November 13, 2011

Safe Haven - Ben (NaNoWriMo update #5)

[...Posted by Ted H]

Halfway home, suckas! And two days ahead of schedule, which is good, cuz Saints Row the Third is comming out Tuesday, meaning I'm gonna lose a ton of writing time to that...

......And this part was a blast to write, but then it got wierd at the end, and I figured that was good cuz it points out just how much of a freak "The Doctor" was. I recently wrote another part with him and he gets even more twisted in a really creepy way. Needless to say, I cant wait to kill that guy off...hes making ME feel uncomfortable, and Im the author...

Current status of my 2011 NaNoWriMo: 25,287 / 50,000 (24,713 words to go!)
Current pace has me writing my 50,000th word on: November 25th

Keep pace with me or join me if youre doing it too:


[Safe Haven - Ben]

Ben’s head hurt, but he had far bigger concerns at the moment. Thomas, one of the Three Kings was standing right behind him. He spent the last few hours making sporadic calls over the radio for Bell to check in. After a while other ResEs were radioing back for him to shut up, then they would taunt him. Things like “Shut the hell up, you crippled fuck!” and “He’s obviously dead, Janky, you dumb shit!” after the hundredth such comment, Thomas felt the need to interject. The ResEs may get their jollies from cutting Ben down, but when the boss man bitches for you to shut up, you do as he says.

Ben’s life wasn’t always so fucking amazing. He had a good life once. A great job, a hot girlfriend, a fast car, a nice house and ample savings in the bank. Then the zombies apocalypse hit and everything went down the drain. Money no longer meant a thing, his job no longer existed and he had to abandon his house in favor of survival and his car got totaled during the journey to Safe Haven. As grim as things had been, he still made it to the city in one piece and he still had the hot girlfriend.

But even his relative happiness wouldn’t last as Safe Haven was anything but safe in those early days. A zombie found its way in and infected his girlfriend. When it became clear she was dying of her infection, Ben made a run with her for the Hub where he believed he would find help. He heard that one of the leaders of the city was referred to as “The Doctor” so if anyone could help him now, it was that guy.

By time Ben reached the Hub though, ResEs noticed the infection and shot the girlfriend in the back. Ben prevented the ResE from finishing her off though, allowing her to die and resurrect without interference. After rising, she bit Ben in the right ankle before someone got around to putting her out of her misery. The pain was excruciating and he was unable to walk, let alone run away, not that he wanted to anymore. At this point, everything had been taken away from him; the money, the house, the car, the girl, and now his own life was being taken from him.

That wasn’t the case this time for Ben. Instead of being shot dead on the spot, he was dragging into the Hub where he was to be used as a subject for testing to find a cure for the infection. “The Doctor” he was so desperate to reach was the one leading these experiments that usually killed its subjects, and left the survivors wishing they had died.

They amputated Ben’s leg up to the knee to see if that would stop the infection. It didn’t. They tried constant blood transfusions to no avail. They tried backroom mixtures of chemotherapy which put Ben through terrible pains, but did nothing to stop the infection. Time was running out for Ben when the scientists managed to come up with an eleventh hour admixture that seemed to halt the infection.

Ben’s life was saved but the chemicals nauseated him on a regular basis. He was kept on the medication to see if would eliminate the infection. It didn’t. They would take him off the meds to see if the infection would continue. It did. Ben was now faced with his new reality: take regular injections of these horrible chemicals that caused him nausea and pain (on top of the constant phantom pain from his leg) and if he misses a single dose, it will kill him.

Ben thought he lost everything when he was bitten, but Safe Haven proved him wrong. He was now robbed of his health and well being, and they were now going to take away his humanity. The drugs saved him from becoming a zombie, but one day the scientists marched in and wanted Ben to be one for the sake of their experiments. They brought with them a young woman and tied her down. They then instructed Ben to bite her, anywhere, so long as it breaks the skin. They wanted to see if Ben was capable of infecting others.

Ben refused but they said he had no choice. Ben continued to refuse so they locked the two of them in the room alone until Ben accomplished his given task. A day passed and Ben continued to refuse, instead choosing to converse with the girl and reassuring her that he had no intention on hurting her. The scientists grew tired of waiting and amputated the girls legs right in front of him. They told him that they would continue to hurt her unless he simply bite her for the sake of the experiment. Ben argued that there were other, more humane ways to see if he was infectious but they demanded a practical simulation, then they cut off one of her fingers as incentive.

Ben continued to refuse and the scientists cut off the girls entire left hand. At this point she pleaded with Ben to just bite her so she wouldn’t have to suffer anymore. Ben reluctantly decided to give in and took her arm and bit down into it. He knew he wasn’t biting hard enough but if he didn’t bite sufficiently enough, they would just hurt her more anyway. Ben screamed through his teeth as the girl cried in pain. He twisted and pulled until he tasted blood, then immediately let go and backed away.

