Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Twenty First Entry: Trick or Trick (Part 1)

October 31st

This may have been the most horrifying Halloween ever, and not for any good reasons. The planned trick or treat event for the kids has been called off after today's events. This was probably the worst day since all of this started.

We had a clean-up scheduled for around midday (we've been waiting all week for a non-rainy day), so I was hanging around Alex's office talking to Tara when it happened. A tremor ran through the whole of Mallville, and emergency alarms sounded.

What happened, from best I can find out, is this; a small car, evidently packed with explosives, came screaming through the parking lot towards the Administration exit. Like the exits to the outside in the shopping area, this is a big wide hallway with three sets of swinging glass doors. The whole thing is more than wide enough to drive a car through once who break through the metal frames of the doors and windows.

The car was not able to get into the hallways though, as the big metal security gate was rolled down. After crashing through the glass, the car rebounded off the gate a few feet and then exploded. The blast is what rocked Mallville enough to be felt up in Alex's outer office.

The explosion not only demolished what was left of the windows, but took out a good portion of the wall on the second floor above the entrance, and turned the gate into so many splinters of metal. The guards stationed at that entrance were probably killed before they even fully realized that something had hit the building.

The fire alarms sprang to life; a recorded voice urged people to evacuate the building in a calm and orderly fashion. Confusion spread as members of the security force tried to explain to people that the recording was incorrect, and that the exits were still sealed. People were told to stay calm, stay where they were, and wait for further information.

“What the fuck was that?” yelled Alex, poking his head out of his office into Tara's area.

“I don't know. It sounds like something blew up,” replied Tara, going to the door to the hallway, and sticking her head out.

People were running out in the hallway. Someone yelled something about an explosion breaching the perimeter. Hearing this, Alex ducked back into his office and Tara followed him.

Moments later they reappeared, armed with M-16s. Tara had one in each hand, she offered me the one in her left hand, holding it by the hand guard.

“You keep guns is your office?” I asked Alex.

“Doesn't everyone? Come on, this sounds like some serious bullshit.”

I took the rifle from Tara, feeling a little queasy as I did, and followed them out into the hallway. Smoke was starting to fill the air from the fires burning downstairs and in some of the outer offices on the second floor.

Tara, Alex, and I took the stairs down to the ground floor, and stepped out into chaos. The main hallway was full of smoke and panicked people. Security force members in their bright white shirts stood out against the smoke, some trying to move towards the fire, and others trying to direct people away.

We fought our way through the panicked crowd, it seemed like there were more people here than there really should have been, but that may have been a result of people first trying to see what happened, and then trying to get away once they did see. Once we arrived at the junction where the main hallway met the entry hall we found a scene of utter destruction.

Where there had once been a gray metal gate in front of a wall of glass and metal was now a ragged burning hole. Water sprayed down from the ceiling, some from the fire sprinklers that had been triggered, but mostly from a spot where the sprinkler pipe had broken in the ceiling; it was just gushing out in a stream from there. Where the car must have been was a small smoking crater in the sidewalk with blackened pieces of metal around it, the car as a whole was gone, as was the metal overhang that had sheilded the glass doors from the hot sun during the summer.

The inside fared no better, the remaining ceiling lights flickered, small chunks of metal and shards of safety glass littered the floor, pieces of what had to be the gate stuck in the walls and ceiling all around us. Anyone actually standing in this hallway would have been torn to shreds by the shrapnel.

Up near the hole that let out into the gray daylight were people, a scattering of people, some members of the security force, some not, were trying to extinguish the fires not being put out by the weakened spray of the fire sprinklers with bright red fire extinguishers.

Alex pushed his way towards the gate, Tara and myself in tow, his feet squishing and crunching on the soggy carpets and bits of glass and metal,” What the fuck happened?” he demanded of a young member of the security force. When ?I say young, I mean that the guy was sixteen if he was a day, with a bright red afro trying to put out a burning chair with his extinguisher.

