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London Burning

London

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a part of London Burning, by Jerred Alain.

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Jerred Alain holds sovereignty over London, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

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London

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London is a part of London Burning.

10 Characters Here

Avery Evans [0] If the world is ending why not have fun?
Elise Butler [0] A young girl pushed too far over the edge, now a shadow of her former self.
Ira Massa [0] A Roman Catholic priest trying desperatly to survive.
Ernie Savoni [0] " Eh' You smell somin ?"
Charlie Crenshaw [0] A reclusive gravedigger who is used to death, and not afraid to cuase it.
Ethan Wong [0] Your average geek.
Bridget Halland [0] A tough hearted woman, just trying to make it by day by day.
Thomas West [0] "A criminal in a world gone insane. I'm right at home here."
Solomon Markudi [0] A kindhearted writer willing to lend a hand to those in need.
Henry Andrews [0] A young mechanic whose already proven he has what it takes to survive once.

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Chapter 1: Dissolution.

Thomas West sat on his bunk and calmly looked on as they wheeled the late Johnathan Carter out of his cell. The body was covered in a white cloth which was already becoming saturated with freshly spilled blood, leaving a trail on the ground as the two guards wheeled him out on the trolley. He had been sick for nearly a day and the prison officers hadn't bothered to quarantine him away from the other inmates, a practice long abandoned in a country that now could care less about convicted criminals. Priorities in order were food, water, power, law, and a few hundred more down the list sat human rights. For Tom that meant he was at the bottom of the food chain, where his jailers were usualy happy when another inmate succumbed to the 'Virus' - they would have more food on their plates that night.

Carter had at first simply had a fever, which until a few minutes ago when the armed guards came in to shoot him in the head had turned into a bloodthirsty fever pitch, complete with screeching and thrashing as Carter tried to reach Tom and kill him. 'At least they had the good sense to tie him down before he turned' Tom thought, climbing off his bunk and staring down at the blood trail leading out of the now locked door, no doubt in the direction of the prison's often used furnace. He guessed the mortality rate behind these bars due to the virus was close to 50%, nowhere near as bad as anywhere else if he believed the news. It was becoming a charnel house.

He heard the screams of one of the newer inmates further down the corridor, set at a pitch that Tom knew all too well. It was the screaming of a dying man, and no doubt in a few minutes more guards would arrive to shoot both him and whatever infected inmate was beating him to death. There was no noise from the other cells, most being empty now and those that weren't usualy held cowering prisoners waiting for their turn. With no quarantining, little food, heating, medicine or cleanliness the virus was spreading though them like wildfire. Tom knew it would be his turn too if he didn't do something about it, and crying himself to sleep waiting for the inevitable always seemed like a waste of time to him, aswell as pathetic.

"West. Oi, Westy" the unmistakable voice of Warden Jole called out, accompanied with the rattling of his baton on the door to Tom's cell. Jole was a fat man in his middling years who looked like he spent more than his fair share of time sitting down, watching cctv and sleeping when the chief wasn't looking. The gas mask he wore was already steaming up from the inside and from the way he stood slightly hunched with his chest labouring to breath he doubted the fat man was comfortable in all that gear. All the guards had masks these days, and those that didn't usualy fell ill in such squalid conditions along with the prisoners.

"Westy. We're taking you to Pentonville. Back away from the door" He said, opening the cell door to show he was accompanied by another two heavily built guards. Pentonville was a place never talked about, where nobody came back from and over the last year had developed a black name for itself. It used to be a normal prison located in the middle of London, but if the rumours were true was used to 'dispose' of serious criminals who were beyond any rehabilitation and whom the government would prefer to see gone forever rather than by chance as with the usualy prison virus 'lottery'. Tom was a serious criminal.

He simply smiled, feigning ignorance. His stomach had dropped to somwhere near his toes but he refused to let despair take hold. He was a dead man anyway, and this might just be his chance to get out...

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Ethan Wong glanced from the clock on the wall to the bulging garbage bag in the corner, then back to the clock. It was about fifteen minutes past the curfew at seven o'clock - surely that wasn't too far past. He glanced towards the stairs that led to the housing area above the restaurant. His mother, if she came downstairs, would no doubt tell him it was too dangerous to go outside, and at the same time lecture him about not taking out the garbage sooner.

Noticing he'd wasted some time debating on what to do, he made up his mind and picked up the bag, hefting it over his shoulder and grimacing as the smell of rubbish wafted towards him. After all, he thought, I haven't seen any infected in this part of London yet. In my opinion the curfew is far too early. Moreover, he was certain his mother would ground him, lecture him and ban him from the internet if she discovered that he'd left the rubbish until the next morning. Despite him being almost twenty-two, the woman was still a strict influence in his life.

"My mother, the dragon lady," he muttered to himself as he opened the back door and headed out towards the rubbish skip at the end of the side street. He swore as he almost tripped over a crack in the paving, and stumbled a few paces before blundering over to the skip. He continued muttering to himself as he yanked the lid open and roughly emptied the garbage, dusting his hands off upon completion.

He took a moment to stretch, wincing as his back made an ominous creaking sound. A slight groan caught his attention, and he glanced around the street. Something stirred in a shadowy corner behind the skip, and he wandered closer, noticing a huddled form in the darkness. Probably a drunkard or something... He prodded the body with his foot.

There was an instant reaction. The person leaped up, hissing and spitting, and lunged towards him. He staggered backwards, raising his hands, his eyes widening as he noticed that this was no drunk - their eyes were wild and crazed, blood seeping from their ears and nose. He uttered a particularly choice word as he backed quickly towards the restaurant door. The infected seemed weak, emaciated almost, and he was able to pull himself inside and slam the door behind him, locking and bolting it. There were a few half hearted thumps from outside, which quickly faded away.

Ethan brushed himself down and let out a huff of breath. "Duuude..." he breathed. In hindsight, that was a rather stupid thing for me to do... lucky for me I was able to get away. He shook his head, clearing it. "Ah well! I'm still alive, aren't I?" He grinned to himself, but the smile faded as his mother's heavily accented voice drifted down from upstairs.

"Ethaaan! What's all that noise?"

"Uhh..." he had a sudden vision of his mother opening the door in the morning to be confronted with a rabid, infected person. With a sigh, he slipped his shoes off and began to trudge upstairs, trying to think of a way to explain the situation. Time to face the dragon...

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Sol had been up since before the sun had risen, preparing a light breakfast for himself and gathering up all the papers he'd need for his daily investigating, which probably wouldn't help him get through the checkpoints anyway, considering how tight security had gotten in the recent weeks. He grabbed his satchel and headed out the door, pulling it closed behind him. The streets had been rather dead lately, and today was no exception. As Sol made his way towards the shop on the corner, he slowed a bit to light a fag. He'd been meaning to quit, but it took the edge off and with all this Virus business, giving it up would have to wait.

"Fuck..." Sol mumbled as he looked up and noticed the shop was closed.

It was only a matter of time before everything closed down. He sighed and took a seat on nearby bench, which seemed a tad wonky and creaked beneath him. Sol took a drag, tilted his head back and blew the smoke into the air. It drifted above him for a moment and then dissipated. The sound of a siren in the distance caught his attention. It didn't seem very far off, and Sol stood to follow the loud wail to its source. Maybe this had been the lead he had been waiting for.

When he rounded the block, he could see a jam sandwich parked in the middle of the street, doors ajar and lights flashing. Sol approached slowly, removing a camera from his bag and checking the area for anything dodgy. Last week, he had run into a bit of trouble with Old Bill, and had almost gotten his lights punched out. With everyone in a panic, coppers had taken to shooting first and asking questions later, but his book was in need of first hand accounts, so he began snapping photos. The clicking of Sol's camera echoed in the almost empty region, causing another onlooker to take notice.

"Better be careful there, boyo. You'll get your head beaten in if they spot ya stealing candid moments like that" The stranger warned.

Sol smiled and snapped a picture of the man.

"Willing to take that chance" He chuckled politely. "What's going on?" Sol questioned, moving closer to the man.

He pointed to an alleyway near the cruiser and shook his head.

"Fuckin' Chav went mad and started attacking a woman. Fuzz chased him into that alley" The man explained. "I was close enough to see his eyes and it had to be The Virus. Absolutely mental, that one" He added.

Sol was shocked, because he'd yet to see a Carrier in person. He started his journey across the street to the alley, hoping to get a better view of the action. The stranger called out for him to stop, but his focus remained fixed on the flashing lights. About a stones throw away from the passenger side, several gunshots rang out, followed by a loud cry and footsteps. A chubby officer emerged from the darkness of the alley carrying an assault rifle, which had been the standard weapon of choice since the outbreak had started. Behind him, a young man with blood soaked clothing, bolted after the bobby and knocked him to the ground. Sol froze and observed the teen thrash at the officer's face violently. His first instinct was to run, but after a few steps he turned back and changed towards the quarrel.

The satchel he carried was heavy, and sent the Carrier stumbling into a wall. It quickly regained itself and turned its attention to Sol, who was planning for his next move. Before he could react, several rounds entered the man's chest, and he collapsed into a lifeless mound. Sol spun himself around, where several more Enforcers stood with their rifles at the ready.

"Don't fucking move!" One cried, his voice masked by his respirator.

Sol raised his hands into the air and slowly stepped closer to them.

