"Lyle Perez-Tinics' Rising From The Tempest is a seriously taut thriller. I've been following the story for a couple of weeks now, and this guy has got me hanging on the edge of my seat. If you like zombie mayhem - and let's face it, who doesn't? - you don't have to look any further. This guy's the real deal."
- Joe McKinney, author of Dead City and Apocalypse of the Dead
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Monday, February 28, 2011
“So, what the hell just happen to Ted?” Vikki asked, standing toe-to-toe with Sergeant Mathis.
Mathis answered stone faced, “He was possessed.”
“What the hell does that mean?” Vikki asked, not letting up on the questions.
“Look, sit down,” Mathis said, pointing to the open bench next to Jenna, “and I’ll tell you everything I know.”
“The weapon the military launched is a metaphysical compound. It was developed by Dr. Jack Edith...” Mathis began, instantly being cut off by Jenna.
“I know him. Isn’t he the guy who was big in Demonology and paranormal research?” she asked.
“That’s him,” Mathis answered, continuing to share what he knew about the weapon. “When he first pitched his project to the white suites in
, everyone thought he was crazy. He wanted to use the forces of darkness as a real military weapon–everyone got a big laugh out of that. His demonstration was to summon demons from hell and make a pact with them to destroy our enemies,” Mathis said, still stone faced. Washington
“And is this what happened? The missile somehow managed to summon demons?” Jenna asked, butting in again.
“Of course not!” Mathis spat back. “Dr. Edith was a certifiable nut-job when it came to supernatural stuff. A few years after his theories on supernatural beings were discredited, he began working on this weapon. Somehow, the bastard managed to create man made entities.”
“How the hell did he manage to do that?” Vikki asked.
“I have no idea,” Mathis admitted. “The research team is currently working on that as well as a way to stop them. Right now, we know of at least twenty Demons running around–we don’t know how to stop them.”
“Why not just ask Dr. Edith?” Ramon asked, chiming in as he stepped through the little door and took a seat next to the girl. “It’s his weapon, no?”
“He died shortly after the missile detonated,” Mathis said. “Look, that’s all I know. Until we figure out what they want with the people they’re after, we need to keep Ramon as far away from them as possible. For some reason, they take possession of someone when they drink warm water. Ted drank from a water bottle then he passed out and that’s how I knew the creature got to him.”
“How does it get into the water?” Vikki asked.
“Beat’s me. We’re dealing with something that acts like a demon, talks like a demon, and even reacts like a demon–only, it’s not a demon. No exorcism can be performed to exorcise the demon; it has nothing to do with the balance of good versus evil. The only thing we know for sure is that it hides in water.”
“So, we can’t drink water?” Jenna asked, already feeling the urge to drink.
“You can, but if the water feels warm dump it,” Mathis answered.
They sat in silence as Frost continued en route to their supply depot; building 228 was in his sights, so he pulled the truck off to the side and came to an erupted stop parallel with the building. The large two story structure had a wood sign picketed to the ground that read, Sonic Electrical, and a blue canopy extended out from the first story entrance, giving them shelter from the cloud.
“Were here,” Frost said.
“Copper, C.J.–go do some recon. Report back ASAP,” Mathis ordered.
Copper and C.J. put their masks on and slipped out through the passenger's side door. Entering the building, the two men had their weapons drawn as they searched in all directions for movement–they slowly advanced forward into the dim building.
“Frost,” Mathis called out, “get your shit together. If everything is clear we’re going to hold up here for a while. This place was cleared out earlier; we shouldn’t run into any trouble.”
Frost detached the radio from the truck–the battery was now fully charged. Under his seat was a black bag. He stuffed the radio in it and zipped it up before gathering more things around him and inserted them into the bag’s side pockets.
C.J. and Copper appeared at the opened door. “Clear,” they said simultaneously.
“Okay, let’s move out. Copper, C.J.–take point,” Mathis ordered.
Slowly everyone stumbled out of the truck and walked through the double pane glass doors. Inside, was a large open area with a reception desk directly in front of them. In the middle of the room were two couches–parallel to each other with a coffee table in the middle, and magazines were spewed across the top. The front desk was in the middle of the building; to the left and right of their position, was a long hallway filled with offices.
“How do we get to the basement?” Mathis asked.
Copper pointed to a map that was pinned to a nearby wall. It indicated there was a staircase that led to the second floor and the basement at the end of the left hallway–they walked in that direction, with their weapons trained in a fire position in front of them.
The offices around them were deserted. Some had mugs next to the computers with coffee still in them. Doughnuts and other pastries remained half eaten next to them. Before they knew it, they were standing in front of the stairs.
Carefully the team walked down the metal steps. At the bottom, they were stopped by a closed door. Without second guessing, Copper swung it open, revealing a security room–computer panels and monitors were lined up on the wall and a row of seats lined up the far wall, and next to them were lockers. In the middle of the room was a table with ammunition and gas jugs piled on top. The fire team quickly began stocking their weapons with rounds and filling their empty vests with fully loaded magazines–Copper found three more magazines with the special blue rounds in them.
“Go ahead and take a seat,” Mathis said to the three standing survivors. They sat down and Jenna crossed her legs, still trying to be lady-like. Mathis glanced at the lockers. He walked toward them and opened a door to reveal a security uniform hanging from a coat hanger. A clear, plastic bag hung over the garment signifying that it had just come back from the cleaners. He snatched the pants and handed them to Jenna. “See if these fit you.”
Jenna eyeballed them. “Yeah, they should be fine. Where can I change?”
Sergeant Mathis stared at his unit. Instantly, they all turned away from Jenna–Ramon did the same from his position. “You have privacy now,” he said as he turned his back to her.
Jenna quickly put on the pants. They were a bit too big, but manageable. “Thank you,” she said in a sweet voice.
The radio inside Frost’s bag began to squawk and muffled screams blared out of the speaker. He quickly fumbled with the bag until the handheld part of the radio was in his hand.
