Chapter One: The Sparked that Burned The World

This is the Way the World Ends, Not with a Bang but with a Whimper.

The Hollow Men T.S. Eliot

Kansas City, Missouri 2014

The sun was beginning to set on this day in the sixth largest city in the United States and things seemed to be calm in a local diner on the city's east side. The night was seemed to be going at its usual slow pace for Tina poured a man another cup of coffee.

She was a rather attractive twenty two year old Caucasian woman who stood about five foot four with long black hair, dark brown eyes, and wearing her traditional work uniform that consisted of a red gown with a white apron.

As she poured another man a cup of coffee she couldn't help but to breathe a sigh of boredom. She hated working night shifts mostly because nothing ever exciting happened, but she needed the money being a full-time college student in a state where she didn't have any relatives was hard on her, but hopefully things would get better after this year when she finally finishes nursing school.

The woman then made her way to the back of the diner where she noticed a heavy set bald African American man with a cleanly shaved face cooking in a white apron, chef's hat, and hair net standing over the stove preparing a cheeseburger. Despite working for the man for almost a three years Tina still had yet to learn this man's real name everyone just called him Pop's it was even the name of the diner "Pop's Diner."

Despite not knowing this name Tina still envied the man he'd been able to do this job for over thirty years and not hang himself from the sheer boredom that came with running the place.

"How's it look out there?" Pop's asked while noticing the woman pick up a few plates of food.

"The usual dead and only dying by the passing minute." She replied while wiping her forehead.

"Well things may turn around the doctors and nurses are gonna be getting off from the hospital in a few minutes and the police are going to be getting off their shift as well." He shot back earning a nod from Tina.

She had to admit Pop chose the right location when he was setting up a diner. It was on the East Side but it was also close to the local hospital, police station, and even a bank so when people got off from work they often came to the diner not for the food but because it was one of the few places that serve alcohol in the area.

The sound of the bells chiming quickly caught the attention of both Pop's and Tina as the cook turned to the woman and told her to go greet their next customer and Tina quickly obeyed. Upon stepping out of the back of the diner though Tina instantly regretted it as she noticed a familiar man sitting at the back of the diner with his back to the wall.

This man's name was David Castle and unlike everyone else that came in he was still a mystery to the waiter. In the three years she'd been working here David was still rather new. He only started showing up six months ago and would come in every night, order the same thing, hit on her, and then leave without saying too much of another word.

David was a medium sized African American man who was probably in his late twenties with light brown skin and stood about six foot two with short black, a clean shaven face, dark brown eyes, and wearing a brown leather jacket over a black t-shirt with a gold cross around his neck, black jeans, and shoes. It was covered up but Tina also knew the man had a Skull tattoo on his upper right arm.

As Tina approached the man she couldn't help but to put her hand on her hip and speak out with an unenthusiastic tone in her voice. "Are you gonna get into another fight today David?" she asked while the man gave a low groan.

"I didn't plan it, now go back there get me my usual, and shut the fuck up doll face." He shot back with venom in his tone while Tina eyed him angrily before making her way into the back of the diner.

"Our new favorite asshole is here." She replied before going into the fridge and pulling out a bottle of bourbon and then pouring it in a cup of coffee.

"Hopefully he doesn't break one of my glasses over some guys head again." He shot back.

"I don't get it, who is he and why does he keep coming here every night?" Tina asked with a hint of venom in her tone.

"I have no idea but we have to serve him all the same as long as his money is good." He replied as Tina rolled her eyes before stirring the drink and then making her way out and setting it before David who quickly handed her a tip of ten dollars.

She liked to complain because he was an asshole but she did like him coming mostly because he left really good tips.

The fact that he didn't give a sharp comment confused Tina though and caused her to eye him and notice he was staring up at the television where a news report was broadcasting.

"…Police are still baffled as to the rhyme or reason for such a grisly murder. I'm here live with police chief Erin Roberts who has just looked over the crime scene. Chief Roberts the public would like to know what happened here." The reporter said just as an elderly Caucasian man with slightly greying hair and blue eyes filled the screen.