"I'm not infected! Please don't shoot!" He pleaded.

One of the armed soldiers rushed to him and snatched his camera away. Before he could another word, the man smashed it upon the pavement.

"What the fuck, pig!?" Sol shouted in anger.

This harsh tone was met with the butt of the officer's weapon, which made contact with Sol's forehead. The world around him faded as he was plunged into the void. He'd remain unconscious for almost three hours, only waking once to find himself on the floor of a police transport van. He attempted to stand but drifted off again. Words were able to break through during his slumber, most of which concerned someone named Thomas West. The vehicle came to a sudden stop, and this is what jolted him back to reality.

Sol collected himself and crawled to his knees. A small screen separated him from the two Enforcers in the front driving, and he hoped they'd listen to what he had to say.

"What's happening? I didn't do anything!" He shouted at the men.

The driver, a burly man with a mustache, slapped the window with his palm.

"Shut the fuck up!" The man blasted. "You keep that fuckin' mouth of yours closed or I'll pull this van over and put a fuckin' bullet between your eyes!" The other one called back to him, laughing afterwards.

The driver exited, leaving the Sol alone with the passenger, who watched him in the mirror.

“Where are we?” Sol asked gently, hoping the man would answer this time.

The Enforcer chuckled a bit.

“Stopped to pick up an inmate. Everything’s a bit mucky, so we offered to pick him up” The man said, picking at his teeth. “A crazy one… Thom West. You ever hear about him?” He added quietly.

Sol didn’t answer, just remained quiet on the van floor.

“Hope he don’t take a bite outta you when Gregg throws him in with ya!” He laughed.

Sol scooted against the wall and sat watching the door. He doubted the inmate would bite him, but he didn’t want to offend him. He’d seriously fucked up and now he was off to god knows where. Horror stories had been whispered throughout the community. Tales of people who got too close to The Enforcers, with a camera or something of that nature. They were taken away and kept quiet, and Sol feared he was off to join the ones that had vanished.

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Elise dashed through the darkened alley, her chest heaving. Her mouth was dry and her throat hurt from her heavy breathing and she felt that at any moment she might vomit on the dank ground. But she didn’t stop, she couldn’t. Behind her two MPs carrying automatic rifles ran after her shouting for her to stop. Elise wasn’t going to listen, not after what they had done to her family.

The alley narrowed and ended. Tears started to stream down her cheeks as her only escape seem to vanish before her eyes. At that moment, when she was about to simply sit on the ground and cry until the MPs caught her (and most likely shot her for possibility of infection), she spotted a manhole leading to the sewer. Launching at the manhole she desperately pried at the heavy cover. Her fingers bled as she scratched at her only escape, tearing nails free from fingers and breaking her index finger on the left hand. Finally she managed to get a grip and slip her fingers under the metal disk, pulling it away and quickly diving through the dark hole.

Flailing her arms out in front of her to brace her for the impact she felt the warm reeking water of the sewer meet her face and something thick and slimy brush past her cheek. Under the shallow water was the concrete of the sewer floor and she slammed into it with a splash, her right elbow flaring with pain as she choked and sputtered on the brackish water. Pulling her face out of the water she purges, spewing chunks of her last meal.

Elise could hear shouting as the MPs ran up to the sewer manhole and stared down into the darkness, not daring to come after her. One of them threw up from the smell and both backed away slowly, deciding that no single girl, even possibly infected was worth such unrealistic troubles. Crawling on all fours through waste and filth from the thousands who inhabit London, Elise desperately continued farther into the sewers. Her eyes were now completely useless in her pitch-black surroundings even as they desperately tried to adjust. She felt terror grip her stomach and tears streamed down her muddied face. Her eyes burned from crying and the polluted water. The air stank heavily and burned her throat every time she took a shaky breath, but she refused to give up and continued to crawl farther into darkness.

After getting up onto her hands and knees and hobbling forwards through the sewers for what seemed like ages, seeing many rats along the way, some of which bit her legs in search of food causing her to spasm in defense, Elise found an open cove, presumably for service teams to place their equipment while they preformed various maintenances under the city. She curled up into a ball, holding her legs against her chest, and sat shaking in the corner trying desperately to stop the pain that throbbed in her heart.

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Avery sat in the small bookshop, absentmindedly rereading Dracula. It was one of her favourite books, Bram Stocker being a brilliant man. She flipped through the pages, reading parts and snippets to take her out of her boredom. Nothing was helping though; it was just one of those nights. It was dark and dreary and she suspected that it was about to rain anytime soon. She closed the book with a snap, it was just too creepy for her right now. After all of those tales of that infection going around she had no desire whatsoever to freak herself out.

She got out of the chair that was position behind the counter and walked over the storage closet where there was a bin full of books that she needed to shelve. She dragged the heavy thing out and sat on the floor as she started to organize the books, trying to put it in alphabetical order from the author’s last name so it would be easier to actually put them on the shelves. Avery moved her hands almost mechanically to sort the books, her eyes darting from spine to spine, used to the movement.

Grabbing her 'A' pile she walked over to the first shelve and started to put them where they belonged, the new, white pages looking odd in contrast with the creamy yellow of the older ones. She had finally been able to get a bigger budget for the store now that more and more people were coming and renting and buying books. So now bit by bit the little old book store was expanding.

Avery jumped a little, hearing the quiet 'ding' of the bell ringing as the door opened, a current of cold air meting her form. She shivered inside of her sweater, wishing it were warmer. England's weather was one of its downsides, Avery not being one for the cold.

"Hi," She greeted cheerily, getting up and dusting her jeans quickly with her hands. She felt the chill inside of the store, like the door was still opened. Avery frowned, partly from the fact that she hadn't heard a reply and from the fact that the person seemed to be holding the door open. Imaged flashed inside her head of killers and other bad things that made her shutter. The streets always were empty lately . . .

"Anyone there?" She asked, her voice cracking lightly. She turned around and poked her head out from behind the bookshelf. She saw someone leaning against the door, holding it open.

"Didn't mean to scare you," The man said, grinning. Avery's heart started to race, noticing how bloodshot the man’s eyes were. Wasn't that a symptom to the disease?

"Oh no, you didn't. May I ask why you're holding the door open?" She asked, stepping out from behind the bookshelf. She started to slowly walk to the counter where the telephone sat.

"Nope," The man replied, popping the 'P' and started to grin. Avery just began to notice details about him. He was probably around her age, maybe a year older at the most. She also noted that he was having a conversation with her. Weren't the diseased not able to talk?

"Oka-" She started to say when the man cut her off.

"I'm just kidding, my friends dared me to get a date for tonight," He said, jerking his thumb outside where Avery noticed a bunch of kids her age standing around, all of them passing around a bottle. It finally struck in her mind that the man standing there was harmless, just a little drunk.

"Really then?" She asked, cocking her brow and grinning slightly. It was pretty funny.

"Yep, so wanna join us?" He asked, suddenly stumbling forward, the door closing with a soft 'ding'.

"Can't, working," She replied, reaching the counter and leaning on it. She watched as the guy frowned and looked outside.

"Fine then, be a bitch," The guy said, suddenly in a bad mood that she said no. She watched as his back stormed outside, the door opening and closing quickly. Avery just sighed and walked over to the door, locking it to make sure no one else came in again that night. Anyways, her shift ended in another half an hour so she would close up early and finish stalking the shelves.

She walked off and finished organising the books, putting them where they belonged. Avery was just grabbing her bag and getting herself ready when she heard scraping on the door. She froze, it sounded like fingernails sliding across the metal surface. Once more she felt her heart palpitate. Slowly walking to the door she looked in the peep hole and noticed an older woman standing there, blood leaking out of her orifices. Avery could hear her moan through the door.

So this is what an infected looks like, Avery thought with an almost detached air about it. She felt slightly sad for the woman who used to occupy the body, a shame that she was no longer there. Looks like I'll be spending the night here, she though, walking over to the desk, taking her coat off and grabbing a book. She would be here a while.

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#, as written by TheHaze
Charlie trudged through the sewers, the only indication he was there being the faint glow of a cigarette. His shoes clicked against the stone walkway he was traveling on, barely thick enough to accommodate him, as he blended into the darkness. Charlie had no need for a light, as he had accustomed himself to extreme darkness. The smell also had a disappointing effect, but when you exhume bodies for a living, you get used to putrid odors.


He had been surviving in these sewers for at least three days. Police had chased him to the drainage pipe next to his graveyard on suspicion of murder. Charlie dubbed it "Self Preservation", 37 cases of it. It truth, he had blown away those souls because they had attempted to loot corpses. They decided that grandma's wallet served a better purpose in the safe hands of themselves. Still, the parents and friends of the robbers had rallied and called to police at threat of violence. So, the police came with shotguns, and nearly smoked the poor man right then and there. Luckily, Charlie had crawled through the drainage pipe at the last second, and escaped. He had been living of rat meat cooked with a lighter, and he smelled as bad as the meat tasted. At least, he thought, I grabbed my supplies pack.


He was mulling over the concept of if he should make a stand, and go out guns blazing, when he heard a voice.

"No sign of the girl. Brat must have escaped."

