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Zombie Apocalypse Fiction – Ruth’s Story #76 Stopped for the day along highway 9, random thoughts, and status of the world SHTF & TEOTWAWKI

February 22, 2013

Shack, after he gives me some breathing space, details the day’s events. He starts off by telling me about how the Scouts found way too many Canadian geese on the grass in a nearby playground. Quickly dispatching the scavengers with a couple of the .22 suppressed rimfire weapons and plenty of ammo, the convoy hoped to harvest quite a few of the geese.

All of the convoy’s rimfire weaponry, with the exception of two revolvers and the sole model #41 pistol, wear improvised suppressors. These improvised suppressors are either an automotive oil filter and PVC or just a straight PVC contraption. Before I joined the convoy, Mal and some of the other engineers found a few old paperback books in some poor prepper’s looted, fire gutted house.

The cheaply printed, thin, black and white books describe in detail how to make improvised suppressors using PVC piping, various PVC plumbing fixtures and one or more automotive oil filters. The improvised suppressors are then fitted on several different semi-auto .22 rimfire weapons, shotguns, and even the ever pervasive 1911.

Surprising is the fact that the little books survived. Books are getting scarce, and useful ones, especially about something as unusual as improvised suppressors, are becoming exceedingly rare. The little books are something that would be in the “good shit to know in case of a zombie apocalypse” category. Every looted prepper’s house we have seen obviously had, at one time, contained a large collection of printed books.

Far too many people trusted all of their useful knowledge on computers, or other digital format. Computers and digital formats are adequate until you are in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, your batteries have died, and there is no longer an infrastructure providing utilities. Knowing which plants are edible, emergency field medicine, and yes even, how to make improvised suppressors, since the damned zombies are attracted to noise, comes in handy.

Our hodgepodge collection of rimfire weapons allows the convoy enough variety so that the shooter can select the best weapon for the task at hand. There are quite a few of the ubiquitous Ruger Mark One, Two and Three .22 rimfire pistols most of which have been issued to the Scouts. A lonely blue Smith and Wesson Model 41 .22 rimfire pistol was claimed by Sam. We have only two rimfire revolvers, the first a 10 round Smith and Wesson model 617 with a four-inch barrel.

Someone put some serious money into the little terribly expensive model 617 as it has the proverbial glass rod trigger that breaks in single action at some stupid ultimately light trigger pull weight. Double action is probably in the three-pound region, but the trigger is still silky smooth. Perhaps the only area I feel that a revolver can beat any other pistol is in the smoothness and crispness of its trigger pull.

Auto pistols, by their sheer nature, usually have horrid triggers that are hard to pull or creepy. My little Hi-Power’s trigger was massaged by an expert gunsmith. I suspect an equally skilled gunsmith worked over the 617’s trigger. No factory would release a pistol with that light, and smooth of a trigger pull as all of the gun manufacturers were all extremely leery of getting sued, hence the term “lawyer’s trigger.” Revolvers are capable of having a super smooth trigger, and the 617 proves that with its trigger.

The damn 617 is the most expensive rimfire pistol we have in the armory with the model 41 coming in a close second. Of course, cost now is totally irrelevant. It is a shame that we cannot suppress either the 617 or the model 41. Doc Jamal claimed the heavy 617, although I noticed that Terrance carries it most of the time.

The second rimfire revolver is a nine shot stainless steel Ruger Single Nine. The little stainless single action Ruger pistol is chambered in .22 rimfire magnum and holds nine rounds as its name suggests. The convoy does not possess a whole lot of the .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire ammunition. The little stainless single action pistol even with a six and a half-inch barrel is awful loud.

I did like the red fiber optic front sight on the Single Nine. The stock Ruger wooden grips are too thick for my hands. I liked the heft of the gun, but I do not care for single action revolvers. I hate having to unload each cylinder one at a time. The Ruger Single Nine’s trigger is a horrid “lawyer’s trigger” that no self-respecting gunsmith would let out of his shop, so I suspect it is factory stock.

The .22 WMR has proven an effective zombie killer with frontal, head shots at about 20 feet. We have some of the newer pointy red polymer tipped 33 grain .22 WMR ammo, which has been, an inconsistent performer on zombies. Some of the polymer tipped rounds will either deflect off of the cranium or slide under the skin along the skull, not penetrating.

