It used to be humans against humans, fighting for something we believed in, even if it wasn’t always something noble. Now, we’re still fighting against other people, but they’re dead.
It started five months ago. No one knows what triggered it but the infection spread fast and no family was spared. For the first time in my life, I was glad the service never gave me time to fall in love. I’ve got enough anger without losing anyone important.
I clutch my gun tight enough to keep it in my hands, not tight enough to show white knuckles. Best not to show the men under my command fear. Fear will get them nothing but killed. We’ve got to get to them fast, these scientists who say they’ve got a cure. I don’t know how scientists survived the outbreak when some of my best men couldn’t. No matter. We’ll all meet the end soon enough. Just need to get to the scientists and stop this madness.
I motion back to the men. Two blocks. Two large city blocks that we’ve got to get across. I chuckle to myself as I think about how inconsequential two blocks used to be. A quick jog would get you across in no time. Now we’ve got to watch for the dead ones who want our flesh. And I don’t mean my dick in their mouth, though if I could find a dead whore who wouldn’t bite, I’d consider it.
About fifty dead ones, loitering. I check my weapon. The magazine holds nearly enough ammunition to finish them all myself. I’ll let my men think they’re still useful though. Until they’re not.
I mime to the men again. I’ll take the left side. The four of them take the right. In truth, two aren’t my men. They were immune to the strain that infected the majority of the population so I let them stay alive when we found them. Shots explode before I give the command.
Fuckin’ noobs with their shotguns. A shotgun is heavier and takes longer to reload. That’s a way to get dead quick. One of my men is on the ground and his weapon isn’t in hand. He’s one of the immune and will stay down after the dead have their feast so I don’t bother wasting a bullet. Getting eaten alive will teach him to handle his weapon properly and pick one that Hollywood didn’t shove up his ass. Fuckin’ movies. He probably pumped it and wasted a bullet for dramatic effect too.
The rest of us clear the street and climb the fire escape. The scientists are waiting. But they aren’t waiting for us. They want rescued and they want to save everyone. I try to control my hunger until we get the tour and see the advances they’ve made. It’s been days since I’ve eaten. The mission is too important to stop for snacks.
I’m still scared, but not for myself. I think back to the wars I’ve seen and the waste of humanity and I’m sure there’s no saving anyone. One of the scientists, a woman with nice looking brown hair, says something. I can’t understand the words. So tired. “We have extra bunks and our supplies are plenty. Would you like to have lunch with us?” she asks again. I stare at her pretty mouth. The way it moves enchants me. I nod.
She asks if there are more in our party and I shake my head. I think she’s realizing when she asks another question. “What’s your name?” But I can’t answer. I can’t speak. Not for the fear. Now that we’re here and I know rescue isn’t possible, the fear has melted away. I grunt. It’s the best I can do and now she knows. I put a rough hand over her pretty mouth and motion for my men to take the others into custody.
We’re famished but the supplies will remain stocked. My men and I are immune from the first strain of the virus but that goddamn infection mutated into something else. Something that leaves us with enough of ourselves to be disgusted with what we must do. I don’t want to kill this woman. She’s the first I’ve seen alive in weeks. I want to do things to her, I want to hurt her and eat her, yes. But I don’t want to kill her.
I wish I could speak but I’m stuck in my thoughts so she’ll never know what a welcome sight she is. I’ll make her scream in pleasure before I kill her. To show my joy. Then I’ll wear her hair as a token. I love this woman. My stomach growls. That scares her. I wish I could tell her how sorry I am.
I can’t let this cure get out. I can’t let the world go back to the way it was. Filthy humans who don’t care about their bodies, their honor, their children. They have no worth. I told you, we’re fighting against people. But they’re dead. I’ll kill them all.
I’m a god among the dead. The woman confirms it when I’m deep inside her. I’ll wear her hair proudly.
Jen is working on a young adult urban fantasy called Slacker Heroes and a collection of pop culture essays. She makes room in her heart for both Bobby Drake and Batman. You can catch her on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
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