November 12, 2014

Race for Safe Haven - Oh God, Not Cable News! (NaNoWriMo update #3)

[Posted by Ted H]

I'd like to take a moment to talk about the Dawn of the Dead remake. One of my favorite opening sequences followed by the opening credits, where they got different people from different news style all trying to explain the zombie apocalypse. The only thing better than that was the bonus feature on the DVD where there's news coverage from zero hour to over a day into the zombie apocalypse. That was the shit.

Current status of my 2014 NaNoWriMo: 20,163 / 50,000 (29,837 words to go!)
Current pace has me writing my 50,000th word on: November 30

Joooooin us!


[Race for Safe Haven - Oh God, Not Cable News!]

            The next morning was quiet. Rhett woke up in his own bed without his shirt on. His head was throbbing from a mixture of his cold and his hangover. He wasn't sure of the time, but it was definitely into the afternoon. "Mission accomplished I guess," he said into his pillow, feeling a sense of relief, assuming what he experienced on his was home was just a horrible nightmare. "Never mixing Jager and the common cold ever again," he said as he moved his arm so he could rub his eyes but stopped dead at the painfully familiar sound of the handcuffs hanging off his wrist.
            "No," he whispered, as he sat up and tugged on the cuffs, making sure it wasn't a hallucination. He got up and made for the front door to see the dropped handgun from last night where he left it. He peeked out a front window to see if the people from last night found a way to follow him home. The outside world was still and silent. As thankful he was to see nothing, he also realized that there usually would be children running around and playing on a weekend day like this. The world outside right now was dead.
            Rhett made for his kitchen where a bottle of aspirin waited. After popping the pills and finding a bottle of water, he made for his television. He needed to know what the hell was happening. "Halloween came early, right?" he asked as he flipped through channels, each showing the same emergency broadcasting graphic, asking for people to wait for more information. "I'm going to have to turn to cable news, aren't I? Rhett asked as he changed channels.
            On screen was a press conference somewhere in Washington with a man in a suit answering questions at a podium. He had a stern look on his face and was talking directly and quick with all answers. Behind him stood a smaller man holding a packet of papers with a worried look on his face. The on screen graphic stated "Terror across the country: W-F patients escape and turn violent, death toll rising."
            "This is not just a national incident," the man at the podium stated "This is a global epidemic."
            "Is this similar with the alleged situation happing in Africa last week?" a reported asked.
            "If you're referring to the widespread rioting stemming from Nigeria down to South Africa, then yes. We will be dealing with it in similar fashion."
            "That wasn't the situation I was referring to," the reporter clarified "The reporting that people pronounced dead are-"
            "Those reports are inaccurate," the man interrupted "Next question."
            "What is the president's plan to deal with this rioting when the situation in Africa is not only still unresolved, but communications have gone dark and remained so in the affected countries," another reporter asked "And is it true that the European Union is also experiencing a similar outbreak?"
            "We have control of a wider pool of resources to effectively deal with this in a way that Africa cannot," the man said, pausing for a noticeable moment before continuing "And I cannot confirm or deny the status of Europe."
            There were mumbles among the reporters and hands for additional questions were raised. The man at the podium turned to the man behind him and whispered something before turning back around. "No more questions," he said before quickly turning to walk away, a roar or reporter questions tailing him as he walked. The man with the folders rushed to the microphone and tried to yell over the crowd. "The president plans to make a statement within the hour!"
            Rhett changed channels. On screen was a woman talking at the Center for Disease Control talking to her own pool of reporters. Flanking her on both sides were men is suits talking silently into radios. "They are not technically dead," the woman said, immediately catching Rhett's attention.
            "The disease does indeed impair organ function, in some cases entirely, but these people are still alive. We theorize that once inside the brain, after long periods of increased sensitivity to pain, the brain no longer recognizes any pain signal. This would explain all cases of gunshot wounds going unnoticed and all external injuries to be completely ignored."
            Someone in the crowd had come forward and screamed to be heard. "I saw someone shoot right through one of those things' neck, completely blowing the jugular away!" he yelled "That thing just kept going. How do you explain THAT?"
            "Right now we need to express the need for calm," the woman continued, ignoring the man. One of the men behind her stepped out of view and into the crowd, presumably to deal with the other man before he screamed something else. "While defiantly in need of help as soon as possible, these people are still carriers of the Waterhouse-Friderichsen infection and are extremely dangerous."
            Rhett changed channels again to three people having a debate. "There are people in the streets of St. Louis sweeping through the streets and shooting to kill anyone who are even showing the slightest symptoms, regardless of if that person is rioting or not," the man in the center said "They claim that this is what will keep the infection at bay. Does anyone agree with that?"
            These people need help," the man on the left said "Not a bullet in the brain. This can only worsen the infection because now people who do legitimately get sick won't come forward, making it harder to contain this epidemic. This is the wrong course of action."
            "The wrong course of action was herding them together to begin with," the man on the right said "We need a better treatment plan than just stashing them in our hospitals. St. Louis seems to have the only long term plan, as grotesque as it seems to be."
            "So you're saying you approve and endorse of what these people are doing?"
            "Don't put words in my mouth!"
            "Gentlemen, please!" the man in the middle tried to calm the other two down.
            Rhett flipped to a previous channel and dropped the remote. He pulled his phone out and went back to the front door. He peeked out to see the same empty street, wondering how bad things outside really were and trying to process everything he just watched. He checked his phone to see several missed calls all from the same number. There was only one person in the world who would think of Rhett if the world was falling apart: his roommate Jake.
            Jake had only left one voicemail message. "Yo man, if you ain't dead already, lemme know. Shit's gone fubar. Call me back."
            Jake had left a couple days ago to reluctantly go to a family reunion in Rochester. It was suppose to be ending today, but Rhett figured the apparent end of the world would give Jake a traffic problem. He dialed Jake's number and waited impatiently. The phone rang and rang, each passing second causing Rhett to slowly worry more. Eventually, his voicemail picked up.
            "Hey, this is Jake. I can't get to my phone right now cuz I'm busy...or dead. Who knows. Leave a message."
            Rhett rolled his eyes at the message. That wasn't cryptic or prophetic, it was the same message he used forever. "Hey, it's me," Rhett said "Not dead yet, how about you?" He ended the call and placed the phone down. He pondered his next move.
            The television was still playing footage of press conferences and people debating. None of them were showing firsthand accounts. Rhett remembered what he could of the previous night. Despite the hectic chaos he endured, he decided he needed to see if things were really as bad as they seemed on the news.

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