He left a bloody imprint of his teeth on the girls arm. He didn’t quite take a chunk out of her arm like the scientists were hoping, but they were satisfied with what they already had. Then they escorted her away and Ben never saw her again. He was later notified that he not only was he still infected, but he also was a carrier and could infect others like any other zombie.

The next few months passed like a blur to Ben as the scientists ran countless tests on him. They determined that he was still alive, with all his bodily organs and functions still running, but if he were to die, no matter the cause, he would resurrect as a zombie so he was under constant supervision when he wasn’t locked away. He was nothing more than an animal now. When the experiments had finally ended, it was speculated that Ben should just be put down like a sick animal, but The Doctor insisted that there was long term data they can gain by keeping him alive.

Ben was allowed to live in the Hub, but he had to serve a purpose besides being a weekend science project. He showed a proficiency with the radio systems so he was allowed to run the main communication between the Enforcers all over Safe Haven. He would run the station board from mid afternoon until dawn the next day, allowed a few hours in the morning to go back to his quarters and sleep. Unless he was in his quarters, he was under constant armed supervision.

Under no circumstances was for anyone to know he was an infected carrier. Nervous ResEs might just kill him right then and there or panic would spread that there existed a living carrier and the citizens would try to escape the city, and the Three Kings couldn’t accept that. He wasn’t allowed to converse with anyone outside of his job. Friends were only a luxury for humanity, and while Ben wasn’t sure what he was anymore, he knew he wasn’t human.

Life was hell, and Ben was in constant pain; physical from the medications, psychological from the stress and his history and emotional from the constant ridicule of the ResEs and from the dehumanized life he was given by the scientists. Even the wheelchair he was given was crap, with the wheels jamming every so often on him. Despite all the inconveniences of his life, nothing could even hold a candle to the physicals.

Every few weeks, The Doctor would perform an examination on Ben that included becoming stripped, probed, constant blood drawing and a full body check that required The Doctor to check Ben’s entire body for signs of decomposition. The entire process always left Ben feeling so sick, he would go back to his quarters and vomit for a few hours. It didn’t take long for him to decide to commit suicide. It wouldn’t be too hard to just stop taking his medications and maybe he could get the drop on an unsuspecting ResE or two after he turned.

That changed when he met the Rogues. They wanted his help to bring down the people in charge of the city, and Ben wanted nothing more than to make those people pay. Ben would know which ResEs would patrol where in advance, so when Teto snuck by his quarters during the day when Ben wasn’t on radio duty, he would help him determine the best places to make a shipment exchange with minimal ResE patrols. It wasn’t much, but Teto promised him that down the line there would have a bigger, more “explosive” role to play once things progressed to that point.

Revenge, it was the only motivation Ben needed in order to continue day after day. He wasn’t going to kill himself, not if there was an opportunity to lash out and strike back against the people that took everything from him.

Right now though, Ben was more focused on finding a missing Enforcer. He was aware of the debacle last night that got Double-D killed while Bell went missing. There was a way to find him, it was just going to take a while. The ResEs had a radio relay system that used only one channel to transmit a signal, so everyone on duty could hear the same radio chatter. They system also had a homing signal imbedded with the channel that could pinpoint on a map where you were.

The problem was that the homing wasn’t very precise and it only worked when the radio was picking up or receiving radio chatter. So Ben’s job was to send out a continuous signal to all radios while studying the map to note where the signals were being picked up. The map would light up and Ben would note every blip on the oversized radar, then eliminate every blip that answered from someone else. The idea was that he would determine which blip was Bell’s radio by a process of elimination. The other problem was that he couldn’t exactly tell every ResE out in the field to stop moving since there were too many in the field and the radio only picked up one signal at a time. It would take too long if everyone went one after the other, even if he did it one sector at a time. He was going to find Bell eventually, it was just going to take a long time, and the ResEs weren’t being patient with his constant talking over the lines.

Thomas’ presence wasn’t helping things much either. He dropped the hammer on the ResEs back-talking over the air, but he wanted instant results, which wasn’t possible, so he pushed Ben to work faster, which in turn confused him as he studied the map, looking for the one blip among around a hundred at any given time that never answered him.

“I have to go,” Thomas said as he nodded to one of the armed ResEs in the room “When I return I expect you to have a location for me. I have a meeting with the partner right now, and I expect to be able to tell him where is friend is, dead or alive.” Ben was relieved as he nodded Thomas off and went back to work. Now he could work at a more deliberate pace and ironically find Bell’s radio that much faster.

Thomas exited and Ben stopped a moment to wonder just how much longer it would be before he would have his moment of revenge against Thomas, The Doctor and the whole lot of assholes he works under.

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