Read Humanity Gone (Book 3): Rebirth Online

Authors: Derek Deremer

Tags: #dystopia

Humanity Gone (Book 3): Rebirth

BOOK: Humanity Gone (Book 3): Rebirth
3.19Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub



Book III




















This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.


© 2013 By Derek Deremer

Editing by Dean Culver and Sandra Finley










“Not all of us were going to make it out of this one anyway,” I say, closing the glass door behind me. It has to be me instead of him. He is stronger than I am, and they all will need him.

“I thought it was going to be...?” Nate responds with a bewildered look. He eyes the door as if preparing to run out and find the one who was supposed to walk in. Yet, he remains. Sweat beads down his temples and reaches his uncertain face. Hints of the rash seem to crawl along the bottom of his neck under his shirt. Nate starts coughing again. It takes a few moments before he can manage to regain his composure.

“Time’s ticking away. Are you really going to argue?” I nearly yell back at him while hopping onto the gurney along the far wall. I roll up my sleeve and point my forearm toward him. A vein already bulges beneath the joint. My voice lowers. “Just get this over with. There’s not much time left for all of you.”

Nate's eyebrows furl beneath his glasses as his gaze switches from my arm to the needle on the nearby tray. He isn't the most experienced with using needles, but he'll do. Paige shouldn't have to do this, and anyone else who could is, well, unconscious. He turns to the table. The snap of a rubber glove against skin sounds like a gunshot in the quiet room.
Another snap. He returns, now holding the needle in his left hand with the stretched rubber tube in his other. It extends to some sort of machine on the nearby counter. I've never seen one like it before in all my time at hospitals. I guess that thing is the reason we came here. Our eyes meet briefly, and then he looks at my arm. I momentarily turn my head away. The cold needle touches my skin for just a moment, and it pierces my arm. There is no real pain - just an odd pressure. The small clear tube changes to maroon as it flows back into the machine. Nate places a piece of medical tape to hold the needle in place.

What a first time to give blood.

“Pump your fist; it will speed up the process,” he says. My fingers extend and tighten multiple times. The blood seems to flow faster within the tube. Why drag this out any longer than it has to be?

“You sure this is going to work?” I ask. He turns to the machine and watches as my blood fills the contraption. Again, he coughs violently into the crook of his arm. The plague is really taking its toll on him.

And he isn’t the only one.

Somewhere in your blood lies the key. I just need to find it. It's going to take many trials, but with this quantity and the equipment, I could have it isolated by morning. As soon as I find that, a cure can be synthesized by lunch if my already existing theoretical calculations are accurate.”

I smile slightly as he adjusts his glasses and fixes his attention back to the machine. God, he is a nerd and much more overt about it than Laura.

Quiet minutes pass with only the low hum of the machine as it continues to ingest my blood. He switches between pacing and leaning against the nearby table. After several minutes, he has to switch out the bag of blood from the machine. His mouth hangs slightly open; he doesn't know what to say. His restlessness makes me nervous.

“So how long will this take?” I finally manage to break the dull silence.

“The bags are filling quickly. Not much more than an hour. You will probably pass out within ten to twenty minutes though. Your pulse will end within the hour.”

“Oh...” With less than an hour left to live, I wish I could have
more intellectual thoughts. Instead, my mind goes blank. I think of everyone in the lobby - the world outside. This could save all of them. I guess it's worth it. I think briefly about her, and smile lightly, but Nate's grim face cuts it short. We retreat to silence again.

My stomach gives a nauseating turn.

“Nate, I'm getting really dizzy. I feel like I'm gonna be sick.”

“I was afraid of that; losing lots of blood will cause that reaction.” Nate walks behind me to the counter. I struggle to turn my head. The sound of a bottle sliding on a counter emanates from behind. He walks beside me.

“This is some chloroform that I found in here. I can knock you out with it if you like.”

My eyelids grow heavier. I can manage just a little bit more. I don't need the drugs. This won't last much longer, and I still want to say one more thing to him.

“No, I don't need that. I'm already getting weary.”

“You sure?”

“Yea.” I respond. He sets the bottle back on the table and looks down at me. His eyes quiver, and tears form at their corner. Watching him cry on my behalf makes me feel guilty. “Look Nate. There’s something I’ve…”

“Save your final thoughts. I know,” he says.

“I don't know what to say. I’m sorry.”

“I’m sorry, too. This wasn’t your choice,” he replies. While fighting my closing eyelids, my peripherals go dark. Nate's face becomes blurry.

“It was my choice,” I say, probably grinning for the last time.

My breaths become farther apart. I finally close my eyes. It's time to go.









Chapter 1: Carter

“Ryan, he's coming up on your side. Don't let him escape.”

I release the radio's answer button, and slip it into my worn leather belt. My right hand loosely grips my holstered gun as I try to regain my speed in the deep black of night. The near foot of snow on the ground impedes my legs from attaining my largest stride. Winter came much earlier than we anticipated this year, and it is really complicating things.

