When Rei Divata, a newly induced college student and her brother get stuck in traffic, she senses that it's no ordinary city gridlock. Her uncertainties are confirmed when, suddenly, the city erupts into chaos. Mortemer, a deadly disease, spread through a single bite, is turning healthy people into something savage, unthinking and undead. As the virus threatens to ravage all of humanity, Rei leads her group of survivors on a worldwide search to find the source of the pandemic and, with much needed help, a plan to cease its spread.
"Human reason can excuse any evil; that is why it's so important that we don't rely on it."
- Veronica Roth
A war we didn't expect to happen.
A war between man and its own monstrous creations.
We were taught not to give in to our desires, but there are those who will disobey.
There are those who'll give in to their nature.
And wreak havoc on those who listened and learned.
A lethal virus that has turned the living into the walking dead. Those who are unsavable are called Revenants.
There is no cure, not yet, but we're finding a way. No matter how much we lose, no matter how far we go, there is no turning back.
The apocalypse is here.
And none shall fall prey to its unyielding grasp.
I hated not having a driver's license.
I wanted to be independent. I want to be able to drive myself to work and to class without having to ask my parents or - God forbid - my brother, but you know, not everyone gets what they want. Some of us actually have to wait a couple more years. Ugh.
I was sitting in the passenger seat, listening to the radio play the same boring love song every morning. My brother was in the driver's seat, an annoyed expression on his face as he waited for the car in front of us to move.
"I hate traffic so much. I wish you would get your license already," He said as he lightly tapped his foot on the gas.
I laid back in my seat. "I think we've already established that. Mom doesn't wanna pay more with her insurance."
The car in front of us slowly started to move, but then stopped suddenly. My brother slammed his fist onto the steering wheel, honking at the car, impatiently.
"What the fuck is he doing?"
"There's probably some sort of construction up ahead." I sighed. My brother wasn't the most patient person when it came to driving. I don't know why my parents made him drive me to class, knowing how much my brother hates driving with other people in the car. I rolled up my window and peeped my head out as far as I could to get a good look at the cars in front of us.
"What's going on?" He grumbled.
"There's some weird dude walking in the middle of the intersection," I replied as I took out my phone to zoom in on the scene.
The strange man was walking very slowly, three cars in front of us. Whoever was way up front started blasting his horn and yelling for him to move out of the way. Las Vegas usually only had issues with traffic on the major streets due to construction, but not people walking slow on purpose.
"Terrific. I'm gonna be late for class. My professor's gonna think I ditched or something."
"Wouldn't be the first time."
I punched his arm. "Shut up."
Before I could roll down the window, the guy up front got out of his car and approached the slow walking man in the middle of the intersection. He started yelling as he made his way towards him, and what I saw next was completely unexpected.
The man grabbed him by the collar and sank his teeth into his neck. Blood gushed out of the open wound, and both of them fell onto the floor. The guy started shaking like he was having a seizure. This was when some people started getting out of their cars. I knew they were trying to help, but that guy that was bitten was clearly unsavable at this point.
A woman grabbed the biter and threw him off of the bleeding man on the floor.
"Someone call the ambulance!"
"What the hell is going on?"
"What do you think you're doing, freak?!"
My ears were being blasted with yelling and honking from both sides. I wanted to roll down the window completely, but my curiosity was getting the best of me.
Snapping back into reality, I heard a bloodcurdling scream.
The woman who threw the biter off was getting mauled by the man who was bitten. It was all happening so fast that I had no idea what was going on. Everyone who came to the scene started running back to their cars.
"What's going on out there?" My brother asked, his voice filled with anxiety.
I rolled down the window and looked at him straight in the eye.
"Someone got bit…"
"What are you talking about—"
"GET HIM OFF ME!"
It was the voice of the woman that was mauled. She continued to scream helplessly until she suddenly stopped, and that's when she started having the seizure. The process was happening too quickly, and I began to realize what was going on.
"We need to get out of here! Now!" I shouted, and my brother didn't hesitate to step on the peddle. He drove in reverse, not caring that he ruined the back of the car by ramming into the vehicle behind us. He tried to make his way out but to no avail. This was when panic started to course through my veins.
"What are we going to do?!" I asked my brother, my voice shaking slightly.
"We're gonna get the hell outta here—"
The sound of a car crashing into another rang in my ears. Despite the windows being closed, the sound was as clear as day. I caught a glimpse of something running past my side of the car. I tried to steady my breathing, but that's when things got worse.
Whoever ran past the car came back. He slammed himself against the glass window, a loud crack following after. I yelped in freight as the man started clawing at the glass. I could hear his gravely moans as he tried to break the window.
I turned my head to my brother, but he was no longer there. I instantly started to panic. Did he get pulled out of the car?
Before I could do anything, the glass beside me broke, and the man was dangling over the car window, repeatedly shifting in place. When I looked up, I saw a wooden sword slam onto the man's head, blood gushing everywhere.