“Quick reaction force! QRF!” the voice on the other side of the radio yelled.
Distress call, Mathis thought.
“All possible units report to the area around building 250. Repeat, all possible reinforcements report to building 250,” the voice continued over rifle fire and explosions.
The fire team stared at Sergeant Mathis who was thinking about whether he should abandon his current orders and answer the QRF.
“Push them back,” the radio said.
Another voice said clearly, “Oh, my god, help! They’re all around us!”
Mathis stared at the three remaining Bakker & Sons employees–they stared back puzzled.
“Anyone, please answer!” the radio squawked again.
Mathis took the radio in his hand, “This is Shadow Team, we hear you–on route to your location over.”
The team heard the order and finished gathering their things. They knew they were going to help their comrades, but they still needed to hear it from the Sergeant.
Ramon, Vikki, and Jenna sat in shock. They were taken from one building only to now be abandoned in another–one that they were not familiar with.
Mathis turned to face them, “We’re answering this distress call. Manpower is needed to fend off an attack. You’re safe in here–this building was cleared out earlier. Don’t worry, we’ll be back soon.” He handed Ramon another handgun with two magazines. “Get them in the head. If you find one with silver eyes stay away from it. In fact, don’t leave this room until we come back understood?”
Ramon took the weapon and examined it nodding his head: yes.“Move out, men,” Mathis ordered, and the team opened the door and stepped out. Mathis lingered for another moment; the older man was very tired and really wanted to enjoy a rest, but duty called and on this day, it was always a matter between life and undeath. He stared back at the Bakker & Sons employees as he edged closer to the door. Guilt was starting to get to him, but there was a distress call. Finally, Mathis sighed and walked through the door letting it close behind him.
Posted by Yeti Booger at 7:47 AM
Monday, February 7, 2011
The truck vibrated as it drove over pot holes on the road, shaking everyone in the truck. Hunter, C.J., and Copper watched Sergeant Mathis as he stared at Ted’s motionless body.
“Ramon, get in the passenger seat next to Frost. Hunter open the door; we’re going to have to throw him out of the truck.”
Vikki and Jenna gasped in shock at the sergeants words.
“We can’t just throw him out into the street,” Vikki said.
“We have no other option–he’s already possessed by the Demon and he'll soon wake up and go after Roman.” Hunter began untying the straps that kept the door closed.
“Me?” Ramon asked, spooked. “Why does it want me?”
“We’ll explain later, just go up to the front. Now!” Mathis ordered.
Ramon ran through the miniature door and took the seat next to Frost. Hunter had the door half way open, Copper and C.J. dragged the body closer to the slightly opened door, and Mathis had his weapon trained on Ted’s body–he prayed that he wouldn’t have to fire. Discharging his weapon in such an enclosed space would deafen them all, but being deaf was a lot better than being dead.
Copper knelt down to finish pushing Ted’s body through the door, which he almost accomplished when his eyes flew open. Copper jumped back in fright as Ted’s newly obtained, ruby red eyes looked straight at him.
“Demon!” Copper managed to yell before the Demon wrapped his hand around his throat; everyone jumped back at the sudden movement. The Demon’s grip tightened around his throat, making it hard for him to breath–Mathis hesitated to fire his weapon. Vikki and Jenna were ghost white and sat breathless toward the back of the truck.
“Move and I rip his throat out,” the Demon said, getting to its feet.
The Demon and Sergeant Mathis stared at each other. “Let him go and we’ll give you the one you want,” Mathis negotiated, looking down at Hunter. He was close to the Demon, a good distance to knock it off balance. The Demon didn’t hesitate to let Copper go and the soldier fell to the ground gasping, taking in deep breath of air.
Hunter rapidly pulled the chain on the door and it rose to the top–he kicked the Demon on the left side of its knee. The creature bent sideways briefly, yelping in pain–it looked down at Hunter who held onto the chain. Mathis dashed forward and kicked the Demon across the chest and the creature flew out of the truck with force, smacking to the ground. Black goo dripped out of its mouth as it lay on the ground, arms akimbo; Ted’s face was now covered in road rash.
Hunter quickly began to release the straps and close the shutter door.
“Wait,” Sergeant Mathis ordered. He stared out at the Demon, who was slowly getting up to its feet. A large bolt of lightning shot out of the sky aimed for the Demon. When the bolt made contact, a large bubble appeared around the creature and a brilliant purple light show danced around the creature as the bubble got bigger and bigger.
Sergeant Mathis watched, dumbfounded at the sphere in front of him. It seemed to be getting smaller and smaller, but that might have just been from the truck’s advancement forward. “Hunter, closed the door,” he said and the shutter door continued falling until it was closed.
The Demon, still incased in its bubble, blinked as the truck sped out of sight. The sphere around him began to subside and it slowly collapsed on itself. The bubbled morphed into a baseball sized ball that he cupped in his hand and he shot the purple ball of light into the air. The cloud sucked it up as it became part of the storm again.
* * *
Mr. Jake Lafferty found himself lying in a puddle of disgusting, murky water–his eyes slowly opened. He had no memory of what had happened, but the physical pain that his body went through was still present. The Demon hadn’t fully regenerated the man’s body before leaving it and taking possession of Ted. The old vice president wore only a black pair of Armani dress pants and was bare-chested and shoeless; Mr. Lafferty rose to his feet and searched his surroundings.
“Where am I?” he whispered, his words carrying into the air.
Panic and alarm ran through his system as he realized he was outside. The dark cloud above him hummed quietly and stalked his every move. He wasn't far from the Bakker & Sons building, so running and panicking, Mr. Lafferty made his way back toward the building and took one step through the doorway. He paused in shock as he stared at the mangled and spoiled remains of the lightning victims that were spewed across the floor–the walls were black and covered with a soot like substance. He heard a loud crash coming from outside, which scared him causing him to advance further into the building.
