Gener@tion Z - Day 1 - Wrap Up

Day 1 - Wrap Up

Midnight struck.  When Phillip opened his eyes, he found himself back in the classroom with the headphones of the FEVAR Machine still stuck to his head.  He lifted them off and sat up quickly, surveying the classroom just as the rest of the students were getting up as well.  Most of them were yawning, as if they'd just experienced the best sleep they'd had in years, others were completely dazed, and some, like Phillip, were quiet and taking in their first experience inside the Scenario.

Mr. Glass leaned on the whiteboard casually and smirked at them.  "Session is over, guys," he said quietly.  "How do you all feel?"

"I don't want to do this anymore," Cecillia muttered loudly, shaking her head.  A tear was sliding down from her eye and she covered her face as she began to unleash the flood gates.  "I...I can't handle this."

When she began to bawl, Gustavo, who had been on the other side of the room, leaned up against the wall he sat by and rolled his eyes.  "Suck it up," he said loudly.

Cecillia turned to him in offense as her make-up began to run down her face.

"I actually agree with Gustavo on this one," Mr. Glass said sternly.  "You can back out now and let your virtual self die in the Scenario or you can take this in stride like the thousands of other students in the United States who take this class every semester.  This is a difficult course.  It's probably the most difficult one you'll ever have to take in your entire lives.  But it's necessary.  I suggest you go home, get some sleep, and be prepared for tomorrow, because it only gets harder from here.  And that's the God's honest truth."

"Um, Mr. Glass?" Louis called, raising his hand for him to see.  He spoke when he was called on.  "Where's Royce?  He was lying right over here by me."

The eyes fell on Mr. Glass, who pushed himself up from the whiteboard and shoved his hands into his pocket, taking a deep breath before he spoke.  "He didn't make it."

The students muttered amongst each other nervously while Ross and Latasha were gazing disparagingly at Austin, who sat, staring at Mr. Glass intently, absent of any remorse.

"This is the real reality of the situation, guys.  You all need to get your game faces on and plow your way through these next fourteen days or these ghouls will tear you apart, limb from limb.  I believe in you guys.  Now, let's take some time to discuss some of the aspects of the infected that you noticed so that everyone can be aware of what to expect from them based on the first day."

Mr. Glass turned to the whiteboard and grabbed one of the markers, making the first bullet point from the top of it.

"Would anyone like to start us off?" he asked, turning back to the class.  Everyone looked around at each other, waiting for one of them to speak up.  Ross was the first person to do so.

"They're fast," he said loudly.  "Faster than you said they were."

"No, Ross, you're just slower than you thought you were," Mr. Glass joked, as he noted it on the whiteboard.  Only a few of them laughed.  Most were still numbed by the Scenario and were only half-listening.  "The truth is, most are slow, while some evolve into their infected state with more function over their bodily actions than others, meaning some can run faster and more human-like. That's why I said that every zombie is unique.  Anything else?"

"They're irritated by sound," Phillip mentioned from the back of the class.

"Exactly right, Phillip," Mr. Glass said, noting it on the board.  "Zombies are irritated by loud sounds and are often drawn to the source.  They aren't stupid though.  They know when it's a threat and they know when to stay away.  That probably brings us to our next bullet point.  Anyone want to call that one out for me?"

"They're adaptable," Gustavo stated.  "Crafty."

"Perfect," Mr. Glass muttered, noting it down.  "They are practically as adaptable to their surroundings as normal humans and quicker at reaching that point too, making them more dangerous than any wild animal you've ever encountered."

"Mr. Glass," Jonah asked, raising his hand.  "This doesn't exactly pertain to the zombies or anything, but when I got infected in the Scenario, I sort of....changed."

