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Zombie apocalypse fiction – Ruth’s story #129 Fires on the horizon, battle plans & a return from the dead #SHTF #TEOTWAWKI

January 3, 2015

I join a standing crowd of people on our perimeter watching the fire’s glow.

“Do we know what is burning?” I ask Doc who is standing closest to me. I assume that Shack does not know since we just woke up.

“The cities of Everett, Marysville, Stanwood and something on the island are burning. Don’t know how the fires started but large portions of the cities are engulfed in flames. Shame losing all the buildings but it does clean out quite a few zombies.”

While watching the flames to the south of our position in the cities of Marysville (closest) and Everett (farthest south), I see that there is a black helicopter flying over the flaming cities.

“Doc, did the helicopter start the fires?”

“Don’t rightly know Ruth. But the damn thing’s been flying around the burning cities for a while now. It darts back and forth – even flew over our camp a few times. Got some asshole dressed in one of those Big Bird-yellow hazmat suits leaning out of the rear side door when it flew over us. Guy in the hazmat suit was holdin’ some sort of instrument in his hand when he flew over us. Some of the guys flipped him off as he flew over but he made no sign that he saw the gestures.”

We watch the glow of the fire reflected upon the ever-present clouds. Despite the continuous damp rain, the cities fiercely burn. Thick oily smoke rises into the cloudy sky. The helicopter flies around for a while then heads south and disappears. Eventually the crowd breaks up as people return to their beds or whatever job interrupted by the fire.

Immediately after the supper crowd sits down to eat, Doc and Sam hold a planning session. They want to send the Scouts out with Longfeather in the morning to assess the fire’s extent and damage.

Sam agrees but the Scouts are going out heavy, taking the MGS Stryker with them. The Scouts are also taking two Hummers. The first Hummer has a M2B on the roof. The second Hummer carries a M19 40mm grenade launcher on the roof.

While the lads prep the vehicles for tomorrow’s foray, Shack, Honey and I grab supper. Settling in the radio tent we prepare for a long boring night. Fortunately the night was anything but boring as some interesting news came over the radio around midnight.

The VP (I guess we should really call her Madame President) is back in the battle against the hordes of undead. She took some time off to have a child and get married, but now that domestic home life is settled, the VP is taking the fight to the undead.

Mount Weather is completely lost and full of the undead. I am not sure where the VP got the old W45 warhead armed Medium Atomic Demolition Munition (MADM) but she had it dropped down the elevator shaft of the sealed Mount Weather. When the MADM exploded the ground shook but there was no smoke or fallout escape.

Dropping a nuclear bomb into a zombie nest is one of the most creative ways I have heard for killing thousands of zombies with one shot. Even if the VP is back in the fight, the radio broadcast had a very uber-propaganda feel that I automatically mistrust.

Shack ever the pragmatist, shrugged his shoulders. “Who cares? But isn’t the VP a little old to be having another child this late?”

“She’s in her early 50s. She lost her first husband and children in the evacuation of DC. Her family never made it out of the District.”

“How do you know that Honey?”

“Because I heard it on the TV several months ago, Shack back before all the news stations went off the air.” She sticks her tongue out at him.

The rest of the night passes uneventfully. The next evening, the returned Scouts brought some interesting news. Sam briefs the assembled company at supper. Although we are not military anymore, old habits die hardest. When Sam enters the cinder block house we still rise to our feet.

After the room returned to their seats, Sam starts the meeting without preamble. “There is a well-organized and well equipped force out there. They use zombies as shock troops, and burn out any resistance they encounter. This force is made of folks that are either former military, police, or were preppers and survivalists. We have not seen any military weapons other than a few M16s. One of the tasks of tonight’s raid is to find out what heavy weapons, if any, they possess.”

“The Scouts ran into some of their advance scouting forces. None of our boys and girls were hurt but we did kill several of their members. They most likely know our position. Gear and weapons descriptions leads me to believe that this is not an organized force, where everyone carries the same weapon. We’re on heightened alert, as today two of these assholes were caught sneaking through the forest on our flank. Thankfully they were caught by some of the clever booby-traps.”

“We might not get lucky next time. This force has steadily worked their way north, burning and pillaging as they go. They are less than a day from us, so tonight we are going radio cold. Listen only – no transmissions unless I authorize them. All personal radios are to be on receive only as well. Maintain light and noise discipline.”

“Longfeather’s taking the Rangers and other SF folks, including the Russian Spets’ lads out on a harassment and interdiction raid. Goal is taking out the scouts, sentries, destroying or looting supplies and damaging vehicles. Hopefully, the sharpshooters with suppressed weapons can trim their command structure, but we do not want to tip them off until morning that they were attacked.”

Out of the corner of my eye I see Carol nursing Stiva, grasp Nikola’s hand tightly. He raises their joined hands to his lip and kisses her hand. The huge chunk of ice on Carol’s left hand shimmers in the candle and lamplight lit room.

While Sam talks, Shack leans over and whispers in my ear. “While I was in the can, Longfeather signed me up for tonight’s raid since I was a Ranger. It’ll just be you and Honey tonight in the radio tent.”

That night in the radio tent it was very quiet.  Poor Honey suffers from cramps and has even had some spotting of blood. Cranking the charging handles, I missed Shack not only for his turn on the handles but his quiet company. Honey spent most of the night in pain, hunched over and was not able to crank the handles for very long.

Several times we picked up several pieces of Morse code. Deciphering the Morse code revealed messages such as “page six, paragraph 4, third word” and “preface, second paragraph fifth word.” Someone is transmitting in a code, but who I wonder.

After eating breakfast, Honey leaves to talk with Doc while I climb straight into bed. Before drifting off I watch Honey enter our tent, strip naked and slide into her bedroll. We still have not discussed what happened between us. I feel guilty for not telling Shack, and drift off to sleep with that thought.

Sometime later I am startled awake as someone cold and naked slides into the bed spooning against my warm back. At first I fear it is Honey seeking a repeat, but feeling stubble and smelling smoke underneath which is the familiar scent of Shack, I am relieved.

Relaxing into Shack’s cold embrace, he wraps me in his arms, his right hand slides down my right arm grasping my hand. He seems troubled. Not wanting to wake a (thankfully) snoring Honey, I turn my head slightly towards him.

“Shack what is wrong? Did someone get hurt or killed?”

“No, that’s not it. Some minor injuries but nothing major. I saw my dad, he leads the bunch of assholes. I almost shot him.”

  1. phil permalink

    Really good captivating chapter, thanks.

  2. medicine man permalink

    What Phil said.
    Great work my friend as usual. Wow!!! Shacks father in the mix???.
    You never cease to amaze me.
    How are the two mutant babies doing? I know that one appears to be human (Whatever the fuck that is) but the other one with the black fingernails and such, must be ready for basic training by now Ha! Ha!.

    Freaking high 70’s down here, very small chance of snow…

    Keep warm and safe.


    • Thanks M.M. for the kind words. The terrible twins will appear a few more times.

      Back to normal weather here. Mid 40s and raining like mad. Snow in the mountains which is good because we desperately need it.

  3. Tim permalink

    nice chapter!

  4. DiamondDave permalink

    Thanks for another riveting chapter. I can’t wait until the first movie comes out. Seriously man, you are telling a great story, and I appreciate it.

    • I doubt that there will ever be a movie. If you check literary agents lists of things they do not wish to see, zombies are in the top 10 always.

      I am glad that you liked the last chapter.

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