Stepping over severed limbs, Lafferty made his way down the devastated hallway–the smell coming from the bodies made him gag. No longer able to control his nausea, he regurgitated inside an office through a broken window. One body lay disgorged inside the office which made him vomit more and black sludge and his breakfast came rushing out of his nose and mouth; he backed away and continued heading down the hall. He didn’t know where he was going, he just wanted to get somewhere safe. He turned right at the end of the hall, passing the keypad he'd once used to alert the lightning victims to his presences. He cursed Jenna for suggesting they get in contact with the creatures. She couldn’t have known, he thought.
Making his way down the hall, he came to the warehouse doors. Not remembering how or why he was outside and shirtless, Mr. Lafferty walked in. The room looked safe and secure–he headed for Jesus little corner office.
As he walked toward the office, a familiar moan blared from inside the room. Lafferty froze. Stumbling out of the doorway came Jesus, the former maintenance manager. A confused look washed over his darkened face as his gaze turned wildly to Lafferty–he backed away slowly and began searching around for a weapon.
“Stay back, Jesus. I’ll have no problem killing you,” Lafferty warned.
Jesus didn't listen to the warning and continued advancing forward, moving slowly, each step seeming to knock him off balance. Outstretching his arms toward Lafferty, Jesus moaned, exposing his black gums.
An empty pallet lay on the ground a few feet behind Lafferty. He bent down to lift the wood, but it was too heavy for his fragile frame; crying in pain, Mr. Lafferty abandoned trying to raise the pallet. His brain began to thump inside his head, but he ignored the ache and continued searching for a weapon. Just like Jesus, Mr. Lafferty was now shambling around the room, trying to keep a good distance between himself and the monster.
Mr. Lafferty came to a corner wall and looked straight ahead–staring back at him was a glass panel that held a red axe. Next to the axe was a miniature fire extinguisher, one used for small fires and overheating machinery. He reached for the extinguisher and pulled it off of the wall. Using the butt of the red cylinder, Mr. Lafferty smashed the glass and shards fell to the cold floor, some hitting his bare feet.
Jesus was now within reach of Lafferty and managed to place his arms on his shoulder. A soft moan flowed out of Jesus’ throat that sounded like he said, Help me.
The sound of Jesus’ cry and the feel of his hands made chills run up and down Mr. Lafferty's spine. He quickly swung around, extinguisher in hand, and struck Jesus on the side of the head. The impact left a dent in the side of his face, and dark blood and teeth flew out of his mouth and arched in the air. The creature staggered to the side and tripped over some boxes that lay scattered on the floor. Mr. Lafferty quickly spun around and snatched the axe from its resting place. He faced the beast that was once Jesus; it had difficulty getting up to his feet, but Lafferty approached, axe in hand.
Jesus moaned again, this time it was clear that he breathed, Please, help me.
Mr. Lafferty paused with the axe in his grip; Jesus finally rose to his feet and stood stationary. They shared a glance before Jesus made the first move. He slowly began to walk toward Lafferty with his arms outstretched, and not knowing what else to do, Mr. Lafferty let the creature approach.
“Are you still in there, Jesus?” Mr. Lafferty asked, but the beast kept walking toward him.
Jesus exposed what was left of his teeth–he was within reach of Lafferty. Again the creature moaned in the same eerie, air-filled voice. Without much warning, the creature lunged for Lafferty, his breath making its way to his nostrils. The smell of death and decay was potent in the air. Mr. Lafferty used the long handle of the axe to stop Jesus mid-stride and kept the monster at bay. He thrashed and attempted to sink his teeth into any piece of exposed flesh he thought he could reach. Lafferty raised his leg and kicked Jesus off balance, leaving a bloodied footprint on his tatter clothes. His feet, cut by the glass on the floor, squirted blood around the area, but he didn't feel any pain–adrenaline had taken its time, but had finally kicked in.
Raising the axe above his head, Lafferty brought it crashing down on Jesus back, severing his spine and he wiggled on the ground like a worm being hooked as bait–blood began to ooze out of the wound on his back. Lafferty raised the axe again, hitting the same spot and more blood began to pour out. He retracted the axe and took a deep agonizing breath; Jesus’ body no longer moved. Mr. Lafferty’s nerves began to calm when suddenly another moan left Jesus’ diaphragm. The creature began to trash and wiggle in any direction possible–it’s severed spine not letting it get back up. Mr. Lafferty headed toward the creatures head, axe raised high. He roared as he brought the pointed edge down on Jesus’ head, squishing it like deflating a balloon. Panting hard, Lafferty withdrew the axe, bringing strands of brain with it. He shook the axe, trying to dislodge a black strand of brain matter from the edge and the piece of flesh nudged off, hitting the floor with a smack. Mr. Lafferty’s nausea returned, but there was nothing left in his stomach to regurgitate.
Looking at Jesus’ lifeless body, the animosity he'd once felt toward the Hispanic immigrant was gone–he apologized softy to the corpse. Knowing that Jesus was a religious man, Mr. Lafferty did him the favor and said a prayer.
Blood continued to gush out of his foot wounds and he spotted a small white box with a red cross on the front. As the adrenaline began to leave Mr. Lafferty’s system his feet and body aches returned, and using the axe as a makeshift cane, Lafferty limped toward the box. He quickly took out alcohol wipes and gauze to treat his foot and leg wounds–his feet felt better once the bandages were applied. He felt sweat beginning to run down his face and a burning sensation ran down his face as the sweat trickled. Using a spare wipe, he rubbed it on his face and excruciating pain followed where it touched, and he began to panic.
Mr. Lafferty ran inside Jesus’ former office, where a small mirror was pinned on the wall in front of the desk. He stood in front of it and knelt down to see his face–in horror, Mr. Lafferty stared at his reflection. Half the skin was gone and a bloody, pus filled face stared back at him.