Charlie darted to the nearest corner, looking for the voice's host. After a few seconds, he spotted a policeman. A rookie by the looks of him, and by the fact he got stuck with patrolling through a couple feet of shit, He was pretty sure he was right. Charlie tightened his grip on the over-under shotgun that he had carried with him. The cop was armed, and searching a poor soul in the same hole as he was. He stubbed out his cigarette, and began to creep of the the cop, gun raised. The policeman, fuming over his position, failed to notice the man waiting to blow his brains out. Charlie finally managed to get at point-blank range, and pulled the trigger. BANG. The shot breifly illuminated the dark, throwing the shooter's grim and blank face into sharp detail. A truly merciless man, the bucksot blasted the cop square in the face. Brain matter and bits of skull splattered against the wall. The cop fell heavily into the water, dropping the gun he barely had time to draw, and no time to use. The gravedigger reached into the stagnant water, and pulled out a Glock 9. Convenient.

He quietly slipped the gun into his belt, and looked around yet another corner. Charlie found himself staring at could be described as the most pathetic thing he had ever seen. It was a young girl, cut, filthy, and sobbing. He remained stone face as he silently set down his pack, and pulled out his only medikit, and the one blanket he owned. If I don't get some credit for this in Hell, I'm fucked. He wrapped it up, and tossed at the girl, walking out simultaniusly. "Merry Christmas. You're no use to me dead, so patch yourself up." He stood there, unaware he probably was giving her a heart attack.


(I apologize for the lack of quality, but this was rushed.)

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“No sign of the girl. Brat must have escaped.”

Elise shuttered as the officer’s voice pierced the dark silence where rats scurrying and squeaking had been the only sounds. She froze, terrified. Run! Her mind screamed it in her ears, screamed so loud that’s all she could hear, all she could think, but her body didn’t move. It didn’t do anything. She just sat there, frozen and huddled, her body violently shaking as she awaited her death, or worse.

There was a click, then half a second later a thunderous BANG that reverberated like a cannon inside the confined stone space. Her ears rang and hurt. For a moment she thought she had been killed, but realized that the flash wasn’t her death but a gunshot. Something had happened but she dared not look. Maybe the cop had found where she was hiding and had shot at her as a warning? Or maybe he had just missed? Her eyes went wide, expecting the man to find her in the little cubbyhole and shoot again. But he didn’t.

The face that greeted her was terrifying in it’s own right. It was a man, his face filthy and worn looking, like a war veteran who had just come back from hell. In the darkness she couldn’t see much of his face, but what she could see looked cold and remorseless. Her eyes went wide, expecting him to hit her or shoot her at any moment. But still she couldn’t move or speak or do anything. The best she managed was to mumble unintelligible sounds.

The man moved to reach for something and Elise opened her mouth to scream. Nothing came out, and it was probably for the best. He tossed her something and when she looked down she saw it was a medical kit.

“Merry Christmas. You’re no use to me dead, so patch yourself up.”

Suddenly she realized how much her body actually hurt and hoped her thankfulness could be seen on her face because she didn’t feel like talking. Elise wasted no time and snatching up the medical kit and popping it open. She placed Band-Aids on the cuts that riddled her arms and squirted disinfectant on her hands, wrapping them in gauze after trying to clean them as best she could. She couldn’t do anything about her elbow, and decided to simply shake it off since nothing could be done. Forcing herself to stop avoiding the real problem she took a splint out of the medical kit and got ready to set her finger. She grabbed her index finger with the other hand and forced it back into place with a sickening pop and a whimper from the pain. It was over quickly, however, and she splinted the broken finger before bandaging it to hold it secure.

Her savior now threw her a blanket, which she took readily and wrapped it around her quivering form. She wasn’t particularly cold, but her body said otherwise and the blanket comforted her in some odd way reminiscent of a childhood spent hiding from monsters under the covers of her bed.

A few minutes past and she finally stood up… Well, crouched more like it since standing up was impossible in the confined sewer. She didn’t speak, but shuffled out into the tunnel behind the man who had saved her and prepared to follow him. It seemed like the safest place to be for the moment. Wearing the blanket like a cape she stepped over the bloodied body of the former police officer and felt nothing, ready to move on.

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#, as written by Hells13
Our father who art in heaven, hallow be thy name..." One Our Father "Hail mary full of grace..." Five Hail Mary's "I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth..." Ten Apostle Creeds "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord, Hos-" Then the priest was interupted by the quick knocks at his wooden door.

Ira Massa wakes from his trance and looks behind him. Is it someone? He lookes forward again at the giant stone cross he centered on top of the pedestal with two lit candles next to it he had set for his prayers. "It's been so long since someone came here." He looked down upon his watch and saw it was 8:10. "Especially past the curfew." Ira wasn't talking to anyone in particular but himself. He looked back at the cross in front of him and asked. "Is this your messanger Lord?"

"It had to be! There was no doubt it had to be someone for God's plan!" Ira thought. He stood up from his kneeling position at the alter and started to run down the empty aisles towards the church doors but slowly stopped half way. One second... He thought listening to the knocks on the door. They were continous, strange and strong. The person outside was still knocking on the door, and Ira started to slowly walk again towards the door. Is god waiting? Maybe it's someone running away, or.... He ran towards the wooden doors and held his hand on the handle. Is it someone infected?

Ira was breathing faster and his palm was covered in cold sweat. "It has to be from God." He told himself. It's been a long time since Ira has been praying for a sign of what to do next, "It has to be"... Ira thought to himself. He slowly opened the heavy wooden door expecting a man, women or an angel. Instead a dirty hand shot out from the crack of the door, ready to grab Ira and pull him out the church. Ira dodged the arm and pressed his back against the door tring to desperatly shut it back but the wild flailing arm blocked it. "Why...?" he asked himself out loud, as tears ran down his cheek. The priest felt alone and betrayed. "Why has thou forsaken me?" he asked in a loud whimper as it echoed throughout the church. Then a voice from the other side of the door responded to him in a scratchy voice. "Die!"

"I... I don't wanna die." Ira said to himself pushing in the wooden door. He thought back to when news of the virus first hit and the amount of people that overflowed the church. He remembered talking to a police officer on one of these days. "Listen Father..." he said to Ira. "This world is going to hell and we need people like you to keep the world sane." and he slipped a small black revolver onto his pocket. Ira put his hand over his, ready to object but the police officer got to him first. "No But's Padre! or else I'll have to arrest you for stealing an officers gun." Ira looked at the crying people praying on their knees. "They need me." he thought to himself. He walked up to the alter and placed the gun in one of the drawers. Eyes and silence had took over the church and he gave his sermon.

"Die!" The voice said, bringing Ira back into reality. "The gun!" he shouted to himself, It was his only chance and no matter how much he believed the Lord, Ira knew He wasn't going to help him now. Ira took a couple of deep breaths to relieve his shaky legs. He jumped off from the door as it swong open, running towards the alter. He looked back to see a man in his mid 20's chasing him shouting "Die!" sprinting towards him at full speed. Ira was covered in sweat and as he took his step his foot was caught on the pedestal pushing it back and causing Ira to fall. The giant stone cross rocked back and forth as if it was going to fall in any moment. Ira landed on his face and was stunned by the pain. "Die!" Ira opened his eyes and fear had moved him as he hastily crawlied to the alter he kicked the pedestal again, causing the stone cross to rock back and forth more. He made it to the alter and pulled out the drawers, causing the gun to fly out towards his lap. He grabbed it, quickly fumbled it through his fingers held it, and pointed it to where the man should have been. Ira was sweating and breathing hard looking left, right and behind him for the man but nowhere to be seen. He stood up off the ground and looked straight ahead lowering his head. He saw the open door of the night outside, the blue carpeting that completely covered the floor of the church, and the man that was going to kill him struck down by the giant stone cross, his head engulfed with blood.

Ira whimpered the words out "Thank you...." he rubbed his forearm over his eyes to clean the tears running down his face, but he second looked the scene. The cross crushed the infected man, no doubt about that but it was pointing to the door outside. "Does the lord wish that this is what I am to do? To cleanse all that is evil?" Ira shivered at the thought, but the message in front of him was clear. He stepped around the man's body and made his walk towards the clear open door. While walking he checked what he had on him, a bible in his breast pocket under his priest robes, 20 dollars in his right pocket, and a small black revolver that he tucked away in his robes. He faced the night that was in front of him and beared his eyes over the full moon. He started to walk forward onto the concrete and said a prayer as he took his steps. As spoken:

"Angel of God, My Guardian Dear
to whom God's love commits me here.

Ever this day be at my side
to light and guard and rule and guide.

Amen."

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"What the hell do you mean you have to take my gun!?" Henry Andrews was fuming at an arm guard. "How the hell do you expect the people here to defend themselves when hell breaks loose!?"
Both of the military men just shot him a blank stare. "No firearms arm allowed to civilians." They blocked one of the only entrances from the docks into the city.
Henry glared at the two men. "Civilian? In this war I'm a fucking soldier. I survived New york. NEW YORK! Do you have any idea what happened over there!?It doesn't matter how hard you try, there will be an outbreak! And when it does everyone better have something to kill with. OR else there is going to be a mass infection and there's no stopping it at that point."

The two soldier's expressions did not change. They figured he was another mentally unstable from America who saw too much. "Hand over the gun or no access."

