EDIT: Because of someone's lovely review, I'm going to have to put this little disclaimer here. This is not fanfiction, this not a copy of the book World War Z. The term Zack is not used the same way Mel had used it in WWZ, Zack in this story is the term someone chose for the virus. The virus comes in three phases, something unique to my story and not found in World War Z. The only similarities this and WWZ holds is the word Zack, the use of zombies, and the interview style. Mel did not invent zombies, he did not invent using an interviewing style to write a story. I didn't steal anything from here and I quite dislike being reported for no reason. /end
I enter the café and immediately, my eyes find him. He stuck out like a sore thumb here. Short, dark brown hair and five o' clock shadow, a leather jacket, white shirt, and torn up jeans…he looked like somebody pulled him out of a bad action movie.
Me: What do you think caused the war?
Dominic Maddox: War? There wasn't any war I was aware of.
He takes a drink of his coffee. Black.
M: Let me rephrase…what do you think caused Z-Day?
DM: That. Is the right question.
Among the thousand changes the world was undergoing, you know; the Middle East was on its way to true freedom, terrorist cells finally began to recede; new methods of transportation were finally in true development; some drug restrictions around the world had been lightened up, even marijuana became legal, but only buyable from government sanctioned places, like cigarettes were and I had a feeling more drugs were going to end up like that; the borders of the U.S. were finally erected into true barriers, but Mexico had begun to build itself back up anyway; just so many things taking on the world at once. So many changes, so much light for a brighter future.
He pauses to take a other drink of his coffee.
M: So, you think...the day, it took everyone by surprise?
DM: Oh, definitely. With everyday looking like it was the day the world was going to turn back around? Global warming on the downslide? Violence dropping nearly 4 worldwide? I don't know who organized this mess, or if it was organized, but I know damn well that this couldn't possibly be a natural thing.
M: So you think that there was someone responsible for Zack?
DM: You think there wasn't? Even if no one could ever find evidence to dictate the theory, the epidemic was clearly too organized for it to have flown naturally. Unless you believed in god of course, and by god I'm using the word as a collective term, the god in all religions. No offense of course.
M: So what happened with the initial outbreaks?
DM: Well, you don't seem to know much about it, but Zack came in three phases. But there was three phases of the infection as well. And three continents hit directly by it. Weird, eh? Anyway, from what we understand, the first documented records of Zack came from druggies. This was what we would call Phase One Zack; it was a type of infection that targeted the mind after ingestion. The thing about it was when you buy drugs off the street, you don't know what you're getting; it's a known fact and everyone that had an addiction knew it. You buy X, you'll be lucky if a quarter of it
was pure MDMA and not just meth, or even a placebo. That's why I never got into the stuff, risk was too high.
In any case, the first phase of Zack was called a super-virus, everyone claimed it was a mutated strand of the flu carried by mosquitoes, but no one seemed to notice the infection was only present in people between the ages of 15 and 35.
M: Wait. Why do you keep referring to it as an infection?
DM: Hold your horses!
He laughs and takes another swig of his coffee. I swear I can smell liquor
As I was saying, the infection was only present in the individuals who ingested the tainted drugs. And it carried around the world, I'm sure entire shipments of cocaine were contaminated, huge patches of pills, but that was just the first step.
M: What about symptoms? Did the Phase One Zack show anything?
DM: Yes, as I said, people were calling it a mutated flu. It was your typical high fever, lack of sleep, but with a few extras. Some people experienced depression, vomiting, heart problems, migraines, just some examples. But as I said, this was just attributed to the idea that it was a new flu. And I won't lie when I say the governments made a killing, pun not intended, off of people with new flu shots every month.
M: So what was Phase Two Zack?
DM: This was the real deal now. People starting lapsing into comas world-wide, but not people with Phase One Zack, that was the trick. It distracted people from them; let those people get on with their lives, but in reality? They were the carriers. Phase One Zack infections carried Phase Two Zack which they were immune to. Phase Two Zack was passed in a number of ways, bodily fluids were among the top ways, you know, sex and the like. By passing Phase Two Zack to non-Phase One infections, Phase Two began to secrete with sweat and gained the ability to be passed through simple contact. The comas were brought on by Phase Two nearly a month after the contact with a Phase One infection. Phase Two took quite awhile to actually take full hold of its victim.
M: Did anyone notice the correlation?
DM: Between Phase One and Phase Two? No. No one had any idea. No one of any relevance to the world anyway, little voices of no importance. Everyone else was too busy wondering why their loved ones had to be sent to overcrowded hospitals that had no idea what was going on.
M: And Phase Three?
DM: That day.
M: What exactly occurred?
DM: Roughly a week after the coma, Phase Two infections would drop dead. We know now that insulin could prolong the coma a few days, but that is all the public knows.
M: And you know more?
DM: No more than you. So anyway, about an hour after death, Phase Two Zack would become Phase Three Zack, activated by the death of neurons in the brain. Somehow…Zack would stimulate the right cells in the brain and flash it back to life. The tricky thing was that Zack didn't reanimate the entire body, only certain portions the brain, which would explain a number of things about them: their primal urges, their ravenous hunger, their lack of judgment…
His eyes unfocus for a moment, as if some memories had flooded back to him
What was I saying?
He shakes his head as he says this, his eyes refocusing.
M: Phase Three Zacks.
DM: Oh, right. Well, Phase Three outbreaks exploded and nobody was prepared. I mean, you hear the stories about groups of kid collecting supplies and holing up in places around the world, but those were only a handful of Science Fiction dorks.
He laughs at this.
I was one of them too.
He smiles but it fades quickly.
The world was in shambles quickly, sure, the governments tried to assemble their armies to holster down and take charge, but it didn't help. All-in-all, most leaders gave the go ahead for the bombing runs.
M: You mean...
DM: Yeah. The government sanctioned carpet bombings, the nukes, everyone aiming to destroy the bulk of the infection. I have to say, while it was one of the most trying times our world had ever endured, I think it was also the greatest show of comradelier I've ever heard of. The countries that hated each other, working side-by-side to stop the biggest threat in the world since World War II, it was amazing.
M: But the damage to the world? It made the planet uninhabitable!
DM: True. But that didn't mean we wouldn't survive. Hell, remember our world was hit by a nine-mile wide meteor and life still went on and it paved the road for us. Maybe we'll be paving the road for another civilization.
M: You're pretty optimistic.
DM: You'd be too if you went through what I did.
M: I'll give you that.
DM: Damn right.
He grins and drinks the last of his coffee.
I hope your report turns out nice, kid.