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Fiction – Ruth’s Story Part 11

January 12, 2012

I wake up to darkness. I am unsure what time it is. I am snug and warm underneath my Scottevest jacket. I woke several times with nightmares dreaming about my time in the Sayeret Maglan. When you serve in a war there are some things that will haunt you forever.

Stretching and smacking my chapped lips, I realize my mouth tastes like a camel shit in it last night. I am going to brush my teeth this morning. With no dental care in the likely future it is very important that I take care of my teeth. I remember my lessons about good dental health equating good all over health.

Feeling around for a few seconds I find my trusty Surefire E2L flashlight and turn it on the low setting again. Looking at the door with its taped-over window I see that nothing appears to have found my little refuge.

My breath fogs in the morning air. There is a crusty line of frost around the edge of the jacket where my breath has frozen. Damn it is cold this morning! I am loath to get out from underneath my coat and lose my glorious warm position. However, I have a screaming bladder that is not going to suffer my ignoring it much longer.

For May I am surprised it is so cold. Some of the intelligence briefings I attended tossed around theories about the use of nuclear weapons in large modern cities. Some of those theories compared the debris and fall out from Nagasaki and Hiroshima whose buildings were lightly constructed to a modern city with so much more concrete and heavy fodder for the nuclear explosion to displace.

Supposedly the theory is that nuclear weapons detonated in modern cities have so much more material to burn and displace, that the amount of material tossed in the atmosphere will have a cooling effect on the earth. So far it appears to be true.

The use of several nuclear weapons in the Middle East and Asia in the early days of the KCAP outbreak, must have tossed millions of pounds of material into the atmosphere. Huge clouds of steam and ash were tossed into the sky each time a nuke was used.

Coupled with all the smoke from the fires, because everything seems to be burning, the theory was that all this material would cut the sunlight striking the earth cooling it rapidly. So much for global warming!

Whole city blocks have gone up in flames with no one left to put them out. A couple days ago I watched several blocks of the surrounding area around the airport burn. There are also a couple of planes on the tarmac that are probably still burning.

A week ago (thereabouts) during the first early days of the KCAP outbreak here in the States, there were several attempts to stem the tide by cauterizing whole areas starting with Atlanta. We learned later the Druid Hills CDC facility and Emory University in Atlanta were some of the first facilities to attempt to isolate and treat KCAP.

Something bad happened, and in the blink of an eye there were zombies loose in the Druid Hills, the CDC HQ was overrun, and Emory University was teaching the hungry dead to snack on their living classmates.

That was the start of a declared national emergency. The National Guard was activated by the president in all 50 states. Georgia’s guard had already been activated by the governor nearly a week earlier.

From there it just snowballed on a national level. Martial law was declared, and very quickly everything broke down. There was massive unrest and desertions in the armed forces. Servicemen deserted to care for their families many taking their gear with them.

By the end of the first week Atlanta, the Druid Hills, and the CDC HQ were being carpet bombed by B-52s from the reactivated 306th Strategic Wing at MacDill AFB in Florida.

Taking part in the bombing and strategic isolation of Atlanta was A-10 Warthogs from the ACC (Air Combat Command) East Coast Demonstration Team from Moody AFB in Georgia. Using their A-10 Warthogs armed with AGM-65 Maverick missiles the pilots of the ACC Demo Team demolished the bridges and roads leaving Atlanta.

A-10s and F-16s from Moody AFB also dropped laser guided bombs on roads and bridges attempting to stem the dead tide. The A-10s, F-16s and B-52s also dropped antipersonnel and incendiary CBU-87 CEM (Combined Effects Munitions) and BLU-97B CEB (Combined Effects Bomb) cluster bombs setting most of Atlanta ablaze.

Several poor souls attempting to flee Atlanta in vehicles were shredded by 30mm GAU-8 Avenger cannon fire mounted in the nose of the A-10s. Many people still fled Atlanta on foot.

When the carpet bombing did not slow the infection rate of KCAP, both Robins and Moody AFBs in Georgia launched a variety of aircraft armed with BLU-82 “daisy cutters” and GBU-43B MOABs (Mother of all Bombs) striking the remnants of Atlanta, Druid Hills and the CDC HQ.

America did not have as many desertions as other countries like China whose army was mostly conscripts. It was not until later that we learned Chinese and Russian troops had been fighting zombie KCAP victims for more than a week.

Because KCAP first reported outbreak was in a very remote area near the Aral Sea and Lake Balkhash, its initial spread was slow. The Russian, Chinese, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan armies did a decent job of handling the initial outbreak.

Russia resorted to nuclear weapons when old Cold War era, ex-Soviet satellites revealed great hordes of undead in the Aral Sea and Lake Balkhash areas. China had already nuked the Yarkant River area several times.

However they made a critical mistake. Attempting to wipe out the undead hordes, many of which were now highly radioactive, Russian engineers dynamited several of the dams that once held back water from entering the Aral Sea.

This was followed by Russian, Chinese, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan engineers dynamiting the dams that held water from Lake Balkhash.

These sudden floods of water did eradicate several million zombies. However a lot of the zombies merely walked under the water. Far too many zombies survived their immersion which spread the infection faster and farther.