Close range head shots using rimfire ammo have proven quite effective, but I rather would have a larger calibre (I prefer the proper British spelling) weapon though. I certainly would not use a revolver if I had a choice. Of course, being picky now about your weapon might become something of the past as ammo becomes scarce. I may end up using a revolver, just because of what ammo we might be able to locate for it.

Nikola appears to like revolvers somewhat, but only in particular circumstances. When he uses a revolver, most of the time, it is his old, suppressed M1895 Nagant wearing a Russian 9mm Pistolet Besshumnyy (PB) suppressor. Spetsnaz are not known for using revolvers, most prefer a more modern, faster shooting suppressed pistol like the Stechkin Avtomaticheskiy Pistolet Besshumnyy (APB). I know that Nikola has at least two of the APB pistols; one each, chambered in 9x18mm Makarov and the other in 9x19mm Parabellum.

The crazy Russians when they crash landed their fucking ginormous Antonov An-225 Mriya had the damned thing packed to the gills with any kind of weapon and ammo they could grab. Inside the gargantuan aircraft were 100s of thousands of rounds sealed in tin “spam” cans. Nikola says that they have several tens of thousands of rounds of the unique but corrosive 7.62 Nagant revolver ammo.

I still have never quite cared for revolvers. We do have a few of the newer .17 calibre weapons, but none in a revolver. The ammo supply is not as prodigious for the .17 calibre weapons. Our collection of .17 calibre rifles includes a lonely Savage and a Ruger bolt-action rifle. I am not that familiar with the Savage .17 HMR rifle but the other rifle I recognize as a stainless Ruger 77/22.

Before the convoy got a hold of it, someone had the little Ruger rifle custom converted to fire .17 Hornady Mach 2, a round that I am also thoroughly unfamiliar with. From what I understand, the .17 HM2 is the old .22 Stinger necked down to .17 calibre. The little .17 HM2 round has been an inconsistent performer on zombies. Sometimes the little round deflects off of the zombie’s head or does not penetrate enough for an immediate kill.

Although the little Ruger rifle handles well and is a dream to shoot, but I dislike having to get so close to a zombie to ensure the little bullet kills the zombie. A shot through an eyeball at a slight upward angle from the Ruger 77/22 kills a zombie with fair regularity. Shooting upwards through the gaping, bloody, open mouth of a zombie is another shot that produces a kill fairly regularly with the little .17 HM2.

The Ruger 77/22 is quite popular in Israel and Lebanon with farmers and livestock owners. My father’s eldest brother, uncle Hasim had a hoary blue and rust Ruger 77/22 that he would use to shoot pests. When I visited my uncle during the summer, in the cool evenings, we would often sip tea while shooting pests out of the olive groves surrounding his house in the hills of Bint Jbeil.

I enjoyed those long ago evenings with my old uncle, a scarred veteran of the Lebanese Civil War. Visiting my cousins in the summer, I had to dress as a young Arab girl. I never had a problem posing as either a Jew or an Arab. My father and uncle spoke French, Arabic and English within the Lebanese side of the family. My father’s side of the family was all well-educated and although not wealthy, the family lived well. Uncle Hasim and his family preferred to speak English and French at home.

Uncle Hasim kept his little 77/22 rifle handy by the door, shooting rodents and the occasional feral pig that wandered into his olive groves. He liked the little Ruger rifle because it was quieter than his AK, and just as easy to get ammo. I wonder what my uncle would have thought of the little .17 calibre rounds. Our other odd ball .17 calibre weapon is another round and gun that I am unfamiliar with. A lonely little CZ 527 bolt-action carbine some outfit named Match Grade Machine converted to fire .17 Ackley Hornet.

The little French gray coated CZ 527 has a 20 inch fluted barrel and wears a black Tactical Solutions Axiom suppressor. Not sure where these guys found the little CZ carbine, but someone put some serious money into it. It is a shame for someone to have lost the rifle and another shame that we only have 250 rounds left of the unique ammo. Not a factory caliber, the .17 Ackley Hornet is a wild cat derivative of an old production round, the .22 Hornet, so when the ammo is gone, the rifle is useless.

