"C'mere, Skorm." Patchwork called the black cat over. She rubbed his head with her pale, greyish hand. Stitches barely pulled her skin over it. The cat walked over and curled up in her lap, and started purring. Patchwork was waiting for her friends to arrive, they hung out at this spot everyday. She leaned back against the building and, with her good eye, looked over at a broken mirror sitting across from her at the other side of the alley.

Her face, like her hand, was held together with stitches, which is why her friends call her, "Patchwork". Her bad eye was completely white, caused by the disease she has. Bits of hair still clung to her scalp, the rest of it had fallen out. She used to be pretty, tan skin, long, brown hair, and bright, blue eyes. She had cried, when she realized what was happening to her, but she eventually stopped, what she looked like didn't bother her anymore. At least the damage wasn't as bad as Tatter's.

Tatters smiled to himself, sitting on the wooden floor in the abandoned apartment building lobby. Light beamed though where the boards weren't covering the windows, showing off the dust floating in the air. Tatters had finally got the old game boy he found to work. It'd been awhile since he got to play a video game. He pulled out his pocket watch, which required him to wind it every morning, out of his pocket and looked at it. It didn't really matter now what time it was, he was the only one of the group that kept up with time and the date, but he just felt more comfortable, know what time it was.

He got up, he was excited to show his friends that he got the game working. He walked over and looked up the stairway. "Junkie?" He called. "Junkie, you ready?" No response. He sighed and made his way up the stairs, which creaked when he stepped on them. He opened the door to apartment A, which was where Junkie slept, apartment D is where Tatters stayed. He walked inside and saw Junkies stash scattered all over her living room floor. He crouched down and looked over it, Peppermints, Tootsie Rolls, Jolly Ranchers, and other sweets. He picked up one of the Jolly Ranchers, unwrapped it and popped in his mouth, and doing his best to keep it to the right side of his mouth, since his left cheek had rotted away.

He got up and looked over at the bookshelf where Junkie kept her medicine. Tranquilizers, antidepressants, sleep aids, and anxiety medication, she ate that stuff like her candy. He went over and opened up her bedroom door, "Junkie... Come on, wake up." He walked over to her mattress that was on the floor, and reached and shook her foot, which was sticking out of the blankets. Her skin was now thin enough to see most of the veins and arteries that run just under the skin.

Junkie groaned and turned over on her side, away from Tatters. "Come on, get up already." He persisted. "Why?" Junkie asked, without even opening her eyes. "If I don't get you up now, you'll sleep 'til this afternoon." Tatters explained. Junkie took a deep breath, then sat up. "Okay... I'm up, let me get dressed..." She yawned and stretched. She glared at her guest suddenly, "That means get out!" She shouted in a bought of sudden energy.

Just on the other side of the street was an abandoned art store, and inside Sketch gazed in the mirror, finishing up putting in his piercings. He had 3 rings on one ear, 2 on the other one. He had a nose stud, and one ring on his right eyebrow. He made his way to front area of the store, the light shined through the glass door, which was amazingly undamaged. Sketch had spray painted a large, red "A" with a circle around it on the door. That's all there was outside the sanctuary anyway, Sketch figured it was appropriate.

The large display windows were broken, and boarded up, darkening the store a good bit. Sketch pulled the door open, and pulled a key out of his hoodie pocket and unlocked the padlock on the chain that kept the metal bar door closed. He had his friend tatters put the door on for him, for safety procautions. He remembered being rather sheltered by his grandmother, and being where he was now, he was terrified. He'd never admit this though.

He walked out onto the street, and started walking to the place where they all met. He looked up and saw the sun was shining brilliantly in the sky, there wasn't a cloud to seen. Sketch thought it was odd how things could go to hell on earth, and the sky stay the same. The city was dead quiet, except for the occasional flock of pigeons, or a cat scavenging for food in an alley. He was use to quiet anyway, he and his grandmother lived on private property in the woods, so the silence didn't bother him as much as it bothered Judas.

Judas was sitting in a booth in old 50's style diner. He was eating a can of baked beans, he added a little brown sugar in an attempt to spice up the dull meal. He'd give anything for something that wasn't canned, pizza, a cheeseburger... Anything! He tossed the can, only half of the beans were gone, and the fork into the kitchen, over the counter. He silently fumed like a spoiled child. He hated this... He really did.

"Hey Sketch," Patchwork greeted him as he walked up. "Hey..." He gave her a little wave. "How you doing?" Patchwork asked. "Well..." He rubbed the back of his neck, "Besides the fact the back of neck is rotting now, just fine." Patchwork laughed a bit, and blushed. She looked down at Skorm and started petting him agian. "How about you?" Patchwork looked back, "Um, I'm okay." "That's good," Sketch smiled.

"Hey Patch, check this out," Tatters announced his approach, he was followed by Junkie. He walked up and handed her the game boy he fixed. "Hey, cool!" She flipped the game on, and started playing it. "Hey Tatters," Sketch said, "Hey Junkie." "Hey," They both said in unison. Tatter's checked his watch, and then put it away.

Judas made his way across the Brooklyn bridge, walking on the right walkway, despite the lack of cars on the road. He looked down at the water, and stopped walking. He stared at the water for a while, then continued on. He was thinking of the events of the past week, he and his friends had made another attempt to get into The Santuary. The Santuary was the building built by the survivors of the apocalypse. It was the "safe zone" of New York city. They weren't about to let anyone who had the disease inside. Even if they could control themselves... Judas clenched his jaw, the disease wouldn't spread if they didn't bite anybody... They wouldn't get it if they breathed on them!

The people who got infected with disease got one of three fates; one, the diease affects the person's organs, causing to rot, and digest themselves, which would result in death. It could affect the brain, causing the person to start attacking random people because... Well, Judas didn't know, because the Government tried so hard to keep it controled, and not let to many people now about, of course there was the point they couldn't do it anymore. And the third possibility was disease attacking the skin, causing it rot, dry up, and peel off, or a combination of the three.

That's what Judas and all his friends got, the third effect. They weren't crazy, they weren't dying... But the "clean" people wouldn't let them into the Safe Zone. They were on the outside.