Read Apocalypse Atlanta (Book 4): Apocalypse Asylum Online

Authors: David Rogers

Tags: #Zombies

Apocalypse Atlanta (Book 4): Apocalypse Asylum

BOOK: Apocalypse Atlanta (Book 4): Apocalypse Asylum
7.44Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Apocalypse Asylum

By David Rogers

Apocalypse Asylum

Copyright © 2015 by David Rogers

[email protected]

All rights reserved

 

Cover Copyright © 2015 David Rogers

All rights reserved

Cover Art created by Jeff Brown

 

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only.  This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people.  If you’re reading this ebook and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased or lent for your use, then please purchase your own copy.  Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 

This is a work of original fiction.  Some real locations and businesses have been used to set scenes, but all such trademarks are the respective property of their owners.  All depicted characters are fictional and not intended to represent specific living persons.

Foreword

Zombies

Chapter One - Can’t get no satisfaction

“Seriously?”

Peter glanced at Crawford as the Guardswoman turned the steering wheel to weave the Humvee around a wrecked hatchback laying on its side in the street.  “Why’s that so funny?”

“Because it’s totally weird.”

Rolling his eyes, Peter adjusted the AR-15 where he’d leaned it against the corner of dashboard and door.  “It’s not weird to realize everything you fucking kids listen to is crap.”

“Uh, yes it is; there’s nothing wrong with today’s music.”

“You’re young.”

“And I’m not a kid.  I’m twenty-fucking-four.” she shot back.

Peter grinned.  “Like I said, you’re young.”

“Twenty-four is not young.”

“It is when I’m over twice your age.”

Now Crawford was the one who rolled her eyes, even as she continued holding the Humvee on the center line of the two lane road at the breathtakingly slow speed of twenty miles per hour.  “We need to stop at one of those drugstores we didn’t completely strip yet.  I bet there’s still some Geritol on the shelves.”

“Don’t be so sure.” he half-growled in response.  “Sawyer’s had vitamins prioritized for weeks.”

“True.” she nodded, her tone unconcerned with his.  “Metamucil then.”

“I may be old, but I can still kick your ass.”

Crawford barked a short laugh.  “Back to threats again?”

“Already did it once.”

She gave him a scornful glance.  “I was winning.”

“The hell you were.”

“Look, I hate to break up your little mating ritual,” Oliver said from the back seat, “but if you guys are going to keep on like this, just drop me off and I’ll walk back.”

“Hah!” Crawford laughed again.  “Through town?”

“We’ve been running clearing sweeps for weeks now; it’s not like the area is exactly crawling with risk these days.”

“You never know.”

“I’ll risk zombies over listening to you two flirt.”

Peter grinned.  “I’m not flirting.  I’m making her feel loved.”

“Same difference Gunny.”

“You don’t know me as well as you like to put on.” Crawford told Peter.

“No?  Let’s see . . . fuck you?”

She tried, she really did, but a bit of amusement leaked past the stern expression she tried to put on.  “Aerosmith and The Stones should have hung it up, I don’t know,
years
ago.  Before eight track went out of style.”

“Was it ever in style?” Dorne asked from the other side of the backseat from Oliver.

“Hell no, they play real music.  Unlike that electronic crap you listen to.” Peter told Crawford, ignoring Dorne.

“Really, anywhere along here is fine.  Just let me out.” Oliver said again.

“Shut up.” Peter and Crawford both said.

“Get a room.” he retorted.

“They’re fine.” Dorne shrugged.  “It’s almost cute . . . sorta.”

Peter frowned, but Crawford spoke before he could respond.

“Zombie.”

Peter looked out the windshield and spotted the walking corpse, ambling and staggering along the grass at the edge of a gas station parking lot.  Another was just emerging from behind the building.

Neither looked to be faring well.  Aside from the dried out, nearly husk like appearance of their flesh; both were crusty with dirt and long dried blood, and sported various wounds that went beyond mere indifference to damage.

The one in the back looked like it had been hit by a car, or at least a sledgehammer, judging by the protruding ribs and exposed lung on its right side.  Blood and filth was caked around the splits in its skin.  Ahead of it, the leading zombie was missing its left arm, and one of its legs didn’t seem to want to work correctly.  As he watched, it dragged the leg over something hidden in the knee high grass and fell over.  It went down face first, without any attempt to catch itself.  It didn’t mind falling.

