Chapter Five: Plans
Chapter Five Part I: Creating A Plan
As the group looked through the reinforced glass windows after their hopeful conversation about the future, the zombies made their way once more to Star Ride, beating on the ship with their hands and heads. Some had rocks they threw, which thankfully had no impact against the strength of the titanium ship.
Clint, Margo, and the rest of the crew would die from malnutrition before allowing those zombies to feast on them. Tiring of hammering away from these lifeless forms, Clint turned toward his crew.
“Okay, people, we had our fun. It’s about time we start to have a plan that can work to kill those bastards out there once and for all.”
Turning to his left he said, “Dale, you’re the mechanic, so I need to know a few things. One, how much fuel is still intact with Star Ride and second, can you create flame throwers?”
“Never made a flame thrower before but I’m sure I can put something together along that line that would work, similar to a handgun, only larger. I just checked the fuel earlier this morning, and we have about thirteen-thousand gallons left in the jettison cargo hold, and another four thousand in reserve, in part to when we loaded up at the space station.”
“I can help you with that, Dale.” Brad spoke out. “When I was in the military, flame throwers were one of my specialties. Since I can kiss my retirement goodbye, might as well use the time I have for something good.”
“This is good, you two." Clint smiled. "You might want to get started now. We need one made for each of us, as well as twin tanks we can carry like a backpack with fuel as a backup."
"Margo, since you are the athlete among us, I think this would be a good time to start teaching all of us different ways to defend ourselves against those dead pricks out there."
Clint suggested next. "Jules, you don’t have combat experience, do you?”
“Not a lick, Clint. I was born between wars and was never called to duty. My time, or I should say, the only fighting I have ever done, is uncovering an artifact below the ground.”
“Oh, I am so going to love this shit!” laughed Margo. “I know so many ways to take an opponent down, it’s unreal. Within a week Jules, you’ll be ready to start kicking ass without sweating the names. Might as well get this started right now!”
Outside, the hammering against Star Ride only intensified, but it did them no good. As everyone was doing what was assigned, Clint went back to the radio.
“This is Commander Clint Raymond, Captain of the U.S. Star Ride. If there is anyone out there receiving this message, please acknowledge. I repeat, please acknowledge.”
Other than static interference, he heard nothing. He kept at it about hour before he decided to walk away to check for any progress with Dale and Brad. Less than twenty feet away he heard the words— “come back.”
Stopping in mid-step for half a second, he raced back to the radio.
“Yes! This is Captain Clint Raymond. Who is this and where are you?”
“You won’t believe this, but this is Phil, buddy. Good to hear your voice. Are your wife and kids with you since your return to Earth?”
Clint was overjoyed that his best friend Phil was still alive, but he went on to explain what happened at the space station.
“Dammit! I am so sorry for you, Clint. That should never have happened at all. Not like that, but when this zombie thing got out of hand, we weren’t able to get any crew members safely out to launch pads to get back there to relieve anyone any longer. Right now, I’m in Phoenix, with about thirty-five thousand troops and a hundred fighter jets. Jets are sent out daily to strafe the zombies until we know for sure they won’t get back up again and keep doing what they do. The bad news ... this is all that is left of our military. Everything else has been compromised."
“However, this may be good news for you. Andy and Zach, along with Carla’s parents, are safe with us. Your parents though.... We couldn’t get to them in time. You can tell the rest of your team; their families are safe with us. Beyond them, we have about another forty-thousand civilians, some of which are in military training.”
Tears formed lines down Clint’s face hearing this. “That is good news, Phil. Give them my love and … and … do the best you can to break the news to them about Carla and Maria for me.”
“No problem, Clint.” “We are working out a defense system here in the meantime, Phil. Making something similar to flame throwers so everyone here has one and honing our fighting skills. But I need to know—what stands between you and us?”
“About twenty million dead people walking around hungry as hell. And right now, with you at Mission Control, this puts you about twelve-hundred miles from us. I can have five of our jets come in and grab each one of you to get back here, but it will have to be quick. The way they clamor together, you might be lucky to have a one-minute open window of time to get onto the jet and back here. One slip, one fall, and it’s over.”
“I get it, Phil. Get back to me with the ETA and I’ll inform the crew meantime.”
“I can let you know within twenty-four.”
“Twenty-four minutes would be better, but we’ll take what we can get, Phil. Over and out.”
Clint, somewhat relieved to know that he and his crew weren’t alone, went to check on Dale and Brad. But he was even more relieved to know his boys were alive.
“Hey, Clint,” said Brad. “We’re working to piece something together along the lines of that flame laser Dale put together before, but with more power and a wider area to spread the flames once we engage the trigger, probably as much as a fifty-foot area.”
“Sounds good to me. Now here is the deal, you need to have them ready to go in the next twenty-four hours.
“Twenty-four … you can’t be serious!" Dale exclaimed. However, the look on Clint’s face told him he was indeed serious.
Then Clint told them that help was on the way, and later he would tell Margo and Jules the same thing. One shot was all they had to get to a safe haven. There would be no second chance.
Part II: Another Plan
Miles away from Star Ride, a female corpse opened her eyes. She found herself in a pile of corpses, disgusted by the smell. She did a once over of her body, which was unrecognizable after the undead had snacked on her and Darryl.
"Darryl? Where is Darryl?" The corpse yelled in a sudden panic.
The corpse gasped, shocked that she was able to somehow speak clearly. Once the shock wore off, she tried to collect her thoughts further. She remembered that her name was Elena, at least that was what she went by when she was alive. She questioned how she could still be alive, with her internal organs hanging outside of her decaying body, and the stiff cold feeling she felt when touching her skin. She checked for a pulse on what was left of her neck and found none. She had to be dead, just like all the other bodies she was sprawled on top of. Yet, she could think, she felt aware, she had memories flooding back.... memories of being exiled from the safety of the Star Ride.... her and Darryl. She had no idea what became of Darryl after they were swiftly attacked.... but she was still alive if you could call it that, while also being very dead too.
Elena stood up and clumsily began moving away from the pile of corpses. She would seek Darryl, as well as find out why she hadn't met the same fate as the other undead. Before she could get too far, she heard a moaning behind her. She turned around to see another corpse approaching her quickly. It seemed just like all the rest out there, as in not an intelligent dead being like herself, but another mindless, murderous flesh-eating machine. Without thinking about it, Elena instinctively put her hands out as if she were going to push her would be attacker away and yelled "Stop!"
The zombie stood still, looking to her for another command. Elena stood puzzled for a moment, then decided to try something else.
"Dance like a chicken!" Elena shouted, not expecting her ridiculous request to be answered. But the zombie did just that.
"Eat one of the bodies in that pile."
The zombie went back to the pile of bodies and began devouring the one on top. After finishing the meal, the zombie returned to Elena to await her next directive.
"Bow before me."
The zombie bowed low before Elena. A wicked smile formed on what was left of her face. She was undead, yet aware of everything, and even able to still speak and think. Not only that, but she apparently had the ability to control members of the undead by commanding them. She seems to be an alpha, and with this latest turn of events, she could not only keep herself as safe as it was possible for someone that was dead, but she could also use her newfound gift to shape what was left of the world however she wanted to. She thought about the crew of the Star Ride and laughed about the regrets they would feel for sending her to die in the wild. With her death a new life had come, a life that would usher in a new world, a world that had no place for those that foolishly sealed their fate by banishing her from their temporary safety. Even with a lifeless tongue, Elena thought about how her revenge would taste oh so sweet....
Written By: Roses311Sublime