"¡Bien! Usted Marecons, que todos vamos a morir de todas formas y cuando lo hace sólo voy a tomar su arma. No tienes idea de lo que va a suceder, lo que hago. Voy a sobrevivir, mientras que su cadáver putrefacto va loco. Pasar un buen rato en pinchazos infierno!" Henry shouted at them in spanish. His hispanic descent always came out when he was angered. He tossed the small .45 ACP USP Tactical that he had "liberated" from New York City SWAT at the soldier who fumbled to catch it. "I'm a mechanic so I'm keeping my crowbar got it!?"

The Soldiers shrugged and one moved to escort him into the city as the one with his gun moved to a small shack nearby to secure the weapon behind a locked cage. Henry watched the one with his gun, and looked around at the surrounding area. "If you don't mind I'd like to stay near the docks."

His escort turned and shrugged and walked back to his post. Henry stood unmoving for a moment. It was getting dark, he better find a safe place to crash. The dark was your worst nightmare with the infection. He would never chance being outside at night. Taking a grip on the crowbar on his side he walked around searching for a place to stay. A dark memory manifested it self in his consciousness. Wandering through the streets of the city, only days after the outbreak. The streets were empty. Cars littered the sides of the road. He remembered how the city was filled with screams of terror that would echo for miles. He shook his head hard to free himself of the bad memory.

After a few hours of walking the sun set below the horizon and night was setting on the city. Henry was desperate to find shelter. Soon he found a place to his relief. An abandon SUV sat in a small collapsed shack.... he wondered how bad the driver had been. He didn't bother trying to think of useless things. Taking the crowbar from his side and jamming it under the trunk. With a grunt and push of effort he popped the trunk open. He crawled into the black SUV and closed the trunk behind him. It would only be strong enough to repel one person and he would be trapped inside but he was hoping it was out of the way enough that no one would search here in the dead of night. Keeping his senses on high alert he tried to get some sleep.

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Thomas sat in the rear of the van and patiently looked out of the small window at the passing world, pretending to doze to the guards while trying to keep all his senses focused on looking for a way out. The officers had been very professional in putting him in the back however leaving no opportunity to make a break for it, as although he wasn't cuffed he was sitting in a tiny reenforced box cell in the rear of the police van with no seatbelt or padding, just two tiny stools built into the sides which you slid and bumped around as the van traveled through London city center. Freedom was inches away from him, watching as relatively normal London life went on outside while he was heading to one of the worst places on earth where nobody had ever been seen coming out alive again. Tom was not a happy man, and his mood was worsening despite trying to remain calm and focused.

The van slowed and pulled over onto a side street where a parked police car was waiting with two police officers and a worried looking black man waiting outside of it. One of the officer's uniforms was caked in blood and he looked as though he had been in a serious fight, but somehow he guessed from looking at the man they had with them it wasn't him who had done the beating. The door swung open, one officer taking the cuffs off the new man as he was pushed into the back while the other had his pistol drawn and aimed squarely at the two until the door slammed shut once again and the van moved off. Tom was starting to think that the police really had tightened up on their training since the infection had begun: he couldn't remember the last time they had been so... efficient with him. He smiled at the thought it might be his reputation, which was mostly undeserved but greatly encouraged.

"Hello, my name is Solomon" The man opposite him said, his breathing and sweating at this close proximity clearly indicating he was terrified but trying his best to hide it, but whatever he was so shook up about was unlikely just to be himself. Thomas wasn't in the mood for conversation, so instead he stared at the man's offered hand until it dropped to his lap and then continued to look out of the window. He could feel the man glancing at him serruptitiously and put up with it for several minutes before he felt the need to say anything.

"Name's Tom, which I'm sure you know already. Suppose the guards told you I eat babies and rape grandmothers? Well, only on weekends. Now stop staring at me, I'm thinking". To the Solomon's credit he hardly seemed shocked or worried by the words and tone they were delivered, but Tom held off on respecting the man until he saw how he handled himself behind bars. It broke most people, and had broken him the first time. Solomon reeked of someone who had spent little to no real time behind bars and so was in for a shock when he got to one of the world's worst prisons.

The ride went on uneventfuly for several minutes more with progress being slowed by rush-hour traffic. Thomas was suddenly aware of screaming coming from somewhere near the rear of the van, and it took him several seconds to work out a few of the people were screaming 'infected'. All about him there were suddenly people streaming past the van from behind, obviously trying to get away from something or someone. His world suddenly exploded into noise and pain as the van was pitched onto it's side, the loud, grating metallic thud of a car hitting the side of the van being unmistakable as was the the then continuous sound of the car's horn as whatever unseen driver was operating it was no doubt slumped over the steering wheel. The crash only lasted a few seconds, and he began to realise he was lying on top of an equaly dazed Solomon who was reaching his hand to his elbow and coming away with some blood. The welcome breeze from the street cooled the air inside the previously baking cell. The breeze? The Door was open.

From his position on the ground he could see the feet of a few dozen London citizens fleeing up the street, meaning no doubt the vehicle had spun a 180 degrees in the accident. Tom wasn't going to waste any time thanking god or whoever had given him this break, but he couldn't help grinning as he climbed out of the back of the van, the grin turning to a wince as he noticed he's injured his knee and left hand in the accident but hopefuly not too severely. Freedom was his as he clambered to his feet and took his first step down the street.

"Don't move. Get back inside the van, NOW!" the voice of one of the police officers who had been driving the van called out behind him. From the sound of him he was even worse injured than he or Solomon, and he sounded close. Too close. Tom spun round, sweeping his arm where he hoped the cop would be pointing his pistol at his head. He was quick enough, knocking the gun away which fired once as it hit the ground before punching the man as hard as he could in the throat, crumpling him to the pavement as he clutched at his throat trying to breath. The wound wasn't serious Tom knew, and soon the officer would be back on his feet, no doubt radioing for backup or trying to catch him once again. He slowly picked up the Glock 17 from the ground and casualy shot the officer twice in the head, hardly giving the man time to raise his hands in a feeble attempt to defend himself.

He noticed a spare magazine on the man's body armour and reached down to take it, pausing once as the body twitched spassmodicaly. He noticed eyes looking intently at him and without thinking raised his gun in their direction, right at the head of Solomon who was leaning out of the back of the van and from the look on his face had probably seen the entire incident.

"I'd be running if I was you" He said with a smile, lowering and tucking the pistol into his belt at the small of his back and pocketing the magazine. He walked away from the van and hopped onto the bonnet of the nearest abandoned car, its engine still running and radio playing some kind of modern pop song. Whatever the people had been fleeing from was no longer there, but what was most likely was someone had seen some other pedestrian have a nose bleed and assumed the worst, vocalised their opinion and in minutes there were a hundred people fleeing from rumours and paranoia. Tom smiled, and smiled even wider when he saw the abandoned suit and clothing store opposite him. The owners would be back soon enough, so it was time to get out of the prison clothes he had worn day in day out for several years now. Freedom was already tasting sweet indeed.

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Solomon grasped his elbow and looked up from the floor, which was now the ceiling of the police truck. He couldn't remember much and his brain was in a complete fog. The man named Tom had already fled the confines of the vehicle, and when Sol jumped out after him, a blurred shadow of the man from before greeted his with a pistol. He raised his hands in self-defense, but was surprised when the man didn't fire. He had instead allowed Solomon to walk away unharmed, excluding the gash on his arm and the bump to his head.

Sol clutched the side of his skull and groaned. A stinging pain had fought its way through the adrenaline rush and was now devouring the left side of his head. He looked around to find the street was totally void of life. He stumbled towards a nearby car and sat down inside. The small auto had been left in drive, rolled for a bit and stopped when it had bumped a lamppost. Sol looked around, making sure no one would see him drive away in the stolen car. Before he pulled away, he watched Thomas run into a store. For a moment, he considered asking him if he wanted a lift, but upon remembering why the police had arrested him in the first place, changed his mind and decided it was imperative to going into hiding. He sped down the vacant streets, almost hitting a bench.

Ahead, Sol could hear sirens approaching, and pulled over. He would leave the car there and take back alleys home. Things went as planned and he ran for almost an hour before reaching his home, stopping behind a fence nearby. Several patrol cars sat idly in front of his flat, waiting for his return no doubt. Sol instead crossed the street and quietly broke into the back door of the corner shop. Here he'd be able to treat his wounds and maybe get some water. The store possessed an eery silence, that broke only momentarily when Sol would move to the next aisle. When he had collected himself, he checked his flat again, only to find the police still waiting. He took a seat in a chair next to the window and waited a few hours for them to leave. They had suddenly taken off towards downtown in a storm after one of the officers answered a radio transmission. The man had nervously signalled the others that there was trouble. Sol didn't care what the problem was yet and headed for his flat, where he could change and get ahold of himself.

As he changed clothes, he thought of the man in the police truck, Thomas West. The fellow hadn't done any harm to Solomon, so he hoped that he had made it to safety as well. He decided since the sun was setting that travel would be easier. Half the guards were busy with something downtown and it was shift change. Sol stopped and retrieved a straight razor from his bag. It was his only means of defense, and hoped he wouldn't have to use it tonight. His path would lead him back the way he came, back towards the scene of the accident. It was this way to Gloria's flat, and he hoped the woman who had left him five months earlier would find it in her heart to forgive him and be able to help him stay off the grid.

