The End of the Beginning
The floor is always cold. Every time I step foot off this hospital bed, my feet tell me how cold that damn floor is. Its fucking freezing and they won’t even give me socks. Slippers are out of the question. I mean WTF? What harm could socks or slippers do? My effing tootsies are cold. All I have to wear is a blue hospital Johnny, not that I’m a fashion king, but my ass is hanging out.
My room, which is basically a cell, is twelve paces by nine paces not including the bathroom. White walls with a drop ceiling with nothing but steel and concrete above, (I checked.). Concrete floor painted dull gray. Several instruments are in here with me, most to monitor me, but I don’t have to stay hooked up to them. There are six cameras in here, and two in the bathroom but the worst thing is the window. There’s a giant glass window set in aluminum tube that separates me from the corridor. There are always two guards in chairs right outside my steel door. Why would they have a steel door but a giant glass window you ask? Because that shit is bulletproof. Says so in the lower right corner of the window in yellow. I wonder if a tank round would go through this baby.
I feel like a fish in a hospital fish tank. There’s always somebody dressed in blue scrubs staring through the window with a clipboard. Usually two somebodies or more. They never talk to the guards, and the guards never talk to them, or me. Ever.
There is a door on my bathroom, but the cameras have shattered any illusions of privacy. I can’t even drop a deuce without an audience. I rubbed one out on my fifth day here, and within seconds of blissful completion, the hiss of my steel hermetic door sounded , and there was a nurse in here with those two armed guards demanding my tissue. I know right? Ew.
I have no exterior windows, but I feel like I’m underground. I don’t know why I feel this way, maybe it’s because something above ground would be easily spotted, and there’s no way this place isn’t a secret.
Everything is for my protection. Me. I’m a bit of a celebrity around here. I’m important, as all the doctors and guys in suits say. I’m immune. A little more than a year ago, something really fucked up happened. Nobody knows how or why, but the dead started not staying dead. Now that in itself is a bitch to wrap your head around, I know, but what’s way worse, is that these dead folks come back hungry. They don’t want pizza or spinach dip, they want you. They want to eat you, and nobody bothered to tell them that food is all about the presentation. They eat people alive.
They’re slow and stupid, but they have numbers on their side, and humans are now on the second rung of the old food chain. They supposedly outnumber us thousands to one. I should mention that these things, these former humans, these infected, are damned hard to kill too. Only messing up their brains will stop them. Shooting, stabbing , or crushing their noggins puts them down for good. Burning them so much their brains cook, or electrocuting them works too, but shoot it in the chest? Poison? Drowning? Nope, they could give a shit about bodily trauma. I’ve seen them have no lower half of their bodies, crawling after the living with important pieces of them trailing behind or missing altogether.
They spread their infection via bites and scratches. Once you’re infected you’re fucked. You might not die, but that’s just as bad. The people who don’t die turn into Runners.
Picture a hundred and seventy pound feral cannibal, as crazy as a shit-house rat, but has no conception of fear and a wicked tolerance to pain. They run into bullets just like their undead cousins. When they die, they come right back as a pus-bag. Slower, but way more durable.
I should also mention that these things are everywhere. Can’t chuck a dead cat without hitting one. Or sixty. In ones or twos they’re not too bad, unless they’re close, but in swarms and hordes your day can go to shit quick.
But there’s no way you can’t know about the infected. No way you’re reading this and don’t know. This is why I’m here. I’ve been bitten, but fought off the infection. To the best of my, and the doctors in this place’s knowledge, I’m the only one on earth that didn’t get infected via contact with infected fluids. The only one. Me. One in six billion give or take.
Montana. I’m in Montana somewhere. I haven’t been outside since I was brought here, but I’ve heard people talking when they thought I wasn’t paying attention. Or they just don’t give a shit. They don’t care because I’m never leaving this facility again.