The hotter .17 calibre center fire and a few of the largest rimfires do a decent job of killing zombies. I have watched a few of the lads with the Savage bolt-action .17 HMR rifle pop zombies at 150 yards. The little CZ 527 carbine shooting Berger 20 grain molly coated hollow point bullets (according to the hand written label) has been used to pop zombies out to 250 yards. Only problem with the hot little .17s is, they are loud as hell and even harder to suppress than the more common and slower .22 rimfire.

The shot of the little rifle can be suppressed quite well, but the supersonic crack of the little .17 calibre round screaming through the sound barrier attracts zombies just like any other loud noise. Same problem we have on some of the other high velocity weapons. We can suppress the shot of the weapon, but the supersonic crack of the bullet is far too loud.

We are running out of what little subsonic .22 long rifle rimfire ammo that the convoy had acquired somewhere. There  are only a few thousand of the little green Remington subsonic ammunition, and they have been carefully hoarded. As we are leaving our tent, Shack informs me that the convoy scavengers were armed with a couple hundred of the subsonic Remington .22 long rifle ammo when they were sent after the geese.

The scavengers blew the geese right off of the grass, most shot with a single round. They were able to shoot most of the geese before the few survivors flew off. I am not sure what the cooks are going to do with the two dozen or so large geese, but at least we have some form of protein that does not come in a brown plastic MRE baggie. Fresh meat has been scarce.

I shudder as I remember the other day that someone shot a rather large male raccoon. An attempt was made to cook the disgusting thing which looked far too much like a fat, skinned, small dog for me to stomach. For some reason, the raccoon was utterly disgusting; most who were brave enough to try it said that it tasted like rotting fish or unwholesome meat. Even liberally doused in ketchup, BBQ sauce and/or Tabasco, the raccoon was unpalatable.

The raccoon had a thick layer of greasy yellow fat, which when rendered was so noxious it had the Princess on all four barking at the earthworms. It does not take much lately to cause the Princess to toss her cookies; she could not stomach the smell of the raccoon fat to make soap. The poor cooked raccoon was tossed into the latrine with little fanfare. I fervently hope that the geese are not the fiasco that the raccoon was.

Canadian geese are quite large. I remember seeing large flocks of them in the parks, in D.C., but what I remember the most is the lumps of their green shit everywhere. I remember someone once mentioned that each Canadian goose produced a pound of poop per day. It certainly seemed that way with their green shit all over the parks.

I have never eaten a goose, so I do not know how it is supposed to taste. At least they will not be full of little bits of shotgun shot. Shack informs me that hunting and fishing have been thoroughly nonproductive. It is too early in the season for any berries, and with the cold there might not be any berries or fruit this year at all.

What little flowers there were had been killed by the frequent frosts, and freezing temps. The flowers on the black berry bushes which Sam calls the kudzu of the Pacific Northwest has shriveled and died. Everywhere it is cold and damp. We have not seen the sun in more than five days. Everyone has taken on a pale pallor, even those of us with darker skin, have noticed the change. A constant gray haze hangs over everything, the smell of smoke hangs in the air constantly.

The mention of cold and fire sends Shack off on a tangent about fire wood and the utter lack of dry suitable fuel. While Shack was describing how some of the Scouts crafted fire-hardened wooden spears, he also mentions that they have taken to carrying some of the .22 rimfire semiautomatic pistols fitted with PVC improvised suppressors.

Up close the .22 rimfire can be effective at stopping a zombie if you can hit them in the head and use several rounds to confirm a kill. Still not something I would do unless I was in an absolute safe spot that the zombie could not reach me should I fail to kill it. We have tens of thousands of rounds of .22 rimfire ammo, so burning a little is no problem.

Shack explains to me how the Scouts have been riding circles around lone zombies, one (or more) of the Scouts playing distraction (i.e. – bait) while another Scout rides up close behind the zombie and shoots it at the base of the skull with three or more rounds. Effective yes, but also dangerous as all hell. Shack also nonchalantly informs me that about half of the Scout’s motorbikes are out of fuel.

The empty motorcycles are now parked on one of the flat-bed HEMTTs. There was some discussion earlier today about abandoning the motorbikes, but there is some hope of soon locating more gasoline. At the rate the convoy is burning gasoline, it will not be too long before all of the vehicles are out of gas. I still do not like the idea of kids on bicycles.

