The Complex: (The Reanimates)

BOOK: The Complex: (The Reanimates)
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The
Complex

Book 1 of the Reanimates Series

 

a novel by

 

J. Rudolph

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Complex

Book 1 of The Reanimates Series
First Edition, E-Book – published 2012
Rudforce Intragalactic, Publishing Division

Copyright © 2012 by Julie Rudolph

 

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without the written permission of the author, except where permitted by law.

 

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living, dead or undead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental
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To Connor, sometimes the world sucks. Just the way of it all. Who you choose to align yourself with can make all the difference.

 

The Beginning

 

A significant earthquake struck in Japan. Their nuclear power plants leaked, and after a time it was decided that an evacuation must be called. Radiation levels had been deemed harmful to humans. There were a great many people that needed to be evacuated so luggage space was limited. Instructions of all belongings must fit in a back pack were relayed to all the evacuees. Pets must be small and in an approved carrier.

             
In one house in the evacuation zone, a little boy had been put on the task of packing in his room. He went about putting his clothes in his back pack. He sat down on his bed to decide what he actually needed in all of this and that it was unfair that he should be made to leave his home. It wasn't his fault after all that the stupid reactor is leaking. In his mind they should just plug up the hole with the putty stuff that his father had used to patch a hole in their wall when the boy had accidentally put it there when he found his father's golf clubs. He sulked for a moment as he surveyed the room, until he spotted his rat. He got the rat a year ago from a local street market and had named it Nezumi-San which roughly translated to "Rat-friend". The rat carried Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus. The boy did not know this. He did know that the rat had been exposed to radiation like his family, it was why they were leaving after all, but obviously he didn't have a clue as to what sort of damage was being done in the rat's body as the Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus mutated. All he knew is that he loved his rat and had no intention of leaving him behind so into the carrier the rat went. He sat back down to sulk again.

             
Having seen the boy's distress over the whole thing, the boy's parents came into his room with a surprise. His family had elected to visit friends in New York while the clean up was underway. This sounded amazing to the boy and immediately his sulking was over. He would be going not only to America, but to New York of all places! He looked into his rat's cage with joy.

             
In halting, broken English the boy said to the rat, "Nezumi-San we are to see New York. We are to see Big Apple. We are to see Yankee baseball and catch home run baseball. If we must get go, Nezumi-San, this is the only way to. You will love it, I have saw many movies with New York in it. For now on I speak only the English we make in our school lesson." The boy smiled at his rat and the rat squeaked softly. The boy took the squeak to mean the rat was confirming the English only rule could be a wise move. The boy slid a treat into the carrier and the rat took his time nibbling on it. The boy slid his back pack over his shoulder as he glanced over his room one more time. He imagined all the new posters he was going to put up when he gets back. He picked up the carrier and joined his family.

             
Before they are allowed to enter a public place like an airport the boy and his family had to go through a radiation treatment center to ensure that they weren't radioactive and possibly injure others. The family was taken to the first processing room where they had to deposit their belongings into a lead box. They were directed to put on a hospital gown that is handed to them and to place their clothes into the boxes as well. A member of veterinary services took Nezumi-San to be checked out. The boy was concerned about what they may do to the rat. He was reassured by the lady now holding the pet carrier that everything would be fine. She explained that the rat needed a bath, his carrier cleaned, and he needed to take a dose of potassium iodine just like he will be taking and that they would be reunited soon.

             
He and his parents were sent through to the shower room. They were given the soaps and shampoos they needed to remove any residual radiation and yet another hospital gown to put on them so they didn't recontaminate with the first. After they scrubbed and dressed they were taken to another room where men were standing with a wand that measured how much radiation remained on them. They were told that the levels were in the acceptable range, given a pill the size of Mount Fuji, and told to wait on their clothing. Moments later the lady that took Nezumi-San returned with a very fluffy rat. Just a bit later they are handed their back packs and were free to go on to the airport.

             
On the arm of the lady who washed the rat was a bandage that wasn't there before. She didn't mention the injury to anyone, fearing that the breach in safety protocol would leave her without a job. It was her fault, she reasoned. It was she that had not checked the water temperature before putting the rat in the spray. No animal wanted to take a cold shower and that caused the rat to try to flee using her arm as a take off point. It was just a scratch after all. She had cleaned it with soap, and she would be fine. The rat certainly acted healthy after all.

             
Once in the airport, his parents bought the tickets. The boy was disappointed that his rat must travel with the other animals. He didn't understand why he couldn't just sit with Nezumi-San on his lap, but rules were rules. They would be traveling from Japan to Los Angeles first, then on to San Francisco where after a lay over, they would fly directly to New York. The stops in California made the boy feel like an exotic jet set movie star. He hoped to be able to maybe see a famous person.

After they flew into LAX, the boy took the rat out so he could hold his pet in the food court after they collected their belongings. The rat sat on his shoulder nibbling on sunflower seeds. Another young boy ran up to pet the rat, without asking, and got scratched. As far as the boy was concerned that other kid deserved what he got. You don't just put hands on a pet that isn't yours. When the time came to board the next plane he took his rat to be checked in. “I will see you soon. You be good.” He left the cage and rejoined his parents.