Memories still haunt me as my bladder reminds me that it needs attention. Slipping my arms into the coat and wearing it backwards I stand on my makeshift bed. The cold chill hits my back immediately.

Standing I switch the coat to wear it properly and retrieve my field latrine. God it smells awful when I crack the lid! But I feel immensely better after my whore’s bath and a decent meal yesterday. Emptying my bladder feels wonderful, and I consider my diminishing supply of TP.

Putting my improvised field latrine away, I zip the huge Scottevest coat up tightly. I am thankful for its warmth. My Hi-Power rides in the right front cargo pocket. Just the butt sticks out a little but I can access my pistol fine but I will not win any quick draw contests.

Setting up my little Jet Boil Flash stove to boil water I decide I am tired of crouching on the floor. I move the stove and its pot on top of the counter. My back is a bit sore and I am tired of stooping over.

While putting away my roll of good ol’-el-cheapo TP, I grab one of my water bottles from my rolling carryon. I can see an orange haze starting on the front windows of the room, so I am guessing that the sun is starting to rise.

Filling the Flash and waiting for it to boil I check my rations hoard. I ate one of the Mountain House country chicken with gravy dinners yesterday. I find one of the dessert bags a raspberry crumble. Sounds like a decent breakfast although raspberry are not my particular favorite. Bag says contains four servings of a premium raspberry sauce topped with chocolate cookie crumbs.

I realize that I do not have to use hot water on this dessert meal so I shut off the Jet Boil stove to save fuel. I let it cool while I eat.

After eating the whole bag of decent cold raspberry crumble, I feel pretty good. I toss the empty bag on the floor with the other discarded items. I will clean up in a little bit. First order of business – defuzz my teeth!

I quickly find my toiletry kit and armed with toothbrush and my favorite Crest toothpaste attack my teeth with a vengeance. I even give my tongue a good lashing. Oh much better that does a world of good. Only problem where to spit? Ah, the plastic bag from breakfast – problem solved. Should have thought of that before I tossed it on the floor.

Grabbing the so-untactical red Kelty backpack, I repack it after pouring the water from the Flash back into the water bottle and sealing it tightly. I empty my rolling carry on in to the backpack.

I decide to leave my Italian high heels here, as they are totally unpractical. Repacking all the food, the fuel and the stove in the pack takes a little time. I debate keeping my rolling carryon, but decide it makes too much noise and I need to travel fast and light as I can.

Abandoning my now empty Pelican cases hurts. I have had them since I came to the States but they are way too heavy to carry and keep with me. The Beretta 92FS and its magazines gets stuffed in the pack as well as the Frogg Toggs. Trade material for later.

My deadly Swiss beauty B&T MP9 gets tucked in the left large front cargo pocket of my Scottevest jacket. While I make sure the machinegun is secure I do not bother to load it even though it is suppressed. Its rate of fire would eat all my precious 9mm ammo.

My Glock field knife gets strapped on my right hip, and what I kept from Williams gets stuffed in the pack. I might be able to trade the monster flashlight and batteries later. My POF AR15 gets the (who cares) illegal four-position fire control group. A sticker applied reminds me of the four positions and the old fire control group goes in the pack.

The AR15 dressed with its suppressor gets tied to the side of the pack. It is fortunate this pack has plenty of compression straps.

My Cold Steel shovel gets tied to the back of the pack. AR15 magazines are stuffed into the pack as is everything else. The shemagh and my hijab used last night have dried so they get stuffed in the pack as well.

Total weight of the pack is not bad although it is a little long for me. It takes me some time to move the straps and adjust the internal pack frame to fit my much smaller back and hips. The padded hip belt is nice and wide and the shoulder straps are wide and padded as well.

As I was working I did not notice that it has warmed up significantly. I am sweating in this coat. Taking the coat off I lay it over the pack which is laying on the counter, nearly ready to go.

Grabbing the garbage from last night, and my nasty clothes, I stuff them in my rolling carryon. I tuck my carryon in the luggage rack like any other piece of abandoned luggage. I also replace my unlocked and empty Pelican cases back in the racks. I toss the keys to the secret compartments inside the large Pelican case for the next person.

I need to dispose of my makeshift mattress, and I might want to search this room a little bit more. Right now I decide that my Cold Steel shovel is a better zombie skull basher than the fire axe although it served me well.

Slipping my Hi-Power through my belt with a full magazine loaded and a full magazine in my right pocket, I unsheathe my Cold Steel special forces shovel. Never thought a gag gift would be something I would depend on.

I consider having a cigarette but decide I will save it for a treat later. Just in case though, I make sure my lighter and my cigarettes are in my shirt pocket. In my other shirt pocket I put the Surefire E2L flashlight that I have now switched off. There is enough ambient light that I can see fine without the flashlight.

As I step to the door, I realize that when I have the pack on I will not be able to have my hair down my back. I will need my hair pins. I put my hair pins in their hard case in one of the side pockets of the pack. Thankfully I am used to putting my hair in a bun without a mirror.

Wrapping my hair in a bun secured by my lethal hair pins takes a few minutes but it feels alright. Making sure my braided pony tail is tucked up tightly, time to do a little scouting.

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