Fucking kids on bicycles again playing tag with a blood thirsty cannibalistic zombie. While adjusting my boot laces after retying them, Shack mentions that our Scouts are not the only ones who are on a bicycle. While the night shift slept, a survivor group, all on recumbent bikes rode into our camp. What the fuck! I tried to interrupt him, but he cut me off telling me that all my questions will be answered in the mess/command tent.

While Shack and I are walking from the latrine to the mess/command tent, we take a moment to step into the shadows and have a toe curling, thigh moistening good snog. It has been a long time since I just made out with someone. It has been fun teaching Shack. He is a fast learner, listens well and is willing to take advice in bed, a rare trait that I have not found often in men.

We have not yet had a chance to pop his cherry, but that day is coming. The tension and the buildup between Shack and I have been pleasant. I have not been in that fuzzy new relationship period with someone in a few years. While I have had more male lovers than female, my longest lasting relationships have all been with women. Shack will be my youngest lover ever and my first male virgin.

After our enthusiastic but brief snogging session, while walking a little slower than necessary to the mess/command tent holding hands, Shack tells me about that day’s radio traffic. Regular twice weekly broadcasts by the Vice President’s camp occur each Wednesday; once at noon Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and repeated again at midnight GMT.

That week’s broadcast we learned that the first cases of KCAP within the US occurred around significant municipal airports in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, San Diego, SeaTac and Washington, D.C.. Cities with a population of about 500,000 were wiped out after about four days[1]. We also learned that once KCAP broke out of Asia, it took seven to ten days to wipe out all but approximately 10 –15% of the world’s population.

At first aggressive quarantine was partially successful at halting the spread of the KCAP virus. The Chinese did a damn good job of keeping it contained for a while. Thankfully, KCAP got loose at first within a very remote, sparsely populated area. As the world later learned, so far the only proven cure for the KCAP virus is something that thoroughly destroys the brain. No matter if it is a bullet, a crow bar, or a cricket bat; as long as the brain is destroyed it halts the spread of the virus. The only sure way to halt the spread of KCAP is to hit hard and hit often[2].

The VP’s camp has also been broadcasting medical information about the KCAP virus; most of it is way past my understanding. The medical stuff comes with little warning and often comes in large blocks of time some as long as an hour or more. Broadcast in a droning nasally voice with a definite New England accent, the medical information, quickly becomes a snooze fest for most people after about ten minutes.

Part of the VP’s broadcast from yesterday, also included information concerning a few theories on how KCAP is able to cross the blood-brain barrier into the central nervous system. Once into the brain, KCAP starts attacking the oligodendroglia, breaking them down and creating new connections. I had to ask Doc what the hell oligodendroglia cells were.

According to Shack, Doc Jamal knew what oligodendroglia was and gave him a quick explanation. Doc had done a lot of work with neurologists attempting to reconnect or repair optic nerves. It was always Doc’s hope that someday he could cure blindness or restore someone’s vision. Doc has a firm understanding of the importance of the oligodendroglia.

Doc is still baffled though by the ability of the KCAP virus to jump the blood-brain barrier. The fact that KCAP has been verified as a virus rather than a bacterium, according to Doc, allows us to make some general assumptions. The KCAP virus cannot reproduce by itself, despite the fact that it has bacterial-like properties, which might explain some of the desire of the infected to bite, transmitting the virus.

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Over a year later, I am sitting, in the Bunker deep underground, endeavoring to organize my journal notes and combine them in some coherent manner. I remember that week’s broadcast was the first time that we heard of the possibility that the KCAP virus might be a mutated Chinese bio weapon that got loose. Possibly a descendant of Soviet Cold War era bio weapons, the KCAP virus, has some aspects of a retrovirus and is a self-evidently man-made virus.

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With the tenacity and strength of a retrovirus, KCAP has been a medical nightmare. DNA strains of rabies[3], measles, encephalitis, Spanish influenza of 1918, swine flu (H1N1), bird flu (H9N2), Ebola, Yersinia pestis (formerly Pasteurella pestis or Black Plague), smallpox, foot and mouth disease (FMD), and mad cow disease have all been isolated from samples of KCAP infected brain cells.