Posted by Yeti Booger at 11:39 AM
Monday, January 31, 2011
Shots rang and echoed throughout the truck. It only took the fire team a split second after the shots were fired to hustle out of the truck, through the open passenger's side door, to join their Sergeant.
Frost continued trying to start the truck with no success. He pressed on the clutch and turned the key, but the truck continued clicking–there was something wrong with the starter or the vehicle’s battery was dead.
“It sounds like the battery is dead. Maybe we can push-start the truck,” Ramon said through the popping of rifle fire. “I’ve push-started trucks this size before; it’s no different than smaller cars.”
Frost looked down at all the equipment that was plugged into the truck. He switched off the
GPS and the radio then nodded. Sticking his head out of the passenger's side door, he yelled, “Sergeant Mathis!”
“Keep firing men! Push them back!” Mathis ordered as he appeared at the door. “What is it? Did you find out what’s wrong with the truck?”
“Ramon thinks it might be the battery–he said we can push-start it. Have everyone push the truck while Hunter provides cover fire,” Frost said.
Delighted that Frost was starting to learn how to give orders, Mathis nodded. He disappeared from sight to give his men orders–the loud bang from the rifle fire echoed through the warehouse. There were at least fifty bodies on the ground with more pouring in. More slowly walked toward the truck and tripped over the bodies on the ground.
The firing ceased for a moment so Mathis can give his orders.
“We’re going to have to try and push-start the truck. Hunter, you’re the best shot! I want you to shoot any of them that get too close. The rest of us will push,” Mathis said as he put his shoulder to the truck.
Frost turned the key to the 'on' position, pushed the clutch, put the transmission in first, and released the brake. “Okay, go now!” he yelled through the open window.
Copper and C.J. pressed their shoulders against the ends of the truck; Mathis was in the middle, and they started pushing, but the truck was too heavy for the three men to push any faster than four miles an hour.
“Fuck,” Mathis muttered under his breath.
Hunter fired a few shots at the lightning victims crawling on the ground toward them. He ejected the magazine in his M4 rifle and reached for a fresh one. He patted his uniform and realized he had no more. “I’m out of rifle rounds,” he hollered, reaching for his 9mm; he un-holstered the pistol and took a knee. His accuracy with a handgun was not as good as with his rifle–destroying the brain was not an easy task.
Mathis banged on the truck's shutter door. “Open up!” he yelled.
Ted rushed over to the door and released the straps and the shutter began to roll up. Everyone in the truck stared out at the mayhem–burnt bodies littered the ground and blood was collected all around them. Ted stared down at Mathis, who yelled, “Both of you men, jump out and help us push.”
Without hesitation Ted jumped off the truck followed by Ramon. They began pushing as hard as they could and the truck started moving at a faster pace; Frost slowly released the clutch pedal and gave the engine a little bit of gas.
Jenna and Vikki stared at the oncoming onslaught of lightning victims. More were starting to get closer as Hunter wasn’t able to drop them as quickly. Vikki glanced down and saw the handgun Mathis had given Ted. Grabbing the pistol off the floor, she flicked off the safety and stood at the edge of the slowly moving truck, pointing the gun at the nearest lightning victim. She pulled the trigger, firing three shots. One out of the three shots fired met one of the lightning victims a little above the right eye–the creature dropped dead in its path.
The men pushing the truck stared up at Vikki as she fired more shots at the shambling dead; Jenna sat at the other end of the truck and held her hands over her ears. Hunter noticed that the truck had moved quite a distance so he stood and quickly walked backwards, following the truck.
The truck got as fast as the five men were going to be able to push it, and the distance between the advancing lightning victims and the truck was now more than twenty yards. They were nearing the man made hole when Frost turned the ignition key; the truck jerked violently, knocking Vikki off balance. The truck roared to life as Vikki toppled head first out of the truck, landing on top of Ted. He fell back as her body pushed him to the warehouse floor; the back of his head hit the pavement with a loud smack. The pistol fell from Vikki’s hand, skidding out in front of them and the impact of the fall knocked Ted unconscious.
Hunter ran up to the 9mm handgun and scooped it off the cement.
Vikki began to lift herself off Ted’s motionless body–she was stunned and in pain. Mathis helped her get to her feet, then helped her get back into the truck–she didn’t speak. Jenna walked over and helped her to a seat.
Copper and C.J. began to fire at the still advancing hoard of dead while Mathis knelt down to check on Ted’s condition.
“It looks like he suffered trauma to the back of the head–he’s out cold,” Mathis said out loud, but he was the only one listening. The only person still around him was Ramon, but he looked confused as if he hadn’t even see Vikki fall on top of Ted.
Hunter reached into the front of Copper’s uniform and snatched a fresh magazine. He loaded it into his M4 and continued shooting, dropping as many of them as he could.
“Ramon,” Mathis called out, “help me get him into the truck.”
Ramon looked down at Ted and hurried to grab his legs; Mathis reached down for his shoulders, and together they lifted Ted into the truck. Ramon climbed up in and dragged him out of the way. Vikki began weeping, thinking she'd just killed Ted. Mathis stared at Vikki crying, instantly knowing what the Asian woman thought.
“He’s all right, just knocked out,” he said, turning to face his men. “The trucks running! Let’s go!” he ordered. They climbed into the truck, closed the shutter door, took their masks off, and breathed in the musty air. “Let’s go, Frost,” Mathis ordered in a stern voice that carried throughout the truck.
The vehicle lurched forward–spewing exhaust into the room–making its way through the large hole. It was a tight squeeze but the truck made it through. On the other side, Frost found himself driving on the front lawn of the building. A sign that read, Environmental Lighting, in big, bold letters and in smaller print under it, Going green with every light switch, stood off to their left. Frost smirked as he remembered the overheard conversation about the building being infested with black mold. The main road was to his right, trees and bushes were aligned with the sign to his left, and behind him was the car wreckage. He steered the truck back onto the road and switched the
GPS and radio back on.
