Wake The Dead (Prologue)

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Doctor Charles O’ Shea was the sole survivor.

He was hungry, tired, desperate, and managed to survive for the last few days on what food remained in the vending machines. However, that too was dwindling. His stomach was churning with hunger pangs, as all he had eaten these last few weeks was sugar, processed foods, and candy.

He wanted desperately to get home, to see if his wife and daughters were alive. That, above all else was the driving force that kept him going.

How long has it been now? he wondered, trying to recall the time. He lost the exact count after the first eleven days when his pen lost the last of its ink, after which he began carving marks in the wooden table. He etched out single strokes into the face of the table with a knife he found in one of the offices during one of their early exploration missions. It had been thirty-seven days or so now, give or take a day, as he supposed he may have missed recording one along the way.

There were a dozen survivors in the lab that first week.

That was before the shit hit the fan inside the lab—before the changes occurred. And before the fevers decimated them. He was the sole survivor now after everyone else had either transformed into one of them, or was killed by one. They were something else entirely…something not yet alive, but not dead, either…an animated corpse: a zombie, in its basest terminology.

He realized after a few weeks that the zombies were drawn to sound and that, for some unknown reason which they hadn’t really theorized, they had slowed their pace, becoming less hasty in their pursuit. However, they were still a major threat, even in this less-savage state.

They were immediately incentivized upon smelling human flesh, hearing loud sounds or movements other than their own, or upon seeing one of us running. Those things seemed to rile them up. Charles realized this firsthand running for his life back to the lab only yesterday, Strain slamming the door shut behind him as he entered. One of the ‘slower’ zombies was chasing him, and Charles was no couch potato. He was in good shape from a cardiovascular standpoint.

His last investigation during the zombie’s ‘dormant’ cycles—which was what they called the time frame after being stimulated by movement or otherwise— netted him a notebook and a desk full of pens. It wasn’t much, and after that close call, he would not be doing so again for a while.

And so, he began to write his memories and recollections so that: a) he would not forget, and: b) so that someone might find it and learn something by it. It had to be recorded.

It was then that Charles opened his journal and began to read and recollect.

Begin journal.

***

It wasn’t long after the incident that people began to get sick. They presented with fevers, that seemed to last for anywhere from hours to days. But it ultimately ended in the same thing, They changed. They weren’t human anymore. After they died, that is. They were…things; zombies; cannibals; anthropophagi, i.e. man-eaters, as a more technical term. Whatever it is that we were calling them—each of us seemed to have something different.

We were a group of top-notch scientists and bio-physicists working on state of the art biochemical mixtures for a private, undisclosed entity, with a ton of financial backing, and with intentions of selling what we perfected to the good ol’ U.S. of A. military. Once it had been perfected, that is.

And we were close. Or so we believed. It is funny, in retrospect, how delusional even the most intelligent, analytical minds can become when seduced by ego.

We had developed an aeriform version of the drug, the subject able to absorb it into their skin, to breathe it in, which was the quickest and most effective way in which to introduce the drug into their systems.

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