In KCAP the presence of DNA samples of mad cow disease, properly known as Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle and Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease, in people, has been a mystery that was baffling, as well. How the hell did, the fucking mad scientist, get all this shit to blend together is a real mystery. The KCAP virus is a real witch’s brew that some fucking insane son of a bitch cooked up in a lab.

Another one of the baffling finds within the KCAP virus was genetic material from the Toxoplasma Gondii (Toxo) virus which usually only affects cats and mice. KCAP, despite having a thick and hardy viral envelope, also has some of the tendencies of a norovirus. KCAP has increased resistance to chlorine-based disinfectants, alcohols and detergents.

Another surprising scientific find in KCAP was DNA material and trait characteristics of Trichinella spiralis. According to the radio broadcaster, the current version of the KCAP virus had to have been made sometime after 2011. March 2011 is when the T. spiralis draft genome became available by DNA methylation. KCAP has T. spiralis’ ability to enter the blood stream, lymphatic system and is able to encyst itself in the muscles and brain tissue of the host.

Encysted KCAP in the muscles of an infected person remain until the person is either eaten or dies from KCAP infection. Susceptible animals and humans infected with KCAP, that die are reanimated by the KCAP virus. If an infected person is eaten, the KCAP cysts in the meat burst open in the eater’s stomach, triggered by stomach acid, infecting the person with KCAP.

Interestingly enough, a person that eats KCAP tainted meat does not become a zombie quite as quickly as someone who was bitten by a KCAP zombie. KCAP, consumed through infected meat, takes longer to metastasize in the body than if someone were bitten. The KCAP virus acts much like the T. spiralis viral animal forming cysts in the muscles.

At some point, hastened if the infected person continues to eat KCAP infected meat, the virus reaches critical mass and kills the host. How long for the KCAP virus to reach critical mass is open to conjecture. When everything went to shit, no one knew how the virus acted in the cannibals. Called “supes” or “super Zs” by the troops, the zombie cannibals, were identified back east, in the Druid Hills and at Emory University, GA. With the speed and strength of an elder KCAP cannibal, the super KCAP zombies are a terror.

The super Zs have been, thankfully, exceptionally rare. Only a few super Zs are known to have existed. When the CDC main HQ in the Druid Hills was overrun with zombies, there were two super Zs identified within the facility. One of the super Zs, patient #ZED2443, was known to have escaped. The other super Z, patient #ZED54431 was believed to have been incinerated along with the CDC HQ by BLU-82 “daisy cutters” and GBU-43B “MOABs” dropped by planes from Robbins and Moody Air Force Bases.

No super Zs have been identified yet on the western seaboard. No one knows how long the cannibals can survive with the KCAP virus it could be years or months. The KCAP virus has proven to be not particularly adaptable, and despite its bastard hybridized heredity, still is susceptible to heat and oxygen.

Unrelated virus strains do not hybridize naturally in nature. A highly improbable genetic tweak reduced the incubation time of KCAP dramatically. KCAP infection can happen in as little as five minutes depending upon the infection site. Should someone become infected in the neck region (e.g. – bitten on the neck), KCAP infection can happen within mere seconds.

Transmission has always occurred by the immediate exchange of bodily fluids just like Ebola. KCAP appears to require an extraordinarily narrow avenue to spread requiring a wet, oxygen free environment. Viruses cannot share genetic information. Viruses assemble genetic parts but do not mix and match from different viral families. KCAP changed those rules. Before KCAP,  it was utterly scientifically unknown for two radically different viruses such as rabies and influenza to swap traits.

Last theory I heard, before the VP’s weekly broadcasts ceased altogether, was that the brain control function of the Toxo virus was blended, with a whole lot of other shit, to make a mind altering, rage inducing, mind controlling super virus. This virus was engineered to make the infected person super aggressive, highly contagious and to seek out others whom they can infect. The KCAP virus has the same annoying tendency of Toxo to ride and hijack white blood cells.

The KCAP virus not only hitches a ride on the white blood cells, it also turns them into chemical factories, churning out more KCAP cells. The presence of Toxo causes a problem because the pregnant cannibals are able to carry to term. Normally Toxo causes a pregnant woman to either miscarry or her child may be born with birth defects.