In the back of the truck, Mathis knelt down over Ted, examining him closer. The bulbs in the truck lit up the area, making it easier for him to check the wounds. “There doesn’t appear to be any other signs of trauma,” Mathis said. He stood and walked through the open door and reached under the seat. Looking at Frost he said, “Why did the truck jerk like that? What gear did you have it in?”
“First,” Frost replied, concentrating on driving through roads filled with abandon cars and still moving charred bodies.
“You were supposed to have it in second–that’s why the truck jerked. Remember that for next time,” he said as a handle met his grasp. He pulled a little white box from under the seat and opened it. He found a small tube of smelling salt and some headache medicine. Walking back to Ted, he popped the top and waved it under his nose. Ted’s eyes lids fluttered open, revealing his blue eyes. He looked around the room, confused, then rubbed the back of his head.
“What the hell happened?” he asked.
“The little lady over there lost her balance and fell right on top of you,” Mathis answered pointing to Vikki.
“I’m so sorry, Ted,” she said through tears.
“It’s okay,” he replied, pushing himself toward a seat. “Does anyone have any Ibuprofen?”
Mathis handed him a packet of Motrin, “Here, take these but don...” He was cut off by the sound of the radio squawking. “Hold on,” Mathis said looking at his watch–it was 1345 hours. Not yet time to check in.
“Copy team Shadow. Over,” the radio squawked.
Mathis picked up the handheld radio, “This is Shadow One. Over.”
Colonel Rollins almost instantly replied, “Is there a problem Shadow One? Your vehicle went offline.”
“We just had a few obstacles we needed to get passed–truck stalled but we’re up and moving again.”
Ted’s brain pounded in his skull. He ripped open the packet of medicine while looking around the room. Hunter, C.J., and Copper were inspecting their weapons and distributing the remaining rounds amongst themselves. Vikki began composing herself; the once strong and independent temp had broken down; Ramon stared at the fire team intently as they reloaded their weapons; and the radio conversation between Colonel Rollins and Sergeant Mathis was heard throughout the truck.
Out of the darkness of the truck, a bottle of water appeared and rolled toward Ted, bumping into his foot. He reached down and grabbed the water. As if from some unseen presence, Ted had something to wash down the medicine with. The water was warm, but he didn’t care. He only needed a little drink to pass the tablets down. Putting the medicine into his mouth, he removed the lid on the water and took a drink. The water tasted divine as it traveled down his thirsty throated.
Mathis turned and saw Ted drinking from the mysterious bottled water. “No!” he yelled, dropping the radio and slapping the water out of Ted's hand. The bottle traveled through the truck spraying everyone in the room with drops of liquid; the team looked up from their weapons inspection.
“What the hell was that for?” Ted asked, his temperature rising in anger. “Why’s it getting so hot in here?” His eyes suddenly snapped shut and he dropped to the hard floor.
Jenna and Vikki stared in horror as Ted’s body fell limp. They bent down to check his state, but Mathis told them to stay back. His body was now cold and stiff. Mathis and his team knew what was going to happen next–Ted would wake up any second with hell fire eyes.
Posted by Yeti Booger at 8:05 AM
Monday, January 24, 2011
“My God,” Mathis said sitting on the passenger seat of the truck. “Is this the only route to building 228?”
“As far as I know,” Frost answered. “Unless we trek back, but that would add thirty miles to our trip–we don’t have the gas for that.”
The two men stared out through the tinted windshield at a huge car pile-up blocking the main streets. Over thirty cars total, smashed together as if a tornado had dropped them from the sky, all in one location. There were two buildings–on opposite sides of the street–and the cars made a line that stretched out between them; trying to drive through them would wreck their truck.
“We can’t go outside to clear a path either,” Mathis said, talking to himself as he continued to stare out the window. His mind was reeling, trying to figure out a solution for their new dilemma.
“Maybe I can help,” Ted said, staring at them from the back of the truck. “I use to live around here–this isn’t the only way to get to the other side.”
“Listen, um, guy,” Mathis said, instantly realizing he didn't know his name, or any of the survivors' names for that matter.
“My name’s Ted, Ted Wilkins,” he said.
“All right, listen, Ted, this
GPS here will show us every street in the area, even private roads and places where, if needed, we can convert into roads. There's no other marking here that will take us across this wreckage except this street,” Mathis said continuing to gaze out the windows.
“That’s true, but do you see that building over there?” Ted asked, pointing to a brown factory building to the left. “See that large shutter door? We can ram through there and get inside the building. I noticed that a few of your guys have grenades. We can use them to blow out a wall and drive to the other side.”
Mathis thought about it for a minute. “How do you know there’s access to the other side?”
“I use to work in that building. The entrance right there leads into an open spaced warehouse–there’s enough room.”
“Okay, Ted,” Mathis agreed. “That’s better than what I had planned. Move aside,” he said as he moved through the open door. “Listen up! We’re going to drive through a building door to get inside and this truck wasn't built for bumpy rides. I want everyone to hold on to something and boys,” he looked at his team, “make sure your safety’s are on.”
Ted took a seat. Everyone in the truck held on to whatever they could. Mathis sat back down on the passenger seat and buckled up. “Make sure you hit the shutter door head on and don’t let up on the gas,” he told Frost, who was maneuvering the truck into place.
Frost stopped the truck fifty yards away from the door. “Hold on,” he said as he pushed on the acceleration pedal. The tires screeched until they caught traction, and everyone in the truck held on to their seat as the truck lurched forward. After a few seconds of anticipation, the truck made impact with the door at forty miles an hour, completely pushing it in and breaking its padlock. The truck shook violently, knocking over the people in the back, but began to slow as they advanced into the warehouse.
The place looked like it had been deserted for years–there were big cobwebs on the pillars that held the building up. Besides the pillars, there was nothing else in the warehouse; no pallets, no shelving of any kind. The room was box shaped with four corner walls with one entrance leading into the main building. Most importantly, there were no bodies.
