We were on a scavenging mission for the Colony, heading into the most infested area we know of. Jaquel, our leader, decided to come with us this time. He said we would need "gods protection" because we were traveling to the red zone for some much needed supplies, like matches and gasoline. I no longer believe in God. If god does exist, he must be a cruel and evil spirt to send this plauge upon us. I'd rather there be no god than an evil demonic one.
The red zone is what we call the forest line two miles outside the colony, the side coming from the city. the city is twenty mile away, but the area between here and there is full of thousands of zombies. The war we fight against them is a long a lengthy one, but the side slowly turns to our favor. They say that the infestation has been going n fr thirty years. I have to believe them: I was born after the Colony was founded. I have no idea what life was like before this hell, but I've heard rumors of great cities that tower above the land, machines that can fly you miles into the sky, boxes that can connect you to people miles away, and this thing called "chocolate." all these things are gone now, rusted or destroyed by fires. The city still burns, and on a cold, crisp night you can hear moans coming from that direction.
We left the colony at dawn, hoping to be back by dusk tomorrow. As we trecked to the tree line, I looked at Jaquel, and wondered why he was our leader. He has to be at least fifty years old, and his hair reminds those that gaze upon it of moonlight. His eyes are steely-grey, and they seem to be filled of so much sorrow that we know he has seen things no one ever wants to see. He is wise, yes, but in this world, wisdom is meaningless unless you have strength to use the knowledge. I cannot fathom why he still controls us. I know he founded the Colony, but he founded a democratic form of leadership: if three fifths of the colony agree that he must step down, he has to. So that means that if only 400 people get mad at him for making an unpopular disicion, he loses all of his power. I can see why he chose to come on the mission with us: he need to make it look like he cares for the Colony so much he is willing to die for it. This ploy is quite effective, I find, because each election, he is still chosen as our leader. He is cunning, I know, and is still strong on the outside. I expect him to constantly call for breaks and be a hinderance on our long walk.
We reach the red zone, and our eyes look around and remember why they call it that. The trees here are stained scarlet, red, rotting organs covering the ground as far as I can see. This is were the horde emerged last year, a horde to large to comprehend. it came as we slept, the moans waking us from our slumber. Jaquel ordered all but a few hundred to leave the area, to get to our fallback, Alpha city. We left there, expecting the army of a hundred to fall before the might of thousands of zombies, and for us to be the next target. We waited three days, and finally a soilder reached us. His eyes held wonder and awe, and he told us that the horde had fallen. As we returned to the Base, expecting a ruined city to meet us. the city remained untouched. As a matter of fact, not a single zombie even reached the first trench, half a mile away. The tree line was stained a bright red. We asked the soldier that was leading us what had happened, thirsting for the gory details of what we expected to be a bloody and brave battle, with men dying in honor after slaying hundreds of zombies. He refused to tell us. Finally, a small girl spoke up, speaking what we all really wanted to know. She asked a simple question, just three words: "Is Daddy ok?" we all looked at the man, thinking that the army had blown them selves up to kill off the horde. The man looked down, not speaking. Our hearts sank down into our chests, and the girl began to cry. The mother shushed her, and all was silent. Then laughter rang through the city, loud and echoing. We stared at the man that had led us here, watching him double over as he burst into laughter. He finally stopped, and stared at us, barely holding in the noise.
A voice from behind us yelled "Jackson! You ruined it!" The little girl turned around and yelled "DAAADDY!" and ran into his arms. Behind us, every single member of the army stood there, well and unharmed. Family members ran to them, hugging and screaming thanks and praise. But not a single one would tell us what happened. We all begged for details, wondering and asking questions, but not a single person answered. I looked around me, looking through the city for proof that the zombie were all gone. My husband smiled at me, saying how great it was and how he was glad no one was hurt. I was only half listing, though, and I looked up to the tallest building in the city, the watch tower. On the roof sat Jaquel, his arms folded and legs crossed. He didn't even smile. it was then I began to suspect that something was...wrong about him.