"You did, I saw," Mr. Glass said, putting down the marker momentarily.  "The thing about the Beelzebub Flu is that when you are infected with it, it starts off by shutting down your nervous system, so you no longer feel pain.  It then begins to send out a powerful hidden hormone in the human body, known as Fortigen, that is released from your adrenal gland and into your blood stream.  It stimulates your muscle capacity and brain activity, giving you more endurance, strength, stamina, and spikes your alert level.  How much Fortigen it releases in a human being has yet to be determined, but it varies from person to person.  In your case, it sent close to the maximum amount of Fortigen into your body.  By a certain hour or time, the Flu stops the Fortigen from being distributed to each organ of your body.  Except for your stomach.  Soon afterwards, so much Fortigen floods your stomach, that it creates a massive craving, but without the erroding of Stomach Acid to accompany it.  Instead, Fortigen replaces Stomach Acid as the stomach's content, eventually intensifying the hunger to the point where the brain literally finds itself obsolete and shuts itself down, almost like a computer.  As a result, the stomach takes over as the organ that controls the body, but with the brain still there and functioning, it acts as a secondary organ that only uses basic functions, thus the shift to primal instinct.  As the Flu would progress, however, the brain would take on a more important role in the human body, allowing them basic decision-making abilities, which is the first mutation to develop from the Flu and it happens almost immediately after the infection ravages the body.  It's enough to make them as smart as an somewhat intelligent animal.  You were simply feeling the effects of the Flu on your body and because you used the Flu Deterrent, you stopped it just before it reached the Replacement Stomach Acid Phase."

"Ah," Jonah nodded, taking in all that he'd been told.

"So, more stuff about zombies?" Mr. Glass said, turning back towards the board.

"They also do some type of molding armor shit that I've never seen before," Louis interjected.  "I learned that the hard way."

"Yeah, I've been eager to talk to you guys about that," Mr. Glass said, addressing the class.  "This is the number one rule when it comes to your general zombie individual.  NEVER decapitate them.  I stress that to the fullest extent of its meaning because it can create problems that you won't ever be able to solve.  Here is the scientific classification of your general zombie.  It'll make things a bit clearer."

Mr. Glass turned back to the board and put the fourth bullet point up, following it with what he was about to state for the class.  "Homo Sapien Maxillopoda," he muttered slowly as he wrote the words on the board.  "The Barnacle Zombie.  It's the second mutation of the Beelzebub Flu after the spike of intelligence.  When a Zombie's head is detached from its body, its head, which acted as its secondary mainframe from the very beginning, can function on its own.  As a result, it tries to find a new host in another creature, making it equally, if not more dangerous than if it were still attached to a body.  When it finds an already-infected host, i.e. another zombie, it attaches itself to it and, due to the infected host already having a mainframe, recycles itself into a powerful exoskeleton that covers a large portion of the host's body, forming a symbiotic bond with the infected host."

"So zombie heads can grow on each other," Sid said slowly, trying to understand.  "Like barnacles."

"Exactly.  Thus the name.  And for the record, from here on out, the zombie mutations that follow are similar to that, in that they resemble the genuses of other aquatic wildlife."

Mr. Glass closed the cap on the marker and laid it back down, turning to address the class directly.  "That's all you need to know about these creatures for now.  But I have something that I need to warn you about."  Mr. Glass took a deep breath before continuing and when he did, his expression turned dark.  "There's something in the Scenario.  A Wild Card.  It's like nothing I've ever seen before.  It's, by far, the most dangerous thing ever conjured up in any Scenario and it shouldn't even exist, but the Scenarios have ways of creating zombie mutations that are unique and could actually develop in real life."

"So what is it?" Lamar asked anxiously.

Mr. Glass sighed again and hesitated in speaking.  "A sentient zombie."

"You mean, like a zombie with a human mind?"

"Not a human mind.  A madman's mind.  A zombie with the hunger for human flesh but with a fully functioning brain.  I can't tell you anymore, I could already lose my job for revealing this much."

"But what if he does something crazy?" Jeremy interjected with worry.  "Like assemble an army or"-

"Like I said, you never know what to expect from the Scenario.  Your best bet is to just go at it with a positive attitude and do your best.  That's all I've got for you guys today.  Have a nice afternoon and I'll see you all tomorrow.  Class dismissed."

A strange atmosphere was in the air.  None of the students moved immediately when Mr. Glass dismissed them, but his attitude was visibly edgy when he moved back over to his desk.  Slowly but surely, each student got up from the blankets they'd been laying on, grabbed their things from the back of the classroom, and headed out the door in a single-file line, as if waiting their turn to walk straight through the gates of hell.

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