“Is everyone all right?” Mathis asked as Frost turned the ignition off, but when he heard the engine quit, he spun to look at the driver with confused eyes.
“We don’t have much fuel left, so we need to conserve it,” Frost said, answering the unspoken question.
“Good,” Mathis replied, unbuckling and passing through the open door.
Everyone was skewed around the truck. Ted was helping Jenna to her feet from where she was lying face down on the floor with her skirt pulled up almost to her waist, giving the men in the truck a nice show. Mathis noticed his men gawking at the attractive girl and quickly said, “Ten hut!” His team instantly stood at attention. Ted got Jenna to her feet and she quickly pulled her skirt back down. “We need to find you a change of clothes, young lady,” Sgt. Mathis, the father of four girls, said.
Jenna smiled, mostly embarrassed for exposing her rear end and said, “Thanks, if I knew the world was ending this morning, I would have put on some pants.” She quickly took a seat between Vikki and Ramon, who were staring at the men at attention.
“Masks on boys,” Sgt. Mathis ordered. They put their masks back on and reached for their weapons. “We need to be quick. Copper get some grenades ready to blow a hole in the north wall of this building–the rest of us will cover your rear. Understood?”
“Yes, sir,” the three men at attention said, synchronized.
Mathis turned toward the Bakker & Sons employees. “Do any of you know how to fire a weapon?”
Ted quickly raised his hand. “I go to the shooting range every weekend.”
Ramon waited until Ted was finished speaking before raising his hand. “I was in the Mexican Army before I fled to the
. I know weapons and military tactics,” he said–his co-workers stared at him almost in shock. Ramon had never seemed liked the type of man who was in the military. United States
Mathis took his side arm out of its holster and handed it, grip first, to Ramon. “Take my 9mm Beretta, just in case something happens to us out there. Frost will stay in the truck and drive away at the first sign of trouble. Copper,” Mathis said looking at the Corporal, “give me your side arm.” With very swift actions, Copper un-holstered his pistol and walked it to Mathis, handing it to him; Mathis took it and handed it to Ted. “I’m giving you this for the same reasons as the Hispanic fellow.”
“Ramon, my name is Ramon,” he said, emphasizing on the R.
Ted took the weapon and examined it, while the females in the truck remained quiet.
“Okay, let’s go,” Mathis said as he walked toward the door. He untied the secure straps and raised the door. A musty odor entered the truck that was almost as bad as the smell of dirty socks. The Bakker & Sons employees instantly covered their noses; the fire team’s masks prevented any odors from reaching their nostrils.
“What’s that smell?” Vikki asked through her disgust.
“That’s black mold,” Ted answered. “That’s the reason why this building was deserted.”
“Why does it smell this bad?” Jenna chimed in holding her shirt over her nose to mask the smell.
“Black mold is a fungus. It’s a living organism just like you and I, and it consumes the materials around itself, then, just like us, has to shit it out.” Ted answered, setting the pistol down next to him and putting his button up shirt over his nose.
“So that’s the smell of fungus shit?” Vikki asked.
“Yup,” Ted’s muffled voice carried throughout the truck.
“Gross,” Jenna replied.
Ramon didn't enter the conversation his co-workers were having. Instead, he stared at the gun’s barrel almost mesmerized by the power a weapon can bring. Memories of his past life entered his head. No one cared to ask why he'd left the Mexican army and fled to the
. The sound of the last member of the fire team jumping off the truck snapped Ramon from his daze; he pushed the safety on the weapon and sat it on the bench next to him. United States
Sgt. Mathis led the way to the north side of the building. They marched in the same formation as the Bakker & Sons office building–the M4 rifles held firm on their shoulders, C.J. watching their rear. The warehouse had many open windows lined up along the tops of the walls and light from outside shone through, illuminating their path. Their target was directly in front of them–they needed to make a hole large enough for the truck to go through. Copper dropped his weapon to his waist and unclipped the last three grenades from his uniform; Mathis eyeballed the concrete wall in front of them.
“We’ll need to put two grenades about ten feet away from each other on the ground. They’ll need to go off almost simultaneously. Copper, give one to Hunter and stand ten feet away from each other on the wall.”
Copper handed one of the grenades to Hunter. They stood ten feet away from each other, hugging the wall, and dropped to one knee, holding the grenades in their hands; Mathis and C.J. walked back in the direction of the truck, parallel and away from the blast zone.
“Ready?” Sgt. Mathis yelled. Faint replies answered and he began to count down, “Three, two, one.”
Copper and Hunter released the pins and turned and sprinted as fast as they could toward C.J. and Sgt. Mathis who were crouched low to the cement floor. They knelt down next to them, held their hands over their ears and waited for the blast. A few seconds later, it came. The building shook as a large puff of smoke and fire broke through the wall. Rubble flew out of the explosion, showering the area with dust and concrete. The boom echoed through the warehouse and into the truck where the survivors weren’t expecting a loud blast. They tried to cover their ears but it was too late, the only noise they could now hear was a soft hum.
The hole created by the two grenades was big enough for the truck to fit through. There was no need for the third grenade so Copper clipped it back onto his uniform.
“Good job, men,” Sgt. Mathis said, pleased with the size of the hole. “Let’s go before the noise attracts company.” They turned away from the hole and walked toward the back of the truck, stopping dead in their tracks when they heard the moan of a lightning victim shambling into the building through the disfigured shutter door.
Mathis dropped to one knee and aimed his weapon. He squeezed the trigger.
Sgt. Mathis had made the biggest rookie mistake of his military career–he'd gone into battle with an empty weapon. The team heard him yell a profanity before ejecting his magazine and inserting a fresh one.
Hunter dropped to one knee and fired at the advancing lightning victim, and the boom echoed through the room. The bullet entered its left eye socket–passing through the skull and destroying the cerebellum–and fragments of brain spewed out of the bullet’s exit wound. The creature plummeted to the floor, no longer able to move. The Bakker & Sons employees stared at the dead body from their vantage point and the room fell completely silent.