I remember from later VP broadcasts, we learned that the early studies of captive KCAP cannibals showed all the traits of myostatin-related muscle hypertrophy. How the KCAP virus acts so differently, is a mystery. I would actually like to meet the seriously fucked up person who created the KCAP virus.

From the VP’s last broadcast, it did not sound as if KCAP had gone airborne yet. All KCAP needs to do is go airborne to fuck things up even more, if that is even possible. It already has the rage effect of rabies, and if KCAP is indeed mutated with several strains of influenza than it already has the building blocks needed to mutate into an airborne strain.

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Coming back to the present for a moment again, I am sitting at our office table in the Bunker. I am surrounded by the rumbled, stained scraps of my Journal written on any piece of paper I could scrounge up. I cogitate back upon those dark, early days of the KCAP pandemic.

Lately, I have been attempting to collect all of my Journal notes into a cohesive collection. It has been rather more problematic than I expected. Iain has been extremely supportive of my trip down a rather unpleasant memory lane. I pick up my forgotten cup of cold coffee, cross my legs and sit back in my chair thinking of the past.

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I remember that week’s VP broadcast was the first time that I also heard of the SIR (Susceptible Infective Removed) epidemic model by Kermack and McKendrick (1927). Some other epidemic models were discussed in other transmissions later. I was not sure of their worth and how it would help develop a cure or vaccine.

So far there have been no recovered subjects (assumed permanently immune), only those infected who were removed by permanent death, the only cure for KCAP. That week’s broadcast was also the first time that I also heard the R0 value of KCAP placed at 100. R0 is interpreted as the number of secondary infectious individuals generated by a “typical” infectious individual when introduced into a fully susceptible population[4].

For comparison, the R0 factor for Diphtheria, spread by saliva is 6 – 7. Based on studies from the Center for Nonlinear Studies, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos NM (before they were overrun) KCAP appeared almost intelligent, according to the VP’s broadcaster. The KCAP virus drives the infected to attack other, non-infected persons in order to spread the virus.

Generally when someone gets sick, they stay at home drinking hot chicken noodle soup, scarfing saltine crackers while watching shitty day time TV. For some reason which is not fully understood yet, the KCAP virus drives the infected out of their homes. Early containment policies asking people to remain in their homes failed.

Those early attempts were predicated on experiences from earlier epidemics. No one had any experience with a zombie apocalypse because, despite all of the popular fiction and movies, there had never been a true zombie apocalypse. Those early containment efforts failed in part was because as soon as people were either dead (because they were kay-capped) or infected, they got the munchies and decided to go looking for a snack.

Not only people were attacked by the ravenous infected – dogs, cats, cows, horses and other domesticated animals were slaughtered, as well. So far only swine, primates and humans are still only creatures that are susceptible to the KCAP virus. I have wondered for a while now how long it would be before the KCAP virus mutated again, into birds or an airborne strain.

So far the KCAP virus has not mutated at all which is odd I have been told repeatedly, and not just by Iain who certainly would know. A theory proposed once in one of the later VP broadcasts mentioned that since the KCAP virus included parts of the bacterium Y. pestis it might not mutate at all. Samples taken from plague victims buried in Europe disclosed that the Y. pestis virus had not mutated in over 660 years[5].

The proposed theory, which I only heard once, was that the creator of the KCAP virus “locked” the virus preventing it from mutating further. Later VP broadcasts also revealed that the KCAP virus as having a lot of the properties of a bacteriophage and is able to infect common bacteria.

The KCAP virus spread like wildfire, so it did not take long to create large colonies of infected. The hungry infected and dead gathered in two distinct groups. KCAP zombies will attack and kill the occasional lone KCAP cannibal but for the most part the two groups coexist peacefully. The cannibals took over large structures like parking garages, tunnels, bus barns and large retail centers.

The KCAP zombies wander in vast hordes, absorbing more zombies as they pass through areas. The massive zombie hordes appear to have no definitive leader. The zombies shamble about following lights, sounds and chasing any movement they happened to notice. Somehow the zombies recognize each other and merge into a fragmented, shambling mass.

A few of those early zombie hordes were reportedly able to be seen from the International Space Station. One of the astronauts permanently stuck on the space station was a Russian hero of the state. Concerned for his countryman, Nikola attempted several times to reach the space station on the radio.