They went on to San Francisco. A woman with long blonde hair and a flowing sundress offered a bit of granola to the rat. The boy said that would be very good, and thanked her for the treat. He still felt badly that the rat was banished on the flight. The rat accidentally nipped her when taking the treat. She giggled, saying that it seemed the rat must love granola. She popped the bit finger into her mouth to suck on the wound in an attempt to clean it out. She was one of those people who believed that the body creates its own clean up system and that saliva was a perfectly good antiseptic.

They boarded the last plane for a nonstop flight to New York. The pet carrier fell over when the plane hit turbulence and the rat got loose. The airline staff attempted to get the rat back in its carrier and created a bit of a commotion in the process. The boy realized it was his pet that is loose and convinced the airline staff to let him help since Nezumi knew him. The rat was backed into a corner when the boy reached for him. By that point, the rat was in panic mode. The boy was bitten deeply in his arm as the rat escaped one last time. The rat ran away when plane landed in New York which broke the boy's heart, and now he didn't feel well on top of it. All the stress of everything made his head hurt and not to long after the bite he felt like he was starting to get the flu. This had been the worst trip ever in his mind.

Nezumi-San infected other rats with Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus (radiated) through fights over food and the availability of mates. These rats went on to scratch and bite other rats in other colonies. The rats that acquired the virus became more aggressive than they were before and they bit people even when unprovoked.

Everyone who got an injury from an infected rat got sick for a bit, died, then reanimated. They passed their disease to others through their blood and saliva.

This is how the outbreak began.

The world did not end with a bang, nor did it end with a whimper. It was more of a chomp. And a slurp.

 

Threshold

 

The day that the virus hit threshold was much like the day before, in the beginning. I had worked the night before at the hospital. It didn't stand out that much on the heart unit though the ER was hopping like the 4th of July. Had I not known better I'd have guessed it was a full moon. The hospital I worked at is in a small town, small for southern California anyway. Being the only hospital for 25 miles around, it made sense to be a trauma center. Throughout the night trauma codes had kept being announced over the PA, one or two an hour. Our floor had mused over what could be going on out there in the world that could elicit this sudden spike in traumas but no one knew of any reason. It wasn't a holiday. It wasn't a weekend. It was a Tuesday. Just any old Tuesday in the end of May.

The drive home was fairly quiet. The usual activity of a weekday morning wasn't there. The roads were light. I figured that since the schools let out for summer break the day before that maybe the neighbors were taking an off day. I wondered if maybe that was why the trauma count was so high. Yeah, that probably was it. The high schoolers must have had a party that had gotten out of hand. I chuckled to myself as I pulled my truck into the car port for not having had that realization last night.

I lived in a gated apartment complex. I loved it there. I loved the grounds of the complex. I loved the neighbors. I loved the trees. There were many tall trees and that gives a sense of quiet, essential to life in southern California. I glanced over the common area to see the neighbor kids had left their bikes on the grounds. Again. How they have managed to not get those bikes stolen was beyond me. The sidewalk had been decorated with sidewalk chalk and scattered patches had been washed away by the sprinklers. As I walked up the stairs I began to plan out what I was going to do that day with sleep being high on my to do list.  I emptied my pockets and walked down the hall. I stuck my head into my ten-year-old son's room. Drew's room was chaos now that he was on break. It made me happy to find him sprawled out across the bed, sound asleep, although how such a little person can take up so much area is beyond me. My husband, Trent, was sleeping in the next room enjoying that he had the day off. Trent had often commented on how he loved working for a small cabinet shop because he can make his own hours, a definite plus when kiddo goes off track. I had envy issues. People got sick regardless of what my son's school schedule was, or what holiday it was.

I went to the living room and fired up the laptop to check the message forums.  My favorite forums are for Kindle fans. Yeah, I was that geek. I loved to read and I loved electronic things and as it turns out, I was not alone in my obsession. I found the general chat thread and was surprised to see that there had been over 200 new posts in the 12 hours that I was at work. I must have missed out on some flame war. When I started reading the posts people kept talking about they couldn't believe the news stories. Posts continued on about being scared.

What had I missed?

Posts about the news scared me, they have ever since 9/11. Being totally unaware of what's going on when a huge event happens gave me a sinking feeling in the gut. It had me recall that day that 9/11 occurred. I was at home and we didn't have internet or TV. I found out that the world was ending when my mother in law called me and broke the news over my prepaid cell phone. I stared at the still turned off television screen for a bit. If I didn't turn it on then what ever it is that is scaring my internet friends was not real yet. The remote control sat on the coffee table taunting me. I finally reached over, picked it up and pushed the power button. When the screen came to life the newscaster on the screen looked as though she was frightened by the story she had to tell us. She went on about how surreal the story was and how never in a million years did she think this is a real thing. Pretty much she said a whole lot of nothing.

BOOK: The Complex: (The Reanimates)
4.13Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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