Suddenly, moans began to carry on the wind.
“Let’s go before we have more than we can handle,” Mathis ordered.
The fire team hopped into the truck and closed the shutter door; Mathis walked through the partition door and sat in the passenger seat beside Frost.
“There’s the hole,” Mathis said, pointing. “Let’s go.” He looked in the passenger side mirror and staring back where numerous lightning victims. All of them shambled slowly from the broken shutter door to the truck.
Frost turned the key in the ignition; the truck clicked and didn't start. He tried again with the same result. “It’s not starting,” Frost said, panicking. “Maybe something happen to the truck when we broke through the door.”
Mathis stared at the mirror, his eyes squinted as the reflection showed more and more lightning victims pouring into the warehouse. Without thinking, he opened the door to the truck and stepped out.
Posted by Yeti Booger at 9:21 AM
Monday, January 17, 2011
“Where the hell’d they go?” Sergeant Mathis asked his team. He turned to face them, but they were nowhere in sight. “Copper, C.J., Hunter, where did you guys go?” He was confused and didn’t understand what was happening–he was all alone.
He glanced to his left and noticed a slit in the tarp–it was large enough for a body to push through. He walked toward the opening and peered through. Beyond the tarp was dark and windy. He turned on his night vision goggles and on the ground were the survivors he'd just saved.
Their bodies were burned and disfigured. They didn’t even make it a few steps before the lightning got to them. Sergeant Mathis shook his head in disgrace.
Ted moaned–his voice carried throughout the tunnel. Sergeant Mathis raised his M4 rifle as Ted rose to his feet. He backed away slowly, still aiming his weapon on the beast. Vikki and Jenna began to moan. They quickly rose to their feet and stood behind Ted, one on each side. Sergeant Mathis turned left toward the building door where, standing at attention, was his team. Their masks were off and their skin looked pale white through the night vision goggles; loose skin hung from their faces–they were dead. Hunter broke formation first and shambled toward Sergeant. Mathis with C.J. and Copper walking closely behind him, outstretching their arms. He turned back to the survivors who were making their way through the opening and on the ground, Ramon’s body still lay prone–he did not rise. Sergeant Mathis took note that out of everyone around him, he did not rise.
He jumped into the truck as the fire team and survivors closed the gap between them. He raised his rifle and began to fire; the shots were aimed perfectly. Blood smeared across the tunnel walls as bullet holes appeared on their foreheads. They swung on their feet and fell to the ground falling on top of each other.
Sergeant Mathis looked toward the tunnel entrance and standing there was the Demon. His eyes were a hell fire red that glittered through the darkness–it smiled exposing its teeth. Sergeant Mathis raised the M4 rifle and squeezed the trigger.
* * *
“Serge!” Copper yelled at Mathis who was glaring at the Demon–their eyes remained locked on each other. His finger repeatedly squeezed the trigger on his weapon and each pull made a clicking noise as there were no more rounds in the magazine.
“The fucking Demon has Sergeant Mathis!” Hunter yelled. “Let’s go. Get him the fuck out of here!”
C.J. stopped firing, swung his rifle around his shoulder and wrapped his arms around Sergeant Mathis–the man didn’t react. His eyes remained locked with the Demon’s, and it continued to howl in pain as it clumsily tried to get to his feet.
“It’s almost up. Move, move, move,” Hunter ordered.
C.J. dragged Sergeant Mathis through the door–he finally dropped his gun, the strap caused it to dangle at his side. “Sergeant! Snap out of it!” C.J. yelled as he dragged Mathis toward the truck. Copper and Hunter fired as they went through the door. Copper took one of the grenades attached to his uniform and pulled the pin, tossing it at the hoard of lightning victims, closing the door after it made it in.
“Fire in the hole!” Copper yelled as they ran up the tunnel toward the truck. When they arrived, Ted and Ramon were helping C.J. get Sergeant Mathis into the truck. “Get down!” he yelled at them. Ted and Ramon pulled Sergeant Mathis into the vehicle and dragged him toward the front; Jenna stared at his mask. C.J. jumped into the truck, followed by Copper and Hunter. They ducked their heads as the grenade exploded, blowing the door off its hinges. It ripped through the tarp exposing the outside world–wind began to blow into the truck.
Hunter ran toward the back of the vehicle and banged on the door. “Frost! Go, go, go!” he ordered. The truck began to move forward, detaching itself from the mangled tarp. Copper rushed over to the shutter door and pulled it down. For a split second, he was able to see the Demon staring back at him from the building’s doorway. Hunter flipped a switch on the wall and the room illuminated with a dim light.
C.J. took off his mask, revealing a man in his early twenties. His face was covered in sweat and gel from his blond hair made his forehead sticky. He knelt down next to Sergeant Mathis and took off his mask. Mathis was a much older man and his hair line was non existent; sweat covered his entire bald head. C.J. began shaking him violently, “Snap out of it,” he cried. Sergeant Mathis’ eyes blinked rapidly and everyone in the truck stared as C.J. shook Mathis again.
“Stop shaking me,” Sergeant Mathis said. “I’m back.”
The fire team sighed in relief.
“It got in your head, didn’t it?” C.J. asked.
“Yes, but it’s out now–help me up,” Sergeant Mathis ordered.
C.J. grabbed his arm and helped him to his feet. He wiped the sweat from his forehead as he looked at Copper and Hunter who were taking off their mask. Hunter had short black curly hair and a hoop earring was pierced through his left eyebrow. His five o’clock shadow made him look older, but he was in his mid-twenties. Copper looked like an older version of C.J.. They had the same blond hair and the same facial structure, only one was much older–about fifteen years older.
The Bakker & Sons employees stared as their saviors unmasked. They took seats on one side of the truck.
“Thank you for saving us,” Vikki said looking in the direction of Sergeant Mathis.