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#, as written by Hells13
Ira opened his eyes after his prayer and looked off onto the street, people running & screaming "Infected!" as a van speeding down was hit by a car and flipped over, Ira quickly retreated back inside the church, taking deep breaths, smelling burnt toast "I can't do this, this is madness, impossible." He opened his eyes to find his alter engulfed in flames and watched as the fire spread themselves outward towards him. "Ah por Dios!" he screamed out loud. The lit candles on the pedstal must have set the fire, but the message was clearer now, more then ever. "Leave this place or die!" Ira imagining the booming voice of God. Two loud bangs echoed across the street but Ira was still distracted by the magnificent ascent that the flames grew to. Eventually Ira snapped out if it as the fire was about to meet him and quickly ran back out front door.

He saw a black man running out from behind the flipped van, and the police officer just looking at him, saying something on his radio. More people came onto the street shouting "Infected!" and "They're coming!". Ira saw an alley right next to the church and ran down the alley looking for something to hide in or to retreat to. He found a ladder and quickly grabbed onto it with both hands. The rust bruised Ira's hands as he pulled himself up the ladder and made them sore as he got on the roof of the store next to his burning church. Ira sat down on the rocks that covered the floor then eventually rested his head on the rocks as well. He closed his eyes smelling the ashes of the church whose god he had trusted and abandoned him, and listened to the screams of the people down the streets. Ira tried to sleep, but it was almost impossible to sleep so he looked up from the ground to see the cloud of black smoke enveloping the sky and the stars.

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Ernie leaned against a cold brick wall, looking up at the sky and the distant column of black smoke that curled and twisted into the air. His breath turned to white steam as it left his lips, his arm crossed over his chest, closing the front of his denim jacket against the dank London air. He could hear the screams and gunshots in the distance as the Infected set themselves upon another crowd of unfortunates. London would not last much longer, he was sure of it, not with the way things were going. The cops were more harm then good, throwing their weight around in the name of "Law and Order". Ernie adjusted the straps of his pack on his shoulders which held everything that he owned, all his clothes, his glove, ball and bat which lay close at hand. He had no money left and he had been kicked out of his dorm when shit started breaking down all around the college. The workshop that he worked for closed down for the same reason, leaving him without any source of income.

Still, none of this bothered him that much. Ever since he had learned that the United States had fallen, nothing really affected him anymore. He had not received any news of his famliy, but he had heard that New York as a wasteland, teeming with millions of these Infected things. His mom, pop, brother, sister, his girl, his whole family lived in Brooklyn. He knew every member of his family by name and it was a large Italian family, they had all been close and likely as not, they were all dead. Needless to say, he did not care if he was roaming the streets, he did not really care if he survived or not, but he sure as hell was not going to lay down and die, if he was going day, he was going down swinging and cussin', taking as many of those things as he could before they took him down, then he could finally find some peace and..who knew..maybe he would see his folks again.

Ernie watched some bum run past him, wide eyed and panting like some scared rabbit. Ernie sneered and looked down the street to see two forms running down at a reckless, breakneck pace..yep, that would be the zombie whatevers. Finally, something to look forward. Ernie reached over his back and pulled out his trust bat, patting it against the palm of his hand. He took a step out from the alley and whistled loudly through his teeth. The Infected nearly stumbled as they stopped and turned towards Ernie, running at him at a the same breakneck pace. Ernie spat and hefted his bat, clutching it in both hand "A'ight, le's do this." he growled between his teeth. The Infected screamed and howled as they closed in on him " Yeah, com'on !!, I know you wanna piece!! Come to Poppa!!" he yelled at them. The fasted Infected reached him first, throwing himself at Ernie. His lunge was stopped abruptly as the end of the bat collided with his jaw with a sickening crack that ripped the jaw loose and sent the creature bodily to the ground. The second Infected snatched for Ernie's hair, but missed as the nimble man ducked and spun, winding up and smashing the bat into the stomach of the Infected, doubling it over and forcing the contents of his stomach out of his throat and onto the pavement.

A sharp crack filled the air as the heavy wooden bat collided with the back of the Infected's neck, cracking his spine like a stick. The creature went limp as a puppet without strings. Ernie spat on the dead creature and looked over at the other Infected creature, who's jaw lay detached and bloody beside his hand. Ernie gripped his bat and walked over, looking down at the twitching creature " Nighty Night, Stubs." he said, picking up his foot and stomping down on the creature's neck, snapping it like a twig. Ernie turned down the street without another word, sling his bat over his shoulder and sticking his hands in his pockets..two down, some hundred million more to go.

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As Sol neared Gloria's flat, he could sense something was wrong. It had been at least an hour since he had seen those police officers. Not one Enforcer could be found for blocks, meaning they were somewhere else, and not at their post. Before entering the building, an explosion in the distance startled him. From the size, it sounded like a petrol station had exploded. Things were getting serious downtown, gunfire riddling the silence of the night. Sol climbed the stairs up to the fourth floor and headed for Flat 4D, hoping he could catch Gloria at home. When he reached the door though, he noticed it had been left ajar. Razor in hand, Sol crept through the home quietly.

"Oi! Gloria! You in here?" He whispered, searching the darkness.

His gaze stopped on a black shape in the bedroom. He slowly entered the room and flicked on the light, only to Gloria resting at the foot of her bed, dead from blood loss. Large bites on her neck and arms didn't look very fresh, so Sol assumed she had been dead at least 24 hours. His coverage of Nigeria had educated him in first aid knowledge. It had also nulled him to the shock of find a corpse. He hated this quality about himself though. Even though he stood silently above the body of the woman he had once loved... Still loved... He couldn't even muster a single tear. The fact of the matter was people died all the time, and when his time came, Sol would accept his own death as well. It was just something that happened.

"I'm sorry this happened to you..." He said quietly to Gloria. "I gotta get out of here though, love" Sol said with a heavy heart.

He knew The Infected could still be in the area, so he quickly left her flat, heading back downstairs and out into the street. As he raced through the alleys, he stopped and ducked behind some bins. Across the street, draped in shadows, stood a figure. It's movements didn't give off the usual Infected vibe of twitching and yelling. He'd wait here to see if they were truly sane. Sol figured a group was better than traveling the streets alone. Maybe this would prove to be beneficial in the future.

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Tom slipped under the half open metal shutters at the rear of the convenience stoor and closed them fully behind him, remembering to turn the lock on the side to keep from anyone lifting them during the night. The place was in darkness and from the state of the shelves looked like it had been shut down for several days already, some of the less longer lasting foods already starting to smell with a lack of refrigeration. The owner Mr Sanjeev was an associate of Tom's and although the man hadn't gotten too heavily involved in organised crime with any of the London gangs he was deep enough to be obliged to give them support, money and a place to sleep if needed. A note behind the main counter read 'away for the forseeable, take what you need. Fuck you gangsters'. Tom assumed by the note that Mr Sanjeev didn't intend to return home at all.

The money was in the usual place behind the air vent in the living room upstairs, although the revolver and ammunition that was always laid next to it was conspicuous in its absense. He took a few thousand pounds worth, a fake passport with his face but completely different name and details, and scoured the shop floor for an edible supper. An hour later he was lying under a blanket on the sofa with his police issue sidearm on the coffee table next to him and the stolen suite jacket, boots and jeans folded neatly on the chair opposite. It always amazed him that with a little ingenuity and the right contacts you could make yourself feel at home hours after escaping from custody and killing a man. Tomorrow he would catch the first coach to Edinburgh and begin anew up in Scotland, most parts of England now knowing him more than a little well. He would sleep soundly tonight...

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Charlie, crouched down and holding his shotgun tightly in both hands, continued down the sewer tunnel towards what he knew to be a junction and a service exit to the lower east side of London. He hadn’t heard any other police officers patrolling down here and he figured it’d be another thirty minutes before they sent a few heavily armed military types to search for the missing man. Most likely they’d chop his sudden disappearance up to radio interference from being underground as long as they could. Charlie glanced back over his shoulder to see if the young girl was still following him. She was incredibly quiet, though his ears were often able to pick up on small sounds that gave away her presence. As it turned out she was still there, following not three steps behind.

Elise followed at a distance that both gave her protection from any more police and from her guardian. She still didn’t trust the man, and doubted she ever would. Deep in her gut, something she would never voice openly, she just wanted to find an exit and part ways. Elise felt terrible for feeling this way, after all, without this stranger she would be dead and facedown in a pile of sludge. But something about his cold demeanor made her incredibly uncomfortable.

A wet rat brushed along her pant-leg and grabbed on instinctually, trying to climb upwards to dryer ground. Elise paid it no mind, swiping it off idly with a numb and bandaged hand. She had surprised herself with how easy she was finding it to cope with her new environment. It was dark and safe, and she could hear anything coming from at least a few yards off due to the sound reflective passages, which let any speaking travel far more of a distance then on the surface. Thoughts went to her family and Elise had to force herself not to suddenly burst into sobs. All of a sudden she wanted nothing more than to simply sit down in a dark corner somewhere and hold herself. Tears started to well in her eyes but she vigorously shook her head in defiance, trying not to make any unnecessary noise. Still, she knew her guardian could hear her sniffles and whimpers despite her best efforts.