A year later, we passed the tree line and into the wood. As we passed through, Jaquel. Looked at the sky, the trees, anything but the scarlet ground. I watched him, noticing that I was the only one looking at him. He turned to me and stared me in the eyes, and a look of madness crept through them. I hurredly looked away, pretending that I had not been looking at him and was actually paying attention. He was still looking at me, I could feel it.
We set up camp for the night, posting three guards about the perimeter. At close to midnight, I was woken up for my shift. The moon stared down at us, an eye that never once blinked and saw every little thing we did. I sat in my tree, holding my Katana in my hands. actual guns are rare to find now, but durable hand held weapons last for a long time. The last time I actually saw a zed die from a gun shot was three days after we returned from Alpha city, In a game that some kids played with our last remaining ammo. The kids are now still locked up in their houses.
I sat there, twenty feet off the ground, wondering what was so amiss about Jaquel. Why he always seemed to care, but the caring never seemed real. Why he believed in God when most of us didn't. I looked at the surrounding forest, not paying much attention, when suddenly a shadow in the trees shifted. It was a zombie! It appeared to be alone, but you can't be to sure. I surveyed the surrounding area, making sure the zed was alone, and slowly climbed down from my post. I signaled the camp with my flash light, telling them that I saw a zed, and If I didn't report back within fifteen minutes to wake up the squad. Two short flashes and one long one answered. I proceeded into the woods. The zed stood there, its back to me, not ten feet away. It stood, unmoving, waiting for a bird or animal to attract its attention before it continued on. I slowly creeped up behind it, being slow, silent, letting my animal instincts take over. Since the zombie infestation, humans have become more in touch with their "wild side" and can rely on thousands of years of hunting, fighting instincts to kill easier. I stayed low to the ground, the katana pressed against my arm, hilt in my hand. I was bent at the knees, one arm on the ground, legs spread apart. As a tensed for the pouce, the zombie heard me and turned around. It had only a second to moan, but that single second was enough. As I pounced, whipping the katana in a fluid motion to decapitate, then stab the head, answering moans sounded throughout the forest. I froze- at least a hundred, if not more, zombies were in the woods. They all began to shuffle toward me, soem at a great distance away, some appeared within seconds. I turned and ran back to the woods, only stopping to yell warnings to the other two guards. The squad awoke instantly, grabbing their weapons and turning to Jaquel for orders. He cracked his neck, then asked me where the zed were coming from.
"Mostly from the NorthEast, sir. Right next to us, pushing us away from the base and into the open." The maniac glee returned to his eyes, and he licked his lips.
"There is a clearing to our left, sir. Off to our side, about a quarter mile away." one of our guards offered. "We could wait there for the hoard to reach us, stand in the middle, blossom formation." Blossom formation is when the entire squad stands back to back, better to handle a large hoard coming from all directions.
Jaquel nodde, but said "Blossom formation isn't going to work. They're all coming from us in one direction, so a wall would be better. Jennifer, how many do you think there are?" He turned to me and asked.
"About a hundred or more, sir. I think that we could clean the whole horde in about fifteen minutes, if we do as you say."
He nods. We run to the clearing, forming a wall. Jaquel says that he will watch our backs, incase the Zed are coming from behind as well. The other member of the squad nod, but I think that he is just trying to stay out of the way of the fight. I glare at him as he walks about twenty yards away from us.
Five minutes later, the horde arives, moans drowning out all other sounds. We stand our ground, curving the wall a bit so we can take on the entire horde without having some get behind us. About fifteen minutes in, the horde does not seem to diminish at all. It seem that zed for miles around have come to attack us. My katana flashes and spins, but the zed keep coming. For every head I server, two more zombies take its place. Finally, the horde in front of us slows and stops coming, but the moan still remains. I hear a yell, and I turn to stare at the sight behind me.
Jaquel stands atop a pile of zombeis twenty feet high. Zed climb up to attack him, but they fall within seconds to his trench knives. they fall own the pile and add to it, making his mountain even harder to climb. His grey eyes have turned pure white, and his arms never seem to slow. I know, somehow, that God has given this man great power. This man, Jaquel, is gods servant, son and messenger.
Now I know why he is our leader.