Some of the VP’s earlier broadcasts had mentioned that the space station had spotted several nuclear explosions. You would think that the poor bastards stuck up there would have a front row seat watching the human race die. For a while, it was hoped that perhaps the space station personnel might have kept a tally of how many nukes they had seen.

From some of the VP’s regular broadcasts in those early, dark days we learned that two of the astronauts committed suicide. The Russian cosmonaut took a short spacewalk minus a space suit. I do not recall hearing how the other astronaut, a Japanese man died. Alot of the information passed by the VP’s radio traffic was extremely technical. Most people, I do not believe, understood the ramifications and the value of what the broadcaster was sending.

The KCAP mathematical modeling is mind-numbing boring. However, it does reveal some intriguing possibilities. Despite several promising avenues of intervention against zombies, most ultimately prove futile and just delay the inevitable by a few more days. The best options are complete sequestration and arming oneself to the gills, attacking the zombies often and with extreme prejudice.

The first radio broadcast of medical and scientific information caught the daytime radio crew by surprise. We missed most of the early morning broadcasts. The radio shack day crew grabbed anyone that can scribble quickly on paper what was being transmitted about the KCAP virus. The day crew missed some of the first broadcast. I am not blaming him, but it did not help that Shen was alone on the radio.

Shen’s English is getting much better, but that is conversational English only. The rapid medical and technical English was too fast too soon for Shen to catch. He has done well using translation books, but he is far too slow in this instance when the information might be so valuable. Not sure if the information could be of any use at all, but it did sound as if they are attempting to broadcast information to help anyone that might be attempting a cure or vaccine.

We have been writing the VP’s broadcasted information on any piece of paper we can find. Paper is becoming scarce as a lot of it gets used to start fires. With the cold worsening, fire and warmth are becoming more pressing. Paper burns easily and hot, so a lot of it, is getting burnt. One of the reasons that my journal is written on so many different pieces of paper and in various note books, lined pads, etc. is the sheer lack of and demand for good paper.

Where we are in the soggy Pacific Northwest, finding dry, clean paper has been a challenge lately. Keeping paper away (without shooting anybody) from freezing people who are just sick and tired of being cold and looking to burn anything for warmth they can get their hands on has also been a real challenge. Our scavengers and the Scouts try to find useable paper, but a lot of times they find only the ashes.

Even protecting books has been a real challenge, as well. People see them as an unnecessary bulky weight, and an immediate source of heat. Despite the rational of the information and knowledge contained in those books, desperate people sick and tired of being cold are hard to convince. I fear for the later generations. With all of the books either burnt or destroyed, how are they going to find a cure for KCAP or even create a facility to attempt to find a cure?

I sincerely doubt there is anyone left alive that has either the facilities or the ability to find a cure for the KCAP virus. Remembering back to those dark early days, I recall watching whole collections of encyclopedias, and other large books shredded to use in an all too brief fire. Treating or controlling KCAP is going to be impossible later with the lack of knowledge I fear is out there.

At least we know there are at least a few survivors out there since Shack mentioned another group of survivors. Other survivors must be living in abandoned farmhouses in the country, conspicuously empty shopping centers and the Winchester pub. One problem with the early post-apocalypse scenarios and mathematical modeling was predicated upon the assumption that each attack would be carried out with more force than the previous[6].

At first, in the early days of the KCAP epidemic when supplies were plentiful, it was feasible to increase the intensity of attacks. In the first week or so of the outbreak, when governments and large standing armed forces existed, attack intensity was ramped up significantly. Nukes, MOABs, ATBIPs, Daisy Cutters, napalm and anything else was quickly employed.

At first most nations that possessed ocean harbors welcomed refugee ships and aircraft which turned out to be a monumental mistake. Strict quarantine should have been employed, with all vessels sunk and all aircraft shot down. We know now that strict quarantine might have worked had we done it in time, but at that time, I would have gladly, ignorantly boarded a plane back to Israel.

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Thinking now of Israel, I reflect again back to those early days which reminding me of another shocker we later learned about KCAP from the VP’s broadcasts that shocked Doc to his core and changed Sarah forever. I realize that I have been sitting at the desk for a while in the Bunker holding my cold cup of coffee. My legs are asleep, so I uncross them and stand stretching out the kinks.