Initially it was harder on me. They treated me like Kobe beef: very important, but ultimately I would die for a better purpose. They stuck me with needles a hundred times a day, and took every single fluid type you can think of. They shoved needles in my spine and in my head too, and they were decidedly not so nice about it. They even took some of my eye juice, and that sucked. It’s called aqueous humor, but that shit wasn’t funny.
I was strapped down to my hospital bed for weeks, a bed pan under me to evacuate into. Finally I asked to be let up and when they said no, I thrashed and fought every time they came near me. Even strapped down, it was way harder to steal my juices. They couldn’t sedate me because it fucks with their tests, so I was becoming a danger to myself, and I’m important remember. When one of those needles went through my vein and I bled internally they let me up. After that it went better for all of us.
I cooperated. For a while.
I asked for stuff to read and then a pen and notebook to write in, and they gave me some books. Then they gave me this flexi-pen and a notebook too. Somebody checks it every day, but I told them if they try to redact anything, I would go back to fighting them. The psych doc told me it was good to keep a journal of what was happening. There are undoubtedly dozens of those concerning me right now.
I’m going to save humanity. I’ve had doctors, nurses and even a general tell me so. Not those guards though. They won’t speak to me no matter what. I’ve tried joking with them and they won’t smile. I flip them off or flash them a fruit basket through the glass, and they don’t even acknowledge I’m there. Dicks. I call them Jose and Hose B. Fuckers barely speak to each other, and they rotate out every twelve hours with Neil and Bob.
You should probably know that I was brought her by force for the greater good. Under duress, I had to leave my friends behind. I have a shit ton of buddies on an oil rig, the Atlantis, in the Gulf of Mexico. All of them survivors of this horrible plague. All of them I had met within the last year, and all of them are family. My best friend is a fantastic specimen of a man. As I wrote in another journal, he’s a cross between Stephen Hawking and the hulk. Near seven feet of solid muscle, this guy is also a bone fide genius. Like next level smart. But he’s mute. Sometimes that’s a good thing. Then there’s Kat. She’s the toughest teenager in the world I shit you not. A great kid, who I think of as my little sister. She has a boyfriend now, a soldier named Alvarez who would give his life for her. There are several others, especially a woman whose company I enjoyed, but I will leave out their names for their safety.
I’m leaving them out because the son of a bitch who stole me comes here and reads this notebook every other day or so. He already knows Ship and Kat. You hear that Lynch? You’re a low flying prick who should have his dick bitten off by one of the infected. Actually they would have to find it first you sack-less shitbird. I bet it looks like a dick, only smaller.
Redact this asshole: (I’m flipping you off Lynch).
Guy is badass, but certifiable. Yeah, nutty as a fruitcake. Thinks that I’m going to save everybody, and will kill anyone and everyone who’s even moderately close to in his way. Bastard was going to shoot my best friend for kicks. Well, he did shoot him once, but it’s hard to keep a good Ship down.
Actually, now that I think of it, everybody thinks I’m going to save everybody. Problem is, with the thousands, and I do mean thousands, of tests these doctors have performed on me, they’ve come up with bupkis. Goose-egg, donut, nada, niente, nothing. There is no difference between my fluids and anybody else’s fluids. The doctors have no idea why I didn’t die from being bitten when absolutely everyone else gets infected. I have no special antibodies, no difference in metabolism, my cerebro-spinal fluid is normal, and so is my eye juice.
I was never abducted by aliens. They asked.
I didn’t have any clue how long I had been imprisoned until the doctor that came in this morning said that in four months of tests there was nothing to show for it. Four months. Is that all? I thought it was a year at least, but I was hoping for only a month. Four months I’ve been away from my friends. Four months I haven’t been able to help them.
