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Authors: B.M. Hodges

Tags: #Zombies, #Speculative Fiction

Zombie Fever: Evolution

BOOK: Zombie Fever: Evolution
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ZOMBIE FEVER 3

Evolution

 

 

 

by

 

B.M. Hodges

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2012 B.M. Hodges

Cover Image: (c) chrisharvey /
www.fotosearch.com

 

 

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please purchase your own copy. Your support and respect for the property of this author is appreciated.

 

This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the author’s imagination and used fictitiously.

 

Table of Contents

CHAPTER ONE

CHAPTER TWO

CHAPTER THREE

CHAPTER FOUR

CHAPTER FIVE

CHAPTER SIX

CHAPTER SEVEN

CHAPTER EIGHT

CHAPTER NINE

CHAPTER TEN

CHAPTER ELEVEN

CHAPTER TWELVE

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

 

 

 

Chapter One

 

Zombie Fever Quarantine Zone

Kota Tinggi, Malaysia

 

Tomas’ final glimpse of Abigail was bittersweet as the twin blades of the helicopter accelerated and the craft lifted away into the night sky. He was lying in a fetal-like position, trying to recover from the electric sting of the two barbs still lodged in his back. Using every ounce of strength he had left, he rose off the sticky tar roof and looked up at the helicopter, catching sight of Abigail one last time as she stared down at him through the round porthole.

The sound of the helicopter faded and then was gone.

There was a bang twenty yards to his right.

Turning slowly, he saw a horde of infected clawing and climbing over each other through the open door of the stairwell and lurching towards him, moaning in anticipation.

Tomas pivoted and ran in the opposite direction towards the edge of the four story shopping center, the flesh craving zombies on his heels. He leapt blindly off the side into the darkness, hoping beyond hope that something soft would break his landing.

But he didn’t get a chance to find out - his right leg catching, then getting entangled in a mess of power lines less than a floor down. Instead of violently hitting the pavement, he ended up bobbing upside down, caught up in the wires. Fortunately, the city’s power had been offline for the last two days and the electrical lines were dead.

Zombies began tumbling over the edge of the building.

They fell around him to the ground below, some crushing their skulls in a greenish pink spray of brains, others breaking arms, legs and backs. They were immobilized and left to bleed out their contagious goo onto the uneven surface of the parking lot below.

When it was over, there wasn’t a zombie left on the roof above as they’d all run off the side in the stampede.

Tomas pulled himself up and, hand over hand, found his way to the nearest power pole. He eased onto the thin wooden platform where an ancient transformer held vigil over the dead littering the walk below. He took a ten minute breather to gather his thoughts and devise a plan.

Let’s see, I wrecked the limo when I slammed through the display window earlier. Hmm. I could try to steal one of those cars in the lot below. But the chances of them having keys, let alone being unlocked, are slim. Shit. With all the roamers down there, there isn’t enough time to break a window and attempt to hot wire one without attracting the dozen infected skulking around in the darkness.

For the first time since he became involved in the zombie fever pandemic, Tomas was afraid that he might not make it out alive. It wasn’t the multitude of grotesquely swollen zombies infected with the original strain that he was worried about. It was Vitura’s bio-engineered second generation of infected that frightened him. There were too many of those quick-on-their-feet mutated zombies in the vicinity for him to escape on foot. From what he had observed on the hectic drive into town, there was at least one mutated zombie for every five zombies infected with the original strain.
I’ll never make it to the fence before they ripped me to shreds. I need, at a minimum, several large caliber guns, a grenade belt and a protective bio-suit…like the ones Abigail and her friend were wearing for the show.

It was a long shot, but he decided that his only means of escaping the quarantine zone was the abandoned SUV. That is, if it had keys and enough fuel to get him back to Johor. If it was locked, keyless or empty of fuel, it would mean certain death.

Tomas readied to shimmy down the power pole and sneak across the lot to the other side of the shopping center but froze when he heard a scraping sound of metal sliding along on pavement.

He leaned down and peered into the darkness below.

It was next to impossible to see anything, but his ear told him the sound was a couple yards to his east.

There was another noise, more like a clang, from an alleyway across the street and a burning tire rolled out and across the lot. This wasn’t surprising as most the town surrounding the shopping center was ablaze. The tire bumped into a nearby car and settled on the ground, casting enough light for Tomas to make out the herky-jerky movements of a zombie, pulling the carcass of a shopkeeper by a length of purple intestines.

During his four years fighting against Vitura and tracking the contagion, this was the first time he’d seen a zombie do anything other than meander around looking for an easy kill. It was as if this zombified schoolmarm had a purpose in her actions other than the instant gratification of the feed.

Tomas had never come across zombie behavior that didn’t have a direct causal link to the hunger. Even while searching for a cure with Dr. Greer in the Vancouver laboratory, there was no indication that an infected had even rudimentary mental capabilities other than pure instinctual urges. The original strain of zombie fever destroyed too much of the cerebrum for this type of behavior.

It’s as if this zombie is saving some of her meal for tomorrow.

