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Pen Your Pride

Chapter 1

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        The most bizarre anomaly to ever befall the human race has come about. Society has declined indefinitely thanks to this virus that doesn't seem stoppable or even ultimately preventable. It is all survivors can do to keep doing just that: survive.
        I can only do what I must to keep from being devoured, mauled, or outwitted by these creatures that used to have individual names. It breaks my heart to kill them, knowing that each one had a life at one point. That life, though I don't know what it had been like, had to have been better than this. This Hell, this plague, this mind-numbing primal instinct is all they know now.
        Did humans do this? Was it nature? No one seems to have the answer. Or, if someone does have the answer, he or she has probably succumbed to the virus. 
        Are they zombies? No, not at all.

        They are the Zodiac.

        I've learned about these Zodiac creatures, jotting down my observations and making inferences to the best of my ability. Maybe it will be enough one day, but at the moment it's not doing much other than giving my harried mind something interesting to focus on.
        I will find more survivors that have not been tainted. I've watched my siblings before me deteriorate, but that's all the more reason to go out and save as many people as I can before we all become infected. Before normal life had decreased into this animal kingdom of struggles for dominance, it had been reported that a select amount of people were not getting infected despite having close proximity to the virus. Was it possible that other humans were going to take back the Earth as the dominant species ought to?
        We can only hope...

[End Entry]

        "Wow, I sounded so badass right there," Alfred laughed as he finished up his video journal entry that was stored on his camera. "Haha! Watching so many apocalypse movies must have affected me..."

        He glanced at the camera sitting, closed up, on the log next to him. Stretching out as far as the eye could see was an expanse of white sandy beach and sparkling blue saltwater. He knew from memory that a cliff enclosed one part of the beach farther to the south.

        'I wish China still had that Chinatown on this island' he thought while leaning back and looking up at the clear blue sky. His held-in breath left his mouth and nose in a deep sigh. 'Yeah, I could go for some hot food right about now. Not those MREs I've been eating for days straight.'

        At the mention of a hot meal, his mind immediately jumped to a fast food hamburger, sitting there on a soft bun and liberally doused with sauce, the meat patty cooked to perfection with just a touch of pink in the center, the tomato and lettuce crisp--

        "Agh!" America yelled as he opened his eyes and sat straight up. "Quit it, quit it! Quit thinking about food!"

        To become distracted by unimportant things would prove fatal if it became a problem. This world was one that would snuff out the light of anyone who wandered to far off the safe path.

                Well, that implied there was a safe path. There isn't. Anyone who let their guard down would find themselves regretting it immensely, although not for long.

        Especially if the Cancers found said fool... Or the Scorpios.

        America visibly shuddered at the mental image he bore from firsthand experience. Deemed the deadliest of all the Zodiac signs, Scorpios were extremely poisonous, stealthy, and--

        "The scariest fucking monsters to ever roam the Earth's surface," Alfred spoke aloud with a hint of unease in his tone. He rose from the log and made sure he hadn't dropped anything. He stored the camera in his backpack and slung it over one shoulder before making his way to the path he had cut out earlier for easy access to the beach.

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