"Well from what little I can tell is that this poor soul was quite literally torn apart by what we believe is a wild animal because of the bite marks on his body." He replied before the reporter cut him off.

"Is it true that this is the sixth attack of its nature in the past twenty four hours." She asked earning a nod from the Chief.

"Yes it was-." He started before being cut off again.

"People are also reporting that the bite marks were human-sized and some eyewitnesses report seeing unresponsive people walking around biting people." She replied before being cut off.

"Yes we're also looking into what we believe are human based but we're not looking for any signs of a rabid cannibal but someone under the influence of some kind of drug, meth more like, these attacks seem to be mostly contained in the city's south side where drugs related crimes are at their highest." He stated.

"The notion of these attacks being caused by drug addicts seems to be highly unlikely." The reporter replied. "Well at this time we don't have any other-."

"Cannibal Crackheads, that makes for something interesting." David shot out while lighting a up a cigarette as Tina had a look of disgust on her face.

"Castle put that shit out or take it outside." Yelled Pop's with anger in his tone causing David to lift his hands in submission before putting it out.

"Thank you, unlike most of these so called "Diners" my fine establishment has standards, including not having the place smell like a hippy on a cross-country road trip." He added. "I swear-." He then went into another one of his rants while David and Tina continued to look at the TV screen.

"What is this world coming to?" she asked herself while putting her hand on her hip.

"Hey old man you gonna give me a refill or are you gonna bitch with the heart attack excuse?" David asked jokingly.

"I may not have brought you into this world David but I sure as shit can take you out of it." Pop's responded while David gave a chuckle.

The group was then interrupted by a loud crash sounding off from the diner entrance that caused them all to turn that way and watch as a man with a Pistol break the glass door and shout "Get the fuck on the floor this is a holdup!"

Park Plaza Hospital

The night seemed more active the normal for Brooke Shephard as she found herself walking back inside of the hospital after bringing in another man who claimed he was attacked on the streets and needed to patch up a bite wound on his right shoulder.

At first glance one wouldn't expect much of the young EMT. She was a Caucasian woman standing about five foot three with long blonde hair, bright blue eyes, and wearing her EMT uniform as she made her way back into the trauma center of the hospital.

"We got another call Brooke." Yelled her longtime partner and friend George Matthews. George was a dark haired Caucasian man who stood about five foot nine with shaggy brown hair, bright green eyes, and wearing a uniform similar to Brooke.

"What we got another victim of an attack and bite?" she asked earning a nod from George.

"Looks like it!" he replied before leading the woman out the back of the Hospital where they noticed Hector Vargas leaning against the side of the ambulance. Hector was a rather muscular man Chicano who stood about five foot ten with short black hair, dark eyes, and a cleanly shaven face. He was also the Chief of their Ambulance Company.

"You two ready?" he asked with a smile earning nods from the duo before they hopped into the ambulance and drove away from the hospital.

Kansas City Sheriff's Station

The shuffling of feet and loud chatter of voices seemed to be filling the Kansas City Police Station and the ears of Maclin Murphy as he found himself doing paperwork in what seemed to be the start of a never ending cycle that seemed to be going on all day.

Officers and Detectives would go out to the scene of a crime, come back to do paperwork, then go right back out and the cycle would repeat itself. Things on this night seemed to be going more quickly than others as officers seemed to be going out to calls of attacks almost every ten minutes.

"You need to calm down man." Came the voice of Murphy's partner Michael Hernandez as he approached the man with a cup of coffee. Michael was a Mexican man of mostly Spanish descent with clear white skin, dark brown eyes, and black hair standing about five foot ten while Murphy was a Caucasian man with short blonde hair, blonde facial hair, and standing about six foot one.

"I'll calm down when things calm down out there." He replied while continuing to work on his paper work.

"Tell me about it, have you called your wife to see if she's alright?" he asked earning a shake of the head from the man.

"You!" he responded.

"Yeah Maria's fine, a little scared is all. I usually worry about her being home alone in Gulfton with all the gangs there, but tonight has me really worried for her." He replied earning a nod from the man.