The metallic scraping continued as the zombie lurched along with her catch. Tomas noticed a glint of steel in the hand of the half-eaten corpse being dragged along.

The dead shopkeeper had a parang, an Indonesian machete, secured to his wrist with a leather strap. The parang was sliding along the blacktop with a sound as irritating as nails on a blackboard.

Tomas wanted that blade.

The infected woman shuffled underneath his position, continuing towards the rear of the lot.

Tomas shimmied down the pole, jumped to the ground and crouched low, making sure there weren’t any other infected nearby. He found a half a cinderblock with a nice heft in the weeds beside the derelict parking lot.

The infected woman continued pulling the carcass along, the tip of the parang scraping a thin line in the soot blanketing the pavement.

With only a couple of feet between them, Tomas made his move.

He hurled the cinderblock and it smacked into the zombie’s head.

She collapsed on the ground, unconscious from the blow.

Tomas knew he would be negligent in his duties as a self-described ‘bad ass, zombie fighting crusader’ if he didn’t get a sample of mutated zombie fever for Dr. Greer. And this specimen’s conduct … well, something was going on inside its head unlike anything that had been observed in the preceding strain of infected.

I think Dr. Greer would agree that the best sample would be from brain tissue, not merely a blood sample,
Tomas decided. If there was one thing his experiences in the field had taught him, it was to make do with what you had.

And what was a better travel container for a brain but the human skull?

He slipped the parang off the shopkeeper’s wrist and tested its weight in his hand.

Then he set to work obtaining his tissue sample.

It took a few swift chops of the sharp blade to the back of the infected woman’s neck and the head was severed from its body. He watched in the firelight as the greenish blood oozed from the headless corpse, pooling on the ground in front of him.

Tomas felt no remorse for ending the woman’s so-called life in such a manner. In her condition, she was doomed to a death from exposure to the elements or from the flame-throwers of the WHO paratroopers descending on the small town in the morning. The way he looked at it, he may have saved a few uninfected townsfolk from her rabid bites.

If Tomas could have felt even an ounce of remorse for killing the infected, that sort of empathy had died long ago with the death of his father.

With the severed head in one hand and the parang in the other, Tomas ran towards the shadows surrounding the shopping center. He didn’t know if there would be a surprise awaiting him in the gloom, but he felt naked standing in the open parking lot.

Tomas leaned against the cement building. The walls were still warm from the tropical sun. He slid along the wall towards the front of the mall where his D’luge limo and the armored SUV were jutting out of the display window.

Tomas peered around the corner and was heartened to see that there were still some people fighting against the infected. The remaining bloated zombies in the area were being hacked and bludgeoned to death by a dozen townsfolk armed with kitchen knives and garden equipment. He tiptoed past the crowd and made it to the broken display window.

He slid in between the limo and SUV and sunk to his knees. Pausing to catch his breath, he took a closer look at the severed head in his left hand. Disgusted, he pulled the jellied tangled mass of hair off the back of his hand and arm. The bloody strands were beginning to solidify on his skin in a webbing of gore.

He crawled to the middle of the vehicles, popped his head up to look into the SUV interior and saw the keys dangling from the ignition.

Thank God,
he thought.
But before I go, I need to get my belongings.

Tomas set the severed head on the limo’s hood against the windshield. When he had crashed the limo earlier, he had made it a point to leave the driver’s door open to retreat back inside if the shopping center was infested with zombies. He climbed into the front seat to retrieve the cardboard box he had hastily packed with files and his laptop earlier in the day. Then he took the box and went around to the SUV, its white exterior covered in swaths of dried green goo. He opened the passenger’s door and dumped the contents of the cardboard box on the seat, then went back around the limo, placed the schoolmarm’s head in the box and set it carefully on the floor of the backseat.

There was a twisted mess of female mannequins lying underneath the car in flowing robes and headscarves. He wiped the stickiness from his hands and arms as best he could on their dresses, reminding himself not to touch his face until he found some disinfecting soap and scalding hot water.

Sensing trouble, Tomas sprang up and jumped into the seat of the SUV, slamming the door shut behind him. Two crazed infected appeared from the dark interior of the department store. They scrambled onto the SUV, clawing and gnawing at Tomas through the windshield.

These mutant zombies were faster, more agile and aggressive than their predecessors. If his theory was correct, then the IHS-2 virus wasn’t entirely burning out its host’s reasoning capabilities. As he watched the two infected try to grab at him through glass, Tomas noted, with relief, that they hadn’t retained all their reasoning skills.

They still didn’t remember how to open a car door.

Tomas laughed the stressed laugh of someone who had narrowly avoided death. He had only just evaded the horror of being eaten alive.

He fumbled around for a few moments, taking stock of the meager supplies inside the vehicle. The team driving the SUV must have made a pit stop at a gas station. There were packs of menthol cigarettes lying on the floor, and bags of chips, candy bars and sodas strewn across the dashboard. Tomas popped open one of the warm colas and chugged it down.

BOOK: Zombie Fever: Evolution
4.2Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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