“We were attacked! Someone set off a bomb or something. I was around the corner when it happened, or I'd be dead like Stewie and Teebow (T-bo?). They were, like, right fucking here man, and then they were gone.”

“Shit!” cursed Alex. He turned to me and Tara, “We need to get these fires out, and get this area secured. This repair shit is going to fall on me, you know?”

As if on cue, someone somewhere finally figured out how to turn off the alarm, and suddenly the only noises around us were the whooshing bursts of fire extinguishers, the sound of running water, and the ringing in my ears.

“Alex!” a familiar voice called.

Security had managed to clear out a number of the people not actively trying to put out fires, and Sharon was able to move through the couple of dozen remaining people towards us easily.

“Are you okay?” Sharon yelled over the din of the alarms once she got to us.

“Yes. What are you doing here? This isn't safe, we don't know how stable this area is now. There may be serious structural damage.”

“You weren't in your office; I was worried,” Sharon explained, seemingly unaware that Tara and I were even there.

“Oh shit! Incoming!” yelled a voice. It was Milton, he was standing by the ragged hole in the wall. Through the hole I could see three large trucks, I'm talking bigs rigs, not any little U-Move trucks this time. They were the flat-fronted kind, what do they call them, “cab over”? Anyway, it was the kind that looked like the real Optimus Prime, one was even red. The other two were black,

The two black trucks stopped a hundred yards or so from the building while the red one pulled up in front of them so that the side of the trailer faced the building. In large painted letters on the side of the truck was the following message:


After sitting there for maybe a minute, the truck started rolling again; it drove around the other two trucks, and pulled up parallel with them. After a few seconds, all three trucks started rolling towards us again.

“Oh Shit! Pull back!” Yelled Alex, “Get back, everyone get back!”

It was a good thing that a lot of people had already been cleared out of the hallway, because everyone left ran for the end of the hallway at the same time. Tara grabbed my arm, and yanked me after her as she ran. We made it to the end of the hall, and got around the corner, unrealistically hoping to be shielded from the coming explosion that would likely demolish this portion of Mallville At least this far in the fire sprinklers hadn't been triggered, so there wasn't water pouring down on us.

The hard thuds of the trucks hitting the side of the building ran through the walls and into us, but the explosions never came. Silence overtook us for a second, broken only by the sound of running water.

“We are so fucked,” came a soft voice from next to me. I turned to see Mitchell Malloy standing there. I don't know if that was directed at me, or just him thinking aloud though. We haven't really spoken in the last couple of months, not since he told me to get out of his apartment.

After a few more seconds of no explosion, Alex, who positioned himself nearest the corner at the intersection of the entry hall and the main hallway that we had sought cover in, stuck his head around the corner.

“Oh shit! Call for backup!” Alex yelled, presumably at the security force officers. He looked even more pale than usual, terrified in fact.

Being both stupid and curious, a bunch of us, myself, Sharon, and Tara included, moved up to where Alex was, and saw what had so freaked him out. The smell hit us, overpowering the smell of smoke and burnt building, before our eyes registered what they were seeing. Crowding through the gaping hole was an army of the undead; there must have been at least a hundred of them. Somehow the Hell's Postmen (I assume) managed to corral a hundred zombies into the backs of trucks? How?

The four security officers present were all calling into their radios for help, but there is no way help could get here fast enough. We were on our own.

“Like I said, we are so fucked,” commented Mitchell absently, shaking his head as if refusing the believe what he was seeing. I turned to look at him, but his eyes were fixed on the slowly approaching wave of zombies. It was then that I realized what was going on; this was my dream, the one I wrote about a couple of weeks ago. We weren't in the shopping area, and there was no gate to roll down to contain the zeds, but this was it. Everyone was here except for Gerry.

“What are we waiting for? We need to stop them before they get inside!” yelled Maria, who I had not even noticed was there. She was holding a Mossberg rifle, and did not hesitate to move to the center of the hallway's intersection, and start firing.