Iain and Rachel call to me from the kitchen, God love that man at least he can cook. Rachel is not a terrible cook either. Actually Iain is a magnificent cook, thankfully as I cannot cook for shit. He tells me that supper will be in an hour. Sitting back in the office chair, I lean forward looking over what I have gathered for this entry in my journal. Thinking of food reminds me of that day long ago when Shack and I entered the command/mess tent. I was still with the convoy then, and Iain was off somewhere not yet part of my life.

______________________________________________________________________________

As Shack and I enter the mess hall, joining the dinner queue, I note there are several new faces in the crowd. Sam and Doc are talking with these people, so I assume that they are the bicycle mounted survivors that Shack mentioned. Sam waves us over to their table, so once Shack and I are served, we trot over to their table.

I sit beside a woman wearing a coyote tan combination chest harness and plate carrier. The butt of a black semi auto pistol sticks up on the left side while four AR15 magazine pouches cover the midsection, each pouch holding two magazines. A slim bearded man and another woman possibly slightly older than the woman I am sitting beside comprise the group. I count seven children the eldest a boy perhaps not much younger than Shack.

I note that all of the adults in this group are all carrying AR15 M4 clones, wear identical coyote tan combination chest rigs and plate carriers, and carry either the same or exceedingly similar pistols. The eldest youths, a tall boy and a slender girl, both who look a lot like their parents are armed with Ruger Mini-14s.

I am starving, and I try not to shovel my food in my mouth. Shack, on the other hand, has no such concerns, shoveling his food as fast as he can into his mouth. I am surprised to find myself somewhat embarrassed by Shack’s lack of table manners, but decide to let it be.

Sam makes the introductions which I half listen too as I am starved and trying not to gulp my food down. Unless I misunderstood what Sam said, it sounded as if he said this group was a man, his two wives and their children. What are these survivors Mormon? It would not surprise me that some Mormons might survive a zombie apocalypse.

The Mormon faith in particular was known for stockpiling food, which is not a bad idea zombie apocalypse or not. The group appears to wear near identical plate and chest harness made by an outfit called Infidel Body Armor according to the tag. The fact that this group thought ahead enough to purchase body armor for the adults is interesting as is the fact that they did not choose any head-gear.

This group all either wear a ball cap of some fashion or as in the case of the two women and all the children, go bare-headed.

Although, what I heard next really surprised me.


[1] Smith, Robert. “A Report On The Zombie Outbreak Of 2009: How Mathematics Can Save Us (No, Really).” vol. 181, no. 12 (Dec 8, 2009), p. E297-E300.(n.d.)

[2] “Scholars Put Braaains Together To Thwart Zombies.” (n.d.): Gale: Opposing Viewpoints in Context.

[4] Hastings, Alan. “A Bright Future For Biologists And Mathematicians?.” vol. 299, no. 5615 (Mar 28, 2003), p. 2003-2004.(n.d.)

[5] Callaway, Ewen. “Plague Genome: The Black Death Decoded.” Nature 478.7370 (2011): 444-446. Academic Search Premier.

[6] “Scholars Put Braaains Together To Thwart Zombies.” (n.d.): Gale: Opposing Viewpoints in Context.

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7 Comments
  1. Bagman permalink

    Thanks you!

  2. John Guide permalink

    You’re back! From the “writing in a deep bunker” segment sounds like you’ve got rest of this saga figured out.

    I’m looking forward to the ride.

    • I have a rough outline that I have been following. There have been some major changes in the outline, but I have most of it planned out.

  3. Great to have you back again. I hope the job endeavour will work out. ” All things in good time” And what seems to be the road we choose, is not the road chosen for us. Be well and thanks again. M.M.

  4. I am excited about the way you composed the last chapter. it is very rich in content and fulfilling to read. I am very excited about the upcoming revelation of the KCAP implication with Doc and Sarah, as you said (it changed them to the core). Excellent as usual. Looking forward for the next chapter, but if you are putting your efforts into the potential job, I say go,go,go. We will wait and I wish you well. M.M.

  5. Anonymous permalink

    very nice.

  6. Hey there! I’ve been reading your web site for some time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Huffman Texas! Just wanted to mention keep up the good work!

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