“Matt? Are they all gone?”
“No, Chris. You know they’ll never be gone.”
“Go to sleep. I’ll make sure they don’t get you.”
My brother. He’s only six years old and doesn’t understand. Hell, I’m only nineteen and I barely understand. All I know is- you shoot and ask questions later. This isn’t the apocalypse. This is science gone wrong.
Only three months ago did the problem start. I remember sitting online reading about the new technology that was being tested. A technology that would allow humans to live forever.
“Did you hear that Matt?”
“No, Chris. I heard nothing. Go back to sleep.”
Tiny robots that acted like cells, but better. They’d go through your veins and clean out the bad cholesterol. They’d locate themselves where pain was and begin work on rebuilding whatever was broken. Your skin never got wrinkled. Your hair never got gray. It was a miracle breakthrough that everyone was going to live forever.
They made laws on how many people could be born. They relegated who could live and who could die. Right wing religious people didn’t want to live forever and refused the technology.
“There’s a rustling outside.”
“No there isn’t.”
Atheists jumped on the opportunity. Older people took it to look younger, and boy did they. You couldn’t tell my grandma was in her eighties afterwards. Most people looked like they were in their twenties or younger.
The whole world was just full of people in their twenties.
“I can’t sleep. I’m too hungry.”
“I’m hungry too. We’ll find something in the morning to eat.”
Gun violence became pointless. The body could anticipate where the bullet was going to hit and rebuild before the person was dead. They’d shield the bullet. Not to say that people didn’t die from guns- it was just less people. A gun to the head still meant you were dead. The brain was one of the few things that couldn’t be saved fast enough.
And a direct hit to the heart, you may come back to life. But it was unlikely. The technology just wasn’t fast enough to heal the heart like that.
And multiple wounds? You’re dead on the spot.
“I miss mom and dad.”
“Me too. But I’m sure they’re fine.”
“You think they’re alive?”
“I’m sure they are. And if not, then they’re with God and He’s taking care of them.”
But this was years ago. Three months ago is when the problem started. You see, what we didn’t realize was that robots are computers. And computers can get viruses. And viruses, well, they basically fuck you up really well.
And, if you didn’t guess it, someone made a virus. A religious nut that wanted people to die for using the tech. No one knows who it was, but he transferred it to a huge amount of people with some Bluetooth and hacks. A whole coffee shop just wound up dead on the floor. The robots destroying the people’s insides.
“How many more bullets do we have left?”
And then someone else in France copied him. Walked right up to the Eiffel Tower and turned the thing on. Just walked away. It was the new form of terrorism. And it was easy.
But then some smartass in the government wanted to control criminals on death row by remote. So they made a virus and gave it to this serial killer. And guess what happened to him? He goes fucking crazy. The virus fucks up his ability to think. He attacks everything, bites the nurse who gave him the shot.
And then she gets infected with the virus and she starts going crazy and kills the serial killer and everyone in the room. And then starts to go on this rampage. Some religious nut gets a hold of the virus three months ago and spreads it downtown New York City.
“Enough to kill a hundred zombies?”
“They aren’t zombies. They’re just infected.”
And then we all became fucked. Even the religious nuts got fucked because they didn’t realize the infected people would just kill them by beating the shit out of ‘em.
“Mom and dad weren’t infected.”
“No. And neither are we.”
“Me too, bud.”
And this is my apocalypse. Three months ago my family was fine. Now it’s just Chris and me, sitting in this basement, holding a shotgun and hoping for survival.
I know what you’re thinking- zombie movie. No. This is not a zombie movie. You see, zombies have traits that these virus infected people don’t have.
“Are you sure you didn’t hear the rustling outside?”
First, zombies have a craving for human flesh. These people have a desire to destroy anything.
Zombies don’t attack each other. These people will attack anything. If there was a cute puppy out there it would be dead. They get distracted by loud toys fairly easily. Throw them something that makes noise and you can escape.
“Do you have anything to distract them with?”
“Your toys there. Throw them like we practiced.”
Zombies tend to have the ability to rip flesh off with their teeth. If you’ve never tried to rip off human flesh that’s still alive, you should know it’s a lot more difficult than it looks. Especially if they’re struggling. But the second they break skin, you’re fucked.
That’s because the infected have a problem with biting their lips. They want to destroy so badly they bite their own lips and constantly have blood there while attacking. Once they break your skin and one of those virus bots gets in, you’re now infected too.
“And they can’t get me by just looking at me?”
“No. They won’t get you if you look at them. They have to bite you.”
These infected also don’t look half bad. Zombies I tend to see as rotting and slow. You get a marathon runner infected, he won’t be slow. Thank God for guns.
“You think we need a better gun?”
“What do you mean?”
“Like a semi-automatic. One that can just go eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh. That gun we have now wasn’t very good in my games.”
“It’ll be fine. Double-barrel shotguns work better in real life.”
The only way to kill the infected here are to shoot them in the head or watch as they fight each other. But I wouldn’t just stand in the open. For some reason they tend to stop fighting each other if someone not infected shows up. At least until you’re dead or infected too.
“So I throw the toy and then you shoot and then we run?”
“Only if there’s a lot of them. Only run if there’s a lot of them. And don’t touch the blood. Whatever you do don’t touch the blood.”
And what about us? Well, my parents were the religious type. Thank God. They thought it’d be good to not live forever. I on the other hand wanted to change that. My grandmother said she wanted to live for a bit longer to see Chris graduate and to see her great grandkids. She had control over when she would die, and she’d go when she was ready.
“What happens if I touch the blood?”
“You’ll get sick like they are.”
I liked that thought. When the virus broke, I was scheduled to get the robots. I was ready to live life without so much worry of death.
“And I’ll die?”
“Yes Chris. You’ll die.”
But I don’t have them. Neither does Chris. I don’t know what happens if an infected bites you, but we’re not taking a chance. The robots can’t multiply, but I wonder how many need to be inside before they can control you.
“I thought I needed to have the robots?”
“No. You’ll die. Now go back to sleep.”
“Don’t you hear the rustling?”
“There is no rustling. There’s no one outside. Go to sleep.”
“Cock the gun please.”
“Just in case I touch the blood.”
And that’s really the story. Just another day here in this virus-infected land.