"Kuya?!" It was my brother. He stopped hitting the dead man with his sword and wiped the blood off his cheek. "Yeah, it's me. Relax now. I'm not going anywhere." He pulled me out of the car, and I blinked at him.
"I thought one of them dragged you out!"
"Well, they didn't. I'm still fucking here," He pressed a button on his car keys, and the trunk opened. "We're lucky you know that? If I didn't bring any of my weapons, you would've been a goner."
I took a look at the trunk, and he sure as hell wasn't lying. He had brought one more weapon with him besides his bokken.
The bō staff.
It's been a long time since I held the staff. I used to spar with it a lot when we did martial arts a few years back. Honestly, I missed the feeling of it. I seized the wooden staff and admired its beauty for only a few moments.
My brother nudged me. "Come on. We need to find shelter!"
We weaved through the cars that were still stuck on the road. We weren't far from some of the neighborhoods and stores, and it was a good thing my brother has a good sense of direction, or we'd be lost for sure. I don't think I would have survived without him.
"Ignazio and Aaron's houses are not too far from here. Maybe we can ring them up and get some help," my brother said as we ran past more cars.
We were getting farther from the incident, but I knew for sure it was going to catch up sooner or later. My anxiety was slowing down, thanks to my brother, but I was still filled with uncertainty.
It took us several minutes to reach the nearby neighborhood. We sprinted all the way to what I recalled was Ignazio's house.
Ignazio was one of my brother's closest, best friends, but he wasn't as close to him as he was with Aaron. Those three would hang out with each other often, and it made me a bit jealous. I didn't have friends to hang out with, and it felt lonely being in the house with no one but my dog to make me feel better.
My brother didn't hesitate to bang on Ignazio's door loudly. It didn't take long for him to answer the door. We were met with piercing, sapphire blue eyes, and a raised eyebrow.
"Ren? What are you doing here early? Aren't you dropping your little sissy off to school?" Ignazio glanced at me and winked.
I rolled my eyes as my brother responded. "We need help, Ig. Some crazy shit is happening just south of here, and we almost fucking died!"
His best friend looked at us with the strangest look, and his eyes widened when he scanned our appearances.
"The blood on your shirts and faces tells me you're not lying. Get inside. Hurry."
"So, what exactly happened?" Ignazio inquired as he sat across from us on the couch.
Ren gave him a quick run-through of what happened at the intersection, and thankfully, Ignazio was willing to lend a hand, but we weren't sure what to do afterward.
"Wow… I didn't think this would happen. It's like we're living in a movie or something."
"You'd be surprised, shortstack. Everything that happens in real life has been in movies and novels." Ignazio said, mocking me. "Art imitates life."
"Life imitates art, you dingus." Ren countered. "Anyway, where's Aaron? Wasn't he staying with you today?"
"Yeah, he's upstairs video chatting with his mom."
"Why are you guys acting like everything is normal? There's probably a fucking apocalypse going on right now, and it's most likely going to affect this stupid neighborhood too!" I was annoyed by their indifference, or maybe it was just me getting worked up about the potential end of the world.
"It's not like the zombies are here yet." Ignazio shrugged his shoulders.
"We have time to prepare. You forget how loaded Ig is, Rei." My brother laughed and made his way to the storage closet near the bathroom.
I could feel Ignazio's eyes watching me from behind as I followed my brother.
"Could you stop staring at me?" I whispered harshly. "It's freaking me out."
"Kinda hard not to look at you." He replied slyly.
This is one of the things I didn't like about Ignazio. He was the biggest flirt known to man. If you have boobs, small or big, and an ass, he'll flirt with you like there's no tomorrow. That guy has no limits. It makes me wonder how he and Ren became friends in the first place. I just don't understand how my brother tolerates his attitude on a daily basis.
My brother opened the closet to reveal its contents, and there were a lot of things in there that I didn't expect.
It was filled to the brim with weapons of all sorts. Guns, swords, you name it.
Why was this all in here? I know Ignazio's dad owns an arms-dealing company, but I didn't think their house would be one of their "storage facilities."
Before I could even touch one of the displayed guns, I heard a noise come from outside. It sounded like a gunshot, but I wasn't exactly sure.
My suspicions were confirmed when I heard someone yell after the gunshot. Ignazio grabbed what seemed to be a standard Glock 22 from one of the cases in the closet and approached the window near his door carefully. He moved the blinds slightly to get a good view of the outside.
"What's going on out there?" Ren asked, lowering his voice.
Ignazio slowly turned his head towards us, a look of both dread and fear coloring his features.
bokken - Japanese wooden sword
bō - Japanese wooden staff
Hi there! This is my first story. It's a bit short, but I promise I'll make the future chapters a bit longer. I will take criticism of any sort and as a reminder, English is my third language, so my grammar and spelling will not always be perfect.
Anyway, please favorite, share, or comment on the story! It'd really help me a lot :D Have a good one!