The doc that was here today has replaced my last one. He had no name tag, but I call him dick. I purposely didn’t capitalize that, because it’s not a name if you catch my drift. At least the last one spoke to me like I was a human being instead of spam. Dick, (I had to capitalize it there, it was the first word of the sentence), has been around for a couple weeks. Aldous was my last doc and I liked him. Dick is a dick. He’s a dick for many reasons, but the dickiest is because two hours after he gave me a shot yesterday I started getting sick. The injection site around the shot turned the same color as my bites had turned after being bitten, and then those fucking black lines showed up. I got horribly sick, but only for about twelve hours, then I felt better. A bunch of assholes had watched me through the night through the fish window, and I could see Jose and Hose B exchanging money on several occasions. Fuckers were betting on how long it would take for me to die. Doctor dick came in this morning and was all shocked. He thought I should be dead too. He came in with a few other doctors and the guards and they strapped me down and took all kinds of fluids again. I don’t know if you’ve figured out what they did to me, but put your helmet on kids because I’m about to drop all kinds of knowledge:
The fuckers infected me. They shot me up with goo from an infected. Saliva, blood, whatever. Sons of bitches. I could have died from an infection. Not the plague, but any kind of infection. I mean they shot me up with some dead guy’s stuff. The very thought of it gives me the willies. I mean ick.
It took a minute to believe they did it to me if that makes you feel any better, but I knew for certain when I got sick and looked at the catheter area of my forearm. It was all kinds of fucked up. I knew but I didn’t want to believe. Then I remembered where I was.
But I got them back. I made those fuckers pay. Doc dick reached up to shine his pen-light in my eye and he got to close. I was strapped down, but not my head. Yup, I growled and bit him. I whipped my head forward and clamped down on the meat of his left hand. There must have been a nanosecond of disbelief for that asshole, but only just. His look of surprise turned to one of pain, fear, and horror all at the same time.
It was epic.
He started shrieking, and everybody looked at me. Then it was pande-fucking-monium. Three doctors, two nurses, two military guys in a suits and ties, and Hose B, all tripping over each other like fat kids running for cake. They were bolting for the door. Doctor dick grabbed his wrist, and I have no illusions that he would have just sat there and let me eat him. I spit him out, and he yanked his mitt away and quickly inspected it. Oh there was just a little blood, but that was enough. Jose was the only one who kept his shit together, and I almost feel bad for the bastard in spite of myself.
He didn’t look the least bit scared as he yelled at me to say something or he was going to blow my head off. I hawked up a wad and spit the thing a good three feet right into his face. “How about fuck you?”
He wiped his face and looked at the pink loogie smear. Dawning came over him and then he did look scared. “You bastard,” he said, “you just killed me.” It was the first and last thing he ever said to me.
“Oh relax,” I said, “you can’t get…”
He raised his M4 and aimed down the sight at my head.
The sound of gunfire was super loud in the small room, but hey, this wasn’t my first rodeo with that. Last time this happened I did get shot in the head. Well, grazed but still.
What didn’t compute was why Jose jerked to his right and crumpled to the floor. My ears ringing, I looked at the blue instrument box on one of my medical thingies. It was popping and fizzing and smoke was coming out of a hole in the side. It was also dripping with Jose. Lynch stepped into the room and looked at me shaking his head, wisps of white smoke coming from the barrel of his M9.
He told Hose B, who was outside the room staring in through the fish window to get the F back in the room. Doc dick was standing there trying to rationalize himself out of his own doom. Been there, but I didn’t feel bad for this prick. I couldn’t infect anyone anyway, they had proved that. I’m not a carrier, I just come down with symptoms and my body tells the plague to fuck off.
But this asshole was terrified.
Lynch pointed at the doc, “Isolate him.” Hose B nodded and took the doc out, still holding his paw. That spook fuck smiled at me, shook his head again, and said one word, “Epic.” Then he laughed and walked out.
At least we agreed on something.
And right now you’re thinking; Only a graze? Pussy. Well fuck you, try it.
I guess I’ll have to write all this down later when I get unstrapped. Damn I gotta pee.