Zombies never did.

“Whose turn is it?” Oliver asked.

“Crawford’s, but because she’s spent the last ten minutes making fun of my music, I’m claiming these two.” Peter said, picking up his AR and glancing around outside the windows on his side of the Humvee.  The street was deserted; only the two zombies and the Humvee disturbing the eerie isolation.

“You gonna bail out on the move?” Dorne asked curiously.

“Tuck and roll Gunny.” Crawford laughed, the sarcastic amusement back in her tone.

“Stop.” Peter ordered.  She sighed and braked, pulling to a halt about half a block from the gas station.  Peter checked around the Humvee a second time, then opened the door and stepped out.

Cumming Georgia was being steadily picked clean by the survivors of the zombie apocalypse huddled on the north side of town.  Zombies were still showing up, but they were appearing in fewer and fewer numbers as the security and scavenge patrols kept taking them out.  The last ten days or so had seen only a handful every twenty-four hours, which was a relief as much as it was curious.

The problem with fewer zombies was simple; Peter kept waiting for the other shoe to drop.  When upwards of two hundred million people, just in North America alone, lost their pulses and gained voracious appetites for flesh – any flesh – that was a lot of monsters.  It had only been two months since the outbreak started.  If they weren’t here, it begged the question . . . where were they then?

The alternative was, at some point, a massive collection of the fuckers would show up.  He really hoped that didn’t happen.  The camp was in pretty good shape considering the conditions and how many people were willing and able to work, but a few thousand zombies hitting the fences all at once would be bad.  Very, very bad.

But that was a nightmare for another time.  Now, there were only two to deal with.  Peter moved a few feet from the Humvee, glanced around a third time to make sure he was alone in the street, then brought the assault rifle up to his shoulder.  Settling it in place, he laid his eye against the scope and drew a bead on the zombie still on its feet.  It had noticed him and the Humvee by now, and was changing direction to stagger in their direction.  He adjusted his aim carefully, putting the red dot centered in his scope just above mouth level.

The thing that had used to be a living breathing person wove back and forth as he waited, adjusting to its ragged pattern of movement.  Its left foot came down just ahead of the curb between grass and pavement, and he made his final correction before squeezing the trigger back smoothly.

An explosion of bone and bits erupted out the back of the creature’s head as the bullet shattered its skull.  The zombie dropped like a puppet with its strings cut, folding to the ground with no further movement.  Peter tracked down and gave it a few seconds, making sure the thing was really dead — fully dead this time, not just the animated undeath it had been enjoying — before lifting his head and looking around yet again.

He’d learned to be very cautious.  Quieter town or not, he’d burned up far too much luck making it this far to feel comfortable making assumptions.  But nothing else was sneaking up on him right now so he returned his attention to the scope and found the other zombie.

That one was up on its knees and remaining hand, looking at him; wobbling and weaving as what was left of its coordination struggled to compensate for the missing arm.  It was definitely suffering some kind of problem with its knee; the joint didn’t seem to want to bend much, which was further complicating its attempts to rise.  Zombies had basic motor skills, but lacked any of the awareness and consideration a human would bring to the problem.  It didn’t seem able to grasp that attempting to press itself up using its right knee wasn’t working too well, or that its balance was seriously compromised by the absent arm.  As he watched, it fell back down on all fours – well, threes – again.

Peter waited for it to start trying to rise once more, so its movements would be more predictably upwards rather than floundering around sideways, then put a round right in its forehead.  The matted hair clinging to the back of its head puffed out as the bullet went through the skull, pulling a good portion of the brain tissue out with it.  He double checked it, and then both bodies a third time, but they were down for good.  Safing his weapon, he got back in the Humvee.

“Took you long enough.” Crawford sniffed.

“Two zombies, two shots.” Peter grinned.  “Why waste ammo?”

“Why waste time?”

“Time we’ve got.”

“Ammo we got.” she pointed out.

“Yeah, we cleaned out those two other armories, plus what we donated from the bus.” Dorne said.

“And there’s no sense wasting it.” Peter said mildly.

“Whatever.” Crawford shrugged.  “We done out here?”

“Let’s take another pass through the north edge, then yeah, we’ll head back.”