Time droned on and became one long drawn-out line. When they hit the junction Elise realized she didn’t remember anything that had happened for the past… Come to think of it she didn’t even know what time it was. She didn’t even know how long it had been. Fear swelled in her heart, as she feared her grip on reality was slipping. Slowly she checked her phone, the bright light hurting her eyes, and the time shown was 11:43 PM. If her memory served right, her family had been stopped around 7 PM, which meant that four hours had past… Elise tried hard but could only remember the police officer and the MP’s chasing her; everything else in the sewers was just a black hole. She looked up from her phone and saw Charlie scowling at her. Elise realized the phone had been an incredibly bad idea and quickly stuffed it back in her pants without another word.

Again an undetermined amount of time past, but this time it would stay undetermined as Elise refused to risk another glance at her phone. Hints of fresh air started to titillate her nostrils but it was so minute she doubted it’s true existence. But as the pair continued the sent grew stronger and Elise was certain that an exit was close by.

After what Elise guessed to be ten or fifteen minutes of trudging through slimy green water with an overabundance of trash floating in it, both her and her companion arrived at a small sewer-grate. Fresh air filled her lungs and joy filled her heart for the first time in what seemed much longer that it had actually been. Her guardian looked at her sternly from behind the shotgun.

“I’ll go first, make sure it’s clear. If it isn’t, we keep going.”

Elise nodded without hesitation and Charlie nodded back. He held the shotgun in one hand and the ladder rung in the other, making a slow accent into the street upon. Once he reached the sewer grate he gently pushed it up and slid it away with the shotgun’s barrel and then stuck his head out to look around the dark alley. He had been here before, and knew that it’s seclusion usually rendered it safe. Usually. Luckily this time everything appeared normal and he continued, pulling himself out of the sewer and into a crouching position next to the open grate. Elise followed shortly after Charlie gave the thumbs-up and sat down immediately upon gaining the ability to do so.

Charlie looked at his companion and how she simply sat down on the ground. Inexperienced and foolish, he thought to himself. You should always stay on your feet. Crouching was equally restive and kept your ability to react high so you could avoid sudden hostilities. This girl was going to cause more trouble then she was worth.

Luckily he didn’t have to make her leave at gun-point, as at that moment Elise struggled to her feet and stood still for a moment before speaking in a dry and distant tone that was filled to the brim with suppressed emotion.

“I… have to go look for my family.”

This was a lie, and Elise knew it, but she hoped it would be good enough to get away from this stranger touting a shotgun. Charlie nodded without a moment’s thought, happy to have the dead-weight shed. Elise didn’t waste any time and nodded back before walking briskly out of the alley way and onto the street.

Rain was pouring from the sky like tears and overwhelming sense of loneliness slammed into her like a freight train. She would have cried, but her eyes had already cried themselves to a puffy red and felt dry despite the rain beating down on her face. Elise managed to drag herself out of her own mind enough to notice a small bookshop called “The Title Page” across the street. The lights were still on and as she wiped water from her eyes it looked as though someone was at the door. Cautiously and with painful slowness Elise went halfway across the street to get a better look, hoping the hard rain would cover up the sound of her approach. An elderly woman stood in front of the door, simply slouching forwards and pressing her head against it’s sturdy face. The old lady at the door was clearly infected and Elise stopped dead in her tracks. At that moment she thought she saw a shadow flicker across the bookshop’s window. Maybe someone was still inside? She squinted her eyes and stayed put for a few seconds, seeing if anything moved again. If not, she was going to back away slowly and continue down the street.

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Chapter 2 - Panic

Thomas West woke with a start and reached for the pistol on the coffee table before trying to work out what had caused him to jump out of his slumber. He lay there on the sofa holding the Glock and after a pause clicked off the safety, the metalic snap of the action being the only sound he could hear in the flat and from the street outside. His eyes adjusted to the gloom lit only by the dim daylight coming through the firmly closed curtains above his head, showing everything in it's place as he had left it last night. The clock on the wall across from him read 8.20am which should have meant rush hour in this part of London, even with the trouble over the last year. Instead there was deathly silence, and after a minute with his breath half held he was halfway through putting his pistol back down and cursing himself for being so jumpy before he heard what woke him up again.

"This is the Police. Please remain in your homes and ensure your doors and windows are securely locked. Do not leave your homes for any reason." The voice said, the sound reverberating around the streets outside loud enough it could only have come from some kind of megaphone. Tom sat up and twitched the curtains open slightly to see the Police armoured Landrover Defender slowly crawl down the street with the two visible officers inside glancing around them as they made their way towards the Westminster area.

"Shit" He said aloud, rubbing his face with his left hand and stretching once before pulling off the blanket and going in search of some running water for a shave and wash. He shook his head as he made his way to the bathroom at the irony of the situation. Yesterday he was in prison with certain death ahead of him, then he was free with the wide world before him and now the police were asking everyone to stay indoors, inluding by default him. He knew the warning had nothing to do with his escape, as the Metropolitan Police's way was to do a dawn raid on whatever address the fugitive was hiding at before they even woke up. An armoured 4x4 playing a warning message through a roof mounted megaphone smelled like the worst kind of trouble. Escaping London on a coach or train was most likely out of the picture now, and he would spend his time getting washed working out what the hell to do next. This was because quite frankly he didn't have the faintest clue what that should be.

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Avery sighed, rolling over. She couldn't fall asleep, the scratching of the thing at the window kept her up. She stood up, cracked her back, quickly checked her phone, seeing that it was 3:30 in the morning and went over to the window, looking through the peep hole, watching the old woman punch the door, trying to get it. She feared that the woman would punch down the steel door and Avery regretted never asking her boss to buy riot gates when she asked if she should. They both just assumed a book store wasn't the place to actually need them.

Boy were they wrong.

Avery suddenly froze, feeling her blood turn cold and a small gasp fly out of her mouth. She saw a silhouette of a girl stand outside and it made her blood freeze cold. What if the zombie saw her and tried to attack. She was positive it was a girl by the way she stood, almost like she was trying to decide to stay or not. It definitely wasn't the traits of the infected. Though I think that they're stupid, Avery thought to herself, remembering the dozen of gory zombie movies she had seen in the past, suddenly grateful that she had bothered with them.

She grabbed a couple of heavy books, throwing them in the box that she had organized earlier and walked it over to the emergency door. If the zombie really was stupid she hoped that it would fall for it. Avery crossed her fingers and opened the door quietly that was on the other side of the building. She suddenly screamed and through the box deep into the alleyway, hearing the clang as it landed in the dumpster. She paused for a second, trying to listen for the noise.

And yes, there it was, the noise of wild footsteps. Avery quickly closed the door with a huge slamming noise, barring it shut and running over to the entrance, throwing the door open and motioning for the girl outside to run in while the zombie was searching for the source of the noise.

"Come on, please, while it's busy!" She yelled to the girl and watched as she started running towards the building. Avery smiled with relief as the girl entered the building and Avery slammed the door shut, locking it. "Okay, you're safe now," She told the girl.

Avery had just noticed how dirty the girl was and how bad she smelt. She crinkled her nose and saw the girls clothes stained in yellow and her skin covered in dirty brown splotches. She was confused in how the girl ended up in that state but didn't ask, not wanting to upset the girl further because she seemed a little distressed.

"Come on, I have an extra pair of clothes, I'll help you clean up," She told the girl, feeling bad for her

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#, as written by Hells13
Ira was 17 and he was drinking at the nightclub "Body English" and it's loud music surrounded by his friends, Micheal, AJ and Clive. Michael was one of his best friends as well as AJ. Michael being short and blackhaired, while AJ was tall and blond. Clive was one of his new friends that he met last month, Clive was a refugee from India that went to Britain to safety so Ira decided to hang out with him. Clive's skin was tanned, and a long nose attached from his face which the group always called it, his "shnozz". Ira looked over to the right eyeing himself a beautiful black haired girl at the club, then looking over to his friends. "I'm leaving to get myself some, don't wait up!" He stepped away from his friends and made his way towards the beauty that stood eyeing him. On closer examination the girl had small curls running down her hair wearing a black shirt with a pink skull and blue jeans. "Hey, you look like you've been partying hard." She blushed, and said back in a innocent tone. "Thanks, what's your name?" "Ira, Ira Massa" She pushed her hair back behind her hair and looked up to Ira with a wry smile across her face. "I'm Larissa, Larissa Magdalena but you can call me Lara"

Ira fluttered his eyes open from his sleeping dream looking at the rising sun, barely hearing the voice coming from his right: "This...Police. Please...in your homes...your...are securely locked. Do...leave...for any reason." Ira stood up on the rockbed that he had slept on and started walking to the next roof towards the direction of the noise, that connected with the roof he was on, which was slightly lower. Ira hopped off to the other one and looked ahead of him to find the next roof slightly elevated. "Our father... who art in heaven... hallowed by thy name..." Ira said with his tired mind and aching body. Lara... He walked to the next roof that faced him and grabbed on the ledge with his fingers. He could barely keep on the ledge so he kicked the wall to get a sort of boost, now his elbows on the ledge he crawled himself up towards the room. "Thy kingdom come...as earth... as it is in heaven" He stood himself and took a long look at himself, his collar was ridden with dust, and his priest robes smell. Or maybe that's me. he thought. He cupped his hand over his mouth and swore that his breath was slightly worse then cyanide. Despite being covered by cold sweat his BO didn't seem to take effect.