“Do you guys know what’s going on?” Jenna interrupted.
The fire team stared at them. Copper, C.J., and Hunter took seats on the bench on the other side of the truck; Sergeant Mathis remained standing as he began talking.
“At precisely this morning the United States Government accidentally detonated a test missile just outside the Saline Spring’s boarder line. There was a miscalculation as the test missile was due to detonate over the
Pacific Ocean in International Waters. The missile was carrying a new type of military technology that uses the climate as a weapon.” He paused to rub the back of his neck. “In this case, the weapon decided to use a lightning storm.”
“So you guys know what’s going on?” Ted interrupted.
“In a nutshell... no we don’t. We know what caused the disturbance, but we don’t fully understand what’s happening,” Mathis answered. “The experiment was supposed to help us understand how the weapon would react. That’s why it was set to detonate over water. There was no threat to civilian life that way.”
“You’re saying you don’t know why dead people are getting back up and eating living people?” Jenna asked.
“That’s part of what we don’t know–we do know a shot through the head stops most of them. There are a few different creatures that we named Shockers and Demons. If a Shocker touches you–even if it’s a slight touch–it’ll send an electric shock through your body completely immobilizing you.” Mathis paused for a second, “It’s almost like the weapon uses it’s victims to build an army. Just like in the military, you have different people doing different things in order to win a war.”
The door at the front of the truck flew open, hitting the wall with a loud smack as it swung; the bang startled them. The fire team instantly reached for their weapons and aimed them at the door as they looked through the dark opening.
“Sergeant!” Frost, the man driving the truck yelled. “Colonel Rollins is on the hook for you.”
Through the dark opening, an arm reached out holding a handheld radio. Mathis snatched the communications device and held it in front of his mouth.
“Come in, Rainstorm, this is Shadow One. Over,” Mathis began.
They waited a few second before the radio squawked, “Copy Shadow One, what’s the situation? Over.”
“Building 401 is cleared–four survivors. On route and heading back to your location. Over,” Mathis said as he looked at his team–C.J. was dosing off. He motioned to Copper to slap C.J. in order to keep him awake. Copper nudged the kid and his eyes flew open.
“Why aren’t you moving on to the next building? Were there any problems with the rescue? Over,” Colonel Rollins asked.
“Many Delta Whiskeys in the area–we took down one Shocker and ran into a Demon.”
Jenna looked around to her co-workers confused and whispered, “I wonder what they mean by Demon. Are we in the middle of a supernatural battle between good and evil?” She finished her questions and looked toward Mathis–he was staring at her with the radio still in his hands.
“There’s nothing supernatural about this–we created these Demons.” As he responded the radio in his hand squawked.
“Negative Shadow One, turn back immediately. If you have a Demon on your tail we don’t want you to lead it back here. Over.” The hearts of everyone in the truck sank as they heard the Colonels orders.
“Roger that,” Mathis said looking at the metal floor of the truck–Frost began to slow the truck down when he heard the orders.
“Is it after someone? One of the survivors maybe? Over.”
Mathis thought about the mental hold the Demon had on him earlier. In his dream, everyone came back to life except for the Hispanic man. He quickly glanced over to Ramon. “I have my suspicions. Over.”
“Well, find out who it is and protect them. We’re still trying to figure out how to bring them down. Until then those survivors you picked up are your responsibility. Over,” the distorted voice said.
“Where do you suggest we go? We’re running low on fuel and ammo. Not to mention the cloud that’s still above our heads–we can’t fully go outside. Over.”
There was a pause; the Bakker & Sons employees stared at one another not fully understanding the severity of their situation. No more than a few minutes ago, they were being rescued, taken to a place where their nightmare would be over, and now they were forced to go back into the war zone because the Demon wanted someone in their group. The fire team stared at the group of survivors who were now their responsibility to keep alive.
“Shadow One copy. Over,” the radio squawked.
“I’m here. Over,” Mathis answered with the clear sound of exhaustion in his voice.
“Team Thunder has just cleared building 228. They reported all clear. I ordered them to leave their spare ammo and fuel in the basement of that building. They are on route and returning to base to restock. Head over there and take everything they left behind. Over.”
“Roger that Rainstorm. Send coordinates to Showdown Twelve. He’ll drive us there. Over.”
“Already done, Shadow One. I want you to radio in at 1400 hours–use channel Omega. Over.”
“Copy, will check in at 1400 hundred. Shadow One out,” Mathis said as he handed the radio back to Frost. “Take us to building 228 and inform me right away if there’s any sign of trouble,” Mathis ordered in his deep, scratchy voice. He pulled the sleeve on his uniform to reveal a watch. It was .
Frost nodded as he checked the dim screen of the navigation system for new directions. A green light began flashing on the device indicating where the building was. “We’re 10.2 miles away, sir–
ETA in sixteen minutes.” He stopped the truck and spun the wheel for a U-turn. The truck coasted to the left; everyone held on when they felt the turn.
Sergeant Mathis turned to face everyone in the back of the truck–Jenna, the little curious bee, stared through the dark doorway.
“Why’s it so dark in there?” she asked. “I can’t even see anyone.”
Mathis smiled, “Exactly. If the lightning can’t see you, it won’t strike.” His face turned stone serious, precisely the way a veteran military man would and looked at his team. “Team Shadow, ten hut!” The three men instantly rose to their feet and stood at attention. “You heard Colonel Rollins’ orders. We'll do all we can to protect these civilians–right now we are headed to building 228 in search for supplies. If there are any Delta Whiskeys wait for my command to fire. Copper, how many blue rounds do you have left?”
Copper took a mental count. “Two magazines left sir,” he roared.
“Damn. Well, hopefully we won’t run into a Demo...” Sergeant Mathis was cut off by Frost. The truck came to a halt, nearly knocking the team off their feet.
“Sir!” he yelled. “We have a problem.”
Posted by Yeti Booger at 10:10 AM