June 6th, 2008
Ryan's Neighbor's Apartment
"What isss it?" the second voice asked, with greater difficulty. There was a pause.
Ryan's pulse was pounding in his head. He held his breath, closed his eyes, and waited.
The first voice spoke, confused. "Oh, I just got a weird text message from my girlfriend. Apparently she wants me to 'come and protect her'?" Ryan noticed a micro-pause around the words that seemed to fit air-quotes. "Better not be that ex-boyfriend of hers snooping around. I gotta go."
Trapped under the bed, Ryan nervously opened one eye to see the only visible shoes turn and exit the room. He slowly let out his breath as quietly as possible. He heard the distinctive noise of feet shuffling down a flight of stairs, and the door opening and slamming shut. Ryan waited nervously for a few moments, silently thanking the universe for giving him a pass on the past 10 minutes.
The body above him no longer made any noise. Gingerly pushing the plastic case ahead of him, Ryan army-crawled his way out from under the bed, wincing every time he put his weight on his left forearm. Once out from under the bed, he stood up and dusted himself off. He surveyed the man laying on the bed in front of him.
I really, really hope this man is not on his way to becoming a zed, Ryan thought grimly, though he was fairly certain what was about to happen to this man. He decided it was worth the risk to find out more. Setting the case down, he picked up the baseball bat and used it to move aside the cover.
The man's arm had two distinct sets of teeth marks on his right arm, and several scratches on his neck and face. Ryan shuddered involuntarily. He noticed the man was breathing very slowly, and very shallow at that. He grabbed the edge of the sheet and heaved, so the man rolled onto his side.
That'll help in case he get sick, thought Ryan, but I can't just leave him here. What if he's on his way out, ready to come back a zed next door from my apartment? He quickly scanned the room. The desk drawers had nothing of use. He was about to give up and leave before he decided to check the nightstand drawer.
Inside there were several condoms, a Playboy, and a pair of handcuffs. Kinky, Ryan thought. He grabbed the handcuffs and very delicately clicked one of the silver bands around the man's ankle and anchored the other to the bed frame. If he wakes up, he'll think it was his roommate pulling a prank. If he dies and reanimates, well, then at least his roommates might have a chance.
Ryan stood at the foot of the bed for several moments, gripping the bat tightly in his hand. He wondered if it was right, to pre-emptively stop what he was fairly certain was a zombie waiting to happen. What if he was wrong? He'd be condemning an innocent man a violent and blunt death - tethered to the bed, no less - on circumstantial evidence.
I can't do it, he admitted to himself. He grabbed the rifle case and carried the bat into the hallway, shutting the door behind him somberly. As he carried the items downstairs to his pile of supplies, he hoped he'd done the right thing.
Grimly, he took a few trips walking the items across the walkway to his own apartment. The last things he took from the neighbor's house before leaving were a crowbar, shovel, and ladder, all found in the garage.
He set about collecting some items in his own house, similar to the raid just conducted the next house over. A few minutes later there was a loud knock at the door. Ryan grabbed the crowbar, and crept to his own door. He went up on his tiptoes and peered through the peephole.
Outside the doors stood the Fools. Ryan breathed a sigh of relief, unlocked the door, and ushered in Beard, Peace, Angel Hair, Rubble, Cowboy, and Kamikaze. They all carried bookbags, duffel bags, and other luggage.
"Have a seat, guys, I've got a few things to talk about." Ryan explained as they filed in. The Fools found spots in the living room amongst stuffed trash bags and piles of weapons. He grabbed Beard by the sleeve and pulled him aside near the doorway.
"It's worse than I thought." Ryan whispered.
Beard frowned. "How bad?"
"I'm pretty sure we're already at a Class 2 outbreak, but I've not heard much from the outside. It could be even worse."
"Well I got here as fast as I could, with what I could."
"I know, I know. You did a great job. Any problems with the plan so far?"
"Great. I'll take over from here." Beard sat down next to Peace and waited for Ryan to speak.
Ryan cleared his throat.
"Fools, I'm going to make this short and sweet. I'm not sure what Beard has already told you, but I have strong reason to believe that right here at Purdue, right now as we speak, we may be in great danger. I'm gonna do my best to turn this apartment into a fortress and defend this patch of land against the living dead, and if it comes to it, the threat of the zombpocalypse itself.
I know it's a lot to take in. Sacrifices must be made, and the coming days and possibly more are gonna get a lot worse before they get better. You're welcome to stay and help, and I hope that you do. If you stay, I'm in command and we follow the Emergency Zed Plan. If that doesn't work for you, now's the time to leave."
Current Word Count: 8,763