He walked over to the billboard set up over the roof, where the loud voice he heard coming from. He saw the police officers down below and their armoured 4x4 with a megaphone top. Not like Ira knew it was 4x4, to him it looked like a Jeep with armor. He surveyed the area and people with his sharp eyes 20 miltary men, 10 with clunky fat rifles, 5 with skinnier rifles with something on top of it, 5 with unmistakible shotguns "Amen" He knew what a shotgun looked like since his friend Michael one time showed him his dad's double barrel shotgun that he used for hunting. He looked at the houses that face in front of him, and could see quite a few people peering through the curtains hoping for their safety. He looked down again to see that one of the officers saw him. Ira waved his hands up the air till he saw the man raise his gun looking through his scope at him. Wait a second... Ira opened his eyes at the realization diving down towards the billboard to his left as the bullet flew by where his head was just. Ira dropped down on his stomach taking cover behind the billboard, greeted by a barrage of bullets that easiy tore through through the billboard like paper, flying over his head and body. "Come on. There's probably more inside!" Then he heard someone breaking glass down below. How am.. I supose to... be god's instrument? He looked up at the billboard, which ressembling more like swiss cheese.I gotta get outta of here. Now.

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The sun was a welcome sight to Henry as he awoke in his makeshift shelter of an SUV. With a groan he stretched his body until he heard a satisfying popping and cracking to relieve the stiffness.Suddenly he heard the loud voices over bull horns and speakers telling the people they were under some kind of house arrest order. Henry looked around in his small shelter. I'll be damned if I've got to stay here. With that thought Henry emerged from the trunk of the vehicle. And, hugging the wall of the small collapsed shack, checked to see if the coast was clear. A small armored car was driving down the road in the opposite direction of him. Henry waited for the car to turn the corner and quickly ran to a small alley. To his relief he spotted a fire escape ladder that was hanging pretty low. With a running start he leapt up and grabbed onto one of the lower rungs. Only small grunts of effort escaped him as he pulled his body up one rung at a time. When he reached the first platform of green bars he paused to ctach his breath. He looked up and saw there were several platforms until he would reach the roof of the average sized apartment building. "Roof beats a trunk anyday." And with a sigh he began the climb.

A small amount of time later Henry hoisted himself up onto the roof and to his surprise saw a man who was possibly in his forty's standing there. Henry paused and made a motion to grab for his crowbar when he saw there was no need for alarm. Henry had encountered many infected in New York and this man did not look like one. Then the man noticed Henry standing there and offered a friendly gretting. "Hey there stranger." His deamonor was an attempt and hospitality but Henry picked up on some anxiety and worry. Cautiously he approached the man who decide his concern was funny and laughed at him. "Don't worry friend I won't bite."

"Poor choice of words in this times 'friend'" Henry cringed. "don't you think?"

The man laughed at this. "Too true stranger, anyway you can call me Michael, what's your name stranger?"
"Henry, Henry Andrews." Henry replied with. "If you'll forgive me for asking, you seem troubled is something the matter?"
"Ah.." Michael sighed and walked a few steps. "Yes there is. You see I came up here with a friend of mine, but for some reason the damn bloke decided to attack me not too long ago."
"He probably got infected with the virius." Henry paused. "Wait a minute how did you deal with him?"
Michael chuckled sadly. "Well that was a stroke of luck. Before I knew it he had pinned me down under him. I managed to kick him off me and he cracked his head off a wall. He's right over there." Michael made a motion with his hand and Henry spotted a fresh corpse slumped against the wall.

"You got very lucky, if he had gotten a-" Henry noticed that Michael's ear was bleeding. "um he didn't happened to bite you did he?"

Michael smiled best he could. "No no, he didn't bite me." His nose started to bleed. "Oh excuse me." He put a finger under his nose and tilted his head back. "I wa rather lucky he just got some spit in my eye as he was screaming."

Henry let out a relieved sigh and turned to look down at the street. "Oh that's good. You must have some serious luck Michael, I've seen some good men suffer alot at the hands of infected." Henry took a moment to grapple with a memory. Then he realized it had grown rather quiet except for some labored breathing he could here. "Michael?" Henry turned to see the man with his his eyes glazed over and blood was seeming to ooze from the man out of every possible hole. Ah shit Quickly Henry pulled the crowbar from his belt and Michael attacked him. Michael tried to bite at Henry's face but Henry jammed the crowbar horizontally into his mouth. Using his chin Henry pulled his shirt over his mouth and nose as he struggled to keep the man off of him.
"Death...suffering....Disease!!!" Michael growled at him
"Not that nonsense again..." Henry sighed. He jammed his leg against the mans waist and using the added levrage, caused the man to loose balance and kicked him over his head. Henry quickly rolled to his feet, crowbar raised to defend himself, but there was no one infront of him. Just the roof's edge. Henry smiled slightly and placed the weapon back on his belt. He looked over the edge at the street and sure enough, Michael laid sprawled across the sidewalk.

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Sol watched the figure move about in the shadows until he could get a good look at whoever it was. He was glad he had waited because he could soon see it was an armed Enforcer, who was soon joined by others. The group spoke into radios and combed the area, at one point firing upon a stray cat for fun. Sol quietly continued to move through the alley, trying to put as much distance between the police as possible. They could recognize him, and then he'd be right back in the slammer, which would be a good thing since the system had fallen to shambles and forgotten the prisoners.

If the shit hits the fan, the inmates will be the first to go. People are only worried with the wealthy and their own safety.

Sol slowed his escape when he reached one of the neighbors with less attention. The slum looked like completely empty, but whispers could be heard all around him. He could feel eyes watching him carefully, which was a bit unsettling, but he brushed it off quickly remembering this was probably the best place for him to be right now. The door to a shop opened slowly a few yards ahead, and Sol paused suddenly. A rough looking Pikey stepped out holding a piece of piping and held up his hand, signaling Sol to stop.

"Dat's far enough dere, sonny" The man mumbled. "Whatcha doin over round these parts? Ain't you be in the city wif under the watchful eye of Old Bill?" He questioned.

Sol forced a smile and advanced slowly.

"I'm in a bit of a jam. Can't go back into crowded areas." Sol said, pointing back over his shoulder. "What happened here? Why is everybody indoors?" He asked, feeling a bit more comfortable when the man lowered his weapon.

The Pikey pointed at a destroyed shop.

"Infection been spreadin quick through these parts, ya know? Bill showed up a few days ago, hauled off a bunch of sick in a truck. Hauled off some that weren't sick too" The man informed Sol. "Borough is almost empty now. Guess they wanted to make sure our numbers were down in case that virus got outta hand... Salright though. Leave us alone, we leave them alone" He grumbled.

The Enforcers had given up on saving the locals. Sol had found a dead spot on the grid and this seemed like a perfect place to lay low for a bit.

"My name is Sol" He said extending his hand to the Irishman.

"Boomer" The man answered back, shaking his hand with a smile. "Yeah, you don't seem like much trouble. Whatdya do?" Boomer asked.

Sol laughed to himself a bit remembering how close he had come to being shot.

"Took some pictures of the wrong people. Police are looking for me now, I'm sure" Sol said, adjusting his glasses.

Boomer waved him over to the shop, checking one more time to see if area was clear.

"We can talk in the shop, boyo. Best to be off the streets. A friend of mine tried to leave the borough yesterday and they beat him up good. You could say we're in a quarantine" He laughed.

Sol followed him inside. Had it really gotten this bad in some areas? He imagined The Carriers would have been the most trouble, but it seemed the law was the real issue. The Enforcers weren't the bright bulbs, but they were smart enough to know the virus would spread quickest in locations like this. The inside of the shop was hot, and the only air was provided by a single fan. He took a seat on a stool and looked around.

"You own this laundry, Boomer?" Sol inquired.

Boomer locked the door behind him and head back behind the counter. He flick on a small television set resting next to the register.

"Naw. Belonged to a Paki what got taken with the sick. Moved in here cause I ain't got a place either... Not what you'd call an honest citizen" The man joked.

Sol looked over and noticed the money was missing from the register. The Pikey had broken in and robbed the laundry, then had decided to stay. In most cases, Sol would have run, but times were different now and he too was just another criminal.

"Whatever you gotta do to make it, right?" Sol said pleasantly.

The news report on the television seemed normal, or what normal had become in the recent weeks. A few outbreaks in small lower-class areas and panic in the commonwealth. Solomon rested his head on his hand and watched with Boomer silently. A few shouts in the street caused them to take up arms again, but the situation didn't escalate and they soon were sitting quietly again. After a while, Boomer groaned.

"You hungry boss?" He asked Sol, walking into the back room.

It had been a while since he had eaten a decent meal, so he nodded eagerly.

"So how'd you get away from The Enforcers?" Boomer called from the other room.

Sol proceeded to tell him the whole story, about the attack, about the arrest, about the crash. When he finished, he noticed Boomer thinking to himself.

"Something wrong?" Sol asked.

Boomer shook his head.

"Thomas West, you say? Fuck me" He mumbled to himself.

Sol took a biscuit from the package and nibbled at him.

"So Ole Tom is back on the streets?" Boomer said finally.

Sol nodded and finished the biscuit. Boomer didn't say anything else about Tom West. He didn't say anything after that for a long while. Sol spent some more time watching the reports on the telly. A few hours later, Boomer emerged from the back room with his weapon.

