Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Archive 7o-553-d >> Entry 8

Record Logging Protocol : Epsilon
Record # 7o-553-d
Chrono : Suffusion III

Descriptor : Communique
Classification : Altercation[violent,zed class]

Region >> Chicago,greater

Type >> Audio ; Voice
Delivery >> Portable Digital Recording Device

Primary Principal >> Chris
Primary Assumptions >> Male ; 20-40 ; caucasian ;

Secondary Principal >> Jen (alias:"Babe")
Secondary Assumptions >> Female ; 20-40 ;
Involved(primary,shared residence)

Playback Source File >> 7o-553-d_AR_0+0008

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Preparing for Kitchenloo

I wake up in an old industrial kitchen...

'But I thought I was already awake... how did I get here?'

I look to realize I am slumped quite uncomfortably in a corner against a cabinet, with Finn nestled sweetly in my lap.

'I thought I was in containment... what is going on here?'

There is madness around me. People moving swiftly and quietly fashioning crude weapons from kitchenware, cabinetry, and furniture.

I can hear the groaning in the not so distance halls.

'These are the hippies... I am still underground... but where is Tom?'

I sit up to get a better view but an stopped short by the unbelievable agony in my head and neck.

'Fuck, it must have been part of the sickness, a delirious day dream. I am still sick, and no one has told me what is wrong with me yet, or how I got sick. Will I die this way?'

A teenager I have never seen before sees that I am awake and calls for Tom, just as I begin to vomit from the pain in my head. I slump back to the floor, holding Finn tightly, and watch as a man tears the legs off of chairs, and alters a blender and a wire whisk into something nightmarish. I begin drifting....

The teenage girl is in my face now, "You mustn't fall asleep, there is going to be a battle, we need you to be awake now, for your baby!"

But all I can do is stare and nod... and the nodding makes me wretch again. This headache is literally crippling me.

'battle? what the hell is this underground hippie yapping about???'

And then i hear the groaning again, and I know they're coming for us. And I cannot even lift a finger to defend myself or my precious child.

'How long have I been like this?'

I drift....

Tom and the old bearded hippie are talking to me now. The hippie is Sage, the teenager is Jasmine. They are going to give me a shot... it might help... it might not. But we are cornered and we have to fight, so if the shot doesn't work, I have to hide. I need to protect my Finn, so I will have to stay quiet. Not even a peep, so that they won't hear us, and come for us.

'Oh God... where are you?'


I guess that was the shot.

Tom is telling me he loves me, and he will fight for us. He is telling me he needs me to wake up now, and get better. I can hear the tension, and fear in his voice. I can hear the tears welling up in his voice. I wish I could talk to him, tell him I love him too. Say goodbye...

a moment passes.... nothing changes.

and another.

and another.

and another.

Then my eyes are open and I can see, and the waves of pain seem less, so I sit up. I look at Tom, and he laughs and hugs me with tears in his eyes. He clutches me to him as if I might fall, and I weakly clutch back, crying with the relief of he pain, and the joy of reunion. Team Curry is back in action.

We are interrupted by Sage "I hate to break up the reunion, but we have a battle to prepare for, and we need both of your help."

I turn to Sage, accusingly, "When this shit is over I need you to tell me exactly what was in that shot, and why you didn't give it me days ago." With each moment, it seems, my vision is clearer, my head is lighter, and the pain is less powerful.

He responded, "We did, right away, and you improved. You were near death when we found you. We hoped your body would do the rest with time, but we no longer have any time. We had a limited supply of the serum, and have given you the last of it. I'm glad it has helped you, but now if one of us gets sick from the virus, we will surely perish." His face looked grave, and stoic. "But we can worry about that after we get out of here..."

I say, sheepishly, "I don't mean to sound ungrateful. Thank you for helping me. Now can someone tell me what we're doing about those zombies? They're getting closer."

And Tom starts to fill me in on the battle that is to come, and our strategy...

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Small Talk

Polite conversation disappears when you need to conserve your language. I’ve been communicating with Mike the construction worker I saw across the street when the soldiers were still below. We can’t shout to one another. He’s too far away, and my building isn’t secure. Calling attention to myself with the sea of undead below me is not on the “to do” list. We communicate with each other by writing things down and holding it up for each other to read. I have half a dry erase board I ripped from the wall in the conference room, he has a almost fully used easel pad. With his writing surface slowly running out, we can’t spare any niceties.

I have talked with him for the last week, on and off, a couple of messages a day. We trade stories about what we have to eat and drink, and how we have secured our areas. I tell him I want to come over to him and his group, but he may as well have a base on the surface of Mars. The chances of making it across that zombie laden road below are very, very low.

It’s been three weeks since I came here and holed up. I slept almost the entire first week. I would get up and stumble to rest room, or fill my water, but mostly I slept. I couldn’t leave with my side the way it was, and my body just wanted to shut down anyway. It’s funny, I am normally an insomniac, but I had no issue sleeping at all for a full week. After three weeks of inactivity, my head and shin are fine. My bullet wound was really just a graze, it did no permanent damage, and it is scabbed up quite well. I can move just fine and feel ok, if not a bit tired and hungry.

I woke up depressed and alone. I contemplated killing myself. Go out quick instead of a painful starving or dehydration death. I stopped myself when I thought about my wife. I made a promise to her, “till death do us part.” My interpretation of that does not include death at my own hands.

I find out from our conversations that Mike has 21 people in his building. 14 of them were his crew that is remolding the upper floors. The rest of them are people that came to him looking for help. He says they have enough food to get by, but water is running scarce. He has no way to get any water, and since it hasn’t rained in days, they don’t even have any water from the buckets on the roof. I tell him I have 40 gallons of drinking water in my office alone, not including the rest of the offices. “Doesn’t do me any good over there,” was his only reply.