I guess we were all waiting for someone to give the order, as soon as Maria started shooting, Alex, Tara, me, and the security officer present flanked her and started firing into the zombies. My insides were like ice, it's not just that I was terrified at the prospect of the zeds destroying our little sanctuary, I don't think I ever really believed that could happen, but that I was scared of my dream coming true. I was terrified of losing Tara, and Sharon, and even Alex.

The zombies started dropping in waves as a hail of bullets tore into the front of the group, but the overall effect was like pissing on a house fire. Sure, we were having an effect, but it was going to take a lot more than our pitiful stream to keep this fire from spreading.

I kept firing until I heard the click of my gun announcing that it had run out of ammunition. About the same time Tara's gun made a similar click, followed by Alex's, and then Maria's Mossberg ran dry as well.

“I'm out of bullets. I need ammo!” I cried.

“Same here!” stated Tara.

“Yeah, me too. We need to fall back,” shouted Alex over the sounds of the security officers still shooting at the zeds, who were getting closer.

“You didn't bring any extras?” I asked Alex incredulously.

“Do you see any?” he asked, sounding annoyed.

Three more security officers came running down the hall towards us along with Gerry McElroy; all were carrying M-16s. I realized at this point that pretty much everyone else had fled except those of us who were armed, Milton, Sharon, and Mitchell. I also realized that now everyone from my dream was there.

“Please tell me you brought extra clips,” Tara practically plead.

“A couple,” replied Gerry.

The three members of the security force joined the line at the end of the entry hall, and started firing. The zeds were still getting closer as they stumbled over the dead bodies that fell before them.

“Share!” ordered Alex.

From the waistband at the back of his pants Gerry produced a clip of ammo, and tossed it to Alex, he then pulled out another and tossed it to Tara, “Sorry, man,” he said to me, “that's all I grabbed.”

So there I stood holding a useless rifle as the undead drew ever closer.

“Fall back, don't let them get close enough to grab you!” yelled Alex. He started backing up down the left hand branch of the hallways, away from the central entry hall. He was conserving his ammo this time, picking his shots carefully, but still his ammo ran out quickly.

Sharon, Mitchell, Milton, Gerry, Maria, Tara, and I all backed down the left side, while the security officers backed down the right. The zombies seemed to divide pretty evenly as they split to follow us. I couldn't tell you how many of them were left, the whole hallway seemed to be one big writhing mass of them.

“Fuck! The door's locked!” cried Milton, who had retreated to the row of wooden double doors connecting this hallway to the next. He was moving from door to door, shoving on the crash bars, trying to get the doors to open, “We still in here, you stupid muthafuckas! Let us out!”

Sharon was standing next to me, and when I looked over at her, I saw she was looking at me. She looked scared, I think even more so than when we were captured by the Hell's Postmen themselves. This was the first time she had looked me in the eye since our fight. I hoped it would not be the last.

We both broke for the doors at the same time, crashing into them, trying to force them open. I tried kicking one of the doors, but they are solid wood in heavy metal frames, built with the intent of keeping people out, and I am not John McClane. The door did not budge, but pain did shoot up my leg, and into my hip.

Gerry's gun clicked on empty, then Tara's, and there was still an army of the undead approaching us.

Maria snarled at the doors, and the hurled herself at one with a running start. She leapt at the door, hitting it hard enough with her shoulder to rattle it in its frame, but not hard enough to break it open. She rebounded off of the door, and landed on the floor on her ass.

So there we were, a wall of locked doors behind us, an army of the living dead in front of us wanting to invite us for lunch, and not even enough ammunition left to kill ourselves to make sure that the zeds didn't get the pleasure. As Mitchell said, we were fucked.

You know what I thought during that moment? What could easily have been my last conscious thought as we faced certain death? Priceless is one word to describe it, retarded would be another.

I thought, “If this were a TV show, this is where they would put the commercial.”


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

dooooooooode unfair.