"Well then, we can stop to check on her after we come back. We got another call for some kind of disturbance at a home near there with some shady guy walking the streets." Murphy replied earning a nod from Michael.

"Well it's good to hear that and not what we've been normally hearing today." Michael replied before standing up and moving to walk out of the station but as he and Murphy moved to step out of the station the duo were stopped by an unfamiliar woman.

She was a somewhat attractive woman but with an air of superiority to her. She stood about five foot seven with long brown hair that touched the back of her neck, brown eyes, and wearing a brown leather jacket over a white t-shirt, blue jean pants, and brown boots.

"Can we help you?" asked Murphy as the woman approached them.

"Yes my name is Rachel Durant and I'm a Private Investigator looking into the disappearance of Ed Charles. Have you two heard anything or doing an active investigation?" She stated earning a slight chuckle from the duo.

"No we haven't even heard anything about this man we've got dozens of people disappearing this week if you want to know about him check the hospital." Stated Murphy.

"Mr. Charles isn't just another man on the streets he's a bank teller and we believe his disappearance is related to the string of robberies that have been carried out across the Midwest." She replied.

"You mean the robberies committed by Dalton Reeves and his gang. I thought he was captured and a few of his men were killed a few months ago." asked Michael.

"He was, but according to what one of them Dalton's brother Jesse and four other men are still on the streets and we believe they're somewhere in Missouri." She replied earning a nod from Murphy.

"Well at the moment we've been swamped with things but if we hear anything we'll let you know." The cop replied before walking out the door with Michael in tow.

Pop's Diner

"You bitch give me everything in the register, and everyone else empty your pockets." He yelled while waving his gun in the air while Tina complied with his order.

"That's it!" he said before moving around the diner and picking up the money before stopping in front of an African American man who was sipping his coffee.

"Son of a bitch I said empty your pockets." The man yelled out before turning his gun on David who seemed calm on the situation while Tina looked on in fear.

"You must not have heard me because I said no when you came in." he replied to everyone's shock and surprise.

"No but I have a gun to your head." He replied with venom in his tone while David gave a slight chuckle.

"And my coffee is lukewarm but you don't see me waving it around and screaming like a deranged asshole." He shot back.

"Bitch if you don't do what I say I'm gonna spray your brains all over the wall." He yelled out with annoyance in his tone.

"But I don't want to and that's my choose, because you just screwed yourself." He replied to the man's confusion.

"How is that?" he asked before hearing a loud cocking sound and turning around to immediately be looking down the barrels of an old but still dangerous looking Double Barrel Shotgun in the hands of an annoyed cook.

"Boy you must be some kinda stupid." Pop's muttered with a half-smile.

"I'll be taking that." David shot out while ripping the pistol from the man's hands and noticing that it was a Ruger P89 and then moving to dig into the pockets of the robber and pulling out forty dollars in cash. "And you'll be paying for my meal." David added before rising from his seat walking over to the bar and handing Tina the money and the gun.

"Take care of those doll face." He said before strolling out the front door while Pop's continued to hold the man at gunpoint.

"What the fuck?" whispered Tina.

"Call the police Tina I think they'll he happy to see this guy." Pop's yelled out while David walked around the side of the Diner and hopped inside the passenger seat of a parked blue 1970's Monte Carlo SS.

"You know if you want to try and avoid the police driving around in something so obvious doesn't help you." He shot out while noticing his partner and close friend Thomas "Tommy" Groves sitting in the driver's seat beside him while Julio Perez sat in the backseat.

Tommy was a rather skinny pale Caucasian man of proud Irish descent with spiky brown hair, bright green eyes, with a tattoo of a Shamrock on his right arm, and wearing a dark green t-shirt, black jeans, and a black boots.

Julio on the other hand was a man of Puerto Rican descent who stood about five foot six with short black hair that was cut into a crew cut and wearing a black t-shirt, black jeans, and white shoes with a pair of sun shades covering his eyes.

"So what the hell was that back there?" asked Tommy as he eyed David closely.

"Ah some asshole came in with a gun, but the situation managed to solve itself." He replied to the duo's surprise.