“Fine, but we’re not putting a boombox in here if you get to pick what gets played.” she said, taking her foot off the brake.  “There’s enough dust around here from the zombies.”

“And I’m not listening to noise.” Peter retorted.  “Listening to you is bad enough without a soundtrack of wailing and pure shit.”

“Okay, I’m walking.” Oliver said.

Crawford immediately pegged the accelerator, squealing the Humvee’s tires a little as the vehicle surged forward abruptly.  “No unscheduled stops.  Suffer.” she threw over her shoulder.

“You’re a real bitch, you know that?”

“Yes.”

Forty minutes later, the security sweep of the area finished, they pulled into the front parking lot of North Forsyth High School.  Trucks and school busses dominated, with the MARTA bus that had ferried Peter and the other surviving Guardsmen — and Guardswomen — out of Atlanta still parked on the curb right in front of the entrance doors.  Crawford swung around the parking lot and slid the Humvee into its slot next to the other one, right on the front row across from the bus.

Peter looked around critically after he got out of the vehicle.  Two armed men were stationed in front of the school’s main doors, and he saw two of the other four who were part of the rooftop watch visible at the edge of the big building’s roof.  One of them waved, a gesture Peter returned briefly.

“Situation normal.” Oliver remarked as he started for the school.

“Situation boring you mean.” Crawford sighed.

“Boring is safe.”

“Boring is boring.” she disagreed.  “We should start scouting further out.”

“Just because it’ll make it more likely we’ll find some action?” Dorne asked in a leading tone.

“Hell yeah.” She replied.  “Also, it’ll keep thinning the fuckers out.  And keep everyone used to shooting and reacting.”

“There’s no need yet.” Peter said, though he secretly agreed with her.  It was getting hard to maintain a good sharp edge on everyone’s concentration with things getting as calm as they had been recently.  It wasn’t that he objected to the safety, to the lack of chaos and carnage, but . . . the zombies weren’t gone.  They were just thin on the ground here after weeks of effort by the survivors.

He worried people were going to forget what was happening if it went on like this.  That they might get sloppy and complacent.  Even though the area across the rear of the school — formerly athletic fields — was fenced and secured against intrusion by any wandering corpses, he knew those same enclosures could turn into a compressed slice of hell if someone who got bit hid it and turned after they were back inside.

That was one of the reasons he insisted on four man teams for everything that went on outside the camp.  Everything was arranged in groups of four people, always built from multiples of foursomes; each of whose first priority was to cover and back each other up.  Most of the groups that left on scavenging runs to retrieve supplies were at least forty strong, but he remained insistent on the quartets as the basic building block.

There was too much coming and going for everyone to have to strip and submit to some sort of examination when they returned; even if there had been enough medical staff.  The foursomes were his compromise against that.  Maybe — maybe — if he’d had enough military personnel to go around, he could have worked out some sort of process where the teams went through a group examination.  Military people got used to being in their underwear, and even occasionally naked, in barracks and screening environments with others present.

Civilians, not so much.

“Any problems?” Tim, one of the door guards, asked as the group neared where he and his partner stood against the wall.

“Three zombie sightings, no new survivor groups.” Dorne shrugged.

“Boring.” Crawford said again.

“Good.” Tim nodded.

“I guess.”  She pulled the door open and went through.

“Gunny, Ms. Sawyer left word that she’d like to see you when you get back, when you’ve got a minute.”

“Okay, thanks.” Peter nodded.

He pushed through the doors behind Oliver and went into what had been the school’s office.  Now it was the main administrative center for the camp, staffed by people who’d either shown clerical or logistical aptitude.  They all supported the handful of more experienced folks who headed up the various parts of the ongoing relief operation; food, sanitation, security, infrastructure, and medical.  Peter was the security guy, though he consulted quite a bit with the engineering student and retired general contractor who jointly managed the infrastructure projects.

BOOK: Apocalypse Atlanta (Book 4): Apocalypse Asylum
7.44Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Persuaded by Misty Dawn Pulsipher
It's You by Jane Porter
A Death by Stephen King
The Gate to Futures Past by Julie E. Czerneda
Christmas Killing by Chrissie Loveday
The Towers of Love by Birmingham, Stephen;
The Violet Hour by Brynn Chapman