Chapter 03: Survivors

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The creature was human, or it had been, once.

An awful reek emanated from it, filling the security office. Greg beheld this visage of terror, eyes wide, hands shaking. The thing appeared to have been a technician. The torn, bloodied uniform and tool belt were both testaments to this fact. Now...it was something much, much different. He appeared to have been a young male, but looked as if a powerful decay had set in, eating away at his flesh, leaving it ruined, mottled, and gray. Blackened veins pressed against ashen flesh, and the eyes had flooded with congealed blood, making them black and empty.

The thing took a step into the room, reaching for Greg. He squeezed the trigger without thinking. The bullet punched through the thing's eye and exited out the back of its skull in a plume of black gore that sprayed the walls. It stumbled backwards, crashing back out into the corridor it had emerged from. It jerked violently for a few seconds before becoming still. Greg coughed as the vicious stench hit him harder than before.

He felt the need to vomit and desperately wanted to be back outside. Stepping quickly over the not-so-fresh corpse, Greg came into the corridor. He hurried to the end and hit the access button. It opened and he was hit by a fresh breeze of chilled, midnight air. He stumbled back out into the rain, collapsing to his knees, nearly dropping the pistol. His stomach churned and twitched. Nothing but dry heaves, his stomach was still empty. He coughed and spat several times, trying to clear his mouth and stop seeing the...whatever it had been.

When he looked up, he noticed headlights coming at him from the darkness. He shot to his feet, his encounter with the, the–he had to admit it–with the zombie, was overshadowed by this new development.

He limped toward the lights, gun at ready. He had no idea what to expect. Too many unknowns had happened here, too many surprises. A crash? Okay. A necropolis of an infirmary? Getting weirder, sure, but...a fucking zombie?

The vehicle came to a sudden halt near the infirmary.

"Who goes there?" Greg called out.

He squinted in the harsh glare of the headlights, trying to discern how many people were in the vehicle, an all-terrain jeep. The engine died, but the headlights remained on. Someone climbed out the driver's side.

"Don't move!" a female voice called back.

The light shining on him broke as someone came around the front of the car. She held a pistol, aimed in his direction. He kept his own piece pointed at her. The woman stopped a few feet away, hesitating.

"Who are you?" There was a sense of urgency in her voice. She tossed a quick glance back at the vehicle.

Greg kept his finger on the trigger. "Greg Bishop."

This woman had an air of desperation about her, as if she might start firing off rounds at the any second. He recognized the uniform she wore as a variation of the technician's outfit on the zombie he'd just killed.

"Fuck it." She lowered her pistol. "I don't have time for this shit. I need help. Now. Come on, hurry."

She turned and hurried back to the jeep. Greg hesitated for a moment, then mentally shrugged and lowered his pistol. He approached the vehicle. The woman opened the back door, leaned in and began struggling with something. He came around and peered within, spying an unconscious man in the back. He was bleeding from a wound on his arm.

The woman noticed him just standing there. "Come on, he's hurt."

He jerked at her command, shoved the pistol down the back of his pants, and moved forward to help. After everything else? Sure, why not? Together, the pair of them managed to get the unconscious man out of the backseat.

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