"Ey Sol... Got some business I gotta go take care of. You watch the shop while I'm gone?" The large man asked heading for the door.

Sol could do nothing but agree to stay, and sat quietly as the man named Boomer disappeared into the street. The situation seemed normal at the moment, so Sol would wait here in the safety of the shop. He had to come up with a plan to get out of London, but where on Earth would he run to now? There was nothing he could do but wait alone in the darkened laundry mat.

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Thomas darted across the street and hid in the doorway of the souvenir shop just in time to avoid the armoured patrol that went past, comprising of 8 British Soldiers surrounding an armoured personell carrier. The giant thing rumbled by and he couldn't help but be impressed at the sight of such a heavy grade military vehicle being driven through central London, pointing at things being even worse than he had thought when he had woken up that morning not two hours ago. He kept such concerns out of his mind, remembering the local news reporting that most of the London Underground had been sealed off from the outside due to the quarantine but that some of the trams were still ferrying important passengers, personell and supplies safely around London. If he could get to the nearby station and charm his way into the place he might yet have a chance to get out of the city. Something told him that waiting for the whole situation to blow over would be waiting for your own funeral: long, tiresome and eventualy you die.

Checking that the street was clear one last time he ran into the entrance of the Knightsbridge Underground station and straight for the stairs. The upper level wasn't locked down and his hopes rose higher and higher as he descended the stairs till they were dashed by the steel security shutter barring his way and the nervous looking underground warden on the other side of it.

"How the hell did you get here son?" The old man said, stepping up from his slouch against the wall to stair at the man who had seemingly appeared out of thin air. "You're not one of them infected are you? They say that's why there's a lockdown, and here's me and my staff having to look after a hundred stranded commuters. It aint fair!" The man said. He looked as though he was about to break into another string of complaints until Thomas raised his hand once to stop him in his tracks.

"I'm not infected, and I was on my way to work when a military convoy picked me up from the street. They were kind enough to drop me off here. They said that some of the trains are working, that I might be able to get to work?" He said, smiling all the while. He had become quite good at buttering people up and making convincing stories over the years, but his real impulse was to grab the man's shirt through the fence, drag him to the bars and put two bullets in his belly. From there he could get the keys on his belt and make his way inside, but this would attract far too much attention and no doubt there would be more armed guards further inside the station.

"Sure I'll let you in, but the trains are in standby. No travel on this line till the government clean things up outside, but this is a safe place to be don't you worry. We'll look after you" He said, sliding open the doors and patting Tom's back reassuringly with small rat like claws. Tom forced a smile and nodded his thanks before descending the stairs to the platform, to see just under a hundred people standing or sitting around, making themselves as comfortable as possible on the cold paved floor. It had been a while since he'd used the underground what with being in prison, but Knightsbridge was where his flat was originaly as well as a good deal of his contacts, and he knew the way to most relevant parts of the city from here with his eyes closed. Somehow he'd entirely forgotten that the station wasn't truly underground however, and that the far end of the visible track led out into daylight. Daylight meant insecure, and even though he doubted patrols would bother these people there were certainly worse things than them on the streets outside that might. He hadn't seen any infected on his way over, but a crowded compact space like this would seem like heavenly pickings for those creatures. He casualy reached to the small of his back and pretended to scratch himself all the smile smiling at a nearby adjacent young woman who was giving him the eye. The pistol was still there and loaded, and he seriously hoped he wouldn't have to use it.

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Elise sat shivering slightly in a tall-back wooden chair in the middle of the bookstore. It had taken a lot of hand-soap and paper towels to get all the muck and stink off her body from the sewer and the new pair of clothing was a welcome relief from the smell. The black t-shirt fit nicely, though it was a little tighter then Elise would normally be comfortable with and the sweatpants were a gift from heaven and hung wonderfully off her waist and were very warm, though a little short around the ankles. Her shoes were still in the bathroom drying out and her socks had been stained black from the filthy water, so she simply went barefoot for the moment.

She hadn’t spent much time examining her new savior, but already felt immensely more comfortable around this new female than the creepy old man with the shotgun. Her new companion was white, with a fair complexion and what Elise thought were deep green eyes (though she hadn’t gotten close enough to check). She didn’t seem to be much older than Elise herself, and if she had to bet would have put the girl at 21, give or take a year or two.

At that moment the girl emerged from the bathroom with a wrinkled nose of disgust and a faint smile.

“Those shoes are filthy in every sense of the word.”

Elise smiled back and nodded. The girl came over and sat next to her on another chair. When Elise had entered the bookstore both girls felt it best to gather some chairs from around the shop and create a semi-comfortable area in the middle of the store.

“My names Avery.”

She extended a hand. Elise paused before taking it with a gentle shake.

“Elise.”

Avery smiled.

“Nice to meet you.”

The two girls exchanged pointless small talk about their lives, something to distract them both from the infected lady who had returned to the front door. Elise had learned that Avery was 20 and worked at the bookshop they were currently in, that she had lived in London for five years, and had lived in Canada before that. Elise told Avery similar information; that she had lived in London for her early childhood before moving to New Orleans in the U.S., had come back for school, and was currently in her sophomore year.

“How did you end up in the sewers anyway?”

“I was running from an infected. It was my last resort.”

Elise held up her bandaged hands.

“The manhole cover was hell on my nails.”

She said jokingly… At that moment a screeching mechanical noise filled the street outside.

“This is the Police. Please remain in your homes and ensure your doors and windows are securely locked. Do not leave your home for any reason.”

Both girls exchanged glances, Elise looking by far the more worried of the pair. The infected at the door stopped it’s banging and Elise hoped it had gone off towards the noise and the Police. Moments past and there echoed a flurry of gunshots that confirmed her hopes before all went silent once more. Elise let out a stressed breath of relief. The message repeated on the megaphone.

“This is the Police. Please remain in your homes and ensure your doors and windows are securely locked. Do not leave your home for any reason.”

Elise looked towards Avery and frowned.

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"Well, looks light we can't leave here, which is a good thing considering. Though I'm not sure how long that door will last against zombies. I’d give it maybe two day, three days at the most." She told the girl, grinning a little at the whole ridiculousness of the whole situation. She had never thought once in her left that she would ever have to worry about zombies, in fact she remembered spending most of her childhood watching zombie movies and thinking they were the coolest thing ever though it never once popped into her mind that one day she would be fighting zombies. Well, I guess there’s a day for everything, Avery thought to herself.

She watched as the girl called Elise paled and shivered. Avery had learnt that she had been running from the infected and went into a sewer, which would explain the state she was in though Avery wasn't happy at the state of her hands. She wished she had been able to patch them up for the girl but she really didn't have much of anything to fix them with. Avery hopped up, which made the girl jump slightly; she seemed so nervous and it made Avery a little sad. She didn’t know what made the girl so jumpy and she would never ask but it seemed like the girl had seen something she probably shouldn’t have. Avery shot a smiled her way to try and soothe her nerves and walked over to the counter, grabbing her purse and a sweater.

"Here, take this and wear it, you're shivering," She handed it to the girl who accepted it with a small thank you and she put it on, zipping it up. "And give me your hand," She Elise as she started to dig through her purse and pulled out a box of Band-Aids. They were the kid SpongeBob Band-Aids but they were the only ones she had. She thought they were cute so she had bought them a while back in case she ever get herself a paper cut on one of the books.

The girl started with a small protest but she still put her hand out anyways and Avery wrapped the worst parts in Band-Aids, afraid it would get infected or something. She wasn't good with medical terms but she knew enough to realize that scrapped up hands and no fingernails could mean a bad infection and Avery didn't want that for the girl. Avery didn't know why but she liked the girl in front of her and she wanted her to feel comfortable, which wasn't surprising because she liked everyone. But still, Elise seemed like a good person to be stuck with in a zombie invasion, she seemed like a fighter, which was exactly what Avery was.

Avery sat back down in the chair, feeling a little uncomfortable on the wooden chair but relieved she had someone with her. "So, how much longer do you think we'll be able to stay here for?" Avery asked, grinning slightly. She knew she should be absolutely terrified of the infected but Avery just thought it would be fun.

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Elise looked at the grinning girl. Honestly, she hadn’t thought about how long they were going to be able to stay here. Now that she thought about it…

“It depends on if the city shuts off the water. I seem to recall humans being able to survive weeks without food, but you can only live a short while without any water.”

Elise looked at her freshly bandaged hands. They throbbed, but the pain had gone away and she was thankful that the bleeding seemed to have stopped. She hugged herself, pulling the warm sweater close to her body.

“Also, it depends on the government’s reaction to the situation. If they opt for containment, well…”

She sighed and blocked out thoughts of her mother and father.

“How big do you think this thing is?”

She looked down at her bare feet and wiggled her toes. The infection had been in the news all the time for the past few weeks. Nobody had been certain where it came from, but the media claimed the first cases originated in Africa. They had seemed pretty confident that it had been contained, but obviously they were wrong or had just said that to keep the population calm. Elise thought of the possibilities, what if it was everywhere? Spreading like a wildfire through dry brush? Silently she said a prayer and hoped that wasn’t the case. Elise had no interest in being one of the last humans alive, Sse had always wanted a family, and that wasn’t going to happen if the world was ending. Elise looked back up at Avery.