

“What would you like to name the baby?” she asked.

“I don’t know, something that is meaningful to both of us, something we can agree on.”

She bit her lip and looked at Cole from under her brow. “If it was a boy I wanted to name him after my dad.”

“I always liked your dad,” said Cole. “I think he’d like that.”

“Me too,” murmured Hannah. She watched as Cole was suddenly asleep, the conversation having drained him. With a small smile, Hannah leaned on the bed and watched Cole sleep as the band began to play a slow waltz. She closed her eyes and lay her head on Cole’s hand, letting the music drive away the darkness and the worry of the night. All of those things would take care of themselves. It would all work out just like it was supposed to, in the end.




Finis

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:17 pm 
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Roughly 82,000 words and I think I'm done.

At least for now.

I left it where I can keep going, or stop here. For now. I'm stopping here. It's been a good ride. I've got over 400,000 words in the series and It's been pretty fun. Maybe an edit to four books is in order, I have an idea, a hook for them. So we'll see. Thanks for reading.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:22 pm 
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Are you telling me this is the end?! Noooooooooo! "Finis" ... no way .... not until we found out about Owen. I'm a sucker for a happy ending. Argh!!!

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:24 pm 
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doc66 wrote:
Roughly 82,000 words and I think I'm done.

At least for now.

I left it where I can keep going, or stop here. For now. I'm stopping here. It's been a good ride. I've got over 400,000 words in the series and It's been pretty fun. Maybe an edit to four books is in order, I have an idea, a hook for them. So we'll see. Thanks for reading.

D Copp



Its been an experience that I wouldn't trade Doc. But I know the feeling when you just need to stop for a while. Its not like you aren't juggling all those other projects of yours.

Great gravy ... I think I'll just have to go back and read them from beginning to end all over again. :lol:

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It's been good Doc, I couldn't have asked for a better story. Your stories were the actual inspiration for my little piece of work (Life after Death). If you get the chance, could you possibly read it and give me some much needed feedback? I do hope that an epilogue is in place, at least if you don't decide to continue the story.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 7:45 pm 
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Great story Doc and thank you for keeping me entertained on many long night shifts.

Will there be a post logue many years after?

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There just might be. I have an idea for one....

I want to write on a couple of other things first though.

Thanks for the read. It's been really fun to drag everyone into my twisted world.

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