"We can't have you being under the eyes of the police Castle." Added Julio.

"I know that's why I handled that problem there and then, so we don't have to worry about them for tomorrow." He shot back with a seriousness in his tone.

"So are we really going through with this?" asked Julio.

"Jesse won't leave us alone until we do so we may as well get it over with." Replied Tommy.

"But we know the risk a lot better than he does, and he's not like us." Added Julio.

"Well he is now, we got into this life because of Ed and he told us to watch out for his younger brother and that's what we need to do. Don't forget it." Shot David earning silence from the group before Tommy pulled up to the man's apartment in Downtown Kansas City.

"Remember after this job everything is over believe that." Said David as he stepped out of the car and watched as Tommy drove away from the area while David made his way inside of his apartment and quickly made his way to his bedroom where he then dug under his bed, pulled out a trunk, and opened it to reveal a SIG-Sauer 516 Tactical Patrol Assault Rifle with ACOG Sight, a Glock 17 fitted with a Red Dot, a bulletproof vest, black ski mask, and a photo of himself, Tommy, Julio, and six other in Afghanistan sitting on a battle tank with Blackwater written on the side.

North Kansas City

The drive to the North Side of Kansas City wasn't long for Michael and Murphy as they stepped out of their cars in the dark night and quickly caught site of a man slamming against the door of a home making small hissing noises as he went.

"Fucking junkies." Said Michael as he and Murphy stood on the steps just below the step of the home before speaking out. "Hey buddy step away from the door.

The duo then watched as the man slowly turned around and revealed his blood covered mouth, clothing, and dark red eyes.

"Jesus sir are you alright?" asked Michael as the man turned to the both of them while Michael slowly approached the man.

"Let me give you a hand." The Spaniard said before the blood covered man lunged at him and quickly sunk his teeth into the cop's right arm earning a loud shriek of pain from the man that caused Murphy to spring into action and draw his Pistol.

"Let him go!" he yelled as Michael was knocked to the ground with the man on top of him.

"SHOOT HIM NOW!" he yelled before Murphy fired a single shot into the man's stomach but watched as he continued to bite into Michael.

"Damn it." He yelled before firing four more shots into the torso of the man before finishing him off with a shot that struck the man once in the head and blew off the top of the man's skull and causing him to fall backwards and land on his back.

"Son of a bitch, thanks man." Said Michael as he clenched his bleeding arm while Murphy got on his radio.

"This is Officer Murphy I need an ambulance on my location for an officer and we got an officer related shooting." He added while continuing to eye the man.

West Kansas City

The drive to the west side of Kansas City seemed to be somewhat longer than usual for Brooke as Pop's stopped the ambulance in a neighborhood on the cities North Side where they noticed a pile up in the middle of the streets with two cars that were involved in a head on collision.

"Jesus Christ." Said George as he, Brooke, and Hector stepped out of the vehicle and quickly approached the vehicles where they noticed that the drive of one vehicle had been thrown out of the car and the other was lying in the front seat with his skull cracked open.

"He's gone focus on the other man." Ordered Hector as he and Brooke approached the fallen man while George got the stretcher.

"Jesus he may have some internal bleeding and head damage." Replied Brooke as Hector put his head to man's heart.

"Heartbeat is faint we gotta get this man to a hospital now." Yelled Hector as he and George strapped the man down on the stretcher before rolling him into the back of the ambulance, then climbing inside, and driving off.

"George give him some meds we maybe a while with the way people are driving." Hector yelled out while George moved to apply an IV to the man who's eyes instantly shot open wide and blood shut.

"He's awake, sir you were just in a car, AHHH!" George yelled out earning the attention of Brooke and Hector who looked back and noticed that the injured man had jumped up and clamped down on the throat of the man.

"Mother of-." Started Hector as he lost focus on the road and just as a Ford Truck went through and collided with the side of the ambulance making it lose course while everyone inside was bounced around before the front of the vehicle collided with a light pole and totaled the front of the vehicle.

Authors Note: And that's it for the first chapter of this new story I hope you all like. I know we didn't see that many Zombies in this chapter but expect more next chapter.