From the little light the stars provide, the intruder rushes towards the apex of the hill, and he will soon be out of my view. If the night
wasn’t so clear, we never would have spotted him crossing the fence a few minutes ago. He – I’m assuming it's a he – is dressed in nearly all white and blends in with the snow. He's smart. Who knows how long he has been watching us. For a brief moment, his white outfit sticks out against the black sky and then slips over the crest – out of my sight.

“Dammit,” I mumble between heavy breaths. The cold air burns my lungs with each deep inhale. A small crack of static emanates from the radio - Ryan.

“I see him, Carter,” his voice jumps through the radio just as I reach the top of the hill. I pause for a moment at the top, and my hands collapse to my knees as I try to suck in more air. I draw in breaths while searching the other side of the hill. It isn't too steep, but the pine trees obstruct my vision. The farm's farthest perimeter ends in less than a hundred yards. If he manages to reach the farthest fence, we don't stand a chance in the dense woods. The intruder could have anything waiting for us out there. I continue to glance around the rows of pine trees at the farm's furthest perimeter. They are in perfect rows - future Christmas trees planted for a Christmas that never came.

A gray blur flies between the trees in the distance. I sprint after the blur but quickly lose sight of it among the still pine rows. My pace lessens as I glance around.

“Ryan?” I shout, regaining my speed while searching down the long line of trees. Moving over to the next row, I catch a glimpse of someone running directly away from me. He is right behind another figure.

“Carter, he's right...” Ryan's yell ends
in an “oomph” as he lunges forward, tackling the intruder to the snow-covered ground. A white dusting of powder flies into the air. More grunts resonate off the pine trees as the two continue to grapple on the ground.

While running towards them, I reach into my holster and pull out my pistol. Ensuring the chamber has a bullet, I release the slide. Looking up, Ryan continues to struggle with the intruder. The two roll around while groaning and yelling.

The intruder ends up on the top of the pile, and he throws a few punches into Ryan’s face. I’m within ten feet of them.

“Get off him,” I command finally catching up to the two. I raise the gun. Ryan's attacker looks up to my weapon and freezes. Ryan takes the opportunity and throws a fist into the side of the intruder’s jaw. The intruder falls to the side and Ryan manages to stand. This stranger finally speaks.

“Don’t shoot,” he exclaims, his gloved hands slowly rising into the air. His face shows worry. By the way he looks at the gun, I can tell he doesn’t have one.

“What do you want?” I demand, trying my best to sound intimidating.

“We were just scavenging for supplies.”

I ask, moving the gun closer to his head.

“Me, I meant me,” he quickly stutters. Ryan comes up behind him and knocks him to the ground with a kick to the back of his head.

“Who else is here?” Ryan yells. He moves on top of the intruder's back and pulls the man’s arms around, fastening his hands together with a zip-tie. Ryan asks again, but now, the bandit chooses to be quiet. He doesn’t answer. Ryan tries to persuade him with a few more hits to the side of the face.

The trespasser remains quiet; his wet head faces down in the snow while managing deep breathes.

“I don’t like this,” I say to Ryan. He looks up to me and nods briefly.

“Let’s get him back to the Ax. There may be some others out here.” Ryan backs off the man and pulls him up by the arms. The Ax, the small farm that is now home, will take a while to reach if this
guy keeps thrashing about. Ryan retrieves his pistol from his holster and stabs it into the center of the man’s back. “Let’s get going, friend.”

The intruder looks at me briefly with an expression of pain. Blood runs from his nose and into his mouth. He spits onto the snow in front of me, keeping his head down as Ryan turns him and guides him forward towards the hill.

I don’t like the looks of any of this. I’m sure this guy isn’t alone. We never go out alone; you would have to be crazy to in this world. It’s best we get him back to the safety of the Ax. At least the others will be there in case things take a turn for the worse.

Ryan pushes the trespasser along in the snow. The captive falls a few times; the blood on his face leaves a dark trail in the white. I follow a few
dozen yards behind them, still trying to catch my breath.


A sound – behind me.

I pivot hard on my left leg, turning around quickly with
new-found vigor. My fingers go to my hip and grab the handle of my pistol. Shadows from the trees and brush surround me. In the darkness, it’s nearly impossible to see anything.

The shadow about a dozen yards in front of me moves slightly. I swear it did. I slowly withdraw my gun.

Maybe it's just my mind playing tricks at this hour of the night. I slowly raise my pistol towards the shadow, preparing to approach it.

Another noise – to the right.

I sharply turn my head. A small rabbit emerging from a bush struggles though the snow along the path. I quickly turn forward again. The shadow from before is missing.

My eyes quickly search everywhere around me. Aside from a slight sway in the trees, there is no other movement. I turn my head, meticulously searching for any disturbance. Nothing else moves.

Probably just my imagination.

Nonetheless, I hurry after Ryan and our new prisoner.

BOOK: Humanity Gone (Book 3): Rebirth
3.19Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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