I break into each of the offices on my floor looking for supplies and useful items. I find some chocolates, batteries, a whistle, a new bag, and lots of other useful things. I knock the lock of Regina’s office. Regina is the president of central processing, and probably one of the most important people on our level. She is at her desk, dead since the beginning I gather. She has her scissors on her desk, and it looks as if she opened her arms with them. She sits in her executive leather office chair. On her mahogany desktop sits her blackberry, and her laptop, below her on her expensive carpeting there is a large patch of dried blood.

She was a stone cold terror in the office. People would see her and walk the other way. The people that worked under her lived in daily fear that she would confront them. I couldn’t imagine her doing something like this. Then I remember that I considered doing something like this. I look at her disgusted. In reflection, I was probably more upset with my weakness than with hers. I storm out of the room and decide on a plan.

I take the bolt off of the industrial size paper cutter in the back office. The paper cutter handle is two and a half feet long and has a nice handle on it. It is the perfect makeshift machete. I grab the cart the water sits on, it’s got slots for 16 bottles, 80 gallons. There are 5 bottles in it. The rest of the offices on my floor fill the cart easily. There is more water here than the Shedd Aquarium. I take the cart to the stairwell and I march each bottle downstairs to the lobby. I don’t run into anything during the 17 trips up and down the stairs, the lobby is clear too. It looks like the soldiers cleared it out for a base of operations. I set the cart up in the dock area and retreat upstairs. I am too tired tonight to even consider it, but tomorrow morning I am making a break for the East Wabash building.

Friday, January 4, 2008

I Think of the Woods

I shift the Cat and head through my front yard to Route 47. Out of habit I look both ways down the vacant road. I can see the horses in the neighbors’ corral across the field standing dejected, ribs visible and looking at me with pitiable eyes as I turn south.

After a couple of miles, my numb mind shifts. Maybe it is a defense mechanism triggered by my state of emergency only read about in books.

I timetravel.

When I was a kid, my brothers John and Aaron and I, along with most of the Kelly kids next door – Brian, Mike, Jack, Bonnie, Erin and Kevin – ruled the expanse of woods behind our houses. We were Marine snipers, Robin Hoods, ghost-hunters, archaeologists, builders, motocross racers, and land governors in those hilly woods. A group of 8 to 14-year-olds with more imagination, resourcefulness and drive than most adults.

I am almost to DuPont, ready to make the right turn I have made a thousand times before.

One of the many innovative projects we put together like a junior A-Team was an underground dwelling that seated about 5. There was an old tin hunting shanty in the woods, which was about the size of 3 outhouses. Its floor was two large plywood panels. About fifteen yards away was a large hollow stump. It held an opening wide enough for all of us to slip through. As a team that worked more diligently than most modern-day contractors, we all took shovels and dug a deep square pit into the earth, roughly 7 feet wide, by 7 feet long and about 5 feet deep. This pit was positioned between the hunting shanty and the old tree stump. Once the main portion was carved out, the guys began to dig trenches just as deep and about 2 feet wide; one leading under the stump and one leading under the shanty, where one of the guys cut a square out of the plywood in the floor, making a trapdoor. Us girls took buckets to the creek and dug up gray clay with our hands which we used to form around rocks in the main portion of the underground fort, forming and sculpting a working fireplace with a chimney. Once the groundwork was complete, pieces of plywood were put over everything and dirt covered them, then brush.

I turn onto DuPont. Another vacant road. An overturned grain truck lies on its side in the ditch up ahead. A streak of blood paints the road beside it, but no zombies in sight.

It was an amazing thing to run through the woods that winter like Lost Boys, being chased by friends unfamiliar with our project and we’d laugh and then jump up onto the stump and slip down through the corridor trenches as our friends stopped mouths gaping in amazement before following. Glow roots dotted the earth as greenish white against the pitch black as one army-crawled through the trenched tunnel. Anyone with claustrophobia would have died. In reaching the main pit, you could see the orange glow of the fire and several of our gang sitting in this Hobbit’s room with their winter jackets off. Because one could not back up while crawling to the main area, they would simply go through the main room and continue through the corridor that led to the trapdoor in the hunting shanty. It was perfect.

I realize I am crying at this point. I want to be that kid again hiding out in an underground fort from nothing dangerous, but just for the sake of being able to hide out. I want to be in an ingenious underground fort fashioned by babes again, warming myself against a makeshift fireplace, roasting marshmallows.

I am apexing the dip in DuPont road. Woods flank each side of me, but not My Woods. I am heading towards My Woods.

It was a few years later that the plywood used as the fort’s roof eventually rotted and caved in. In hindsight, admittedly, the whole idea of kids constructing this type of fort would be seen as insanely dangerous today. It was a different time then. The shanty was eventually dismantled and the ground cleared. But I think if this catastrophe of humanity had happened when we were kids, we would have been ok. Like the survivalist boy in My Side of the Mountain or the kids in Lord of the Flies, but with democracy. We watched out for each other. We were a well oiled machine. And now the only machine I can rely on was made on an assembly line.

Only about 5 more miles until I reach Gorham Road. I’m only going 18 miles per hour. God, let there be no problems. Let my family be ok. Let this big machine not draw attention to its loud self. I’m so tired…

I hope I can muster up the ingenuity that I partook in as a 9-year-old to build a defense against these undead enemies. It might not be underground and made of dirt. It might not even be made of tangible materials and moved with hands. But maybe simply a psychological defense. A mind fort. An underground mind fort. I plead to my 9-year-old self. I plead back to my brothers and friends and I plead to the woods to provide me with safety and resourceful once again…

Yes, I think of the woods.