AU – Set in approx April 2013 on a very similar Earth.
Rated M only.
Warnings: Zombies, blood, gore, and you're reading Horror anyway so I'm sure you can guess the rest. Don't like, don't read.
And reviews are always welcome.
The Hybrid Corps Chronicles
Volume 1 Hybrid Birth Arc
002 Fever Part 1
"Enough," the Red Raptor's Captain snaps, "Both of you stand down, or whatever military mumbo jumbo you normally use, there are zombies in the park," and the man is pointing at Sy's monitor.
The two men stop their posturing and Sy thinks Commander Green may have a bit of a death wish when he walks past the marine that only a few seconds ago had been in his face itching for a fight.
Bending down the Commander looks at the set of screens showing the readouts from Ty's beacon and also the satellite feed directly centred on Ty's fevered body. Pointing the man asks, "That temperature, how accurate is it?"
"Very," Sy says, "Either the entire unit is playing up, which could only have happened after Ty was sent out on the mission, or he really does have that high a temperature, which is too high for a human and also too high to be zombie fever."
And he's seriously worried about his friend, the Captain had been right, the park was filling up quickly with zombies, only they were hanging around the shore of the lake, they weren't trying to jump to the small little solar powered boat in the middle. Zombies had been documented making much longer jumps than that so they were acting out of character.
"Why aren't they jumping?" Kaufman asks and nobody says anything.
"If Ty's running a fever can they tell he's going to become a zombie too?" One of the crew pipes up.
"No," the Commander shakes his head, "If there were a number of non infected humans about they'll go for them first and then turn on the infected, but Ty's the only one of two there, they should be trying to get to them..."
"They must really hate water," someone else mutters and it's like a lightbulb going off.
They won't cross wide rivers, but they'll jump small streams. People were able to evacuate the UK by getting on boats and the zombies hadn't jumped on board even when the boat was close to land.
"It can't be that obvious? Can it?" Sy asks.
The boy's body heat is like a furnace but she holds him tight and close to her anyway, she knows he won't be aware of her or the comfort she's offering him, yet she can't make herself let him go.
On the shores of the lakes the sounds of massing others echo across it's dark waters and she tries to shut out the hunger beating at her in her head. They moan constantly and she tramps her fear down.
A few of them are running around and clearly attempting to work out how they should jump to reach the boat floating safely in the middle of the lake.
Fights break out and for a couple of tense moments she worries a feeding frenzy will break out, that could overpower their fear of drowning long enough to get most of them to jump and she knows many of them would make it and she'd have no choice but to escape into the water to avoid them.
She can swim and float, for hours if need be, but the boy in her arms would not, she'd be forced to keep him afloat and the shock of the cold water could hurt him in his fevered state.
Concentrating she attempts to fill her mind with thoughts of water all around her and the sensation of not being able to breathe, of her own lungs swelling with water, the blind panic to scramble to a surface so far above her.
It must be working and the idea spreading among them as they actually back away from the water and their frustrations at prey being so close disrupts her long enough that they slip closer again.
Resuming her task of thinking of drowning she chases them back a precious metre or so and does her best to keep them there, it's going to be a very long night, and Ty shakes and sweats in her lap oblivious to it all.
"Did they move back?" Kaufman's leaning over Sy's shoulder and the tech resists smacking the guy for invading his space, "Why the fuck are they moving back?"
Wanting to be sarcastic Sy swallows his own retort and answers, "I've no idea."
"And the ghost?" The Commander murmurs into Sy's ear making him and Kaufman startle as they didn't know the man was there, "Is the ghost still on the boat with Tyler?"
Double-checking Sy nods, "Yes sir, she's still there."
"She?" Green gives him a long look, "You're sure she's a she?"
Replaying some of the footage Sy points out a few things, "See? There and there? And also at that point?" He freezes the screen, "Plus she moves like a woman..."
A snort from Kaufman at that, "I guess you got a point," and now the guy is eyeing the screen, "She is kinda womanly," his hands sculpt imaginary air and either he's describing an hour glass or he's being so chauvinistic Sy's glad none of the women crew can see him right now.
"That's not exactly her figure," Sy mentions.
"Whatever geekboy," is the instant response, "But you gotta know what I mean."
"So the ghost is a she," the Commander appears to be ignoring their by play, "Well done tech, and again make sure I get copies of everything happening there, and I mean everything, I don't care how insignificant it is, or if you think it's a glitch, put it in."
"Yes sir," Sy immediately agrees and goes back to staring at the screen.
"Good, now pan out on another screen and start counting up the estimated number of zombies in the area where you can, it won't be accurate, but it's better than nothing," Green commands and Sy does as he's told glad to have something to do instead of just sitting staring at his prone friend and being helpless to do anything.
It keeps him occupied for about half an hour and then he groans at the numbers the computer is generating, there are literally thousands of the damn things in the park and when he pulls out further the number continues to climb higher, though it 'wobbles' more as the zombies are constantly shifting around causing the count to re-start.
"Well shit," the marine is back leaning over Sy, "That ain't fucking good."
No kidding Sherlock springs to mind but Sy calls the Commander over and the man nods.
"Damn, we were hoping the number in London wasn't so high and that won't be all of them. Hmm, when dawn comes let the computer track their movements where possible, so far the best guess we have of where they hide from the sun is in the Underground," and the man pats Sy's shoulder like he's done something smart.
Though the man's words make sense the Underground would be perfect, not only are they out of the sun but they'd have a system of tunnels they could move about in by day, it would be suicide for any team to go down into one of the stations.
"Pity we can't shoot the bastards from the safety of the streets," Kaufman is musing, "Be nice to stand in the sunshine with modified nightvision goggles, it'd be like shooting fish in a barrel."
That gives Sy an idea, "Actually if we take it a step further and use their extreme dislike of water we could even moor a boat off shore..."
"Anchor," the ferry's Captain amends.
"Sorry," Sy flashes him a tired smile, "Anchor a boat off shore, far past what we think is their jump range and then we could get a sniper to pick them off, we wouldn't lose anyone and the sniper would already be on a boat for a handy getaway if required."
"Sy..." the Commander is frowning but thoughtfully, "That's a brilliant idea, and Kaufman you too, there's a scouting team hitting Paris in the morning, that city has the Metro subway system," he stands up straight, "I'm going to talk to someone." And then the Commander is gone.
On screen the zombies have surged forward a few steps and Sy prays they don't get any closer to the edge of the Serpentine.
Ty's stopped sweating so she has to stop pushing them back in order to make the boy drink water, he splutters and some of the liquid runs down his face instead of down his throat.
Making herself slow down she gets more inside of him and he starts to sweat again, she keeps going and empties a three bottles into him before she goes back to pushing the others with their hunger away from them.
Overhead the stars are out in force and even in that dim light she has a perfect view of them ringing them and fencing them in, thank goodness for the water and their justified terror of it.
A/N Sorry for any mistakes I've tried to catch them all but I'm only human.